In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Displaying 1 - 50 of 62 items.
Christina Maria Aguilera was born on December 18, 1980, in Staten Island, New York. Her parents divorced when she was young and she lived with her mother, although they moved around quite a bit. Christina's goal almost since birth was to be a singer, and at age 12 she was invited to audition for "The All New Mickey Mouse Club" (1989). She wound up getting the part and stayed there for a few years, until the show ended. In 1999 she had her breakthrough hit, "Genie in a Bottle". Since then she's made millions of fans, sold millions of records and has won many awards, including a Grammy for best new female artist. She has even made a Latin album and will be working on a second one. A Christmas album has also been released.
1979, she was raised as a Catholic and participated in high school choir as well as local community theater musical productions when she was young. During her time in UCLA, she joined a capella group named Awaken a Cappella and won twice in the annual student concert, UCLA Spring Sing.
Post graduating from the college, she performed at local bars and clubs in an attempt to build a fanbase for a bigger show. She issued two demos, sang in an indie film and self-released an album. Eager to go back to the studio and create a second full-length album, she started shopping her CD around and finally sealed a deal with Epic Records in 2005.
Three years after her debut, Bareilles dropped a sophomore set "Little Voice". Despite the title, the album was a big one. It led her claiming her fame as it shot to No. 1 on the list of most downloaded album in iTunes music store and reached No. 7 on Billboard Hot 200. Its first single "Love Song", meanwhile, peaked at No. 4 on Hot 100.
Patricia Andrzejewski was born in Brooklyn and raised in suburban Lindenhurst, Long Island. Her mother Millie had sacrificed her own career as an opera singer to bring up Pat and son Andrew. Years later it was Pat who singing classical, honing the powers of her 4.5-octave voice as a member of Lindenhurst High's musical-theater department. Having been accepted at Juilliard, Pat shocked friends and family by marrying her high-school sweetheart Dennis T. Benatar, a soldier, and moving off to Virginia where he had been stationed. Before too long, the tedium of life as a housewife/bank teller proved too much for Pat, and she joined Coxon's Army, a cabaret band on the Richmond club circuit. Coxon's Army rose to new heights of fame, and Pat was instilled with the confidence to move to New York City and pursue her own dream, which brought her to Manhattan's "Catch A Rising Star". Having thrilled the audience with her first performance on amateur night, Pat soon found herself with a paying gig, a manager and a recording contract, but her image was still in limbo. Primarily singing torch song and Judy Garland classics, she longed to perform hard-rocking tunes in the Led Zeppelin vein. Her wishes were fulfilled when her handlers introduced her to Cleveland guitar-man Neil Giraldo, whose aggressive playing unleashed Pat's inner rocker. She had found her muse, and when her audience roared one Halloween night over a sultry costume she wore on stage, she had found her image.
When her debut album, What's the 411?, hit the street in 1992, critics and fans alike were floored by its powerful combination of modern R&B with an edgy rap sound that glanced off of the pain and grit of Mary J. Blige's Yonkers, NY, childhood. Called alternately the new Chaka Khan or new Aretha Franklin, Blige had little in common stylistically with either of those artists, but like them, she helped adorn soul music with new textures and flavors that inspired a whole generation of musicians. With her blonde hair, self-preserving slouch, and combat boots, Blige was street-tough and beautiful all at once, and the record company execs who profited off of her early releases did little to dispel the bad-girl image that she earned as she stumbled through the dizzying first days of her career. As she exorcised her personal demons and softened her style to include sleek designer clothes, she remained a hero to thousands of girls growing up in the same kinds of rough places she came from. Blige reinvented her career again and again by shedding the bad habits and bad influences that kept her down; by the time her fourth album, Mary, was released in 1999, she had matured into an expressive singer able to put the full power of her voice behind her music, while still reflecting a strong urban style. With her fifth album, No More Drama, it wasn't just Blige's style that shone through the structures set up for her by songwriters and producers, it was her own vision -- spiritual, emotional, personal, and full of wisdom, it reflected an artist who was comfortable with who she was and how far she had come.
Susan Magdalane Boyle is a Scottish singer who came to international public attention when she appeared as a contestant on the TV programme Britain's Got Talent on 11 April 2009, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables. Her first album was released in November 2009 and debuted as the number one best-selling album on charts around the globe.
Susan Boyle's initial appearance on the talent show fired public imagination when her modest stage introduction and thick speaking accent left audience, viewers and judges alike unprepared for the power and expression of her mezzo-soprano voice. Before she had finished the song's opening phrase a standing ovation for Boyle had erupted.(6)(7) An international media and Internet response coincided. Within nine days of the audition, videos of Boyle - from the show, various interviews and her 1999 rendition of "Cry Me a River" - had been watched over 100 million times. Despite becoming an international sensation she eventually finished in second place on the show behind dance troupe Diversity.
Maria Callas was an American-born Greek soprano and one of the most renowned opera singers of the 20th century. She combined an impressive bel canto technique, a wide-ranging voice and great dramatic gifts. An extremely versatile singer, her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini; further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her remarkable musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.
