India Arie Simpson (born October 3, 1975), also known as India Arie (sometimes styled as india.arie), is an American singer and songwriter. She has sold over five million records in the US and ten million worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards from her 23 nominations, including Best R&B Album.
India was born in Denver, Colorado, the daughter of Joyce and Ralph Simpson. Her musical skills were encouraged by both parents in her younger years. Her mother is a former singer (she was signed to Motown as a teenager and opened for Stevie Wonder and Al Green) and is now her stylist. She has an older brother named J'On and younger sister Mary A Martin of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Arie is African-American, and according to a DNA analysis, she descends from the Mende people of Sierra Leone, the Kru people of Liberia and the Fula people of Guinea-Bissau.
Erica Abi Wright, known professionally as Erykah Badu, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. Influenced by R&B, soul, and hip hop, Badu rose to prominence in the late 1990s when her debut album Baduizm (1997), placed her at the forefront of the neo soul movement, earning her the honorific nickname "Queen of Neo Soul" by music critics.
Lauryn Noelle Hill is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and record producer. She is often regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time, as well as being one of the most influential musicians of her generation. Hill is credited for breaking barriers for female rappers, popularizing melodic rapping and for bringing hip hop and neo soul to popular music. She is known for being a member of Fugees, and for her 1998 solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which became one of the best-selling albums of all time. Hill has won many accolades, including eight Grammy Awards, the most for a female rapper to this day.
Aaliyah Dana Haughton (; January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001) was an American singer and actress. She has been credited for helping to redefine contemporary R&B, pop and hip hop, earning her the nicknames the "Princess of R&B" and "Queen of Urban Pop".
Born in Brooklyn but raised in Detroit, she first gained recognition at the age of 10, when she appeared on the television show Star Search and performed in concert alongside Gladys Knight. At the age of 12, Aaliyah signed with Jive Records and her uncle Barry Hankerson's Blackground Records. Hankerson introduced her to R. Kelly, who became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number. The album sold three million copies in the United States and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). After allegations of an illegal marriage with Kelly, Aaliyah ended her contract with Jive and signed with Atlantic Records.
Angela Laverne Brown known professionally as Angie Stone, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She rose to fame in the late 1970s as member of the hip hop trio The Sequence. In the early 1990s, she became a member of the R&B trio Vertical Hold. Stone would later release her solo debut Black Diamond (1999) on Arista Records, which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America and spawned the single "No More Rain ".
Brandy Rayana Norwood (born February 11, 1979), better known by her mononym Brandy, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and model. She is known for her distinctive sound, characterized by her peculiar timbre, voice-layering, and intricate riffs, which has earned her the title of "the Vocal Bible". As of August 2020, she has sold over 40 million records worldwide, with approximately 8.62 million albums sold in the United States alone. Her work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award and an American Music Award.
Born in McComb, Mississippi, Norwood was raised in Carson, California, beginning her career as a backing vocalist for teen groups. After signing with Atlantic Records in 1993, she released her self-titled debut album the following year, which sold six million copies worldwide. Norwood ventured into acting with the UPN sitcom Moesha (1996–2001), which won her an NAACP Image Award, and resulted in numerous other roles, such as the titular character in the television film Cinderella (1997) and Karla Wilson in the slasher film I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998). Her musical breakthrough came with the wildly successful single "The Boy Is Mine" (1998), a duet with fellow R&B contemporary Monica, which went on to become one of the best selling female duets of all time and won her the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal by a Duo or Group. In 2002, Norwood starred in the reality series Brandy: Special Delivery, documenting the birth of her daughter. Her third and fourth albums, Full Moon (2002) and Afrodisiac (2004), were released to critical success.
Corinne Jacqueline Bailey Rae (; born 26 February 1979) is an English singer and songwriter. She is best known for her 2006 single "Put Your Records On". Bailey Rae was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2006 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2006. She released her debut album, Corinne Bailey Rae, in February 2006, and became the fourth female British act in history to have her first album debut at number one. In 2007, Bailey Rae was nominated for three Grammy Awards and three Brit Awards, and won two MOBO Awards. In 2008, she won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year (for her work as a featured artist in Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters).
