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"If I'm going to buy a new guitar, I take it to a good 'hot' room, like a tiled bathroom, and listen to the wood. If tone comes off the neck, you can bet it's gonna sound beautiful through an amp" Dickey Betts - Guitar - Allman Bros. Band, Great Southers, solo
Hiromi Uehara (上原ひろみ, born 26 March 1979), known as Hiromi, is a jazz composer and pianist born in Hamamatsu, Japan. She is known for her virtuosic technique, energetic live performances and blend of musical genres such as post-bop, progressive rock, classical and fusion in her compositions.
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.
Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist who composed in the Romantic period. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King), and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces.
Eiffel 65 was an Italian eurodance/italodance three-piece group, formed in the late 1990s and best known for their international hit "Blue (Da Ba Dee)". Their other hit singles include "Move Your Body" and "Too Much of Heaven", all of which appeared on their album Europop, released in late 1999. The name "Eiffel" was chosen randomly by a computer program and the "65" was scribbled onto their name on a demo by mistake; it was actually part of a phone number. Eiffel 65 achieved rare success in the US. Their debut single became a top ten hit and their album a top five placing and sold over two million units. No other Italian pop or dance group before or since has ever achieved such sales in the USA.
Rihanna (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty; February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, model and fashion designer. She is the second artist, and first female, from Barbados to have received a Grammy Award (the first being Jimmy Senya Haynes). Rihanna is currently signed to the Def Jam Recordings label. She has attained four Billboard Hot 100 number ones thus far ("SOS", "Umbrella", "Take a Bow", and "Disturbia"), tying her with Mariah Carey and Beyoncé as the female solo artist with the most number ones this decade.
Rihanna came to fame in 2005 with the release of her debut album Music of the Sun, which featured her breakthrough single "Pon de Replay". Less than a year later, Rihanna released A Girl Like Me and gave her first number one single, "SOS". In 2007, Rihanna released her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad. The album has yielded six hit singles including five worldwide number one singles "Umbrella", "Don't Stop the Music" and "Take A Bow". Since the release of her debut album, Rihanna has amassed eleven top 40 hit singles in the U.S.
Johann Strauss I (March 14, 1804 – September 25, 1849; German: Johann Baptist Strauß, Johann Strauss (Vater); also Johann Baptist Strauss, Johann Strauss, Sr., the Elder, the Father), born in Vienna, was an Austrian Romantic composer famous for his waltzes, and for popularizing them alongside Joseph Lanner, thereby setting the foundations for his sons to carry on his musical dynasty. His most famous piece is probably the Radetzky March (named after Joseph Radetzky von Radetz), while his most famous waltz is probably the Lorelei Rheinklänge, Op. 154.
Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American pianist and composer.
His career started with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in both classical music and jazz, as a group leader and a solo performer. His improvisation technique combines not only jazz, but also other forms of music, especially classical, gospel, blues and ethnic folk music.
In 2003 he received the Polar Music Prize, being the first (and to this day only) recipient not sharing the prize with anyone else.
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.
Evita is the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical based on the life of Eva Perón. It was directed by Alan Parker and starred Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. It was released on December 25, 1996 by Hollywood and Cinergi Pictures.
Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians.
Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904–presumably December 15, 1944), was an American jazz musician and band leader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1942, leading one of the best known "Big Bands". Miller's signature recordings include, "In the Mood", "Tuxedo Junction", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "Moonlight Serenade", "Little Brown Jug", and "Pennsylvania 6-5000". While travelling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Miller's plane disappeared in bad weather. His body was never found.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra is still performing today under the direction of Larry O'Brien. Glenn once said, "A band ought to have a sound all of its own. It ought to have a personality." His band certainly had their own sound, and it is a sound that is still popular after over fifty years.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer of musical theatre, the elder son of organist William Lloyd Webber and brother of the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Lloyd Webber started composing at the age of six, and published his first piece at the age of nine.
Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success, with several musicals that have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards (and 40 nominations), three Grammy Awards (with an additional 60 nominations), an Academy Award (two other nominations), seven Olivier Awards (with 100 nominations), a Golden Globe, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London.
Producers in several parts of the UK have staged productions, including national tours, of Lloyd Webber's musicals under licence from the Really Useful Group. According to britishhitsongwriters.com, he is the one hundredth most successful songwriter in U.K. singles chart history, based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart.
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.
Amy Lee Grant (born November 25, 1960 in Augusta, Georgia) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her Contemporary Christian Music and pop music, and a New York Times Bestselling author, TV personality, and occasional actress.