Born in New York City and raised by an overbearing mother, she received her musical education in Greece and established her career in Italy. Her dramatic life and personal tragedy have often overshadowed Callas the artist in the popular press. However, her artistic achievements were such that Leonard Bernstein called her "The Bible of opera"; and her influence was so enduring that, in 2006, Opera News wrote of her: "Nearly thirty years after her death, she's still the definition of the diva as artist-and still one of classical music's best-selling vocalists."
Pop/jazz singer and songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway is the daughter of television journalist John Callaway and vocal coach Shirley Callaway, and the sister of Broadway performer Liz Callaway. She was born and raised in Chicago. Her earliest recordings were on a series of releases by Ben Bagley's Painted Smiles label; she recorded bonus tracks for CD reissues of Noel Coward Revisited (1990), Cole Porter Revisited (1991), and Alan Jay Lerner Revisited (1992), as well as appearing on recordings of the shows Shoestring Revue and Tallulah. For the Porter album, she became the first person allowed by Porter's estate to write music for a previously unrecorded Porter lyric, "I Gaze in Your Eyes." That song became the leadoff track on her debut album, Ann Hampton Callaway, released on DRG Records in 1992. In 1993, she wrote "The Nanny Named Fran," the theme song for the television situation comedy The Nanny, and was heard performing it each week on the show. Her second album, Bring Back Romance, was released in 1994. In 1996, she teamed up with her sister for the album Sibling Revelry; later the two performed a musical of the same name in London. Callaway moved more toward jazz with her third solo album, To Ella with Love, released on After 9 Records in 1996. Barbra Streisand recorded her song "At the Same Time" on her chart-topping album Higher Ground in 1997, the same year Callaway released her fourth solo album, After Ours, on Denon, and a holiday album, White Christmas, on Capitol. The latter was reissued by Angel as This Christmas in 1998. In 1999, Streisand recorded Callaway's "I've Dreamed of You" and released it on her A Love Like Ours album in September; Callaway released her own Easy Living album on Sindrome in October; and she starred on Broadway in the musical Swing! beginning in December. The 21st century found Callaway signing with Shanachie Records, which released Signature in 2002 and Slow in 2004. Switching to Telarc Records, she released Blues in the Night in 2006. At Last followed in 2009.
Mariah Carey was born in Long Island, New York, on March 27, 1969. Her parents are Patricia Hickey (Irish-American) and Alfred Roy Carey (African-American/Venezuelan). Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields High School. In June of 1990, Mariah made her debut with "Mariah Carey" which entered at #73, but on August 4, 1990, it reached #1. Her 1990 self-titled debut album went multi-platinum and spawned an extraordinary four consecutive #1 singles: "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry," and led to Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. Her 1993 album titled Music Box went ten-times platinum. On September 30, 1995, she made music history. Her single "Fantasy" from her 1995 Daydream album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female artist to accomplish a number one debut in the U.S.
Tracy Chapman helped restore singer/songwriters to the spotlight in the '80s. The multi-platinum success of Chapman's eponymous 1988 debut was unexpected, and it had lasting impact. Although Chapman was working from the same confessional singer/songwriter foundation that had been popularized in the '70s, her songs were fresh and powerful, driven by simple melodies and affecting lyrics. At the time of her first album, there were only a handful of artists performing such a style successfully, and her success ushered in a new era of singer/songwriters that lasted well into the '90s. Furthermore, her album helped usher in the era of political correctness -- along with 10,000 Maniacs and R.E.M., Chapman's liberal politics proved enormously influential on American college campuses in the late '80s. Of course, such implications meant that Chapman's subsequent recordings were greeted with mixed reactions, but after several years out of the spotlight, she managed to make a very successful comeback in 1996 with her fourth album, New Beginning, thanks to the Top Ten single "Give Me One Reason."
Charlotte Maria Church was born on February 21, 1986 in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom to Steven Reed and his wife Maria. The couple separated shortly after the child's birth, and she was left in her mother's care. She started singing publicly when she was only three and a half years old, singing the Ghost Busters (1984) theme with her cousin at a seaside holiday camp in Caernarfon, Wales. She came to public notice after an appearance on the UK daytime magazine program, "This Morning" (1988) (aka "This Morning with Richard and Judy") and then made an impromptu appearance on "The Big Big Talent Show" (1996). She came on to say a few words about her aunt Caroline Cooper, who was also making an appearance on the show, and the show's host, Jonathan Ross, asked her to sing. She stole the show and immediately became an overnight sensation in her native Wales. More television and concert appearances followed, such as the ones at Cardiff Arms Park in Wales, the London Palladium, and the Royal Albert Hall, and opening for Shirley Bassey in Antwerp, Belgium. She was signed to Sony Music (UK) and has released three best selling albums of popular classics.
Growing up in Texas, Kelly originally aspired to be a marine biologist, but when she was encouraged by the choir teacher at her junior high to join the school choir, her dreams changed. She started starring in school plays and continued on with her involvement in choir. Finally when she graduated high school, Kelly started working on demo and got serious about pursing her musical career.
