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Brian McKnight (born June 5, 1969) is a Grammy-nominated American singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, pop and R&B musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist who can play nine instruments: piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussions, trombone, tuba, French horn and trumpet.
McKnight’s vocal style is his own. He does however draw heavily (particularly in his use of melisma) from Stevie Wonder and Michael Sembello. Echoes of Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins and Take 6 founder Claude V McKnight can also be heard in McKnights voice.
Mcknight also has an uncanny ability to mimic the timbre and style of other singers . He can do a spot on imitation of Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Prince and feels comfortable singing songs written in higher keys.
Leroy Anderson (/ləˈrɔɪ/ ~ le-roy, not "lee-roy"; June 29, 1908 – May 18, 1975) was an American composer of short, light concert pieces, many of which were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. John Williams described him as "one of the great American masters of light orchestral music."
Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (September 5, 1867 – December 27, 1944) was an American composer and pianist. She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. As a pianist, she was acclaimed for concerts she gave in the United States and in Germany.
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (1880s – July 10, 1941) was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer.
Widely recognized as a pivotal figure in early jazz, Morton claimed, in self-promotional hyperbole, to have invented jazz outright in 1902. Morton was the first serious composer of jazz, naming and popularizing the "Spanish tinge" of exotic rhythms and penning such standards as "Wolverine Blues", "Black Bottom Stomp", and "Buddy Bolden's Blues".
Sara Beth Bareilles (born December 7, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single "Love Song", which brought her into the number one spot on the Billboard Pop 100 chart.
After graduating from college in 2002, Bareilles performed at local bars and clubs (such as the Hotel Cafe and Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles), building a following, before performing in larger venues. She issued two demos of mostly live tracks in 2003: The First One in April and The Summer Sessions in October. In 2004, she appeared as a singer in a bar in the indie film Girl Play, performing the song "Undertow".
In January 2004, Bareilles released her first studio album, Careful Confessions. She signed a contract with Epic Records' A&R executive Pete Giberga on April 15, 2005. The remainder of the year and early 2006 were spent writing and reworking songs for her upcoming album. Her song, "Gravity," appears briefly in the 2006 independent film Loving Annabelle. She also toured as the opening act in 2006 for Marc Broussard's "Carencro" tour.
In mid-2004 she opened for Rocco DeLuca and the Burden during their inaugural headline tour, supported Guster on their first UK tour and co-headlined a tour with Jon McLaughlin. In 2007, Bareilles toured as the opening act for Aqualung and Mika, and later that year opened for several shows on both Maroon 5 and Paolo Nutini's U.S. tours. She also opened for James Blunt on his U.S. Tour in association with VH1 You Oughta Know.
Katy Perry (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson; October 25, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter. She has risen to prominence with her 2008 single "I Kissed a Girl" which has become a worldwide hit topping the charts in more than 20 countries, including United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and the United States, where it was the 1000th Billboard Hot 100 number 1. Perry has stated in the press that it's thanks to successful British singer-songwriters Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen that more female artists had been appearing on the charts. She went on to say that Winehouse and Allen "have introduced America to great music". She is known for her unconventional style of dress, often humoristic, bright in color and reminiscent of different decades, as well as her frequent use of fruit-shaped accessories, mainly watermelon as part of her outfits. Perry has a contralto vocal range.
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career that spans six decades, Williams has composed many of the most famous film scores in Hollywood history, including Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone, the first three Harry Potter movies and all but two of Steven Spielberg's feature films including the Indiana Jones series, Schindler's List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Jaws. He also composed the soundtrack for the hit 1960s television series Lost in Space as well as the fanfare of the DreamWorks Pictures' logo.
Williams has composed theme music for four Olympic Games, the NBC Nightly News, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and numerous television series and concert pieces. He served as the principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 to 1993, and is now the orchestra's laureate conductor.
Williams is a five-time winner of the Academy Award. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards, seven BAFTA Awards and 21 Grammy Awards. With 45 Academy Award nominations, Williams is, together with composer Alfred Newman, the second most nominated person after Walt Disney. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.
