Pat Benatar (67)
Pat Benatar is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and four-time Grammy Award winner. She has two RIAA-certified multi-platinum albums, five platinum albums, three gold albums, and 15 Billboard Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 hits "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "Love Is a Battlefield," "We Belong," and "Invincible."
Pat Benatar was born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski on January 10, 1953, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City, but grew up in Lindenhurst, New York. Benatar sang solos and performed theater in elementary and high school, she trained as a coloratura with plans to attend the Juilliard School. She decided instead to pursue health education at Stony Brook University. After one year, she dropped out to marry her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar. Inspired by a Liza Minnelli concert, Benatar began the pursuit of a singing career. She started as a singing waitress and then became a regular performer at various nightclubs for several years. In 1975, she landed the part of Zephyr in Harry Chapin's futuristic rock musical, “The Zinger,” in Long Island.
Benatar's debut album “In the Heat of the Night” (1979) reached #12 in the US and was certified platinum. A year later, Benatar won the Grammy for “Best Female Rock Vocal Performance,” the same year she released her signature song "Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” She was nominated for a 2020 induction into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Joan Baez (79)
Joan Baez is an American singer, songwriter, musician and activist. Her contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 60 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish and English, she has also recorded songs in at least six other languages. Baez is generally regarded as a folk singer, but her music has diversified since the counterculture era of the 1960s and encompasses genres such as folk rock, pop, country and gospel music.
Baez was born on Staten Island, New York, on January 9, 1941. Her father, Albert Baez, was born in Puebla, Mexico and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Joan, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her father's work moved many times, living in towns across the U.S. and around the world. Baez graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1958.
As a young girl, a friend of her father gave her a ukulele. She learned four chords, which enabled her to play rhythm and blues. When Baez was 13, she went to a concert by folk musician Pete Seeger, and found herself strongly moved by his music. A few years later in 1957, Baez bought her first Gibson acoustic guitar. She began her recording career in 1960 and achieved immediate success. Her first three albums all achieved gold record status. Baez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017.
Jon Bon Jovi (58)
John Francis Bongiovi Jr., known as Jon Bon Jovi is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Known as founder and frontman of rock band Bon Jovi, formed in 1983.
1984-1985, Bon Jovi released two albums and the single "Runaway" hit the Top 40. In 1986, the album Slippery When Wet, sold over 20 million copies. New Jersey (1988), sold over 10 million copies and had 5 Top 10 singles. In 1992, album Keep the Faith went double-platinum. “Always” was the biggest-selling and longest-charting single (1994). They received the Award of Merit at the 2004 AMAs. The single "Who Says You Can't Go Home", the first single by a rock band to reach No. 1 on country charts, won a Grammy Award. Bon Jovi performed 2,700+ concerts in 50+ countries, released 14 studio albums, 5 compilations, 3 live albums and sold 100 million records worldwide. They were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame (2006), and U.S. Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (2018). Jon experienced a successful solo career and acting career, starring in Moonlight and Valentino and U-571. He appeared in Sex and the City, Ally McBeal and The West Wing.
Bon Jovi started his own label, Jambco Records. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2009). He ranked #50 on Billboard Magazine's "Power 100", highlighting "The Most Powerful and Influential People In The Music Business". People Magazine named him one of the "50 Most Beautiful People In The World", and later awarded him the "Sexiest Rock Star". Jon was a founder and owner of Arena Football team Philadelphia Soul. He founded The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in 2006. His solo hit, Not Running Anymore received a Golden Globe Nomination.
Bono is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best known as the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of rock band U2. Paul David Hewson, KBE OL was born in Dublin, on 10 May 1960.
In 1976, Bono, David Evans, his brother Dik and Adam Clayton responded to an advertisement posted by fellow student Larry Mullen Jr. to form a rock band. The band went by the name "Feedback" before changing to "The Hype". After Dik Evans left the group they officially changed the name to "U2".
Initially Bono sang, played guitar and wrote the band's songs. He was such a lousy guitar player that one day they told him that maybe he should sing instead. Bono established himself as a passionate front man for the band through his expressive vocal style and grandiose gestures and songwriting. His lyrics are known for their social and political themes, and religious imagery inspired by his Christian beliefs. During U2's early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to the group's rebellious and spiritual tone. As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with the other members. As a member of U2, Bono has received 22 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Bono has recorded with numerous artists. He is managing director and a managing partner of the private equity firm Elevation Partners, which has invested in several companies.
Garth Brooks (58)
Garth Brooks is an American 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 single and album charts, multi-platinum recordings and record-breaking live performances, while also crossing over into the mainstream pop arena.
Troyal Garth Brooks was born on February 7, 1962, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was the youngest child of Troyal Raymond Brooks Jr. and Colleen McElroy Carroll, a 1950s-era country singer. In 1985, Brooks began his professional music career, singing and playing guitar in Oklahoma clubs and bars. Brooks' eponymous first album was released in 1989 and was a chart success. It peaked at No. 2. The first single, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)", was a country top 10 success. It was followed by "If Tomorrow Never Comes", "Not Counting You" and "The Dance". As of 2020, according to the RIAA, Brooks 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. He is also one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 170 million records.
Brooks was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 21, 2012, 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.
Born Cherilyn Sarkisian May 20, 1946, Cher is an American singer, actress and television personality. Commonly referred to by the media as the Goddess of Pop, she has been described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry.
Cher met performer Sonny Bono in November 1962 when he was working for record producer Phil Spector. Cher accepted Sonny's offer to be his housekeeper. Sonny introduced Cher to Spector, who used her as a backup singer on many recordings. Spector produced her first single, the unsuccessful "Ringo, I Love You", which Cher recorded under a different name. Cher and Sonny became close friends, they officially married after she gave birth to Chaz. Although Sonny wanted to launch Cher as a solo artist, she had stage fright and wanted him to join her onstage, singing the harmonies. Sonny and Cher charted ten Billboard top 40 singles between 1965 and 1972. At one point, they had five songs in the top 50 at the same time, a feat equaled only by the Beatles and Elvis Presley. By the end of 1967, they had sold 40 million records worldwide and had become Time magazines, rock's "it" couple.
Her solo career began in 1966 releasing her first million-seller song. She became a television personality in the 1970s with her shows The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, watched by over 30 million viewers weekly during its three-year run, and Cher.
Eric Clapton (75)
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. 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. He is known as one of the most influential guitarists of all time.
Born on 30 March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England, he received an acoustic Hoyer guitar for his thirteenth birthday. The inexpensive steel-stringed instrument was difficult to play and he briefly lost interest. Two years later Clapton picked it up again and by age 16 he was playing in pubs around Surrey. Throughout his career Clapton played with a variety of artists and bands including The Roosters, The Yardbirds, and the Bluesbreakers. In 1966 he formed Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce. His solo career began in the 1970s.
