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Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin
Robert David Grusin is an American composer, arranger, producer, and pianist. He has composed many scores for feature films and television, and has won numerous awards for his soundtrack and record work, including an Academy Award and ten Grammy Awards.
Adam Schlesinger
Adam Schlesinger
Adam Schlesinger is an American songwriter, composer and record producer. He is the bassist for the bands Fountains of Wayne, Ivy and Tinted Windows. He is an owner of Scratchie Records and Stratosphere Sound, a recording studio in New York City. Schlesinger grew up in Manhattan and Montclair, New Jersey.

Schlesinger was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for writing the title track of the Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do! as well as two other songs for the film. Fountains of Wayne was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2003 for Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Schlesinger and David Javerbaum were nominated for a 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score for his music for the musical Cry-Baby.
Schlesinger and Javerbaum also received a 2009 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music And Lyrlcs, for their song "Much Worse Things", performed by Elvis Costello and Stephen Colbert on the television special "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All!"
Brahms
Brahms
Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of the Romantic period. He was born in Hamburg and in his later years he settled in Vienna, Austria.

Brahms maintained a Classical sense of form and order in his works – in contrast to the opulence of the music of many of his contemporaries. Thus many admirers (though not necessarily Brahms himself) saw him as the champion of traditional forms and "pure music," as opposed to the New German embrace of program music.

Brahms venerated Beethoven: in the composer's home, a marble bust of Beethoven looked down on the spot where he composed, and some passages in his works are reminiscent of Beethoven's style. The main theme of the finale of Brahms's First Symphony is reminiscent of the main theme of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth, and when this resemblance was pointed out to Brahms he replied that any ass – jeder Esel – could see that.

Ein deutsches Requiem was partially inspired by his mother's death in 1865, but also incorporates material from a Symphony he started in 1854, but abandoned following Schumann's suicide attempt. He once wrote that the Requiem "belonged to Schumann". The first movement of this abandoned Symphony was re-worked as the first movement of the First Piano Concerto.

Brahms also loved the Classical composers Mozart and Haydn. He collected first editions and autographs of their works, and edited performing editions. He also studied the music of pre-classical composers, including Giovanni Gabrieli, Johann Adolph Hasse, Heinrich Schütz and especially Johann Sebastian Bach. His friends included leading musicologists, and with Friedrich Chrysander he edited an edition of the works of François Couperin. He looked to older music for inspiration in the arts of strict counterpoint; the themes of some of his works are modelled on Baroque sources, such as Bach's The Art of Fugue in the fugal finale of Cello Sonata No. 1, or the same composer's Cantata No. 150 in the passacaglia theme of the Fourth Symphony's finale.
Burgmuller
Johann Friedrich Franz Burgmüller, generally known as Friedrich Burgmüller (born Regensburg, Germany 4 December 1806 – died 13 February 1874) was a German pianist and composer.
J. S. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685, O.S.31 March 1685, N.S. – 28 July 1750, N.S.) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist 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 did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, A Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, as well as the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes and Organ Mass.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Queen
Queen
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.
Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi is a rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey. Fronted by lead singer and namesake Jon Bongiovi, the group originally achieved large-scale success in the 1980s. Over the past 25 years, Bon Jovi has sold over 120 million albums worldwide, including 34 million in the United States alone.

Bon Jovi formed in 1983 with lead singer Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, bassist Alec John Such, and drummer Tico Torres. Other than the departure of Alec John Such in 1994 (which pared the lineup down to a quartet), the lineup has remained the same for the past 25 years. After two moderately successful albums in 1984 and 1985, the band scored big with Slippery When Wet (1986) and New Jersey (1988), which sold a combined 19 million copies in the U.S. alone, charted eight Top Ten hits (including four number one hits), and launched the band into global super stardom. After non-stop touring, the band went on hiatus after the New Jersey Tour in 1990, during which time Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora both released successful solo albums. In 1992, the band returned with the double platinum Keep the Faith and has since created a string of platinum albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

In 2006, the band won a Grammy for best Country Collaboration for "Who Says You Can't Go Home" with Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland and also became the first rock band to reach #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart with the same song. The band has also received multiple Grammy nominations for music from the albums Crush, Bounce, and Lost Highway.