Felix Safran De Laet (born 30 November 1993), known by his stage name Lost Frequencies, is a Belgian DJ and music producer. He is best known for his 2014 single "Are You with Me" and 2015 single "Reality".
The Phantom of the Opera is a 2004 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart's 1986 stage musical, which is based on the novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux. The film was written and directed by Joel Schumacher and Webber and Webber produced the film. The cast includes Gerard Butler as the Phantom, Emmy Rossum (who was only 17 at the time of filming) as Christine Daaé, Patrick Wilson as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, Miranda Richardson as Madame Giry, Jennifer Ellison as Meg Giry, and Minnie Driver (whose vocals were dubbed by Margaret Preece, a professional opera singer) as Carlotta Giudicelli. Ramin Karimloo (who had been playing Raoul in the London production of Phantom at the time of filming) appeared in a cameo role as Christine's father.
The film was a USA/UK co-production that had various distributors worldwide. For example, Warner Bros. (a main production partner) distributed the film in the USA, and Universal Pictures (producers and/or distributors of the 1925, 1943, and 1962 adaptations of the book) released the film in Latin America and Australia.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840 â November 6 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. While not part of the nationalistic music group known as "The Five", Tchaikovsky wrote music which, in the opinion of Harold Schonberg, was distinctly Russian: plangent, introspective, with modally-inflected melody and harmony.
Aesthetically, Tchaikovsky remained open to all aspects of Saint Petersburg musical life. He was impressed by Serov and Balakirev as well as the classical values upheld by the conservatory. Both the progressive and conservative camps in Russian music at the time attempted to win him over. Tchaikovsky charted his compositional course between these two factions, retaining his individuality as a composer as well as his Russian identity. In this he was influenced by the ideals of his teacher Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolai's brother Anton.
Tchaikovsky's musical cosmopolitanism led him to be favored by many Russian music-lovers over the "Russian" harmonies and styles of Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.
Nonetheless he frequently adapted Russian traditional melodies and dance forms in his music, which enhanced his success in his home country. The success in St. Petersburg at the premiere of his Third Orchestral Suite may have been due in large part to his concluding the work with a polonaise. He also used a polonaise for the final movement of his Third Symphony.
Christina Perri (born August 19, 1986) is an American singer and songwriter from Philadelphia. Her song "Jar of Hearts" charted in the United States after it was featured on the Fox television show So You Think You Can Dance in 2010. Rolling Stone named her the "Band of the Week" on October 26, 2010. On May 10, 2011, Perri's "Jar of Hearts" was featured on Glee (Season 2, Episode 20 "Prom Queen").
Idina Kim Menzel (/ɪˈdiːnə mɛnˈzɛl/; born Idina Kim Mentzel; May 30, 1971) is an American actress and singer.
Menzel is known for her performance as the voice of Queen Elsa in the 2013 Disney film Frozen. Additionally, she portrayed the recurring role of Shelby Corcoran on the Fox musical comedy-drama TV series Glee, as well as Nancy in the 2007 Disney film Enchanted. Holiday Wishes (2014), her first album in six years, reached number six on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Menzel is the only competitive Tony Award-winning actress to ever reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. She performed a solo world concert tour from May to October 2015.
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 â May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.
Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a solo artist with great success in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers". His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, and fraternized with the Rat Pack and President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way".
Sinatra attempted to weather the changing tastes in popular music, but with dwindling album sales and after appearing in several poorly received films, he retired in 1971. Coming out of retirement in 1973, he recorded several albums, scoring a hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980, and toured both within the United States and internationally until a few years before his death in 1998.
