Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Dubbed the “King of Rock and Roll”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, led him to both great success and initial controversy.
Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family when he was 13 years old. His music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience. Presley, on rhythm acoustic guitar, and accompanied by lead guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, was a pioneer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. In 1955, drummer D. J. Fontana joined to complete the lineup of Presley’s classic quartet and RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage him for more than two decades. Presley’s first RCA Victor single, “Heartbreak Hotel”, was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. Within a year, RCA would sell ten million Presley singles. With a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records, Presley became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll.
In November 1956, Presley made his film debut in Love Me Tender. Drafted into military service in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years later with some of his most commercially successful work. He held few concerts, however, and guided by Parker, proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood films and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed television comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of highly profitable tours. In 1973, Presley gave the first concert by a solo artist to be broadcast around the world, Aloha from Hawaii. Years of prescription drug abuse severely compromised his health, and he died suddenly in 1977 at his Graceland estate at the age of 42.
With his rise from poverty to significant fame, Presley’s success seemed to epitomize the American Dream. Recognized as the best-selling solo music artist of all time by Guinness World Records, Presley was commercially successful in many genres, including pop, country, R&B, adult contemporary, and gospel. He won three Grammy Awards, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, and has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Presley holds several records; the most RIAA certified gold and platinum albums, the most albums charted on the Billboard 200, and the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the UK Albums Chart and the most number-one singles by any act on the UK Singles Chart. In 2018, Presley was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump.
The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, whose best-known line-up comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the most influential band of all time and were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music’s recognition as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band later explored music styles ranging from ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionised many aspects of the music industry and were often publicised as leaders of the era’s youth and sociocultural movements.Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles evolved from Lennon’s previous group, the Quarrymen, and built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over three years from 1960, initially with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass. The core trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, together since 1958, went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them in 1962. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act, and producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings, greatly expanding their domestic success after their first hit, “Love Me Do”, in late 1962. As their popularity grew into the intense fan frenzy dubbed “Beatlemania”, the band acquired the nickname “the Fab Four”, with Epstein, Martin and other members of the band’s entourage sometimes given the informal title of “fifth Beatle”.
By early 1964, the Beatles were international stars and had achieved unprecedented levels of critical and commercial success. They became a leading force in Britain’s cultural resurgence, ushering in the British Invasion of the United States pop market, and soon made their film debut with A Hard Day’s Night (1964). From 1965 onwards, they produced records of greater sophistication, including the albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), and enjoyed further commercial success with The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”, 1968) and Abbey Road (1969). Heralding the album era, their success elevated the album to be the dominant form of record consumption over singles; they also inspired a greater public interest in psychedelic drugs and Eastern spirituality, and furthered advancements in electronic music, album art and music videos. In 1968, they founded Apple Corps, a multi-armed multimedia corporation that continues to oversee projects related to the band’s legacy. After the group’s break-up in 1970, all principal members enjoyed success as solo artists and some partial reunions have occurred. Lennon was shot and killed in 1980 and Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr remain musically active.
The Beatles are the best-selling music act of all time, with estimated sales of 600 million units worldwide. They hold the record for most number-one albums on the UK Albums Chart (15), most number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (20), and most singles sold in the UK (21.9 million). The band received many accolades, including seven Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award (for Best Original Song Score for the 1970 film Let It Be) and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and each principal member was inducted individually between 1994 and 2015. In 2004 and 2011, the group topped Rolling Stone’s lists of the greatest artists in history. Time magazine named them among the 20th century’s 100 most important people.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade career, his contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture. Jackson influenced artists across many music genres; through stage and video performances, he popularized complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk, to which he gave the name, as well as the robot. He is the most awarded music artist in history.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Jackson made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5 (later known as the Jacksons). Jackson began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. He became a solo star with his 1979 album Off the Wall. His music videos, including those for “Beat It”, “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an artform and promotional tool. He helped propel the success of MTV and continued to innovate with videos for the albums Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995). Thriller became the best-selling album of all time, while Bad was the first album to produce five U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles.From the late 1980s, Jackson became a figure of controversy and speculation due to his changing appearance, relationships, behavior and lifestyle. In 1993, he was accused of sexually abusing the child of a family friend. The lawsuit was settled out of civil court; Jackson was not indicted due to lack of evidence. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further child sexual abuse allegations and several other charges. In both cases, the FBI found no evidence of criminal conduct on Jackson’s behalf in either case. In 2009, while preparing for a series of comeback concerts, This Is It, Jackson died from an overdose of propofol administered by his personal physician, Conrad Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter.
Jackson is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of over 400 million records worldwide. He had 13 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles (more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era) and was the first artist to have a top-ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades. His honors include 15 Grammy Awards, 6 Brit Awards, a Golden Globe Award and 39 Guinness World Records, including the “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”. Jackson’s inductions include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (twice), the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame (the only recording artist to be inducted) and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame. In 2016, his estate earned $825 million, the highest yearly amount for a celebrity ever recorded by Forbes.
Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is an English singer, pianist and composer. Collaborating with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967 on more than 30 albums, John has sold over 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits in the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100, including eight number ones in the UK and nine in the US, as well as seven consecutive number-one albums in the US. His tribute single “Candle in the Wind 1997”, rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling chart single of all time. According to Billboard in 2019, John is the top solo artist in US chart history (third overall), and the top Adult Contemporary artist of all time.Raised in the Pinner area of Greater London, John learned to play piano at an early age, and by 1962 had formed Bluesology, an R&B band with whom he played until 1967. He met his longtime musical partner Taupin in 1967, after they both answered an advert for songwriters. For two years, they wrote songs for other artists, and John worked as a session musician for artists including the Hollies and the Scaffold. In 1969, John’s debut album, Empty Sky, was released. In 1970, his first hit single, “Your Song”, from his second album, Elton John, became his first top ten in both the UK and the US. His most commercially successful period, 1970–1976, included Honky Château (1972), Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player (1973), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) and his first Greatest Hits compilation — the latter two among the official best-selling albums worldwide. John has also had success in musical films and theatre, composing for The Lion King and its stage adaptation, Aida and Billy Elliot the Musical. In 2018, John began his ongoing farewell tour. His music career was dramatised in the 2019 biopic Rocketman. While not appearing in his own biopic, John has made cameos in other films and television shows.John has been involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and a year later he began hosting his annual Foundation Academy Awards Party, which has since become one of the biggest high-profile Oscar parties in the Hollywood film industry. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over £300 million. John owned Watford F.C. from 1976 to 1987 and from 1997 to 2002, and is an honorary life president of the club. John has performed at a number of royal events, such as the funeral of Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in 1997, the Party at the Palace in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in 2012. John, who announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish in 2005; they married after same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in 2014.
John has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards; including for Outstanding Contribution to Music; two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him 49th on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services” in 1998. Presenting John with France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’honneur, in 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron called him a “melodic genius” and praised his work on behalf of the LGBT community.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar-driven sound, they are cited as one of the progenitors of hard rock and heavy metal, although their style drew from a variety of influences, including blues and folk music. Led Zeppelin have been credited as significantly impacting the nature of the music industry, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock.
Originally named the New Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin’s deal with Atlantic Records gave them considerable artistic freedom. Initially unpopular with critics, they achieved significant commercial success with eight studio albums over ten years. Their 1969 debut, Led Zeppelin, was a top-ten album in several countries and featured such tracks as “Good Times Bad Times”, “Dazed and Confused” and “Communication Breakdown”. Led Zeppelin II (1969) was their first number-one album, and yielded “Ramble On” and “Whole Lotta Love”. In 1970 they released Led Zeppelin III which featured “Immigrant Song”. Their untitled fourth album, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV (1971), is one of the best-selling albums in history with 37 million copies sold. The album includes “Black Dog”, “Rock and Roll” and “Stairway to Heaven”, with the latter being among the most popular and influential works in rock history. Houses of the Holy (1973) yielded “The Ocean”, “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “The Rain Song”. Physical Graffiti (1975), a double album, featured “Trampled Under Foot” and “Kashmir”.
Page wrote most of Led Zeppelin’s music, particularly early in their career, while Plant wrote most of the lyrics. Jones’s keyboard-based compositions later became central to their music, which featured increasing experimentation. The latter half of their career saw a series of record-breaking tours that earned the group a reputation for excess and debauchery. Although they remained commercially and critically successful, their touring and output, which included Presence (1976) and In Through the Out Door (1979), grew limited, and the group disbanded following Bonham’s death in 1980. Since then the surviving former members sporadically collaborated and participated in one-off reunions. The most successful of these was the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in London, with Bonham’s son Jason Bonham on drums.
Led Zeppelin are one of the best-selling music artists of all time; their total record sales are estimated to be between 200 to 300 million units worldwide. They achieved eight consecutive UK number-one albums and six number-one albums on the US Billboard 200, with five of their albums certified Diamond in the US. Rolling Stone magazine described them as “the heaviest band of all time”, “the biggest band of the Seventies”, and “unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history”. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995; the museum’s biography of the band states that they were “as influential” during the 1970s as the Beatles were during the 1960s.
Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic groups, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows. They became a leading band of the progressive rock genre, cited by some as the greatest progressive rock band of all time.
Pink Floyd were founded in 1964 by Syd Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass guitar, vocals), Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals) and Bob Klose (guitars); Klose quit in 1965. Under Barrett’s leadership, they released two charting singles and the successful debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined in December 1967; Barrett left in April 1968 due to deteriorating mental health. Waters became the primary lyricist and thematic leader, devising the concepts behind the band’s peak success with the albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and The Wall (1979). The musical film based on The Wall, Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982), won two BAFTA Awards.
Following personal tensions, Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979, followed by Waters in 1985. Gilmour and Mason continued as Pink Floyd, rejoined later by Wright. The band produced two more albums—A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994)—and toured in support of both albums before entering a long period of inactivity. In 2005, all but Barrett reunited for a one-off performance at the global awareness event Live 8. Barrett died in 2006, and Wright in 2008. The last Pink Floyd studio album, The Endless River (2014), was based on unreleased material from the Division Bell recording sessions.
By 2013, Pink Floyd had sold more than 250 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Wish You Were Here, The Dark Side of the Moon, and The Wall are among the best-selling albums of all time, and the latter two have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Four of the band’s albums topped the US Billboard 200, and five of their albums topped the UK Album Chart. Hit singles include “See Emily Play” (1967), “Money” (1973), “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2” (1979), “Not Now John” (1983), “On the Turning Away” (1987) and “High Hopes” (1994). The band also composed several film scores. They were inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2008, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden presented Pink Floyd with the Polar Music Prize for their contribution to modern music.
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Her discography spans multiple genres, and her narrative songwriting, which is often inspired by her personal life, has received widespread media coverage and critical praise. Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 14 to pursue a career in country music. She signed a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2004 and a recording deal with Big Machine Records in 2005, and released her eponymous debut studio album in 2006.
She explored country pop on her second and third studio albums, Fearless (2008) and Speak Now (2010). The success of the former’s singles “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me” on both country and pop radio established Swift as a leading crossover artist. She experimented further with pop, rock, and electronic genres on her fourth studio album, Red (2012). Her fifth, the synth-pop album 1989 (2014), effectively transformed her status from country songstress to pop star, supported by the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “Shake It Off”, “Blank Space”, and “Bad Blood”. The media scrutiny on her personal life that followed largely inspired Swift’s sixth studio album, Reputation (2017), which delved into urban sounds.
Parting ways with Big Machine to sign with Republic Records in 2018, Swift released her seventh studio album, Lover, in 2019. After consistent commercial success in the 2010s, she ventured into indie folk and alternative rock on her 2020 studio albums, Folklore and Evermore, whose lyricism, inspired by escapism during the COVID-19 pandemic, was commended for its nuanced storytelling. To gain ownership over the masters of her back catalog, Swift released two re-recorded albums in 2021, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version), both of which earned acclaim for their enhanced musicality and vocal performance. Besides music, Swift has played various supportive acting roles in films such as Valentine’s Day (2010) and Cats (2019). She has released the autobiographical documentary Miss Americana (2020), and the self-directed musical films Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions (2020) and All Too Well: The Short Film (2021), amongst other specials.
Having sold over 200 million records worldwide, Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Her accolades include 11 Grammy Awards (including three Album of the Year wins), an Emmy Award, 12 Country Music Association Awards, 25 Billboard Music Awards (the most wins for a female artist), 34 American Music Awards (the most wins for an artist) and 52 Guinness World Records. She featured on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time (2015), placed eighth on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Artists list (2019), and appeared multiple times on power rankings such as the Time 100 and the Forbes Celebrity 100. Named the Woman of the 2010s Decade by Billboard and the Artist of the 2010s Decade by the American Music Awards, Swift has been recognized for her advocacy of artists’ rights and women’s empowerment in the music industry.
The Rolling Stones(Rock Band)
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for almost six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty, heavier-driven sound that came to define hard rock. Their first stable line-up comprised vocalist Mick Jagger, multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, guitarist Keith Richards, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts. During their formative years Jones was the primary leader: he assembled the band, named it, and drove their sound and image. After Andrew Loog Oldham became the group’s manager in 1963, he encouraged them to write their own songs. Jagger and Richards became the primary creative force behind the band, alienating Jones, who developed a drug addiction that interfered with his ability to contribute meaningfully.
Rooted in blues and early rock and roll, the Rolling Stones started out playing covers and were at the forefront of the British Invasion in 1964, also being identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the 1960s. They then found greater success with their own material as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965), “Get Off of My Cloud” (1965) and “Paint It Black” (1966) became international No. 1 hits. Aftermath (1966) – their first entirely original album – is considered the most important of their formative records. In 1967, they had the double-sided hit “Ruby Tuesday”/”Let’s Spend the Night Together” and experimented with psychedelic rock on Their Satanic Majesties Request. They returned to their roots with such hits as “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) and “Honky Tonk Women” (1969), and albums such as Beggars Banquet (1968), featuring “Sympathy for the Devil”, and Let It Bleed (1969), featuring “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Gimme Shelter”. Let It Bleed was the first of five consecutive No. 1 albums in the UK.
Jones left the band shortly before his death in 1969, having been replaced by guitarist Mick Taylor. That year they were first introduced on stage as ‘The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World’. Sticky Fingers (1971), which yielded “Brown Sugar” and included the first usage of their tongue and lips logo, was their first of eight consecutive No. 1 studio albums in the US. Exile on Main St. (1972), featuring “Tumbling Dice”, and Goats Head Soup (1973), yielding the hit ballad “Angie”, were also best sellers. Taylor was replaced by Ronnie Wood in 1974. The band continued to release successful albums including their two largest sellers: Some Girls (1978), featuring “Miss You”; and Tattoo You (1981), featuring “Start Me Up”. Steel Wheels (1989) was widely considered a comeback album and was followed by Voodoo Lounge (1994), a worldwide number one album. Both releases were promoted by large stadium and arena tours as the Stones continued to be a huge concert attraction; by 2007 they had four of the top five highest-grossing concert tours of all time. From Wyman’s departure in 1993 to Watts’ death in 2021, the band continued as a four-piece core, with Darryl Jones playing bass on tour and on most studio recordings. Their latest album, Blue & Lonesome (2016), became their twelfth UK number-one album.
The Rolling Stones’ estimated record sales of 200 million makes them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The band has won three Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2019, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones second on their list of the “Greatest Artists of All Time” based on US chart success. They are ranked fourth on Rolling Stone’s list of the Greatest Artists of All Time.
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter and composer. Commonly nicknamed the “Piano Man” after his first major hit and signature song of the same name as well as the similarly named 1973 album, he has led a commercially successful career as a solo artist since the 1970s, having released 12 studio albums from 1971 to 1993 as well as one studio album in 2001. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, as well as the seventh-best-selling recording artist and the fourth-best-selling solo artist in the United States, with over 150 million records sold worldwide. His 1985 compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, is one of the best-selling albums in the United States.Joel was born in 1949 in the Bronx, New York, and grew up on Long Island, both places that influenced his music. Growing up, he took piano lessons at his mother’s insistence. After dropping out of high school to pursue a musical career, Joel took part in two short-lived bands, The Hassles and Attila, before signing a record deal with Family Productions and kicking off a solo career in 1971 with his first release Cold Spring Harbor. In 1972, Joel caught the attention of Columbia Records after a live radio performance of the song “Captain Jack” became popular in Philadelphia, prompting him to sign a new record deal with the company and release his second album, Piano Man, in 1973. After releasing the albums Streetlife Serenade and Turnstiles in 1974 and 1976 respectively, Joel released his critical and commercial breakthrough album, The Stranger, in 1977. This album became Columbia’s best-selling release, selling over 10 million copies and spawning several hit singles, including “Just the Way You Are”, “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”, “Only the Good Die Young”, and “She’s Always a Woman”; another song on this album, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”, is Joel’s favorite of his own songs and has become a staple of his live shows.Joel’s next album, 52nd Street, was released in 1978 and became his first album to peak at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Joel released his seventh studio album, Glass Houses, in 1980 in an attempt to further establish himself as a rock artist; this release featured “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” (Joel’s first single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart), “You May Be Right”, “Don’t Ask Me Why”, and “Sometimes a Fantasy”. His next album, The Nylon Curtain, was released in 1982, and stemmed from a desire from Joel to create more lyrically and melodically ambitious music. An Innocent Man, released in 1983, served as an homage to genres of music which Joel had grown up with in the 1950s, such as rhythm and blues and doo-wop; this release featured “Uptown Girl” and “The Longest Time”, two of his best-known songs. After releasing the albums The Bridge and Storm Front in 1986 and 1989 respectively, Joel released his twelfth studio album, River of Dreams, in 1993. He went on to release Fantasies and Delusions, a 2001 album featuring classical compositions composed by Joel and performed by British-Korean pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo. Joel provided voiceover work in 1988 for the Disney animated film Oliver & Company, in which he played the character Dodger with his song, “Why Should I Worry?”, and contributed to the soundtracks to several different films, including Easy Money, Ruthless People, and Honeymoon in Vegas.
Across the 20 years of his solo career, Joel produced 33 top 40 hits in the U.S., all of which he wrote himself, and three of which (“It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, “Tell Her About It”, and “We Didn’t Start the Fire”) peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Joel has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards, winning five of them, including Album of the Year for 52nd Street. Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2001, Joel received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2013, Joel received the Kennedy Center Honors for influencing American culture through the arts. Since the advent of his solo career, Joel has held a successful touring career, holding live performances across the globe in which he sings several of his written songs. In 1987, he became one of the first artists to hold a rock tour in the Soviet Union following the country’s alleviation of the ban on rock music. Despite largely retiring from writing and releasing pop music following the release of River of Dreams, he continues to tour; he frequently performs at Madison Square Garden.
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was known for his flamboyant, androgynous persona and wide vocal range, which included a far-reaching falsetto and high-pitched screams. Prince pioneered the Minneapolis sound, and his music incorporated a wide variety of styles, including funk, R&B, rock, new wave, soul, synth-pop, pop, jazz, and hip hop. He often played most or all instruments on his recordings.Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Prince signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records at the age of 19, and released the albums For You (1978) and Prince (1979). He went on to achieve critical success with the innovative albums Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982). His sixth album, Purple Rain (1984), was recorded with his backup band the Revolution, and was the soundtrack to his film acting debut of the same name. Purple Rain spent six consecutive months atop the Billboard 200. Prince won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. After disbanding the Revolution, Prince went on to achieve continued critical success with Sign o’ the Times (1987).
In the midst of a contractual dispute with Warner Bros. in 1993, he changed his stage name to the unpronounceable symbol (known to fans as the “Love Symbol”), and was sometimes referred to as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince or TAFKAP, or simply the Artist. He signed with Arista Records in 1998 and began referring to himself by his own name again in 2000. After returning to mainstream prominence following a performance at the Grammy Awards ceremony in 2004, he scored six US top ten albums over the following decade. In mid-life, Prince reportedly experienced considerable pain from injuries to his body (mainly hips) sustained through his dynamic stage performances (which included leaping off speaker stacks in high heels), and was sometimes seen using a cane. In April 2016, at the age of 57, Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Prince had a prolific output, releasing 39 albums during his life, with a vast array of unreleased projects left in a vault at his home after his death. It is believed that the vault contains dozens of fully produced albums and over 50 music videos that have never been released, along with various other media. He released hundreds of songs both under his own name and multiple pseudonyms during his life, as well as writing songs that were made famous by other musicians, such as “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Manic Monday”. Estimates of the complete number of songs written by Prince range anywhere from 500 to well over 1,000. Prince sold over 150 million records worldwide, ranking him among the best-selling music artists of all time. His awards included the Grammy President’s Merit Award, the American Music Awards for Achievement and of Merit, the Billboard Icon Award, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2016, and will be inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame in 2022.
The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of primary songwriter Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums, percussion). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Emerging in the British new wave scene, they played a style of rock influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz.
Their 1978 debut album, Outlandos d’Amour, reached No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart on the strength of the singles “Roxanne” and “Can’t Stand Losing You”. Their second album, Reggatta de Blanc (1979), became the first of four consecutive No. 1 studio albums in the UK and Australia; its first two singles, “Message in a Bottle” and “Walking on the Moon”, became their first UK number ones. Their next two albums, Zenyatta Mondatta (1980) and Ghost in the Machine (1981), led to further critical and commercial success with two songs, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”, becoming UK number-one singles and Top 5 hits in other countries; the latter album and single were their breakthrough into the US as both reached the Top 3 there.
Their final studio album, Synchronicity (1983), was No. 1 in the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy and the US, selling over 8 million copies in the US. Its lead single, “Every Breath You Take”, became their fifth UK number one, and only US number one. During this time, the band were considered one of the leaders of the Second British Invasion of the US; in 1983 Rolling Stone labelled them “the first British New Wave act to break through in America on a grand scale, and possibly the biggest band in the world.” The Police disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour that ended in August 2008. They were the world’s highest-earning musicians in 2008, due to their reunion tour.The Police have sold over 75 million records, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. The band won a number of music awards, including six Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group once, and an MTV Video Music Award. In 2003, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four of their five studio albums appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. The band were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1’s lists of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
Madonna Louise Ciccone (; Italian: [tʃikˈkoːne]; born August 16, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She is considered one of the most influential figures in popular culture and has often been referred to as the “Queen of Pop”. Madonna is noted for her continual reinvention and versatility in music production, songwriting, and visual presentation. She is also known for pushing the boundaries of artistic expression in mainstream music, while maintaining control over every aspect of her career. Her works, which incorporate social, political, sexual, and religious themes, have generated both controversy and critical acclaim.
Madonna moved to New York City in 1978 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing as a drummer, guitarist, and vocalist in the rock bands Breakfast Club and Emmy, she rose to solo stardom with her debut studio album, Madonna (1983). She followed it with a series of successful albums, including all-time bestsellers Like a Virgin (1984), True Blue (1986) and The Immaculate Collection (1990) as well as Grammy Award winners Ray of Light (1998) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005). Madonna has amassed many number-one singles throughout her career, including “Like a Virgin”, “La Isla Bonita”, “Like a Prayer”, “Vogue”, “Take a Bow”, “Frozen”, “Music”, “Hung Up”, and “4 Minutes”.
Madonna’s popularity was enhanced by roles in films such as Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Dick Tracy (1990), A League of Their Own (1992), and Evita (1996). While Evita won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, many of her other films received poor reviews. As a businesswoman, Madonna founded the company Maverick in 1992; it included Maverick Records, one of the most successful artist-run labels in history. Her other ventures include fashion brands, children’s books, health clubs, and filmmaking. She contributes to various charities, having founded the Ray of Light Foundation in 1998 and Raising Malawi in 2006.
With sales of over 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is noted as the best-selling female music artist of all time by Guinness World Records. She is the most successful solo artist in the history of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and holds the record for the most number-one singles by a female artist in Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. With a revenue of over U.S. $1.5 billion from her concert tickets, she remains the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time. Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, her first year of eligibility. She was ranked as the greatest woman in music by VH1, and as the greatest music video artist of all time by MTV and Billboard. Rolling Stone also listed Madonna among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988) ( ree-AN-ə) is a Barbadian singer, actress, fashion designer, and businesswoman. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, Barbados, Rihanna was discovered by American record producer Evan Rogers who invited her to the United States to record demo tapes. After signing with Def Jam in 2005, she soon gained recognition with the release of her first two studio albums, Music of the Sun (2005) and A Girl Like Me (2006), both of which were influenced by Caribbean music and peaked within the top ten of the US Billboard 200 chart.
Rihanna’s third album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), incorporated elements of dance-pop and established her status as a sex symbol in the music industry. The chart-topping single “Umbrella” earned Rihanna her first Grammy Award and catapulted her to global stardom. She continued to mix pop, dance, and R&B genres on her next studio albums, Rated R (2009), Loud (2010), Talk That Talk (2011), and Unapologetic (2012), which became her first Billboard 200 number one. The albums spawned a string of chart-topping singles, including “Rude Boy”, “Only Girl (In the World)”, “What’s My Name?”, “S&M”, “We Found Love”, “Where Have You Been” and “Diamonds”. Her eighth album, Anti (2016), showcased a new creative control following her departure from Def Jam. It became her second US number-one album and featured the chart-topping single “Work”. During her musical career, Rihanna has collaborations with artists such as rappers Drake, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Kanye West and singers Adam Levine, Paul McCartney, Ne-Yo, and Shakira.
With sales of over 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She has earned 14 number-ones and 31 top-ten singles in the US and 30 top-ten entries in the UK. Her accolades include nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and six Guinness World Records. Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2018. Forbes ranked her among the top ten highest-paid celebrities in 2012 and 2014. As of 2021, she is the wealthiest female musician, with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion.Aside from music, Rihanna is known for her involvement in humanitarian causes, entrepreneurial ventures, and the fashion industry. She is the founder of the nonprofit organisation Clara Lionel Foundation, cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty, and fashion house Fenty under LVMH; she is the first black woman to head a luxury brand for LVMH. Rihanna has also ventured into acting, appearing in major roles in Battleship (2012), Home (2015), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), and Ocean’s 8 (2018). She was appointed as an ambassador of education, tourism, and investment by the Government of Barbados in 2018, and was declared a National Hero of Barbados on the first day of the country’s parliamentary republic in 2021, entitling her to the style of “The Right Excellent” for life.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; formerly stylized as EMINƎM), is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Eminem is among the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated worldwide sales of over 220 million records. He is credited with popularizing hip hop in Middle America and is critically acclaimed as one of the greatest rappers of all time.Eminem’s global success and acclaimed works are widely regarded as having broken racial barriers for the acceptance of white rappers in popular music. While much of his transgressive work during the early 2000s made him hugely controversial, he came to be a representation of popular angst of the American underclass. He has been influential for many artists of various genres. After his debut album Infinite (1996) and the extended play Slim Shady EP (1997), Eminem signed with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment and subsequently achieved mainstream popularity in 1999 with The Slim Shady LP. His next two releases, The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and The Eminem Show (2002), were worldwide successes and were both nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. After the release of his next album, Encore (2004), Eminem went on hiatus in 2005, partly due to a prescription drug addiction. He returned to the music industry four years later with the release of Relapse (2009) and Recovery was released the following year. Recovery was the best-selling album worldwide of 2010, making it Eminem’s second album, after The Eminem Show in 2002, to be the best-selling album of the year worldwide. In the following years, he released the US number one albums The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013), Revival (2017), Kamikaze (2018) and Music to Be Murdered By (2020).
Eminem made his debut in the film industry with the musical drama film 8 Mile (2002), playing a fictionalized version of himself, and his track “Lose Yourself” from its soundtrack won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, making him the first hip hop artist ever to win the award. Eminem has made cameo appearances in the films The Wash (2001), Funny People (2009) and The Interview (2014) and the television series Entourage (2010). He has also developed other ventures, including Shady Records, a joint venture with manager Paul Rosenberg, which helped launch the careers of artists such as 50 Cent, Yelawolf and Obie Trice, among others. He has also established his own channel, Shade 45, on Sirius XM Radio. In addition to his solo career, Eminem was a member of the hip hop group D12. He is also known for collaborations with fellow Detroit-based rapper Royce da 5’9″; the two are collectively known as Bad Meets Evil.