Clapton has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004 he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace 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. Clapton has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
Phil Collins (69)
Philip David Charles Collins was born on 30 January 1951 in Chiswick, London. At age five he was given a toy drum set. Later his uncle made him a more complete set that he used regularly, playing along with music on the radio and TV.
He was influenced by Ringo Starr, drummer for the Beatles, as well as Buddy Rich the great jazz and big band drummer. While attending Chiswick County School for Boys, Collins formed a band called the Real Thing, and later joined the Freehold, with whom he wrote his first song, "Lying Crying Dying". He is best known as the drummer/singer of the rock band Genesis and for his solo career. He joined Genesis in 1970 as their drummer. He became the lead singer in 1975. He left Genesis in 1996 to focus on his solo career which had skyrocketed in the 1980’s. In 1999 he received an Oscar for Best Original Song for “You’ll Be in My Heart.” from the Disney movie Tarzan.
Collins’s body of work includes eight studio albums. He is one of only three recording artists, along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, who have sold over 100 million records worldwide both as solo artists and separately as principal members of a band. He has received 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.
Alice Cooper (72)
Alice Cooper, born Vincent Damon Furnier, is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years. Cooper was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1948. the son of Ether Moroni Furnier and his wife Ella Mae. Following a series of childhood illnesses, he moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona, where he attended Cortez High School. In his high school yearbook, his ambition was to be "A million record seller".
Originating in Phoenix, Arizona in 1964, "Alice Cooper" was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and Neal Smith on drums. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit song "I'm Eighteen". The band reached their commercial peak in 1973 with their sixth studio album, Billion Dollar Babies. The band broke up in 1975 and Furnier adopted the band's name as his own name, beginning his solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare.
Expanding from his Detroit rock roots, Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, glam metal, and industrial rock. He is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and has been described as the artist who "first introduced horror imagery to rock and roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre".
Melissa Etheridge (59)
Melissa Etheridge an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Etheridge was born in 1961 in Leavenworth, Kansas. Etheridge began to play in local country music groups in her teenage years. While attending college at Berklee College of Music, Etheridge played the club circuit around Boston, Massachusetts. After three semesters, Etheridge dropped out and moved to Los Angeles to attempt a career in music.
Etheridge was discovered in a bar called Vermie's in California. She made friends on a women's soccer team, they came to see her play. One of the women was Karla, wife of Bill Leopold, a manager in the music business. Karla convinced Bill to see Etheridge perform live. He was impressed, and became a pivotal part of Etheridge's career. After an unreleased first effort was rejected as being too polished, she completed her stripped-down, self-titled debut in just four days. The album Melissa Etheridge (1988), was an underground hit, the single "Bring Me Some Water" was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Etheridge's second album, Brave and Crazy, was released in 1989. Her third album, Never Enough, didn't reach the top of the charts, but gave Etheridge her first Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance. Etheridge is known for her mixture of confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations, winning in 1993 and 1995. In 2007, she won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I Need to Wake Up" from the film An Inconvenient Truth. In 2011, Etheridge received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
John Fogerty (75)
John Cameron Fogerty is an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Together with Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and his brother Tom Fogerty, he founded the band Creedence Clearwater Revival ("CCR"), for which he was the lead singer, lead guitarist and principal songwriter. The group had nine top-ten singles and eight gold albums between 1968 and 1972, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Fogerty was born May 28, 1945 in Berkeley, California, and grew up in El Cerrito, California, one of five sons born to Galen Robert and Edith Lucile Fogerty. Fogerty attended El Cerrito High School, where he met future members of CCR. While in junior high school in 1959, Fogerty formed a cover band called the Blue Velvets, later the Goliwogs. After receiving a draft notice, Fogerty went to a local United States Army Reserve recruiter, who signed him up immediately. After Fogerty's military service, the Golliwogs resumed playing, releasing an album in late 1967. In 1968, they changed their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival, with John Fogerty taking his brother's place as lead singer. The band released their eponymous debut album and also had their first hit single, "Susie Q". Many other hit singles and albums followed, beginning with "Proud Mary".
After CCR parted ways in 1972, Fogerty has had a successful solo career which continues to the present. He was listed on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest songwriters and the list of 100 Greatest Singers.
Peter Gabriel (70)
Peter Brian Gabriel, born February 13, 1950, is an English singer, songwriter, record producer and humanitarian activist. Gabriel played piano and drums in his youth and began the progressive rock band Genesis with college friends. He was the band’s original lead singer until 1975.
A successful solo career was launched with "Solsbury Hill" as his first single. 'So' was his first commercially-successful solo album debuting in 1986. Gabriel has been a champion of world music for much of his career. He co-founded the WOMAD festival in 1982 and has continued to focus on producing and promoting world music through his Real World Records label. He has participated in several human rights benefit concerts.
Gabriel has won three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male in 1987, six Grammy Awards, thirteen MTV Video Music Awards, the first Pioneer Award at the BT Digital Music Awards, the Q magazine Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the Man of Peace award from the Nobel Peace Prize laureates in 2006, and Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010, and as a solo artist in 2014. In December 2020 he will begin a UK arena tour. Big hits: Solsbury Hill (1980) Shock the Monkey (1982), Sledgehammer (1986), In Your Eyes (1986)
Art Garfunkel (79)
Arthur (Art) Ira Garfunkel is an American singer, poet, and actor. He is best known for his partnership with Paul Simon in the folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel. Garfunkel was born November 5, 1941 in Queens, New York City, the son of Rose and Jacob "Jack" Garfunkel, a traveling salesman. Garfunkel's love for singing originated in the first grade. He met future singing partner Paul Simon in the sixth grade at PS 164.
Simon and Garfunkel released their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. on Columbia Records in October 1964. It was not a critical or commercial success, and the duo split. The next year, producer Tom Wilson lifted the song "The Sound of Silence" from the record, dubbed an electric backing onto it, and released it as a single that went to number one on the Billboard pop charts. Citing personal differences and divergence in career interests, they split following the release of their most critically acclaimed album, Bridge over Troubled Water, in 1970.
Highlights of his solo music career include a top 10 hit, three top 20 hits, six top 40 hits, 14 Adult Contemporary top 30 singles, five Adult Contemporary number ones, two UK number ones and a People's Choice Award. Through his solo and collaborative work, Garfunkel has earned eight Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990, he and Simon were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Barry Gibb (74)
Sir Barry Gibb CBE is a British-American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the group the Bee Gees along with his younger brothers, twins Robin and Maurice Gibb, with whom he formed a songwriting partnership beginning in 1955.