For the first few years after high school, Kelly didn't have much luck breaking into the biz. Just when Kelly Clarkson was ready to give up, her best friend, Jessica, convinced her to try out for American Idol. Suddenly Kelly was really on her way to becoming a music superstar. She quickly shot to number one and claimed the first ever American Idol title in 2002.
Kelly Clarkson really hasn't slowed down since taking home the American Idol crown. Soon after she won, her debut album, Thankful, was released. It featured songs like Miss Independent and Beautiful Disaster. Some thought that Kelly's time in the spotlight might be over after her first disc, but she came back in late 2004 with her second disc, Breakaway. Breakaway turned out to be even better than Thankful, featuring hit singles like Breakaway and Since U Been Gone. This latest CD proves that Kelly isn't just a reality TV celebrity, she's a talented singer who still has a lot more to offer.
Patsy Cline, born Virginia Patterson Hensley, was an American country music singer who enjoyed pop music crossover success during the era of the Nashville sound in the early 1960s. Since her death in 1963 at age 30 in a private airplane crash at the height of her career, she has been considered one of the most influential, successful, and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century.
Cline was best known for her rich tone and emotionally expressive bold contralto voice, which, along with her role as a mover and shaker in the country music industry, has been cited as an inspiration by many vocalists of various music genres. Her life and career have been the subject of numerous books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays.
Her hits included "Walkin' After Midnight", "I Fall to Pieces", "She's Got You", "Crazy", and "Sweet Dreams". Posthumously, millions of her albums have sold over the past 50 years. She has been given numerous awards, which have given her an iconic status with some fans similar to that of legends Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Ten years after her death, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Rosemary Clooney (May 23, 1928 - June 29, 2002) was an American singer and actress. She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit "Come On-a My House" written by William Saroyan and his cousin Ross Bagdasarian (David Seville), which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Botch-a-Me" (a cover version of the Italian song Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina by Alberto Rabagliati), "Mambo Italiano", "Tenderly", "Half as Much", "Hey There" and "This Ole House", though she would go on to success as a jazz vocalist.
Clooney's career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1974, when her White Christmas co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002. She is the aunt of Academy Award winning actor George Clooney.
Keyshia Cole is the real deal. Like many young people raised in a tough neighborhood, the 21-year-old songstress endured a tumultuous childhood in Oakland, California, and has fought all her life to keep her dream of a music career alive. Now she's realizing that dream on her own terms with her first album for the A&M label, The Way It Is. It's been a long road for Keyshia, but it's her powerful voice-- a bell-like instrument whose soaring clarity is topped off with a tantalizing touch of soulful grit -- that's carried her through, not to mention the diminutive singer's personal combination of sugar, spice, sass and sex appeal, along with a solid-steel spine.
"Being young, you have to be really dedicated to doing it for yourself," says Keyshia, who co-wrote most of the songs on her new CD and cites artists like Mary J. Blige and Brandy as inspirations. "There's a lot of trials and tribulations you have to go through to get what you want, especially if you feel like it belongs to you."
Sheryl Suzanne Crow is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, musician, and actress. Her music incorporates elements of rock, folk, hip hop, country and pop. She has won nine Grammy Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
She has performed with The Rolling Stones and has sung duets with Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, John Mellencamp, Kid Rock, Michelle Branch, and Sting among others. She has performed backing vocals for Tina Turner, Don Henley and Belinda Carlisle, on her 1991 hit Little Black Book. Crow has released seven studio albums, two compilations, and a live album, and has contributed to film soundtracks. She has sold 16 million albums in the United States and 35 million albums worldwide and her newest album, 100 Miles from Memphis, was released on July 20, 2010. Recently she appeared on NBC's 30 Rock, ABC's Cougar Town, Disney Channel's Hannah Montana Forever and Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
The daughter of country-music superstar Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus got her start in the entertainment industry on an episode of her father's PAX TV medical series Doc before appearing in Tim_Burton's fantastical 2003 adventure Big_Fish. A fateful appearance as the character Hannah Montana in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody followed in 2006, and her character proved so popular that a spin-off series called Hannah_Montana was launched shortly thereafter. In the series, Cyrus portrayed a fun-loving California teen who just happens to be moonlighting as a world-famous pop star. Only Hannah's family (which includes her real-life father on the series) and her two closest friends, Lilly (Emily_Osment) and Oliver (Mitchel_Musso), know the truth about Hannah's remarkable secret life.
Hailing from the small town of Charlemagne, Quebec, Celine Dion has become one of the all-time greatest singers. Celine was born in 1968, the youngest of 14 children. Early in childhood, she sang with her siblings in a small club owned by her parents. From these early experiences, Celine gained the know-how to performing live. At the age of 12, Dion composed a song in her native French and sent it to a record company, where it garnered the attention of Rene Angelil, a respected manager. Angelil believed in Celine so much that he actually mortgaged his house in order to finance her debut album. Already very popular and successful internationally, Celine burst onto the U.S. stage when she recorded the theme song to Disney's hit Beauty and the Beast (1991). The song garnered a Grammy and an Oscar, and from this point Celine has brought forth hit after hit. Her 'Falling Into You' album, released in 1996, became the best-selling album of that year, selling more than 25 million copies worldwide. In 1999, Dion took a hiatus in order to begin a family. She returned to the spotlight in 2002, releasing yet another hit album. Starting in 2003, Celine began a three-year commitment to perform in an arena built for her in Las Vegas.