He was the best-selling music artist in the United States of the 2000s and the best-selling male music artist in the United States of the 2010s, third overall. Billboard named him the “Artist of the Decade (2000–2009)”. The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, “Lose Yourself”, “Love the Way You Lie” and “Not Afraid” have all been certified Diamond or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Rolling Stone has included him in its lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. He has won numerous awards, including 15 Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, an Academy Award and an MTV Europe Music Global Icon Award. He has had ten number-one albums on the Billboard 200—which all consecutively debuted at number one on the chart, making him the first artist to achieve this—and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
Mariah Carey (; born March 27, 1969) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. Known for her five-octave vocal range, melismatic singing style, and signature use of the whistle register, she is referred to as the “Songbird Supreme” and the “Queen of Christmas”. Carey rose to fame in 1990 with her eponymous debut album. She was the first artist to have her first five singles reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, from “Vision of Love” to “Emotions”.
Her debut album was released under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, who married her three years later. Carey achieved worldwide success with follow-up albums Music Box (1993), Merry Christmas (1994), and Daydream (1995). These albums spawned some of her most successful singles, including “Hero”, “Without You”, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, “Fantasy”, “Always Be My Baby”, as well as “One Sweet Day”, which topped the US Billboard Hot 100 decade-end chart (1990s). After separating from Mottola, Carey adopted a new image and incorporated more elements of hip hop into her music with the release of Butterfly (1997). Billboard named her the Artist of the Decade (1990s), while the World Music Awards honored her as the Best Selling Female Pop Artist of the Millennium.
After eleven consecutive years charting a U.S. number-one single, Carey parted ways with Columbia in 2001 and signed a $100 million recording contract with Virgin Records in April of that year. However, following her highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the critical and commercial failure of her film Glitter (2001) and its accompanying soundtrack, her contract was bought out for $28 million by Virgin and she signed with Island Records the following year. After a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to the top of music charts with The Emancipation of Mimi (2005), which became the best-selling album in the US, and the world’s second-best-selling album, of 2005. Its second single, “We Belong Together”, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 decade-end chart (2000s). Her performance in the 2009 film Precious won her the Breakthrough Actress Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Carey’s subsequent ventures included serving as a judge on American Idol, starring in the docu-series Mariah’s World, appearing in the films The Butler (2013), A Christmas Melody (2015), and The Lego Batman Movie (2017), and publishing her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey.
With sales of over 200 million records worldwide, she is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Nineteen of Carey’s songs have topped the Billboard Hot 100, and she holds the record for the most number-one singles by a solo artist, a female songwriter, and a female producer. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the highest-certified female artist in the United States, with 68.5 million certified album units tying with Barbra Streisand. Carey was ranked second on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music, and in 2019, Billboard named her the all-time top female artist in the United States, based on both album and song chart performances. Aside from her commercial accomplishments, Carey has won five Grammy Awards, nineteen World Music Awards, ten American Music Awards, and fifteen Billboard Music Awards. An inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, she is noted for inspiring other artists in R&B and was one of the first artists to popularize hip hop into popular music.
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals) and John Deacon (bass). Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.
Before forming Queen, May and Taylor had played together in the band Smile. Mercury was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques. He joined in 1970 and suggested the name “Queen”. Deacon was recruited in February 1971, before the band released their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen first charted in the UK with their second album, Queen II, in 1974. Sheer Heart Attack later that year and A Night at the Opera in 1975 brought them international success. The latter featured “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which stayed at number one in the UK for nine weeks and helped popularise the music video format.
The band’s 1977 album News of the World contained “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”, which have become anthems at sporting events. By the early 1980s, Queen were one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world. “Another One Bites the Dust” from The Game (1980) became their best-selling single, while their 1981 compilation album Greatest Hits is the best-selling album in the UK and is certified nine times platinum in the US. Their performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert is ranked among the greatest in rock history by various publications. In August 1986, Mercury gave his last performance with Queen at Knebworth, England. In 1991, he died of bronchopneumonia—a complication of AIDS. Deacon retired in 1997. Since 2004, May and Taylor have toured under the “Queen +” name with vocalists Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert.
Queen have been a global presence in popular culture for more than four decades. Estimates of their record sales range from 170 million to 300 million, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. In 1990, Queen received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and with each member having composed hit singles all four were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2005 they received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors, and in 2018 they were presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971. With five number-one singles and six number-one albums, six Grammy Awards and five American Music Awards, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s in North America. Founding members Glenn Frey (guitars, vocals), Don Henley (drums, vocals), Bernie Leadon (guitars, vocals) and Randy Meisner (bass guitar, vocals) were recruited by Linda Ronstadt as band members, some touring with her, and all playing on her third solo album, before venturing out on their own on David Geffen’s new Asylum Records label.
Their debut, Eagles (1972), spawned two top-20 singles in the US and Canada: “Take It Easy” and “Witchy Woman”. The next year’s follow-up, Desperado, only peaked at number 41 in the US, although “Desperado” became a popular track. In 1974, guitarist Don Felder joined, and On the Border produced the top 40 hit “Already Gone” and the Eagles’ first number-one song in the US and Canada, “Best of My Love”, which made the top 15 in Australia, their first hit overseas. In 1975, the album One of These Nights became their first number-one album in the US and a top-10 album in many countries. It included the US number-one hit “One of These Nights”, which was their first top-10 hit outside of North America, and US top-five songs “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Take It to the Limit”. Also in 1975, guitarist and vocalist Joe Walsh replaced Leadon.
Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) (1976) is the best-selling album in the United States, with 38 million sold, and primed the public for the late 1976 release of Hotel California, which would sell more than 26 million copies in the US (ranking 3rd all-time for US sales), and more than 32 million copies worldwide. The album yielded two number-one singles in the US and Canada, “New Kid in Town” and “Hotel California”, the latter of which became their only top-10 hit in the United Kingdom, while also reaching the top 10 in New Zealand and many European countries, including number two in France.
Meisner was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit in 1977. The Eagles released their last studio album for nearly 28 years in 1979 with The Long Run, spawning the North American number-one song “Heartache Tonight”, which became their biggest hit in Australia (number 13), and the North American top-10 hits “The Long Run” and “I Can’t Tell You Why”. The Eagles broke up in 1980 but reunited in 1994 for the album Hell Freezes Over, a mix of live and new studio tracks, and toured consistently. In 2007, the Eagles released Long Road Out of Eden, their sixth number-one album in the US, and in 2008 launched the Long Road Out of Eden Tour. In 2013, they began the extended History of the Eagles Tour in conjunction with the documentary release, History of the Eagles. Following Frey’s death in January 2016, the Eagles re-formed in 2017, with Glenn’s son Deacon Frey and Vince Gill sharing lead vocals for Frey’s songs.The Eagles are one of the world’s best-selling bands, having sold more than 200 million records, including 100 million sold in US alone. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and were ranked number 75 on Rolling Stone’s 2004 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with sales of over 200 million records worldwide. Her singing style, which was strongly inspired by gospel music, had an innovative influence on popular music. Houston is known for her powerful, soulful vocals and vocal improvisation skills. She also enhanced her popularity by entrancing into the movie industry. Her works, which include recordings and films, have generated both great success and controversy.
Houston began singing in church as a child and became a background vocalist while in high school. She was one of the first black women to appear on the cover of Seventeen after becoming a teen model in 1981. With the guidance of Arista Records chairman Clive Davis, Houston signed to the label at age 19. Her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987), both peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and are among the best-selling albums of all time. She is the only artist to have had seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, from “Saving All My Love for You” in 1985 to “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” in 1988. Houston’s third studio album, I’m Your Baby Tonight (1990), continued to yield two Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles: “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “All the Man That I Need”.
Houston made her acting debut with the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard (1992). At the time of its release, the film was the tenth highest-grossing film of all time. However, it received negative reviews for its screenplay and performances of the lead actors. She recorded six songs for the film’s soundtrack, including “I Will Always Love You” which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling physical single by a female in music history. The soundtrack for The Bodyguard won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and remains the best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Houston went on to star and record soundtracks for two high-profile films, Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996). Soundtrack of The Preacher’s Wife, which was produced by Houston, became the best-selling gospel album of all time. As a film producer, she produced multicultural movies including Cinderella (1997) and series including The Princess Diaries and The Cheetah Girls.
Houston’s first studio album in eight years, My Love Is Your Love (1998), sold millions and spawned several hit singles, including “Heartbreak Hotel”, “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay” and “My Love Is Your Love”. Following the success, she renewed her contract with Arista for $100 million – one of the biggest recording deals of all time. However, her personal problems began overshadowing her career and the 2002 studio album, Just Whitney, received mixed reviews. Her drug use and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown received widespread media coverage. After a six-year break from recording, Houston returned to the top of the Billboard 200 chart with her final studio album, I Look to You (2009). On February 11, 2012, Houston accidentally drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and was covered internationally.
Houston was certified as the best-selling female R&B artist of the 20th century by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She also sold more physical singles than any other female solo artist in history. Houston released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified from gold to diamond. Her accolades include two Emmy Awards, eight Grammy Awards (including Record and Album of the year wins), 14 World Music Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards. Houston was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. In 1997, the Franklin School in East Orange, New Jersey was renamed to The Whitney E. Houston Academy School of Creative and Performing Arts. She was named as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone. Houston was also ranked by VH1 among the “Top 100 Greatest Artists of All Time” and the “200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons of All Time”. Her entrance into the music industry is considered one of the “25 musical milestones of the last 25 years”, according to the USA Today in 2007. Referring to her vocal talent, Houston has often been dubbed “The Voice” by the media.
Céline Marie Claudette Dion (, born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian singer. She is noted for her powerful and technically skilled vocals. Dion is the best-selling Canadian recording artist and French language artist of all time. Her music has incorporated genres such as pop, rock, R&B, gospel and classical music.
Born into a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, she emerged as a teen star in her home country with a series of French-language albums during the 1980s. She first gained international recognition by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, where she represented Switzerland. After learning to speak English, she signed on to Epic Records in the United States. In 1990, Dion released her debut English-language album, Unison, establishing herself as a viable pop artist in North America and other English-speaking areas of the world. Her recordings are mainly in French and English, although she has also sung in Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese.
During the 1990s, she achieved worldwide fame after releasing several best-selling English-language albums in music history, such as Falling into You (1996) and Let’s Talk About Love (1997), which were both certified diamond in the US and over 30 million sales worldwide each. She also scored a series of international number-one hits, including “The Power of Love”, “Think Twice”, “Because You Loved Me”, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”, “My Heart Will Go On”, and “I’m Your Angel”. Dion continued releasing French albums between each English record; D’eux (1995) became the best-selling French-language album of all time, while S’il suffisait d’aimer (1998), Sans attendre (2012), and Encore un soir (2016), were all certified diamond in France. During the 2000s, she built her reputation as a highly successful live performer with A New Day… on the Las Vegas Strip (2003–07), which remains the highest-grossing concert residency of all time, as well as the Taking Chances World Tour (2008–09), one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time.
Dion is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with record sales of more than 200 million worldwide. While her releases have often received mixed critical reception, Dion is regarded as one of pop music’s most successful vocalists. She has won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Billboard named her the “Queen of Adult Contemporary” for having the most number-one songs on the radio format for a female artist. Dion is the second best-selling female artist in the US during the Nielsen SoundScan, the 8th all-time best-performing top female artist in the United States, and the sixth all-time best-performing female soloist in Billboard 200 history. In 2003, she was honoured by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for selling over 50 million albums in Europe.
AC/DC (Rock Band)
AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal, but the band themselves call it simply “rock and roll”.AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, 1975’s High Voltage. Membership subsequently stabilised around the Young brothers, singer Bon Scott, drummer Phil Rudd, and bassist Mark Evans. Evans was fired from the band in 1977 and replaced by Cliff Williams, who has appeared on every AC/DC album since 1978’s Powerage. In February 1980, about seven months after the release of their breakthrough album Highway to Hell, Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking. The group considered disbanding but elected to stay together, bringing in longtime Geordie vocalist Brian Johnson as Scott’s replacement. Later that year, the band released their first album with Johnson, Back in Black, which was dedicated to Scott’s memory. The album launched AC/DC to new heights of success and became one of the best selling albums of all time.
The band’s eighth studio album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981), was their first album to reach number one in the United States. Prior to the release of 1983’s Flick of the Switch, Rudd left the band and was replaced by Simon Wright, being in turn replaced by Chris Slade in 1989. The band experienced a commercial resurgence in the early nineties with the release of 1990’s The Razors Edge. Rudd returned to the band in 1994, replacing Slade and appearing on the band’s next five albums. Their fifteenth studio album Black Ice was the second-highest-selling album of 2008, and their biggest chart hit since For Those About to Rock, eventually reaching No.1 worldwide.The band’s line-up remained the same for twenty years, until 2014 with Malcolm Young’s retirement due to early-onset dementia (he died in 2017) and Rudd’s legal troubles. Malcolm was replaced by his nephew Stevie Young, who debuted on AC/DC’s 2014 album Rock or Bust, and on its accompanying tour, previous drummer Chris Slade filled in for Rudd. In 2016, Johnson was advised to stop touring due to worsening hearing loss. Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose stepped in as the band’s vocalist for the remainder of that year’s dates. Long-term bass player and background vocalist Cliff Williams retired from AC/DC at the end of the Rock or Bust tour in 2016 and the group entered a four-year hiatus. A reunion of the Rock or Bust lineup was announced in September 2020 and the band’s seventeenth studio album Power Up was released two months later.
AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 75 million albums in the United States, making them the ninth-highest-selling artist in the United States and the 16th-best-selling artist worldwide. Back in Black has sold an estimated 50 million units worldwide, making it the third-highest-selling album by any artist, and the highest-selling album by any band. The album has sold 22 million units in the US, where it is the sixth-highest-selling album of all time. AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and were named the seventh “Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time” by MTV. In 2004, AC/DC ranked No. 72 on the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Producer Rick Rubin, who wrote an essay on the band for the Rolling Stone list, referred to AC/DC as “the greatest rock and roll band of all time”. In 2010, VH1 ranked AC/DC number 23 in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
Aubrey Drake Graham (born October 24, 1986) is a Canadian rapper, singer and actor. Gaining recognition by starring in the teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001–08), Drake pursued a career in music releasing his debut mixtape Room for Improvement in 2006; he subsequently released the mixtapes Comeback Season (2007) and So Far Gone (2009) before signing with Young Money Entertainment.Drake released his debut studio album Thank Me Later in 2010, which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. He achieved major critical success with Take Care (2011), and commercial success with Nothing Was the Same (2013) and his first commercial mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015); the latter two were certified multi-platinum in the US. Drake’s fourth album Views (2016) sat atop the Billboard 200 for 13 nonconsecutive weeks, becoming the first album by a male solo artist to do so in over a decade, and featured the chart record-setting lead single “One Dance”. His second solo commercial mixtape More Life (2017) set then-multiple streaming records, and in 2018, he released the double album Scorpion, which contained the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “God’s Plan”, “Nice for What”, and “In My Feelings”. Leaving Young Money in 2018, Drake’s third commercial mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes was released in 2020, and featured the chart-topping “Toosie Slide”. In 2021, the EP Scary Hours 2 included the number one “What’s Next” and set chart records, and preceded his delayed sixth album Certified Lover Boy (2021); the album set the record for most U.S. top-ten entries from one album, with lead single “Way 2 Sexy” becoming his ninth number one.As an entrepreneur, Drake founded the OVO Sound record label with longtime collaborator 40 in 2012. In 2013, Drake became the new “global ambassador” of the Toronto Raptors, joining the executive committee of the NBA franchise, while owning naming rights to its practice facility. In 2016, he began collaborating with American entrepreneur Brent Hocking on the bourbon whiskey Virginia Black; it eventually broke sale records in Canada. Drake has also designed fashion, the most notable including a sub-label collaboration with Nike, alongside other business ventures. In 2018, he was reportedly responsible for 5 per cent (CAD$440 million) of Toronto’s CAD$8.8 billion annual tourism income.Among the world’s best-selling music artists, with over 170 million records sold, Drake is ranked as the highest-certified digital singles artist in the United States by the RIAA. He has won four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a record 29 Billboard Music Awards, two Brit Awards, and three Juno Awards, and holds several Billboard Hot 100 chart records; Drake has the most top 10 singles (54), the most charted songs (258), the most simultaneously charted songs in one week (27), the most Hot 100 debuts in one week (22), and the most continuous time on the Hot 100 (431 weeks). He additionally has the most number-one singles on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Songs, and Rhythmic Airplay charts.
Troyal Garth Brooks (born February 7, 1962) is an American country music singer and songwriter. His integration of rock and pop elements into the country genre has earned him popularity, particularly in the United States with success on the country music single and album charts, multi-platinum recordings and record-breaking live performances, while also crossing over into the mainstream pop arena.Brooks is the only artist in music history to have released nine albums that achieved diamond status in the United States (surpassing the Beatles’ former record of six); those albums are Garth Brooks (diamond), No Fences (17× platinum), Ropin’ the Wind (14× platinum), The Chase (diamond), In Pieces (diamond), The Hits (diamond), Sevens (diamond), Double Live (21× platinum), and The Ultimate Hits (diamond). Since 1989, Brooks has released 23 records in all, which include 13 studio albums, two live albums, three compilation albums, three Christmas albums and four box sets, along with 77 singles. He has won several awards in his career, including two Grammy Awards, 17 American Music Awards (including “Artist of the ’90s”) and the RIAA Award for best-selling solo albums artist of the century in the U.S.
Troubled by conflicts between career and family, Brooks retired from recording and performing from 2001 until 2005. During this time, he sold millions of albums through an exclusive distribution deal with Walmart and sporadically released new singles. In 2005, Brooks started a partial comeback, giving select performances and releasing two compilation albums. In 2009, he began Garth at Wynn, a periodic weekend concert residency at Las Vegas’ Encore Theatre from December 2009 to January 2014. Following the conclusion of the residency, Brooks announced his signing with Sony Music Nashville in July 2014. In September 2014, he began his comeback world tour, with wife and musician Trisha Yearwood, which culminated in 2017. This was followed by his Stadium Tour, which began in 2019. His most recent album, Fun, was released in November 2020.
Brooks is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold more than 170 million records. As of 2020, according to the RIAA, he is the best-selling solo albums artist in the United States with 156 million domestic units sold, ahead of Elvis Presley, and is second only to the Beatles in total album sales overall. Brooks was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 21, 2012, having been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame the year before. He was also inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2016 with his studio musicians, The G-Men. On March 4, 2020, Brooks received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. At age 58, he is the youngest recipient of the award.On January 20, 2021, Brooks performed “Amazing Grace” at the inauguration of Joe Biden. He said his performance was an opportunity “to serve” and is a “statement of unity.”
Ye ( YAY; born Kanye Omari West, June 8, 1977), commonly known by his birth name, is an American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer. Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, West gained recognition as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing singles for several artists and developing the “chipmunk soul” sampling style. Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, West released his debut album, The College Dropout (2004), to critical and commercial success, and founded the record label GOOD Music.
West explored diverse musical elements such as orchestral arrangements, synthesizers, and autotune on the acclaimed albums Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007), and 808s & Heartbreak (2008). Drawing inspiration from maximalism and minimalism respectively, his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) and sixth album Yeezus (2013) were also released to critical and commercial successes. West also diversified musical styles on The Life of Pablo (2016) and Ye (2018), and explored Christian and gospel music on Jesus Is King (2019). After a series of delays, West’s highly anticipated tenth album, Donda, was released in 2021. West’s discography also includes the full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) with Jay-Z and Kids See Ghosts (2018) with Kid Cudi.
West’s outspoken views and life outside of music have received significant media coverage. He has been a frequent source of controversy for his conduct at award shows, on social media, and in other public settings—his comments on the music and fashion industries, U.S. politics, race, and slavery have been generally polarized. His Christian faith and marriage to Kim Kardashian have also been sources of media attention. West is frequently lauded as one of hip hop’s greatest artists, with his music also being recognized among the world’s highest-selling and most acclaimed. As a fashion designer, he has collaborated with Nike, Louis Vuitton, The Gap, and A.P.C. on clothing and footwear, and leads the Yeezy collaboration with Adidas. In 2020, he launched an unsuccessful independent presidential campaign that primarily advocated for a consistent life ethic. He is the founder and head of the creative content company DONDA.
One of the world’s best-selling music artists, with over 160 million records sold, West has won 22 Grammy Awards, the joint tenth-most of all time. Among his other awards are the Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint-record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Six of his albums were included on Rolling Stone’s 2020 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list; the same publication named him one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. West holds the joint record (with Bob Dylan) for most albums (4) topping the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll, and has the 5th most appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 (133 entries). Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015. A billionaire, Forbes estimates his net worth at $1.8 billion as of 2021.
Justin Drew Bieber (; born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian singer. He was discovered by American record executive Scooter Braun and signed with RBMG Records in 2008, gaining recognition with the release of his debut seven-track EP My World (2009) and soon establishing himself as a teen idol.
Bieber achieved commercial success with his teen pop-driven debut studio album, My World 2.0 (2010), which debuted atop the US Billboard 200, making him the youngest solo male act to top the chart in 47 years. The album also contained the internationally successful single “Baby”, which became one of the highest certified singles of all time in the US. His second studio album, Under the Mistletoe (2011), became the first Christmas album by a male artist to debut at number one in the US. His third studio album, Believe (2012), saw him experiment with dance-pop. In 2013, Bieber became the first and youngest act in history to have five US number-one albums at the age of 18. Following Believe, Bieber was involved in various controversies and legal issues between 2013 and 2014, which had a drastic impact on his public image.Bieber’s fourth studio album, Purpose, was released in 2015. It was preceded by “Where Are Ü Now”, a collaboration with Jack Ü, which saw Bieber explore EDM, and win the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. Purpose embodied a multi-genre production and produced three US number-one singles: “Love Yourself”, “Sorry”, and “What Do You Mean?”. He became the first artist in history to occupy the entire top three of the UK Singles Chart, as the singles charted at positions 1, 2 and 3 simultaneously. Bieber diversified on numerous collaborations between 2016 and 2017 including DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One”, which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. A week later, he released his remix to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito”, claiming his subsequent chart-topper. It tied the then-record for most weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and made Bieber the first artist in history to chart new number-one singles in consecutive weeks. He won his career-first Latin Grammy Award for Best Urban Fusion/Performance for “Despacito”. Billboard ranked “Despacito” at number one on the Greatest of All Time Hot Latin Songs Chart. In 2019, he released a country collaboration with Dan + Shay, “10,000 Hours”, for which he won the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.In 2020, Bieber released his R&B-led fifth studio album, Changes, which debuted at number one in both the UK and US, and received critical acclaim for his vocal progression and released his collaboration, “Stuck with U”, with Ariana Grande, which debuted atop the US Billboard Hot 100. Bieber returned to his pop roots on his sixth studio album, Justice (2021), which debuted atop the US Billboard 200, making him the youngest soloist to have eight US number-one albums, a record held previously by Elvis Presley since 1965. It produced the number-one single “Peaches” and became a commercial success. In July 2021, Bieber released a collaboration with the Kid Laroi, “Stay”, which became his eighth number-one single in the US.Bieber is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of over 150 million records worldwide. He is credited with three Diamond certifications from the RIAA for “Baby”, “Sorry” and “Despacito”. He has received numerous accolades, including two Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, two Brit Awards, one Bambi Award, 21 Billboard Music Awards, 18 American Music Awards, a record 21 MTV Europe Music Awards (the most wins for any artist in history), six MTV Video Music Awards, 23 Teen Choice Awards (the most wins for a male individual), and 32 Guinness World Records. Time named Bieber one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2011, and he was included on Forbes’ list of the top ten most powerful celebrities in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Edward Christopher Sheeran (; born 17 February 1991) is an English singer-songwriter. Born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, he was brought up in Framlingham, Suffolk and began writing songs around the age of eleven. In early 2011, Sheeran independently released the extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project. He signed with Asylum Records the same year.
Sheeran’s debut album, + (pronounced “plus”), was released in September 2011 and topped the UK Albums Chart. It contained his first hit single “The A Team”. In 2012, Sheeran won the Brit Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. Sheeran’s second studio album, × (pronounced “multiply”), topped charts around the world upon its release in June 2014. It was named the second-best-selling album worldwide of 2015. In the same year, × won Album of the Year at the 2015 Brit Awards, and he received the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. A single from ×, “Thinking Out Loud”, earned him the 2016 Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
Sheeran’s third album, ÷ (pronounced “divide”), was released in March 2017, and was the best-selling album worldwide of 2017. The first two singles from the album, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill”, broke records in a number of countries by debuting in the top two positions of the charts. He also became the first artist to have two songs debut in the US top 10 in the same week. By March 2017, Sheeran had accumulated ten top 10 singles from ÷ on the UK Singles Chart, breaking the record for most top 10 UK singles from one album. His fourth single from ÷, “Perfect”, reached number one in the US, Australia and the UK, where it became the Christmas number one in 2017. The world’s best-selling artist of 2017, he was named the Global Recording Artist of the Year. Released in 2019, his fourth studio album No.6 Collaborations Project debuted at number one in most major markets, and spawned three UK number one singles, “I Don’t Care”, “Beautiful People” and “Take Me Back to London”. His fifth studio album, = (pronounced “equals”), topped the charts in most major markets in 2021.
Sheeran has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. He has 84.5 million RIAA-certified units in the US, and two of his albums are in the list of the best-selling albums in UK chart history. In December 2019, the Official Charts Company named him artist of the decade, with the most combined success in the UK album and singles charts in the 2010s. Globally, Spotify named him the second most streamed artist of the decade. Beginning in March 2017, his ÷ Tour became the highest-grossing of all time in August 2019. An alumnus of the National Youth Theatre in London, Sheeran’s acting roles include appearing in the 2019 film Yesterday.
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). Initially rooted in post-punk, U2’s musical style has evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic quality built on Bono’s expressive vocals and the Edge’s chiming, effects-based guitar sounds. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal and sociopolitical themes. Popular for their live performances, the group have staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career.
The band was formed when the members were teenaged pupils of Mount Temple Comprehensive School and had limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album, Boy (1980). Subsequent work such as their first UK number-one album, War (1983), and the singles “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Pride (In the Name of Love)” helped establish U2’s reputation as a politically and socially conscious group. By the mid-1980s, they had become renowned globally for their live act, highlighted by their performance at Live Aid in 1985. The group’s fifth album, The Joshua Tree (1987), made them international superstars and was their greatest critical and commercial success. Topping music charts around the world, it produced their only number-one singles in the US to date: “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.
Facing creative stagnation and a backlash to their documentary/double album, Rattle and Hum (1988), U2 reinvented themselves in the 1990s. Beginning with their acclaimed seventh album, Achtung Baby (1991), and the multimedia-intensive Zoo TV Tour, the band pursued a new musical direction influenced by alternative rock, electronic dance music, and industrial music, and they embraced a more ironic, flippant image. This experimentation continued through their ninth album, Pop (1997), and the PopMart Tour, which were mixed successes. U2 regained critical and commercial favour with the records All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000) and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), which established a more conventional, mainstream sound for the group. Their U2 360° Tour of 2009–2011 set records for the highest-attended and highest-grossing concert tour, both of which were surpassed in 2019. The group most recently released the companion albums Songs of Innocence (2014) and Songs of Experience (2017), the former of which received criticism for its pervasive, no-cost release through the iTunes Store.
U2 have released 14 studio albums and are one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold an estimated 150–170 million records worldwide. They have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and in 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and social justice causes, including Amnesty International, Jubilee 2000, the ONE/DATA campaigns, Product Red, War Child, and Music Rising.