Barry Alan Crompton Gibb was born 1 September 1946 in the Isle of Man to Hugh Gibb, a drummer, and Barbara Gibb. In 1955, Gibb formed the skiffle group The Rattlesnakes, consisting of himself on vocals and guitar, Robin and Maurice on vocals. The band later changed its name to Bee Gees. In 1959, the brothers began singing between races at the Redcliffe Speedway to earn money. The brothers spent the summers of 1961 and 1962 performing at hotels and clubs in the Gold Coast area. All of the Bee Gees' singles from 1963 to 1966 were written by Gibb.
In 1966 they returned to England where they achieved worldwide fame. Well known for his wide vocal range, Gibb's most notable vocal trait is a far-reaching high-pitched falsetto. In total, he has written or co-written sixteen Billboard Hot 100 number ones. Guinness World Records lists Gibb as the second most successful songwriter in history behind Paul McCartney. Gibb's career has spanned over sixty years. In 1994, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with his brothers. In 1997, as a member of the Bee Gees, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Vince Gill (63)
An American country singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, achieving commercial success and fame as frontman to the country rock band Pure Prairie League. He left Pure Prairie League in 1981 to join Cherry Bombs, before becoming a solo artist (1983).
His talents as a vocalist and musician have made him a demand as guest vocalist and a duet partner such as 'I Will Always Love You' with Dolly Parton. He sold over a million copies of his debut album When I Call Your Name, of which several songs made the U.S. Country charts' Top Ten / Top Twenty. Similarly successful albums followed: Pocket Full of Gold and I Still Believe in You. Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s Gill continued his success.
Gill has won more CMA Awards than any performer in history. He has recorded more than 20 albums, charted over 40 singles on the U.S. Billboard charts Hot Country Songs, and sold more than 26 million albums. He has been honored by the Country Music Association with 18 CMA Awards, including two Entertainer of the Year awards and five Male Vocalist Awards. Gill has also earned 21 Grammy Awards and in 2007 was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and inducted into the Guitar Center Rock Walk. Vince Gill was hired by the Eagles in place of the late Glenn Frey (2017). He has been touring with the band ever since. He plays electric guitar as a guest musician on Aaron Lewis' song "Love Me", which appears on the 2019 album: State I'm In.
Sammy Hagar (73)
Samuel Roy Hagar, aka The Red Rocker, was born October 13, 1947. He rose to stardom with the hard rock band Montrose in the 1970’s, writing his first song, “Bad Motor Scooter.”
Hagar then launched a successful solo career with Capitol Records producing albums such as Nine on a Ten Scale and hits like “Red.” Hagar continued to experience commercial success in the 1980’s, with his best known song “I Can’t Drive 55”. In 1985 he replaced David Lee Roth as the lead singer of Van Halen. With Hagar in the lead, Van Halen produced four multi-platinum, #1 Billboard charting albums, including 5150 and Balance as well as many chart hits, including nine reaching #1.
He won a Grammy in 1991 for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal and a Tony award nomination in 1999 for Original Musical Score. He was inducted into the rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen in 2007.
Janet Jackson (54)
Janet Damita Jo Jackson born May 16, 1966, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. She originally wanted to become a horse racing jockey or entertainment lawyer, with acting as a backup plan. She acted in several television series in the 1970’s and 80’s, and at the age of 16 she signed a recording contract with A&M Records.
Her debut album, Janet Jackson, was released in 1982. After her second album Dream Street, Jackson terminated business affairs with her family. She became a pop icon following the release of her third and fourth studio albums Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation (1989). Control received six Billboard Awards, including "Top Pop Singles Artist", and three Grammy nominations, including "Album of the Year". It also won four American Music Awards from twelve nominations, an unbroken record today. Rhythm Nation 1814 became the highest selling album of 1990, winning a record fifteen Billboard Awards. The long-form "Rhythm Nation" music video won a Grammy Award. Her Rhythm Nation World Tour 1990 became the most successful debut tour in history and set a record for the fastest sell-out of Japan's Tokyo Dome. In 2015, she partnered with BMG Rights Management to launch her own record label, Rhythm Nation, and released her eleventh album Unbreakable the same year.
Having sold over 100 million records, she is one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time. She holds the record for the most consecutive top-ten songs on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by a female artist with 18 hits. 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 of all-time after Madonna. Jackson was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. June 2020, Black Diamond World Tour begins in Florida.
Mick Jagger (77)
Sir Mick is an English singer, songwriter, actor, and film producer who gained worldwide fame as the lead singer and one of the founder members of the Rolling Stones. Jagger's career has spanned over five decades. His distinctive voice and energetic live performances, along with Keith Richards' guitar style, have been the trademark of the Rolling Stones throughout the band's career.
Michael Philip Jagger was born into a middle-class family in Dartford, Kent on 26 July 1943. Keith Richards and Jagger were classmates at Wentworth Primary School, Dartford. Jagger and Richards lost contact with each other when they went to different schools, but after a chance encounter on platform two at Dartford railway station in July 1960, resumed their friendship and discovered their shared love of rhythm and blues. In 1961, with Richards and guitarist Brian Jones, Jagger moved into a flat in Edith Grove, Chelsea, London. He studied business on a government grant as an undergraduate student at the London School of Economics. But in 1963 Jagger left school to pursue his musical career. The group's first appearance, under the name the Rollin' Stones (after one of their favorite Muddy Waters tunes), was at the Marquee Club, a jazz club, in London in 1962. They later changed their name to "the Rolling Stones''. Jagger and Richards have written most of the Rolling Stones' songs and they continue to collaborate musically.
In 1989, Jagger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 into the UK Music Hall of Fame with the Rolling Stones. As a member of the Stones, and as a solo artist, he reached number one on the UK and US singles charts with 13 singles, the Top 10 with 32 singles and the Top 40 with 70 singles. In 2003, he was knighted for his services to popular music.
Joan Jett (62)
An American rock singer, songwriter, composer, musician, record producer and actress, best known as the frontwoman of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. She is described as the Godmother of Punk.
In 1979, she recorded songs with the Sex Pistols, one was a version of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll". In 1980 Jett formed the Blackhearts. In spring of 1981 they played a career-defining performance in New York and began a 1 year tour then recorded the Blackhearts second album “I Love Rock 'n Roll”. The first single "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. It is Billboards No. 56 song of all time and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Additional hits: "Bad Reputation", "Crimson and Clover", "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)", "Light of Day", "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and "Dirty Deeds". She has three albums certified Platinum and/or Gold. They recorded songs for movies Light of Day and Days of Thunder. They collaborated with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Alice Cooper, Billy Idol. In 2007 she began a punk rock radio show for Sirius Satellite Radio, and toured with Motorhead and Aerosmith. In 2008 they toured as the opening act for Def Leppard and Green Day. The band continues to tour smaller venues, perform at baseball games, and state fairs. In 2018 they signed a deal with Sony to make their catalog available for streaming.
