The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the most influential band of all time and were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music's recognition as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock 'n' roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band also explored music styles ranging from folk and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionised many aspects of the music industry and were often publicised as leaders of the era's youth and sociocultural movements.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and philanthropist. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade career, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture. Jackson influenced artists across many music genres; through stage and video performances, he popularized complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk, to which he gave the name, as well as the robot. He is the most awarded musician in history.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Jackson made his public debut in 1964 with his older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5 (later known as the Jacksons). Jackson began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. He became a solo star with his 1979 album Off the Wall. His music videos, including those for "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an artform and promotional tool. He helped propel the success of MTV and continued to innovate with videos for the albums Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995), and Invincible (2001). Thriller became the best-selling album of all time, while Bad was the first album to produce five US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles.
Paramore is an American rock band from Franklin, Tennessee, formed in 2004. The band currently consists of lead vocalist Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro. Williams and Farro are founding members of the group, while York, a high school friend of the original lineup, joined in 2007. The band is signed to Fueled by Ramen, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, both owned by Warner Music Group. Williams was separately signed to Atlantic as she was scouted when she was a teenager, and they were the only label to let her stay in the band instead of going solo, but Atlantic said the rest of the band had to sign to Fueled by Ramen. She is also the only member to appear on all six of Paramore's studio albums.
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.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ( (listen) STEF-ən-ee JUR-mə-NOT-ə; born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her image reinventions and musical versatility. Gaga began performing as a teenager, singing at open mic nights and acting in school plays. She studied at Collaborative Arts Project 21, through the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, before dropping out to pursue a career in music. After Def Jam Recordings canceled her contract, she worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where she signed a joint deal with Interscope Records and KonLive Distribution, in 2007. Gaga had her breakthrough the following year with her debut studio album, The Fame, and its chart-topping singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". The album was later reissued to include the extended play The Fame Monster (2009), which yielded the successful singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro".
Fall Out Boy is an American rock band formed in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, in 2001. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, drummer Andy Hurley, and guitarist Joe Trohman. The band originated from Chicago's hardcore punk scene and was formed by Wentz and Trohman as a pop-punk side project; Stump joined shortly thereafter. The group went through a succession of drummers before Hurley joined. Their debut album, Take This to Your Grave (2003), became an underground success and helped the band gain a dedicated fanbase through heavy touring. Take This to Your Grave is cited as influential on pop-punk music in the 2000s.
A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop group formed in Queens, New York City, in 1985, originally composed of rapper and main producer Q-Tip, rapper Phife Dawg, DJ and co-producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and rapper Jarobi White. Members of the Native Tongues collective, the group is regarded as a pioneer of alternative hip hop, influencing numerous hip hop and R&B musicians.
Metronomy are an English electronic music group formed in 1999. As of 2021, the band consists of Joseph Mount (vocals, keyboards and guitar), Oscar Cash (keyboards, backing vocals, guitar and saxophone), Anna Prior (drums and vocals), Olugbenga Adelekan (bass guitar and vocals) and Michael Lovett (keyboards and guitars). Their music consists of vocal and instrumental electronic pop music. Mount also releases remixes under the name Metronomy, and has remixed many artists including Gorillaz, Sebastien Tellier, Roots Manuva, Franz Ferdinand, Klaxons, Goldfrapp, Young Knives, Zero 7, Ladytron, Kate Nash, Lady Gaga and Lykke Li.
Metronomy have released seven albums of original material, Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe), Nights Out, The English Riviera, Love Letters, Summer 08, Metronomy Forever, and Small World.
Arctic Monkeys are an English rock band formed in Sheffield in 2002. The group consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Jamie Cook (guitar, keyboards), Nick O'Malley (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Matt Helders (drums, backing vocals). Former band member Andy Nicholson (bass guitar, backing vocals) left the band in 2006 shortly after their debut album was released.
Arctic Monkeys were heralded as one of the first bands to come to public attention via the Internet, with commentators suggesting they represented the possibility of a change in the way in which new bands are promoted and marketed. Their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006), became the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history, and has been hailed as one of the greatest debut albums. It won Best British Album at the 2007 Brit Awards. The band's second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007), was also acclaimed by critics and won Best British Album at the 2008 BRIT Awards. They went on to release Humbug (2009) and Suck It and See (2011).
The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 who were key players in the original wave of British punk rock. Billed as "The Only Band That Matters", they also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a variety of genres including reggae, dub, funk, ska, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer, lead guitarist and vocalist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon, and drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon.
Yasiin Bey (; born Dante Terrell Smith, December 11, 1973), previously and more commonly known by his stage name Mos Def (), is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor. His hip hop career began in 1994, alongside his siblings in the short-lived rap group Urban Thermo Dynamics (UTD), after which they appeared on albums by Da Bush Babees and De La Soul. He formed the duo Black Star, alongside fellow Brooklyn-based rapper Talib Kweli, and in 1998 they released their debut album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, featuring the singles "Definition" and "Respiration". He was featured on the roster of Rawkus Records and in 1999 released his solo debut, Black on Both Sides. His debut was followed by The New Danger (2004), True Magic (2006), and The Ecstatic (2009). About.com listed him 14th on its "50 Greatest Rappers of All Time". His hits include "Oh No", "Ms. Fat Booty", and "Mathematics".