Aerosmith is an American rock band formed in Boston in 1970. The group consists of Steven Tyler (lead vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums) and Brad Whitford (guitar). Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has also incorporated elements of pop rock, heavy metal, glam metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists. They are sometimes referred to as “the Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”. The primary songwriting team of Tyler and Perry is often known as the “Toxic Twins”.
Perry and Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with Tyler, Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith; in 1971, Tabano was replaced by Whitford. They released a string of multi-platinum albums starting with their eponymous debut in 1973, followed by Get Your Wings in 1974. The band broke into the mainstream with Toys in the Attic (1975) and Rocks (1976). Draw the Line and Night in the Ruts followed in 1977 and 1979. Throughout the 1970s, the band toured extensively and charted a dozen Hot 100 singles, including their first Top 40 hit “Sweet Emotion” and the Top 10 hits “Dream On” and “Walk This Way”. By the end of the decade, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army”. Drug addiction and internal conflict led to the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981.
The band did not fare well and the album Rock in a Hard Place (1982) failed to match previous successes.
Perry and Whitford returned to Aerosmith in 1984. After a comeback tour, they recorded Done with Mirrors (1985), which did not meet commercial expectations. It was not until a 1986 collaboration with rap group Run–D.M.C. on a remake of “Walk This Way”, and the 1987 multi-platinum release, Permanent Vacation, that they regained their previous level of popularity. In the late 1980s and 1990s, the band won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump (1989), Get a Grip (1993), and Nine Lives (1997), while they embarked on their most extensive concert tours to date. Their biggest hits during this period included “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”, “Angel”, “Rag Doll”, “Love in an Elevator”, “Janie’s Got a Gun”, “What it Takes”, “Livin’ on the Edge”, “Cryin'”, and “Crazy”. The band also filmed popular music videos and made notable appearances in television, film, and video games. In 1998, they achieved their first number-one hit with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” from Armageddon’s soundtrack and the following year, their roller coaster attraction opened at Walt Disney World. Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock history. Additional albums Just Push Play (which included the hit “Jaded”), Honkin’ on Bobo (a collection of blues covers), and Music from Another Dimension! followed in 2001, 2004, and 2012. In 2008, they released Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, which is considered to be the best-selling band-centric video game. After five decades, the band continues to tour and record music. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had an ongoing concert residency in Las Vegas.
Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including over 85 million records in the United States. With 25 gold, 18 platinum, and 12 multi-platinum albums, they hold the record for the most total certifications by an American group and are tied for the most multi-platinum albums by an American group. They have achieved twenty-one Top 40 hits on the US Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were ranked number 57 and 30, respectively, on Rolling Stone’s and VH1’s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2013, Tyler and Perry were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2020, the band received the MusiCares Person of the Year award.
Barbara Joan “Barbra” Streisand (; born April 24, 1942) is an American singer, actress, and filmmaker. With a career spanning over six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment, and is among the few performers awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT).
Streisand began her career by performing in nightclubs and Broadway theaters in the early 1960s. Following her guest appearances on various television shows, she signed to Columbia Records, insisting that she retain full artistic control, and accepting lower pay in exchange, an arrangement that continued throughout her career, and released her debut The Barbra Streisand Album (1963), which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Throughout her recording career, Streisand has topped the US Billboard 200 chart with 11 albums—a record for a woman—including People (1964), The Way We Were (1974), Guilty (1980), and The Broadway Album (1985). She also achieved five number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100—”The Way We Were”, “Evergreen”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “Woman in Love”.
Following her established recording success in the 1960s, Streisand ventured into film by the end of that decade. She starred in the critically acclaimed Funny Girl (1968), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Additional fame followed with films including the extravagant musical Hello, Dolly! (1969), the screwball comedy What’s Up, Doc? (1972), and the romantic drama The Way We Were (1973). Streisand won a second Academy Award for writing the love theme from A Star Is Born (1976), the first woman to be honored as a composer. With the release of Yentl (1983), Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film. The film won an Oscar for Best Score and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical. Streisand also received the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, becoming the first (and for 37 years, the only) woman to win that award. Streisand later directed The Prince of Tides (1991) and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).
With sales exceeding 150 million records worldwide, Streisand is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the highest-certified female artist in the United States, with 68.5 million certified album units tying with Mariah Carey. Billboard ranked Streisand as the greatest female artist on the Billboard 200 chart and the top Adult Contemporary female artist of all time. Her accolades include two Academy Awards, 10 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes.
Philip David Charles Collins (born 30 January 1951) is an English drummer, singer, record producer, songwriter, and actor. He is best known as the drummer/singer of the rock band Genesis and for his solo career. Between 1982 and 1990, Collins achieved three UK and seven US number-one singles in his solo career. When his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totalled, he had more US top 40 singles than any other artist during the 1980s. His most successful singles from the period include “In the Air Tonight”, “I Don’t Care Anymore”, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)”, “One More Night”, “Sussudio”, “Take Me Home”, “Two Hearts”, “A Groovy Kind of Love”, “I Wish It Would Rain Down”, and “Another Day in Paradise”.
Born and brought up in West London, Collins played drums from the age of five and completed drama school training, which secured him various roles as a child actor, with his first major role, aged 13, as the Artful Dodger in the West End musical Oliver!. He then pursued a music career, joining Genesis in 1970 as their drummer and becoming lead singer in 1975 following the departure of Peter Gabriel. Collins began a successful solo career in the 1980s, initially inspired by his marital breakdown and love of soul music, releasing the albums Face Value (1981), Hello, I Must Be Going (1982), No Jacket Required (1985) and …But Seriously (1989). Collins became, in the words of AllMusic, “one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the ’80s and beyond”. He also became known for a distinctive gated reverb drum sound on many of his recordings. In 1985, he was the only artist to perform at both Live Aid concerts. He also resumed his acting career, appearing in Miami Vice and subsequently starring in the film Buster (1988). In 1996, Collins left Genesis to focus on solo work; this included writing songs for Disney’s Tarzan (1999) for which he received an Oscar for Best Original Song for “You’ll Be in My Heart”. He rejoined Genesis for their Turn It On Again Tour in 2007. Following a five-year retirement to focus on his family life, Collins released an autobiography in 2016 and completed his Not Dead Yet Tour in 2019. He then joined up with Genesis for a second reunion tour to commence in late 2021.Collins’s discography includes eight studio albums that have sold 33.5 million certified units in the US and an estimated 150 million records sold worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists. He is one of only three recording artists, along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, who have sold over 100 million records both as solo artists and separately as principal members of a band. He has won eight Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards (winning Best British Male Artist three times), two Golden Globe Awards, one Academy Award, and a Disney Legend Award. He was awarded six Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, including the International Achievement Award. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010. He has also been recognised by music publications with induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2012, and the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2013.
ABBA ( AB-ə, Swedish: [ˈâbːa]) are a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group’s name is an acronym of the first letters of their first names arranged as a palindrome. One of the most popular and successful musical groups of all time, they became one of the best-selling music acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1983, and in 2021. ABBA have achieved 48 hit singles.
In 1974, ABBA were Sweden’s first winner of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo”, which in 2005 was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the contest. During the band’s main active years, it consisted of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. With the increase of their popularity, their personal lives suffered, which eventually resulted in the collapse of both marriages. The relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with latter compositions featuring darker and more introspective lyrics. After ABBA separated in December 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus continued their success writing music for multiple audiences including stage, musicals and movies, while Fältskog and Lyngstad pursued solo careers.Ten years after the group broke up, a compilation, ABBA Gold, was released, becoming a worldwide best-seller. In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into Mamma Mia!, a successful musical that toured worldwide and, as of November 2021, is still in the top-ten longest running productions on both Broadway (closed in 2015) and the West End (still running). A film of the same name, released in 2008, became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. A sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released in 2018.
In 2016, the group reunited and started working on a digital avatar concert tour. Newly recorded songs were announced in 2018. Voyage, their first new album in 40 years, was released on November 5, 2021. ABBA Voyage, a concert residency featuring ABBA as virtual avatars – dubbed ‘ABBAtars’ – is due to take place in London from May to December 2022.ABBA is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with record sales of more than 150 million sold worldwide and the group was ranked 3rd best-selling singles artists in the United Kingdom with a total of 11.3 million singles sold by 3 November 2012. ABBA was the first group from a non-English-speaking country to achieve consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. They are the best-selling Swedish band of all time and the best-selling band originating in continental Europe. ABBA had eight consecutive number-one albums in the UK. The group also enjoyed significant success in Latin America and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, the first and only recording artists to receive this honour from outside an Anglophone country. In 2015, their song “Dancing Queen” was inducted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge. She sang in church during her childhood before pursuing a career in gospel music as a teenager. Perry signed with Red Hill Records and released her debut studio album, Katy Hudson, under her birth name in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful. After Red Hill ceased operations, she moved to Los Angeles the following year to venture into secular music, adopting the stage name “Katy Perry” from her mother’s maiden name. Perry subsequently began working with producers Glen Ballard, Dr. Luke, and Max Martin on two albums that were later shelved, with much of the material being reworked onto One of the Boys. Prior to signing a recording contract with Capitol Records in April 2007, she was also dropped by The Island Def Jam Music Group and Columbia Records.
Perry rose to fame in 2008 with her second album, One of the Boys, a pop rock record containing her controversial debut single “I Kissed a Girl” and the song “Hot n Cold”, which respectively reached number one and three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Three subsequent albums have topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The disco-influenced Teenage Dream (2010) spawned five U.S. number one singles—”California Gurls”, “Teenage Dream”, “Firework”, “E.T.”, and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”—becoming the first album by a solo female artist to do so, and tied her with Michael Jackson’s Bad. A reissue titled Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection (2012) subsequently had the number one single “Part of Me” and number two single “Wide Awake”. Her follow-up record Prism (2013) incorporates pop and dance along with themes of self-reflection, everyday life, and relationships. With the music videos for its chart-topping singles “Roar” and “Dark Horse”, Perry became the first artist to have multiple videos reach one billion views on Vevo. Witness (2017) featured an electropop sound with a political subtext, themes of liberation, and self-described “purposeful pop.” Her sixth studio album, Smile (2020), signaled a return to her previous pop roots. All of her albums released under Capitol have surpassed one billion streams on Spotify.Perry is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 143 million records worldwide. Her music has been recognized for influencing the pop sound and style of the 2010s. She has nine Billboard Hot 100 number one singles and has received various awards, including four Guinness World Records, five Billboard Music Awards, five American Music Awards, a Brit Award, and a Juno Award. Perry has been included in the annual Forbes lists of highest-earning women in music from 2011 to 2019. Her Super Bowl halftime show performance is the most watched in history. Outside of music, she released an autobiographical documentary titled Katy Perry: Part of Me in 2012, and voiced Smurfette in the 2011 film The Smurfs and its sequel in 2013. Perry also began serving as a judge on American Idol in 2018, starting from its sixteenth season.
Christopher Maurice Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, actor and graffiti artist. According to Billboard, Brown is one of the most influential and successful R&B singers ever, with several considering him the “King of R&B” alongside Usher and R. Kelly. His musical style has been defined as polyhedric, with his R&B being characterized by several influences from other genres, mainly hip hop and pop music. His lyrics develop predominantly over themes of sex, lovesickness, regret, romantic love, fast life, desire, and the difficulty of managing emotions. Being described by media outlets and critics as one of the biggest talents of his time in urban music, Brown gained a cult following, and wide comparisons to Michael Jackson for his stage presence as a singer-dancer.Born in Tappahannock, Virginia, he was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows from a young age. Having signed with Jive Records in 2004, Brown released his self-titled debut studio album the following year, which became certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With his first single “Run It!” peaking atop the Billboard Hot 100, Brown became the first male artist since 1995 to have his debut single top the chart. His second album, Exclusive (2007), reached an even bigger commercial success worldwide, also spawning his second Billboard Hot 100 number one “Kiss Kiss”. In 2009, Brown pled guilty to felony assault of his then girlfriend, singer Rihanna. In the same year of the episode there was the release of his third album Graffiti, which was considered to be a commercial failure compared to his previous works. Following Graffiti, Brown’s fourth album F.A.M.E. (2011) became one of his biggest successes, being his first to top the Billboard 200, containing internationally successful singles such as “Yeah 3x”, “Look at Me Now” and “Beautiful People”, also earning him the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. His fifth album Fortune, released in 2012, also topped the Billboard 200.
Following the releases of X and Royalty, his 2017 critically acclaimed eighth studio album, and first double-disc, Heartbreak on a Full Moon, consisting of 45 tracks, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over 500,000 units after one week, and in 2019 it has been certified Double Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Brown’s ninth studio album Indigo was released in 2019, and became his third Billboard 200 number-one album. It included the Drake featured track “No Guidance” which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its chart success was outdone with the single “Go Crazy” released the following year, alongside Young Thug as part of their collaborative mixtape Slime & B (2020). The track reached number 3 on the Hot 100.Brown has sold over 140 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Throughout his career, Brown has won several awards, including a Grammy Award, eighteen BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and thirteen Soul Train Music Awards. According to Billboard, Brown has the seventh most Billboard Hot 100 entries with 106. Regarded to be an icon and sex symbol, Brown’s personal life has been publicized. Following his felony domestic assault of his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, which happened in 2009, his legal troubles were particularly highlighted by yellow journalism. Brown has also pursued an acting career. In 2007, he made his on-screen feature film debut in Stomp the Yard, and appeared as a guest on the television series The O.C. Other films Brown has appeared in include This Christmas (2007), Takers (2010), Think Like a Man (2012), and Battle of the Year (2013).
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He has released twenty studio albums, many of which feature his backing band the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he is one of the originators of the heartland rock style of music, combining mainstream rock musical style with narrative songs about working class American life. During a career that has spanned five decades, Springsteen has become known for his poetic, socially conscious lyrics and energetic stage performances, sometimes lasting up to four hours in length. He has been nicknamed “the Boss”.Springsteen released his first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle in 1973, both of which failed to earn him a large audience. He changed his style and reached worldwide popularity with Born to Run in 1975. It was followed by Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) and The River (1980), which topped the US Billboard 200 chart. His first album without the E Street Band was Nebraska (1982). Born in the U.S.A. (1984), which reunited Springsteen with the E Street Band, became his most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums of all time. Seven of its singles reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, including the well-known title track. Springsteen recorded his next three albums, Tunnel of Love (1987), Human Touch (1992), and Lucky Town (1992) using mostly session musicians. He re-assembled the E Street Band for 1995’s Greatest Hits and The Ghost of Tom Joad. His last release of the 1990s was the EP Blood Brothers (1996).
Springsteen dedicated his 2002 album The Rising to the victims of the September 11 attacks. Springsteen released two more folk albums, Devils & Dust (2005) and We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006), followed by two more albums with the E Street Band: Magic (2007) and Working on a Dream (2009). His next two albums, Wrecking Ball (2012) and High Hopes (2014), topped album charts worldwide. His latest releases include the solo Western Stars (2019) and E Street Band-featuring Letter to You (2020).
Among the album era’s prominent acts, Springsteen has sold more than 150 million records worldwide and more than 64 million albums in the United States, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. He has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, and a Special Tony Award (for Springsteen on Broadway). Springsteen was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009, named MusiCares person of the year in 2013, and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016. He is ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone’s list of the Greatest Artists of All Time.
Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), known professionally as Bruno Mars, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, musician, and dancer. He is known for his stage performances, retro showmanship, and for performing in a wide range of musical styles, including pop, R&B, funk, soul, reggae, disco, and rock. Mars is accompanied by his band, the Hooligans, who play a variety of instruments, such as electric guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums, and horns, and also serve as backup singers and dancers.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mars moved to Los Angeles in 2003 to pursue a musical career. In 2009, he co-founded the production team The Smeezingtons, responsible for various successful singles for Mars himself and other artists. He rose to fame in 2010 buoyed by the success of “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy, both of which featured his vocals. That year, Mars released his debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which blended pop with reggae pop and R&B. It spawned the international number-one singles “Just the Way You Are”, “Grenade”, and “The Lazy Song”. Drawing inspiration from disco, funk, rock, reggae and soul genres, his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox (2012), was his first number one on the Billboard 200. It amassed two Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits, “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man”.
In 2014, Mars was featured on Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”, which topped various music charts, spending a total of fourteen and seven weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart, respectively. Mars’s third studio album, the R&B-focused, 24K Magic (2016), received seven Grammy Awards, winning the major categories of Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. The album also yielded the top-five singles “24K Magic”, “That’s What I Like”, his seventh Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, and a remix of “Finesse” featuring Cardi B. In 2021, Mars and Anderson .Paak, as Silk Sonic, released the collaborative studio album, An Evening with Silk Sonic, whose single “Leave the Door Open” topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Mars has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has released eight number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since his career launched in 2010, and became the first artist to receive five Diamond-certified songs in the United States. He was included in Music Week and Billboard magazine as one of the best songwriters of 2011 and 2013, respectively. Mars has received several awards and nominations, including 11 Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, eleven American Music Awards, 13 Soul Train Awards and holds three Guinness world records. He appeared in Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2011, Forbes magazine’s list of “30 Under 30” in 2013, and Forbes’s Celebrity 100 in 2014, 2018, and 2019.
Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z), is an American rapper, songwriter, record executive, entrepreneur, and media proprietor. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history and is also well known for being the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings, cultivating major industry artists such as Kanye West, Rihanna, and J. Cole.Born and raised in New York City, Jay-Z first began his musical career in the late 1980s; he co-founded the record label Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995 and released his debut studio album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. The album was released to widespread critical success, and solidified his standing in the music industry. He went on to release twelve additional albums, including the acclaimed albums The Blueprint (2001), The Black Album (2003), American Gangster (2007), and 4:44 (2017). He also released the full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) with Kanye West and Everything Is Love (2018) with his wife Beyoncé, respectively.A billionaire, Jay-Z has attained significant success and media attention for his career as a businessman. In 1999, he founded the clothing retailer Rocawear, and in 2003, he founded the luxury sports bar chain 40/40 Club. Both businesses have grown to become multi-million-dollar corporations, and allowed him to start-up the entertainment company Roc Nation in 2008. In 2015, he acquired the tech company Aspiro and took charge of their media streaming service Tidal. In 2020, he launched “Monogram”, a line of cannabis products.One of the world’s best-selling music artists, with over 125 million records sold, Jay-Z has won 23 Grammy Awards, the most by a rapper, and holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 (14). Ranked by Billboard and Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, Jay-Z was the first rapper honored in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the first solo living rapper inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and has been based in San Francisco for most of its career. The band’s fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding “big four” bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica’s current lineup comprises founding members and primary songwriters Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine (who went on to form Megadeth after being fired from the band) and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton (who died in a bus accident in Sweden in 1986) and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.
After two albums on Megaforce Records and signing to major label Elektra in 1984, Metallica first found commercial success with the release of its third album, Master of Puppets (1986), which has been described as one of the heaviest and most influential thrash metal albums. Their next album, …And Justice for All (1988), was also successful and gave Metallica their first Grammy Award nomination. Its eponymous fifth album, Metallica (1991), the band’s first not to root predominantly in thrash metal, appealed to a more mainstream audience, achieving substantial commercial success and selling over 16 million copies in the United States to date, making it the best-selling album of the SoundScan era. After experimenting with different genres and directions in subsequent releases, the band returned to its thrash metal roots with the release of its ninth album, Death Magnetic (2008), which drew similar praise to that of the band’s earlier albums. Their most recent album is Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, released in 2016.
In 2000, Metallica led the case against the peer-to-peer file sharing service Napster, in which the band and several other artists filed lawsuits against the service for sharing their copyright-protected material without consent; after reaching a settlement, Napster became a pay-to-use service in 2003. Metallica was the subject of the acclaimed 2004 documentary film Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, which documented the troubled production of the band’s eighth album, St. Anger (2003), and the internal struggles within the band at the time. In 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band wrote the screenplay for and starred in the 2013 IMAX concert film Metallica: Through the Never, in which the band performed live against a fictional thriller storyline.
Metallica has released ten studio albums, four live albums, a cover album, five extended plays, 37 singles and 39 music videos. The band has won nine Grammy Awards from 23 nominations, and its last six studio albums (beginning with Metallica) have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold over 125 million albums worldwide as of 2018. Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by magazines such as Rolling Stone, which ranked them at no. 61 on its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list. As of 2017, Metallica is the third best-selling music artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, selling a total of 58 million albums in the United States.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ( STEF-ən-ee JUR-mə-NOT-ə; born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her image reinventions and musical versatility. Gaga began performing as a teenager, singing at open mic nights, and acting in school plays. She studied at Collaborative Arts Project 21, through New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, before dropping out to pursue a career in music. After Def Jam Recordings canceled her contract, she worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where she signed a joint deal with Interscope Records and Akon’s label, KonLive Distribution, in 2007. Gaga rose to prominence the following year with her debut studio album, The Fame, and its chart-topping singles “Just Dance” and “Poker Face”. The album was later reissued to include the EP The Fame Monster (2009), which yielded the successful singles “Bad Romance”, “Telephone”, and “Alejandro”.
Gaga’s five succeeding studio albums all debuted atop the US Billboard 200. Her second full-length album, Born This Way (2011), explored electronic rock and techno-pop and sold more than one million copies in its first week. The title track became the fastest-selling song on the iTunes Store, with over one million downloads in less than a week. Following her EDM-influenced third album, Artpop (2013), and its lead single “Applause”, Gaga released the jazz album Cheek to Cheek (2014) with Tony Bennett, and the soft rock album Joanne (2016). She also ventured into acting, playing leading roles in the miniseries American Horror Story: Hotel (2015–2016), for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, and the critically acclaimed musical drama film A Star Is Born (2018). Her contributions to the latter’s soundtrack, which spawned the chart-topping single “Shallow”, made her the first woman to win an Academy, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award in one year. Gaga returned to her dance-pop roots with her sixth studio album, Chromatica (2020), which yielded the number-one single “Rain on Me”. She followed this with her second collaborative album with Bennett, Love for Sale, and a starring role in the biographical crime film House of Gucci, both in 2021.
Having sold 124 million records as of 2014, Gaga is one of the world’s best-selling music artists and the fourth highest-earning female musician of the 2010s. Her accolades include 12 Grammy Awards, 18 MTV Video Music Awards, 16 Guinness World Records, awards from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and recognition as Billboard’s Artist of the Year (2010) and Woman of the Year (2015). She has also been included in several Forbes’ power rankings and ranked fourth on VH1’s Greatest Women in Music (2012). Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010 and 2019 and placed her on their All-Time 100 Fashion Icons list. Her philanthropy and activism focus on mental health awareness and LGBT rights; in 2012, she founded the Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization aiming to empower youth, improve mental health, and prevent bullying. Gaga’s business ventures include Haus Laboratories, a vegan cosmetics brand that launched in 2019.
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (born September 27, 1982), known professionally as Lil Wayne, is an American rapper and record executive. He is regarded by many contemporaries as one of the most influential hip hop artists of his generation, and often cited as one of the greatest rappers of all time. His career began in 1995, at the age of 12, when he was signed by rapper Birdman, joining Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label. From then on, Wayne was the flagship artist of Cash Money Records before ending his association with the company in June 2018.In 1995, Wayne was put in a duo with label-mate B.G. (at the time known as Lil Doogie) and they recorded an album, True Story, released that year, although Wayne (at the time known as Baby D) only appeared on three tracks. Wayne and B.G. soon joined the southern hip hop group Hot Boys, with Cash Money label-mates Juvenile and Turk in 1997; they released their debut album Get It How U Live! in October that year. The Hot Boys became popular following the release of the album Guerrilla Warfare (1999) and the song “Bling Bling”.
Lil Wayne’s solo debut album Tha Block Is Hot (1999) was his solo breakthrough, and he reached higher popularity with his fourth album Tha Carter (2004) and fifth album Tha Carter II (2005), as well as several mixtapes and collaborations throughout 2006 and 2007. He gained more prominence within the music industry with his sixth album Tha Carter III (2008), with first-week sales of over one million copies in the US. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and included successful singles “A Milli”, “Got Money” (featuring T-Pain), and “Lollipop” (featuring Static Major)—the latter being his first single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In February 2010, Wayne released his seventh studio album, Rebirth, which experimented with rap rock and was met with generally negative reviews. A month later in March 2010, Lil Wayne began serving an 8-month jail sentence in New York after being convicted of criminal possession of a weapon stemming from an incident in July 2007. His eighth studio album I Am Not a Human Being (2010) was released during his incarceration, while his 2011 album Tha Carter IV was released following his release. Tha Carter IV sold 964,000 copies in its first week in the United States. His twelfth studio album Tha Carter V was released in 2018 after multiple delays. Wayne’s thirteenth album, Funeral, was released in early 2020.Lil Wayne has sold over 120 million records worldwide, including more than 20 million albums and 70 million digital tracks in the United States, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. He has won five Grammy Awards, 11 BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards and eight NAACP Image Awards. On September 27, 2012, he became the first male artist to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100, with 109 songs. Lil Wayne also currently serves as the chief executive officer (CEO) of his own label, Young Money Entertainment.
Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band from Los Angeles, California. It currently consists of lead vocalist Adam Levine, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Jesse Carmichael, lead guitarist James Valentine, drummer Matt Flynn, keyboardist PJ Morton and multi-instrumentalist and occasional bassist Sam Farrar. Original members Levine, Carmichael, bassist Mickey Madden, and drummer Ryan Dusick first came together as Kara’s Flowers in 1994, while they were still in high school.
After self-releasing their independent album We Like Digging?, the band signed to Reprise Records and released the album The Fourth World in 1997. The album garnered a tepid response, after which the record label dropped the band and the members focused on college. In 2001, the band re-emerged as Maroon 5, pursuing a different direction and adding guitarist Valentine. The band signed with Octone Records, an independent record label with a separate joint venture relationship with J Records and released their debut album Songs About Jane in June 2002. Aided by the singles “Harder to Breathe”, “This Love” and “She Will Be Loved”, the album peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 chart and went quadruple platinum in 2005. In the same year, the band won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In 2006, Dusick left the band after suffering from serious wrist and shoulder injuries and was replaced by Matt Flynn.
The band’s second album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long was released in May 2007. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and the lead single “Makes Me Wonder”, became the band’s first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2010, the band released the third album Hands All Over, to favorable reviews, re-releasing a year later to include the single “Moves like Jagger”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100. In 2012, Carmichael left the group and was replaced by musician PJ Morton, as the band released the fourth album Overexposed, with the song “One More Night”, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for nine consecutive weeks.
In 2014, Carmichael rejoined the band alongside Morton to record the fifth album V (roman numeral pronounced “five”), with the band signed to Interscope Records and Levine’s own label 222 Records. Following the release of V, it reached number one on the Billboard 200. In 2016, Maroon 5 recruited their long-time collaborator Sam Farrar, as the band continued for the sixth studio album Red Pill Blues, which was released in November 2017. With the addition of Morton and Farrar, the band’s lineup increased to seven members. The successful singles of both albums “Sugar” and “Girls Like You” peaked at numbers two and one on the Hot 100 chart respectively. The band’s seventh album, Jordi, was released in June 2021. Maroon 5 has sold more than 135 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (; born 5 May 1988) is an English singer and songwriter. She is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with sales of over 120 million records. After graduating in arts from the BRIT School in 2006, Adele signed a record deal with XL Recordings. Her debut album, 19, was released in 2008 and spawned the UK top-five singles “Chasing Pavements” and “Make You Feel My Love”. The album was certified 8× platinum in the UK and triple platinum in the US. Adele was honored with the Brit Award for Rising Star as well as the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Adele released her second studio album, 21, in 2011. It became the world’s best-selling album of the 21st century, with sales of over 31 million copies. It was certified 17× platinum in the UK (the highest by a solo artist of all time) and Diamond in the US. According to Billboard, 21 is the top-performing album in the US chart history, topping the Billboard 200 for 24 weeks (the longest for a female artist ever). She was the first female artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top-ten singles as a lead artist, with “Rolling in the Deep”, “Someone Like You”, and “Set Fire to the Rain”, all of which also topped the chart. The album received a record-tying six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and the Brit Award for British Album of the Year. The success of 21 earned Adele numerous mentions in the Guinness Book of Records.