Billy Joel (71)
The "Piano Man", is an American singer-songwriter, composer, pianist, and sixth best-selling recording artist and third best-selling solo artist in the U.S. He grew up in Bronx, New York and at age 4 started piano lessons.
Joel’s 1977 breakthrough album, The Stranger sold over 10 million copies with hit singles "Just the Way You Are", "Movin' Out", "Only the Good Die Young", and "She's Always a Woman". He produced 33 Top 40 hits. Joel has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards, winning five of them. In 1987, he was one of the first artists to hold a rock and roll tour in the Soviet Union. In 1992, he was awarded his diploma from Hicksville High.
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. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2004), and the Kennedy Center Honors Award (2013). He provided voiceover work for Disney’s “Oliver & Company”. He contributed to movie soundtracks Easy Money, Ruthless People, and Honeymoon in Vegas. He has sold 150 million records worldwide. The “Movin’ Out,” Broadway musical based on his music, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won two: Best Orchestrations, Best Choreography.
Elton John (73)
Sir Elton Hercules John, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, March 25,1947 is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums. At age 7 he began formal piano lessons. He showed musical aptitude at school, including the ability to compose melodies and gained some notoriety by playing like Jerry Lee Lewis at school functions.
At age 17 he dropped out of school before final exams to pursue his music career. By 1962 he formed Bluesology, an R&B band with whom he played until 1967. John began going by the name Elton John in homage to two members of Bluesology: saxophonist Elton Dean and vocalist Long John Baldry. In 1969, John's debut album, Empty Sky, was released. In 1970, his first hit single, "Your Song", from his second album, Elton John, reached the top ten in the UK and the US.
John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits in the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100, including seven number ones in the UK and nine in the US. He has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends award, and the Kennedy Center Honor. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992.
Jennifer Lopez (51)
Jennifer Lynn Lopez, born July 24, 1969, also known by her nickname J.Lo, is an American singer, but she is also a talented actress, dancer, fashion designer, producer, and businesswoman. During her senior year in high school, Jennifer took a role in a small film “My Little Girl”.
In 1991, she was selected as a backup dancer for the New Kids on the Block and performed with them during their performance of "Games" at the 18th Annual American Music Awards. Afterwards she appeared as a Fly Girl dancer on In Living Color. In 1997 Jennifer starred as the title role of the Selena biopic "Selena". Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times stated that the film was not just a celebration of Selena's life, but also of the actress who portrayed her. Jennifer's salary for the film was reported at $1 million, which made her the highest-paid Hispanic actress in history.
In 1999 Jennifer launched her singing career with her first debut single “If You Had My Love.” The album J.Lo. released in 2001 was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200. J.Lo became the best-selling album of Lopez's career, having sold 3.8 million copies in the US and moved over 12 million units worldwide. In 2014, she became the first female recipient of the Billboard Icon Award. She was awarded the Telemundo Star Award at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in 2017. In 2018, she became the first Latin artist to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. In 2020 at age 50 JLo performed with Shakira at the Super Bowl halftime show.
Loretta Lynn (88)
Loretta Lynn Webb, born in1932 in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky and is an American country music singer/songwriter with multiple gold albums in a career spanning 60 years. In 1948, 15-year-old Loretta married "Doolittle" Lynn. In 1953, Doolittle bought her a $17 Harmony guitar, she taught herself to play, over three years, improved and began singing in local clubs in the late 1950s. She started her own band, Loretta and the Trailblazers, with her brother playing lead guitar. She cut her first record, in 1960.
Lynn released her first single in 1962, this was the beginning of top 10 singles throughout the 70’s. Lynn’s autobiographical hit "Coal Miner's Daughter" peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart. In 1971, Lynn began a professional partnership with Conway Twitty. As a duo, they had five consecutive No. 1 hits between 1971 and 1975 and were named the "Vocal Duo of the Year" by the Country Music Association for years.
She is the most awarded female country recording artist and the only female ACM Artist of the Decade. Lynn has 24 No. 1 hit singles and 11 number one albums. She was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008, and was honored at the 2010 Country Music Awards. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2013. Her debut appearance at the Grand Ole Opry was in October 1960. Lynn has recorded 70 albums, including 54 studio albums, 15 compilation albums, and one tribute album. Lynn continues to tour, appear at the Grand Ole Opry and release new albums.
Madonna is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Referred to as the "Queen of Pop" since the 1980s, Madonna is known for pushing the boundaries of songwriting in popular music and for the visuals she uses onstage and in music videos. Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, in 1958. She has two older brothers and five younger siblings.
Madonna enrolled in classical piano in high school, but preferred ballet lessons, her ballet teacher, persuaded her to pursue a career in dance. She received a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan. In 1978, Madonna dropped out of college and relocated to New York City. She performed as a backup singer and dancer, later forming a couple of rock bands where she played drums and guitar. She wrote songs and decided to promote her solo act.
Madonna signed with Sire Records in 1982 and began releasing albums the next year. Her global bestsellers, "Like a Virgin" (1984) and "True Blue" (1986) as well as others. Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is certified as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. According to Billboard, Madonna is the most successful solo artist in its Hot 100 chart history. 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. VH1 ranked her atop the 100 Greatest Women in Music, while Rolling Stone listed her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
Barry Manilow (77)
Barry Manilow is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, musician and producer with a career that has spanned more than 50 years. Manilow was born in 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. He went to the City College of New York, where he studied before entering the New York College of Music. He studied Musical Theater at the Juilliard Arts School.
In 1964, Manilow wrote the entire score for a musical adaptation of the melodrama The Drunkard, which was an Off Broadway musical during an eight-year run at New York's 13th Street Theatre. Manilow began working as a pianist, producer and arranger, during this time, he became a commercial jingle writer and singer, which continued through the remainder of the 1960s. In 1969, Manilow was signed by Columbia/CBS Music,Tony Orlando, Vice President.
In 1975 “Mandy” was his breakthrough number-one hit. It started a string of hit singles and albums that lasted through the 1980s. He recorded and released 46 Top 40 singles including 13 number one hits and 28 within the top ten. 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.Manilow has sold more than 75 million records as a solo artist worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling artists.
Paul McCartney (78)
Sir James Paul McCartney (78) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and record and film producer, perhaps best known as co-lead vocalist and bassist for the Beatles. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history. A self-taught musician, McCartney is proficient on bass, guitar, keyboards, and drums.
