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Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in csarist Russia in 1905.
Fiddler on the Roof was originally entitled Tevye. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Milkman) and other tales by Sholem Aleichem which he wrote in Yiddish and published in 1894. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He must cope with both the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters—each daughter's choice of husband moves progressively further away from established customs—and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.
The musical's title stems from a painting by Marc Chagall, one of many surreal paintings he created of Eastern European Jewish life, often including a fiddler. The Fiddler is a metaphor for survival, through tradition and joyfulness, in a life of uncertainty and imbalance.
The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, was the first musical to surpass the 3,000 performance mark, and it held the record for longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until Grease surpassed its run. The production earned $1,574 for every dollar invested in it.
The show was highly acclaimed and nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning nine, including Best Musical, score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned four Broadway revivals, a successful 1971 film adaptation, and has enjoyed enduring international popularity. It is also a very popular choice for school and community productions.
Grease is a film directed by Randal Kleiser and based on Jim Jacobs' and Warren Casey's musical, Grease. The film stars John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, and Eve Arden. It was originally released to theatres on June 16, 1978. It was filmed at Venice High School in Venice, California. It was released in the U.S. on VHS during the 1980s; the latest VHS release was June 23, 1998 as 20th Anniversary Edition following a theatrical re-release that March. On September 24, 2002, it was released on DVD for the first time. On September 19, 2006, it was re-released on DVD as the Rockin' Rydell Edition, which includes a black Rydell High T-Bird jacket cover or the Target-exclusive Pink Ladies cover.
Hilary Erhard Duff (born September 28, 1987) is an American actress, pop singer-songwriter and entrepreneur. After gaining fame for playing the title role in the television show Lizzie McGuire, Duff went on to have a film career; her most commercially successful movies include Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), and A Cinderella Story (2004).
Duff has expanded her repertoire into pop music, with four RIAA certified Platinum albums and over thirteen million albums sold worldwide. Her first studio album, Metamorphosis (2003), was certified triple platinum and she followed it up with two more platinum albums, Hilary Duff (2004) and Most Wanted (2005). Duff's last studio album, Dignity, was released in April 2007 and was certified Gold in August 2007.
She has also launched a clothing line, "Stuff by Hilary Duff", and two exclusive perfume collections with Elizabeth Arden. Duff and her mother were listed as producers for the movie Material Girls, As of August 2008, her upcoming films include animated comedy Foodfight!, and independent films Greta and Safety Glass.
Johnny Nash (born John Lester Nash Jr, 19 August 1940, Houston, Texas) is an African-American pop singer-songwriter, best known for his unexpected 1972 comeback hit, "I Can See Clearly Now". He was also the first non-Jamaican to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica.
Nash began as a pop singer in the 1950s. He also enjoyed success as an actor early in his career appearing in the screen version of playwright Louis S. Peterson's Take a Giant Step. Nash won a Silver Sail Award for his performance from the Locarno International Film Festival.
Besides "I Can See Clearly Now," Nash recorded several hits in Jamaica, where he travelled in early 1968, as his girlfriend had family links with local TV and radio host and novel writer Neville Willoughby. Nash planned to try breaking the local rocksteady sound in the USA. Willoughby introduced him to a local struggling vocal group, The Wailers. Members Bob Marley, Rita Marley and Peter Tosh introduced him to the local scene. Nash signed all three to an exclusive publishing and recording contract with his JAD label and financed some of their recordings, some with Byron Lee's Dragonaires and some with other local musicians such as Jackie Jackson and Lynn Taitt. None of the Marley and Tosh songs he produced were successful. Only two singles were released at the time: "Bend Down Low" (JAD 1968) and "Reggae on Broadway" (Columbia, 1972), which was recorded in London in 1972 on the same sessions that produced "I Can See Clearly Now." The "I Can See Clearly Now" album includes four original Marley compositions published by JAD: « Guava Jelly », « Comma Comma » « You Poured Sugar On Me » and the follow-up hit « Stir It Up ». « There Are More Questions Than Answers » was a third hit single taken from the album.
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist.