In 2012, Adele released “Skyfall”, a soundtrack single for the James Bond film of the same name, which won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Her third studio album, 25, was released in 2015 and became the year’s best-selling album and broke first-week sales records in the UK and US. 25 was her second album to be certified Diamond in the US and earned her five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and four Brit Awards, including British Album of the Year. The lead single, “Hello”, became the first song in the US to sell over one million digital copies within a week of its release. Her fourth studio album 30, which contains the chart-topping single “Easy on Me”, was released in 2021.
Adele’s accolades include fifteen Grammy Awards and nine Brit Awards. In 2011, 2012, and 2016, Billboard named her Artist of the Year. At the 2012 and 2016 Ivor Novello Awards, Adele was named Songwriter of the Year by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. In 2012, she was listed at number five on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Music. Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2016. Her third tour saw her break attendance records globally, including in the UK, Australia, and the US, and her album 21 has been listed in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2020).
Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. Fleetwood Mac were founded by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer, before bassist John McVie joined the line-up for their self-titled debut album. Danny Kirwan joined as a third guitarist in 1968. Keyboardist and vocalist Christine Perfect, who contributed as a session musician from the second album, married McVie and joined in 1970.
Primarily a British blues band at first, Fleetwood Mac scored a UK number one with “Albatross”, and had other hits such as the singles “Oh Well” and “Man of the World”. All three guitarists left in succession during the early 1970s, to be replaced by guitarists Bob Welch and Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker. By 1974, Welch, Weston and Walker had all either departed or been dismissed, leaving the band without a male lead vocalist or guitarist. In late 1974, while Fleetwood was scouting studios in Los Angeles, he heard American folk-rock duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and asked Buckingham to be their new lead guitarist, and Buckingham agreed on condition that Nicks could also join the band.
The addition of Buckingham and Nicks gave the band a more pop rock sound, and their 1975 self-titled album, Fleetwood Mac, reached No. 1 in the United States. Rumours (1977), Fleetwood Mac’s second album after the arrival of Buckingham and Nicks, produced four U.S. Top 10 singles and remained at number one on the American albums chart for 31 weeks. It also reached the top spot in countries around the world and won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978. Rumours has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums in history. Although each member of the band went through a breakup (John and Christine McVie, Buckingham and Nicks, and Fleetwood and his wife Jenny) while recording the album, they continued to write and record music together.
The band’s personnel remained stable through three more studio albums, but by the late 1980s began to disintegrate. After Buckingham and Nicks each left the band, they were replaced by a number of other guitarists and vocalists. A 1993 one-off performance for the first inauguration of Bill Clinton featured the line-up of Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Nicks, and Buckingham back together for the first time in six years. A full reunion occurred four years later, and the group released their fourth U.S. No. 1 album, The Dance (1997), a live compilation of their hits, also marking the 20th anniversary of Rumours. Christine McVie left the band in 1998, but continued to work with the band in a session capacity. Meanwhile, the group remained together as a four-piece, releasing their most recent studio album, Say You Will, in 2003. Christine McVie rejoined the band full-time in 2014. In 2018, Buckingham was fired from the band and was replaced by Mike Campbell, formerly of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House.
Fleetwood Mac have sold more than 120 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands. In 1979, the group were honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1998 the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2018, the band received the MusiCares Person of the Year award by The Recording Academy in recognition of their artistic achievement in the music industry and dedication to philanthropy.
Sir Roderick David Stewart (born 10 January 1945) is a British rock and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide. He has had 10 number-one albums and 31 top ten singles in the UK, 6 of which reached number one. Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.Stewart’s music career began in 1962 when he took up busking with a harmonica. In 1963, he joined The Dimensions as harmonica player and vocalist. In 1964, Stewart joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars before moving to the Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Joining Faces in 1969, he also maintained a solo career releasing his debut album that same year. Stewart’s early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music, and R&B. His third album, 1971’s Every Picture Tells a Story, was his breakthrough, topping the charts in the UK, US, Canada and Australia, as did its ballad “Maggie May”. His 1972 follow-up album, Never a Dull Moment, also reached number one in the UK and Australia, while going top three in the US and Canada. Its single, “You Wear It Well”, topped the chart in the UK and was a moderate hit elsewhere.
After a handful more UK top ten hits, Stewart announced the breakup of the Faces in 1975. His next few singles were ballads with “Sailing”, off the 1975 UK and Australian number-one album, Atlantic Crossing, becoming a hit in the UK and the Netherlands (number one), Germany (number four) and other countries, but barely charting in North America. A Night on the Town (1976), his fifth straight chart-topper in the UK, began a three-album run of going number one or top three in North America, the UK and Australia with each release. That album’s “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” spent almost two months at number one in the US and Canada, and made the top five in other countries. Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977) featured the major hit “You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” as well as the rocker “Hot Legs”. Blondes Have More Fun (1978) and its disco-tinged “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” both went to number one in Canada, Australia and the US, with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” also hitting number one in the UK and the top ten in other countries. Stewart’s albums regularly hit the upper rungs of the charts in the Netherlands throughout the 70s and in Sweden from 1975 onward.
After a disco and new wave period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Stewart’s music turned to a soft rock/middle-of-the-road style, with most of his albums reaching the top ten in the UK, Germany and Sweden, but faring less well in the US. The single “Rhythm of My Heart” was a top five hit in the UK, US and other countries, with its source album, 1991’s Vagabond Heart, becoming, at number ten in the US and number two in the UK, his highest charting album in a decade. In 1993, he collaborated with Bryan Adams and Sting on the power ballad “All for Love”, which went to number one in many countries. In the early 2000s, he released a series of successful albums interpreting the Great American Songbook. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the 17th most successful artist on the “Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists”. A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at No. 33 in Q Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Greatest Singers of all time As a solo artist, Stewart was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and he was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces.
The Bee Gees
were a music group formed in 1958, featuring brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. The trio were especially successful as a popular music act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and later as prominent performers of the disco music era in the mid- to late 1970s. The group sang recognisable three-part tight harmonies; Robin’s clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry’s R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the mid- to late 1970s and 1980s. The Bee Gees wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists and have been regarded as one of the most important and influential acts in pop music history. They have been referred to in the media as The Disco Kings, Britain’s First Family of Harmony and The Kings of Dance Music.Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England until the late 1950s. There, in 1955, they formed the skiffle/rock and roll group the Rattlesnakes. The family then moved to Redcliffe, in the Moreton Bay Region, Queensland, Australia, later to Cribb Island. After achieving their first chart success in Australia as the Bee Gees with “Spicks and Specks” (their twelfth single), they returned to the UK in January 1967, when producer Robert Stigwood began promoting them to a worldwide audience. The Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (1977) was the turning point of their career, with both the film and soundtrack having a cultural impact throughout the world, enhancing the disco scene’s mainstream appeal. They won five Grammy Awards for Saturday Night Fever, including Album of the Year.
The Bee Gees have sold over 220 million records worldwide, making them among the best-selling music artists of all time .
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; the Hall’s citation says, “Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.” With nine number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100, the Bee Gees are the third-most successful band in Billboard charts history behind only the Beatles and the Supremes.Following Maurice’s sudden death in January 2003 at the age of 53, Barry and Robin retired the group’s name after 45 years of activity. In 2009, Robin announced that he and Barry had agreed that the Bee Gees would re-form and perform again. Robin died in May 2012, aged 62, after a prolonged period of failing health, leaving Barry as the only surviving member of the group.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter ( bee-YON-say) (born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw the release of her debut solo album Dangerously in Love (2003), which featured the US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy”.
Following the 2006 disbanding of Destiny’s Child, she released her second solo album, B’Day, which contained singles “Irreplaceable” and “Beautiful Liar”. Beyoncé also starred in multiple films such as The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), Obsessed (2009), and The Lion King (2019). Her marriage to Jay-Z and her portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008), which earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010. It spawned the successful singles “If I Were a Boy”, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”, and “Halo”.
After splitting from her manager and father Mathew Knowles in 2010, Beyoncé released her musically diverse fourth album 4 in 2011. She later achieved universal acclaim for her sonically experimental visual albums, Beyoncé (2013) and Lemonade (2016), the latter of which was the world’s best-selling album of 2016 and the most acclaimed album of her career, exploring themes of infidelity and womanism. In 2018, she released Everything Is Love, a collaborative album with her husband, Jay-Z, as the Carters. As a featured artist, Beyoncé topped the Billboard Hot 100 with the remixes of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran in 2017 and “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion in 2020. The same year, she released the musical film and visual album Black Is King to widespread acclaim.
Beyoncé is one of the world’s best-selling recording artists, having sold 118 million records worldwide. She is the first solo artist to have their first six studio albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Her success during the 2000s was recognized with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)’s Top Certified Artist of the Decade as well as Billboard’s Top Female Artist of the Decade. Beyoncé’s accolades include 28 Grammy Awards, 26 MTV Video Music Awards (including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 2014), 24 NAACP Image Awards, 31 BET Awards, and 17 Soul Train Music Awards; all of which are more than any other singer. In 2014, Billboard named her the highest-earning black musician of all time, while in 2020, she was included on Time’s list of 100 women who defined the last century.
Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Nicki Minaj (), is a Trinidadian-born rapper, singer, and songwriter. She is known for her animated flow in her rapping and versatility as an artist.
Born in the Saint James district of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Queens of New York City, she gained public recognition after releasing the mixtapes Playtime Is Over (2007), Sucka Free (2008), and Beam Me Up Scotty (2009). Early in her career, Minaj became known for her colorful costumes and wigs, her distinct flow, and the use of alter egos and accents, primarily British cockney. In 2010, Minaj released her debut studio album, Pink Friday (2010), which was certified triple-platinum by RIAA, and peaked at number-one on the Billboard 200 chart. Minaj’s first top-five single “Super Bass” peaked at number three on the Hot 100. At the time, it was the highest-charting solo song by a female rapper since 2002, and it was certified diamond by RIAA in 2021. Her second album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), saw Minaj move towards a dance-pop and pop rap sound. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with its lead single, “Starships”, peaking at number five on the Hot 100. Minaj’s third and fourth studio albums, The Pinkprint (2014) and Queen (2018), marked a departure from her previous style and a return to her hip hop roots. The former’s second single “Anaconda” peaked at number two on the Hot 100.
Her feature on the remix of Doja Cat’s “Say So” and her collaboration with 6ix9ine, “Trollz”, both released in 2020, marked her first and second number-one singles on the Hot 100, respectively, with the latter making her the second female rapper to debut at number one, following Lauryn Hill in 1998. Including features, Minaj is the female artist with the second-most entries on the Hot 100, behind singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, with each accumulating over 100. She has nineteen top 10 singles on the chart, the most for any female rapper so far, with four of those being solo songs. Her collaboration with Karol G, “Tusa”, became the longest-running number-one single in Argentina, with a total of over five months. Her 2021 rerelease of her 2009 mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, becoming the highest debut for a female rap mixtape on the chart.
Minaj is one of the best selling female artists of all time with 100 million records sold worldwide. Her accolades include eight American Music Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards, twelve BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, a Brit Award, and a Guinness World Record. Billboard ranked her as the top female rapper of the 2010s, as well as seventh among the top female artists of the decade. In 2016, Time included Minaj on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Outside of music, Minaj’s film career has included voice roles in the animated films Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) and The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) as well as supporting roles in the comedy films The Other Woman (2014) and Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016). She also appeared as a judge on the twelfth season of American Idol in 2013.
Coldplay are a British rock band formed in London in 1996. The band consists of vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and pianist Chris Martin; lead guitarist Jonny Buckland; bassist Guy Berryman; drummer Will Champion; and creative director Phil Harvey. They met at the University College London and began playing music together from 1996 to 1998, first calling themselves Pectoralz and then Starfish.In 1998, Coldplay released their debut EP, Safety. The following year, the band released their debut single Brothers & Sisters and their second EP, The Blue Room. The latter was their first release under a major record label, Parlophone. Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of the song “Yellow” in 2000, followed in the same year by their debut album Parachutes, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band’s second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), was released to critical acclaim. Their next record, X&Y, was the best-selling album worldwide of 2005; the Brian Eno-produced fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was the best-selling album of that year and earned the band three Grammy Awards. In 2011, Coldplay released their fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto, which topped the charts in over 34 countries and was the UK’s best-selling rock album of 2011. The band have since released Ghost Stories (2014), A Head Full of Dreams (2015), Everyday Life (2019) and Music of the Spheres (2021).
Coldplay have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. They have won numerous awards throughout their career, including nine Brit Awards, seven MTV Video Music Awards, eight MTV Europe Music Awards and seven Grammy Awards from 36 nominations. The band’s first three albums — Parachutes (2000), A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), and X&Y (2005) — are among the best-selling albums in UK chart history.In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth-best artist of the 2000s and Q magazine included the group in their Artists of the Century list. Coldplay have supported various social and political causes, such as Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. They have also performed at charity projects, including Band Aid 20, Live 8, Global Citizen Festival, Sound Relief, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, One Love Manchester, The Secret Policeman’s Ball, Sport Relief and the UK Teenage Cancer Trust.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. Their music incorporates elements of alternative rock, funk, punk rock and psychedelic rock. The band consists of vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist John Frusciante. With over 100 million records sold worldwide, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time. They are the most successful band in the history of alternative rock, with the records for most number-one singles (13), most cumulative weeks at number one (85) and most top-ten songs (25) on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. They have won six Grammy Awards, and in 2012 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers were formed in Los Angeles by Kiedis, Flea, guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons. Due to commitments to other bands, Slovak and Irons did not play on the band’s 1984 self-titled debut album, which instead featured guitarist Jack Sherman and drummer Cliff Martinez. Slovak rejoined for their second album, Freaky Styley (1985), and Irons for their third, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987). Slovak died of a drug overdose on June 25, 1988; Irons, devastated, left the band.
With new recruits Frusciante and Smith, the Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded Mother’s Milk (1989) and their first major commercial success, Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991). Frusciante was uncomfortable with their newfound popularity and left abruptly on tour in 1992. After a series of temporary guitarists, he was replaced by Dave Navarro, who appeared on the group’s sixth album, One Hot Minute (1995). Although successful, the album failed to match the critical or popular acclaim of Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Frusciante and Kiedis struggled with drug addiction throughout the 1990s.
In 1998, following Navarro’s departure, Frusciante rejoined the band. Their seventh album, Californication (1999), became their biggest commercial success, with 16 million copies sold worldwide. By the Way (2002) and Stadium Arcadium (2006) were also successful; Stadium Arcadium was their first album to reach number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Frusciante left again in 2009 to focus on his solo career; he was replaced by Josh Klinghoffer, who appeared on I’m with You (2011) and The Getaway (2016), before Frusciante rejoined in 2019.
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. The band’s current lineup comprises vocalist/rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Mike Shinoda, lead guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave Farrell, DJ/turntablist Joe Hahn and drummer Rob Bourdon, all of whom are founding members. Vocalists Mark Wakefield and Chester Bennington are former members of the band. Categorized as alternative rock, Linkin Park’s earlier music spanned a fusion of heavy metal and hip hop, while their later music features more electronica and pop elements.Formed in 1996, Linkin Park rose to international fame with their debut studio album, Hybrid Theory (2000), which became certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Released during the peak of the nu metal scene, the album’s singles’ heavy airplay on MTV led the singles “One Step Closer”, “Crawling” and “In the End” all to chart highly on the Mainstream Rock chart; the latter crossed over to the pop chart. Their second album, Meteora (2003), continued the band’s success. The band explored experimental sounds on their third album, Minutes to Midnight (2007). By the end of the decade, Linkin Park was among the most successful and popular rock acts.The band continued to explore a wider variation of musical types on their fourth album, A Thousand Suns (2010), layering their music with more electronic sounds. The band’s fifth album, Living Things (2012), combined musical elements from all of their previous records. Their sixth album, The Hunting Party (2014), returned to a heavier rock sound, and their seventh album, One More Light (2017), was their first pop-oriented record. Linkin Park went on a hiatus when longtime lead vocalist Bennington died by suicide in July 2017. In April 2020, bassist Dave Farrell revealed the band was working on new music.Linkin Park is among the best-selling bands of the 21st century and the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. They have won two Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, 10 MTV Europe Music Awards and three World Music Awards. In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth-greatest band of the music video era and the third-best of the new millennium. Billboard ranked Linkin Park No. 19 on the Best Artists of the Decade list. In 2012, the band was voted as the greatest artist of the 2000s in a Bracket Madness poll on VH1. In 2014, the band was declared as “The Biggest Rock Band in the World Right Now” by Kerrang!.
Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald. Original bassist Alec John Such quit the band in 1994, and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora left in 2013. The band have been credited with “[bridging] the gap between heavy metal and pop with style and ease”.In 1984 and 1985, Bon Jovi released their first two albums and their debut single “Runaway” managed to crack the Top 40. In 1986, the band achieved widespread success and global recognition with their third album, Slippery When Wet, which sold over 20 million copies and included three Top 10 singles, two of which reached No. 1 (“You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”) Their fourth album, New Jersey (1988), was also very successful, selling over 10 million copies and featuring five Top 10 singles (a record for a glam metal album), two of which reached No. 1 (“Bad Medicine” and “I’ll Be There for You”). After the band toured and recorded extensively during the late 1980s, culminating in the 1988–1990 New Jersey Tour, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora released successful solo albums in 1990 and 1991, respectively.
In 1992, the band returned with the double-platinum Keep the Faith. This was followed by their biggest-selling and longest-charting single “Always” (1994) and the album These Days (1995), which proved to be a bigger success in Europe than in the United States, producing four Top Ten singles in the United Kingdom. Following a second hiatus, their 2000 album Crush, particularly the lead single, “It’s My Life”, successfully introduced the band to a younger audience, and the band considered this their comeback album. The band followed up with Bounce in 2002. The platinum albums Have a Nice Day (2005) and Lost Highway (2007) saw the band incorporate elements of country music into some of the songs, including the 2006 single “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”, which won the band a Grammy Award and became the first single by a rock band to reach No. 1 on the country charts. The Circle (2009) marked a return to the band’s rock sound. The band also enjoyed great success touring, with both the 2005–2006 Have a Nice Day Tour and 2007–2008 Lost Highway Tour ranking among the Top 20 highest-grossing concert tours of the 2000s and the 2013 Because We Can Tour ranking among the highest-grossing of the 2010s. After recording and releasing Because We Can in 2013, lead guitarist Richie Sambora left the band just before an April concert during the Because We Can Tour to spend more time with his family. The band released their thirteenth studio album, Burning Bridges, in 2015 which is their first album without Sambora. Bon Jovi continues to tour and record, as in 2016, Bon Jovi released This House Is Not For Sale, which hit No. 1 and was considered a strong record by the band and primarily reminiscences Bon Jovi’s history. They went on their most recent tour This House Is Not for Sale Tour supporting its album, encompassing 2016–2019. Their most recent album is called 2020, being released in 2020.
Bon Jovi has released 16 studio albums, five compilations and three live albums. They have sold more than 130 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling American rock bands, and performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans. Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. The band received the Award of Merit at the American Music Awards in 2004, and Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.
B’z (Japanese: ビーズ, Hepburn: Bīzu) are a Japanese rock duo, consisting of guitarist, composer and producer Takahiro “Tak” Matsumoto (松本 孝弘, Matsumoto Takahiro) and vocalist and lyricist Koshi Inaba (稲葉 浩志, Inaba Kōshi), known for their energetic hard rock tracks and pop rock ballads. B’z is one of the best-selling music artists in the world and the best-selling in their native Japan, having released 49 consecutive No. 1 singles, 25 No. 1 albums, 3 No. 1 EPs on the Oricon music charts and sold more than 100 million records worldwide.In 2003 HMV Japan ranked them at number 30 on their list of the 100 most important Japanese pop acts. In 2007, B’z became the first music act from Asia to have their handprints and signatures put up in the Hollywood’s RockWalk. In 2008 were awarded a Guinness World Record for “Best selling album act in Japan”, which also notes them to be the best selling act in Japan overall. By AllMusic are considered as the “biggest rock act in Japan and the entirety of Asia”.
Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. She is credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s and early 2000s, for which she is referred to as the “Princess of Pop”. Regarded as a pop icon, Spears has sold nearly 150 million albums worldwide as of 2020, including over 70 million records solely in the United States, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists.After appearing in stage productions and television series, Spears signed with Jive Records in 1997 at age 15. Her first two studio albums, …Baby One More Time (1999) and Oops!… I Did It Again (2000), are among the best-selling albums of all time and made Spears the best-selling teenage artist of all time. With first-week sales of over 1.3 million copies, Oops!… I Did It Again held the record for the fastest-selling album by a female artist in the United States for 15 years. Spears adopted more mature and provocative style for her albums Britney (2001) and In the Zone (2003), and starred in the 2002 film Crossroads.
Spears was executive producer of her fifth studio album Blackout (2007), often referred to as her best work. Following a series of highly publicized personal problems, promotion for the album was limited, and Spears was involuntarily placed in a conservatorship. Since then, she released the chart-topping albums, Circus (2008) and Femme Fatale (2011), the latter of which became her most successful era of singles in the US charts. She embarked on a four-year concert residency, Britney: Piece of Me, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to promote her next two albums Britney Jean (2013) and Glory (2016). In 2019, Spears’s legal battle over her conservatorship became more publicized and led to the establishment of the #FreeBritney movement. On November 12, 2021, the conservatorship was terminated following her public testimony in which she accused her management team and family of abuse.Spears has achieved six number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and four number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100: “…Baby One More Time”, “Womanizer”, “3”, and “Hold It Against Me”. As a featured artist, the “S&M” remix also topped the Billboard chart. Her singles “Oops!… I Did It Again”, “Toxic”, and “Scream & Shout” topped the charts in most countries. With “3” in 2009 and “Hold It Against Me” in 2011, Spears became the second artist after Mariah Carey in the Hot 100’s history to debut at number one with two or more songs. Her heavily choreographed videos earned her the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She has earned numerous other awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award, 15 Guinness World Records, six MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards (including the Millennium Award), the inaugural Radio Disney Icon Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Spears was ranked by Billboard as the eighth-biggest artist of the 2000s. In the United States, she is the fourth best-selling female album artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era as well as the best-selling female album artist of the 2000s. “…Baby One More Time” was named the greatest debut single of all time by Rolling Stone in 2020. In 2004, Spears launched a perfume brand with Elizabeth Arden, Inc.; sales exceeded $1.5 billion as of 2012. Forbes has reported Spears as the highest-paid female musician of 2002 and 2012. By 2012, she had topped Yahoo!’s list of most searched celebrities seven times in 12 years. Time named Spears one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2021, winning the reader poll by receiving the highest number of votes.
Alecia Beth Moore (born September 8, 1979), known professionally as Pink (stylized as P!nk), is an American singer and songwriter. She was originally a member of the girl group Choice. In 1995, LaFace Records saw potential in Pink and offered her a solo recording contract. Her R&B-influenced debut studio album Can’t Take Me Home (2000) was certified double-platinum in the United States and spawned two Billboard Hot 100 top-ten songs: “There You Go” and “Most Girls”. She gained further recognition with the collaborative single “Lady Marmalade” from the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack, which topped many charts worldwide. Refocusing her sound to pop rock with her second studio album Missundaztood (2001), the album sold more than 13 million copies worldwide and yielded the international number-one songs “Get the Party Started”, “Don’t Let Me Get Me”, and “Just Like a Pill”.
While Pink’s third studio album, Try This (2003), sold significantly less than her previous work, it earned her the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. She returned to the top of record charts with her fourth and fifth studio albums, I’m Not Dead (2006) and Funhouse (2008), which spawned the top-ten entries “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand”, as well as the number-one single “So What”. Pink’s sixth studio album, The Truth About Love (2012), was her first Billboard 200 number-one album and spawned her fourth US number-one single, “Just Give Me a Reason”. In 2014, Pink recorded a collaborative album, Rose Ave., with Canadian musician Dallas Green under a folk music duo named You+Me. Her next studio albums, Beautiful Trauma (2017) and Hurts 2B Human (2019), both debuted at atop the Billboard 200 chart, with the former becoming the world’s third best-selling album of the year.
Noted for her distinctive raspy voice and acrobatic stage presence, Pink has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Her career accolades include three Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, a Daytime Emmy Award and seven MTV Video Music Awards, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. In 2009, Billboard named Pink the Pop Songs Artist of the Decade. Pink was also the second most-played female solo artist in the United Kingdom during the 2000s decade, behind only Madonna. VH1 ranked her at number ten on their list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music, while Billboard awarded her the Woman of the Year award in 2013. At the 63rd annual BMI Pop Awards, she received the BMI President’s Award for “her outstanding achievement in songwriting and global impact on pop culture and the entertainment industry.”
George Harvey Strait Sr. (born May 18, 1952) is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer. George Strait is known as the “King of Country” and is considered one of the most influential and popular recording artists of all time. He is known as a pioneer of the neotraditionalist country style and movement, cowboy look, and being one of the first and most prominent country artists to bring country music back to its roots and away from the pop country era in the 1980s.
Strait’s success began when his first single “Unwound” was a hit in 1981 during the midst of the Urban Cowboy country pop era, setting the standard for neo-traditional country’s emergence into the 1980s and 1990s. During the 1980s, seven of his albums reached number one on the country charts. In the 2000s, Strait was named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music, was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and won his first Grammy award for the album Troubadour. Strait was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1989, 1990 and 2013, and ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1990 and 2014. He has been nominated for more CMA and ACM awards and has more wins in both categories than any other artist.
By 2009, he broke Conway Twitty’s previous record for the most number-one hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart when his 44 number one singles surpassed Twitty’s 40. Counting all music charts, Strait has amassed a total of 60 number-one hits, hitting the landmark with “Give It All We Got Tonight” in 2013, breaking a record also previously set by Twitty, giving him more number one songs than any other artist in any genre of music.Strait is also known for his touring career when he designed a 360-degree configuration and introduced festival style tours. For example, the Strait Tours earned $99 million in three years. His final concert for The Cowboy Rides Away Tour at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in June 2014, drew 104,793 people, marking a new record for largest indoor concert in North America.Strait has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His certifications from the RIAA include 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold albums. His best-selling album is Pure Country (1992), which sold 6 million (6× platinum). His highest certified album is Strait Out of the Box (1995), which sold 2 million copies (8× Platinum due to being a box set with four CDs). According to the RIAA, Strait is the 11th best-selling album recording artist in the United States overall.
Eilleen “Shania” Twain ( eye-LEEN, ; born Eilleen Regina Edwards; August 28, 1965) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist in country music history and one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Her success garnered her several honorific titles including the “Queen of Country Pop”. Billboard named her as the leader of the ’90s country-pop crossover stars.Raised in Timmins, Ontario, Twain pursued singing and songwriting from a young age before signing with Mercury Nashville Records in the early 1990s. Her self-titled debut studio album was a commercial failure upon release in 1993. After collaborating with producer and later husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Twain rose to fame with her second studio album, The Woman in Me (1995), which brought her widespread success. It sold over 20 million copies worldwide, spawned eight singles, including “Any Man of Mine” and earned her a Grammy Award. Her third studio album, Come On Over (1997), became the best-selling studio album by a female act in any genre and the best-selling country album of all time, selling over 40 million copies worldwide. Come On Over produced twelve singles, including “You’re Still the One”, “From This Moment On”, “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and earned Twain four Grammy Awards. Her fourth studio album, Up! (2002), spawned eight singles, including “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”, “Ka-Ching!” and “Forever and for Always”, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, also being certified Diamond in the United States.
