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Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935–August 16, 1977, middle name sometimes written Aron)a was an American singer, musician and actor. A cultural icon, he is commonly referred to as the "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or "The King".
In 1954, Presley began his career as the first performer of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing "black" and "white" sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he has been inducted into four music halls of fame.
In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-one movies—mainly poorly reviewed, but financially successful, musicals. In 1968, he returned with acclaim to live music in a television special, and thereafter performed across the U.S., notably in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. Health problems, drug dependency and other factors led to his premature death at age 42.
Something Corporate is a piano rock band, hailing from Orange County, California. Although they categorize their music as 'piano rock', they are often associated with 'pop punk' as a result of the subject matter present in their songs. Signing on to Drive-Thru Records, known for their pop-punk bands such as New Found Glory, helped influence their 'pop-punk' image. They are currently signed to Geffen Records.
Andrew McMahon – Vocals, piano
Josh Partington – Lead guitar
Kevin Page "Clutch" – Bass
Brian Ireland – Drums
Yusuf Islam, (born Steven Demetre Georgiou on 21 July 1948), best known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British musician of Greek Cypriot and Swedish ancestry. He is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam.
As Cat Stevens, he sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. His albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified as Triple Platinum by the RIAA in the United States (three million sales each); his album Catch Bull at Four sold half a million copies in the first two weeks of release alone, and was Billboard's number-one LP for three consecutive weeks. His songwriting has also earned him two ASCAP songwriting awards for "The First Cut Is the Deepest," which has been a hit single for five different artists, and has been instrumental for others in establishing their musical careers.
Stevens converted to Islam at the height of his fame in 1977. The following year, he adopted his Muslim name Yusuf Islam, sold all his instruments and awards for charity, and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He turned to his mother to help him decide the best candidate to wed, and thus, in an arranged marriage, took his vows with Fauzia Mubarak Ali, eventually producing five living children from the union.
He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including 2003's World Award, the 2004 Man for Peace award, and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace. In 2006, he returned to pop music, with his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup.
He lives with his wife, children and grand-child in London. Yusuf Islam spends part of each year in Dubai.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in 1968 by Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards) and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. However, the band's individualistic style draws from many sources and transcends any one genre. Their rock-infused interpretation of the blues and folk genres also incorporated rockabilly, reggae, soul, funk, classical, Celtic, Indian, Arabic, pop, Latin and country. The band did not release the popular songs from their albums as singles in the UK, as they preferred to develop the concept of album-oriented rock.
Close to 30 years after disbanding following Bonham's death in 1980, the band continues to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and broad influence. The band have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, including 111.5 million sales in the United States and they have had all of their original studio albums reach the U.S. Billboard Top 10, with six reaching the number one spot. Led Zeppelin are ranked No. 1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as "the heaviest band of all time" and "the biggest band of the 70s".
On 10 December 2007 the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with deceased drummer John Bonham's son Jason) for the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at The O2 in London.
Missy Higgins (born Melissa Morrison Higgins on August 19, 1983) is an award-winning Australian singer-songwriter, best known for the hit singles "Scar", "The Special Two" and "Steer". Her second album, On a Clear Night, was released in April 2007.
Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990.
With the lead single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from the group's second album Nevermind (1991), Nirvana entered into the mainstream, bringing along with it a subgenre of alternative rock called grunge. Other Seattle grunge bands such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden also gained popularity, and, as a result, alternative rock became a dominant genre on radio and music television in the United States during the early-to-middle 1990s. As Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana the "flagship band" of "Generation X". Cobain was uncomfortable with the attention and placed his focus on the band's music, challenging the band's audience with its third studio album In Utero (1993).
Nirvana's brief run ended with Cobain's death in April 1994, but the band's popularity continued in the years that followed. In 2002, "You Know You're Right", an unfinished demo from the band's final recording session, topped radio playlists around the world. Since their debut, the band has sold over fifty million albums worldwide. Nirvana are often credited with being one of the most popular and important rock bands of recent years.
