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Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer and musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He was widely noted for his soft, baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres.
Cole was one of the first African Americans to host a television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show, and has maintained worldwide popularity since his death from lung cancer in February 1965.
In the summer of 1991, Nat and his daughter, singer Natalie Cole, had a hit when Natalie's own newly recorded voice track was mixed with her father's 1961 rendition of "Unforgettable" into a new duet version as part of a tribute album to her father's music. The song and album of the same name won seven Grammy awards in 1992.
Francis Albert Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998), known professionally as Frank Sinatra, was an American singer and film actor.
Sinatra is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time.
Beginning his musical career in the swing era as a boy singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra found success as a solo artist from the early to mid-1940s after being signed by Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the "bobby soxers", he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946.
He signed with Capitol Records in 1953 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 in 1961 (finding success with albums such as Ring-a-Ding-Ding!, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy.
Sinatra also forged a highly successful career as a film actor. After winning Best Supporting Actor in 1953 for his performance in 'From Here to Eternity', he also garnered a nomination for Best Actor for 'The Man with the Golden Arm' and critical acclaim for his performance in 'The Manchurian Candidate'. He also starred in such musicals as 'High Society', 'Pal Joey', 'Guys and Dolls' and 'On the Town'.
He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was 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.
Samuel George Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990), known professionally as Sammy Davis Jr., was an American entertainer. Primarily a dancer and singer, he also had many acting roles on stage and screen, and was noted for his impersonations of actors and other celebrities.
Davis began his career in vaudeville with his father and Will Mastin as the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally. After military service Davis returned to the trio. Davis became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at Ciro's after the 1951 Academy Awards. With the trio, he became a recording artist.
In 1960, he appeared in the first Rat Pack film, 'Ocean's 11'. After a starring role on Broadway in 1956's Mr Wonderful, Davis returned to the stage in 1964's Golden Boy, and in 1966 had his own TV variety show, The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. Davis' career slowed in the late 1960s, but he had a hit record with "The Candy Man" in 1972 and became a star in Las Vegas, earning him the nickname "Mister Show Business".
Davis was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his television performances. He was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1987, and in 2001, he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Walden Robert Cassotto (May 14, 1936 – December 20, 1973), known professionally as Bobby Darin, was an American singer, songwriter and actor of film and television.
He performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock'n'roll, jazz, folk, and country.
He started as a songwriter for Connie Francis and recorded his own first million-seller 'Splish Splash' in 1958. This was followed by 'Dream Lover', 'Mack the Knife' and 'Beyond the Sea', which brought him world fame.
In 1962, he won a Golden Globe for his first film 'Come September' co-starring his first wife, Sandra Dee. The following year he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama" (Best actor) in 'Pressure Point'.
In 1963, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a shell-shocked soldier in 'Captain Newman, M.D.'. At the Cannes Film Festival he won the French Film Critics Award for best actor.
Darin's musical output became more "folksy" as the 1960s progressed, and he became more politically active. In 1966, he had a hit with folksinger Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter," securing a return to the Top 10 after a two-year absence. One song of his, "Artificial Flowers", about child labor, however had a jazzy, Big Band melody, which was a sharp contrast to the tragic theme of the song.
Darin made television guest appearances and remained a top draw in Las Vegas. In 1972, he starred in his own television variety show on NBC, 'The Bobby Darin Amusement Company', which ran until his death in 1973.
In 1990, singer Paul Anka made the speech inducting Darin into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1999, he was voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. On December 13, 2009, the Recording Academy announced that Darin would receive a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Grammy Awards ceremony.
Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known professionally as Ray Charles, was an American singer-songwriter, musician and composer.
He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success.
Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company at ABC Records.
Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" in 2004 and number two on their November 2008 list of "100 Greatest Singers of All Time".
The United States Postal Service issued a forever stamp honoring Ray Charles as part of it Musical Icons series on September 23, 2013.
Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter with a career that began in the 1960s.
Diamond has sold over 125 million records worldwide. He is the third most successful adult contemporary artist on the Billboard charts behind Barbra Streisand and Elton John. His songs have been covered internationally by many performers from various musical genres.