In his four-decade career, John has been one of the dominant forces in rock and popular music, especially during the 1970s. He has sold over 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 59 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards and one Academy Award. His success has had a profound impact on popular music and has contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Some of the characteristics of John's musical talent include an ability to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, his former rich tenor (now baritone) voice, his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the aggressive orchestral arrangements of Paul Buckmaster among others and the flamboyant fashions, outlandishly excessive eyeglasses, and on-stage showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s.
John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, and was knighted in 1998. He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements. On April 9, 2008, John held a benefit concert for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, raising $2.5 million.
Glee is a musical comedy-drama television series that airs on Fox in the United States. It focuses on the high school glee club New Directions competing on the show choir competition circuit, while its members deal with relationships, sexuality and social issues. The initial main cast encompassed club director and Spanish teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), Will's wife Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), and eight club members played by Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Mark Salling and Jenna Ushkowitz. For the second season, formerly recurring cast members Mike O'Malley, Heather Morris and Naya Rivera were promoted to the main cast.
The series was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, who first conceived Glee as a film. The pilot episode was broadcast on May 19, 2009, and the first season aired from September 9, 2009 to June 8, 2010. The second season began airing on September 21, 2010, and a third season has been commissioned. Glee features on-screen performance-based musical numbers that are selected by Murphy, who aims to maintain a balance between show tunes and chart hits. Songs covered in the show are released through the iTunes Store during the week of broadcast, and a series of Glee albums have been released by Columbia Records. The music of Glee has been a commercial success, with over thirteen million digital single sales and five million album sales. The series' merchandise also includes DVD and Blu-Ray releases, a young adult book series, an iPad application, and a karaoke game for the Wii.
During its first season, Glee received generally favorable reviews from critics, with Metacritic's weighted average based on the impression of 18 critical reviews of 77 percent. The season was nominated for nineteen Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, six Satellite Awards and fifty-seven other awards, with wins including the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series—Musical or Comedy, and Emmy awards for Lynch, guest-star Neil Patrick Harris and Murphy's direction of the pilot episode. The second season has currently been nominated for five Golden Globes including Best Television Series in a Comedy and as well as nominations for Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele and Chris Colfer.
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country-pop singer-songwriter. In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", which peaked at number six on the Billboard country charts. Later in October 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, which produced five hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and was certified 3× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. The New York Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults".
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Swift was the biggest selling artist of 2008 in America with combined sales of more than four million albums. Swift's Fearless and her self-titled album finished 2008 at number three and number six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the year end album chart. Fearless has topped the Billboard 200 in 11 non-consecutive weeks. No album has spent more time at number one since 1999-2000. It also was the first album by a female artist in country music history to log eight weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200. In mid-January 2009, Swift became the first country artist to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with three different songs. As of the week ending February 8, 2009, Swift's single "Love Story" became the country song with most paid downloads in history and the first country song to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart. According to the 2009 issue of Forbes, Swift is ranked as the 69th most powerful celebrity with over $18 million dollars in earnings this year.
Frank Mills (born June 27, 1942), is a Canadian pianist and recording artist, best known for his solo instrumental hit "Music Box Dancer".
Born in Quebec, Mills began his career as a member of The Bells, a group in which he was a member from 1970 to 1972. He performed piano for the band, whose best-known hit was "Stay Awhile" (1971). After leaving The Bells in 1972, Mills began a solo career.
His first solo efforts hardly made a dent in the music charts, although his 1972 single "Love Me, Love Me, Love" reached as high as #46 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart and a cover of Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool" was also successful in Canada (both songs featured Mills singing as well as playing piano).
Frank released an album in 1974 that featured "Music Box Dancer", but it was not a hit initially. When Frank re-signed with Polydor Records Canada in 1978, the label released a new song as a single, with "Music Box Dancer" on the B-side. The single was sent to easy listening stations in Canada, but a copy was sent in error to CFRA-AM, a pop station in Ottawa. The program director played the A-side and couldn't figure out why it had been sent to his station, so he played the B-side to see if the record was mistakenly marked. He liked "Music Box Dancer" and added it to his station's playlist, turning the record into a Canadian hit. Iconic Ottawa Valley radio personality Dave "50,000" Watts gave the record extensive airplay on the station. The album went gold in Canada, which prompted Polydor in the US to release the album and single. Both the single and album were hits. The single reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, while the album reached #21 on the Billboard Top Album chart and also went gold.