Throughout their career, the band has released ten studio albums, of which nine have gone platinum. In addition, the band has charted 19 singles to the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, four of which reached #1 ("You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' on a Prayer", "Bad Medicine", and "I'll Be There for You"). The band also holds the record for the most weeks for a hard rock album at #1 on the Billboard 200 with Slippery When Wet, as well as the most Top 10 singles from a hard rock album, with New Jersey, which charted five such singles.

Bach
Bach
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.
Charles Aznavour
Charles Aznavour
Charles Aznavour Singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour is an Armenian singer, songwriter, actor and diplomat. Wikipedia
Date of birth: May 22, 1924, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, France Date and place of death: 1 October 2018, Mouriès, France
Alan Menken
Alan Menken
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.
Vivaldi
Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678 – July 28, 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest"), was a Venetian priest and Baroque music composer, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist; he was born and raised in the Republic of Venice. The Four Seasons, a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular Baroque piece.

Many of Vivaldi's compositions reflect a flamboyant, almost playful, exuberance. Most of Vivaldi's repertoire was rediscovered only in the first half of the 20th century in Turin and Genoa and was published in the second half. Vivaldi's music is innovative, breaking a consolidated tradition in schemes; he gave brightness to the formal and the rhythmic structure of the concerto, repeatedly looking for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes. Moreover, Vivaldi was able to compose nonacademic music, particularly meant to be appreciated by the wide public and not only by an intellectual minority. The joyful appearance of his music reveals in this regard a transmissible joy of composing; these are among the causes of the vast popularity of his music. This popularity soon made him famous in other countries such as France which was, at the time, very independent concerning its musical taste.

Vivaldi is considered one of the composers who brought Baroque music (with its typical contrast among heavy sonorities) to evolve into a classical style. Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his Johannes Passion, Matthäuspassion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed a number of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard, along with a number for orchestra, including the famous Concerto for Four Violins and Violoncello, Strings and Continuo (RV 580).
Chopin
Chopin
Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and ranks as one of music's greatest tone poets.

He was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a Polish mother and French-expatriate father, and in his early life was regarded as a child-prodigy pianist. In November 1830, at the age of 20, Chopin went abroad; following the suppression of the Polish November Uprising of 1830–31, he became one of many expatriates of the Polish "Great Emigration."

In Paris, he made a comfortable living as a composer and piano teacher, while giving few public performances. A Polish patriot,

Chopin's extant compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument. Though technically demanding, Chopin's style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than virtuosity. Chopin invented musical forms such as the ballade and was responsible for major innovations in forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music.
Brian Lowdermilk
Brian Lowdermilk
Brian Lowdermilk (born December 14, 1982) is an American musical theater composer and lyricistBrian Lowdermilk is a composer and lyricist of musicals. He is also a music director, arranger, vocal coach, and pianist. He is an alumnus of NYU and BMI theatre writing workshop, and CEO of start-up, NewMusicalTheatre.com.

Lowdermilk is best known for his collaborations with Kait Kerrigan. Their works together include shows such as The Bad Years, Republic, Unbound, Flash of Time, The Woman Upstairs, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (with Zach Altman) and Wrong Number. Lowdermilk and Kerrigan wrote TheatreworksUSA's adaptation of Henry and Mudge, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2006 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, which is where he made his Off-Broadway debut. In one review of that piece, Lowdermilk and Kerrigan were called "perhaps the most important young writers in musical theatre today."
Albert Ammons
Albert Ammons
Albert Ammons (September 23, 1907 — December 2, 1949) was an American pianist. Ammons was a player of boogie-woogie, a bluesy jazz style that swept the United States from the late 1930s into the mid 1940s.
Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) was a French composer and pianist of the Romantic era. He is best known for the opera Carmen.

Bizet was born at 26 rue de la Tour d'Auvergne in the 9th arrondissement of Paris in 1838. He was registered with the legal name Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, but he was baptised on 16 March 1840 with the first name Georges, and he was always known thereafter as Georges Bizet. His father Adolphe Armand Bizet (1810-86) was an amateur singer and composer, and his mother, Aimée Léopoldine Joséphine née Delsarte (1814-61), was the sister of the famous singing teacher François Delsarte.

He entered the Paris Conservatory of Music on 9 October 1848, a fortnight before his tenth birthday. His teachers there were Pierre Zimmermann (fugue and counterpoint; often assisted by his son-in-law Charles Gounod), Antoine François Marmontel (piano), François Benoist (organ) and, on Zimmermann's death, Fromental Halévy, whose daughter he himself later married. He won first prizes for organ and fugue in 1855 and completed his earliest compositions.