Sinatra also forged a career as a dramatic actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, and he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm. His also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins; 8 June 1951) is a Welsh singer. She is known for her distinctive husky voice, resulting from an operation to remove vocal nodules in the mid-1970s. Tyler came to prominence with the release of her 1977 album The World Starts Tonight and its singles "Lost in France" and "More Than a Lover". Her 1978 single "It's a Heartache" reached number four on the UK Singles Chart, and number three on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In the 1980s, Tyler ventured into rock music with songwriter and producer Jim Steinman. He wrote Tyler's biggest hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart'", the lead single from her 1983 UK chart topping album Faster Than the Speed of Night. Steinman also wrote Tyler's other major 1980s hit "Holding Out for a Hero". She had success in mainland Europe during the 1990s with German producer Dieter Bohlen, releasing three albums. In 2003, Tyler re-recorded "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with singer Kareen Antonn. Their bilingual duet topped the French charts.
Drafi Franz Richard Deutscher (known professionally as Drafi Deutscher; 9 May 1946 – 9 June 2006) was a German singer and songwriter of Sinti origin.
Deutscher was born in Charlottenburg, Romania. Between 1964 and 1966, Deutscher had a string of hits in Germany, for example Shake Hands (1964 #1), Keep Smiling (1964 #7), Cinderella Baby (1965 #3), Heute male ich dein Bild, Cindy-Lou (1965 # 1).
Queen were an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor, with bass guitarist John Deacon completing the lineup the following year. While it is uncertain how many albums the band has sold, estimations range from 130 million to over 300 million albums worldwide.
The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.
Queen had moderate success in the early 1970s, with the albums Queen and Queen II, but it was with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year that the band gained international success. They have released fifteen studio albums, five live albums, and numerous compilation albums. Eighteen of these have reached number one on charts around the world.
Following Mercury's death in 1991 and Deacon's retirement later in the decade, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2005 they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers.
The Cure are an English rock band that formed in Crawley, Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several lineup changes, with frontman, guitarist and main songwriter Robert Smith—known for his iconic wild hair, pale complexion, smudged lipstick and frequently gloomy and introspective lyrics—being the only constant member.
The members of The Cure first started releasing music in the late 1970s. Their first album, Three Imaginary Boys (1979), and early singles placed them as part of the post-punk and New Wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s the band's increasingly dark and tormented music helped form the gothic rock genre. After the release of Pornography (1982), the band's future was uncertain and frontman Robert Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had cultivated. With the 1982 single "Let's Go to Bed" Smith began to inject more of a pop sensibility into the band's music. The Cure's popularity increased as the decade wore on, especially in the United States, where the songs "Just Like Heaven", "Lovesong" and "Friday I'm in Love" entered the Billboard Top 40 charts. By the start of the 1990s, The Cure were one of the most popular alternative rock bands in the world and have sold an estimated 27 million albums as of 2004. The Cure have released twelve studio albums and over thirty singles, with a thirteenth album, 4:13 Dream, due for release in October 2008.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in Enfield, North London), She is the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice, which was given to artists who, at the time, had yet to release an album. She debuted at number one with her Mercury Prize nominated debut album 19 in the UK album chart and has since then been certified platinum with sales over 500,000 copies.
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an influential American songwriter, singer and guitarist. He has recorded and toured with the E Street Band. Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock infused with pop hooks, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered around his native New Jersey. His eloquence in expressing ordinary, everyday problems has earned him numerous awards, including eighteen Grammy Awards and an Academy Award, along with a notoriously dedicated and devoted global fan base. His most famous albums, Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A., epitomize his penchant for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily life. He has sold over 65 million albums in the U.S.
Springsteen's lyrics often concern men and women struggling to make ends meet. He has gradually become identified with progressive politics. Springsteen is also noted for his support of various relief and rebuilding efforts in New Jersey and elsewhere, and for his response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, on which his album The Rising reflects.
Springsteen's recordings have tended to alternate between commercially accessible rock albums and somber folk-oriented works. Much of his iconic status stems from the concerts and marathon shows in which he and the E Street Band present intense ballads, rousing anthems, and party rock and roll songs, amongst which Springsteen intersperses long, whimsical or deeply emotional stories.
Springsteen has long had the nickname "The Boss", a term which he was initially reported to hate but now seems to have come to terms with, as he sometimes jokingly refers to himself as such on stage. The nickname originated when a young Springsteen, playing club gigs with a band in the 1960s, took on the task of collecting the band's nightly pay and distributing it amongst his bandmates.
Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter and pianist self-named and commonly referred to as "The Queen of Soul". Although renowned for her soul recordings, Franklin is also adept at jazz, rock, blues, pop, R&B and gospel. In 2008, the American music magazine Rolling Stone ranked Franklin #1 on its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time.
Franklin is one of the most honored artists by the Grammy Awards, with 20 Grammys to date, which include the Living Legend Grammy and the Lifetime Achievement Grammy. She has scored a total of 20 #1 singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart, two of which also became #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Respect" (1967) and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (1987), a duet with George Michael. Since 1961, Franklin has scored a total of 45 "Top 40" hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Franklin was the featured singer at the 2009 Presidential inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama.
George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer. He wrote most of his vocal and theatrical works in collaboration with his elder brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin. George Gershwin composed songs both for Broadway and for the classical concert hall. He also wrote popular songs with success.
Many of his compositions have been used on television and in numerous films, and many became jazz standards. The jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald recorded many of the Gershwins' songs on her 1959 Gershwin Songbook (arranged by Nelson Riddle). Countless singers and musicians have recorded Gershwin songs, including Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Al Jolson, Bobby Darin, Art Tatum, Bing Crosby, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Madonna, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Marni Nixon, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Nina Simone, Maureen McGovern, John Fahey, The Residents, Than & Sam, Sublime, and Sting. A residential building is named after him on the Stony Brook University campus.
Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (January 25, 1927 in Rio de Janeiro – December 8, 1994 in New York City), also known as Tom Jobim, was a Grammy Award-winning Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. A primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, Jobim is acknowledged as one of the most influential popular composers of the 20th century. His songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), commonly known as Beyoncé, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools, and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of R&B girl group Destiny's Child, the best-selling girl group of all time.
In June 2003, after a series of commercial successes with the group, Beyoncé released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love. The album became one of the most successful albums of that year, spawning the number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy", and earned Knowles five Grammy Awards in a single night in 2004. The formal disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005 facilitated her continued success as a solo artist. She released her second album, B'Day in 2006, which spawned the UK number-one singles "Déjà Vu" and "Beautiful Liar", as well as the worldwide hit, "Irreplaceable". Knowles has sold 15 million albums and singles worldwide.
The success of her solo albums has established her as one of the most marketable artists in the industry. However, she has also added acting and endorsement deals to her repertoire. In 2006, she starred alongside Steve Martin and Kevin Kline in the comedy The Pink Panther, and that same year, scored the main role in the film adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical Dreamgirls, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Knowles launched her family's fashion line House of Deréon in 2004, and among her many lucrative commercial deals are Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, and L'Oréal. Knowles has been with long-time boyfriend Jay-Z since 2002, though they have been discreet about their relationship. After much speculation, they married on April 4, 2008.
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. Their best-known lineup, consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, became the greatest and most influential act of the rock era, introducing more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later utilized several genres, ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania", but as their songwriting grew in sophistication, they came to be perceived by many fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era's sociocultural revolutions.
The band built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act and producer George Martin enhanced their musical potential. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first modest hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962. They acquired the nickname the "Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year, and by early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market. From 1965 on, the Beatles produced what many critics consider their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (1968), and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. McCartney and Starr remain musically active.
Henry Purcell (pronounced /ˈpɜrsəl/; 10 September 1659 (?) – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music.
John Barry, OBE (born John Barry Prendergast on 3 November 1933 in York, England) is an English film score composer. He is best known for composing 11 James Bond soundtracks and was hugely influential on the 007 series' distinctive style.
One Direction are an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson. They signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after being formed and finishing third in the seventh series of British television singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by the power of social media, their two albums Up All Night and Take Me Home, released in 2011 and 2012 respectively, broke several records, topped the charts of most major markets, and generated hit singles, including "What Makes You Beautiful" and "Live While We're Young".
