David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie ( BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, he is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Bowie was acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, and his music and stagecraft had a significant impact on popular music.
Bowie developed an interest in music from an early age. He studied art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. "Space Oddity", released in 1969, was his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart. After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The character was spearheaded by the success of Bowie's single "Starman" and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity. In 1975, Bowie's style shifted towards a sound he characterised as "plastic soul", initially alienating many of his UK fans but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single "Fame" and the album Young Americans. In 1976, Bowie starred in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth and released Station to Station. In 1977, he again changed direction with the electronic-inflected album Low, the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that came to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy". "Heroes" (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise.
Sigur Rós (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈsɪːɣʏrous] (listen)) is an Icelandic post-rock band from Reykjavík, active since 1994. The band comprises singer and guitarist Jón Þór "Jónsi" Birgisson, bassist Georg Holm, and keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson. Known for their ethereal sound, frontman Jónsi's falsetto vocals, and their use of bowed guitar, Sigur Rós incorporate classical and minimal aesthetic elements.
Jón Þór "Jónsi" Birgisson (guitar and vocals), Georg Holm (bass) and Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson (drums) formed the group in Reykjavík in January 1994. The band's name means Victory Rose. They took their name from Jónsi's younger sister Sigurrós, who was born a few days before the band was formed. They soon signed a record deal with the local Sugarcubes-owned record label Bad Taste, because they thought the falsetto vocals would appeal to teenage girls. In 1997, they released Von (pronounced [vɔːn], meaning "hope") and in 1998 a remix collection named Von brigði ([vɔːn ˈprɪɣðɪ]). This name is also Icelandic wordplay: Vonbrigði means "disappointment", but Von brigði means "variations on Von". The band was joined by Kjartan Sveinsson on keyboards in 1998. He is the only member of Sigur Rós with musical training, and has contributed most of the orchestral and string arrangements for their later work.
Air is a French music duo from Versailles, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel. Their critically acclaimed debut album, Moon Safari, including the track "Sexy Boy", was an international success in 1998. Its follow-up, The Virgin Suicides, was the score to Sofia Coppola's first movie of the same name. The band has since released the albums 10 000 Hz Legend, Talkie Walkie, Pocket Symphony, Love 2, Le voyage dans la lune and Music for Museum. The band is influenced by a wide variety of musical styles and artists.
Kraftwerk (German: [ˈkʁaftvɛɐ̯k], lit. "power station") is a German band formed in Düsseldorf in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. Widely considered innovators and pioneers of electronic music, Kraftwerk were among the first successful acts to popularize the genre. The group began as part of West Germany's experimental krautrock scene in the early 1970s before fully embracing electronic instrumentation, including synthesizers, drum machines, and vocoders. Wolfgang Flür joined the band in 1974 and Karl Bartos in 1975, expanding the band to a quartet.
On commercially successful albums such as Autobahn (1974), Trans-Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), and Computer World (1981), Kraftwerk developed a self-described "robot pop" style that combined electronic music with pop melodies, sparse arrangements, and repetitive rhythms, while adopting a stylized image including matching suits. Following the release of Electric Café (1986), Flür left the group in 1987, followed by Bartos in 1990. Founding member Schneider left in 2008.
New Order are an English rock band formed in 1980 by vocalist and guitarist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris. The members regrouped after the disbandment of their previous band Joy Division due to the death by suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. They were joined by Gillian Gilbert on keyboards later that year. New Order's integration of post-punk with electronic and dance music made them one of the most acclaimed and influential bands of the 1980s. They were the flagship band for Manchester-based independent record label Factory Records and its nightclub The Haçienda, and they worked in long-term collaboration with graphic designer Peter Saville.
James Blunt is an English singer, songwriter and musician. A former reconnaissance officer in the Life Guards regiment of the British Army, he served under NATO during the 1999 Kosovo War. After leaving the military, he rose to fame in 2004 with the release of his debut album Back to Bedlam, achieving worldwide fame with the singles "You're Beautiful" and "Goodbye My Lover".
Frédéric François Chopin (born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin; 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period, who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation".
Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola in the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At 21, he settled in Paris. Thereafter – in the last 18 years of his life – he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his other musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann.
Prince Rogers Nelson, commonly known mononymously as Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. The recipient of numerous awards and nominations, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He was known for his flamboyant, androgynous persona; his wide vocal range, which included a far-reaching falsetto and high-pitched screams; and his skill as a multi-instrumentalist, often preferring to play all or most of the instruments on his recordings. Prince produced his albums himself, pioneering the Minneapolis sound. His music incorporated a wide variety of styles, including funk, R&B, rock, new wave, soul, synth-pop, pop, jazz, and hip hop.