On the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, he has had ten #1 singles: "Cracklin' Rosie", "Song Sung Blue", "Longfellow Serenade", "I've Been This Way Before", "If You Know What I Mean", "Desiree", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", "America", "Yesterday's Songs", "Heartlight" and "I'm a Believer".
Neil Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Additionally, he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and in 2011 was an honoree at Kennedy Center.
Stevland Hardaway Morris [formerly Judkins] (born May 13, 1950), known professionally as Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist.
A child prodigy, he has become one of the most creative and loved musical performers of the late 20th century. Wonder signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of eleven and continues to perform and record for Motown as of the early 2010s.
Among Wonder's works are singles such as "Superstition", "Sir Duke", "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You"; and albums such as Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist, and has sold over 100 million albums and singles, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists.
Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth anniversary, with Wonder at number five.
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977) was an American singer, musician and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred known as The King of Rock 'n' Roll and The King.
Presley is one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. Commercially successful in many genres, including pop, blues and gospel, he is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music with estimated album sales of around 600 million units worldwide. He was nominated for 14 Grammys and won three, receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, and has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, actor, producer, dancer, businessman and philanthropist.
Often referred to by the honorific nickname "The King of Pop", his contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1964, and began his solo career in 1971.
In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs including those of "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" were credited with breaking down racial barriers and with transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped to bring the then-relatively-new television channel MTV to fame. With videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream", he continued to innovate the medium throughout the 1990s, as well as forging a reputation as a touring solo artist.
Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous hip hop, post-disco, contemporary R&B, pop and rock artists.
Jackson's 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world's best-selling.
Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first and only dancer from pop and rock music. Some of his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records; 13 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; 26 American Music Awards, more than any other artist, including the "Artist of the Century" and "Artist of the 1980s"; 13 number-one singles in the United States in his solo career, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era; and the estimated sale of over 400 million records worldwide. Jackson has won hundreds of awards, making him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of popular music.
Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988), also known by the nickname The Big O, was an American singer-songwriter, best known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions and dark emotional ballads.
His greatest success came between 1960 and 1964, when 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top Forty, including "Only the Lonely", "Crying" and "Oh, Pretty Woman".
Several covers of his songs and the use of "In Dreams" in David Lynch's film 'Blue Velvet' (1986) revived his career. In 1988, he joined the supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne and also released a new solo album. He died of a heart attack in December that year, at the zenith of his resurgence.
Orbison's vocal instrument bridged the gap between baritone and tenor, and music scholars have suggested that he had a three or four octave range. The combination of Orbison's powerful, impassioned voice and complex musical arrangements led many critics to refer to his music as operatic, giving him the sobriquet "the Caruso of Rock".
He was known for performing while standing still and solitary and for wearing black clothes and dark sunglasses, which lent an air of mystery to his persona.
Orbison was initiated into the second class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 by longtime admirer Bruce Springsteen. The same year he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame two years later. Rolling Stone placed Orbison at number 37 on their list of The Greatest Artists of All Time, and number 13 on their list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2002, Billboard magazine listed Orbison at number 74 in the Top 600 recording artists.
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7th 1958 - April 21st 2016), known professionally as Prince, was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor.
He produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. He wrote several hundred songs and produced and recorded his own music for his own music label. In addition, he promoted the careers of Sheila E., Carmen Electra, the Time and Vanity 6, and his songs have been recorded by these artists and others, including Chaka Khan, The Bangles, Sinéad O'Connor and Kim Basinger.
Prince had a wide vocal range and was known for his flamboyant stage presence and costumes. He sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.
He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year he was eligible. Rolling Stone has ranked Prince No. 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
John R. Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003), known professionally as Johnny Cash, was a singer-songwriter, actor and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century.
Although primarily remembered as a country icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple induction in the Country Music, Rock and Roll and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.
Cash was known for his deep bass-baritone voice, distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and trademark look, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black". He traditionally began his concerts with the simple "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.", followed by his signature "Folsom Prison Blues".