The Beatles’ first hit, "Love Me Do," became popular in the UK and US in 1963. Fan hysteria known as "Beatlemania" had McCartney dubbed as the "cute Beatle." In 1966, the group created “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” widely regarded as rock's first concept album. They produced the films “Magical Mystery Tour” and “Yellow Submarine” and album “Abbey Road.” In 1970, McCartney began his solo career with “McCartney,” a US #1 album. Paul and Linda McCartney’s band “Wings” (1971-1981) created several US and UK hits. In 1980, McCartney released his second solo album, the self-produced “McCartney II,” which peaked at #1 in the UK and #3 in the US. The next several decades saw McCartney working on various projects, including the #1 hit "Ebony and Ivory" with Stevie Wonder, "Live Aid," “Paul McCartney World Tour,” and numerous tribute and charity concerts.
More recently, McCartney remains one of the world's top draws, performing at the 2012 Summer Olympic closing ceremonies in London, the Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles, Sandy Relief Concert, and collaborating on songs with Rihanna, Nirvana, Kanye West, Paul Simon, and Alice Cooper. His European "Freshen Up" tour was expected to begin mid-May 2020.
Willie Nelson (87)
Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933 in Abbott, Texas) is an American musician, actor, and activist. Born during the Great Depression and raised by his grandparents, Nelson wrote his first song at age seven and joined his first band at ten. During high school, he toured locally with the Bohemian Polka as their lead singer and guitar player. After graduating from high school in 1950, he joined the U.S. Air Force but was later discharged due to back problems. After his return, Nelson attended Baylor University for two years but dropped out because he was seeing success in music.
In 1960 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and later signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music which allowed him to join Ray Price's band as a bassist. In 1962, he recorded his first album, “...And Then I Wrote”. Due to this success, Nelson signed in 1964 with RCA Victor and joined the Grand Ole Opry the following year. After a brief retirement Nelson signed with Atlantic Records in 1973 and turned to outlaw country. In 1975, he switched to Columbia Records, where he recorded the critically acclaimed album Red Headed Stranger and Wanted! The Outlaws, along with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser.
Nelson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993, and he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1998. In 2015 Nelson won the Gershwin Prize, the lifetime award of the Library of Congress. He was included by Rolling Stone on its 100 Greatest Singers and 100 Greatest Guitarists lists.
Stevie Nicks (72)
Nicks is a chart-topping solo artist known for her work as a songwriter and vocalist with Fleetwood Mac. Her work as a member of Fleetwood Mac and solo artist produced over forty top 50 hits selling over 140 million records.
Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975. After adding Nicks and Buckingham, they recorded Rumours, the best-selling album of that year selling over 40 million copies worldwide, becoming the fifth biggest-selling album of all time. It remained number one in the U.S. for 31 weeks and reached number one in multiple countries. It won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978.
Stevie Nicks’ song "Dreams" was the band's first and only Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit. In 1981, Nicks began her solo career, releasing the studio album Bella Donna, topping the Billboard 200 and reaching multi-status. She released eight solo albums, with her most recent, 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault. As a solo artist Stevie Nicks earned eight Grammy Award nominations and two American Music Award nominations. She’s the 23rd artist in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame history to be inducted twice, in 1998 with Fleetwood Mac, and in 2019 as a solo artist. She earned the Glamour Women of the Year Award in 2011. She received the 2014 BMI Pop Awards Icon Award. Rolling Stone listed her one of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". She started Stevie Nick’s Soldier’s Angel Foundation to help rehabilitate wounded soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ozzy Osbourne (72)
John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne is an English singer, songwriter, actor, and television personality. He rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, during which he adopted the nickname the "Prince of Darkness." Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but he went on to have a successful solo career, releasing 12 studio albums, the first seven of which were awarded multi-platinum certifications in the US. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".
Osbourne was born in 1948 in Birmingham, England. He had the nickname "Ozzy" since primary school and has dealt with dyslexia. Drawn to the stage, he took part in school plays such as Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado and HMS Pinafore.
At age 14, Osbourne became a fan of the Beatles, hearing their first single. He credits their 1963 song "She Loves You" for inspiring him to become a musician. Osbourne's total album sales is over 100 million. As a member of Black Sabbath and solo artist, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and into the UK Music Hall of Fame. Possessing a distinctive singing voice, Osbourne has a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars in his hometown as well as the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards, he received the Global Icon Award. In 2015, Osbourne received the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
Donny Osmond (63)
Donald Clark Osmond born December 9, 1957, is an American singer, dancer, actor, television host and former teen idol. In 1963, Donny Osmond made his debut on the Andy Williams show at the age of five singing "You Are My Sunshine". The Osmond brothers continued to perform on the show throughout the 1960s. Donny and his elder brothers earned several top ten hits and gold albums.
In the early 1970s, he began a solo career, earning several top ten hits. Osmond was one of the biggest "Cover Boy" pop stars for Tiger Beat magazine in the early 1970s. His first solo hit was "Sweet and Innocent", which peaked at No. 7 in 1971. His other hits were "Go Away Little Girl" (1971), "Puppy Love", and "Hey Girl/I Knew You When" which vaulted him into international fame.
In 1976-79, he starred alongside his sister Marie, in the variety show The Donny & Marie show.
He has worked with Peter Gabriel and Dweezil Zappa. Donny & Marie released a series of top ten hits and gold albums and hosted Daytime Emmy Award-nominated talk show, Donny and Marie in 1998–2000. Donny also successfully competed on two reality TV shows, winning season 9 of Dancing with the Stars and being named runner-up for season 1 of The Masked Singer. He hosted the game show Pyramid from 2002-2004. Most recently, Donny & Marie headlined an 11-year Las Vegas residency at the Flamingo Las Vegas (2008-2019).
Marie Osmond (61)
Olive Marie Osmond is an American singer, actress, author, philanthropist, talk show host, and a member of show business family the Osmonds. She was a solo country music artist, best known for the ballad "Paper Roses", reaching Top 5 on the Billboard pop chart, and earning a gold record.
Other 1970’s hits are Little Corner of the World, Who's Sorry Now, and duets with brother Donny Osmond: I'm Leaving It All Up to You and Morning Side of the Mountain. She and Donny hosted The Donny & Marie show. In 1985, she had 3 big country hits Meet Me in Montana and There's No Stopping Your Heart, and Read My Lips. In the mid-1990s she successfully performed Broadway musicals. Marie and Donny hosted talk-show Donny & Marie. Marie along with Donny, was the headliner at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was executive producer and host of “Marie” on Hallmark Channel. In 2015, her album Music Is Medicine, partnering with artists Marty Roe, Olivia Newton-John, Sisqó, John Rich and Alex Boyé, went to #10 on Billboard Top Country Albums.