Often described as sparking the resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States, the group have sold over 14 million singles and 8 million albums, according to the band's management company, Modest! Management. Their achievements include two BRIT Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards. According to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represented a $50 million business empire by June 2012. They were proclaimed 2012's "Top New Artist" by Billboard, while The Huffington Post named 2012 "The Year of One Direction".
Christopher Dwayne Tomlin (born May 4, 1972) is a Christian worship leader and songwriter from Grand Saline, Texas, United States. He is a staff member at Austin Stone Community Church and is signed to EMI's sixstepsrecords. Tomlin also leads worship at many Passion events. Some of his most well-known songs are "How Great Is Our God", "Indescribable", "Forever", "Famous One", "We Fall Down", "Holy Is the Lord" and "Made to Worship".
According to the Christian Copyright Licensing International, Tomlin is the most sung Christian artist in the United States. He was awarded Male Vocalist at the 2006 and 2007 Gospel Music Awards, and was named Artist of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Chris Tomlin will be releasing his 7th studio album "Hello Love" which is due September 2nd 2008.
Alesana (/ˈælɨs ˈænə/ a-lis a-na) is an American post-hardcore band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2004, the group is currently signed to Revival Recordings and have released one EP and four full-length studio albums. The band gained a wide audience after their debut, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax was released, featuring a musical style shifting between light and heavy sounds along with a wide influence ranging to even classic rock bands such as The Beatles. Their band name is derived from street named Aliceanna St., which is located in Baltimore where the group originated.
Shania Twain OC (born Eilleen Regina Edwards, August 28, 1965) is a Canadian singer and songwriter in the country and pop music genres. Her third album Come on Over is the best-selling album of all time by a female musician, and the best-selling album in the history of country music. She is the only female musician to have three albums certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America, and is also the second best selling artist in Canada, behind Céline Dion, with three of her studio albums being certified double diamond by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. Twain has achieved both critical and financial success, having received five Grammy awards, 27 BMI Songwriter awards, and sold over 65 million albums worldwide to date including 48 million in the US alone.
Alan Menken (born July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American Broadway and an eight-time Academy Award winning composer and pianist. Menken has collaborated with several renowned lyricists including Howard Ashman (1950-1991), Tim Rice and Stephen Schwartz.
Yuki Kajiura (梶浦 由記 Kajiura Yuki?, born August 6, 1965 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese composer and music producer. She has provided the music for several popular anime series, such as the final Kimagure Orange Road movie, Noir, .hack//Sign, Aquarian Age, Madlax, My-HiME, My-Otome, .hack//Roots, Pandora Hearts, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sword Art Online, Tsubasa Chronicle and the Kara no Kyoukai movies (amongst others). She also assisted Toshihiko Sahashi with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Kajiura has also composed for video games, including the cutscene music for Xenosaga II and the entire Xenosaga III game soundtrack.
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist. Starting with his first composition in 1884, he signed his name as Erik Satie.
Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds") preferring this designation to that of "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.
In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings.
Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. He was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd.
Gloria Gaynor (born Gloria Fowles September 7, 1949) is an American singer, best-known for the disco era hits "I Will Survive" (Hot 100 #1, 1979), "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Hot 100 #9, 1974), "Let Me Know (I Have A Right)" (Hot 100 #42, 1980) and "I Am What I Am" (Hot 100 #82, 1983). She was born in Newark, New Jersey.
Gloria began to revive her career worldwide with the aggressive revival of disco beginning in the early to mid 1990's. During the late 1990s, she dabbled in acting for a while, guest starring on The Wayans Bros, That '70s Show, and Ally McBeal before doing a limited engagement performance in Broadway's Smokey Joe's Cafe.
After almost 30 years of its release, Gaynor continues to ride the success of "I Will Survive", touring the country and the world over and performing her signature song on dozens of TV shows.
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Since their formation in 1996, the band has sold more than 50 million albums and won two Grammy Awards. They achieved mainstream success with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005. Their following studio album, Meteora, continued the band's success, topping the Billboard 200’s album charts in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work around the world.