His first symphony, the Symphony in C, was written in November 1855, when he was seventeen, evidently as a student assignment. It was unknown to the world until 1933, when it was discovered in the archives of the Paris Conservatory library. Upon its first performance in 1935, it was immediately hailed as a junior masterwork and a welcome addition to the early Romantic period repertoire. The symphony bears a stylistic resemblance to the first symphony of Gounod, first played earlier in the same year, and which Bizet had arranged for two pianos although present-day listeners may discern a similarity to music of Franz Schubert, whose work was little known in France at the time the symphony was written.
In 1857, a setting of the one-act operetta Le docteur Miracle won him a share in a prize offered by Jacques Offenbach. He also won the music composition scholarship of the Prix de Rome, the conditions of which required him to study in Rome for three years. There, his talent developed as he wrote such works as the opera buffa Don Procopio (1858-59). There he also composed his only major sacred work, Te Deum (1858), which he submitted to the Prix Rodrigues competition, a contest for Prix de Rome winners only. Bizet failed to win the Prix Rodrigues, and the Te Deum score remained unpublished until 1971. He made two attempts to write another symphony in 1859, but destroyed the manuscripts in December of that year. Apart from this period in Rome, Bizet lived in the Paris area all his life.
Shortly after leaving Rome in July 1860, but while still touring in Italy, he had the idea of writing a symphony in which each of the four movements would be a musical evocation of a different Italian city – Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples. On hearing of his mother's serious illness he cut short his Italian travels and returned to Paris in September 1860; she died a year later. The Scherzo of the symphony was completed by November 1861, but it was not until 1866 that the first version of the whole symphony was written. He subjected it to a number of revisions through to 1871, but died before ever producing what he considered the definitive version. For this reason, the work is sometimes described as "unfinished", but this is an inaccurate description as it was fully scored. It was published in 1880 as the Roma Symphony.
Tomaso Albinoni
Tomaso Albinoni
Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (8 June 1671 – 17 January 1751) was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is known today for his instrumental music, especially his concertos. He is also remembered today for a work called "Adagio in G minor", supposedly written by him, but probably written by Remo Giazotto, a modern musicologist and composer, who was a cataloger of the works of Albinoni.
Beriot
Beriot
Charles Auguste de Bériot (20 February 1802 – 8 April 1870) was a Belgian violinist and composer.
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men is a four-time Grammy Award-winning American R&B/soul singing group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1988 as a quintet which originally included Marc Nelson, Boyz II Men found fame as a quartet, with members Nathan Morris, Michael McCary, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris, on Motown Records during the early 1990s. Nelson left the group before their first recording to pursue a solo career.

Based on sales, Boyz II Men is the most successful R&B male vocal group of all time. They recorded five #1 R&B hits between 1992 and 1997 and have sold more than 60 million records. Three of its #1 hits, "End of the Road", "I'll Make Love to You", and "One Sweet Day" , set and broke records for the longest period of time a single remained at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; the last of them still holds the record. Although "On Bended Knee" did not break any records, it was still an immensely popular song that reached #1 and made Boyz II Men the third artists to replace themselves at the number one spot of the Billboard Hot 100.

Boyz II Men was signed to Motown Records from 1990 to 2000, at which point it was moved to parent label Universal Records. After the 2000 album Nathan Shawn Michael Wanya, Boyz II Men moved to Arista Records. In 2003, Michael McCary left the group due to chronic back problems resulting from scoliosis. As of 2005, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Nathan Morris continue to tour and record as a trio. At the 1995 Grammy Awards, the group received four Grammy Award awards for their work, including two for their 1994 sophomore album, II in 1995.
Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade
Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade
Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade (8 August 1857 – 13 April 1944) was a French composer and pianist. In 1913, she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur, ...
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer of musical theatre, the elder son of organist William Lloyd Webber and brother of the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Lloyd Webber started composing at the age of six, and published his first piece at the age of nine.
Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success, with several musicals that have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards (and 40 nominations), three Grammy Awards (with an additional 60 nominations), an Academy Award (two other nominations), seven Olivier Awards (with 100 nominations), a Golden Globe, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London.
Producers in several parts of the UK have staged productions, including national tours, of Lloyd Webber's musicals under licence from the Really Useful Group. According to britishhitsongwriters.com, he is the one hundredth most successful songwriter in U.K. singles chart history, based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart.
Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Raymond Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his stage name Ray Charles, was an American pianist and singer who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. He brought a soulful sound to country music, pop standards, and a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called the "definitive version of the song, an American anthem — a classic, just as the man who sung it." Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in the business" and in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Charles #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

During the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Charles' releases were hit-or-miss, with some big hits and critically acclaimed work. His version of "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia on April 24, 1979, with Charles performing it on the floor of the state legislature.