In 2019, Osmond premiered as a new host of The Talk. She authored three books, all of which featured in the New York Times bestsellers list: Behind the Smile: My Journey Out, discussing her struggles with postpartum depression, Might As Well Laugh About It Now, focuses on milestones and missteps in her life, and The Key Is Love subtitled My Mother's Wisdom, A Daughter's Gratitude. Marie is working on a new operatic album that will be available in 2021.
Dolly Parton (74)
An American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known for her country music, moved to Nashville at age 18 to be a songwriter/singer. For the next 26 years she experienced great success writing for others and recording her own songs, but in the 1990s sales slowed. She began recording on her own label, Dolly Records which boosted sales.
Parton has 25 RIAA-certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. She composed 3,000+ songs. She has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, 41 career top-10 country albums, 110 career charted singles over 40 years, 47 Grammy nominations winning 10 Awards, 2 Academy Award nominations, 10 CMA Awards, 7 ACM Awards, 3 AM Awards, and CMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1999). Nashville Business ranked her the wealthiest country-music star (1998). She is also one of the few to receive at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards. Parton had her own television variety show, Dolly! She starred in 9 to 5 (1980), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Straight Talk (1992) and Joyful Noise (2012).
She is a co-owner of The Dollywood Company including Dollywood theme park. She wrote 2 children's books, and published "Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You" based on a commencement speech she gave at University of Tennessee, and published "Dolly's Dixie Fixins" cookbook.
Robert Plant (72)
Robert Anthony Plant CBE stated at age ten that he wanted to be like Elvis. He was born August 20, 1948 in Staffordshire, England. As a teenager he loved the blues and his music was influenced by Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, Bukka White, and others. In his teen years, he worked construction and sang with a variety of bands.
In 1968, guitarist Jimmy Page was in search of a lead singer for his new band Led Zeppelin. He met Plant, who subsequently enjoyed great success with Led Zeppelin from the late 1960s to the end of the 1970s. Although Led Zeppelin dissolved in 1980, Plant continued to collaborate with Jimmy Page on various projects.
A powerful and wide vocal range (particularly evident in his high-pitched vocals) has given Plant a successful singing career spanning over 50 years. In 1995 Led Zeppelin was awarded the International Artist Award by the American Music Awards. The band has also won four nominations to the Grammy Hall of Fame, two for their songs “Stairway to Heaven” (2003) and “Whole Lotta Love” (2007). In 2005 Led Zeppelin won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, Rolling Stone editors ranked Plant number 15 on their list of the 100 best singers of all time. In 2011, Rolling Stone readers ranked Plant the greatest of all lead singers.
Bonnie Raitt (71)
Bonnie Lynn Raitt is an American blues singer, guitarist, songwriter, and activist. Born in Burbank, California, to Broadway musical star John Raitt and pianist Marjorie Haydock, she began playing guitar at an early age. She gained notice for her bottleneck-style guitar playing. After graduating from high school in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1967 she went to Radcliffe College, majoring in Social Relations and African studies.
Raitt became friends with blues promoter Dick Waterman, and during her second year of college, she left school and moved to Philadelphia with Waterman and other local musicians. She states, “it was an opportunity that changed everything”. During the 1970s, Raitt released a series of roots-influenced albums that incorporated elements of blues, rock, folk and country.
In 1989, after several years of critical acclaim but little commercial success, she had a major hit with the album Nick of Time. The following two albums, Luck of the Draw (1991) and Longing in Their Hearts (1994), were also multi-million sellers, generating several hit singles, including "Something to Talk About", "Love Sneakin' Up on You", and the ballad "I Can't Make You Love Me" with Bruce Hornsby on piano. Raitt has received 10 Grammy Awards. She is listed as number 50 in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" and number 89 on the magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Keith Richards (77)
Keith Richards is an English musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of the Rolling Stones. In 1962-63, Keith Richards co-founded the Rolling Stones. Richards often plays all guitar parts on their albums. He is a vocalist, singing backing vocals on many Rolling Stones songs and lead vocals such as on the single "Happy".
He started his own record label, Mindless Records. He formed the "X-Pensive Winos" band. Richards has written and recorded ballads "You Got the Silver" (1969), "Coming Down Again" (1973), "All About You" (1980) and "Slipping Away" (1989). He has worked outside of the Rolling Stones chalking up numerous production and co-production credits with artists including Aretha Franklin, Johnnie Johnson, and Ronnie Spector, as well as on his own albums with the X-Pensive Winos. In December 2007 he released a download-only single on iTunes of "Run Rudolph Run". Richards had a short acting career playing Captain Teague in three Pirates of the Caribbean films. Rolling Stone magazine said he is the creator of "rock's greatest single body of riffs on guitar”, and ranked him fourth on its list of 100 best guitarists.
In 2009 Richards was ranked No. 4 in Time magazine's list of the 10 best electric guitar players of all time, he received the Rock Immortal Award at the Scream Awards, and a book about him was published titled What Would Keith Richards Do?: Daily Affirmations from a Rock 'n' Roll Survivor. His autobiography Life, was released in 2010. Richards continues to contribute as a guest artist on a wide range of music projects.
Carlos Santana (73)
A Mexican and American guitarist famous for his band Santana. He pioneered a fusion of rock and roll and Latin American jazz. In the 1960's he formed "Santana". The band appeared at Woodstock and was a great surprise of the festival.
Santana’s first album released in 1969 reached #4 on the U.S. album charts. Their second album spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart and was certified 4x platinum, and included two of Santana's hits, "Oye Como Va", and "Black Magic Woman". Santana also recorded two solo projects: Oneness: Silver Dreams – Golden Reality, in 1979 and The Swing of Delight in 1980 which were more radio-friendly. Santana experienced popularity in the late 1990s with a new album Supernatural, which included collaborations with Everlast, Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, CeeLo Green, Maná, Dave Matthews, KC Porter, J. B. Eckl, and others. The lead single "Smooth", co-written and sung by Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty spent twelve weeks at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100, sold over 15 million copies in the U.S., making it his most successful album.
Carlos won 10 Grammy Awards, 3 Latin Grammy Awards, and his band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Carlos was named #15 on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". He was honored as the Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy. He opened a chain of Mexican restaurants called "Maria Maria". In 2014, his memoir, The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light was published. In 2018, Santana published a guitar lesson on YouTube as part of the online series MasterClass.