An appealing actress and singer known for her spunk, Duff was only 14 when she came to prominence on the hit Disney sitcom Lizzie McGuire, which spawned a feature film in 2003. She solidified her teen-icon status with roles in a succession of popular family-oriented movies (Cheaper by the Dozen, A Cinderella Story) and a series of successful pop albums and tours, including 2005's Most Wanted, a compilation of remixed hits and a handful of new songs cowritten by her then-boyfriend, Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden. A fashion plate and tabloid magnet, Duff's personal life was often the subject of gossip, including rumors of a long-running feud with Lindsay Lohan over their mutual ex, Aaron Carter. The gossip about her romantic life has died down with the announcement of her engagement to hockey player Mike Comrie n February 2010. When not working, she's been a supporter and ambassador for Blessings in a Backpack, which provides healthy food for needy kids to take home to their families for the weekend.
Linda Eder is an American singer and actress. She made her Broadway debut in the musical Jekyll & Hyde, for which she received 1997 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Nominations, as well as the Theatre World Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Eder is also featured on the concept albums of several other Broadway shows, such as The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War.
When Linda Eder was growing up in Brainerd, MN, all she knew about Broadway was what she heard on her treasured recordings. Without the visuals, there was no context, no roles meant for men or women, young or older characters. She interpreted the songs in her imagination. She created Broadway, her way.
Now, after starring in the Broadway smash Jekyll & Hyde, selling out concert halls around the country to stunning reviews and recording six solo records of her own, Linda has decided to record BROADWAY MY WAY. A collection of her favorite songs from musicals ranging from classic to one from her upcoming show, Camille Claudel, Eder offers her take on a range of familiar songs, performed with some unfamiliar twists.
Gloria Estefan's family fled Cuba for Miami in 1959. She began her singing career in 1975 with the group Miami Sound Machine, and in 1978 married the group's keyboardist, Emilio Estefan. After several Spanish-language albums the group began releasing material in English, their breakthrough album coming in 1985 with Primitive Love, which included the catchy single "Bad Boys." The "Miami Sound Machine" label faded away as Estefan became the band's attraction. The 1987 album Let It Loose included pop hits like "Betcha Say That" and the uptempo "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," and with Emilio Estefan as her producer and promoter, she became for a time America's leading Latin recording artist. Cuts Both Ways was another big hit album in 1989. Gloria's career was interrupted in 1990 when she was seriously injured in a bus accident. She bounced back, winning a 1993 Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album. In the 21st century she embraced her Latin roots with Spanish-language albums like Alma Carribena (2000 -- in English, "Caribbean Soul") and 90 Millas ("90 Miles," 2007).
Jackie Evancho was born April 9, 2000 and started singing since she was just eight years old. She found her interest in music after watching musical "The Phantom of the Opera". She later competed in a local singing contest in his native Pennsylvania, winning the runner-up place. Living in the suburb area of Pittsburg, she then took vocal lessons, took part in other contests to enrich her experience and uploaded her rendition of music on YouTube.
In 2009, Jackie released an indie album called "Prelude to a Dream" which covered songs from the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Martina McBride. It debuted at No. 2 on iTunes and Billboard Classical Albums Chart.
A year later, Jackie entered "America's Got Talent" after winning the YouTube competition sponsored by the TV show. She received the most votes from fans to be advanced to the next round and continued to become one of the audience favorites until the finale. Making a duet with Sarah Brightman in "Time to Say Goodbye" and singing solo in "Ave Maria", she finished at the second place.
Following her win as the runner-up on "AGT", Jackie signed a record deal with Columbia Records. She dropped a mini album called "O Holy Night" in October 2010. It was ranked the first on Amazon's bestseller pre-order list and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard Classical chart. Also, it landed at No. 2 on Hot 200, making her the youngest female solo artist to debut in the top 10.
Dubbed "The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums.
Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella.)
She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common - they all loved her.
"Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta", better known by her stage name "Lady Gaga", is an American singer, songwriter and performance artist. After being signed to and then dropped from Def Jam Records at age 19, she began performing in the rock music scene of New York City's Lower East Side. During this time, she was also working at Interscope Records as a songwriter. While at Interscope Records, Akon, after hearing Gaga sing, convinced Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine to sign her to a joint deal with the label and Akon's Kon Live Distribution label.
Her debut album "The Fame" was released in August 2008 and was a critical and commercial success. In addition to receiving generally positive reviews, it has gone to number one in four countries, also topping the "Billboard" Top Electronic Albums chart in the United States. The album's first two singles, 'Just Dance' and 'Poker Face', have become international number-one hits, and the former was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. In 2009, after having opened for New Kids on the Block and the Pussycat Dolls, Gaga embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour.