Nicholas Neil Carter (born March 16, 1978), better known by his stage name Murs, is an American rapper. His name is an acronym (or backronym) for which he himself has created multiple meanings, such as "Making the Universe Recognize and Submit" or "Making Underground Raw Shit."
Murs is a former member of the rap group Living Legends, along with Luckyiam, Sunspot Jonz, The Grouch, Scarub, Eligh, Aesop, Bicasso and Arata. He is currently a member of several groups: 3 Melancholy Gypsys (along with Scarub and Eligh), Felt (along with Slug), and Melrose (along with Terrace Martin). He is also a vocalist in The Invincibles, along with Whole Wheat Bread.
On October 13, 2016, Murs set a Guinness World Record for rapping for 24 hours non-stop during a live stream on Twitch.
Shawn Corey Carter, known professionally as Jay-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. Often regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time, he has been central to the creative and commercial success of artists including Kanye West, Rihanna, and J. Cole. He is the founder and chairman of entertainment company Roc Nation, and was the president and chief executive officer of Def Jam Recordings from 2004 to 2007.
Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), better known by his stage names the Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or simply Biggie, was an American rapper. Rooted in East Coast hip hop and particularly gangsta rap, he is widely considered one of the greatest rappers of all time. Wallace became known for his distinctive laid-back lyrical delivery, offsetting the lyrics' often grim content. His music was often semi-autobiographical, telling of hardship and criminality, but also of debauchery and celebration.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, Wallace signed to Sean "Puffy" Combs' label Bad Boy Records as it launched in 1993, and gained exposure through features on several other artists' singles that year. His debut album Ready to Die (1994) was met with widespread critical acclaim, and included his signature songs "Juicy" and "Big Poppa". The album made him the central figure in East Coast hip hop, and restored New York's visibility at a time when the West Coast hip hop scene was dominating hip hop music. Wallace was awarded the 1995 Billboard Music Awards' Rapper of the Year. The following year, he led his protégé group Junior M.A.F.I.A., a team of himself and longtime friends, including Lil' Kim, to chart success.
Simon Green, known by his stage name Bonobo, is a British musician, producer, and DJ based in Los Angeles. He debuted with a trip hop aesthetic, and has since explored more upbeat approaches as well as jazz and world music influences. His electronic sound incorporates the use of organic instrumentation, and is recreated by a full band in live performances.
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known by his stage name Nas, is an American rapper. Rooted in East Coast hip hop, he is regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Jones began his musical career in 1989 as he adopted the moniker of "Nasty Nas" and recorded demos for Large Professor. He was later featured on the 1991 song "Live at the Barbeque" by Main Source.
Lonnie Rashid Lynn (born March 13, 1972), known by his stage name Common (also known as Common Sense), is an American rapper and actor. He debuted in 1992 with the album Can I Borrow a Dollar?, and gained critical acclaim with his 1994 album Resurrection. He maintained an underground following into the late 1990s. He achieved mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians.
His first major-label album, Like Water for Chocolate (2000), received commercial success. In 2003, he won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for the Erykah Badu single "Love of My Life". His 2005 album Be was also successful and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2006 Grammy Awards. He received his second Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Southside" (featuring Kanye West), from his 2007 album Finding Forever. His best-of album, Thisisme Then: The Best of Common, was released in late 2007. In 2011, he launched Think Common Entertainment, his own record label imprint, having previously released music under various other labels including Relativity, Geffen and GOOD Music.
Panic! at the Disco is the solo project of American musician Brendon Urie. It was originally a pop rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, formed in 2004 by childhood friends Urie, Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith, and Brent Wilson. They recorded their first demos while they were in high school. Shortly after, the band recorded and released their debut studio album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (2005). Popularized by the second single, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies", the album was certified triple platinum in the US. In 2006, founding bassist Brent Wilson was fired from the band during an extensive world tour and subsequently replaced by Jon Walker. The band's second album, Pretty. Odd. (2008), was preceded by the single "Nine in the Afternoon". That album marked a significant departure from the sound of the band's debut. Ross and Walker, who favored the band's new direction, departed because Urie and Smith wanted to make further changes to the band's style. Ross and Walker subsequently formed a new band, the Young Veins, leaving Urie and Smith as the sole remaining members of Panic! at the Disco.
Invisibilia was a radio program and podcast from National Public Radio, which debuted in early 2015 and "explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior—things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions." The program's title comes from Latin, meaning "the invisible things." The Guardian ranked Invisibilia among "the 10 best new podcasts of 2015." As of their seventh season, the program is hosted by Kia Miakka Natisse and Yowei Shaw; previous seasons were also hosted by Lulu Miller, Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin.
Ear Hustle is a non-fiction podcast about prison life and life after incarceration created by Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, both formerly incarcerated, and Nigel Poor, an artist who volunteers at San Quentin State Prison. In 2016, it was selected by the Radiotopia network as the winner of its Podquest competition, and the following year released its first season. It was the first podcast to be entirely created and produced inside a prison.