He died on June 10, 2004 of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) at his home in Beverly Hills, California, surrounded by family and friends. His body was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. His final album, Genius Loves Company, released two months after his death, consists of duets with various admirers and contemporaries: B.B. King, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, and Johnny Mathis.
Wicked
Wicked
Wicked is a musical with songs and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The story is based on the best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, a parallel novel of L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz.

Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West and her relationship with Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Their friendship struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, their reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's public fall from grace. The plot is set mostly before Dorothy's arrival from Kansas, and includes several references to well-known scenes and dialogue in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

The musical debuted on Broadway on October 30, 2003. It is produced by Universal Pictures and directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. Its original stars were Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. Although the production received mixed reviews and was panned by The New York Times, it has proved to be a favorite among patrons. The Broadway production's success spawned productions in Chicago, Los Angeles, London's West End, Tokyo, Melbourne, and Stuttgart, along with two North American tours that have visited over 30 cities in Canada and the United States.

The score of Wicked is heavily thematic, bearing in some senses more resemblance to a film score than a musical's score. While many musicals' scores develop new motifs and melodies for each song with little overlap, Schwartz integrated a handful of leitmotifs throughout the production. A cast recording of the original Broadway production was released on December 16, 2003, by Universal Music. All of the songs featured on stage are present on the recording with the exception of "The Wizard And I (Reprise)" and "The Wicked Witch of the East". The short reprise of "No One Mourns The Wicked" that opens Act II is attached to the beginning of "Thank Goodness". The music was arranged by Stephen Oremus, who was also the conductor and director, and James Lynn Abbott, with orchestrations by William David Brohn. The recording received the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 2005 and was certified platinum by the RIAA on November 30, 2006.
Radiohead
Radiohead
Radiohead are an English alternative rock band from Oxfordshire. The band is composed of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, electronics), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, other instruments), Ed O'Brien (guitar, backing vocals), Colin Greenwood (bass guitar, synthesisers) and Phil Selway (drums, percussion). Since 1993, Radiohead have released seven studio albums. The band have sold over 25 million albums as of 2007.

Radiohead released their first single, "Creep", in 1992. Their debut album, Pablo Honey, followed in 1993. "Creep" was initially unsuccessful, but the song became a worldwide hit when reissued a year later, and the band were almost branded as one hit wonders. Radiohead's popularity in the United Kingdom increased with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995). The band's textured guitar atmospheres and Yorke's falsetto singing were warmly received by critics and fans. Radiohead's third album, OK Computer (1997), propelled the band to greater fame worldwide. Featuring an expansive sound and themes of alienation from the modern world, OK Computer has often been acclaimed as a landmark record of the 1990s.

The release of Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001) saw Radiohead reach the peak of their popularity, although the albums divided critical opinion. This period marked a change in Radiohead's musical style, with their incorporation of avant-garde electronic music, Krautrock and jazz influences. Hail to the Thief (2003), which mixed guitar-driven rock with electronics and contemporary lyrics, was the band's final album for their record label, EMI. Radiohead's seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), was first released independently as a digital download for which customers selected their own price, later meeting with critical and chart success.
William L. Dawson
William L. Dawson
William Levi Dawson was an African-American composer, choir director, professor, and musical figure.Date of birth: April 26, 1899, Anniston, Alabama, United States Date and place of death: May 2, 1990, Montgomery, Alabama, USA
Genre: Light music Albums: Concierto de Navidad, MORE Education: American Conservatory of Music, Chicago Musical College, Tuskegee University
Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin (between June 1867 and January 1868 – April 1, 1917) was an American musician and composer of ragtime music. He remains the best-known ragtime figure and is regarded as one of the three most important composers of classic ragtime, along with James Scott and Joseph Lamb, and also a precursor to Stride Piano. Decades after his death, his music enjoyed a considerable surge of popularity and critical respect in the 1970s, especially for his most famous composition, "The Entertainer."