Bailey Rae released her second album, The Sea, on 26 January 2010, after a hiatus of almost three years. It was produced by Steve Brown and Steve Chrisanthou (who produced her debut album in 2006). She was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Prize for Album of the Year. In 2012, she won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance for "Is This Love" (a cover of the Bob Marley and the Wailers song of the same name). Bailey Rae was married to fellow musician Jason Rae from 2001 until his death from drugs in 2008; she channeled the grief of his loss into her music. Her first two albums have together sold over five million copies worldwide.
Steven Ellison (born October 7, 1983), known by his stage name Flying Lotus or sometimes FlyLo, is an American record producer, DJ and rapper from Los Angeles. He is also the founder of the record label Brainfeeder.
Flying Lotus has released seven studio albums—1983 (2006), Los Angeles (2008), Cosmogramma (2010), Until the Quiet Comes (2012), You're Dead! (2014), Flamagra (2019) and Yasuke (2021)—to critical acclaim. He has produced much of the bumper music on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block. He also contributed remixes for fellow Plug Research artists including Mia Doi Todd.
In 2012, Flying Lotus began rapping under the persona Captain Murphy, based on the Sealab 2021 character of the same name. Ellison kept this fact a secret for several months, finally revealing his identity several weeks after the release of his first rap mixtape: Duality (2012).
Metaphorical Music is Nujabes' first solo album released in 2003. It offers a combination of hip hop and instrumental jazz, and features artists like Shing02, Substantial, Five Deez and Cise Starr. Despite the fact that the album has contributing vocals from several artists, it is roughly classified as a breakbeat album.
Mary Jane Blige ( BLYZHE; born January 11, 1971) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Often referred to as the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" and "Queen of R&B", Blige has won nine Grammy Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, four American Music Awards, twelve NAACP Image Awards, and twelve Billboard Music Awards, including the Billboard Icon Award. She has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, including one for her supporting role in the film Mudbound (2017) and another for its original song "Mighty River", becoming the first person nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year.
Her career began in 1988 when she was signed to Uptown Records by its founder Andre Harrell. Blige then began background vocal work for other artists on the label such as Father MC and Jeff Redd. In 1992, Blige released her debut album, What's the 411?, which is credited for introducing the mix of R&B and hip hop into mainstream pop culture. Its 1993 remix album became the first album by a singer to have a rapper on every song, popularizing rap as a featuring act. Both What's the 411? and her 1994 album My Life are featured on the Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, and the latter on Time magazine's All-Time 100 Albums. Throughout her career, Blige went on to release 14 studio albums, all of which have reached the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart, including four number-one albums. Her biggest hits include "Real Love", "Not Gon' Cry", "Be Without You" and the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "Family Affair".
Michael Eugene Archer (born February 11, 1974), better known by his stage name D'Angelo (), is an American singer, musician, and songwriter. He first garnered attention after co-producing the single "U Will Know" for R&B supergroup Black Men United. His debut studio album, Brown Sugar (1995), received widespread acclaim from music critics, who have credited the album for ushering in the neo soul movement; and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Its third single "Lady", reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.
He would then collaborate with artists such as Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and then girlfriend Angie Stone. His next album, Voodoo (2000), debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. The album's lead single "Untitled (How Does It Feel)", earned him the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance; likewise, Voodoo won Best R&B Album. Following this period, D'Angelo became increasingly uncomfortable with his growing status as a sex symbol. This was followed by numerous personal struggles including alcoholism, and a fourteen-year long musical hiatus.
Gerald Maxwell Rivera, known mononymously as Maxwell, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He rose to prominence following the release of his debut studio album Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996), which received widespread acclaim, and spawned the singles "Ascension " and "Sumthin' Sumthin'". The album has since been cited by music critics for helping form the "neo soul" movement that gained popularity during the late 1990s.
Willow Camille Reign Smith (born October 31, 2000), known mononymously as Willow (stylized in all caps), is an American singer and actress. The daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, she has received various accolades, including a Young Artist Award, an NAACP Image Award, a BET Award, and nominations for two Daytime Emmy Awards and a MTV Video Music Award.
Smith made her acting debut in 2007 in the film I Am Legend along with her father Will Smith, and later appeared in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl alongside Abigail Breslin. In 2010, Smith launched her music career with the platinum-certified single "Whip My Hair", which peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Smith later signed to her mentor Jay-Z's record label Roc Nation, becoming the youngest artist signed to the label, and released the single "21st Century Girl" the following year.