Recognized for their adaptation of the nu metal and rap rock genre into a radio-friendly yet densely-layered style in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the band moved away from this and explored a variety of other genres in their latest studio album, Minutes to Midnight. The album topped the Billboard charts and had the third best debut week of any album that year. They are also known for their several collaborations, most notably with rapper Jay-Z in their mash-up album Collision Course, and many other artists on Reanimation.
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Robbie Burns, Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as The Bard) was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.
He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.
As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) "Auld Lang Syne" is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and "Scots Wha Hae" served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include "A Red, Red Rose"; "A Man's A Man for A' That"; "To a Louse"; "To a Mouse"; "The Battle of Sherramuir"; "Tam o' Shanter"; and "Ae Fond Kiss".
Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.
After recording two private EPs and a demo CD named Origin, with the help of Bigwig Enterprises in 2000, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Fallen sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, Anywhere but Home, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, The Open Door, which has sold more than four million copies.
The band has suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving in 2003, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. Lee is now the only original member of Evanescence remaining in the band.
Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (8 June 1671, Venice, Republic of Venice – 17 January 1751, Venice, Republic of Venice) was a Venetian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music, some of which is regularly recorded.
Regina Spektor (born February 18, 1980) is a Soviet-born Jewish-American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her music is associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village.
Spektor has said that she has created 700 songs, but that she rarely writes any of them down. She has also stated that she never aspired to write songs herself, but songs seem to just flow to her. Spektor possesses a broad vocal range and uses the full extent of it. She also explores a variety of different and somewhat unorthodox vocal techniques, such as verses composed entirely of buzzing noises made with the lips and beatbox-style flourishes in the middle of ballads, and also makes use of such unusual musical techniques as using a drum stick to tap rhythms on the body of the piano or chair.
Her lyrics are equally eclectic, often taking the form of abstract narratives or first-person character studies, similar to short stories or vignettes put to song. Spektor usually sings in English, though she sometimes includes a few words or verses of Latin, Russian, French, and other languages in her songs.
Madeleine Peyroux (born April 18, 1974, Athens, Georgia, United States) is an American jazz singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Peyroux (French pronunciation: ) is noted for her vocal style, which has been compared to that of Billie Holiday.
Peyroux has cited Holiday, Bessie Smith, Patsy Cline, Édith Piaf, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Mercer, Charlie Chaplin, Serge Gainsbourg and Bob Dylan as influences on her music.
Charles-Louis Hanon (born in Renescure, France 2 July 1819, died in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France 19 March 1900) was a French piano pedagogue and composer. He is best known for his work The Virtuoso Pianist In 60 Exercises, which have become the most widely used exercises in modern piano teaching. Piano students all over the world know of Hanon’s famous training exercises for pianists. Both Sergei Rachmaninov and Josef Lhévinne claimed Hanon to be the secret of why the Russian piano school delivered an explosion of virtuosi in their time, for the Hanon exercises have been obliged for a long time throughout Russian conservatories; there were special examinations in which one had to know all exercises by heart to be played in all tonalities in highly advanced speed.
Although the value of Hanon's exercises is highly recognized by most of the greatest pedagoges and pianists, it is not completely without its detractors. Some critics have questioned the merits of the independent finger technique which the exercises seek to cultivate, with some pedagogues, such as Abby Whiteside considering them to be actively harmful.
It has been a recent trend for music schools to hold a Hanon Marathon, Church Street School for Music and Art being the first to have coined the term and held the event, in which Hanon exercises are played competitively.
Other works of Hanon include 50 instructional pieces, Méthode Élémentaire de Piano, and a collection of 50 Ecclesiastical Chants.
Charles Nunzio, now in his nineties, wrote "Hanon for Accordion", a two-volume set of exercises for Piano Accordion based on a similar philosophy, which has recently been reissued in an updated edition. A Hanon for Guitar has also been written.