Gene Simmons (71)
Gene Simmons was born as Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949 at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel to Jewish emigrants from Hungary. His mother, Florence Klein survived the Holocaust. His father, Ferenc "Feri" Yehiel Witz, was a carpenter. When he was young, Gene practiced playing his guitar for hours on end. At age eight, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and settled in New York City.
The Beatles had a significant influence on Simmons. "There is no way I'd be doing what I do now if it wasn't for the Beatles. I was watching The Ed Sullivan Show and I saw them. Those skinny little boys, kind of androgynous, with long hair like girls. It blew me away that these four boys [from] the middle of nowhere could make that music.”
Simmons played in bands including Lynx (Missing Links) and Wicked Lester and then, along with Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, he formed the band known as Kiss. In 1974 Kiss released their self-titled debut album. In 1977 they won The People’s Choice Award for favorite new song “Beth.” and in 1999 they were nominated for a Grammy Award for “Psyho Circus” in the category of Best Hard Rock Performance. In 2014 Kiss was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Paul Simon (79)
Paul Simon is an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor. Simon's musical career has spanned seven decades. He reached fame and commercial success as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1956 with Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote nearly all of their songs, including US number-one singles "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge over Troubled Water".
Paul Frederic Simon was born on October 13, 1941, in Newark, New Jersey to Louis and Belle. In 1945, his family moved to Flushing, Queens, in New York City. Simon's musical career began after meeting Art Garfunkel when they were both 11. They began singing together when they were 13. In 1957, they recorded the song "Hey, Schoolgirl" under the name "Tom & Jerry". The single reached No. 49 on the pop charts. In early 1964, Simon and Garfunkel signed with Columbia Records as Simon & Garfunkel. Their first LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., was released in 1964. The Sound of Silence" track from that album went to No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts.
After Simon & Garfunkel split up in 1970, at the height of their popularity, Simon began a successful solo career. He recorded three acclaimed albums over the following five years. Simon has earned sixteen Grammy awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a two time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, first in 1990 as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and again in 2001 for his solo career.
Carly Simon (75)
Carly Simon is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. She first rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records; her 13 Top 40 U.S. hits include "You're So Vain" and "Nobody Does It Better" (from the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me).
Carly Elisabeth Simon was born June 25, 1945, in the Bronx, New York to Richard L. Simon and Andrea Heinemann Simon. Simon began stuttering severely when she was eight years old. A psychiatrist tried unsuccessfully to cure her stuttering. Instead, Simon turned to singing and songwriting. Simon's career began with a short-lived music group with her sister as the Simon Sisters.
Simon was signed by Jac Holzman to Elektra Records in 1970. She released her self-titled debut album, Carly Simon, in March 1971 which contained the top-ten hit "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be". Her second album, Anticipation, came in November of that same year and its lead single, also titled "Anticipation", No. 13 on Billboard's Pop singles chart. Over the course of her career, Simon has amassed 24 Billboard Hot 100 charting singles, 28 Billboard Adult Contemporary charting singles, and won 2 Grammy Awards, from 14 nominations She has a contralto vocal range. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994. She was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "You're So Vain" in 2004 and awarded the ASCAP Founders Award in 2012.
Bruce Springsteen (71)
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen, AKA “The Boss” is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He was born September 23, 1949, and at the age of seven, he began playing the guitar after seeing Elvis Presely on the Ed Sullivan Show.
He attained worldwide fame upon the release of Born to Run in 1975. Born in the U.S.A. (1984) is Springsteen's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful album. It was certified 15x Platinum in the US and has sold 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. Springsteen has sold more than 135 million records worldwide and more than 64 million records 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 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, was named MusiCares person of the year in 2013, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016
Rod Stewart (75)
Sir Roderick David Stewart CBE is a British rock singer and songwriter. Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 120 million records worldwide. He was knighted in 2016.
Rod Stewart was born January 10, 1945 to Robert Joseph Stewart and Elsie Rebecca Gilbart. In 1960, Stewart joined a skiffle group with school friends called the Kool Kats. In October 1963, at the age of 18, he joined The Dimensions as a harmonica player and part-time vocalist. In 1964 Stewart signed a solo contract, releasing his first single, "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl". In 1967 Jeff Beck recruited Stewart to join the Jeff Beck Group as vocalist and sometime songwriter. This would become the big break of his early career. Because of band tension and unease with Beck, Rod left the band in 1969 and joined Faces until 1975 then continued his solo career.
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 #33 in Q Magazine's list of the Top 100 Greatest Singers of all time, and #59 on Rolling Stone 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 was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces.
Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner “Sting”, is an English musician, activist and actor. He was the songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the rock band the Police, going solo in 1985. During his career, he has sold over 100 million records.
He has received 17 Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, including Best British Male Artist, and Outstanding Contribution. He received a Golden Globe, an Emmy and four Academy Award nominations. In 2019, he received a BMI Award for "Every Breath You Take". In 2002, Sting received the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Police (2003), he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2000), he was made a Kennedy Center Honoree (2014), and was awarded the Polar Music Prize (2017). His 1980 song "Driven to Tears", is an indictment of apathy to world hunger. He joined Band Aid, singing "Do They Know It's Christmas?"(1984), performed at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, with Phil Collins and Dire Straits (1985), performed at the Live 8 concert (2005), reunited with the Police for the A Conspiracy of Hope concert in the US (1986), and he joined musicians Peter Gabriel and Bruce Springsteen for a six-week Human Rights Now! tour (1988).
Sting founded the Rainforest Foundation Fund saving rainforests and protecting indigenous peoples. Sting joined Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Elton John, and Phil Collins at London's Royal Albert Hall for Music, for a benefit for the Caribbean island devastated by a volcano. Sting performed in America: A Tribute to Heroes raising money for families of 9/11 victims. Sting’s "My Songs" tour will begin in 2020.
George Strait (68)
George Strait is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer. 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 for his country style, 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.
George Harvey Strait Sr. was born on May 18, 1952, in Poteet, Texas. He grew up in nearby Pearsall where his father was the owner of a 2,000-acre cattle ranch. Strait began his musical interest in High School, he played in a rock and roll band, the Beatles were popular but his musical preference was country music.
Strait's success began in 1981. During the 1980s, seven of his albums reached number one on the country charts. In the 2000s, Strait was named Artist of the Decade, elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and won his first Grammy award. 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, ACM awards and has more wins in both categories than any other artist.
By 2009, he broke the record for the most number-one hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart at 44. Strait has a total of 60 number-one hits, breaking a record previously set by Twitty, giving him more number one songs than any other artist in any genre of music. Strait has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold albums.
James Taylor (72)
James Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-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.