Jazmine Marie Sullivan is an American R&B and soul singer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, her debut album, Fearless was released in 2008. The record topped Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It spawned four singles, including "Need U Bad" and "Bust Your Windows", both of which were in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart; the former became Sullivan's first and only number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Taalib Hassan Johnson (born September 16, 1977), better known by the stage name Musiq Soulchild or simply Musiq (pronounced "music") is an American singer and songwriter whose style blends R&B, funk, blues, jazz, and gospel influences fused with hip hop. Soulchild has released several successful studio albums that went platinum in the United States. He is regarded as one of the best R&B male singers of the 21st century.
Musiq was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in a strict Muslim household. During his teenage years he built a reputation for being musically gifted, beat boxing for MCs freestyling on the open mic circuit, scatting at jazz clubs, or just performing an a cappella for strangers on the streets, which is where he got the name "Musiq" and later added "Soulchild." He cites as his inspirations such icons as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Donny Hathaway. He dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music.
RuPaul Andre Charles (born November 17, 1960), known simply as RuPaul, is an American drag queen, actor, model, singer, songwriter, television personality, and author. Since 2009, he has produced and hosted the reality competition series RuPaul's Drag Race, for which he has received eight Primetime Emmy Awards. He is considered the most commercially successful drag queen in the United States. In 2017, he was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2019, Fortune noted him as "easily the world's most famous" drag queen.
Born and raised in San Diego, California, RuPaul later studied performing arts in Atlanta, Georgia. He settled in New York City, where he became a popular fixture on the LGBT nightclub scene. He achieved international fame as a drag queen with the release of his debut single, "Supermodel (You Better Work)", which was included on his debut studio album Supermodel of the World (1993). In 1994, he became a spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics, raising money for the Mac AIDS Fund and becoming the first drag queen to land a major cosmetics campaign. That year, he received his own talk show on VH1 called The RuPaul Show, which he hosted for over 100 episodes while co-hosting the morning radio show on WKTU with Michelle Visage. He has had continued success as a recording artist, releasing 14 studio albums including Foxy Lady (1996), Ho Ho Ho (1997), Champion (2009), Glamazon (2011), and Born Naked (2014).
Solange Piaget Knowles is an American singer, songwriter, performance artist, and actress. Expressing an interest in music from an early age, Knowles had several temporary stints as a backup dancer for Destiny's Child, which featured her elder sister, Beyoncé Knowles, among its members, before signing with her father Mathew Knowles's Music World Entertainment label. At age 16, Knowles released her first studio album Solo Star (2002). She also appeared in the films Johnson Family Vacation (2004), and Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006).
Eulaulah Donyll "Lalah" Hathaway (born December 16, 1968) is a 5x Grammy Award winning singer.
In 1990, Hathaway released her self-titled album. A Moment was released in 1994, debuting at number 34 on the Top R&B albums chart. In 1999, she collaborated with Joe Sample on the album The Song Lives On. After a five-year hiatus, she returned with her fourth album, Outrun the Sky. The single "Forever, For Always, For Love" peaked at number 1 on the Hot Adult R&B Airplay.
Stax Records released her fifth album, Self Portrait, in 2008. It debuted at number 63 on the Billboard 200 and reached the top 10 on the Top R&B albums chart, making this album her most successful album to date. She is the daughter of American Soul singer and musician Donny Hathaway. According to her website, in March 2020, Lalah is working on a studio album entitled, "L.A.L.A.H. rebirth".
28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland. It stars Cillian Murphy as a bicycle courier who awakens from a coma to discover the accidental release of a highly contagious, aggression-inducing virus has caused the breakdown of society. Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns, and Brendan Gleeson appear in supporting roles.
Riget is a Danish absurdist supernatural horror miniseries trilogy created by Lars von Trier and Tómas Gislason. Set in the neurosurgical ward of Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet, each episode of the show takes place over a single day, and follows the hospital's eccentric staff and patients as they encounter bizarre and sometimes supernatural phenomena. The series is notable for its wry humor, its muted sepia colour scheme, and the appearance of a chorus of dishwashers with Down syndrome, who discuss in intimate detail the strange occurrences in the hospital. The main theme's song was written by von Trier himself.