Joe Jackson (born David Ian Jackson, 11 August 1954) is an English musician and singer-songwriter now living in Berlin, whose five Grammy Award nominations span from 1979 to 2001. He is probably best known for the 1979 hit song and first single "Is She Really Going Out with Him?", which still gets extensive US FM radio airplay; for his 1982 Top 10 hit, "Steppin' Out"; and for his 1984 success with "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)". He was popular for his pop/rock and New Wave music early on before moving to more eclectic, though less commercially successful, pop/jazz/classical hybrids. Joe Jackson has been nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame numerous times.
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation in composition for diverse musical forces, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth and technical and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg concertos; the Goldberg Variations; the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Well-Tempered Clavier; the Mass in B Minor; the St. Matthew Passion; the St. John Passion; The Musical Offering; The Art of Fugue; the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo; the Cello Suites; more than 200 surviving cantatas; and a similar number of organ works, including the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
While Bach's fame as an organist was great during his lifetime, he was not particularly well-known as a composer. His adherence to Baroque forms and contrapuntal style was considered "old-fashioned" by his contemporaries, especially late in his career when the musical fashion tended towards Rococo and later Classical styles. A revival of interest and performances of his music began early in the 19th century, and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (17 June 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian-born, naturalised French, later naturalised American composer, pianist, and conductor.
He is widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music. He was a quintessentially cosmopolitan Russian who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the century. He became a naturalised French citizen in 1934 and a naturalized US citizen in 1945. In addition to the recognition he received for his compositions, he also achieved fame as a pianist and a conductor, often at the premieres of his works.
Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and performed by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (Russian Ballets): The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911/1947), and The Rite of Spring (1913). The Rite, whose premiere provoked a riot, transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure, and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of musical design.
After this first Russian phase Stravinsky turned to neoclassicism in the 1920s. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue, symphony), frequently concealed a vein of intense emotion beneath a surface appearance of detachment or austerity, and often paid tribute to the music of earlier masters, for example J.S. Bach and Tchaikovsky.
In the 1950s he adopted serial procedures, using the new techniques over his last twenty years. Stravinsky's compositions of this period share traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells, and clarity of form, of instrumentation, and of utterance.
He also published a number of books throughout his career, almost always with the aid of a collaborator, sometimes uncredited. In his 1936 autobiography, Chronicles of My Life, written with the help of Walter Nouvel, Stravinsky included his well-known statement that "music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all." With Alexis Roland-Manuel and Pierre Souvtchinsky he wrote his 1939–40 Harvard University Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, which were delivered in French and later collected under the title Poétique musicale in 1942 (translated in 1947 as Poetics of Music). Several interviews in which the composer spoke to Robert Craft were published as Conversations with Igor Stravinsky. They collaborated on five further volumes over the following decade.
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.
Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Franz Peter Schubert (German pronunciation: ; January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.
Schubert was born into a musical family, and received formal musical training through much of his childhood. While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (amongst them the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wide appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. He made some money from published works, and occasionally gave private musical instruction. In the last year of his life he began to receive wider acclaim. He died at the age of 31 of "typhoid fever", a diagnosis which was vague at the time; several scholars suspect the real illness was tertiary syphilis.
Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death. Composers like Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn discovered, collected, and championed his works in the 19th century, as did musicologist Sir George Grove. Franz Schubert is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
Michel Petrucciani (December 28, 1962, Orange, France – January 6, 1999, New York City, USA), was a French jazz pianist.
Michel Petrucciani came from an Italo-French family with a musical background. His father Tony played guitar, his brother Louis played bass and his last brother Philippe plays guitar too. Michel was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, which is a genetic disease that causes brittle bones and in his case short stature. It is also often linked to pulmonary ailments. In his early career his father and brother occasionally carried him, literally, because he could not walk far on his own unaided. In certain respects though he considered it an advantage as it got rid of distractions, like sports, that other boys tended to become involved in.