Gaga is inspired by glam rockers such as David Bowie and Queen, as well as pop singers such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. She is also inspired by fashion, which she has said is an essential component to her songwriting and performances. To date she has sold over 20 million digital singles and more than four million albums worldwide.
One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a moved-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals. She is still an icon to this day with her famous performances in The Wizard of Oz (1939), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Easter Parade (1948) and A Star Is Born (1954).
Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years, Garland attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage. Respected for her versatility, she received a juvenile Academy Award, won a Golden Globe Award, as well as Grammy Awards and a Special Tony Award. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in A Star is Born and for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1961 film, Judgement at Nuremberg.
Amy Lee Grant (born November 25, 1960) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, media personality and actress, best known for her Christian music. She has been referred to as "The Queen of Christian Pop". As of 2009, Grant remains the best-selling contemporary Christian music singer ever, having sold over 30 million units worldwide.
Grant has won six Grammy Awards, 25 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, and had the first Christian album ever to go Platinum. Heart in Motion is her highest selling album, with over five million copies sold in the United States alone. She was honored with a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005 for her contributions to the entertainment industry.
Faith Hill (born Audrey Faith Perry; September 21, 1967) is an American country singer. She is known both for her commercial success and her marriage to fellow country star Tim McGraw. Hill has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and accumulated 8 number-one singles and 3 number-one albums on the U.S. Country charts.
Hill has been honored by the Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, the American Music Awards and the People's Choice Awards. Her Soul2Soul II Tour 2006 with husband McGraw became the highest-grossing country tour of all time.(1) In 2001, she was named one of the "30 Most Powerful Women in America" by Ladies Home Journal. In 2008, Faith Hill released her first Christmas album, titled Joy to the World. In 2009 Billboard named her as the #1 Adult Contemporary artist of the decade 2000-2009. Hill was ranked the 39th best artist of the 2000-10 decade by Billboard.
Considered by many to be the greatest jazz vocalist of all time, Billie Holiday lived a tempestuous and difficult life. Her singing expressed an incredible depth of emotion that spoke of hard times and injustice as well as triumph. Though her career was relatively short and often erratic, she left behind a body of work as great as any vocalist before or since.
Born Eleanora Fagan in 1915, Billie Holiday spent much of her young life in Baltimore, Maryland. Raised primarily by her mother, Holiday had only a tenuous connection with her father, who was a jazz guitarist in Fletcher Henderson's band. Living in extreme poverty, Holiday dropped out of school in the fifth grade and found a job running errands in a brothel. When she was twelve, Holiday moved with her mother to Harlem, where she was eventually arrested for prostitution.
Horne was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, but moved with her parents to Long Beach, California, when she was 11. At the age of 13, she became part of the newly formed Los Angeles Concert Youth Chorus. She attended the University of Southern California where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi fraternity. She is an alumna of Long Beach Polytechnic High School and returned in 1995 in a performance to benefit its music program. As a high school student, Marilyn was part of the St. Luke's Choir of Long Beach under the direction of William Ripley Dorr. This prestigious choir often worked for the movie studios and recorded on Capitol Records. Marilyn and her sister Gloria were part of St. Luke's Quartet along with tenor, Bob James and Baritone, Philip D. Haynes.
She studied voice under William Vennard at the University of Southern California School of Music and participated in Lotte Lehmann's vocal master classes.
The daughter of Emily ("Cissy") Houston-whose vocal group, the Sweet Inspirations, sang backup for Aretha Franklin-and the cousin of singer Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston began singing in church as a child. While still in high school, she sang backup for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls and modeled for fashion magazines. At age 19 she signed with Arista Records, whose president, Clive Davis, groomed the gospel-based singer for crossover pop success. Her debut album, Whitney Houston (1985), yielded three number one singles: "Greatest Love of All," which became her signature; "Saving All My Love for You"; and "How Will I Know."
Whitney (1987) delivered four more number ones and earned Houston her first Grammy Award (for the single "I Wanna Dance with Somebody"). In 1992 she married singer Bobby Brown (divorced 2007) and made her motion-picture debut in The Bodyguard; the film featured her rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which stayed at number one for 14 weeks. The film sound track dominated the Grammys the following year, and Houston won the awards for album of the year, record of the year, and best female pop vocal performance. In the mid-1990s she continued acting, in films such as Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996), and the sound track of each film generated hit singles for her.
Janet Jackson is the younger sister of the singing Jackson brothers, including the late "King of Pop" Michael Jackson. She released her first album in 1982; her career really took off with the 1986 album Control, which included the hit single "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" She quickly became a regular fixture in pop music and on MTV, known for her smartly sexy songs and high-energy dancing (the choreography in her videos was done by Paula Abdul). In 1999 she was a guest artist with Busta Rhymes on his hit "What's It Gonna Be." She also ventured into the movies, starring with Tupac Shakur and Maya Angelou in the 1993 film Poetic Justice. Her other albums include Damita Jo (2004, with a title taken from Jackson's middle name), 20 Y.O. (2006) and Discipline (2008).