Grant is considered one of the true pioneers of Gospel and Contemporary Christian music..
David Warren Brubeck (born December 6, 1920 in Concord, California), better known as Dave Brubeck, is an American jazz pianist. Regarded as a genius in his field, he has written a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranges from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mother's attempts at classical training and his improvisational skills. Much of his music employs unusual time signatures.
His long-time musical partner, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, wrote the Dave Brubeck Quartet's most famous piece, "Take Five", which is in 5/4 time and has endured as a jazz classic. Brubeck experimented with time signatures through much of his career, recording "Pick Up Sticks" in 6/4, "Unsquare Dance" in 7/4, and "Blue Rondo Ã la Turk" in 9/8. He also provided music for the TV animated miniseries "This Is America, Charlie Brown".
John Stephens (born December 28, 1978) better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American soul singer, songwriter, and pianist. His debut studio album, the multiplatinum-selling Get Lifted, was released in late 2004, and features collaborations with rapper and producer Kanye West as well as Snoop Dogg. Get Lifted produced two singles: "Used to Love U" (US top 100, UK top 30) and "Ordinary People" (US and UK top 30). Legend has won five Grammy Awards. Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend's career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Notably, Legend sang the hooks for hits by Slum Village ("Selfish", also featuring Kanye West), Jay-Z ("Encore"), and Dilated Peoples ("This Way", also featuring Kanye West); played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything is Everything"; and sang background vocals on Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name" and Fort Minor's "High Road."
Gordon Brisker was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Brisker began on piano as a child, and studied reed instruments at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He played with Ralph Marterie before enrolling in the Berklee College of Music.
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.
Jasmine van den Bogaerde (born 15 May 1996), also known by her stage name Birdy, is an English musician. She won the music competition Open Mic UK in 2008, at the age of 12. Her version of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" was successful, peaking inside the top twenty of the charts in her native United Kingdom and in some other European countries. Her self-titled debut album Birdy was released on 7 November 2011.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in Enfield, North London), She is the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice, which was given to artists who, at the time, had yet to release an album. She debuted at number one with her Mercury Prize nominated debut album 19 in the UK album chart and has since then been certified platinum with sales over 500,000 copies.
Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American soft rock/Piano pop singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the Billboard top five, Grammy-nominated single "A Thousand Miles" from her debut album, Be Not Nobody which was released April 30, 2002, and certified platinum in the U.S.
Her music, along with that of her contemporary Michelle Branch to whom she is sometimes compared, has had an influence on female solo pop singer-songwriters in the 21st century, including Kate Voegele, Lights, Sara Bareilles (another piano pop artist), Colbie Caillat and Tristan Prettyman.
Carlton's second album, Harmonium (released November 9, 2004), debuted at number 33 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and had sold 179,000 copies as of February 2006, with the single "White Houses," peaking at 86 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She subsequently parted company from her record label A&M, though she still holds a dedicated fanbase.
Her third album, Heroes and Thieves, was released on October 9, 2007 by the The Inc./Universal Motown record labels.
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 (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).
Alicia J. Augello-Cook (born January 25, 1981), and has won numerous awards, including eleven Grammy Awards, seventeen Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards.
Her debut album Songs in A Minor was a worldwide success, selling nearly 11 millions albums, and received five Grammy Awards in 2002, with Alicia winning Best New Artist and also Song of the Year for "Fallin'".
James P. Johnson (born James Price Johnson, also known as Jimmy Johnson; February 1, 1894 – November 17, 1955) was an American pianist and composer. A pioneer of the stride style of jazz piano, he was one of the most important pianists who bridged the ragtime and jazz eras, and, with Jelly Roll Morton, one of the two most important catalysts in the evolution of ragtime piano into jazz. As such, he was a model for Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, and Fats Waller.
Johnson composed many hit tunes including the theme song of the Roaring Twenties, "Charleston" and "If I Could be With You One Hour Tonight" and remained the acknowledged king of New York jazz pianists through most of the 1930s. Johnson's artistry, his significance in the subsequent development of jazz piano, and his large contribution to American musical theatre, are often overlooked, and as such, he has been referred to by Reed College musicologist David Schiff, as "The Invisible Pianist".
Legally Blonde is a musical based on the Amanda Brown novel and the 2001 film of the same name. The musical features a book by Heather Hach, music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, with direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell.
After a pre-Broadway tryout in San Francisco, California, the musical opened on Broadway on April 29, 2007 to mostly positive reviews. The musical was recorded for MTV in September 2007 and aired in October 2007.