At an early age he became an enthusiast of Duke Ellington and wished to become a pianist like him. Although he trained for years as a classical pianist, jazz remained his main interest. He gave his first professional concert at 13. At this point in his life he was still quite fragile and had to be carried to and from the piano. His size meant that he required aids to reach the piano's pedals, but his hands were average in length. This had its advantages, however: at the start of his career Petrucciani's manager would often smuggle him into hotel rooms in a suitcase in a bid to save money. By the age of 18 he was part of a successful trio. He moved to the US in 1982, where he successfully encouraged Charles Lloyd to resume playing actively. On February 22, 1985, with Petrucciani cradled in his arms, Lloyd walked onto the stage at Town Hall in New York City and sat him on his piano stool for what would be an historic evening in jazz history: the filming of One Night with Blue Note. The film's director John Jopson would later recall in the reissued liner notes that the moment moved him to tears. In 1986 Petrucciani recorded a live album with Wayne Shorter and Jim Hall. He also played with diverse figures in the US jazz scene including Dizzy Gillespie.
Michel Camilo (born April 4, 1954) is a pianist and composer from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He is known as a great jazz, Latin and classical pianist with superb technical ability, and has played and recorded with many world-famous musicians. Michel lists some of his main influences as Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, and Art Tatum.
Rihanna (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty; February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, model and fashion designer. She is the second artist, and first female, from Barbados to have received a Grammy Award (the first being Jimmy Senya Haynes). Rihanna is currently signed to the Def Jam Recordings label. She has attained four Billboard Hot 100 number ones thus far ("SOS", "Umbrella", "Take a Bow", and "Disturbia"), tying her with Mariah Carey and Beyoncé as the female solo artist with the most number ones this decade.
Rihanna came to fame in 2005 with the release of her debut album Music of the Sun, which featured her breakthrough single "Pon de Replay". Less than a year later, Rihanna released A Girl Like Me and gave her first number one single, "SOS". In 2007, Rihanna released her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad. The album has yielded six hit singles including five worldwide number one singles "Umbrella", "Don't Stop the Music" and "Take A Bow". Since the release of her debut album, Rihanna has amassed eleven top 40 hit singles in the U.S.
Lily Rose Beatrice Cooper (née Allen; born 2 May 1985), better known as Lily Allen, is an English recording artist and actress. She is the daughter of Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen.
Allen abandoned school when she was 15 and concentrated on improving her performing and compositional skills. In 2005, she made some of her recordings public on Myspace and the publicity resulted in airplay on BBC Radio One and a contract with Regal Recordings. Her first mainstream single "Smile" reached the top position on the UK Singles Chart in July 2006. Her debut record Alright, Still was well received, selling over 2.6 million copies worldwide and brought Allen a nomination at the Grammy Awards, BRIT Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. She began hosting her own talk-show, Lily Allen and Friends, on BBC Three.
Her second studio album It's Not Me, It's You, saw a genre shift, having more of an electropop feel, rather than the ska and reggae influences of the first one. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and the Australian ARIA Charts and was well received by critics, noting the singer's musical evolution and maturity. It spawned the hit singles "The Fear" and "Fuck You", popular mostly in Europe. Allen and Amy Winehouse have been credited with starting a process that led to the media-proclaimed "year of the women" in 2009 that has seen five female artists making music of "experimentalism and fearlessness" nominated for the Mercury Prize. During 2010, Allen opened a fashion rental shop "Lucy in Disguise" with her sister Sarah, followed by the 2011 launching of her own record label.
Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American pop singer and television and film actress. Cyrus is best known for starring as the title character in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. Following the success of Hannah Montana, in October 2006, a soundtrack CD was released in which she sang eight songs from the show. Cyrus' solo music career began with the release of her debut album, Meet Miley Cyrus on June 23, 2007, which included her first top ten single "See You Again". Her second album, Breakout, was released on July 22, 2008. Breakout is Cyrus' first album that does not involve the Hannah Montana franchise. Both albums debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. In 2008, she appeared in the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert film.
Cyrus also starred in Bolt in 2008, and recorded "I Thought I Lost You" for the soundtrack for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the film spin-off of Hannah Montana, titled Hannah Montana: The Movie which was released on April 10, 2009. In 2008, Cyrus was listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. Forbes magazine ranked her #35 on the "Celebrity 100" list with earnings of $25 million in 2008. Her rank improved to #29 in 2009.
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