It was Mills' only U.S. Top 40 hit; the follow-up, another similarly catchy piano instrumental titled "Peter Piper", peaked at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Frank managed one final Adult Contemporary chart entry, "Happy Song", which peaked at #41 at the beginning of 1981.
Mills won two Juno Awards in 1980 for "Peter Piper", one for Composer of the Year and one for Instrumental Artist of the Year. He again won in the latter category in 1981.
He continued to release albums until the early 1990s, but has now retired from the music business.
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.
The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again.
The Polar Express is a 2004 Academy Award-nominated feature film based on the children's book of the same title by Chris Van Allsburg.
The film, written, produced, and directed by Robert Zemeckis, is entirely live action using performance capture technology, which incorporates the movements of live actors into animated characters. It stars actor Tom Hanks in five distinct roles, including the role of Santa Claus. The film was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment in association with Shangri-La Entertainment, ImageMovers, and Playtone, for Warner Bros. Warner Bros. first released the $170 million film in both conventional and IMAX theaters on Wednesday, November 10, 2004.
The Polar Express is the soundtrack to the animated film The Polar Express, released in 2004.
Muse are a British rock band formed in Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom in 1994 under the alias of Rocket Baby Dolls. The band comprises Matthew Bellamy (vocals, guitar and piano), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums and percussion). Muse's style can be considered as a mixture of many musical genres, most notably alternative rock, classical music and electronica. Muse are known best for their energetic and visually dazzling live performances and on June 16th & 17th, 2007 became the first band to sell out the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Muse have released four studio albums with their first, Showbiz, released in 1999, followed by Origin of Symmetry in 2001 and Absolution in 2003. The most recent, Black Holes & Revelations (2006), was also the most critically acclaimed, garnering the band a Mercury Prize nomination and a third place finish in the NME Albums of the Year list for 2006. Muse have won various awards throughout their career including 5 MTV Europe Music Awards, 5 Q Awards, 4 NME Awards and 2 Brit awards.
John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne (born December 3, 1948) is an English singer. Referred to by many as the "Godfather of Heavy Metal", Osbourne's career has now spanned four decades. He rose to prominence as lead vocalist of pioneering English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, and eventually achieved a multi-platinum, award-winning solo career. In the early 2000s, his career as a celebrity revived when he became a star in his own reality show, The Osbournes (alongside wife/manager Sharon and children Kelly and Jack). In August 2008, Osbourne stated in USA Today that he intends to retire from his music career after two more albums.
Louis Moreau Gottschalk (May 8, 1829 – December 18, 1869) was an American composer and pianist, best known as a virtuoso performer of his own romantic piano works. He spent most of his working career outside of the United States.
Gottschalk's music was very popular during his lifetime, and his earliest compositions created a sensation in Europe. Early pieces like "Le Bananier" and "Bamboula" were based on Gottschalk's memories of the music he heard during his youth in Louisiana. In this context, some of Gottschalk's work, such as the 13-minute opera Escenas campestres, retains a wonderfully innocent sweetness and charm.
The Fray is a Grammy Award-nominated four-piece piano rock American band from Denver, Colorado. Formed in 2002 by schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King, the band released their debut album How to Save a Life in 2005. The band is best known for the song "How to Save a Life", which charted in the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 and was also a top 5 single in Canada, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The Fray also found national success with the song "Over My Head (Cable Car)", which became a top ten hit in the United States and Canada. How to Save a Life was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and was also certified platinum in Australia and New Zealand.
The Fray was formed in 2002, and currently consists of Isaac Slade (vocals and piano), Joe King (guitar and vocals), Dave Welsh (guitar) and Ben Wysocki (drums and percussion). While the band has no official bass guitarist, Dan Lavery of Tonic has been the touring bassist since March 2007. Prior to Dan joining the touring fold, Jimmy Stofer, also a member of the band Hello Kavita, was employed as the band's touring bassist from 2005 through February 2007.
Kirk Dewayne Franklin (born January 26, 1970) is an American gospel musician, choir director, and author. He is known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God's Property and One Nation Crew (1NC), and has won multiple awards, including seven Grammy Awards.
Rent is a rock musical, with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of the Bohemian East Village, under the shadow of AIDS.
Rent won a Tony Award for Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize, among other awards. In addition, its cast was unusually ethnically diverse. Rent brought controversial topics to a traditionally conservative medium, and it helped to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation. "Rent speaks to Generation X the way that the musical Hair spoke to the baby boomers or those who grew up in the 1960s, calling it "a rock opera for our time, a Hair for the 90s."
The musical was first seen at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. On January 26, 1996, Rent opened in New York City off-Broadway before moving to Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996. Rent has been successful on Broadway, where it had critical acclaim and word-of-mouth popularity. The Broadway production of Rent closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12 year run and 5,124 performances, making it the seventh-longest-running Broadway show. The production has grossed over $280 million. At the time of its closing, it was the second-longest-running musical currently on Broadway, eight years behind The Phantom of the Opera.
Neon Genesis Evangelion commonly referred to as NGE, Eva, or Evangelion, is a commercially and critically successful, influential, and popular Japanese anime that began in October 1995; the series launched the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise. It is commonly regarded as one of the greatest anime of all time. The anime was created by Gainax, written and directed by Hideaki Anno, and co-produced by TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems (NAS).
Evangelion is an apocalyptic mecha action series which centers around the efforts by the paramilitary organization Nerv to fight monstrous beings called Angels, primarily using giant mecha called Evangelions which are piloted by select teenagers, one of whom is the primary protagonist. It follows those teenagers and other NERV members until the defeat of the Angels and the eventual apocalyptic ending.
Events in the series refer to Judeo-Christian symbols from the book of Genesis and Biblical apocrypha among others. Later episodes shift focus to psychoanalysis of the main characters, who display various emotional problems and mental illnesses; the nature of existence and reality are questioned in a way that lets Evangelion be characterized as "postmodern fantasy". Hideaki Anno, the director of the anime series, had suffered from clinical depression prior to creating the series, and the psychological aspects of the show are based on the director's own experiences with overcoming this illness.
The Bee Gees were a singing trio of brothers — Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. They were born on the Isle of Man to English parents, lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England and during their childhood years moved to Brisbane, Australia, where they began their musical careers. Their worldwide success came when they returned to England and signed with producer Robert Stigwood.
The multiple award-winning group was successful for most of its forty years of recording music, but it had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a harmonic "soft rock" act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as the foremost stars of the disco music era in the late 1970s.
No matter the style, the Bee Gees sang three-part tight harmonies that were instantly recognizable; as brothers, their voices blended perfectly, in the same way that The Everly Brothers and Beach Boys did. Barry sang lead on many songs, and an R&B falsetto introduced in the disco years; Robin provided the clear vibrato lead that was a hallmark of their pre-disco music; Maurice sang high and low harmonies throughout their career. The three brothers co-wrote most of their hits, and they said that they felt like they became 'one person' when they were writing. The group's name was retired after Maurice died in January 2003.
The Bee Gees were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; fittingly, the presenter of the award to "Britain's first family of harmony" was Brian Wilson, leader of the Beach Boys, America's first family of rock harmony.
It has been estimated that the Bee Gees' record sales total more than 220 million, easily making them one of the best-selling music artists of all-time. The above figure in record sales does not include record sales for artists for whom they have written and with whom they have collaborated. Their 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame citation says "Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees".
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms and melodies of the folk music of his native Bohemia and Moravia. His works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works are his New World Symphony (particularly the slow movement), as well as his Slavonic Dances, American String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B minor.
Dvořák wrote in a variety of forms: his nine symphonies generally stick to classical models that Beethoven would have recognised, but he also worked in the newly developed symphonic poem form and the influence of Richard Wagner is apparent in some works. Many of his works also show the influence of Czech folk music, both in terms of rhythms and melodic shapes; perhaps the best known examples are the two sets of Slavonic Dances. Dvořák also wrote operas (the best known of which is Rusalka); serenades for string orchestra and wind ensemble; chamber music (including a number of string quartets, and quintets); songs; choral music; and piano music.
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (25 September 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century.
Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Leon Trotsky's chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the Stalinist bureaucracy. In 1936, the government, most probably under orders from Stalin, harshly criticized his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, causing him to withdraw the Fourth Symphony during its rehearsal stages. Shostakovich's music was officially denounced twice, in 1936 and 1948, and was periodically banned. Nevertheless, he also received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. Despite the official controversy, his works were popular and well received.
Daniel Asia (born 27 June 1953) is an American composer.
Daniel Asia was born in Seattle, Washington, in the United States of America. He received a B.A. degree from Hampshire College and a M.M. from the Yale University School of Music. His major teachers include Jacob Druckman, Stephen Albert, Gunther Schuller, and Isang Yun in composition, and Arthur Weisberg in conducting.
He formerly served on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1981 to 1986. In 1986–88, a UK Fulbright Arts Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship enabled him to work in London as a visiting lecturer at City University. Since 1988, he has been Professor of Composition and head of the composition department at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His notable students include David A. Yeagley.
In addition to composition, he conducts the New York–based contemporary chamber ensemble The Musical Elements, which he co-founded in 1977.
He has composed four symphonies, a piano concerto, and numerous chamber and solo works.
Jimmy Layne Webb (born August 15, 1946 in Elk City, Oklahoma) is an American songwriter. His compositions include "Up, Up and Away", "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman", "Galveston" and "MacArthur Park". His songs have been recorded or performed by Glen Campbell, The 5th Dimension, The Supremes, Richard Harris, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes, R.E.M., and Chet Atkins, among others. According to BMI, his song "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" was the third most performed song in the fifty years between 1940 to 1990. He is the only artist to have ever received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration.
Queen were an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor, with bass guitarist John Deacon completing the lineup the following year. While it is uncertain how many albums the band has sold, estimations range from 130 million to over 300 million albums worldwide.
The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.
Queen had moderate success in the early 1970s, with the albums Queen and Queen II, but it was with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year that the band gained international success. They have released fifteen studio albums, five live albums, and numerous compilation albums. Eighteen of these have reached number one on charts around the world.
Following Mercury's death in 1991 and Deacon's retirement later in the decade, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2005 they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers.
Avril Lavigne Whibley (born September 27, 1984), better known by her birth name of Avril Lavigne, is a Canadian Grammy award-nominated rock singer, musician, fashion designer and actress. In 2006, Canadian Business Magazine ranked her the seventh most powerful Canadian in Hollywood.
Lavigne's debut album, Let Go, was released in 2002. Over 16 million copies were sold worldwide and it was certified six times platinum in the United States. Her second and third albums, Under My Skin (2004) sold over 8 million copies and The Best Damn Thing (2007) currently over 6 million copies sold respectively, reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. Lavigne has scored six number one songs worldwide to date and a total of eleven top ten hits, including "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm With You", "My Happy Ending", and "Girlfriend" which became #1 hits in the ARC Top 40. In December 2007, Lavigne was ranked at #7 in the Forbes "Top 20 Earners Under 25", with an annual earnings of $12 million. Currently, Avril Lavigne has sold about 30 million albums worldwide.
Ace of Base is a pop band from Gothenburg, Sweden, comprising Ulf Ekberg (Buddha) and siblings Jonas Berggren (Joker), Jenny Berggren (and, formerly, Malin "Linn" Berggren). They released their debut album in 1993 and went on to achieve major chart success throughout the 1990s, their most popular songs being "Beautiful Life", "The Sign", "Don't Turn Around" and "All That She Wants." The departure of former lead singer Linn Berggren was revealed in 2007 after years of declining participation in the group. The three remaining members are currently on a world tour and plan to release a new studio album later in 2008.
Paul Albert Anka, OC (born July 30, 1941) is a Canadian/American singer, songwriter, and actor.
Anka first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like "Diana'", "Lonely Boy", and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder". He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones's biggest hits, "She's a Lady", and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way".
In 1983, he co-wrote with Michael Jackson the song "I Never Heard", which was retitled and released in 2009 under the name "This Is It". An additional song that Jackson co-wrote with Anka from this 1983 session, "Love Never Felt So Good", has since been discovered, and will be released in the near future. The song was also released by Johnny Mathis in 1984.
Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 - 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.
Born in Bonn, then in the Electorate of Cologne (now in modern-day Germany), he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.
Charles Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), famously called Bird or Yardbird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Parker, with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, is widely considered to have been one of the most influential jazz musicians. Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career, and the shortened form "Bird" remained Parker's sobriquet for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology" and "Bird of Paradise."
Parker played a leading role in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuoso technique, and improvisation based on harmonic structure. Parker's innovative approaches to melody, rhythm, and harmony exercised enormous influence on his contemporaries. Several of Parker's songs have become standards, including "Billie's Bounce", "Anthropology", "Ornithology", and "Confirmation". He introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas including a tonal vocabulary employing 9ths, 11ths and 13ths of chords, rapidly implied passing chords, and new variants of altered chords and chord substitutions. His tone was clean and penetrating, but sweet and plaintive on ballads. Although many Parker recordings demonstrate dazzling virtuosic technique and complex melodic lines – such as "Ko-Ko", "Kim", and "Leap Frog" – he was also one of the great blues players. His themeless blues improvisation "Parker's Mood" represents one of the most deeply affecting recordings in jazz. At various times, Parker fused jazz with other musical styles, from classical to Latin music, blazing paths followed later by others.
Blackmore's Night is a Renaissance-inspired folk rock band led by Ritchie Blackmore (electric and acoustic guitar) and Candice Night (lyricist and lead vocals).
The origins of the band lie in 1989 when Candice Night was working at a local New York rock music radio station. She first encountered Ritchie Blackmore, then with Deep Purple, at a football game in which he was playing. The two became romantically involved and discovered that they shared a passionate interest in the Renaissance.
After leaving Deep Purple in 1993 and recording the album Stranger in Us All in 1995, on which Night contributed backing vocals and some of the lyrics, Blackmore became interested in the idea of bringing Renaissance music to a contemporary audience. Night's personality and singing ability made her the natural choice as "frontwoman." In 1997 the pair were ready to launch the band, the name being a pun of their own names, and which would consist of themselves plus session musicians.
James Roy Horner (born August 14, 1953) is an award winning American composer, orchestrator and conductor of orchestral and film music. He is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for frequent use of Celtic musical elements.
In a career that spans over three decades, Horner has composed several of Hollywood's most famous film scores. He is probably best known for his critically acclaimed works on the 1997 film Titanic, which remains today the best selling film soundtrack of all time. Other popular works include Braveheart, Apollo 13, The Mask of Zorro, and The Legend of Zorro.
Horner is a two time Academy Award winner, and has received a total of 11 nominations. He has won numerous other awards, including the Golden Globe Award and the Grammy Award.
Erroll Louis Garner (June 15, 1921 – January 2, 1977) was an American jazz pianist and composer whose distinctive and melodic style brought him both popular acclaim and the admiration of peers. Of note, Garner was never able to read or write sheet music.
What makes Garner's playing easy to recognize is his trademark introductions, which seem to make no sense until breaking dramatically into his exposition of the tune he will play, and the guitar strumming sound of his left hand, playing crotchet accompaniment to his rich sounding right hand. He places his chords and octaves on syncopated beats that swing very hard and can be used to build excellent tension, such as between phrases. The approach also suggests he was influenced by the iconic rhythm guitar work of Count Basie's long time guitarist, Freddie Green. But discerning listeners could find that while his even four left hand was a fixture, it was far from being the only rhythmic approach he took to playing.
Rascal Flatts is an American Grammy Award-winning country music group founded in Nashville, Tennessee. Since its inception, Rascal Flatts has been composed of three members: Gary LeVox (lead vocals), Jay DeMarcus (bass guitar, vocals), and Joe Don Rooney (lead guitar, vocals). DeMarcus and LeVox are also second cousins.
Rascal Flatts has released five studio albums and a live compilation to date, all on Lyric Street Records. Their first two albums, 2000's Rascal Flatts and 2002's Melt, have been certified 2× Multi-Platinum and 3× Multi-Platinum, respectively, in the United States, while 2004's Feels Like Today and 2006's Me and My Gang have received 5× Multi-Platinum and 4× Multi-Platinum certifications respectively. 2007's Still Feels Good, their most recent album, is certified 2× Multi-Platinum.
To date, they have also released twenty-two singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts; of these, eight have reached Number One. A cover of Tom Cochrane's "Life Is a Highway", from the soundtrack to the 2006 film Cars, also entered the country music charts from unsolicited airplay.
Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck (born 2 July 1714 Erasbach, Upper Palatinate; died 15 November 1787 in Vienna) was a composer of the 18th century, most noted for his operatic works. After many years at the Habsburg court at Vienna, Gluck brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices that many intellectuals had been campaigning for over the years. With a series of radical new works in the 1760s, among them Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste, he broke the stranglehold that Metastasian opera seria had enjoyed for much of the century.
The strong influence of French opera in these works encouraged Gluck to move to Paris, which he did in November 1773. Fusing the traditions of Italian opera and the French national genre into a new synthesis, Gluck wrote eight operas for the Parisian stages. One of the last of these, Iphigénie en Tauride, was a great success and is generally acknowledged to be his finest work. Though extremely popular and widely credited with bringing about a revolution in French opera, Gluck's mastery of the Parisian operatic scene was never absolute, and after the poor reception of his Echo et Narcisse, he left Paris in disgust and returned to Vienna to live out the remainder of his life.
Karol Maciej Szymanowski (3 October 1882 – 28 March 1937) was a Polish composer and pianist.
Among Szymanowski's better known orchestral works are four symphonies (No. 3, Song of the Night with choir and vocal soloists and No. 4, Symphonie Concertante, with piano concertante) and two dream-like violin concertos. His stage works include the ballets Harnasie and Mandragora and the operas Hagith and Król Roger ('King Roger'). He wrote much piano music, including the four Etudes, Op. 4 (of which No. 3 may be his single most popular piece), many mazurkas and the exquisite and highly individual Metopes. Other works include the Three Myths for violin and piano, two masterful string quartets, a sonata for violin and piano, a number of orchestral songs (some to texts by Hafez and James Joyce) and his Stabat Mater, an acknowledged choral masterpiece.
According to Samson (p. 131), "Szymanowski adopted no thorough-going alternatives to tonal organization the harmonic tensions and relaxations and the melodic phraseology have clear origins in tonal procedure, but an underpinning tonal framework has been almost or completely dissolved away."
Train is a Grammy Award winning rock band formed in San Francisco, California. To date, three of their albums have peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 and have sold a total of over 4 million albums in the US. Three of their songs have been top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 including their biggest hit "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)". Train has found success on modern adult contemporary radio stations, where they have had eight songs in the top 20 of the Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart.
Christopher Dwayne Tomlin (born May 4, 1972) is a Christian worship leader and songwriter from Grand Saline, Texas, United States. He is a staff member at Austin Stone Community Church and is signed to EMI's sixstepsrecords. Tomlin also leads worship at many Passion events. Some of his most well-known songs are "How Great Is Our God", "Indescribable", "Forever", "Famous One", "We Fall Down", "Holy Is the Lord" and "Made to Worship".
According to the Christian Copyright Licensing International, Tomlin is the most sung Christian artist in the United States. He was awarded Male Vocalist at the 2006 and 2007 Gospel Music Awards, and was named Artist of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Chris Tomlin will be releasing his 7th studio album "Hello Love" which is due September 2nd 2008.
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation in composition for diverse musical forces, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth and technical and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg concertos; the Goldberg Variations; the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Well-Tempered Clavier; the Mass in B Minor; the St. Matthew Passion; the St. John Passion; The Musical Offering; The Art of Fugue; the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo; the Cello Suites; more than 200 surviving cantatas; and a similar number of organ works, including the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
While Bach's fame as an organist was great during his lifetime, he was not particularly well-known as a composer. His adherence to Baroque forms and contrapuntal style was considered "old-fashioned" by his contemporaries, especially late in his career when the musical fashion tended towards Rococo and later Classical styles. A revival of interest and performances of his music began early in the 19th century, and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 â May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.
Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a solo artist with great success in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers". His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, and fraternized with the Rat Pack and President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way".
Sinatra attempted to weather the changing tastes in popular music, but with dwindling album sales and after appearing in several poorly received films, he retired in 1971. Coming out of retirement in 1973, he recorded several albums, scoring a hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980, and toured both within the United States and internationally until a few years before his death in 1998.
Sinatra also forged a career as a dramatic actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, and he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm. His also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
K-Ci & JoJo is an American R&B duo, consisting of brothers Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey (born September 2, 1969) and Joel "Jo-Jo" Hailey (born June 10, 1971). Natives of Charlotte, North Carolina, they were also members of the chart-topping R&B group Jodeci with the DeGrate brothers—DeVante and Dalvin.
K-Ci and JoJo's first sign of independence came in 1994 when K-Ci covered Bobby Womack's hit "If You Think You're Lonely Now" for the movie Jason's Lyric. Early in 1996, K-Ci and JoJo teamed up for the song "How Could You" for the movie Bulletproof starring Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler.
By July 1996, K-Ci and JoJo finally had a hit on their hands as guest artists in 2Pac's number-one R&B hit "How Do U Want It". It also topped the Billboard Hot 100. The brothers made their side projects into a full album, Love Always. Released on June 17, 1997, the album spawned two top-ten R&B hits: "You Bring Me Up" (Pop #26) and "Last Night's Letter" (Pop #46).
Gloria Estefan (born Gloria María Fajardo on September 1, 1957) is a Cuban American singer and songwriter. she is in the top 100 of best selling music artists with over 90 million albums sold worldwide, with 15.5 million of those alone in the United States. She has won five Grammy Awards becoming among the most successful crossover performers in Latin music to date.
She will be awarded by the Latin Grammy Award Recording Association as the "Person of the Year" in the ceremony to be aired on November 2008, the award will be given to her for her long career of more than 20 years and her worldwide success, she's also the first female singer to receive this prestigious award.
The Cure are an English rock band that formed in Crawley, Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several lineup changes, with frontman, guitarist and main songwriter Robert Smith—known for his iconic wild hair, pale complexion, smudged lipstick and frequently gloomy and introspective lyrics—being the only constant member.
The members of The Cure first started releasing music in the late 1970s. Their first album, Three Imaginary Boys (1979), and early singles placed them as part of the post-punk and New Wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s the band's increasingly dark and tormented music helped form the gothic rock genre. After the release of Pornography (1982), the band's future was uncertain and frontman Robert Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had cultivated. With the 1982 single "Let's Go to Bed" Smith began to inject more of a pop sensibility into the band's music. The Cure's popularity increased as the decade wore on, especially in the United States, where the songs "Just Like Heaven", "Lovesong" and "Friday I'm in Love" entered the Billboard Top 40 charts. By the start of the 1990s, The Cure were one of the most popular alternative rock bands in the world and have sold an estimated 27 million albums as of 2004. The Cure have released twelve studio albums and over thirty singles, with a thirteenth album, 4:13 Dream, due for release in October 2008.
Jon Bon Jovi (born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. on March 2, 1962) is an American musician, songwriter and actor. As lead singer and founder of the rock band Bon Jovi, he has sold just under 156 million albums worldwide (August 2008). He is also the owner of an Arena Football League team, the Philadelphia Soul.
In June 2007, Bon Jovi released their new tenth studio album, Lost Highway. The album debuted at number #1 on the Billboard charts, the first time that Bon Jovi have had a number one album on the US charts since the release of New Jersey in 1988. Thanks to the band's new country music fanbase, the album sold 292,000 copies in its first week on sale in the U.S., and became Bon Jovi's third US number one album. The first single from the new album was "(You Want to) Make a Memory", which debuted (and peaked) at #27 in the Billboard Hot 100, Bon Jovi's highest ever debut in the U.S. charts. The album reached Number #1 in Japan, Canada, Australia and Europe, and reached number #2 in the UK.
Children of Eden is a two-act musical play with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz based on a book by John Caird. The musical is loosely based on the Book of Genesis. Act I tells the story of Adam and Eve, Cain, and Abel, and Act II deals with Noah and the Flood. While using the Bible as a plot source, it freely deviates in many details, and is a story of parents and children without a specifically religious point-of-view. Though it had a very short run on London's West End and has never played Broadway, the show is extremely popular in community theatres worldwide. The show uses the same principals in both acts, with the actors each taking on a different character for the story of Noah.
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