Even at the time of publication, Joplin's publisher John Stark was claiming that the rags had obtained classical status, and "lifted ragtime from its low estate and lined it up with Beethoven and Bach".
Francis Poulenc
Francis Poulenc
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (French pronunciation: (7 January 1899 - 30 January 1963) was a French composer and a member of the French group Les Six. He composed music in genres including art song, solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music. Critic Claude Rostand, in a July 1950 Paris-Presse article, described Poulenc as "half monk, half delinquent" ("le moine et le voyou"), a tag that was to be attached to his name for the rest of his career.
Saint Saens
Saint Saens
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist, known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, Samson and Delilah, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).
Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
Hans Florian Zimmer (born September 12, 1957) is a German film score composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including Hollywood blockbusters such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Gladiator, The Lion King, The Da Vinci Code and The Dark Knight.

Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios, and works with other composers through the company which he founded, Remote Control Productions. His work is notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements.
John Williams
John Williams
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.
Gary Valenciano
Gary Valenciano
Edgardo Jose Martin Santiago Valenciano (born August 6, 1964) , better known as Gary Valenciano or Gary V., is a Filipino musician. His energetic dance moves also garnered him the nickname "Mr. Pure Energy." He has released 26 albums, and won the Awit Award for "Best Male Performer" 11 times. In 1998, he became UNICEF Philippines first national Ambassador.
Paul Desmond
Paul Desmond
Paul Desmond (November 25, 1924 – May 30, 1977), born Paul Emil Breitenfeld, was a jazz alto saxophonist and composer born in San Francisco, best known for the work he did in the Dave Brubeck Quartet and for penning that group's greatest hit, "Take Five". Known to have possessed an idiosyncratic wit, he was one of the most popular musicians to come out of the West Coast's "cool jazz" scene. He played a Selmer Super Balanced Action alto saxophone with an M. C. Gregory model 4A-18M mouthpiece — both circa 1951 — with Rico 3 ½ reeds.

In addition to his work with Brubeck he led several of his own groups and did significant collaborations with artists such as Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall and Chet Baker. After years of chain smoking and general poor health, Desmond succumbed to lung cancer in 1977 following one last tour with Brubeck.
Victor Young
Victor Young
Victor Young was an American composer, arranger, violinist and conductor. Born: August 8, 1900, Chicago, Illinois, United States Died: November 10, 1956, Palm Springs, California, United States Spouse: Rita Kinel (m. 1922–1956)
Albums: Themes and Songs from The Quiet Man,
Lara Fabian
Lara Fabian
Lara Fabian (born Lara Crokaert, January 9, 1970) is a Belgian-Italian international singer who holds Canadian citizenship. Multilingual, she sings in French, Italian and English. She has also sung in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian once in Hebrew on Israel's 60th Independence Day celebrations, and in German in 1988 for a version of "Croire" (ger.: "glauben" eng.: "believe"). She has sold over 18 million records worldwide.
George Gershwin
George Gershwin
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.
Ogie Alcasid
Ogie Alcasid
Herminio Alcasid, Jr., more popularly known as Ogie Alcasid (born August 27, 1967), is a Filipino singer, songwriter, comedian, composer, television host, actor, and entrepreneur.

Alcasid debuted as a singer in 1989 with the release of his self-titled album. Ogie Alcasid reached gold record status, while his debut single "Nandito Ako" (Here I Am) was awarded "Song of the Year" by local radio station Magic 89.9. He has since released 18 albums, including a Christmas album (Larawan ng Pasko/ Images of Christmas, 1994), a live album (OA sa Hits (Live), 2002), and four greatest hits albums.

He has received a total of five gold records, three platinum records, and three double platinum records.
Guiseppe Verdi
Guiseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Italian pronunciation: ; 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.