Much of Cash's music echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His best-known songs included "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue"; a duet with his future wife, June Carter, called "Jackson"; and railroad songs including "Hey, Porter" and "Rock Island Line".
During the last stage of his career, Cash covered songs by several late 20th-century rock artists, most notably "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails.
Samuel Cooke (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964) was an African-American recording artist, singer-songwriter and entrepreneur.
He is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocal abilities and influence on the modern world of music. His pioneering contributions to soul music led to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Billy Preston and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.
Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, and a further three after his death. Major hits like "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come", "Cupid", "Chain Gang", "Wonderful World", and "Twistin' the Night Away" are some of his most popular songs.
Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
Robert Allen Zimmerman (born May 24,1941), known professionally as Bob Dylan, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer.
He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements.
Leaving behind his initial base in the culture of the folk music revival, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" radically altered the parameters of popular music in 1965. His recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.
Dylan's lyrics have incorporated a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture.
As a songwriter and musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and received numerous awards over the years including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." In May 2012, Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
Richard Pierce Havens (January 21, 1941 – April 22, 2013), known professionally as Richie Havens, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.
His music encompassed elements of folk, soul, and rhythm and blues. He is best known for his intense and rhythmic guitar style (often in open tunings), soulful covers of pop and folk songs, and his opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American musician and singer-songwriter.
He is best known for his work with the E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss", Springsteen is widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, Americana working class, sometimes political sentiments centered on his native New Jersey and his lengthy and energetic stage performances, with concerts from the 1970s to the present decade running over three hours in length.
Springsteen's recordings have included both commercially accessible rock albums and more sombre folk-oriented works. His most successful studio albums, Born in the U.S.A. and Born to Run, showcase a talent for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily American life; he has sold more than 64 million albums in the United States making him the fifteenth highest selling artist of all-time and more than 120 million albums worldwide.
Springsteen has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award as well as being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.
John Roger Stephens (born December 28, 1978), known professionally as John Legend, is an American singer-songwriter and actor.
Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend's career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists, assisting in them reaching chart-topper hits. He lent his voice to Magnetic Man's "Getting Nowhere," Kanye West's "All of the Lights", on Slum Village's "Selfish" and Dilated Peoples' "This Way". Other artists included Jay-Z's "Encore" and he sang backing vocals on Alicia Keys' 2003 song "You Don't Know My Name", the Kanye West remix of Britney Spears' "Me Against the Music", and Fort Minor's "High Road". Legend played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything".
He has won nine Grammy Awards, and in 2007, Legend received the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Donald McLean (born October 2, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter. He is most famous for the 1971 album American Pie, containing the songs "American Pie" and "Vincent".
In February 2002, "American Pie" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
In 2004, McLean was inaugurated into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Garth Brooks presented the award and said "Don McLean: his work, like the man himself, is very deep and very compassionate. His pop anthem 'American Pie' is a cultural phenomenon".
Pharrell Williams (born April 5, 1973), also known simply as Pharrell, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, musician, and fashion designer.
Williams and Chad Hugo make up the record production duo The Neptunes, producing soul, hip hop and R&B music. He is also the lead vocalist and drummer of rock, funk and hip hop band N.E.R.D, which he formed with Hugo and childhood friend Shay Haley.
He released his first single "Frontin'" in 2003 and followed up with his debut solo album In My Mind in 2006. His second album, G I R L was released on March 3, 2014.
As part of The Neptunes, Williams has produced numerous hit singles for various recording artists. Williams has earned seven Grammy Awards including two with The Neptunes. He currently owns a media venture that encompasses entertainment, music, fashion, and art called i am OTHER. He is also the co-founder of the clothing brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream.
Williams composed and produced the music for the 84th Academy Awards alongside composer Hans Zimmer. By July 2013 there had only been 137 singles in UK chart history to have sold 1 million copies in the UK; that month Pharrell scored two million-sellers with "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines".
In November 2013, Pharrell released the first 24-hour music video to his Despicable Me 2 collaboration song, "Happy". Guest appearances included Magic Johnson, Steve Carrell, Jimmy Kimmel, Jamie Foxx, Odd Future, Miranda Cosgrove, Janelle Monáe, and many others. It has received approximately 5.5 million views as of Christmas Day, 2013.
It was announced in December 2013 that Williams had been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year. In the same month, a press release from Columbia Records announced that Pharrell had signed a contract with the label and is releasing an album in 2014, featuring the single "Happy" from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. For this song, Pharrell has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949), known professionally as Billy Joel, is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer.
Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man," in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best selling recording artist and the third-best-selling solo artist in the United States. His compilation album Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 is the third-best-selling album in the United States by discs shipped.
Joel had Top 40 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, achieving 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all of which he wrote himself. He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner who has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards throughout his career. He has sold over 150 million records worldwide.
Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2001, Joel received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2013, Joel received the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest honor for influencing American culture through the arts.
Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in popular music and a major artist in soul and rhythm and blues. His singing style was powerfully influential among soul artists of 1960s and helped exemplify the Stax Sound.
Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific "King of Soul". In addition to "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," "Respect" and "Try a Little Tenderness" are among his best known songs.
Francesco Stephen Castelluccio (born May 3, 1934), known professionally as Frankie Valli, is an American popular singer, most famous as frontman of The Four Seasons beginning in 1960. He is well known for his unusually powerful falsetto voice.
Valli scored 29 Top 40 hits with The Four Seasons, one Top 40 hit under The Four Seasons' alias 'The Wonder Who?', and nine Top 40 hits as a solo artist. As a member of The Four Seasons, Valli's number one hits included "Sherry" (1962), "Big Girls Don't Cry" (1962), "Walk Like a Man" (1963), "Rag Doll" (1964) and "December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)" (1975). Valli's recording of the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" reached number two in 1967.
"You're Ready Now", a Valli solo recording from 1966, became a surprise hit in Great Britain as part of the Northern soul scene and hit number eleven on the British pop charts in December 1970. As a solo artist, Valli scored number one hits with the songs "My Eyes Adored You" (1974) and "Grease" (1978).
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984), known professionally as Marvin Gaye, was an American singer-songwriter and musician.
Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records in the 1960s with a string of hits, including "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", and duet recordings with Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell, later earning the titles "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul".
During the 1970s, he recorded the concept albums What's Going On and Let's Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown to break away from the reins of its production company. Gaye's later recordings influenced several R&B subgenres, such as quiet storm and neo-soul.
Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, Gaye released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit "Sexual Healing" and the Midnight Love album.
Since his death in 1984, Gaye has been posthumously honored by many institutions, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter, actor, record producer, businessman and philanthropist.
In the late 1990s, Timberlake rose to prominence as one of the two lead vocalists and youngest member of the boy band 'N Sync.
During the group's hiatus, Timberlake released his solo studio albums Justified (2002) and FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006); the former spawned hits "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body", while the latter debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200 and produced the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "SexyBack", "My Love", and "What Goes Around... Comes Around". With each album exceeding sales of seven million copies worldwide, he was established as one of the most commercially successful singers.
From 2007 through 2012, Timberlake focused on his acting career, effectively putting his music career on hiatus; he held starring roles in the films The Social Network', 'Bad Teacher', 'In Time' and 'Friends with Benefits'.
In 2013, Timberlake resumed his music career with his third and fourth albums 'The 20/20 Experience' and 'The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2'. The former became one of the best-selling records of the year and spawned hits "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors", while the latter is preceded by lead single "Take Back the Night".
Timberlake's work has earned him nine Grammy Awards and four Emmy Awards. His other ventures include record label Tennman Records, fashion label William Rast and the restaurants Destino and Southern Hospitality.
Jack Leroy Wilson, Jr. (June 9, 1934 – January 21, 1984), known professionally as Jackie Wilson, was an American singer and performer.
Known as "Mr. Excitement", Wilson was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul. He was considered a master showman, and one of the most dynamic and influential singers and performers in R&B and rock n' roll history.
Gaining fame in his early years as a member of the R&B vocal group Billy Ward and His Dominoes, he went solo in 1957 and recorded over 50 hit singles that spanned R&B, pop, soul, doo-wop and easy listening. During a 1975 benefit concert, he collapsed on stage from a heart attack and subsequently fell into a coma that persisted for nearly nine years until his death in 1984, at the age of 49. By this time, he had become one of the most influential artists of his generation.
A two-time Grammy Hall of Fame Inductee, Jackie Wilson was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Jackie Wilson #69 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Terence Trent Howard (born March 15, 1962), known professionally as Terence Trent D'Arby, is an American singer-songwriter who came to fame with his album 'Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby', released in July 1987, which included the singles "Wishing Well" and "Sign Your Name".
He has appeared in two films and in the TV mini-series 'Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story' in which he played the part of Jackie Wilson.
His music has been included on several movie and television soundtracks, notably his version of the theme song of 1991's 'Frankie and Johnny'. One of his songs was featured prominently in the end credits of 'Beverly Hills Cop III', "Right Thing, Wrong Way", which he wrote and produced with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Another of his songs, "What Shall I Do?", was featured in an episode of the UPN television series Girlfriends. In 2007, three songs appeared on Judd Apatow's movie 'Knocked Up' and on these movies: 'Prêt-à-Porter', 'The Promised Land', 'Funny People' and 'Up In the Air.'
William Robinson, Jr. (born February 19, 1940), known professionally as Smokey Robinson, is an American R&B and Pop singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive.
Robinson was the founder and front man of the Motown vocal group The Miracles, for which he also served as the group's chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as The Five Chimes until 1972 when he announced a retirement from the stage to focus on his role as Motown's vice president.
However, Robinson returned to the music industry as a solo artist the following year, later having solo hits such as "Baby That's Backatcha", "A Quiet Storm", "Cruisin'", "Being With You" and "Just to See Her". Following the sale of Motown Records in 1988, Robinson left Motown in 1990.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr. (born June 20, 1949), is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and actor.
From 1968, he was a member of the musical group Commodores signed to Motown Records.
Richie made his solo debut in 1982 with the album 'Lionel Richie'. The first single, "Truly", topped the Billboard Hot 100. Follow-up single "You Are" reached number four and "My Love" reached number five. The album was also a hit, reaching number one on the Cashbox albums charts on December 11, 1982.
'Can't Slow Down' is the title of Lionel Richie's second solo album, which was released on October 11, 1983. The album reached #1 on the Billboard album chart on December 3, 1983, where it stayed for three weeks once it did. It also spent 59 consecutive weeks inside the Top 10 (including the whole year of 1984) and a total of 160 weeks (over three years) on the Billboard 200. After being the third best-selling album of 1984, it went on to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1985 and sold over 15 million copies worldwide by 1986.
'Can't Slow Down' achieved the feat of having every single released hit the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Two songs, "Hello" and "All Night Long (All Night)", both went to #1.
'Dancing on the Ceiling' is Lionel Richie's third album, which was released on July 15, 1986. The title cut was the second (first being "Say You, Say Me") biggest single from the album, reaching #1 in the U.S.
George McCrae (born October 19, 1944) is an American soul and disco singer, most famous for his 1974 hit "Rock Your Baby".
"Rock Your Baby", became one of the first hits of the disco era in 1974, selling an estimated eleven million copies worldwide, topping the charts in the U.S., UK and eighty other countries.
The song was so successful that Rolling Stone magazine voted it the #1 song of the year in 1974. McCrae received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocalist the following year.
Two further single releases, "I Can't Leave You Alone" and "It's Been So Long" also reached the UK Singles Chart Top 10.
Kenneth Brian Edmonds (born April 10, 1959), known professionally as Babyface, is a ten-time Grammy Award-winning American R&B musician, singer–songwriter and record producer. He has written and produced over 26 No. 1 R&B hits throughout his career.
A list of my favorite American male vocalists.
16 votesMy Music Artist Lists #2 - Solo Performers (34 lists)
list by kathy
Published 2 years, 8 months ago
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