In 2004, after releasing her Greatest Hits album, which produced three new singles including “Party for Two”, Twain entered a hiatus, revealing years later that diagnoses with Lyme disease and dysphonia led to a severely weakened singing voice. She chronicled her vocal rehabilitation on the OWN miniseries Why Not? with Shania Twain, released her first single in seven years in 2012, “Today Is Your Day”, and published an autobiography, From This Moment On. Twain returned to performing the following year with an exclusive concert residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Shania: Still the One, which ran until 2014. In 2015, she launched the North American Rock This Country Tour, which was billed as her farewell tour. Twain released her first studio album in 15 years in 2017, Now, and embarked on the Now Tour in 2018. In 2019, she started her second Las Vegas residency, Let’s Go! at the Zappos Theater.
Twain has received five Grammy Awards, a World Music Award, 27 BMI Songwriter Awards, stars on Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. According to the RIAA she is the only female artist in history to have three (consecutive) albums certified Diamond by the RIAA and is the sixth best-selling female artist in the United States. Altogether, Twain is ranked as the 10th best-selling artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era. Billboard listed Twain as the 13th Greatest Music Video Female Solo Artist of all time (42nd overall).
Guns N' Roses
Guns N’ Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. When they signed to Geffen Records in 1986, the band comprised vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. The current lineup consists of Rose, Slash, McKagan, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese.
Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction (1987), reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release, on the strength of the top 10 singles “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Paradise City”, and “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, the band’s only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units in the United States, making it the country’s bestselling debut album and eleventh-bestselling album. Their next studio album, G N’ R Lies (1988), reached number two on the Billboard 200, sold ten million copies worldwide (including five million in the U.S.), and included the top 5 hit “Patience”. Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, recorded simultaneously and released in 1991, debuted at number two and number one on the Billboard 200 respectively and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide (including 14 million units in the U.S.). The Illusion albums included the lead single “You Could Be Mine”, covers of “Live and Let Die” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, and a trilogy of ballads (“Don’t Cry”, “November Rain”, and “Estranged”), which featured notably high-budget music videos. The records were supported by the Use Your Illusion Tour, a world tour that lasted from 1991 to 1993. The covers album “The Spaghetti Incident?” (1993) was the last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan before their initial departure.
Work on a follow-up album stalled due to creative differences between band members; by 1998 only Rose and Reed remained from the Illusion-era lineup. Rose, wanting to expand the band’s sound with industrial & electronic elements, enrolled an eclectic lineup of musicians, including punk bassist Tommy Stinson, virtuoso guitarist Buckethead, synth-player Chris Pitman and several touring members of Nine Inch Nails, among others. After a decade of work, Guns N’ Roses’s long-awaited sixth studio album, Chinese Democracy (2008), was released, feautiring the title track as lead single. At an estimated $14 million in production costs, it is the most expensive rock album in history. It debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, but undersold industry expectations despite a mostly positive critical reception. Following the expansive Chinese Democracy Tour, Slash and McKagan rejoined the band in 2016 for the Not in This Lifetime… Tour, which became the third-highest-grossing concert tour on record, grossing over $584 million by its conclusion in 2019.
In their early years, the band’s hedonism and rebelliousness drew comparisons to the early Rolling Stones and earned them the nickname “the most dangerous band in the world”. The band’s classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, its first year of eligibility. Guns N’ Roses have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 45 million in the United States, making them one of the best-selling acts in history.
Backstreet Boys (often abbreviated as BSB) is an American vocal group consisting of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, and cousins Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson. The group was formed in 1993 in Orlando, Florida.
The group rose to fame with their debut international album, Backstreet Boys (1996). In the following year, they released their second international album Backstreet’s Back (1997) along with their self-titled U.S. debut album, Backstreet Boys (1997), which continued the group’s success worldwide. They rose to superstardom with their third studio album Millennium (1999) and its follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000). They also released a greatest hits album, The Hits – Chapter One (2001), with a new single, “Drowning”. After a two-year hiatus, they regrouped and released a comeback album Never Gone (2005). After the conclusion of the Never Gone Tour in 2006, Richardson left the group to pursue other interests. The group then released two albums as a quartet: Unbreakable (2007) and This Is Us (2009).
Richardson permanently rejoined the group in 2012. In the following year, they celebrated their 20th anniversary and released their first independent album, In a World Like This. Their follow-up album DNA (2019) debuted at number one, more than two decades after the group formed, and 19 years after they last topped in 2000. They also became the first boy band to top the U.S. album charts in three different decades.The Backstreet Boys have sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling boy band of all time, and one of the world’s best-selling music artists. They are the first group since Led Zeppelin to have their first ten albums reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and the only boy band to do so. The albums Backstreet Boys and Millennium were both certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), making them one of the few bands to have multiple diamond albums.The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 22, 2013. They also released their first documentary movie, titled Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of in January 2015. In March 2017, the group began a residency in Las Vegas that lasted two years, titled Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life.
Eric Patrick Clapton, (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, widely regarded as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009.After playing in a number of different local bands, Clapton joined the Yardbirds in 1963, replacing founding guitarist Top Topham. Dissatisfied with the change of the Yardbirds sound from blues rock to a more radio-friendly pop rock sound, Clapton left in 1965 to play with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. On leaving Mayall in 1966, after one album, he formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop”. After Cream broke up in November 1968, he formed the blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech, recording one album and performing on one tour before they broke up. Clapton embarked on a solo career in 1970.
Alongside his solo career, he also performed with Delaney & Bonnie and Derek and the Dominos, with whom he recorded “Layla”, one of his signature songs. He continued to record a number of successful solo albums and songs over the next several decades, including a 1974 cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” (which helped reggae reach a mass market), the country-infused Slowhand album (1977) and the pop rock of 1986’s August. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Clapton’s grief was expressed in the song “Tears in Heaven”, which appeared on his Unplugged album, and in 1996 he had another top-40 hit with the R&B crossover “Change the World”. In 1998 he released the Grammy award-winning “My Father’s Eyes”. Since 1999, he has recorded a number of traditional blues and blues rock albums and hosted the periodic Crossroads Guitar Festival. His most recent studio album is Happy Xmas (2018).
Clapton has received 18 Grammy Awards as well as the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004 he was awarded a CBE for services to music. He has received four Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream.
In his solo career, Clapton has sold more than 280 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. In 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers.
Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and occasional actor. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has had ten No. 1 singles on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts: “Cracklin’ Rosie”, “Song Sung Blue”, “Longfellow Serenade”, “I’ve Been This Way Before”, “If You Know What I Mean”, “Desirée”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “America”, “Yesterday’s Songs”, and “Heartlight”. Thirty-eight songs by Diamond have been featured in the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. He also played in movies such as The Jazz Singer, a musical drama film.
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. In 2011, he was an honoree at the Kennedy Center Honors, and he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.In 2019, his 1969 signature song “Sweet Caroline” was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist, co-songwriter, and bassist for the Beatles. One of the most successful composers and performers of all time, he is known for his melodic approach to bass-playing, his versatile and wide tenor vocal range, and his musical eclecticism, exploring styles ranging from pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop to classical and electronica. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history.Born in Liverpool, McCartney taught himself piano, guitar and songwriting as a teenager, having been influenced by his father, a jazz player, and rock ‘n’ roll performers such as Little Richard and Buddy Holly. He began his career as a member of the Quarrymen in 1957, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Sometimes called “the cute Beatle”, McCartney later involved himself with the London avant-garde and spearheaded the incorporation of such experimental aesthetics into the Beatles’ studio productions. Starting with the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he gradually became the band’s de facto leader, providing the creative impetus for most of their music and film projects. Many of his Beatles songs, including “And I Love Her”, “Yesterday”, “Eleanor Rigby” and “Blackbird”, rank among the most covered songs in history.After the Beatles disbanded, he debuted as a solo artist with the 1970 album McCartney and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine. Led by McCartney, Wings was one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, with more than a dozen international top 10 singles and albums. He resumed his solo career in 1980 and has toured as a solo artist since 1989. Without Wings, his UK or US number-one hits have included “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (with Linda), “Coming Up”, “Pipes of Peace”, “Ebony and Ivory” (with Stevie Wonder) and “Say Say Say” (with Michael Jackson). Beyond music, he has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education.
McCartney has written or co-written 32 songs that have topped the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2009, had sales of 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the US. His honours include two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1999), 18 Grammy Awards, an appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965, and a knighthood in 1997 for services to music. As of 2020, he was one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated fortune of £800 million.
Santana is an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1966 by Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter Carlos Santana. The band has undergone multiple recording and performing line-ups in its history, with Carlos Santana the only consistent member. Santana had early success with their appearance at Woodstock in 1969 and their first three albums, Santana (1969), Abraxas (1970), and Santana III (1971). Other important core members during this period include Gregg Rolie, Michael Carabello, Michael Shrieve, David Brown, and José “Chepito” Areas, forming the “classic” line-up.
Following its initial success Santana experimented with elements of jazz fusion on Caravanserai (1972), Welcome (1973), and Borboletta (1974). Santana reached a new peak of commercial and critical success with Supernatural (1999) and its singles “Smooth”, featuring singer Rob Thomas, and “Maria Maria”. The album reached No. 1 in eleven countries and sold 12 million copies in the US alone. In 2014, the “classic” line-up reunited for Santana IV (2016) and the group continue to perform and record.
Santana is one of the best-selling groups of all time with over 47 million certified albums sold the US, and an estimated 100 million sold worldwide. Its discography include 25 studio albums, 14 of which reached the US top 10. In 1998, the line-up of Santana, Rolie, Carabello, Shrieve, Brown, and Areas was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2000, the band won six Grammy Awards in one night, a record tied with Michael Jackson, and three Latin Grammy Awards.
Kenneth Ray Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Rogers was particularly popular with country audiences but also charted more than 420 hit singles across various genres, topping the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone. He sold more than 100 million records worldwide during his lifetime, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His fame and career spanned multiple genres: jazz, folk, pop, rock, and country. He remade his career and was one of the most successful cross-over artists of all time.In the late 1950s, Rogers began his recording career with the Houston-based group the Scholars, who first released “The Poor Little Doggie”. After some solo releases, including 1958’s “That Crazy Feeling”, Rogers then joined a group with the jazz singer Bobby Doyle. In 1966 he became a member of the folk ensemble the New Christy Minstrels, playing double bass and bass guitar as well as singing. In 1967, he and several members of the New Christy Minstrels left to found the group the First Edition, with whom he scored his first major hit, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”, a psychedelic rock song which peaked at number five on the Billboard charts. As Rogers took an increased leadership role in the First Edition following the success of 1969’s “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, the band gradually changed styles to a more country feel. The band broke up in 1975–76, and Rogers embarked on a long and successful solo career, which included several successful collaborations, including duets with singers Dottie West, Dolly Parton, and Sheena Easton and a songwriting partnership with Lionel Richie. His signature song, 1978’s “The Gambler”, was a crossover hit that won him a Grammy Award in 1980 and was selected in 2018 for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. He developed the Gambler persona into a character for a successful series of television films starting with 1980’s Emmy-nominated Kenny Rogers as The Gambler.Rogers’ albums The Gambler and Kenny were featured in the About.com poll of “The 200 Most Influential Country Albums Ever”. He was voted the “Favorite Singer of All Time” in a 1986 joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People. He received numerous awards, such as the AMAs, Grammys, ACMs, and CMAs as well as a lifetime achievement award for a career spanning six decades in 2003. Later success included the 2006 album release Water & Bridges, an across-the-board hit that hit the Top 5 in the Billboard Country Albums sales charts, also charting in the Top 15 of the Billboard 200. The first single from the album, “I Can’t Unlove You”, was also a sizable chart hit. Remaining a popular entertainer around the world, he continued to tour regularly until his retirement in 2017.Rogers had acting roles in movies and television shows, including the title roles in Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, the MacShayne series for The NBC Mystery Movie, and the 1982 feature film Six Pack. He was a co-founder of the restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters in collaboration with former Kentucky Fried Chicken CEO John Y. Brown Jr. Although the stores closed in the United States, they are still a fixture in Asia.
Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the best-selling music groups of the 1960s, and their biggest hits—including “The Sound of Silence” (1965), “Mrs. Robinson” (1968), “The Boxer” (1969), and “Bridge over Troubled Water” (1970)—reached number one on singles charts worldwide.
Simon and Garfunkel met in elementary school in Queens, New York, in 1953, where they learned to harmonize and began writing songs. In 1957, under the name Tom & Jerry, the teenagers had their first minor success with “Hey Schoolgirl”, a song imitating their idols, the Everly Brothers. In 1963, aware of a growing public interest in folk music, they regrouped and were signed to Columbia Records as Simon & Garfunkel. Their debut, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., sold poorly; Simon returned to a solo career, this time in England. In June 1965, a new version of “The Sound of Silence” overdubbed with electric guitar and drums became a US AM radio hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The duo reunited to release a second studio album, Sounds of Silence, and tour colleges nationwide. On their third release, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966), they assumed more creative control. Their music was featured in the 1967 film The Graduate, giving them further exposure. Their next album Bookends (1968) topped the Billboard 200 chart and included the number-one single “Mrs. Robinson” from the film.
Simon and Garfunkel had a troubled relationship, leading to artistic disagreements and their breakup in 1970. Their final studio album, Bridge over Troubled Water, was released that January, becoming one of the world’s best-selling albums. After their breakup, Simon released a number of acclaimed albums, including 1986’s Graceland. Garfunkel released solo hits such as “All I Know” and briefly pursued an acting career, with leading roles in the Mike Nichols films Catch-22 and Carnal Knowledge and in Nicolas Roeg’s 1980 Bad Timing. The duo have reunited several times; their 1981 concert in Central Park attracted more than 500,000 people, one of the largest concert attendances in history.Simon & Garfunkel won 10 Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Richie Unterberger described them as “the most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s” and one of the most popular artists from the decade. They are among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 100 million records. They were ranked 40th on Rolling Stone’s 2010 list of the Greatest Artists of All Time and third on its list of the greatest duos.
Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. She is noted for her innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows. Her sound and choreography became a catalyst in the growth of MTV, enabling her to rise to prominence while breaking gender and racial barriers in the process. Lyrical content which focused on social issues set her reputation as a role model for youth.
The tenth and youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times, Diff’rent Strokes, and Fame. After signing a recording contract with A&M Records in 1982, she became a pop icon following the release of her third and fourth studio albums Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989). Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap, and industrial beats, which led to crossover success in popular music.
In 1991, Jackson signed the first of two record-breaking multimillion-dollar contracts with Virgin Records, establishing her as one of the highest-paid artists in the industry. Prior to her first studio project with Virgin, she appeared in her first of several lead film roles in Poetic Justice (1993). Her two studio albums which followed, Janet (1993) and The Velvet Rope (1997), saw her develop a public image as a sex symbol. These records, along with their promotional music videos and live performances in concert tours, branded Jackson as one of the world’s most erotic performers, garnering both criticism and praise. By the end of the 1990s, she was named by Billboard magazine as the second most successful recording artist of the decade after Mariah Carey. The release of her seventh studio album All for You in 2001 coincided with a celebration of her impact on the recording industry as the subject of the inaugural MTV Icon special.The backlash from the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy resulted in an industry blacklisting under the direction of Les Moonves, then-CEO of CBS Corporation. Jackson subsequently experienced reduced radio airplay, televised promotion and sales figures from that point forward. After parting ways with Virgin Records, she released her tenth studio album Discipline (2008), her first and only album with Island Records. In 2015, she partnered with BMG Rights Management to launch her own record label, Rhythm Nation and released her eleventh studio album Unbreakable the same year. Since then she has continued to release music as an independent artist.
Having sold over 100 million records, Jackson is one of the world’s best-selling music artists. She has amassed an extensive catalog, with singles such as “Nasty”, “Rhythm Nation”, “That’s the Way Love Goes”, “Together Again”, and “All for You”; she holds the record for the most consecutive top-ten entries on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with 18. She is also the only artist in the history of the chart to have seven commercial singles from one album (Rhythm Nation 1814) peak within the top five positions. In 2008, Billboard placed her number seven on its list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, and in 2010 ranked her fifth among the “Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years”. In December 2016, the magazine named her the second most successful dance club artist after Madonna. One of the world’s most awarded artists, her accolades include five Grammy Awards, eleven Billboard Music Awards, eleven American Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and eight Guinness World Records entries. In 2019, she was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Jackson has been cited as an inspiration among numerous performers and credited with elevating a standard of sound, showmanship and sex appeal expected of pop stars.
Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva (Spanish: [ˈxuljo iˈɣlesjas]; born 23 September 1943) is a Spanish singer, songwriter and former professional footballer. Iglesias is recognized as the most commercially successful continental European singer in the world and one of the top record sellers in music history, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide in 14 languages. It is estimated that during his career he has performed in more than 5000 concerts, for over 60 million people in five continents. In April 2013, Iglesias was inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 1983, Iglesias was celebrated as having recorded songs in the most languages in the world, and in 2013 for being the artist in Latin music with the most records sold in history. In April 2013 in Beijing, he was honoured as the most popular international artist in China. In Brazil, France, Italy and elsewhere, Iglesias is the most successful foreign record seller, while in his home country, Spain, he has sold the most records in history, with 23 million records.
During his career, Iglesias has won many awards in the music industry, including the Grammy, Latin Grammy, World Music Award, Billboard Music Award, American Music Award and Lo Nuestro Award. He has been awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts of Spain and the Legion of Honour of France. UNICEF named him Special Ambassador for the Performing Arts in 1989. He has had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 1985.
Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in London in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). They were active from 1977 to 1988 and again from 1991 to 1995.Their first single, “Sultans of Swing”, from their 1978 self-titled debut album, reached the top ten in the UK and US charts. It was followed by hit singles including “Romeo and Juliet” (1981), “Private Investigations” (1982), “Twisting by the Pool” (1983), “Money for Nothing” (1985), and “Walk of Life” (1985). Their most commercially successful album, Brothers in Arms (1985), has sold more than 30 million copies; it was the first album to sell a million copies on compact disc and is the eighth-bestselling album in UK history. According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Albums, Dire Straits have spent over 1,100 weeks on the UK albums chart, the fifth most of all time.Dire Straits’ sound draws from various influences, including country, folk, the blues rock of J. J. Cale, and jazz. Their stripped-down sound contrasted with punk rock and demonstrated a roots rock influence that emerged from pub rock. There were several changes in personnel, with Mark Knopfler and Illsley being the only members who lasted from the beginning of the band’s existence to the end. After their first breakup in 1988, Knopfler told Rolling Stone: “A lot of press reports were saying we were the biggest band in the world. There’s not an accent then on the music, there’s an accent on popularity. I needed a rest.” They disbanded for good in 1995, after which Knopfler launched a solo career full-time. He has since declined reunion offers.Dire Straits were called “the biggest British rock band of the 80s” by Classic Rock magazine; their 1985–1986 world tour, which included a performance at Live Aid in July 1985, set a record in Australasia. Their final world tour from 1991 to 1992 sold 7.1 million tickets. Dire Straits won four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards (Best British Group twice), two MTV Video Music Awards, and various other awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Dire Straits have sold an estimated 100 million units worldwide, including 51.4 million certified units, making them one of the best-selling music artists.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s; mostly due to Morrison’s lyrics and voice, along with his erratic stage persona, and the group was widely regarded as an important part of the era’s counterculture.The band took its name from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception, itself a reference to a quote by William Blake. After signing with Elektra Records in 1966, the Doors with Morrison released six albums in five years, some of which are considered among the greatest of all time, including their self-titled debut (1967), Strange Days (1967), and L.A. Woman (1971). They were one of the most successful bands during that time and by 1972 the Doors had sold over 4 million albums domestically and nearly 8 million singles.Morrison died in uncertain circumstances in 1971. The band continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973. They released three more albums in the 1970s, two of which featured earlier recordings by Morrison, and over the decades reunited on stage in various configurations. In 2002, Manzarek, Krieger and Ian Astbury of the Cult on vocals started performing as “The Doors of the 21st Century”. Densmore and the Morrison estate successfully sued them over the use of the band’s name. After a short time as Riders on the Storm, they settled on the name Manzarek–Krieger and toured until Manzarek’s death in 2013.
The Doors were the first American band to accumulate eight consecutive gold LPs. According to the RIAA, they have sold 34 million albums in the United States and over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. The Doors have been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by magazines including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 41st on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 1993, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Chicago is an American rock band formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1967. The group was initially billed as The Big Thing before calling themselves the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968, and then shortening the name in 1969. The self-described “rock and roll band with horns” blended elements of classical music, jazz, R&B, and pop music. They produced numerous top-40 hits over two decades, and continue to record and perform live.
Growing out of several Chicago-area bands in the late 1960s, the line-up consisted of Peter Cetera on bass, Terry Kath on guitar, Robert Lamm on keyboards,
Lee Loughnane on trumpet, James Pankow on trombone, Walter Parazaider on woodwinds, and Danny Seraphine on drums. Cetera, Kath, and Lamm shared lead vocal duties. Laudir de Oliveira joined the band as a percussionist and second drummer in 1974. Kath died in 1978, and was replaced by several guitarists in succession. Bill Champlin joined in 1981, providing vocals, keyboards, and rhythm guitar. Cetera left the band in 1985 and was replaced by Jason Scheff. Seraphine left in 1990, and was replaced by Tris Imboden. Although the band’s lineup has been more fluid since 2000, Lamm, Loughnane, and Pankow have remained constant members. Parazaider retired in 2017, but is still a band member.
The band’s first album, Chicago Transit Authority (1969), a sprawling double album filled with experimental rock songs, failed to produce a hit single. Their second album, another double album simply titled Chicago (1970) (later retroactively titled Chicago II), continued with the format of experimental rock; however, the album produced two top-10 singles, “Make Me Smile”, which peaked at 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “25 or 6 to 4”, which peaked at 4. Re-releases of several singles from the first album also charted in the top 10 in 1970, and 1971. The band would continue to produce hit albums based on the formula established with their first two records until 1978, when Kath died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound. The band changed sounds as the 1980s began, where Peter Cetera and producer David Foster took the band in a less progressive direction, producing a number of soft rock and easy listening hits, including “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (1982) from Chicago 16 and “You’re the Inspiration” (1984) from Chicago 17, the band’s biggest selling album in their career. Cetera left to pursue a solo career in 1985, but the band continued to produce hit singles under Foster’s direction, including “Will You Still Love Me?” (1986), featuring lead vocals from new bassist Jason Scheff, and the band’s best selling single of all time, “Look Away” (1988), with vocals by Bill Champlin. While the band failed to produce any hit songs from the 1990s onward, they continued to release albums and tour, including several highly successful co-headlining tours with fellow horn-based band Earth, Wind, and Fire. Their most recent album is Chicago XXXVII: Chicago Christmas from 2019.
In September 2008, Billboard ranked Chicago at number thirteen in a list of the top 100 artists of all time for Hot 100 singles chart success, and ranked them at number fifteen on the same list produced in October 2015. Billboard also ranked Chicago ninth on the list of the 100 greatest artists of all time in terms of Billboard 200 album chart success in October 2015. Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups, and one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 100 million records. In 1971, Chicago was the first rock act to sell out Carnegie Hall for a week.To date, Chicago has sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum, and eight multi-platinum albums. They have had five consecutive number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and 20 top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1974 the group had seven albums, its entire catalog at the time, on the Billboard 200 simultaneously. The group has received ten Grammy Award nominations, winning one for the song, “If You Leave Me Now”. The group’s first album, Chicago Transit Authority, released in 1969, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014. The original line-up of Chicago was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and James Pankow were elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame for their songwriting efforts as members of the music group. Chicago received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on October 16, 2020.
Robert Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career spanning 60 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defying pop music conventions and appealing to the burgeoning counterculture.Following his self-titled debut album in 1962, which mainly comprised traditional folk songs, Dylan made his breakthrough as a songwriter with the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan the following year. The album features “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the thematically complex “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”. Many of his songs adapted the tunes and phraseology of older folk songs. He went on to release the politically charged The Times They Are a-Changin’ and the more lyrically abstract and introspective Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964. In 1965 and 1966, Dylan drew controversy when he adopted electrically amplified rock instrumentation, and in the space of 15 months recorded three of the most important and influential rock albums of the 1960s: Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965) and Blonde on Blonde (1966). His six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965) expanded commercial and creative boundaries in popular music.In July 1966, a motorcycle accident led to Dylan’s withdrawal from touring. During this period, he recorded a large body of songs with members of the Band, who had previously backed him on tour. These recordings were released as the collaborative album The Basement Tapes in 1975. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dylan explored country music and rural themes in John Wesley Harding (1967), Nashville Skyline (1969), and New Morning (1970). In 1975, he released Blood on the Tracks, which many saw as a return to form. In the late 1970s, he became a born-again Christian and released a series of albums of contemporary gospel music before returning to his more familiar rock-based idiom in the early 1980s. Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind marked the beginning of a renaissance for his career. He has released five critically acclaimed albums of original material since then, the most recent being Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020). He also recorded a series of three albums in the 2010s comprising versions of traditional American standards, especially songs recorded by Frank Sinatra. Dylan has toured continuously since the late 1980s on what has become known as the Never Ending Tour.Since 1994, Dylan has published eight books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. He has sold more than 125 million records, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, ten Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award. Dylan has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Pulitzer Prize Board in 2008 awarded him a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”. In 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
Cher (; born Cherilyn Sarkisian; May 20, 1946) is an American singer, actress and television personality. Often referred to by the media as the “Goddess of Pop”, she has been described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry. Cher is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in numerous areas of entertainment, as well as adopting a variety of styles and appearances throughout her six-decade-long career.
Cher gained popularity in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher after their song “I Got You Babe” peaked at number one on the US and UK charts. By the end of 1967, they had sold 40 million records worldwide. Her solo career was established during the same time, with the top-ten singles “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” and “You Better Sit Down Kids”. She became a television personality in the 1970s with her CBS shows; first The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, watched by over 30 million viewers weekly during its three-year run, and then the eponymous Cher. She emerged as a fashion trendsetter by wearing elaborate outfits on her television shows.
While working on television, Cher released the US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”, “Half-Breed”, and “Dark Lady”, becoming the female artist with the most number-one singles in United States history at the time. After her divorce from Sonny Bono in 1975, she released the disco album Take Me Home (1979) and earned $300,000 a week for her 1979–1982 concert residency in Las Vegas.
In 1982, Cher made her Broadway debut in the play Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and starred in its film adaptation. She subsequently garnered critical acclaim for her performances in films such as Silkwood (1983), Mask (1985), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), and Moonstruck (1987), the last of which won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. She then revived her music career by recording the rock-inflected albums Cher (1987), Heart of Stone (1989), and Love Hurts (1991), all of which yielded successful singles such as “I Found Someone”, “If I Could Turn Back Time”, and “Love and Understanding”. Cher contributed to the soundtrack for her next film, Mermaids (1990), which spawned the UK number-one single “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)”. She made her directorial debut with a segment in the abortion-themed anthology If These Walls Could Talk (1996).
Cher reached a new commercial peak in 1998 with the dance-pop album Believe, whose title track topped the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1999 and became the biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist in the UK. It features pioneering use of Auto-Tune to distort her vocals, known as the “Cher effect”. Her 2002–2005 Living Proof: The Farewell Tour became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time, earning $250 million. In 2008, she signed a $60 million deal to headline the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for three years. During the 2010s, she landed starring roles in the films Burlesque (2010) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) and released studio albums Closer to the Truth (2013) and Dancing Queen (2018), both of which debuted at number three on the Billboard 200.
Having sold 100 million records, Cher is one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Her achievements include a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, the Billboard Icon Award, and awards from the Kennedy Center Honors and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. She is the only artist to date to have a number-one single on a Billboard chart in six consecutive decades, from the 1960s to the 2010s. Aside from music and acting, she is noted for her political views, social media presence, philanthropic endeavors, and social activism, including LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.
Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitars, backing vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitars, backing vocals). They established themselves as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement of the early 1980s.