Verdi's predecessors who influenced his music were Rossini, Bellini, Giacomo Meyerbeer and, most notably, Gaetano Donizetti and Saverio Mercadante. With the exception of Otello and Aida, he was free of Wagner's influence. Although respectful of Gounod, Verdi was careful not to learn anything from the Frenchman whom many of Verdi's contemporaries regarded as the greatest living composer. Some strains in Aida suggest at least a superficial familiarity with the works of the Russian composer Mikhail Glinka, whom Franz Liszt, after his tour of the Russian Empire as a pianist, popularized in Western Europe.
Throughout his career, Verdi rarely utilised the high C in his tenor arias, citing the fact that the opportunity to sing that particular note in front of an audience distracts the performer before and after the note appears. However, he did provide high Cs to Duprez in Jérusalem and to Tamberlick in the original version of La forza del destino. The high C often heard in the aria Di quella pira does not appear in Verdi's score.
Don Henley
Don Henley
Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and founding member of Eagles. He was the drummer and co-lead vocalist for Eagles from 1971 until the band broke up in 1980, and he reprised those duties for the group's reunions since 1994. He has been the only constant member of the band since its formation. Henley sang the lead vocals on Eagles hits such as "Witchy Woman", "Desperado", "Best of My Love", "One of These Nights", "Hotel California", "Life in the Fast Lane", "The Long Run" and "Get Over It".
Younha
Younha
Younha (Korean Hangul: 고윤하; hanja: 高潤荷; Go Yoon-ha, Japanese Katakana: ユンナ, Yunna) born April 29, 1988 in Seoul, Korea, is a K-Pop and J-Pop South Korean singer.

Younha made her debut as an artist at the young age of sixteen. Nicknamed the "Oricon comet" for her success in Japan, she has released eight singles and two albums there with varying degrees of success. Several of her songs have been featured in anime and drama series.

Younha was signed to Epic Records, a branch of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, from 2004 to 2008, after which she moved to Sistus Records, a Geneon Entertainment label. In South Korea, she is signed to Lion Media and Stam Entertainment.
Yanni
Yanni
Yanni (born Yiannis Hrysomallis (pronounced Chrysomallis), (Greek: Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης, classical transcription Giannis Chrysomallis), on November 14, 1954 in Kalamata, Greece) is a self-taught pianist, keyboardist, and composer. After receiving a B.A. in psychology, he would instead seek a life in music though he had no formal training and could not read a note.

He earned Grammy nominations for his 1992 album, Dare to Dream, and the 1993 follow-up, In My Time. His breakthrough success came with the 1994 release of Yanni Live at the Acropolis, deemed to be the second best-selling music video of all time, (behind Michael Jackson's video for Thriller with nine million units). Yanni has since performed live in concert before in excess of two million people in more than 20 countries around the world. He has accumulated more than 35 platinum and gold albums globally, with sales totaling over 20 million copies. Yanni is considered to be one of the top fundraisers of all time for public television. His compositions have been included in all Olympic Games television broadcasts since 1988, and his music has been used extensively in television and televised sporting events. His music is frequently described as "new age", though he prefers the term "contemporary instrumental". The regents of the University of Minnesota conferred upon Yanni the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Francis Lai
Francis Lai
Francis Lai (born April 26, 1932 in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France) is a composer noted for his film scores.

While in his twenties, Francis Lai left home and went to Paris where he became part of the lively Montmartre music scene. In 1965 he met filmmaker Claude Lelouch and was hired to help write the score for the film, Un homme et une femme (A Man and A Woman). Released in 1966, the film was a major international success, earning a number of Academy Awards, and for the young Francis Lai, a Golden Globe Award nomination for "Best Original Score". This initial success brought more opportunities to work for the film industry both in his native France as well as in Great Britain and the United States. In 1969, he wrote the score for director René Clément's film, Rider On The Rain (Le Passager de la Pluie).

In 1970 Francis Lai won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for the film Love Story. In the United States, the soundtrack album went to No. 2 in the Billboard album charts and the film's theme, "Where Do I Begin" was a hit single with lyrics by Carl Sigman for traditional pop singer Andy Williams. The song would also be recorded successfully by Lai himself with a full orchestra and by Henry Mancini and Shirley Bassey. Francis Lai also wrote the music for the 1978 Love Story sequel titled Oliver's Story.

Lai has also had success with music written for softcore erotic films like Emmanuelle 2 (1975) and Bilitis (1977).

His composition Aujourd'hui C'est Toi is probably best known in the UK as the theme music for the long-running BBC television current affairs documentary series Panorama.

In a career spanning forty years, Francis Lai has also written music for television programs and alone or in collaboration with others has composed music for more than one hundred films and has personally written more than six hundred songs.
Beethoven
Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 - 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.