She was born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar to legendary Indian musician, Ravi Shankar, and Sue Jones in New York City. Fittingly, her birth name, Geetali, carries the meaning of "song" or "melodious", and was bestowed on her by her father. No one could have possibly imagined how fully she would embody that name, even while circumstances removed her from the influences of her father's musical gifts.
Norah Jones was raised by her mother in a Dallas suburb, and that's where her musical talents began to reveal themselves. She performed in church choirs, learned to play the piano and guitar, and even briefly tried her hand at the alto saxophone. She attended Interlochen Arts Camp, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas, and the University of North Texas, where she majored in jazz piano, and won Best Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist (twice, in 1996 and 1997) and Best Original Composition (1996). At the age of sixteen, she officially shortened her name to Norah Jones, no longer carrying the Indian, "Geetali". Nonetheless, the "melodious song" was very much alive, and moving full-steam ahead.
Janis Lyn Joplin grew up in Port Arthur, Texas listening to the blues. In high school, she started singing them, first at coffee houses, and eventually in southern California and around New York's Greenwich Village. She returned to Texas to give college a try, and became heavily involved with drugs and alcohol. She was an excellent student, but continued to be drawn to the musician's life.
Joplin had become friends with Chet Helms in Austin in the early '60s. By 1966, Helms was in San Francisco promoting groups like Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead. Helms convinced Joplin to move to San Francisco and hook up with a band he was managing, Big Brother and the Holding Company. After appearing at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, the group rocketed to national prominence, and Joplin was established as a major musical star.
Joplin was the first bona fide female rock star, breaking the "girl singer" mold that existed in pop and folk music. She was smart and funny. Her lifestyle, her outfits and her vocal style were "over the top." Although she recorded only a few albums and was not a prolific songwriter, She fused blues and rock in ways that were unique among both male and female singers and her personal style opened the door to a generation of female rock singers.
Alicia Augello Cook was born in January 25, 1981, in Manhattan, New York, USA. She is better known by her stage name Alicia Keys. Alicia Keys is an American recording artist, musician, song writer and actress. Alicia Keys was raised by a single mother in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York City. When she was 7 years old, Alicia Keys began to play classical music on the piano. She decided to attend the Professional Performing Arts School and she graduated when she was just 16 years old as valedictorian. Later on, she attended Columbia University but she dropped out to follow a musical career. Not long after this, Alicia Keys released her first album with J Records.
Beyonce is an American recording artist, actress and fashion designer. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child. During the hiatus of Destiny's Child, Knowles released her debut solo album Dangerously in Love in 2003 which became one of the most successful albums of that year, earning her five Grammy Awards. Following the group's disbandment in 2005, Knowles released her second solo album, B'Day in 2006. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Her third solo album I Am... Sasha Fierce was released in 2008. The album earned Knowles six Grammys at the 52nd Grammy Awards, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night.
Diana Krall was born in British Columbia, Canada. She was raised in Nanaimo, a small community on Vancouver Island, where she began performing professionally at age 15 as a jazz pianist. In 1981, Diana won a Vancouver Jazz Festival scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston and, after a year and a half of serious study, she returned to British Columbia. Renowned bassist Ray Brown heard her playing one night in Nanaimo and convinced Diana to move to Los Angeles where she obtained a Canadian Arts Council grant to study with Jimmy Rowles. Jimmy encouraged Diana to explore her vocals to supplement her already blossoming piano skills. With several successful CDs to her credit, Diana has won numerous awards including Canada's Juno Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album (2000) and a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance (2000). She received the Order of British Columbia in 2000 for being a good-will ambassador for British Columbia and epitomizing Canadian culture. The greatest talent in the jazz field to come along in a generation, she frequently acknowledges her roots in Nanaimo where she began . She epitomizes Canadian culture and is an outstanding citizen and good-will ambassador for British Columbia.
Nancy LaMott was born December 30, 1951, in Midland, MI, or as she termed it, a suburb of the Dow Chemical Corporation. Clearly a gifted musician, she learned music in public schools and started publicly singing with the big jazz dance band of her father, trumpeter Jack LaMott, in 1966 at age 15 while dreaming of a professional career. As a teenager she worked at the local Sears outlet. But in her late teens, Nancy developed Crohn's disease, a serious bowel disorder that often caused her to be hospitalized. Feeling a need to leave Michigan at the age of 19, she and her drummer/brother Brett left for San Francisco, CA. LaMott quickly became a popular cabaret singer, but her continued affliction frequently interrupted regular work. Overwhelming medical bills summarily plagued her, but a loyal friend and fan paid for a plane ticket, and she headed for New York City. The burgeoning cabaret scene in the Big Apple adopted LaMott, and in 1989 she met composer/conductor David Friedman, who offered to produce her recordings, the debut album being Beautiful Baby. A close-knit team developed around her, including pianist/arranger Chris Marlowe.