Ennio Morricone (Italian: [ˈɛnnjo morriˈkoːne]; 10 November 1928 – 6 July 2020) was an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and trumpeter who wrote music in a wide range of styles. With more than 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as more than 100 classical works, Morricone is widely considered one of the most prolific and greatest film composers of all time. His filmography includes more than 70 award-winning films, all Sergio Leone's films since A Fistful of Dollars, all Giuseppe Tornatore's films since Cinema Paradiso, The Battle of Algiers, Dario Argento's Animal Trilogy, 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, as well as The Thing, Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley's Game, and The Hateful Eight. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is regarded as one of the most recognizable and influential soundtracks in history. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Eric Alfred Leslie Satie (UK: , US: ; French: [eʁik sati]; 17 May 1866 – 1 July 1925), who signed his name Erik Satie after 1884, was a French composer and pianist. He was the son of a French father and a British mother. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, but was an undistinguished student and obtained no diploma. In the 1880s he worked as a pianist in café-cabaret in Montmartre, Paris, and began composing works, mostly for solo piano, such as his Gymnopédies. He also wrote music for a Rosicrucian sect to which he was briefly attached.
After a spell in which he composed little, Satie entered Paris's second music academy, the Schola Cantorum, as a mature student. His studies there were more successful than those at the Conservatoire. From about 1910 he became the focus of successive groups of young composers attracted by his unconventionality and originality. Among them were the group known as Les Six. A meeting with Jean Cocteau in 1915 led to the creation of the ballet Parade (1917) for Serge Diaghilev, with music by Satie, sets and costumes by Pablo Picasso, and choreography by Léonide Massine.
Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (Spanish pronunciation: [pjaˈsola], Italian pronunciation: [pjatˈtsɔlla]; March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger. His works revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed Nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.
In 1992, American music critic Stephen Holden described Piazzolla as "the world's foremost composer of Tango music".
Piazzolla was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1921, the only child of Italian immigrant parents, Vicente "Nonino" Piazzolla and Assunta Manetti. His paternal grandfather, a sailor and fisherman named Pantaleo (later Pantaleón) Piazzolla, had immigrated to Mar del Plata from Trani, a seaport in the southeastern Italian region of Apulia, at the end of the 19th century. His mother was the daughter of two Italian immigrants from Lucca in the central region of Tuscany.
Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本 龍一, Sakamoto Ryūichi, born January 17, 1952) is a Japanese composer, pianist, singer, record producer and actor who has pursued a diverse range of styles as a solo artist and as a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). With his bandmates Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, Sakamoto influenced and pioneered a number of electronic music genres.
Sakamoto began his career while at university in the 1970s as a session musician, producer, and arranger. His first major success came in 1978 as co-founder of YMO. He concurrently pursued a solo career, releasing the experimental electronic fusion album Thousand Knives in 1978. Two years later, he released the album B-2 Unit. It included the track "Riot in Lagos", which was significant in the development of electro and hip hop music. He went on to produce more solo records, and collaborate with many international artists, David Sylvian, Carsten Nicolai, Youssou N'Dour, and Fennesz among them. Sakamoto composed music for the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and his composition "Energy Flow" (1999) was the first instrumental number-one single in Japan's Oricon charts history.
Riziero "Riz" Ortolani (Italian pronunciation: [ritˌtsjɛːro rits ortoˈlaːni]; 25 March 1926 – 23 January 2014) was an Italian film composer.
Ortolani was born on 25 March 1926 in Pesaro, Italy. He was married to Katyna Ranieri.
In the early 1950s, Ortolani was founder and member of a well-known Italian jazz band. He wrote his first score for Paolo Cavara and Gualtiero Jacopetti's 1962 pseudo-documentary Mondo Cane, whose main title-song More earned him a Grammy and was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Song. The success of the soundtrack of Mondo Cane led Ortolani to score films in England and the United States such as The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966), The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968) and Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968). He also scored the 1972 film The Valachi Papers, directed by Terence Young and starring Charles Bronson.
Edward Christopher Sheeran is an English singer-songwriter. Born in Halifax, West Yorkshire and raised in Framlingham, Suffolk, he began writing songs around the age of eleven. In early 2011, Sheeran independently released the extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project. He signed with Asylum Records the same year.
Skins is a British teen comedy drama television series that follows the lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol, South West England, through the two years of sixth form. Its controversial story-lines have explored issues like dysfunctional families, mental illness (such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder), adolescent sexuality, gender, substance abuse, death, and bullying.
Each episode generally focuses on a particular character or subset of characters and the struggles they face in their lives, with the episodes named after the featured characters. The show was created by father-and-son television writers Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain for Company Pictures, and premiered on E4 on 25 January 2007.