Born in Bonn, then in the Electorate of Cologne (now in modern-day Germany), he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman, American jazz musician. The artist, who found free jazz, has tried many forms of music. Having completed his personal revolution in the second half of the 1950s, the artist radicalized the principles of bebop, which was considered the first upset of modern jazz
Raul Di Blasio
Raul Di Blasio
Raúl Di Blasio is an Argentine pianist. Date of birth: November 14, 1949 (70 years old), Zapala, Argentina
Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "All the Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Long Ago (and Far Away)" and "Who?". He collaborated with many of the leading librettists and lyricists of his era, including George Grossmith Jr., Guy Bolton, P. G. Wodehouse, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin and E. Y. Harburg.
A native New Yorker, Kern created dozens of Broadway musicals and Hollywood films in a career that lasted for more than four decades. His musical innovations, such as 4/4 dance rhythms and the employment of syncopation and jazz progressions, built on, rather than rejected, earlier musical theatre tradition. He and his collaborators also employed his melodies to further the action or develop characterization to a greater extent than in the other musicals of his day, creating the model for later musicals. Although dozens of Kern's musicals and musical films were hits, only Show Boat is now regularly revived. Songs from his other shows, however, are still frequently performed and adapted. Although Kern detested jazz arrangements of his songs, many have been adopted by jazz musicians to become standard tunes.
Green Day
Green Day
Green Day is an American rock trio formed in 1987. The band has consisted of Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass guitar, vocals), and Tré Cool (drums, percussion) for the majority of its existence.

Green Day was originally part of the punk rock scene at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Its early releases for independent record label Lookout! Records earned them a grassroots fanbase, some of whom felt alienated when the band signed to a major label.

The band has sold over 65 million records worldwide, They also have three Grammy Awards, Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, and Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams".
Tori Amos
Tori Amos
Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963) is a pianist and singer-songwriter of dual British and American citizenship. She is married to English sound engineer Mark Hawley, with whom she has one child, Natashya "Tash" Lórien Hawley, born on September 5, 2000.

Amos was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument. She is known for emotionally intense songs that cover a wide range of subjects including sexuality, religion and personal tragedy. Some of her charting singles include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Cornflake Girl", "Caught a Lite Sneeze", "Professional Widow", "Spark", and "A Sorta Fairytale".

Amos had sold 12 million records worldwide as of 2005 and has also enjoyed a large cult following. Having a history of making eccentric and at times ribald comments during concerts and interviews, she has earned a reputation for being highly idiosyncratic. As a social commentator and sometimes activist, some of the topics she has been most vocal about include feminism, religion, and sexuality.
Llibre Vermell de Montserrat
Llibre Vermell de Montserrat
The Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (Catalan for "Red Book of Montserrat") is a collection of late medieval songs. The 14th century manuscript was located at the monastery of Montserrat outside Barcelona in Catalonia.

The songs, were written for the pilgrims to have something appropriately "chaste and pious" to sing. The songs are in Catalan, in Occitan and in Latin. While the collection was written near the end of the fourteenth century, much of the music in the collection appears from its style to originate earlier; the motet Imperayritz de la ciutat joyosa contains two different texts which can be sung simultaneously, a style that would have been old fashioned when the manuscript was compiled.

The songs have many of the characteristics of folk songs as well as hymns. Some are monophonic, while others are set in two to four parts of usually non-imitative polyphony. Some of the monodic songs can be sung as canons. The relative simplicity and strong melodies of the songs has given the music collected in the Red Book a lasting appeal, and these songs are some of the most frequently recorded pieces of early music.
Jamie Cullum
Jamie Cullum
Jamie Cullum (born 20 August 1979) is an English pop and jazz-pop singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, and drummer.

Cullum was born at Romford Hospital in Essex, and educated at the independent fee-paying Grittleton House School and the sixth form at Sheldon School. Both are near Chippenham in Wiltshire. His mother, Yvonne, is a secretary of Anglo-Burmese origin, whose family settled in Wales after Burma's independence; his father, John Cullum, worked in finance. His paternal grandfather was a British Army officer, while his paternal grandmother was a Jewish refugee from Prussia who sang in Berlin nightclubs; Cullum has said that he sees her as his "cultural icon". He was brought up in Hullavington, Wiltshire but currently lives in North West London.
Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne Whibley (born September 27, 1984), better known by her birth name of Avril Lavigne, is a Canadian Grammy award-nominated rock singer, musician, fashion designer and actress. In 2006, Canadian Business Magazine ranked her the seventh most powerful Canadian in Hollywood.