Kathryn Dawn Lang, OC, known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress. She gives her name in lowercase letters, with the given names contracted to initials and no space between these initials.
Lang has won both Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances; hits include "Constant Craving" and "Miss Chatelaine". She has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has teamed with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John and Anne Murray. Lang is also known for being a vegan as well as an animal rights, gay rights and Tibetan human rights activist. She performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.
Avril Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada on September 27, 1984. At 16, she moved to Manhattan and began work on her debut album. She dropped out of high school after the 11th grade when she secured a record deal. When Avril was almost 18, she released "Complicated" from her debut album titled: "Let Go," which went 6x platinum. As a petite skater girl from a small town, Avril has shown she is independent, full of confidence and determination, providing a good combination to make "Complicated" and Avril a musical breakthrough. "Complicated" went to number #1 on Billboards Top 100 while also earning her 5 Grammy nominations, MTV music awards, MTV European music awards and many more.
As a blues-influenced jazz singer, Lee's restrained yet soulful subdued singing style has been compared to Billie Holiday. Her long singing career virtually encompassed the history of American popular music between 1940 and 1970. In addition, she acted in films and revealed herself to be an accomplished songwriter.
Born on a farm, Lee sang with the Four of Us in small clubs in the Midwest and California before being discovered by Benny Goodman in Chicago in 1941 and joining his band as replacement for Helen Forrest. Her first recordings with Goodman, including Irving Berlin's "How Deep Is the Ocean" (Columbia, 1941), were merely competent, but her 1942 recording of "Why Don't You Do Right?" revealed an individual style. Written by Lee herself (sic), it was based on a blues song by Lil Green. In 1943, after her marriage to Goodman's guitarist David Barbour, she left the band and retired to raise a family, only occasionally recording (sic). Among her first solo hits were "Manana" (Capitol, 1948), written with Barbour; "Bali Ha'i" (Capitol, 1949) and "Lover" (Decca, 1952), her spectacular mambo version of Lorenz Hart's and Richard Rodgers' waltz with an orchestra backing supplied by Gordon Jenkins.
Leona Louise Lewis is a British singer-songwriter. Lewis was a contestant in third series of the British television series The X Factor, which she won.
Lewis is a multi-platinum selling artist and three time Grammy Award nominee. Her most successful single, "Bleeding Love", reached number one in over thirty countries around the world. She was proclaimed 'Top New Artist' by Billboard magazine in 2008. Lewis has released two albums to date, Spirit and Echo, in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Spirit became the fastest-selling debut album and the biggest seller of 2007 in both the United Kingdom and Ireland, and made Lewis the first British solo artist to top the Billboard 200 with a debut album. It has sold over 6.5 million copies worldwide.
Lewis's debut single "A Moment Like This" became the fastest selling UK single after being downloaded over 50,000 times within thirty minutes of its release. In November 2008 she set a record in the UK for the fastest selling download-only release with her cover version of the Snow Patrol song "Run" which sold 69,244 copies in two days(citation needed). Lewis's debut tour, The Labyrinth, took place in 2010.
Lisa Anne Loeb is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She launched her career in 1994 with the song, "Stay (I Missed You)". She was the first artist to have a number one single in the United States while not signed to a recording contract.
Loeb's efforts now include music, film, television, voice-over work and children's recordings. Her five studio CDs include her major label debut, the gold-selling Tails and its follow-up, the Grammy-nominated, gold-selling Firecracker. Loeb has appeared in two television series, Dweezil & Lisa, a weekly culinary adventure for the Food Network and Number 1 Single, a dating show on the E! Network in 2006.
In conjunction with Camp Lisa, she launched her own non-profit, The Camp Lisa Foundation, designed to help underprivileged kids attend summer camp through its partnership with Summer Camp Opportunities Provide an Edge, Inc. (SCOPE).
Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24, 1969), also known by her nickname J.Lo, is an American actress, singer, record producer, dancer, television personality, fashion designer and television producer. Lopez began her career as a dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color. Subsequently venturing into acting, she gained recognition in the 1995 action-thriller Money Train.
Her first leading role was in the biographical film Selena (1997), in which she earned an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress. She earned her second ALMA Award for her performance in Out of Sight (1998). She has since starred in various films, including The Wedding Planner (2001), Maid in Manhattan (2002), Shall We Dance? (2004), Monster-in-Law (2005), and The Back-up Plan (2010).
Sarah McLachlan was adopted in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a child, she took voice lessons, along with studies in classical piano and guitar. When she was 17 years old, and still a student at Queen Elizabeth High School, she fronted a short-lived rock band called The October Game. One of the band's songs, "Grind", credited as a group composition, can be found on the independent Flamingo Records release 'Out of the Fog' and the CD Out of the Fog Too. It has yet to be released elsewhere. Her high school yearbook predicted that she was "destined to become a famous rock star."
Following The October Game's first concert at Dalhousie University opening for Moev, McLachlan was offered a recording contract with Vancouver-based independent record label Nettwerk by Moev's Mark Jowett. McLachlan's parents insisted she finish high school and complete one year of studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before moving to Vancouver and embarking on a new life as a recording artist, and McLachlan finally signed to Nettwerk two years later before having written a single song.