A United States first national touring production is currently in production.
Legally Blonde played its final performance on Broadway on October 19, 2008.
Mel B. Kaufman (sometimes Kaufmann on sheet music covers) had one of the more unusual sidelines, or actually primary job, for a musician of his time - that of undergarment salesman. Born in New Jersey to a Canadian father, cigar wholesaler Jacob M. Kaufman, and a Louisiana born mother, Ida (Bernd) Kaufman, bing! bing! coverMel was the oldest of six siblings, including Ferdman (12/1881), Jesse (12/1884), Arthur (12/1886), Elisa (4/1889) and Oscar (9/1891). He spent the first part of his life growing up in New Jersey before the family moved to Manhattan in the early 1890s
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.
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).
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.
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.
Babes in Arms is a 1937 musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart and book by Rodgers and Hart. It concerns a teen-age boy who puts on a show with his friends to avoid being sent to a work farm.
Babes in Arms opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on April 14, 1937, transferred to the Majestic Theatre on October 25, 1937, and closed on December 18, 1937 after 289 performances. Directed by Robert B. Sinclair with choreography by George Balanchine, the cast featured Mitzi Green, Ray Heatherton, and Alfred Drake, as well as the Nicholas Brothers.
The City Center Encores! staged concert ran in February 1999, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall with Erin Dilly, David Campbell, Jessica Stone and Christopher Fitzgerald.
The musical was produced at the Chichester Festival Theatre from June 7, 2007 through July 7, 2007, and featured Lorna Luft.
Several songs in Babes in Arms became pop standards, including the title song; "Where or When"; "My Funny Valentine"; "The Lady is a Tramp"; "Johnny One Note" and "I Wish I Were in Love Again".
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.
Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Edges (sometimes produced as Edges: A Song Cycle) is a work of musical theatre by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. It is a song cycle about coming of age, growth and self-discovery of people mostly in their 20s. Its most famous song, "Be My Friend", has come to be commonly known as the "Facebook song".
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 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.
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.
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. According to Billboard magazine, she was the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States.
Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001, and she was dropped by Virgin Records the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to pop music in 2005.
Carey was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards. She has had the most number-one singles for a solo artist in the United States (eighteen; second artist overall behind The Beatles), where, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female and sixteenth overall recording artist. In addition to her commercial accomplishments, Carey has earned five Grammy Awards, and is well-known for her vocal range, power, melismatic style, and use of the whistle register.
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 musical film directed by Baz Luhrmann, based largely on the Giuseppe Verdi opera La Traviata. It tells the story of a young British poet/writer, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine, played by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, respectively. It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France. The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two: for art direction and costume design. It was shot at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia.
In 2006, Moulin Rouge! ranked twenty-fifth on the American Film Institute's list of best musicals.
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.
Coldplay are a rock band formed in London, England in 1997. The group comprises vocalist/pianist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion. Coldplay have sold 34.6 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".
Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of their single "Yellow", followed by their debut album, Parachutes (2000), which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Its follow-up, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) won multiple awards such as NME's Album of the Year and was later included on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, ranking at #473. Their next release, X&Y (2005), received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews. All of Coldplay's albums have enjoyed great commercial success.
Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Richard David James (born 18 August 1971), best known by his alias Aphex Twin, is an Irish born British electronic musician and composer based in London. He is best known for his influential and idiosyncratic work in electronic music styles such as IDM and ambient techno in the 1990s, for which he won widespread critical acclaim. He is also the co-founder of Rephlex Records with Grant Wilson-Claridge.
Notting Hill is a 1999 British romantic comedy film set in Notting Hill, London, released on 21 May 1999. The screenplay was by Richard Curtis, who had written Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), and the film was produced by Duncan Kenworthy and directed by Roger Michell. The film stars Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Rhys Ifans, Emma Chambers, Tim McInnerny, Gina McKee, and Hugh Bonneville.
Notting Hill was well received by critics and became the highest grossing British film released that year. The film won a BAFTA, was nominated in two other categories, and won other awards, including a British Comedy Award and a Brit Award for the soundtrack.
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.
Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM, OM, (born February 17, 1957) is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined, warbling soprano vocals. She has sold more than 14 million records worldwide.
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.
Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter and musician who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded songs such as "These Days", "The Pretender", "Running on Empty", "Lawyers in Love", "Doctor My Eyes", "Take It Easy", "For a Rocker", and "Somebody's Baby". In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.
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