Volumia! was a Top 40 band from the city of Maastricht, The Netherlands. They started as a cover band and later on the band had their own repertoire of Dutch songs. The band existed from 1993 until 2002. They scored a big number of Awards and Golden Records (below). After 2002 several band members started a solo career. Lead singer Xander de Buisonje launched a solo CD in The Netherlands and Belgium. Saxophone player Harold Mingels from The Hague played with the Crazy Piano's and later on in his own group The Corona's. Singer Tamara Hookwater presented several programs for the TV network L1, sang with the Big Bands Swing Design (with Greg Walker (Santana) and The Jack Million Band throughout America (under which New York, Glenn Miller festivals, Clarinda). Today she lives in Amsterdam and is dedicated to her jazz career.
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. According to Billboard magazine, she was the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States.
Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001, and she was dropped by Virgin Records the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to pop music in 2005.
Carey was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards. She has had the most number-one singles for a solo artist in the United States (eighteen; second artist overall behind The Beatles), where, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female and sixteenth overall recording artist. In addition to her commercial accomplishments, Carey has earned five Grammy Awards, and is well-known for her vocal range, power, melismatic style, and use of the whistle register.
Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler (born May 8, 1975) is a Spanish-Filipino pop singer-songwriter. His career started in Mexico on Indie label Fonovisa who helped turn him into one of the most popular artists in Latin America and in the Latin market in the United States, selling more Spanish albums than any other artists in that period of time. Before the turn of the millennium he made a crossover into the mainstream English market and signed a unique multi-album deal with Universal Music for an unprecedented $48,000,000, with Universal Music Latino to release his Spanish albums and Interscope to release English albums, Enrique Iglesias has so far sold over 50.000.000 albums worldwide. Iglesias has had two Billboard Hot 100 #1s and one #3, and he holds the record for producing eighteen number #1 Spanish-language singles on the Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks.
Rent is a rock musical, with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of the Bohemian East Village, under the shadow of AIDS.
Rent won a Tony Award for Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize, among other awards. In addition, its cast was unusually ethnically diverse. Rent brought controversial topics to a traditionally conservative medium, and it helped to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation. "Rent speaks to Generation X the way that the musical Hair spoke to the baby boomers or those who grew up in the 1960s, calling it "a rock opera for our time, a Hair for the 90s."
The musical was first seen at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. On January 26, 1996, Rent opened in New York City off-Broadway before moving to Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996. Rent has been successful on Broadway, where it had critical acclaim and word-of-mouth popularity. The Broadway production of Rent closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12 year run and 5,124 performances, making it the seventh-longest-running Broadway show. The production has grossed over $280 million. At the time of its closing, it was the second-longest-running musical currently on Broadway, eight years behind The Phantom of the Opera.
The Wedding Singer is a musical based on the film The Wedding Singer, with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy.
The musical opened on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on April 27, 2006 and closed on December 31, 2006 after 284 performances. It was directed by John Rando, with choreography by Rob Ashford, and featured Stephen Lynch as Robbie.
A U.S. tour began on August 31, 2007. A Swedish version opened in Karlstad on September 1, 2007. El Rey de Bodas, the Spanish-language version, which translates into "The King of Weddings", opened in Madrid in October 2007.
A UK tour opened at the Manchester Palace Theatre in February 2008 starring Jonathan Wilkes and Natalie Casey, and after touring the UK is then expected to begin an open-ended West End run towards the end of 2008 and early 2009. The Japanese version will open in Tokyo at the Nissay Theatre on February 6, 2008, and other foreign productions are scheduled for Finland, Germany, Australia, and South Korea. The show's New Zealand premiere season started on April 3rd and ran until April 13, 2008 at Palmerston North Boys' High School's Speirs Centre with a cast of amateur actors from Palmerston North Boys' and Palmerston North Girls' High Schools. The season was directed by Chris Burton and Liz O'Connor. South Australian premiere will open on July 9th 2008 at the Arts Theatre, Adelaide, presented by Matt Byrne Media.
Amateur rights have been released in Australia prior to any professional production.
In Finland, an open air version of the musical will be performed in the city of Turku from June to August 2008.