Lavigne's debut album, Let Go, was released in 2002. Over 16 million copies were sold worldwide and it was certified six times platinum in the United States. Her second and third albums, Under My Skin (2004) sold over 8 million copies and The Best Damn Thing (2007) currently over 6 million copies sold respectively, reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. Lavigne has scored six number one songs worldwide to date and a total of eleven top ten hits, including "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm With You", "My Happy Ending", and "Girlfriend" which became #1 hits in the ARC Top 40. In December 2007, Lavigne was ranked at #7 in the Forbes "Top 20 Earners Under 25", with an annual earnings of $12 million. Currently, Avril Lavigne has sold about 30 million albums worldwide.

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and bandleader.

Recognized during his life as one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music, Ellington's reputation has increased since his death, including a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Ellington called his style and sound "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category", including many of the musicians who served with his orchestra, some of whom were themselves considered among the giants of jazz and remained with Ellington's orchestra for decades. While many were noteworthy in their own right, it was Ellington that melded them into one of the most well-known orchestral units in the history of jazz. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" ("Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me") for Cootie Williams and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan" and "Perdido" which brought the "Spanish Tinge" to big-band jazz. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger Billy Strayhorn, who he called his alter-ego.

One of the twentieth century's best-known African-American celebrities, Ellington recorded for many American record companies, and appeared in several films. Ellington and his orchestra toured the United States and Europe regularly before and after World War II. Ellington led his band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son Mercer Ellington took over the band until his death from cancer in 1996. Paul Ellington, Mercer's youngest son, took over the Orchestra from there and after his mother's passing took over the Estate of Duke and Mercer Ellington.
Traditional
Traditional
traditional music
W.A. Mozart
W.A. Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: , full baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.

Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood in Salzburg. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty; at 17 he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and the Requiem. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.

Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate—the whole informed by a vision of humanity "redeemed through art, forgiven, and reconciled with nature and the absolute." His influence on subsequent Western art music is profound. Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, of whom Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years."
Joe Hisaishi
Joe Hisaishi
Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru?), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 譲 Hisaishi Jō?, born December 6, 1950), is a composer and director known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981.
While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi's music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and head of an orchestra.
He is best known for his work with animator Hayao Miyazaki, having composed scores for many of his films including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howl's Moving Castle (2004) and Ponyo (2008). He is also recognized for the soundtracks he has provided for filmmaker 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, including Dolls (2002), Kikujiro (1999), Hana-bi (1997), Kids Return (1996), Sonatine (1993).
Phil Collins
Phil Collins
Philip David Charles Collins, LVO (born 30 January 1951 Chiswick, London) is an English singer-songwriter, drummer and actor best known as the lead singer and drummer of English progressive rock group Genesis and as a Grammy and Academy Award-winning solo artist. He has also appeared in several films.

Collins sang the lead vocals on eight American chart-toppers between 1984 and 1989; seven as a solo artist and one with Genesis. His singles, often dealing with lost love, ranged from the drum-heavy "In the Air Tonight", to the dance pop of "Sussudio", to the political statements of his most successful song, "Another Day In Paradise". His international popularity transformed Genesis from a progressive rock group to a regular on the pop charts and an early MTV mainstay. Collins' professional career began as a drummer, first with obscure rock group Flaming Youth and then more famously with Genesis. In Genesis, Collins originally supplied backing vocals for front man Peter Gabriel, singing lead on only two songs: "For Absent Friends" from 1971's Nursery Cryme album and "More Fool Me" from Selling England by the Pound, which was released in 1973. On Gabriel's departure in 1975, Collins became the group's lead singer. As the decade closed, Genesis's first international hit, "Follow You, Follow Me", demonstrated a drastic change from the band's early years. His concurrent solo career, heavily influenced by his personal life, brought both him and Genesis commercial success. According to Atlantic Records, Collins' total worldwide sales as a solo artist, as of 2002, were 150 million.
The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.

The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again.
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Alongside his brothers, he made his debut as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. He began his solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century")—more than any artist—, 17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide making him the world's best selling artist in history.

Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted when the jury ruled him not guilty on all charges. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people; as well as a huge surge in his album sales, resulting in him becoming the best selling artist of 2009 with sales in excess of 8.2 million in the United States where he became the first artist ever to have 4 of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year, and 29 million albums globally, where he had an unprecedented 8 of the top 25 best-selling albums worldwide.
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