The band’s greatest commercial success came between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Their first album, 1980’s On Through the Night, reached the Top 15 in the UK but received little notice elsewhere. Their second album, 1981’s High ‘n’ Dry, was produced by Mutt Lange, who helped them begin to define their melodic, hard rock style, and the album’s most popular track “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” became one of the first rock videos played on MTV in 1982, but the album only reached the Top 30 and 40 in the UK and US. Def Leppard’s next studio album, Pyromania, was released in January 1983, with “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” both topping the US Rock Tracks chart and reaching the Top 20 of the Hot 100. Reaching No. 2 on the US album chart, Pyromania was certified Diamond in the US and 7x platinum in Canada and reached the Top 20 in the UK but did not sell much elsewhere.
Def Leppard’s fourth album, the more pop-oriented Hysteria (1987), topped the UK, US, New Zealand, Canadian, Australian and Norway charts. It also went to No. 2 in Sweden and No. 10 in Germany without any Top 50 singles in those countries. It has been certified 12× platinum for sales in the US and 13x platinum in Canada, selling over 25 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. The album spawned six Top 20 US singles, including the US Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Love Bites” (went Top 10 in several other countries including No. 2 in NZ), alongside “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (US No. 2), “Hysteria”, “Armageddon It” (No. 2 in NZ), “Animal” (at No. 6, the biggest UK hit), and “Rocket” (a Top 15 hit in many countries). Hysteria had four Top 10 hits in New Zealand.
Their next studio album, Adrenalize (their first following the death of guitarist Steve Clark), reached No. 1 on the UK, US, NZ, Canadian and Australian charts in 1992, while going Top 10 in Sweden and Germany. It contained several hits, including the US Rock Tracks chart-topper, “Let’s Get Rocked”, which became their biggest hit in several countries, including No. 2 in the UK, No. 3 in Canada and Switzerland, and the Top 20 in Sweden and Germany. The third single, “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”, was a Top 15 song in the US, UK and Canada. Their 1993 album, Retro Active, contained the acoustic Top 5 North American hit “Two Steps Behind”. Their greatest hits album Vault, released in 1995, featured the UK No. 2 hit “When Love & Hate Collide” and reached the Top 10 in several countries, going 5x platinum in the US. Beginning with Slang, Def Leppard released five albums between 1996 and 2008, with most usually reaching the Top 15 in several countries, including the UK, US and Canada. Their most recent album, self-titled, was released in 2015 and once again reached the Top 15 in several countries.
As one of the world’s best-selling music artists, Def Leppard have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and have two albums with RIAA diamond certification: Pyromania and Hysteria, making them one of only five rock bands with two original studio albums selling more than 10 million copies in the US. The band were ranked No. 31 in VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and ranked No. 70 in “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Def Leppard were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.
Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The band’s most commercially successful line-up consists of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins. The 1970s line-up featuring singer Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett was among the pioneers of progressive rock.
The group were formed by five Charterhouse pupils, including Banks, Rutherford, Gabriel, and Anthony Phillips, and named by former Charterhouse pupil Jonathan King, who arranged for them to record several singles and their debut album From Genesis to Revelation in 1968. After splitting from King, the band began touring, signed with Charisma Records and became a progressive rock band on Trespass (1970). Following Phillips’ departure, Genesis recruited Collins and Hackett and recorded Nursery Cryme (1971). Their live shows began to feature Gabriel’s theatrical costumes and performances. Foxtrot (1972) was their first hit in the UK and Selling England by the Pound (1973) reached number three there, featuring their first UK hit “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”. The concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974) was promoted with a transatlantic tour and an elaborate stage show, before Gabriel left the group.
Collins took over as lead singer, and the group released A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering (both 1976) with continued success. Hackett left Genesis in 1977, reducing the band to Banks, Rutherford, and Collins. Their ninth studio album, …And Then There Were Three… (1978), contained the band’s first major hit “Follow You Follow Me”. Their next five albums – Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), Genesis (1983), Invisible Touch (1986) and We Can’t Dance (1991) – were also successful. Collins left Genesis in 1996, and Banks and Rutherford replaced him with Ray Wilson, who appeared on their final album Calling All Stations (1997). The commercial failure of the album led to a group hiatus. Banks, Rutherford and Collins reunited for the Turn It On Again Tour in 2007, and again in 2021 for The Last Domino? Tour.
With between 100 million and 150 million albums sold worldwide, Genesis are one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Their discography includes 15 studio and six live albums. They have won numerous awards (including a Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video with “Land of Confusion”) and have inspired a number of tribute bands recreating Genesis shows from various stages of the band’s career. In 2010 Genesis were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie ( BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, and his music and stagecraft had a significant impact on popular music.
Bowie developed an interest in music as a child. He studied art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. “Space Oddity”, released in 1969, was his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart. After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The character was spearheaded by the success of Bowie’s single “Starman” and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity. In 1975, Bowie’s style shifted towards a sound he characterised as “plastic soul”, initially alienating many of his UK fans but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single “Fame” and the album Young Americans. In 1976, Bowie starred in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth and released Station to Station. In 1977, he further confounded expectations with the electronic-inflected album Low, the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that came to be known as the “Berlin Trilogy”. “Heroes” (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise.
After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had three number-one hits: the 1980 single “Ashes to Ashes”, its album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), and “Under Pressure” (a 1981 collaboration with Queen). He reached his peak commercial success in 1983 with Let’s Dance: its title track topped both the UK and US charts. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including industrial and jungle. He also continued acting: his roles included Major Jack Celliers in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth (1986), Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Nikola Tesla in The Prestige (2006), among other film and television appearances and cameos. He stopped touring after 2004 and his last live performance was at a charity event in 2006. In 2013, Bowie returned from a decade-long recording hiatus with The Next Day. He remained musically active until his death from liver cancer at his home in New York City. He died two days after both his 69th birthday and the release of his final album, Blackstar (2016).
During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at over 100 million records worldwide, made him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In the UK, he was awarded ten platinum, eleven gold and eight silver album certifications, and released 11 number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and nine gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Rolling Stone named him among the greatest artists in history and – after his death – the “greatest rock star ever”.
Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950), known professionally as Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. Wonder is credited as a pioneer and influence by musicians across a range of genres that includes rhythm and blues, pop, soul, gospel, funk, and jazz. A virtual one-man band, his use of synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments during the 1970s reshaped the conventions of R&B. He also helped drive the genre into the album era, crafting his LPs as cohesive, consistent socially conscious statements with complex compositions.
Blind since shortly after his birth, Wonder was a child prodigy who signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of 11, where he was given the professional name Little Stevie Wonder. In 1963, the single “Fingertips” was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when Wonder was 13, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart. Wonder’s critical success was at its peak in the 1970s. His “classic period” began in 1972 with the releases of Music of My Mind and Talking Book, the latter featuring “Superstition”, which is one of the most distinctive and famous examples of the sound of the Hohner Clavinet keyboard. His works Innervisions (1973), Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974) and Songs in the Key of Life (1976) all won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, making him the tied-record holder for the most Album of the Year wins, with three. He is also the only artist to have won the award with three consecutive album releases.
His “classic period”, which culminated in 1976, was marked by his funky keyboard style, personal control of production, and use of integrated series of songs to make concept albums. In 1979, Wonder used Computer Music Inc.’s early music sampler, the Melodian, on his soundtrack album Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through “The Secret Life of Plants”. This was his first digital recording and one of the earliest popular albums to use the technology, which Wonder used for all subsequent recordings.
Wonder is one of the world’s best-selling musicians, with sales of over 100 million records worldwide. He has won 25 Grammy Awards (the most by a solo artist) and one Academy Award (Best Original Song, for the 1984 film The Woman in Red). Wonder has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday in the U.S. In 2009, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace, and in 2014, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. A six-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the No. 3 single “Fire and Rain” and had his first No. 1 hit in 1971 with his recording of “You’ve Got a Friend”, written by Carole King in the same year. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million copies in the US alone. Following his 1977 album JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. Every album that he released from 1977 to 2007 sold over 1 million copies. He enjoyed a resurgence in chart performance during the late 1990s and 2000s, when he recorded some of his most-awarded work (including Hourglass, October Road, and Covers). He achieved his first number-one album in the US in 2015 with his recording Before This World.Taylor is also known for his covers, such as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” and “Handy Man”, as well as originals such as “Sweet Baby James”. He played the leading role in Monte Hellman’s 1971 film Two-Lane Blacktop.
Dame Olivia Newton-John (born 26 September 1948) is a British-Australian singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur and activist. She is a four-time Grammy Award winner whose music career includes five US number-one hits and another ten top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and two Billboard 200 number-one albums, If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974) and Have You Never Been Mellow (1975). Eleven of her singles (including two Platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two Platinum and four 2× Platinum) have been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With global sales of over 100 million records, Newton-John is one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present.In 1978, she starred in the musical film Grease, whose soundtrack remains one of the world’s best-selling albums of recorded music. It features two major hit duets with co-star John Travolta: “You’re the One That I Want” – which ranks as one of the best-selling singles of all time – and “Summer Nights”. Her signature solo recordings include the Record of the Year Grammy winner “I Honestly Love You” (1974) and “Physical” (1981) – Billboard’s Top Hot 100 Single of the 1980s – plus her cover of “If Not for You” (1971), “Let Me Be There” (1973), “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” (1974), “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975), “Sam” (1977), “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (also from Grease), “A Little More Love” (1978), from the 1980 film Xanadu, “Magic” and “Xanadu” (with Electric Light Orchestra), “Heart Attack” (1982), and from the 1983 film Two of a Kind, “Twist of Fate”.
Newton-John has been a longtime activist for environmental and animal rights issues. She has been an advocate for health awareness, becoming involved with various charities, health products and fundraising efforts. Her business interests have included launching several product lines for Koala Blue and co-owning the Gaia Retreat & Spa in her home country Australia.
Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an American-born Swiss singer, songwriter and actress. Widely referred to as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, she rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue before launching a successful career as a solo performer.
Turner began her career with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm in 1957. Under the name Little Ann, she appeared on her first record, “Boxtop”, in 1958. In 1960, she was introduced as Tina Turner with the hit duet single “A Fool in Love”. The duo Ike & Tina Turner became “one of the most formidable live acts in history”. They released hits such as “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, “River Deep – Mountain High”, “Proud Mary”, and “Nutbush City Limits” before disbanding in 1976.
In the 1980s, Turner launched “one of the greatest comebacks in music history”. Her 1984 multi-platinum album Private Dancer contained the hit song “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became her first and only No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. At age 44, she was the oldest female solo artist to top the Hot 100. Her chart success continued with “Better Be Good to Me”, “Private Dancer”, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)”, “Typical Male”, “The Best”, “I Don’t Wanna Fight”, and “GoldenEye”. During her Break Every Rule World Tour in 1988, she set a then-Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience (180,000) for a solo performer. Turner also acted in the films Tommy (1975), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Last Action Hero (1993). In 1993, What’s Love Got to Do with It, a biopic adapted from her autobiography I, Tina: My Life Story, was released. In 2009, Turner retired after completing her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour, which is the 15th highest-grossing tour of the 2000s. In 2018, she became the subject of the jukebox musical Tina.
Having sold over 100 million records worldwide, Turner is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. She has received 12 Grammy Awards, which include eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the first black artist and first female to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone ranked her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St. Louis Walk of Fame. She is a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with Ike Turner in 1991 and as a solo artist in 2021. Turner is also a 2005 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and Women of the Year award.
Linda Maria Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946) is a retired American singer who performed and recorded in diverse genres including rock, country, light opera, and Latin. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award. Many of her albums have been certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum in the United States and internationally. She has also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award. She was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Recording Academy in 2011 and also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the Recording Academy in 2016. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014. On July 28, 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities. In 2019, she received a star jointly with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their work as the group Trio. Ronstadt was among five honorees who received the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements.
Ronstadt has released 24 studio albums and 15 compilation or greatest hits albums. She charted 38 US Billboard Hot 100 singles. Twenty-one of those singles reached the top 40, ten reached the top 10, and one reached number one (“You’re No Good”). Ronstadt also charted in UK as two of her duets, “Somewhere Out There” with James Ingram and “Don’t Know Much” with Aaron Neville, peaked at numbers 8 and 2 respectively and the single “Blue Bayou” reached number 35 on the UK Singles charts. She has charted 36 albums, ten top-10 albums, and three number 1 albums on the US Billboard Pop Album Chart.
Ronstadt has collaborated with artists in diverse genres, including: Bette Midler, Billy Eckstine, Frank Zappa, Carla Bley (Escalator Over the Hill), Rosemary Clooney, Flaco Jiménez, Philip Glass, Warren Zevon, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Earl Scruggs, Johnny Cash, and Nelson Riddle. She has lent her voice to over 120 albums and has sold more than 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Christopher Loudon, of Jazz Times, wrote in 2004 that Ronstadt is “blessed with arguably the most sterling set of pipes of her generation.”Ronstadt reduced her activity after 2000 when she felt her singing voice deteriorating, releasing her last full-length album in 2004 and performing her last live concert in 2009. She announced her retirement in 2011 and revealed shortly afterwards that she is no longer able to sing as a result of a degenerative condition later determined to be progressive supranuclear palsy. Since then, Ronstadt has continued to make public appearances, going on a number of public speaking tours in the 2010s. She published an autobiography, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir, in September 2013. A documentary based on her memoirs, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, was released in 2019.
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band that formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group’s original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Distinguished by their vocal harmonies, adolescent-oriented themes, and musical ingenuity, they became one of the most influential acts of the rock era. They drew on the music of older pop vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B to create their unique sound, and under Brian’s direction, often incorporated classical or jazz elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways.
One of the first self-contained rock groups, the Beach Boys began as a garage band, managed by the Wilsons’ father Murry, and with Brian as composer, arranger, producer, and de facto leader. In 1963, they had their first national hit with “Surfin’ U.S.A.”, beginning a string of top-ten singles that reflected a southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, dubbed the “California sound”. They were one of the few American rock bands to sustain their commercial standing during the British Invasion. Starting with 1965’s The Beach Boys Today!, they abandoned beachgoing themes for more personal lyrics and ambitious orchestrations. In 1966, the Pet Sounds album and “Good Vibrations” single raised the group’s prestige as rock innovators. After scrapping the Smile album in 1967, Brian gradually ceded control of the group to his bandmates.
In the late 1960s, the group’s commercial momentum faltered in the US, and despite efforts to maintain an experimental sound, they were widely dismissed by the early rock music press. Carl took over as the band’s musical leader; records from this period later enjoyed a cult following among fans. In the mid-1970s, as their concerts drew larger audiences, the band transitioned into an oldies act. Dennis drowned in 1983 and Brian soon became estranged from the group. Following Carl’s death from lung cancer in 1998, the band granted Love legal rights to tour under the group’s name. In the early 2010s, the original members briefly reunited for the band’s 50th anniversary. As of 2021, Wilson and Jardine do not perform with Love’s edition of the Beach Boys, but remain official members of the band.
The Beach Boys are one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful bands of all time, selling over 100 million records worldwide. They helped legitimize popular music as a recognized art form and influenced the development of music genres and movements such as psychedelia, power pop, progressive rock, punk, alternative, and lo-fi. Between the 1960s and 2010s, the group had 36 songs reach the US Top 40 (the most by an American band), with four topping the Billboard Hot 100. In 2004, they were ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest artists of all time. The founding members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known professionally as Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s and became known as the “Queen of Disco”, while her music gained a global following.Influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, Summer became the lead singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. In 1968 she joined a German adaptation of the musical Hair in Munich, where she spent several years living, acting, and singing. There, she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, and they went on to record influential disco hits together such as “Love to Love You Baby” and “I Feel Love”, marking Summer’s breakthrough into international music markets. Summer returned to the United States in 1976, and more hits such as “Last Dance”, her version of “MacArthur Park”, “Heaven Knows”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” with Barbra Streisand, and “On the Radio” followed.
Summer earned a total of 42 hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 in her lifetime, with 14 of those reaching the top ten. She claimed a top-40 hit every year between 1975 and 1984, and from her first top-ten hit in 1976, to the end of 1982, she had 12 top-ten hits (10 were top-five hits), more than any other act during that time period. She returned to the Hot 100’s top five in 1983, and claimed her final top-ten hit in 1989 with “This Time I Know It’s for Real”. She was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach the top of the US Billboard 200 chart and charted four number-one singles in the US within a 12-month period. She also charted two number-one singles on the R&B Singles chart in the US and a number-one single in the United Kingdom. Her most recent Hot 100 hit came in 1999 with “I Will Go with You (Con te partirò)”. While her fortunes on the Hot 100 waned in subsequent decades, Summer remained a force on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart throughout her entire career.
Summer died on May 17, 2012, from lung cancer, at her home in Naples, Florida. She sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She won five Grammy Awards. In her obituary in The Times, she was described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.” Moroder described Summer’s work on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In December 2016, Billboard ranked her sixth on its list of the “Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists”.
Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known professionally as Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. A classically trained pianist, Keys began composing songs by age 12 and was signed at 15 years old by Columbia Records. After disputes with the label, she signed with Arista Records and later released her debut album, Songs in A Minor, with J Records in 2001. The album was critically and commercially successful, producing her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single “Fallin'” and selling over 12 million copies worldwide. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002. Her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003), was also a critical and commercial success, spawning successful singles “You Don’t Know My Name”, “If I Ain’t Got You”, and “Diary”, and selling eight million copies worldwide. The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards. Her duet “My Boo” with Usher became her second number-one single in 2004. Keys released her first live album, Unplugged (2005), and became the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one. Her third album, As I Am (2007), produced the Hot 100 number-one single “No One”, selling seven million copies worldwide and earning an additional three Grammy Awards. In 2007, Keys made her film debut in the action-thriller film Smokin’ Aces. She released the theme song to the James Bond film Quantum of Solace “Another Way to Die” with Jack White.
Her fourth album, The Element of Freedom (2009), became her first chart-topping album in the United Kingdom, and sold four million copies worldwide. Keys also collaborated with Jay-Z on “Empire State of Mind” (2009), which became her fourth number-one single in the United States and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The Element of Freedom spawned the Billboard Hot 100 charting singles “Doesn’t Mean Anything”, “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart”, “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” and “Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down”. Her fifth album Girl on Fire (2012) was her fifth Billboard 200 topping album, spawning the successful title track, and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. In 2013, VH1 Storytellers was released as her second live album. Her sixth studio album, Here (2016), became her seventh US R&B/Hip-Hop chart-topping album. Her seventh studio album, Alicia (2020) spawned the singles “Show Me Love” and “Underdog”.
Keys has sold over 90 million records worldwide, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists and she was named by Billboard the top R&B artist of the 2000s decade. She has received numerous accolades in her career, including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards, and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Music Publishers Association. She placed tenth on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. VH1 included her on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and 100 Greatest Women in Music lists, while Time has named her in their 100 list of most influential people in 2005 and 2017. Keys is also acclaimed for her humanitarian work, philanthropy and activism, e.g. being awarded Ambassador of Conscience by Amnesty International; she co-founded and serves as the Global Ambassador of the nonprofit HIV/AIDS-fighting organization Keep a Child Alive.
The Carpenters (officially known as Carpenters) were an American vocal and instrumental duo consisting of siblings Karen (1950–1983) and Richard Carpenter (born 1946). They produced a distinct soft musical style, combining Karen’s contralto vocals with Richard’s harmonizing, arranging and composition skills. During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded 10 albums along with numerous singles and several television specials.
The siblings were born in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to Downey, California, in 1963. Richard took piano lessons as a child, progressing to California State University, Long Beach, while Karen learned the drums. They first performed together as a duo in 1965 and formed the jazz-oriented Richard Carpenter Trio followed by the middle-of-the-road group Spectrum. Signing as Carpenters to A&M Records in 1969, they achieved major success the following year with the hit singles “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun”. The duo’s brand of melodic pop produced a record-breaking run of hit recordings on the American Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts, and they became leading sellers in the soft rock, easy listening and adult contemporary music genres. They had three number-one singles and five number-two singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and 15 number-one hits on the Adult Contemporary chart, in addition to 12 top-10 singles.
The duo toured continually during the 1970s, which put them under increased strain; Richard took a year off in 1979 after he had become addicted to Quaalude, while Karen suffered from anorexia nervosa. Their joint career ended in 1983 when Karen died from heart failure brought on by complications of anorexia. Extensive news coverage surrounding these circumstances increased public awareness of eating disorders. Their music continues to attract critical acclaim and commercial success. They have sold more than 90 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire (EW&F or EWF) is an American band that has spanned the musical genres of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, dance, Latin, and Afro pop. They have been described as one of the most innovative and are among the most commercially successful acts of all time. With sales of over 90 million records, they are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.The band was founded in Chicago by Maurice White in 1969, having grown out of a previous band known as the Salty Peppers. Other prominent members of EWF have included Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Roland Bautista, Robert Brookins, Sonny Emory, Fred Ravel, Ronnie Laws, Sheldon Reynolds and Andrew Woolfolk. The band is known for its kalimba sound, dynamic horn section, energetic and elaborate stage shows, and the contrast between Philip Bailey’s falsetto vocals and Maurice White’s baritone.The band has won 6 Grammys from their 17 nominations and four American Music Awards out of 12 nominations. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame, and Hollywood’s Rockwalk, in addition to receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The band has also received an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award, BET Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Soul Train Legend Award, as well as a NARAS Signature Governor’s Award, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2012 Congressional Horizon Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2019. Rolling Stone called them “innovative, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing” and declared that the band “changed the sound of black pop”. VH1 has also described EWF as “one of the greatest bands” ever.
Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. (born June 20, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. He rose to fame in the 1970s as a songwriter and the co-lead singer of funk band the Commodores; writing and recording the hit singles “Easy”, “Sail On”, “Three Times a Lady” and “Still”, with the group before his departure. In 1980, he wrote and produced the US Billboard Hot 100 number one single “Lady” for Kenny Rogers. The following year, Richie launched his solo career with the duet “Endless Love” with Diana Ross, which reached number one and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and his debut solo album, Lionel Richie (1982), which sold over four million copies and spawned the singles “You Are” , “My Love”, and the number one single “Truly”.
His second album, Can’t Slow Down (1983), reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold over 20 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time; and spawned the number one singles “All Night Long (All Night)” and “Hello”. He then co-wrote the 1985 charity single “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson, which sold over 20 million copies. His third album, Dancing on the Ceiling (1986), spawned the number one single “Say You, Say Me” (from the 1985 film White Nights) and the #2 hit title track. From 1986 to 1996, Richie took a break from recording; he has since then released seven studio albums. In 2018, he joined the singing competition American Idol, to serve as a judge.During his solo career, Richie became one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s, and has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. He has won four Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year for “We Are the World”, and Album of the Year for Can’t Slow Down. “Say You, Say Me” won both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe award for best original song from a film. In 2016, Richie received the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award. In 2022, he will be inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame.
John R. Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Much of Cash’s music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. He was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band characterized by train-like chugging guitar rhythms, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark all-black stage wardrobe which earned him the nickname “The Man in Black”.Born to poor cotton farmers in Kingsland, Arkansas, Cash rose to fame in the burgeoning rockabilly scene in Memphis, Tennessee, after four years in the Air Force. He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”, followed by “Folsom Prison Blues”, one of his signature songs. Alongside “Folsom Prison Blues”, his other signature songs include “I Walk the Line”, “Ring of Fire”, “Get Rhythm”, and “Man in Black”. He also recorded humorous numbers like “One Piece at a Time” and “A Boy Named Sue”, a duet with his future wife June called “Jackson” (followed by many further duets after their wedding), and railroad songs such as “Hey, Porter”, “Orange Blossom Special”, and “Rock Island Line”. During the last stage of his career, he covered songs by contemporary rock artists of the time; his most notable covers were “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails, “Rusty Cage” by Soundgarden and, “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode.
Cash is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. His genre-spanning music embraced country, rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel sounds. This crossover appeal earned him the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame. His music career was dramatised in the 2005 biopic Walk the Line.
Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with sales of over 88 million records worldwide. Timberlake is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including ten Grammy Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, three Brit Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, the Contemporary Icon Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. According to Billboard, he is the best performing male soloist in the history of the Mainstream Top 40.
Born and raised in Tennessee, he appeared on the television shows Star Search and The All-New Mickey Mouse Club as a child. In the late 1990s, Timberlake rose to prominence as one of the two lead vocalists and youngest member of NSYNC, which eventually became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time. Timberlake won two Grammy Awards for his R&B-focused debut solo album Justified (2002) and its single “Cry Me a River”. Another single from the album, “Rock Your Body”, was also successful.
His critically acclaimed second album FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006), characterized by its diversity in music genres, debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200 and spawned the Hot 100 consecutive number-one singles with “SexyBack” (featuring Timbaland), “My Love” (featuring T.I.), and “What Goes Around… Comes Around”. Established as a solo artist worldwide, his first two albums both exceeded sales of 10 million copies, as he continued producing records and collaborating with other artists.
From 2008 through 2012, Timberlake focused on his acting career, effectively putting his music career on hiatus. He held starring roles in the films The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits, and In Time.
Timberlake resumed his music career in 2013 with his third and fourth albums The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2, exploring neo soul styles, partly inspired by the expansive song structures of 1960s and 1970s rock. The former became the best-selling album of the year and spawned the top three singles “Suit & Tie” (featuring Jay-Z) and “Mirrors”. Timberlake voiced Branch in DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls (2016), whose soundtrack includes his fifth Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”, which earned him a Academy Award nomination. His fifth studio album Man of the Woods (2018) became his fourth number-one album in the US. Supported by the two top ten singles, “Filthy” and “Say Something” (featuring Chris Stapleton), it concluded 2018 as the sixth best-selling album of the year.
Ariana Grande-Butera (; born June 26, 1993) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her music, much of which is based on personal experiences, has been the subject of widespread media attention, while her four-octave vocal range has received critical acclaim. She has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including two Grammy Awards, one Brit Award, two Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards, nine MTV Video Music Awards, and 27 Guinness World Records.
Grande began her music career at age 15 in the 2008 Broadway musical 13. She rose to fame for playing Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television series Victorious (2010–2013) and Sam & Cat (2013–2014). Grande signed with Republic Records in 2011 after label executives discovered YouTube videos of her covering songs. Her 1950s doo-wop-influenced pop and R&B debut album, Yours Truly (2013), topped the US Billboard 200, while its lead single, “The Way”, reached the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100. Grande’s voice and whistle register on the album drew immediate comparisons to those of Mariah Carey.
She continued to explore pop and R&B in her second and third studio albums, My Everything (2014) and Dangerous Woman (2016). The former experimented with EDM and achieved global success with its singles “Problem”, “Break Free” and “Bang Bang”; the latter became her first of four consecutive number-one albums on the UK Albums Chart. Personal struggles influenced her trap-infused fourth and fifth studio albums, Sweetener (2018) and Thank U, Next (2019), both of which were critical and commercial successes. Sweetener won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album, and Thank U, Next broke the record for the largest streaming week for a pop album and was nominated for Album of the Year. The singles “Thank U, Next”, “7 Rings”, and “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” made Grande the first solo artist to hold the top three spots on the Hot 100 simultaneously and the first woman to succeed herself at the top of the UK Singles Chart. Her 2020 collaborations “Stuck with U” with Justin Bieber and “Rain on Me” with Lady Gaga helped her break the record for most number-one debuts on the Hot 100, the latter winning the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Grande’s R&B-forward sixth studio album, Positions (2020), and its title track debuted at number-one in both the UK and US. In 2021, Grande earned her sixth US number-one single after featuring on the remix of The Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears”.
Often regarded as a pop icon, Grande is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold more than 85 million records across all albums, singles, and collaborations, and all of her studio albums have been certified platinum or higher. Among her Hot 100 records, she is the first artist and only woman to have five number-one debuts, to have their first five number one singles debut at the top spot, to chart three number one-debuts in one calendar year, and to debut the lead singles from each of her studio albums in the top ten. Having amassed 98 billion streams thus far, Grande is the most streamed female artist ever. She is also the most streamed female artist on Spotify and Apple Music, the most followed female artist on Spotify, and the most subscribed female artist on YouTube. She has been included on Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world (2016 and 2019) and the Forbes Celebrity 100 (2019–2020). Grande was named Woman of the Year (2018), the greatest pop star of 2019, and the most accomplished female artist to debut in the 2010s by Billboard. Aside from music, Grande advocates for gender, racial, and LGBT equality. She became the most followed female on Instagram in 2019 and has also ventured into the cosmetics and fashion industries.
Tramar Lacel Dillard (born September 16, 1979), better known by his stage name Flo Rida (, floh RY-də), is an American rapper and singer from Carol City, Florida. His 2007 breakout single “Low” was number one for 10 weeks in the United States and broke the record for digital download sales at the time of its release.
Flo Rida’s debut studio album, 2008’s Mail on Sunday, reached number four in the US. The album was succeeded by R.O.O.T.S., the next year. His subsequent albums, 2010’s Only One Flo (Part 1) and 2012’s Wild Ones, also charted on the US Billboard 200 chart. Flo Rida has sold over 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists. His catalog includes the international hit singles “Right Round”, “Club Can’t Handle Me”, “Good Feeling”, “Wild Ones”, “Whistle”, “I Cry”, “G.D.F.R.” and “My House”.
Не represented San Marino, together with Senhit, at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam with the song “Adrenalina”. They scored 50 points, finishing 22nd overall in the final.
R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe, who were students at the University of Georgia. Liner notes from some of the band’s albums list attorney Bertis Downs and manager Jefferson Holt as non-musical members. One of the first alternative rock bands, R.E.M. was noted for Buck’s ringing, arpeggiated guitar style; Stipe’s distinctive vocal quality, unique stage presence, and obscure lyrics; Mills’s melodic bass lines and backing vocals; and Berry’s tight, economical drumming style. In the early 1990s, other alternative rock acts such as Nirvana and Pavement viewed R.E.M. as a pioneer of the genre. After Berry left the band in 1997, the band continued its career in the 2000s with mixed critical and commercial success. The band broke up amicably in 2011 with members devoting time to solo projects after having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide and becoming one of the world’s best-selling music acts.
R.E.M. released its first single, “Radio Free Europe”, in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. It was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band’s first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the group released its critically acclaimed debut album, Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years through releases every year from 1984 to 1988: Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction, Lifes Rich Pageant, Document and Green, including an intermittent b-side compilation Dead Letter Office. Don Dixon and Mitch Easter produced their first two albums, Joe Boyd handled production on Fables of the Reconstruction and Don Gehman produced Lifes Rich Pageant. Thereafter, R.E.M. settled on Scott Litt as producer for the next 10 years during the band’s most successful period of their career. They also started co-producing their material and playing other instruments in the studio apart from the main ones they play. With constant touring, and the support of college radio following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit with the 1987 single “The One I Love”. The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.
R.E.M.’s most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), put them in the vanguard of alternative rock just as it was becoming mainstream. Out of Time received seven nominations at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards, and lead single “Losing My Religion”, was R.E.M.’s highest-charting and best-selling hit. Monster (1994) continued its run of success. The band began its first tour in six years to support the album; the tour was marred by medical emergencies suffered by three of the band members. In 1996, R.E.M. re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported US$80 million, at the time the most expensive recording contract ever. The tour was productive and the band recorded the following album mostly during soundchecks. The resulting record, New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996), is hailed as the band’s last great album and the members’ favorite, growing in cult status over the years. Berry left the band the following year, and Stipe, Buck, and Mills continued as a musical trio, supplemented by studio and live musicians, such as multi-instrumentalists Scott McCaughey and Ken Stringfellow and drummers Joey Waronker and Bill Rieflin. They also parted ways with their longtime manager Jefferson Holt and band’s attorney Bertis Downs assumed managerial duties. Seeking to also renovate their sound, the band stopped working with Scott Litt, co-producer and contributor to six of their studio albums and hired Pat McCarthy as co-producer, who had participated before that as mixer and engineer on their last two albums.
After the electronic experimental direction of Up (1998) that was commercially unsuccessful, Reveal (2001) was referred to as “a conscious return to their classic sound” which received general acclaim. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in its first year of eligibility and Berry reunited with the band for the ceremony and to record a cover of John Lennon’s “#9 Dream” for the compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur to benefit Amnesty International’s campaign to alleviate the Darfur conflict. Looking for a change of sound after lukewarm reception for Around the Sun (2004), the band collaborated with co-producer Jacknife Lee on their last two studio albums—the well-received Accelerate (2008) and Collapse into Now (2011)—as well as their first live albums after decades of touring. R.E.M. disbanded amicably in September 2011, with former members having continued with various musical projects, and several live and archival albums have since been released.
Samuel Timothy McGraw (born May 1, 1967) is an American country singer, actor, guitarist, and record producer. McGraw has released 16 studio albums (11 for Curb Records, four for Big Machine Records and one for Arista Nashville). 10 of those albums have reached number one on the Top Country Albums charts, with his 1994 breakthrough album Not a Moment Too Soon being the top country album of 1994. In total, McGraw’s albums have produced 65 singles, 25 of which have reached number one on the Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts. Three of these singles – “It’s Your Love”, “Just to See You Smile”, and “Live Like You Were Dying” – were respectively the top country songs of 1997, 1998, and 2004 according to Billboard Year-End. He has also won three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music awards, 11 Country Music Association (CMA) awards, 10 American Music Awards, and three People’s Choice Awards. His Soul2Soul II Tour, which was done in partnership with his wife, Faith Hill, is one of the highest-grossing tours in country music history, and one of the top five among all genres of music. He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.McGraw has ventured into acting, with supporting roles in The Blind Side (with Sandra Bullock), Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom, Tomorrowland, and Four Christmases (with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon), and The Shack, and lead roles in Flicka (2006) and Country Strong (2010). He was a minority owner of the Arena Football League’s Nashville Kats.
In acknowledgement of his grandfather’s Italian heritage, McGraw was honored by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in 2004, receiving the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Music during the Foundation’s 29th Anniversary Gala.
He has been married to singer Faith Hill since 1996, and is a son of former MLB pitcher Tug McGraw.
Van Halen(Rock Band)
Van Halen ( van HAY-len) was an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1973. Credited with “restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene”, Van Halen was known for its energetic live shows and for the virtuosic talent of its lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
From 1974 until 1985, Van Halen consisted of Eddie Van Halen; Eddie’s brother, drummer Alex Van Halen; vocalist David Lee Roth; and bassist/vocalist Michael Anthony. Upon its release in 1978, the band’s self-titled debut album reached No. 19 on the Billboard pop music charts and would sell over 10 million copies in the U.S. By 1982, the band released four more albums (Van Halen II, Women and Children First, Fair Warning, and Diver Down), all of which have since been certified multi-platinum. By the early 1980s, Van Halen was one of the most successful rock acts of the day. The album 1984 was a commercial success with U.S. sales of 10 million copies and four hit singles; its lead single, “Jump”, was the band’s only U.S. number one single.
In 1985, Roth left the band to embark on a solo career and was replaced by former Montrose lead vocalist Sammy Hagar. With Hagar, the group released four U.S. number-one, multi-platinum albums over the course of 11 years (5150 in 1986, OU812 in 1988, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge in 1991, and Balance in 1995). Hagar left the band in 1996 shortly before the release of the band’s first greatest hits collection, Best Of – Volume I. Former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone replaced Hagar and recorded the commercially unsuccessful album Van Halen III with the band in 1998, before parting ways in 1999. Van Halen then went on hiatus until reuniting with Hagar in 2003 for a worldwide tour in 2004 and the double-disc greatest hits collection The Best of Both Worlds. Hagar again left Van Halen in 2005. In 2006 Roth returned, but Anthony was replaced on bass guitar by Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen. In 2012, the band released their final studio album A Different Kind of Truth, which was commercially and critically successful; it was also Van Halen’s first album with Roth in 28 years and the only one to feature Wolfgang.
As of March 2019, Van Halen is 20th on the RIAA list of best-selling artists in the United States; the band has sold 56 million albums in the States and more than 80 million worldwide, making them one of the best-selling groups of all time. As of 2007, Van Halen is one of only five rock bands with two studio albums to sell more than 10 million copies in the United States and is tied for the most multi-platinum albums by an American band. Additionally, Van Halen has charted 13 number-one hits on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. VH1 ranked the band seventh on a list of the top 100 Hard Rock artists of all time.Eddie was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, finally succumbing to the disease on October 6, 2020. A month after his father’s death, Wolfgang confirmed that Van Halen had disbanded.
Journey is an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1973 by former members of Santana, Steve Miller Band, and Frumious Bandersnatch.
Journey had their biggest commercial success between 1978 and 1987, when Steve Perry was lead vocalist; they released a series of hit songs, including “Don’t Stop Believin'” (1981), which in 2009 became the top-selling track in iTunes history among songs not released in the 21st century. Escape, Journey’s seventh and most successful album, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and yielded another of their most popular singles, “Open Arms”. The 1983 follow-up album, Frontiers, was almost as successful in the United States, reaching No. 2 and spawning several successful singles; it broadened the band’s appeal in the United Kingdom, where it reached No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart. Journey enjoyed a successful reunion in the mid-1990s and have since regrouped twice; first with Steve Augeri from 1998-2006, then with Arnel Pineda from 2007 to the present.Sales have resulted in twenty five gold and platinum albums, in addition to the fifteen-time platinum RIAA Diamond Certified, 1988’s Greatest Hits album. They have had nineteen Top 40 singles in the U.S. (the second most without a Billboard Hot 100 number one single behind Electric Light Orchestra with 20), six of which reached the Top 10 of the US chart and two of which reached No. 1 on other Billboard charts, and a No. 6 hit on the UK Singles Chart in “Don’t Stop Believin'”. In 2005, “Don’t Stop Believin'” reached No. 3 on iTunes downloads. Originally a progressive rock band, Journey was described by AllMusic as having cemented a reputation as “one of America’s most beloved (and sometimes hated) commercial rock/pop bands” by 1978, when they redefined their sound by embracing pop arrangements on their fourth album, Infinity.According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Journey has sold 48 million albums in the U.S., making them the 25th best-selling band. Their worldwide sales have reached over 80 million records globally, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. A 2005 USA Today opinion poll named Journey the fifth-best U.S. rock band in history. Their songs have become arena rock staples and are still played on rock radio stations around the world. Journey ranks No. 96 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the class of 2017. Inductees included lead singer Steve Perry, guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardists Jonathan Cain and Gregg Rolie, bassist Ross Valory, and drummers Aynsley Dunbar and Steve Smith.
Ayumi Hamasaki (浜崎あゆみ, Hamasaki Ayumi, born October 2, 1978) is a Japanese singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, model, spokesperson and entrepreneur. Through her entire career, she has written all her lyrical content, and has sometimes composed her music.
Born and raised in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Hamasaki moved to Tokyo at 14 in 1993 to pursue a career in singing and acting. In 1998, under the tutelage of Avex CEO Max Matsuura, Hamasaki released her debut single “Poker Face” and debut major-label album A Song for XX. The album debuted at the top of the Oricon charts and remained there for five weeks, selling over a million copies. Her next ten albums shipped over a million copies in Japan, with her third, Duty, selling nearly three million. A Best, her first compilation album, is her best-selling album, with more than four million copies sold in Japan. Since 2006, after her album (Miss)understood was released, album and single sales have declined.Hamasaki has sold over 60 million records, making her the best-selling Japanese solo artist of all time. Hamasaki has several domestic record achievements for her singles, such as the most number-one hits by a female artist (38); the most consecutive number-one hits by a solo artist (25), and the most million-sellers. From 1999 to 2010, Hamasaki had at least two singles each year topping the charts. Hamasaki is the first female recording artist to have ten studio albums since her debut to top the Oricon and the first artist to have a number-one album for 13 consecutive years since her debut. Hamasaki’s remix albums, Super Eurobeat Presents Ayu-ro Mix and Ayu-mi-x II Version Non-Stop Mega Mix, is recognized as one of the best selling remix albums of all time and remain as her only albums to be recognized in a worldwide accreditation.During the height of her career, Hamasaki was dubbed the “Empress of J-pop” because of her popularity in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. Following an ear infection in 2000, she has suffered worsening hearing loss and gradually became completely deaf in one ear.
George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou; 25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) was an English singer, songwriter and record producer. Known as a leading creative force in music production, songwriting, vocal performance and visual presentation, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the MTV era.Born in East Finchley, North London, Michael rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! and later embarked on a solo career. Forming the duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley in 1981, the band’s first two albums, Fantastic (1983) and Make It Big (1984), reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200. Their hit singles included “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas”. Establishing themselves as a global act, Wham! toured China in April 1985; the tour was the first visit to China by a Western popular music act, and it generated worldwide media coverage.Michael’s first solo single, “Careless Whisper”, reached number one in over 20 countries, including the UK and US. Before embarking on the production of his first solo album, Michael went on to release two more number-one singles, “A Different Corner” and the Aretha Franklin duet “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”. Michael’s debut solo album, Faith, was released in 1987, topping the UK Albums Chart and staying at number one on the Billboard 200 for 12 weeks. Globally it sold 25 million copies, and four singles from the album—”Faith”, “Father Figure”, “One More Try”, and “Monkey”—reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Michael became the best-selling music artist of 1988, and Faith was awarded Album of the Year at the 1989 Grammy Awards. His second solo album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990), sold approximately eight million copies and was a UK number-one. It included the Billboard Hot 100 number-one “Praying for Time” and the worldwide hit “Freedom! ’90”. A 1991 live duet with Elton John, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, was also a transatlantic number one. Michael went on to release two more multimillion-selling albums, Older (1996) and Patience (2004).
Michael came out as gay in 1998. He was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser. Michael’s personal life, drug use, and legal troubles made headlines during the late 1990s and 2000s, as he was arrested for public lewdness in 1998 and was arrested for multiple drug-related offences after that time. The 2005 documentary A Different Story covered his career and personal life. Michael’s 25 Live tour spanned three tours from 2006 to 2008. Michael fell into a coma in 2011 during a bout with pneumonia, but later recovered. He performed his final concert at London’s Earls Court in 2012. On 25 December 2016, Michael was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
Michael is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with sales of over 120 million records worldwide. He achieved seven number-one songs on the UK Singles Chart and eight number-one songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. Michael won various music awards, including two Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, and six Ivor Novello Awards. In 2015, he was ranked 45th in Billboard’s list of the “Greatest Hot 100 Artists of All Time”. The Radio Academy named him the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004.
Foreigner is a British-American rock band, originally formed in New York City in 1976 by veteran British guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones and fellow Briton and ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald, along with American vocalist Lou Gramm. Jones came up with the band’s name as he, McDonald and Dennis Elliott were British, whereas Gramm, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi were American.In 1977 Foreigner released its self-titled debut album, the first of four straight albums to be certified at least 5x platinum in the US. Foreigner peaked at No. 4 on the US album chart and in the Top 10 in Canada and Australia, while yielding two Top 10 hits in North America, “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold as Ice”. Their 1978 follow-up, Double Vision, was even more successful peaking at No. 3 in North America with two hit singles, “Hot Blooded” a No. 3 hit in both countries, and the title track, a US No. 2 and a Canadian No. 7. Foreigner’s third album, Head Games (1979), went to No. 5 in North America producing two Top 20 singles, including its titletrack.
Reduced to a quartet, their album 4 (1981) hit No. 1 (for 10 weeks) in the US and No. 2 in Canada, while becoming Foreigner’s break-through album outside of North America, going Top 5 in the UK, Germany and Australia. Three of 4’s singles were hits: “Urgent” reached No. 1 in Canada and on the new US Rock Tracks chart, rose to No. 4 on the US Hot 100 and became their first Top 15 hit in Germany; the ballad “Waiting for a Girl Like You” peaked at No. 2 in both the US (for a record 10 weeks) and Canada, topped the US Rock Tracks chart and became their first Top 10 hit in the UK and Australia; and “Juke Box Hero” reached No. 3 on the Rock Tracks chart and the Top 30 on the Hot 100. In 1982 Foreigner released its first greatest hits album, Records, which has gone on to sell 7 million copies in the US. In 1984 Foreigner had its biggest hit single, the anthemic ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is”, which topped the US, UK, Canadian and Australian charts, while hitting No. 3 in Germany and the Top 10 in numerous other countries. Its source album, Agent Provocateur, was the band’s most successful in the UK, Germany and some other countries in Europe, where it peaked at No. 1, and in Australia where it peaked at No. 3, while making the Top 5 in the US and Canada.
After a break, Foreigner released Inside Information (1987), which despite the No. 6 US and Australian hit, “Say You Will” (which also rose to No. 1 on the US Rock Tracks chart), had a large sales drop-off, only hitting the Top 10 in a few European countries with a No. 15 peak in the US. The band’s most recent albums, Unusual Heat (1991), without Gramm, who departed due to the band’s shift towards the use of synthesizers, Mr. Moonlight (1994), with Gramm back on vocals, and Can’t Slow Down (2009), once again without Gramm, were not major sellers; the highest chart positions were obtained in Germany, where the last album peaked at No. 16. Foreigner is one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time with worldwide sales of more than 80 million records, including 37.5 million in the US. Leader Mick Jones has been for many years the only founding member still involved.
Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday, September 27, 1947), better known as Meat Loaf, is an American singer and actor. He is noted for his powerful, wide-ranging voice and theatrical live shows. His Bat Out of Hell trilogy—Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose—has sold more than 65 million albums worldwide. More than four decades after its release, the first album still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best-selling albums in history.After the commercial success of Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, and earning a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love”, Meat Loaf nevertheless experienced some difficulty establishing a steady career within the United States. This did not stop him from becoming one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 80 million records. The key to this success was his retention of iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, where he received the 1994 Brit Award for best-selling album and single, appeared in the 1997 film Spice World, and ranks 23rd for the number of weeks spent on the UK charts, as of 2006. He ranks 96th on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”.Sometimes credited as Meat Loaf Aday, he has also appeared in over 50 movies and television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona. His most notable film roles include Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and Robert “Bob” Paulson in Fight Club (1999). His early stage work included dual roles in the original cast of The Rocky Horror Show, and he was also in the musical Hair, both on- and off-Broadway.
Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. He was the lead vocalist and guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, formed in 1976. He previously led the band Mudcrutch, and was also a member of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.
Petty recorded a number of hit singles with the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. His hit singles with the Heartbreakers include “Don’t Do Me Like That” (1979), “Refugee” (1980), “The Waiting” (1981), “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (1985) and “Learning to Fly” (1991). Petty’s hit singles as a solo act include “I Won’t Back Down” (1989), “Free Fallin'” (1989), and “You Don’t Know How It Feels” (1994). In his career, he sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Petty died of an accidental drug overdose on October 2, 2017, one week after the end of the Heartbreakers’ 40th Anniversary Tour.
Jean-Philippe Léo Smet (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ filip leo smɛt]; 15 June 1943 – 5 December 2017), better known by his stage name Johnny Hallyday, was a French rock and roll and pop singer and actor, credited for having brought rock and roll to France.During a career spanning 57 years, he released 79 albums and sold more than 110 million records worldwide, mainly in the French-speaking world, making him one of the best-selling artists in the world. He had five diamond albums, 40 golden albums, 22 platinum albums and earned ten Victoires de la Musique. He sang an estimated 1,154 songs and performed 540 duets with 187 artists. Credited for his strong voice and his spectacular shows, he sometimes arrived by entering a stadium through the crowd and once by jumping from a helicopter above the Stade de France, where he performed 9 times. Among his 3,257 shows completed in 187 tours, the most memorable were at Parc des Princes in 1993, at the Stade de France in 1998, just after France’s win in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, as well as at the Eiffel Tower in 2000, which had record-breaking ticket sales for a French artist. A million spectators gathered to see his performance at the Eiffel Tower, with some 10 million watching on television.
Usually working with the best French artists and musicians of his time, he collaborated with Charles Aznavour, Michel Berger and Jean-Jacques Goldman. Hugely popular in France, he was referred to as simply “Johnny” and seen as a “national monument” and a part of the French cultural legacy. He was a symbol of the Trente Glorieuses when he emerged in 1960 and a familiar figure to four generations. More than 2,500 magazine covers and 190 books were dedicated to him during his lifetime, making him one of the persons most widely covered by the media in France. His death from cancer in 2017 was followed by a “popular tribute” during which a million people attended the procession and 15 million others watched the ceremony on TV. He remained relatively unknown in the English-speaking world, where he was dubbed “the biggest rock star you’ve never heard of” and introduced as the French version of Elvis Presley.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), known professionally as the Weeknd, is a Canadian singer-songwriter and record producer. His discography has received widespread critical praise for its musical versatility and dark lyricism, mainly inspired by personal experiences, that explores themes such as escapism, romance and melancholia. He has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including three Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, nineteen Billboard Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, fifteen Juno Awards, and an Academy Award nomination.Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Tesfaye began his recording career in 2009 by anonymously releasing music on YouTube. Two years later, he co-founded the XO record label and released the critically acclaimed mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence. He quickly earned a following and recognition from several mainstream publications due to his gloomy style of contemporary and alternative R&B, and the mystique surrounding his identity. In 2012, Tesfaye signed with Republic Records and re-released the mixtapes in the compilation album Trilogy. His debut studio album Kiss Land was released in 2013, which saw him experiment with dark wave. His chamber pop and R&B single “Earned It”, from the soundtrack to the film Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.Tesfaye gained major critical and commercial success with his second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness (2015). It topped the US Billboard 200 and was among the best-selling albums of that year. With the chart-topping singles “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills”, Beauty Behind the Madness won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. His third studio album Starboy (2016) was a similar commercial success and included the number-one single of the same name. Starboy also won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Tesfaye ventured into new wave and dream pop with his fourth studio album After Hours (2020), supported by the singles “Heartless”, “Blinding Lights” and “Save Your Tears”.Often regarded as an influential figure in contemporary popular music, Tesfaye is one the world’s best-selling musical artists, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. He is also one of the most-streamed artists of all-time and one of the most-listened to artists on Spotify. Among his Billboard chart records, he is the first artist to simultaneously hold the top three spots on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with “Can’t Feel My Face”, “Earned It” and “The Hills”. He has earned six Hot 100 number-one songs so far, including “Blinding Lights”, the longest-charting song in the chart’s history. In 2020, Tesfaye was listed by Time as one of the world’s most influential people.
Thomas Luther “Luke” Bryan (born July 17, 1976) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He began his music career writing songs for Marcus Gerads and Tom Brady before signing with Capitol Nashville in 2007. He is one of the most successful and awarded country artists of the 2010s and 2020s.
Bryan’s first ten albums – I’ll Stay Me (2007), Doin’ My Thing (2009), Tailgates & Tanlines (2011), Crash My Party (2013), Spring Break…Here to Party (2013), Spring Break…Checkin’ Out (2015), Kill the Lights (2015), Farm Tour… Here’s to the Farmer (2016), What Makes You Country (2017), and Born Here Live Here Die Here (2020) – have included 27 number-one hits. Bryan often co-writes with Jeff Stevens. Since 2018, Bryan is a judge on American Idol.
In 2013, Bryan was named “Entertainer of the Year” by both the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association. In 2019, Bryan’s 2013 album Crash My Party received the first Album of the Decade award from the Academy of Country Music. He is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with over 75 million records sold.
Christina María Aguilera (; Spanish: [aɣiˈleɾa]; born December 18, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Referred to as the “Voice of a Generation”, she is credited as one of the artists responsible for reviving teen pop in the late 1990s. Aguilera has used her vocal ability to address such topics as sexuality, feminism, and domestic violence. She has also frequently reinvented her image, becoming known for her risqué and unconventional looks. Her works have generated both critical praise and controversy in the media, with which Aguilera is often cited as an influence by other artists.
Born in New York City and raised in Pennsylvania, Aguilera began her career as a child star after singing the National Anthem for Game 1 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals and appearing on other television programs during the 1990s, including The Mickey Mouse Club (1993–1994). In 1999, after signing a recording contract with RCA Records, she transitioned to pop music with her self-titled debut album, which had three Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles: “Genie in a Bottle”, “What a Girl Wants”, and “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)”, establishing her as a bubblegum pop artist. Aguilera assumed artistic control with Stripped (2002), for which she changed the course of her career; in the music video for “Dirrty”, she sparked controversy for exploring her sexuality, leading to the departure of her teen idol image. However, “Beautiful”, “Fighter”, and “Can’t Hold Us Down” became top-ten singles in many countries, and she was named the most successful female artist of 2003.
Her fifth album, Back to Basics (2006), was received with favorable reviews and became the second material of her career to debut atop of the Billboard 200. The album had the successful singles “Ain’t No Other Man” and “Hurt”. In 2010, Aguilera starred in the film Burlesque, which was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. She also contributed to its soundtrack. In the following years, she was featured on top-ten singles “Moves Like Jagger”, “Feel This Moment”, and “Say Something”; with the former, she reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 over three consecutive decades (1990s, 2000s and 2010s) while the song became one of the best-selling digital singles of all time. Outside of her work in the music industry, she acted as a spokesperson for the World Food Program (WFP), as well as a coach in the reality competition show The Voice (2011–2016) and as an actress in the drama series Nashville (2015). In 2019, she embarked on The Xperience, her first residency at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas.
With estimated sales around 75 million records, Aguilera is recognized as one of the world’s best-selling music artists; in 2009, she was classified by Billboard as the twentieth most successful artist of the 2000s. Throughout her career, she has accumulated numerous awards and accolades, including five Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, two MTV Video Music Awards (VMA), one Billboard Music Awards, one Guinness World Record, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was named a Disney Legend. Aguilera is often considered to be one of the greatest singers of all time by magazines such as Rolling Stone and Consequence of Sound, and was chosen the greatest of Latin origin by Latina. In 2013, Time elected her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, while she has been listed as one of the most influential artists in the phonographic industry by VH1 and The Independent.
Usher Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978), known professionally as Usher, is an American singer, songwriter, businessman, and dancer. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, until moving to Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 12, his mother put him in local singing competitions before catching the attention of a music A&R from LaFace Records. He released his self-titled debut album Usher (1994), and rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his second album My Way (1997). It spawned his first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single “Nice & Slow”, and the top-two singles “You Make Me Wanna…” and “My Way”. His third album, 8701 (2001), produced the number-one singles “U Remind Me” and “U Got It Bad”, as well as the top-three single “U Don’t Have to Call”. It sold eight million copies worldwide and won his first two Grammy Awards as Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2002 and 2003.
Confessions (2004) established him as one of the best-selling musical artists of the 2000s decade, containing four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles—”Yeah!” (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris), “Burn”, “Confessions Part II”, and “My Boo” (with Alicia Keys)—and the top-ten “Caught Up”. It sold over 20 million copies worldwide and was certified Diamond by the RIAA. After splitting from his manager and mother in 2007, he released the albums Here I Stand (2008) and Raymond v. Raymond (2010), both of which debuted atop of the Billboard 200 chart and respectively produced the number-one singles “Love in This Club” (featuring Young Jeezy) and “OMG” (featuring will.i.am). The EP Versus produced the top-five single “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” (featuring Pitbull) before the release of the top-fifteen single “More”. Looking 4 Myself (2012) also debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart with the top-ten single “Scream”. The R&B ballads “There Goes My Baby” and “Climax” received Grammy Awards in 2011 and 2013. “I Don’t Mind” (featuring Juicy J) also reached the top-fifteen in 2014, while Hard II Love (2016) peaked at five on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2018, he released A, a collaborative album with record producer Zaytoven.
Usher has sold 23.8 million albums and 38.2 million digital songs in the United States. Internationally, he has sold 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. At the end of 2009, Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, the number-one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade, and ranked Confessions as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. In 2010, Billboard placed him at number 6 on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. In 2019, Billboard also placed him at number 14 on their “Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists” list. Usher has earned 9 number-one singles. Considered an icon and sex symbol, he has had TV and film appearances and seen inductions into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Usher has won numerous awards and accolades including eight Grammy Awards, 34 ASCAP Awards, nine Soul Train Music Awards, and eight American Music Awards. With 18 awards, Usher is the fifth-most awarded artist at the Billboard Music Awards. He owns the record label Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture with talent manager Scooter Braun that includes Canadian singer Justin Bieber. Alongside a successful music career, Usher is also acclaimed for involvement in humanitarian causes and is the founder of Usher’s New Look foundation.
The Black Eyed Peas
Black Eyed Peas (also known as The Black Eyed Peas) is an American musical group consisting of rappers will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and J. Rey Soul. Originally an alternative hip hop group, they subsequently refashioned themselves as a more marketable pop-rap act. Although the group was founded in Los Angeles in 1995, it was not until the release of their third album, Elephunk, in 2003, that they achieved high record sales.
Black Eyed Peas’ first major hit was the 2003 single “Where Is the Love?” from Elephunk, which topped the charts in 13 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it spent seven weeks at number one and went on to become Britain’s biggest-selling single of 2003. Their fourth album, Monkey Business, was an even bigger worldwide success, and became certified 3× Platinum in the United States. In 2009, the group became one of only 11 artists to have simultaneously held the number-one and number-two spots on the Billboard Hot 100, with their singles “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling”, which topped the chart for an unprecedented 26 consecutive weeks.
The album The E.N.D. produced a third Hot 100 number-one placement with “Imma Be”, making the group one of few to ever place three number one singles on the chart from the same album, before being followed with “Rock That Body” and “Meet Me Halfway”, which peaked in the top 10 of the Hot 100. “I Gotta Feeling” became the first single to sell more than one million downloads in the United Kingdom. At the 52nd Grammy Awards ceremony, held in January 2010, they won three awards out of six nominations. In November 2010, they released the album The Beginning. In February 2011, the group performed in the Super Bowl XLV halftime show.
Black Eyed Peas have sold an estimated 80 million records, making them one of the best-selling groups of all time. They were ranked 12th on Billboard’s 2000s Decade-End Artist of the Decade Chart, and 7th on the Hot 100 Artists of the Decade.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll ( shə-KEER-ə, Spanish: [(t)ʃaˈkiɾa]; born 2 February 1977), known mononymously as Shakira, is a Colombian singer and songwriter. Born and raised in Barranquilla, Shakira has been referred to as the “Queen of Latin Music” and is noted for her versatility in music. She made her recording debut under Sony Music Colombia at the age of 13. Following the commercial failure of her first two albums, Magia (1991) and Peligro (1993), she rose to prominence in Hispanic countries with her next albums, Pies Descalzos (1995) and Dónde Están los Ladrones? (1998). Shakira entered the English-language market with her fifth album, Laundry Service (2001), which sold over 13 million copies worldwide. Buoyed by the international number-one singles “Whenever, Wherever” and “Underneath Your Clothes”, the album propelled her reputation as a leading crossover artist. Broadcast Music, Inc., the largest music rights organization in the United States, described Shakira as a pioneer who extended the global reach of Latino singers.Her success was further solidified with the Spanish albums Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 (2005), Sale el Sol (2010), and El Dorado (2017), all of which topped the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart and were certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. Meanwhile, her English albums Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 (2005), She Wolf (2009) and Shakira (2014) were all certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum in various countries worldwide. Some of her songs have charted at number one in multiple countries, including “La Tortura”, “Hips Don’t Lie”, “Beautiful Liar”, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”, “Loca”, and “Chantaje”. Shakira served as a coach on two seasons of the American singing competition television series The Voice (2013–2014).
With a catalog of 145 songs, Shakira has sold over 80 million records which have made her one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Forbes reported that as of 2018, Shakira has become the female Latin artist who has sold the most albums in history. Shakira has received numerous awards, including three Grammy Awards, twelve Latin Grammy Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, thirty-nine Billboard Latin Music Awards, six Guinness World Records and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was named the Top Female Latin Artist of the Decade by Billboard twice (2000s and 2010s). For her philanthropic work with her Barefoot Foundation and her contributions to music she received the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year and Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year awards in 2011. She was appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in the US in 2011, and Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 2012.
Tupac Amaru Shakur ( TOO-pahk shə-KOOR; born Lesane Parish Crooks, June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), better known by his stage name 2Pac and later by his alias Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Considered one of the most influential rappers of all time, Shakur is among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Much of Shakur’s music has been noted for addressing contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities, and he is considered a symbol of activism against inequality.
Shakur was born in New York City to parents who were both political activists and Black Panther Party members. Raised by his mother, he relocated to Baltimore in 1984 and to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1988. With the release of his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991, he became a central figure in West Coast hip hop for his conscious rap lyrics. Shakur achieved further critical and commercial success with his follow-up albums Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… (1993) and Me Against the World (1995). His Diamond certified album All Eyez on Me (1996), the first double-length album in hip-hop history, abandoned his introspective lyrics for volatile gangsta rap. In addition to his music career, Shakur also found considerable success as an actor, with his starring roles in Juice (1992), Poetic Justice (1993), Above the Rim (1994), Bullet (1996), Gridlock’d (1997), and Gang Related (1997).
In 1995, Shakur served eight months in prison on sexual abuse charges, but was released pending an appeal of his conviction. Following his release, he signed to Marion “Suge” Knight’s label Death Row Records and became heavily involved in the growing East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry. On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times by an unidentified assailant in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas; he died six days later. Following his murder, Shakur’s friend-turned-rival, the Notorious B.I.G., was at first considered a suspect due to their public feud, but was also murdered in another drive-by shooting six months later in March 1997 while visiting Los Angeles.Five more albums have been released since Shakur’s death, all of which have been certified Platinum in the United States. In 2002, Shakur was inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Shakur among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and convicted sex offender. He has been credited with helping to redefine R&B and hip hop, earning nicknames such as “the King of R&B”, “the King of Pop-Soul”, and the “Pied Piper of R&B”.Kelly is known for songs including “I Believe I Can Fly”, “Bump N’ Grind”, “Your Body’s Callin'”, “Gotham City”, “Ignition (Remix)”, “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time”, “The World’s Greatest”, “I’m a Flirt (Remix)”, and the hip hopera “Trapped in the Closet”. In 1998, Kelly won three Grammy Awards for “I Believe I Can Fly”. Although Kelly is primarily a singer and songwriter, he has written, produced, and remixed songs, singles, and albums for other artists. In 1996, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for writing Michael Jackson’s song “You Are Not Alone”.Kelly has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him the most successful R&B male artist of the 1990s and one of the world’s best-selling music artists. In 2010, Billboard magazine considered Kelly the most successful R&B artist in history and listed him as the Top R&B/Hip Hop Artist for the time period between 1985 and 2010. In 2012, he was listed as the 55th best-selling music artist in the United States, with over 32 million album sales.Since the 1990s, Kelly has been repeatedly accused of sexual abuse, often with underage girls. He has faced multiple civil suits and has been charged by criminal courts in Chicago, New York, Illinois, and Minnesota. He repeatedly denied the charges. In June 2002, he was indicted on 21 counts of making child pornography. He was acquitted six years later in 2008. In January 2019, a widely viewed Lifetime docuseries titled Surviving R. Kelly detailed allegations of sexual abuse by multiple women, allegations that Kelly continued to deny. Facing pressure from the public using the Mute R. Kelly hashtag, RCA Records dropped Kelly.In 2019, Kelly was indicted by a Cook County grand jury in Chicago on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February, followed by an additional 11 counts of sexual assault and abuse filed by the same court in May. On July 11, 2019, he was arrested on federal charges alleging sex crimes, human trafficking, child pornography, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. Kelly faced a total of 22 federal criminal charges as of January 29, 2021. A federal judge ordered Kelly jailed pending trial on the charges. On September 27, 2021, a federal jury in New York found Kelly guilty on nine counts including racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, sex trafficking, and a violation of the Mann Act. The judge ordered that he remain in custody pending sentencing, set for May 4, 2022. Kelly faces a second trial for producing child pornography set for August 2022.
Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a succession of drummers, most notably Chad Channing, before recruiting Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana’s success popularized alternative rock, and they were often referenced as the figurehead band of Generation X. Their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock and roll culture.
In the late 1980s, Nirvana established itself as part of the Seattle grunge scene, releasing its first album, Bleach, for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. They developed a sound that relied on dynamic contrasts, often between quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. After signing to major label DGC Records in 1991, Nirvana found unexpected mainstream success with “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, the first single from their landmark second album Nevermind (1991). A cultural phenomenon of the 1990s, Nevermind was certified Diamond by the RIAA and is credited for ending the dominance of hair metal.Characterized by their punk aesthetic, Nirvana’s fusion of pop melodies with noise, combined with their themes of abjection and social alienation, brought them global popularity. Following extensive tours and the 1992 compilation album Incesticide and EP Hormoaning, the band released their highly anticipated third studio album, In Utero (1993). The album topped both the US and UK album charts, and was acclaimed by critics. Nirvana disbanded following Cobain’s suicide in April 1994. Various posthumous releases have been overseen by Novoselic, Grohl, and Cobain’s widow Courtney Love. The posthumous live album MTV Unplugged in New York (1994) won Best Alternative Music Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards.
Nirvana is one of the best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. During their three years as a mainstream act, Nirvana received an American Music Award, Brit Award and Grammy Award, as well as seven MTV Video Music Awards and two NME Awards. They achieved five number-one hits on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and four number-one albums on the Billboard 200. In 2004, Rolling Stone named Nirvana among the 100 greatest artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility in 2014.
Kenneth Bruce Gorelick (born June 5, 1956), known professionally as Kenny G, is an American smooth jazz saxophonist, composer, and producer. His 1986 album Duotones brought him commercial success. Kenny G is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with global sales totaling more than 75 million records.
Enya Patricia Brennan (Irish: Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin ; born 17 May 1961) is an Irish singer-songwriter and musician, known for pioneering modern Celtic and New-age music. Regarded as the “Queen of New Age”, Enya is the best-selling Irish solo artist of all time. Born into a musical family and raised in the Irish-speaking area of Gweedore, County Donegal, Enya began her music career when she joined her family’s Celtic folk band Clannad in 1980 on keyboards and backing vocals. She left the group in 1982 with their manager and producer Nicky Ryan to pursue a solo career, with Ryan’s wife Roma Ryan as her lyricist. Enya developed her sound over the following four years with multitracked vocals and keyboards with elements of new age, Celtic, classical, church, world, pop, and Irish folk. Thus far, she has sung in ten languages, most notably English, Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge), Latin, and Welsh.
Enya’s first projects as a solo artist included soundtrack work for The Frog Prince (1984) and the 1987 BBC documentary series The Celts, which was released as her debut album, Enya (1987). She signed with Warner Music UK, which granted her artistic freedom and minimal interference from the label. The commercial and critical success of Watermark (1988) propelled her to worldwide fame, helped by the UK number one and international hit single “Orinoco Flow”. This was followed by the multi-million-selling albums Shepherd Moons (1991), The Memory of Trees (1995), and A Day Without Rain (2000). Sales of the latter and its lead single, “Only Time”, surged in the United States following its use in the media coverage of the September 11 attacks. Following Amarantine (2005) and And Winter Came… (2008), Enya took a four-year career hiatus before she resumed in 2012 and released her eighth studio album, Dark Sky Island (2015).
Enya is Ireland’s best-selling solo artist and second-best-selling overall behind U2. Her discography has sold 26.5 million certified albums in the United States and an estimated 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. A Day Without Rain (2000) remains the best-selling new-age album, with an estimated 16 million copies sold worldwide. Enya has won numerous awards, including seven World Music Awards, four Grammy Awards for Best New Age Album, and an Ivor Novello Award. She was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for “May It Be”, written for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
Bryan Guy Adams (born 5 November 1959) is a Canadian guitarist, singer, composer, record producer, and photographer. Adams has sold between 75 and 100 million records and singles worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Adams was the most played artist on Canadian radio in the 2010s and has had 25 Top 15 singles in Canada, and a dozen or more in each of the US, UK, and Australia.
Adams joined his first band at age 15, and at age 20 his eponymous debut album was released. He rose to fame in North America with the 1983 Top 10 album Cuts Like a Knife, featuring its title track and the ballad “Straight From the Heart”, his first US Top 10 hit. His 1984 album, Reckless, made him a global star with tracks like “Run to You” and “Summer of ’69”, both Top 10 hits in the US and Canada, and the power ballad “Heaven”, a US number 1 hit. His 1987 album Into the Fire went to number 2 in Canada and the Top 10 in several other countries.
In 1991, Adams’s released “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, which went to number 1 in at least 19 countries, including for 16 and 18 straight weeks in the UK, and Europe overall, both records. It is one of the best-selling singles of all time, having sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. The song was included on Adams’ Waking Up the Neighbours (1991), a worldwide number 1 album that sold 16 million copies, including being certified diamond in Canada. Other international hits off the album were the Canadian number 1 songs “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” and “Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven”. Beginning in 1993, Adams’ hits were mostly ballads, including the worldwide number 1 or 2 hits “Please Forgive Me” (1993); “All for Love” (1993); and “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” (1995), the latter two topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.In 1996, Adams’ 18 til I Die was a Top 5 album in many countries, but only reached number 31 in the US. He did duets with Barbra Streisand (“I Finally Found Someone” (1996), his last US Top 10 hit) and Melanie C (“When You’re Gone” (1998), an international Top 5 hit). In the 1990s, Adams had six European Radio Airplay number 1 songs for 32 weeks, the fourth and third most, respectively; and three number 1 songs on the European Sales Chart for 29 weeks total, the most weeks of any artist. Since 1999, Adams released seven albums, three reaching number 1 in Canada, and most reaching the Top 10 in the UK, Germany and elsewhere.
In 2008, Adams was ranked 38th on the list of all-time top artists on the Billboard Hot 100. Adams has won 20 Juno Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture or Television amongst 15 Grammy nominations, and has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and three Academy Awards for his songwriting for films. Adams has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Canada’s Walk of Fame, the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. On 1 May 2010, Adams received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for his 30 years of contributions to the arts.
Alabama is an American country and Southern rock band formed in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1969. The band was founded by Randy Owen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass, backing vocals). They were soon joined by another cousin, Jeff Cook (lead guitar, fiddle, and keyboards). First operating under the name Wild Country, the group toured the Southeast bar circuit in the early 1970s, and began writing original songs. They changed their name to Alabama in 1977 and following the chart success of two singles, were approached by RCA Nashville for a record deal.
Alabama’s biggest success came in the 1980s, where the band had over 27 number one hits, seven multi-platinum albums and received numerous awards. Alabama’s first single on RCA Records, “Tennessee River”, began a streak of 21 number one singles, including “Love in the First Degree” (1981), “Mountain Music” (1982), “Dixieland Delight” (1983), “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” (1984) and “Song of the South” (1988). The band’s popularity waned slightly in the 1990s although they continued to produce hit singles and multi-platinum album sales. Alabama disbanded in 2004 following a farewell tour and two albums of inspirational music but reunited in 2010 and have continued to record and tour worldwide.
The band’s blend of traditional country music and Southern rock combined with elements of bluegrass, folk, gospel and pop music gave it a crossover appeal that helped lead to their success. They also toured extensively and incorporated production elements such as lighting and “sets” inspired by rock concerts into their shows. The band has over 41 number one country records on the Billboard charts to their credit and have sold over 75 million records, making them the most successful band in country music history. AllMusic credited the band with popularizing the idea of a country band and wrote that “It’s unlikely that any other country group will be able to surpass the success of Alabama.”Alabama was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019 and were awarded with the first ever Life Time Achievement Award from this institution.
Robert Clark Seger (; born May 6, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s, breaking through with his first album, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man (which contained his first national hit of the same name) in 1968. By the early 1970s, he had dropped the ‘System’ from his recordings and continued to strive for broader success with various other bands. In 1973, he put together the Silver Bullet Band, with a group of Detroit-area musicians, with whom he became most successful on the national level with the album Live Bullet (1976), recorded live with the Silver Bullet Band in 1975 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976, he achieved a national breakout with the studio album Night Moves. On his studio albums, he also worked extensively with the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which appeared on several of Seger’s best-selling singles and albums.
A roots rocker with a classic raspy, powerful voice, Seger wrote and recorded songs that dealt with love, women, and blue-collar themes, and is one of the best-known examples of a heartland rock artist. He has recorded many hits, including “Night Moves”, “Turn the Page”, “Mainstreet”, “Still the Same”, “Hollywood Nights”, “Against the Wind”, “You’ll Accomp’ny Me”, “Shame on the Moon”, “Roll Me Away”, “Like a Rock”, and “Shakedown”, the last of which was written for the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop II and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He also co-wrote the Eagles’ number-one hit “Heartache Tonight”, and his recording of “Old Time Rock and Roll” was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001.
With a career spanning six decades, Seger has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Seger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. Seger was named Billboard’s 2015 Legend of Live honoree at the 12th annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards, held November 18–19 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. He announced his farewell tour in September 2018.
Robert Nesta Marley (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley’s contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, and made him a global figure in popular culture for over a decade. Over the course of his career, Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, and he infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican music and culture and identity, and was controversial in his outspoken support for democratic social reforms. In 1976, Marley survived an assassination attempt in his home, which was thought to be politically motivated. He also supported legalization of marijuana, and advocated for Pan-Africanism.Born in Nine Mile, Jamaica, Marley began his professional musical career in 1963, after forming the Teenagers with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, which after several name changes would become the Wailers. The group released its debut studio album The Wailing Wailers in 1965, which contained the single “One Love”, a reworking of “People Get Ready”; the song was popular worldwide, and established the group as a rising figure in reggae. The Wailers released a further eleven studio albums, and after signing to Island Records the band’s name became Bob Marley and the Wailers. While initially employing louder instrumentation and singing, the group began engaging in rhythmic-based song construction in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which coincided with Marley’s conversion to Rastafari. Around this time, Marley relocated to London, and the group embodied their musical shift with the release of the album The Best of The Wailers (1971).The group started to gain international attention after signing to Island, and touring in support of the albums Catch a Fire and Burnin’ (both 1973). Following the disbandment of the Wailers a year later, Marley carried on under the band’s name. The album Natty Dread (1974) received positive reception. In 1975, following the global popularity of Eric Clapton’s version of Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff”, Marley had his international breakthrough with his first hit outside Jamaica, with a live version of “No Woman, No Cry”, from the Live! album. This was followed by his breakthrough album in the United States, Rastaman Vibration (1976), which reached the Top 50 of the Billboard Soul Charts.. A few months after the album’s release Marley survived an assassination attempt at his home in Jamaica, which prompted him to permanently relocate to London. During his time in London he recorded the album Exodus (1977); it incorporated elements of blues, soul, and British rock and enjoyed widespread commercial and critical success.
In 1977, Marley was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma; he died as a result of the illness in 1981. His fans around the world expressed their grief, and he received a state funeral in Jamaica. The greatest hits album Legend was released in 1984, and became the best-selling reggae album of all time. Marley also ranks as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of more than 75 million records worldwide. He was posthumously honoured by Jamaica soon after his death with a designated Order of Merit by his nation. In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone ranked him No. 11 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus, June 17, 1943) is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, musician, producer and actor, with a career that spans seven decades. His hit recordings include “Could It Be Magic”, “Mandy”, “I Write the Songs”, “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Copacabana (At the Copa)”.
He has recorded and released 51 Top 40 singles on the Adult Contemporary Chart, including 13 that hit number one, 28 appeared within the top ten, and 36 in the top twenty. Manilow has released 13 platinum and six multi-platinum albums. Although not a favorite artist of music critics, Manilow has been praised by entertainers including Frank Sinatra, who was quoted in the 1970s as saying, “He’s next.”As well as producing and arranging albums for himself and other artists, Manilow has written and performed songs for musicals, films, and commercials for corporations such as McDonald’s, Pepsi-Cola, and Band-Aid, from the 1960s. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award (winning once) as a producer, arranger and performer a total of fifteen times (and in every decade) from 1973 to 2015. He has also produced Grammy-nominated albums for Bette Midler, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan. Manilow has sold more than 85 million records as a solo artist worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists.
Kiss (often stylized as KIϟϟ) is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss. Well known for its members’ face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid–late 1970s with its shocking live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons being the only members to feature in every lineup. The original and best-known lineup consists of Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Simmons (vocals and bass), Frehley (lead guitar and vocals), and Criss (drums).
With their make-up and costumes, the band members took on the personae of comic book-style characters: the Starchild (Stanley), the Demon (Simmons), the Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley), and the Catman (Criss). Due to creative differences, Criss had departed the band in 1979 then Frehley had departed the group in 1982.
In 1983, Kiss began performing without makeup and costumes, thus marking the beginning of the band’s “unmasked” era that would last for over a decade. The band experienced a commercial resurgence during this era, with the Platinum-certified album Lick It Up successfully introducing them to a new generation of fans, and its music videos receiving regular airplay on MTV. Eric Carr, who had replaced Criss in 1980, died in 1991 of heart cancer and was replaced by Eric Singer. In response to a wave of Kiss nostalgia in the mid-1990s, the original lineup re-united in 1996, which also saw the return of its makeup and stage costumes. The resulting reunion tour was highly successful, grossing $143.7 million, making it the band’s most successful tour to date. Criss and Frehley subsequently left the band again, and have been replaced by Singer and Tommy Thayer. The band has continued with its original stage makeup, with Singer and Thayer using the original Catman and Spaceman makeup, respectively. In September 2018, Kiss announced that, after 45 years of recording and performing, it would be embarking on its ongoing final tour, the End of the Road World Tour, which started in January 2019 and is currently set to conclude in 2022.Kiss is regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of all time, as well as one of the best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide, including 21 million RIAA-certified albums. Kiss also holds the title as America’s No. 1 Gold record award-winning group of all time, having earned 30 Gold albums. Kiss has 14 Platinum albums, with three albums being multi-Platinum. On April 10, 2014, the four original members of Kiss were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Kiss was ranked by MTV as the ninth “Greatest Metal Band of All Time”, and placed tenth on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” list, as well as being ranked as the third “Best Metal and Hard Rock Live Band of All Time” by Loudwire magazine.
Aretha Louise Franklin (; March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Referred to as the “Queen of Soul”, she has twice been placed 9th in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Franklin began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister.
At the age of 18, she embarked on a music career as a recording artist for Columbia Records. While her career did not immediately flourish, she found acclaim and commercial success once she signed with Atlantic Records in 1966. Her commercial hits such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think” and “I Say a Little Prayer” propelled her past her musical peers.
Franklin continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted and Black (1972), Amazing Grace (1972), and Sparkle (1976), before experiencing problems with her record company. She left Atlantic in 1979 and signed with Arista Records. She appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It (1982), Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985), and Aretha (1986) on the Arista label. In 1998, Franklin returned to the Top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song “A Rose Is Still a Rose”; later, she released an album of the same name, which was certified gold.
Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 73 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries, and 20 number-one R&B singles. Besides the foregoing, Franklin’s well-known hits also include “Ain’t No Way”, “Call Me”, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Rock Steady”, “Day Dreaming”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (a duet with George Michael). She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (1968–1975) and a Grammy Awards Living Legend honor and Lifetime Achievement Award. Franklin is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1987, she became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked her number one on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and number nine on its list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2019 awarded Franklin a posthumous special citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades”. In 2020, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band (also known by the initialism DMB) is an American rock band, formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1991. The band’s founding members were singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Matthews, bassist Stefan Lessard, drummer and backing vocalist Carter Beauford, violinist and backing vocalist Boyd Tinsley, and saxophonist LeRoi Moore. As of 2020, Matthews, Lessard, and Beauford are the only remaining founding members still performing with the band.
Dave Matthews Band’s 1994 major label debut album, Under the Table and Dreaming, brought the band worldwide fame and was eventually certified six times platinum. As of 2018, the band had sold more than 25 million concert tickets and a combined total of 38 million CDs and DVDs. Their 2018 album, Come Tomorrow, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making DMB the first band to have seven consecutive studio albums debut at the peak. The band won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “So Much to Say”.
A jam band, Dave Matthews Band is renowned for its live shows. The band is known for playing songs differently each performance; this practice has become a staple of their live shows since the early 1990s.
Reba Nell McEntire, also known mononymously as Reba, (born March 28, 1955) is an American country music singer, actress and businesswoman. She is often referred to as “the Queen of Country,” having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Since the 1970s, McEntire has placed over 100 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 25 of which reached the number one spot. She is also credited as an actress, having appeared in both films and television. She starred in the television series Reba, which aired for six seasons. She also owns several businesses, including a clothing line.One of four children, McEntire was born and raised in the state of Oklahoma. In childhood and adolescence, her interests included barrel racing and sports. She also had a natural singing ability, which was encouraged by her mother. With her mother’s help, she and her siblings formed the Singing McEntires, which played at local events and recorded for a small label. McEntire later enrolled at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and studied to become a public school teacher. She also continued to occasionally perform and was heard singing at a rodeo event by country performer Red Steagall. Drawn to her singing voice, Steagall helped McEntire secure a country music recording contract with PolyGram/Mercury Records in 1975.
Over the next several years, PolyGram/Mercury released a series of McEntire’s albums and singles, which amounted to little success. In the early 1980s, McEntire’s music gained more momentum through several top ten country songs, including “(You Lift Me) Up to Heaven”, “I’m Not That Lonely Yet” and her first number one “Can’t Even Get the Blues”. Yet McEntire became increasingly unhappy with her career trajectory and signed with MCA Records in 1984. Her second MCA album titled My Kind of Country (1984) became her breakout release, spawning two number one Billboard country singles and pointed towards a more traditional musical style. Through the 1980s, McEntire released seven more studio albums and had ten more number one country hits. Her number one singles included “One Promise Too Late”, “The Last One to Know” and the Grammy Award-winning “Whoever’s in New England”.
In 1991, McEntire lost eight of her band members in a plane crash in San Diego, California. The experience led to McEntire’s critically acclaimed album For My Broken Heart, which is her highest-selling disc to date. She followed it with several commercially successful albums during the 1990s, including Read My Mind (1994), What If It’s You (1996) and If You See Him (1998). These albums featured the number one country singles “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter”, “How Was I to Know” and a duet with Brooks and Dunn called “If You See Him/If You See Her”. McEntire also began acting on film and television, beginning with 1990’s Tremors. In 2001, she played the role of Annie Oakley in the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun. The same year, the WB channel launched the TV series Reba, which starred McEntire in the lead role. The show became successful and ran until 2007.
In 2004, McEntire returned to her country recording career with the top five Billboard album Room to Breathe. She followed the release with 2007’s Reba: Duets, 2009’s Keep On Loving You and 2011’s All the Women I Am. Her 2000’s albums spawned the number one singles “Somebody”, “Consider Me Gone” and “Turn on the Radio”. In 2012, McEntire briefly returned to television with the series Malibu Country and in 2018 portrayed the role of Colonel Sanders in television commercials for KFC. She has continued releasing new music, including Love Somebody (2015), Sing It Now (2017) and Revived Remixed Revisited (2021).
Alan Eugene Jackson (born October 17, 1958) is an American singer and songwriter. He is known for blending traditional honky-tonk and mainstream country pop sounds (for a style widely regarded as “neotraditional country”), as well as penning many of his own songs. Jackson has recorded 16 studio albums, three greatest-hits albums, two Christmas albums, and two gospel albums.
Jackson is one of the best-selling music artists of all-time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide, with 44 million sold in the United States alone. He has had 66 songs appear on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart; of the 66 titles, and six featured singles, 38 have reached the top five and 35 have claimed the number one spot. Out of 15 titles to reach the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, nine have been certified multi-platinum. He is the recipient of two Grammy Awards, 16 CMA Awards, 17 ACM Awards and nominee of multiple other awards. He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017 by Loretta Lynn and into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.