Miss Saigon is a West End musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. It premiered at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in London on September 20, 1989, closing after 4,264 performances on October 30, 1999. On April 11, 1991, it opened at the Broadway Theatre in New York City, and closed on January 28, 2001 after 4,092 performances. The musical represented Schönberg and Boublil's second major success, following Les Misérables in 1980. As of August 2007, Miss Saigon is still the 10th longest-running Broadway musical in musical theatre history.
Miss Saigon is a modern adaptation of Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to the 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly's American Lieutenant and Japanese geisha coupling is replaced by a romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl.
The show's inspiration was reportedly a photograph, inadvertently found by Schönberg in a magazine. The photo showed a Vietnamese mother leaving her child at a departure gate at Tan Son Nhut Air Base to board a plane headed for the United States where her father, an ex-GI, would be in a position to provide a much better life for the child. Schönberg considered this mother's actions for her child to be "The Ultimate Sacrifice," an idea central to the plot of Miss Saigon.
Highlights of the show include the evacuation of the last Americans in Saigon from the Embassy roof by helicopter while a crowd of abandoned Vietnamese scream their despair, the victory parade of the new communist regime and the frenzied night club scene on the edge of defeat.
Miss Saigon was part of the major British influence on Broadway in the 1980s, along with the musicals Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables.
Boa Kwon (born November 5, 1986 in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea), commonly known by her stage name BoA, is a multilingual Korean singer. She has been active in both South Korea and Japan. Aside from her native Korean, BoA also speaks Japanese and conversational English She has also released a number of Chinese songs, although she is not able to speak the language itself.
BoA has achieved great commercial success, particularly in South Korea and Japan where she has claimed four number one studio albums in Korea and six in Japan. The release of The Face made BoA only one of two artists in J-pop history to top the Oricon Weekly Album Charts six consecutive times, with the other being Ayumi Hamasaki who currently has eight consecutive number one albums.
East 17 (later re-grouped as E-17) are an English pop boy band founded in 1992.
The group name came from the postcode for Walthamstow, an area of London between the old East End and the Essex commuter belt. They achieved 18 Top 20 singles and four Top 10 albums, and were one of the famous acts along with Take That in the UK and some parts of the world during the early to mid 1990s. They occasionally blended rap and pop in songs such as "House of Love", "Steam" and "Let It Rain", attaining fame as a result of the main songwriter Tony Mortimer.
Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981) is an American pop singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer and actor. He has won six Grammy Awards as well as an Emmy Award.
Justin Timberlake came to fame as one of the lead singers of pop "boy band" (or "vocal harmony group") 'N Sync, whose launch was financed by Lou Pearlman. In 2002, he released his debut solo album, Justified, which sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. Timberlake's second solo release, FutureSex/LoveSounds, was released in 2006 with the U.S. number-one hit singles "SexyBack", "My Love", and "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around". The album also spawned three additional U.S. top twenty hits ("Summer Love", "LoveStoned", and "Until the End of Time"). As of January 2008, FutureSex/LoveSounds has sold more than 8.6 million copies. With his first two albums, Timberlake has sold more than 18 million records worldwide alone, as well as more than 50 million copies as one of the two lead singers in 'N Sync. His other ventures include record label Tennman Records, fashion label William Rast, and the restaurants Destino and Southern Hospitality.
Westlife is an Irish pop band that was formed on July 3, 1998. They were signed on by Simon Cowell and are currently managed by Louis Walsh. Over the years, Westlife's music has evolved from teen pop to an adult contemporary sound, with an emphasis on ballads.
The group's original lineup comprised of Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan , and Bryan McFadden. Filan and Feehily are the band's lead vocalists. All of the band members are songwriters, although most of their hits have been composed by external writers. On March 9, 2004, McFadden left the band to work on solo projects (before his departure, McFadden also contributed lead vocals).
Westlife has sold more than 40 million records worldwide. They garnered 14 number one singles in the United Kingdom, the third-highest in UK history, tying with Cliff Richard and tailing behind Elvis Presley and The Beatles. The band has also won numerous awards such as the "Best Irish Pop Act" at the annual Ireland Meteor Awards and ITV "Record of the Year" award in the UK. The band has also broken a few top records, including "Music artist with most consecutive number 1's in the UK" and the "Biggest selling arena act in the UK".
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