James Vernon Taylor was born in Boston on March 12, 1948. His father, Isaac M. Taylor, worked as a physician. His mother, Gertrude Woodard, studied singing with Marie Sundelius at the New England Conservatory of Music. Taylor took cello lessons as a child in North Carolina, before learning the guitar in 1960. Spending summer holidays with his family on Martha's Vineyard, he met Danny Kortchmar, an aspiring teenage guitarist from Larchmont, New York. Taylor wrote his first song on guitar at 14 and by the summer of 1963, he and Kortchmar were playing coffeehouses around the Vineyard, billed as "Jamie & Kootch".
At Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina Taylor joined a band called The Corsayers (later The Fabulous Corsairs), playing electric guitar; in 1964, they cut a single in Raleigh that featured James's song "Cha Cha Blues" on the B-side. Taylor achieved his solo 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. Every album that he released from 1977 to 2007 sold over 1 million copies.
Pete Townsend (75)
The Who is considered to be one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century. Pete Townshend, co-founder of the group, is best known as the principal songwriter, guitarist and vocalist for the band for over five decades.
Townshend was born May 19, 1945 in Chiswick, West London to a musical family. He joined the band in 1961, then known as the Detours. Townshend has written more than 100 songs for The Who studio albums, which include the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. He has also written more than 100 songs that have appeared on his solo albums, as well as radio jingles and television theme songs.
In 1983, Townshend received the Brit Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 1990 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Who. In 2001, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as a member of the Who; and in 2008 he received Kennedy Center Honors. He was ranked No.10 in Rolling Stone's updated 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. He and Roger Daltrey received The George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement at UCLA on 21 May 2016.
Tina Turner (81)
Tina Turner is a singer and actress and was part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. The single "A Fool in Love" (1960), released by the Ike & Tina Turner Revue jumped started her career. Success followed with hits, "River Deep – Mountain High" (1966), "Proud Mary" (1971), and "Nutbush City Limits" (1973).
In the 1980s, Turner launched a major solo career. Her album, Private Dancer (1984), was certified 5× Platinum in the U.S., selling ten million+ copies and won the Grammy for Record Of The Year for the hit "What's Love Got to Do with It". Throughout the 1980s and 1990s she had multi-platinum albums and hit singles including "Better Be Good to Me" (1984), "Private Dancer" (1984), "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" (1985), "Typical Male" (1986), and "I Don't Wanna Fight" (1993). In 1993, Turner’s autobiography film What's Love Got to Do with It, was released along with a soundtrack album. In 2008 she performed alongside Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards and embarked on her first tour in ten years with Tina!: 50th Anniversary tour. In 2018 Tina, a musical based on her life opened, and her second memoir, My Love Story, was released. Turner was recognized by the Kennedy Center Honors (2005).
She has won 12 Grammy Awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the World Music Awards Legend Award. She became the oldest person to cover Vogue magazine (2013), She was ranked #2 on ABC’s list of the 30 greatest women in music (2013). Rolling Stone ranked Turner 63rd on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time and 17th on its list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. Her book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, will be released in 2020.
Shania Twain (55)
Canadian singer and songwriter, Shania Twain was born Eileen Regina Edwards on August 28, 1965. She has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist in country music history and among the best-selling music artists of all time.
Twain started singing at the age of 8 to help pay the family bills, and wrote her first songs at age 10 before signing with Mercury Nashville Records in the early 1990s. During this time, she changed her name to Shania, which was said to be an Ojibwa word which means "on my way." Twain rose to fame with her second studio album The Woman in Me (1995), which sold 20 million copies and earned her a Grammy Award. Come On Over (1997) became the best-selling studio album of all time by a female act in any genre. This album earned her four Grammy Awards.
She was named the 1999 Entertainer of the Year by both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association; Twain was the first non-US citizen to win the CMA award. Twain was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2011. That same year she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2016, Twain was declared the "Artist of a Lifetime" by CMT. In January 2017, it was announced that Twain will have her own exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame titled Shania Twain: Rock This Country. In 2018, Twain was announced as the second recipient of the CCMA Generation Award, awarded to artists who have had significant impact in the country music industry as well as awareness of country music worldwide.
Steven Tyler (72)
Steven Tyler is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and former television personality. He is best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, piano, and percussion. He is known as the "Demon of Screamin” due to his high screams and his wide vocal range. He is also known for his on-stage acrobatics.
He was born Steven Victor Tallarico on March 26, 1948 in Manhattan, New York. Before Aerosmith, Tyler wrote what would become one of Aerosmith’s best known songs, “Dream On.” In 1969 Tyler met his future bandmates at a local rock show in Sunapee, New Hampshire. In the 1970s,
Tyler rose to prominence as the lead singer of Aerosmith, which released such milestone hard rock albums as Toys in the Attic and Rocks, along with a string of hit singles, including "Dream On", "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way". Tyler has continued to record music and perform with Aerosmith, after more than 48 years in the band. In 2016, Tyler released his debut solo album, We're All Somebody from Somewhere, a country rock album that included the hit single "Love Is Your Name". Aerosmith has received four Grammy Awards, ten MTV awards, six American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and two People’s Choice Awards.
Frankie Valli (86)
Frankie Valli was born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio, on May 3, 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. He is best known as the lead singer of The Four Seasons. With his powerful lead tenor voice, Valli scored 29 Top 40 hits with The Four Seasons and nine Top 40 hits as a solo artist. His number-one hits with The Four Seasons included "Sherry" (1962), "Big Girls Don't Cry" (1962), and "Walk Like a Man" (1963). Number-one hits as a solo artist included "My Eyes Adored You" (1974) and "Grease" (1978).
He was inspired to take up a singing career at the age of seven after his mother took him to see the young Frank Sinatra at the Paramount Theater in Manhattan, New York City. He began singing in the 1950s with the Variety Trio. Later he, along with Tommy DeVito, became part of the house band at The Strand in New Brunswick, New Jersey. They next formed The Variatones, renamed The Four Lovers, with Hank Majewski, Frank Cattone, and Billy Thompson.
Valli, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Bob Gaudio – the original members of The Four Seasons – were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
Stevie Wonder (70)
Stevie Wonder is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music, he is one of the most successful songwriters and musicians in the history of music. Wonder has sold over 100 million records worldwide and has won 25 Grammy Awards.
Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 13, 1950 to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway. Wonder was born six weeks premature which, along with the oxygen-rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in his retinas detaching, so he became blind. Wonder was a child prodigy known as Little Stevie Wonder. In 1963, the single "Fingertips" was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when Wonder was aged 13, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart. Wonder's critical success was at its peak in the 1970s when he released three consecutive albums that each won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year - the only artist to accomplish that feat.
Wonder has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Rock Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Wonder 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 holiday in the United States. In 2009, he was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.