Gloriously flamboyant American entertainer Bette Midler was born in Honolulu, HI, to the only Jewish family in the neighborhood. After dropping out of a drama class at the University of Hawaii, she took a tiny role in the 1966 film Hawaii, playing a seasick boat passenger (though it's hard to see her when viewing the film). Training for a dancing career in New York, Midler made the casting rounds for several months before finally winning a chorus role, and then the featured part of Tzeitel, in the long-running Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof.
During her more than forty-year career, Midler has been nominated for two Academy Awards; and won four Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and a special Tony Award.
Liza Minnelli was born on March 12, 1946, the daughter of Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli. She was practically raised at MGM studios while her parents worked long hours there and she made her film debut at fourteen months of age in the movie In the Good Old Summertime (1949). Her parents divorced in 1951 and, in 1952, her mother married Sidney Luft, with sister Lorna Luft and brother Joey Luft subsequently being born. Her father, Vincente Minnelli, later married Georgette Magnani, mother of her half-sister Christiane Nina "Tina Nina" Minnelli.
At sixteen, Liza was on her own in New York City, struggling to begin her career in show business. Her first recognition came for the play "Best Foot Forward" which ran for seven months in 1963. A year later, Judy invited Liza to appear with her for a show at the London Paladium. This show sold out immediately and a second night was added to it. Liza's performance in London was a huge turning point in both her career and her relationship with her mother. The audience absolutely loved Liza and Judy realized that Liza was now an adult with her own career. It was at the Paladium that Liza met her first husband, Peter Allen, a friend of Judy's.
Joni Mitchell is one of the most highly regarded and influential songwriters of the 20th century. Her melodious tunes support her poetic and often very personal lyrics to make her one of the most authentic artists of her time. As a performer she is widely hailed for her unique style of playing guitar. Mitchell's unflinching struggle for her own artistic independence has made her a role model for many other musicians, and somewhat of a bane to music industry executives. She is critical of the industry and of the shallowness that she sees in much of today's popular music. Mitchell is also a noted painter and has created the beautiful artwork that appears on the packaging of her music albums.
Katy Perry was born in California, the middle child of pastor parents. She has an older sister and younger brother. Raised in a deeply religious family, Perry's first experience of performing was singing in church. A passion for music grew and at the age of 15, Perry began visiting Nashville, gaining experience of song writing and recording demos.
She signed to a Christian record label, Red Hill, and recorded an album, under her birth name of Katy Hudson. The album was not a success. At age 17 she moved to Los Angeles and collaborated with producer Glen Ballard, but was not able to secure a lasting record deal. Perry did sign to Columbia Records in 2004, but again this did not prove a success, and she was dropped.
Edith Piaf born Edith Giovanna Gassion, was a French singer and cultural icon who became universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being ballads. Among her songs are "La Vie en rose" (1946), "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960), "Hymne a l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), "La Foule" (1957), "l'Accordeoniste" (1955), and "Padam... Padam..." (1951).
Legend has it that Edith Piaf was born (as Edith Giovanna Gassion) on a Parisian street corner with two policemen attending. This is not a far-fetched idea, however, and may be true. Ediths mother was an alcoholic Italian street singer and part-time prostitute who neglected her for all of two months and then abandoned her to her father. Ediths father, Jean Gassion, was a famous acrobat who hadnt the time nor the skills to nurture an infant. He dropped the child off with his mother, the madam of a bordello, and she raised Edith through the toddler years.
Vocalist Lana Del Rey makes atmospheric, orchestral, retro-'60s-sounding pop that showcases her torchy image and sensuously husky singing style. A native of Lake Placid, New York, Del Rey released the single, "Kill Kill", under her given name, Lizzy Grant, in 2009, before remaking herself into the pop femme fatale character, Lana Del Rey. A video for the single, "Video Games", appeared online in August of 2011 and drew considerable buzz, as did a secret show she performed at Brooklyn's Grasslands Gallery that September. Del Rey's EP, featuring the songs "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans", was released in fall 2011. Amidst a heavy dose of hype, her debut album, "Born to Die", was announced by Interscope for release early the following year. Del Rey cemented the anticipation around the album with an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" (1975), becoming the first artist since Natalie Imbruglia, in 1998, to perform on the show before the release of her debut album.
LeAnn Rimes (born August 28, 1982) is an American country singer-songwriter, actress, and author. She is best known for her rich vocals similar to country music singer Patsy Cline, and her rise to fame at the age of 13, becoming the youngest country music star since Tanya Tucker in 1972.
Since her debut, Rimes has won many major industry awards, which include two Grammys, three ACMs, one CMA, twelve Billboard Music Awards, and one American Music award. In addition, Rimes has also released ten studio albums and four compilation albums through her record label of 13 years, Asylum-Curb, and placed over 40 singles on American and international charts since 1996. She has sold over 37 million records worldwide, with 20.3 million album sales in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan.