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Love Actually
Love Actually
Love Actually is a 2003 British romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many of whom are linked as their tales progress. The ensemble cast is composed of predominantly English actors.

The film begins five weeks before Christmas and is framed around a week-by-week countdown until the holiday, with an epilogue that takes place one month later.
Elton John
Elton John
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.
David Archuleta
David Archuleta
David James Archuleta (born December 28, 1990) is an American singer. In May 2008, he became the runner-up on the seventh season of American Idol receiving 44 percent of over 97 million votes. Archuleta's first single "Crush" was released in August 2008; his self-titled debut album was released in November 2008.

Archuleta's mother is from Honduras, and much of the music he listened to as a child was Latin-influenced including watching his mom sing at events with her sisters. She also "was big on dancing" according to Archuleta, and would "make" him dance to traditional music with his older sister. He also listened to jazz music, he said, from his father's collection as well as gospel, pop, rock and "soulful music." In a later interview, he revealed that his father was a jazz musician. Archuleta also said he enjoys Broadway musicals.

On his American Idol "Fast Facts" page, Archuleta cited his musical influences as Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin and Bryan Adams. When he listed his top pop music artists, he cited Natasha Bedingfield, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams, Kirk Franklin, and Robbie Williams. Like Elliott Yamin and another singer he admires, John Mayer, Archuleta tries to infuse his pop selections with a soulful vibe. In a Seventeen interview he cites Sara Bareilles as a clever singer-songwriter he looks up to.
Five for Fighting
Five for Fighting
Five for Fighting is the stage name of American singer-songwriter John Ondrasik. His 2000 album America Town went platinum in the U.S. largely due to the success of the song "Superman (It's Not Easy)" following the September 11 attacks in 2001. The 2004 album The Battle for Everything has also enjoyed chart success in the United States. Ondrasik has also released a DualDisc of his 2004 album which has one side containing The Battle for Everything in its entirety and the other side being a DVD containing bonus footage and the "100 Years" music video. Five for Fighting's fourth album, Two Lights, was released on August 1, 2006.
Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton
Toni Michelle Braxton (born October 7, 1967) is an American singer-songwriter, contralto vocalist and actress. Braxton has won six Grammy Awards and has sold over forty million records worldwide. Her U.S. number-one hit "Un-Break My Heart" is the second biggest single by a female artist ever.

Braxton topped the Billboard 200 with her 1993 self-titled debut album and continued that streak with her second studio album Secrets which spawned the number-one smash hit "Un-Break My Heart". After filing bankruptcy, Braxton returned with her chart-topping third album, The Heat. Her most recent albums were More Than a Woman—her last release under the Arista label—and Libra—her first and only release on Blackground.

Braxton is currently a contestant on the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars, paired with Alec Mazo.
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. An excellent bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with different ensembles.

Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst Carlos Kuri has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.
Yann Tiersen
Yann Tiersen
Guillaume Yann Tiersen (born 23 June 1970) is a French musician and composer known internationally for composing the score to the Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie Amélie. His music is recognized by its use of a large variety of instruments in relatively minimalist compositions, often with a touch of either European classical music or French folk music, using primarily the piano, accordion or violin together with instruments like the melodica, xylophone, toy piano, ondes martenot, harpsichord and typewriter. His musical style is reminiscent of Frédéric Chopin, Erik Satie, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.
Yanni
Yanni
Yanni (born Yiannis Hrysomallis (pronounced Chrysomallis), (Greek: Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης, classical transcription Giannis Chrysomallis), on November 14, 1954 in Kalamata, Greece) is a self-taught pianist, keyboardist, and composer. After receiving a B.A. in psychology, he would instead seek a life in music though he had no formal training and could not read a note.

He earned Grammy nominations for his 1992 album, Dare to Dream, and the 1993 follow-up, In My Time. His breakthrough success came with the 1994 release of Yanni Live at the Acropolis, deemed to be the second best-selling music video of all time, (behind Michael Jackson's video for Thriller with nine million units). Yanni has since performed live in concert before in excess of two million people in more than 20 countries around the world. He has accumulated more than 35 platinum and gold albums globally, with sales totaling over 20 million copies. Yanni is considered to be one of the top fundraisers of all time for public television. His compositions have been included in all Olympic Games television broadcasts since 1988, and his music has been used extensively in television and televised sporting events. His music is frequently described as "new age", though he prefers the term "contemporary instrumental". The regents of the University of Minnesota conferred upon Yanni the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Chopin
Chopin
Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and ranks as one of music's greatest tone poets.

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

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

Chopin's extant compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument. Though technically demanding, Chopin's style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than virtuosity. Chopin invented musical forms such as the ballade and was responsible for major innovations in forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music.
Aziza Mustafa Zadeh
Aziza Mustafa Zadeh
Aziza Mustafa Zadeh (Azeri: Əzizə Mustafazadə; born December 19, 1969) also known as The Princess of Jazz, or Die Prinzessin des Jazz or as Jazziza is an Azerbaijani singer, pianist and composer who plays a fusion of jazz and mugam (a traditional improvisational style of Azerbaijan) with classical and Avant-garde influences. Reviewers have said that her style also shows some influence from Keith Jarrett. She currently resides in Mainz, Germany with her mother, Eliza Mustafa Zadeh, who is also her manager. Her two favorite leisure activities, she says, are painting and sleeping. She is a vegetarian. Since 1991, Aziza sold around 15 million albums worldwide.
The Who
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964. The primary lineup consisted of vocalist Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They became known for energetic live performances including the pioneering spectacle of instrument destruction. The Who have sold about 100 million records and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States with 17 top ten albums, including 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.

The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with "I Can't Explain". The albums My Generation (1965), A Quick One (1966) and The Who Sell Out (1967) followed, with the first two hitting the UK top five. They first hit the U.S. Top 40 in 1967 with "Happy Jack" and hit the top ten later that year with "I Can See for Miles". Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop and Woodstock music festivals. The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top ten albums in the U.S., followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), The Who By Numbers (1975), Who Are You (1978) and The Kids Are Alright (1979).

Moon died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the UK and U.S. top five Face Dances (1981) and the U.S. top ten It's Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle's death at the age of 57 in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who, and in 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and U.S.
The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility. Their display there describes them as "Prime contenders, in the minds of many, for the title of World's Greatest Rock Band." The Los Angeles Times wrote that during their tenure as a quartet, the band "rivaled The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones as the most vital rock voice of youth." Time Magazine wrote in 1979 that "No other group has ever pushed rock so far, or asked so much from it." They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001. In 2008 surviving members Townshend and Daltrey were honoured at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors.
Gackt
Gackt
Gackt Camui (神威 楽斗 Kamui Gakuto?, born July 4, 1973), better known by his stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He has been active since 1993, first as the frontman of the short-lived independent band Cains:Feel, and then for the now defunct visual kei rock band Malice Mizer, before starting his solo career in 1999. He has released nine studio albums and, with forty-six singles released, holds the male soloist record for most top ten consecutive singles in Japanese music history. His single "Returner (Yami no Shūen)", released on June 20, 2007, was his first single to reach the number one spot on the Oricon charts. He became the first Japanese artist to release his music catalog on iTunes in October 2007.

Besides being established in the modern entertainment industry, his music has been used as theme songs for video games (Final Fantasy VII), anime films (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam) and television series. In addition to his music career Gackt has acted in a few films, including a film he wrote, Moon Child, and his international debut Bunraku, and TV series such as the NHK drama Fūrin Kazan. He also performed live in theatre stage plays, one of which was written, composed and directed by him: Moon Saga - Mysteries of Yoshitsune I&II.
Tom Kitt
Tom Kitt
Thomas Robert "Tom" Kitt (born 1974) is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator and musician. For his score for the musical Next to Normal, he shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Brian Yorkey. He also won the Tony Award and 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for American Idiot and Everyday Rapture.
Grzegorz Turnau
Grzegorz Turnau
Grzegorz Turnau is a Polish composer, pianist, poet and singer.

He was born on 31 July 1967 in Kraków, Poland. At age seventeen he won First Prize (Grand Prix) at The Student Song Festival in Kraków in 1984. He went on to join the Piwnica pod Baranami Cabaret, composing such hits as "Znów wędrujemy", and released his first album, Naprawdę nie dzieje się nic ("Really, nothing is happening") in 1991. He has released eleven albums to date, including one (Cafe Sułtan) made up of his own versions of songs by Jeremi Przybora and Jerzy Wasowski, and most have enjoyed considerable chart success. His characteristic style consists of strong, clear lyrics and music composed in special keys and harmonies, using instruments such as piano (played by himself), saxophone, violin and various horns. Influenced by such artists as Marek Grechuta and Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz, his music style has been described as "soft jazz". He did participate in the Aleksander Glondys's "Ellington po krakowsku" ("Ellington Kraków way"), a concert based upon idea of notable composers of Piwnica pod Baranami playing their interpretations of Duke's music. Other participants include Pawluśkiewicz, Zbigniew Raj and several other musicians.
Derek Bourgeois
Derek Bourgeois
Derek David Bourgeois (born 16 October 1941) is an English composer.

Derek Bourgeois was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1941. After receiving his education from Magdalene College, Cambridge University (honours degree and doctorate), Bourgeois spent two years at the Royal College of Music studying composition with Herbert Howells and conducting with Sir Adrian Boult.
Mark James
Mark James (born Francis Rodney Zambon, 1940) is an American songwriter who wrote hits for singers B.J. Thomas, Brenda Lee, and Elvis Presley, most notably Presley's last U.S. number one hit single, "Suspicious Minds."
Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne Whibley (born September 27, 1984), better known by her birth name of Avril Lavigne, is a Canadian Grammy award-nominated rock singer, musician, fashion designer and actress. In 2006, Canadian Business Magazine ranked her the seventh most powerful Canadian in Hollywood.

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

Katie Melua
Katie Melua
Ketevan "Katie" Melua (born 16 September 1984) is a Georgian-British singer, songwriter and musician. She was born in the Georgian SSR, but moved to Northern Ireland at the age of eight and then relocated to England at the age of 14. Melua is signed to the small Dramatico record label, under the management of songwriter Mike Batt, and made her musical debut in 2003. In 2006, she was the United Kingdom's biggest-selling female artist and Europe's highest selling European female artist.

In November 2003, at the age of 19, Melua released her first album, Call off the Search, which reached the top of the United Kingdom album charts and sold 1.8 million copies in its first five months of release. Her second album, Piece by Piece, was released in September 2005 and to date has gone platinum four times. Melua released her third studio album Pictures in October 2007, which has been announced to be the last of her albums in collaboration with Mike Batt. According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, Melua has a fortune of £18 million, making her the seventh richest British musician under thirty.
Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

The grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, he was born into a notable Jewish family, although he himself was brought up initially without religion, and later as a Lutheran. He was recognized early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his abilities. Indeed his father was disinclined to allow Felix to follow a musical career until it became clear that he intended to seriously dedicate himself to it.

Early success in Germany was followed by travel throughout Europe; Mendelssohn was particularly well received in England as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there, during which many of his major works were premiered, form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes however set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Liszt, Wagner and Berlioz. The Conservatory he founded at Leipzig became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook.

Mendelssohn's work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano and chamber music. He also had an important role in the revival of interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality is now being recognized and re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
Carlos Gardel
Carlos Gardel
Carlos Gardel (11 December 1890 – 24 June 1935) was a singer, songwriter and actor, and is perhaps the most prominent figure in the history of tango. The unerring musicality of Gardel's baritone voice and the dramatic phrasing of his lyrics made miniature masterpieces of his hundreds of three-minute tango recordings. Together with lyricist and long-time collaborator Alfredo Le Pera, Gardel wrote several classic tangos, most notably "Mi Buenos Aires querido", "Por una cabeza" and "El día que me quieras".
Gardel died in an airplane crash at the height of his career, becoming an archetypal tragic hero mourned throughout Latin America. For many, Gardel embodies the soul of the tango style. He is commonly referred to as "Carlitos", "El Zorzal" (The Song Thrush), "The King of Tango", "El Mago" (The Magician) and "El Mudo" (The Mute).
The Phil Collins Big Band
The Phil Collins Big Band
The Phil Collins Big Band was a side project of English rock drummer, singer and musician Phil Collins, which performed in 1996 and 1998.

Although best known for his work in pop as a solo artist and progressive rock with Genesis, one of Collins' earliest influences had been the American big band drummer Buddy Rich. The group presented big band renditions of Collins and Genesis songs, including hits such as "Sussudio" and "Invisible Touch". The group was primarily an instrumental act, with Collins remaining behind the drums, like the early days of Genesis and rarely singing at performances. The group split up in 1999, when Phil Collins started to work on the music for the then upcoming movie, Tarzan.

The group released one album, A Hot Night in Paris, recorded in 1998 and released in 1999. The footage of Montreux Jazz Festival 1996 was featured as a bonus feature on the 2010 DVD "Phil Collins Live At Montreux".

Collins' work with the Phil Collins Big Band received acclaim and Modern Drummer readers voted him Big Band drummer of the year in 2000.
David Wolinski
David Wolinski
David J. "Hawk" Wolinski (born 1948) is an American keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, probably best known for his work with the funk band Rufus and their lead singer Chaka Khan.

Wolinski grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and in the late 1960s was the keyboard player and lead singer of the band The Males and a member of the bands Shadows of Knight and Bangor Flying Circus. When the latter band broke up he helped form the band Madura, which was produced by fellow Chicagoan James William Guercio. Guercio used Madura in his 1973 film Electra Glide in Blue; Wolinski also had a small acting role.

In the 1960s Wolinski formed a short lived band in Chicago called The Electric Band. They played regularly at a club called The Cellar.
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith (16 November 1895 – 28 December 1963) was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher, music theorist and conductor.
Riccardo Cocciante
Riccardo Cocciante
Riccardo Cocciante , also known in French-speaking countries and the U.S. as Richard Cocciante (born 20 February 1946), is an Italian singer, composer, theatre man and musician

His oeuvre includes recordings in Italian, French, English, and Spanish; he has recorded some of his songs in all four languages.

Cocciante was born in Saigon, French Indochina, now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to an Italian father and a French mother. He moved to Rome, Italy at the age of 11 where he attended school and started his career as musician coming to success around 1972. He also lived in the USA and Ireland. In 1976, Cocciante covered the Beatles song "Michelle" for the musical documentary All This and World War II. That same year, he released his sole English album in the US, with the single "When Love Has Gone Away" peaking at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1991, he won the Sanremo Festival with the song "Se stiamo insieme", and for Christmas 1997 legendary Spanish operatic tenor and friend Plácido Domingo invited him to sing at Domingo's annual Christmas in Vienna concert, together with Sarah Brightman and Helmut Lotti.

As of 2008, Cocciante has three musicals running, probably Notre-Dame de Paris being the most known. This musical may later be put into competition against another musical in progress, Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame (musical).
Billie Holliday
Billie Holliday
Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Holiday was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education. While there were other jazz singers with equal talent, Billie Holiday had a voice that captured the attention of her audience.

After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs around Harlem. After being heard by producer John Hammond, who commended her voice, Holiday was signed to Brunswick Records in 1935. Collaborations with Teddy Wilson yielded the hit "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which would later become a jazz standard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday booked mainstream success with labels such as Columbia Records and Decca Records. By the late 1940s, however, Holiday was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, Holiday performed a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. However, due to her drug and alcohol problems, her reputation deteriorated.
Matthew Locke
Matthew Locke
Matthew Locke (ca. 1621 – August 1677) was an English Baroque composer and music theorist.
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