The Decemberists are an American indie rock band from Portland, Oregon. The band consists of Colin Meloy (lead vocals, guitar, principal songwriter), Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), Jenny Conlee (piano, keyboards, accordion), Nate Query (bass), and John Moen (drums).
Their debut EP, 5 Songs, was self-released in 2001. Their eighth and latest full-length album I'll Be Your Girl was released on March 16, 2018, by Capitol Records, and is the band's fifth record with the label.
In addition to their lyrics, which often focus on historical incidents and/or folklore, the Decemberists are also well known for their eclectic live shows. Audience participation is a part of each performance, typically during encores. The band stages whimsical reenactments of sea battles and other centuries-old events, typically of regional interest, or acts out songs with members of the crowd.
Arcade Fire is a Canadian indie rock band from Montréal, Quebec, consisting of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, alongside Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara. The band's current touring line-up also includes former core member Sarah Neufeld and multi-instrumentalists Paul Beaubrun, Dan Boeckner and Eric Heigle. Each of the band's studio albums features contributions from composer and violinist Owen Pallett.
Jerrod Bettis is an American music producer, composer, and musician. Bettis has composed songs for Adele, The Lonely Island, Melissa Etheridge, KJ-52, and more. He has also produced work for artists including Hilary Duff, Gavin DeGraw, Needtobreathe, Birdy, Melissa Etheridge, and The Lonely Island.
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television personality. Known for her influence on modern pop music and her campy style, she has been referred to as the "Queen of Camp" by Vogue. Pursuing a career in gospel music at 16, Perry released her debut album, Katy Hudson, under Red Hill Records in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful. She moved to Los Angeles at 17 to venture into secular music, and later adopted the stage name "Katy Perry" from her mother's maiden name. She recorded an album while signed to Columbia Records, but was dropped before signing to Capitol Records.
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.
Owl City is an American electronic music project created in 2007 in Owatonna, Minnesota. It is one of several projects by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adam Young, who created the project while experimenting with music in his parents' basement. Owl City developed a following on the social networking site MySpace, like many musicians who achieved success in the late 2000s, before signing with Universal Republic Records, now Republic Records, in 2008.
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Her discography spans multiple genres, and her songwriting—often inspired by her personal life—has received critical praise and wide media coverage. Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville at age 14 to become a country artist. She signed a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2004 and a recording contract with Big Machine Records in 2005. Her 2006 self-titled debut album made her the first female country singer to write or co-write a U.S. platinum-certified album entirely.
Swift's next albums, Fearless (2008) and Speak Now (2010), explored country pop. The former's "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" were the first country songs to top the U.S. pop and all-genre airplay charts, respectively. She experimented with rock and electronic styles on Red (2012), which featured her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one song, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", and eschewed her country image in her synth-pop album, 1989 (2014), supported by chart-topping songs "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood". Media scrutiny inspired the urban-flavored Reputation (2017) and its number-one single "Look What You Made Me Do".
Selena Marie Gomez is an American singer, actress, and producer. Gomez began her acting career on the children's television series Barney & Friends (2002–2004). As a teenager, she rose to prominence for starring as Alex Russo on the Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place (2007–2012). Alongside her television career, Gomez appeared in the films Another Cinderella Story (2008), Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (2009), Ramona and Beezus (2010), Monte Carlo (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016), and The Dead Don't Die (2019), and voiced Mavis in the Hotel Transylvania film franchise (2012–2022).
The 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, honoring the best music videos from the previous year between June 2006 to June 2007, took place on September 9, in Las Vegas at The Palms. The 2007 VMAs were the smallest VMAs ever held in MTV history, eliminating 13 awards, and renaming many of the remaining awards. The 2008 awards restored most of the categories.
On August 7, 2007, the nominees were announced live on TRL with a special performance by Kanye West. The week before the ceremony, the network aired VMA Week on TRL, along with VMA-related programming, including performances from top artists.
The VMAs aired live that evening at 9:00 p.m. ET on MTV. MTV originally announced that the show would never be re-aired in its entirety, but program listings eventually showed that that was not the case. Perhaps as a concession that TV viewing audiences for the VMAs were decreasing year over year, the 2007 VMAs were produced on a smaller budget and in front of a smaller crowd. Unlike in past years where the show was shown on MTV in 16:9 HDTV letterboxed format, this year the ceremony was aired in 4:3 on the main channel. However, it was still produced in high definition, and was scheduled to air in full on MHD (the current MTV Live), Viacom's high definition channel, on September 22. At the last moment, a 'best of' 90 minute clip show was substituted due to the various issues with the ceremony.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter ( bee-YON-say; née Knowles; born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and actress. Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw the release of her debut album Dangerously in Love (2003), which featured the US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".
Following the 2006 disbanding of Destiny's Child, she released her second solo album, B'Day, which contained singles "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar". Beyoncé also starred in multiple films such as The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), Obsessed (2009), and The Lion King (2019). Her marriage to Jay-Z and her portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010. It spawned the successful singles "If I Were a Boy", "Single Ladies", and "Halo".
Pierre David Guetta is a French DJ and music producer. He has over 10 million album and 65 million single sales globally, with more than 10 billion streams. In 2011, 2020 and 2021, Guetta was voted the number one DJ in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll. In 2013, Billboard crowned "When Love Takes Over" as the number one dance-pop collaboration of all time.
"Someone like You" is a song recorded by English singer-songwriter Adele. It was written and produced by Adele and Dan Wilson for her second studio album, 21 (2011). It is the second single and final track on the album. The song was inspired by a broken relationship with one's life partner, and lyrically speaks of Adele's coming to terms with it. XL Recordings released the song as the second single from the album on 24 January 2011 in the United Kingdom and on 9 August 2011 in the United States. Accompanied only by a piano in the song, Adele sings about the end of the relationship with her ex-partner.
Lily Rose Beatrice Allen (born 2 May 1985) is an English singer-songwriter and actress. She is the daughter of actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen. Her music career began in 2005 when she made some of her vocal recordings public on Myspace and the publicity resulted in airplay on BBC Radio 1 and a contract with Regal Recordings. Her first mainstream single, "Smile", reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in July 2006. Her debut record, Alright, Still, was well received, selling over 2.6 million copies worldwide and bringing Allen nominations at the Grammy Awards, the Brit Awards, and the MTV Video Music Awards.
In 2009, her second studio album—It's Not Me, It's You—saw a genre shift, having more of an electropop feel, rather than the ska and reggae influences of the first one. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and the Australian ARIA Charts and was well received by critics, noting the singer's musical evolution and maturity. It spawned the hit singles "The Fear", "Not Fair" and "Fuck You". This success saw her receive the Brit Award for British Female Solo Artist at the 2010 Brit Awards. Allen and Amy Winehouse were credited with starting a process that led to the "year of the women" media label in 2009 that saw five female artists making music of "experimentalism and fearlessness" nominated for the Mercury Prize. She has released two further albums: Sheezus (2014), which debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and No Shame (2018) debuting at number eight.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian singer, actress, and businesswoman. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, Barbados, Rihanna auditioned for American record producer Evan Rogers who invited her to the United States to record demo tapes. After signing with Def Jam in 2005, she soon gained recognition with the release of her first two studio albums, Music of the Sun (2005) and A Girl Like Me (2006), both of which were influenced by Caribbean music and peaked within the top ten of the US Billboard 200 chart.
Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter, author, and television personality. She rose to fame after winning the first season of American Idol in 2002, which earned her a record deal with RCA. Her debut single, "A Moment Like This", topped the US Billboard Hot 100, and became the country's best selling single of 2002. It was included on her debut studio album, Thankful (2003), which debuted atop the Billboard 200. Trying to reinvent her image, Clarkson parted ways with Idol management and shifted to pop rock for her second studio album, Breakaway (2004). Supported by four US top-ten singles – the title track, "Since U Been Gone", "Behind These Hazel Eyes", and "Because of You" – Breakaway sold over 12 million copies worldwide and won two Grammy Awards.
Christina María Aguilera is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Known for her four-octave vocal range and ability to sustain high notes, she has been referred to as the "Voice of a Generation". Her works, which incorporate feminism, sexuality, and domestic violence, have generated both critical praise and controversy, for which she is often cited as an influence by other artists.
Leslie Feist (born 13 February 1976), known mononymously as Feist, is a Canadian indie pop singer-songwriter and guitarist, performing both as a solo artist and as a member of the indie rock group Broken Social Scene.
Feist launched her solo music career in 1999 with the release of Monarch. Her subsequent studio albums, Let It Die, released in 2004, and The Reminder, released in 2007, were critically acclaimed and commercially successful, selling over 2.5 million copies. The Reminder earned Feist four Grammy nominations, including a nomination for Best New Artist. She has received 11 Juno Awards, including two Artist of the Year. Her fourth studio album, Metals, was released in 2011. In 2012, Feist collaborated on a split EP with metal group Mastodon, releasing an interactive music video in the process.
Lea Michele Sarfati (; born August 29, 1986) is an American actress, singer, songwriter, and author. She began her career as a child actress on Broadway, appearing in productions of Les Misérables (1995–1996), Ragtime (1997–1999), Fiddler on the Roof (2004–2005), and Spring Awakening (2006–2008). Michele came to prominence playing Rachel Berry on the Fox series Glee (2009–2015), for which she received an Emmy Award nomination, two Golden Globe nominations and won four People's Choice Awards, three Teen Choice Awards and a Satellite Award. Michele and the rest of the Glee cast earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series from four nominations and three Grammy Award nominations for music recorded for the series, also spawning multiple hits on the Billboard charts. Michele subsequently starred as Hester Ulrich on the Fox series Scream Queens (2015–2016) and as Valentina Barella on the ABC sitcom The Mayor (2017).
Skeleton Keyis the third book in theAlex Riderseries written by British author Anthony Horowitz. The book was released in the United Kingdom on July 8, 2002, and in the United States on April 28, 2003.
On the fictional island of Skeleton Key, off the coast of Cuba, three men meet and supply General Alexei Sarov with uranium and attempt to blackmail him into giving them $1 million more or they will go to the American authorities. Taking this as a threat, General Sarov kills them by making the plane fall into a crocodile-infested waters as it is about to take off.
Meanwhile, after the events of Point Blanc, John Crawley approaches Alex at school and offers him tickets to Wimbledon where he goes undercover as a ball boy to investigate a break-in. While managing to foil the Chinese Triad gang Big Circle's attempt for match-fixing, Alex is targeted by the triad gang. After a second attempt on his life is made while surfing on vacation with Sabina Pleasure, whom he befriended at Wimbledon, both MI6 and the CIA arrange to send him with CIA agents Tom Turner (rennamed "Glen Carver" in American versions of the novel) and Belinda Troy to Skeleton Key to investigate General Sarov. The CIA is concerned about the actions of Sarov and his meeting with the Russian president (and a childhood friend of Sarov's) Boris Kiriyenko in a few days' time. En route to Skeleton Key, the 'family' of Alex, Turner, and Troy stop in Miami. Much to Alex's frustration, the two CIA agents are openly unhappy about bringing Alex and they attempt to keep as much information from Alex as possible, clearly discrediting him. Turner meets a criminal known as 'the Salesman' on a boat, theMayfair Lady, suspecting that the Salesman was involved in a deal with Sarov, who did indeed give Sarov his uranium. The Salesman, however, is aware of Turner's true identity and plans to kill and dump him in the sea. Alex sneaks aboard the boat, knocks out a guard by using a drugged dart in a mobile phone, and sets fire to it, causing a distraction. While both Alex and Turner escape by jumping into the sea, theMayfair Ladysuddenly explodes, killing everyone on board. Turner blames Alex for causing the explosion, who insists he wasn't responsible.
Alex Rider is a series of spy novels written by British author Anthony Horowitz. The novels revolve around a teenage spy named Alex Rider and is primarily aimed towards young adults. The series currently comprises thirteen novels, as well as six graphic novels, seven short stories, a supplementary book, and a TV series. In January 2022, Horowitz indicated that he hopes to start writing a fourteenth novel later in 2022, and that it will be published in 2023.
The first novel, Stormbreaker, was released in the United Kingdom in the year 2000 and was adapted into a film in 2006, starring Alex Pettyfer. Walker Books published the first novels in the United Kingdom alongside Puffin in the United States, but more recent entries in the series were published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Books.
Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident, known in America asArtemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, is a young adult and fantasy novel written by Irish author Eoin Colfer, published in 2002. It is the second book in theArtemis Fowlseries, preceded byArtemis Fowland followed byArtemis Fowl: The Eternity Code. It follows the adventures of the thirteen-year-old criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl II, as he thwarts a goblin rebellion and rescues his father, Artemis Fowl I. The third-person narration switches back and forth constantly, allowing the reader to understand more of what is going on. A New York Times bestseller, the novel was well received by critics, and reviews compared its quality and success to those of its predecessor.
Point Blancis the second book in theAlex Riderseries, written by British author Anthony Horowitz. The book was released in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2001 and in North America on April 15, 2002, under the alternate titlePoint Blank.
In 2003, the novel was listed on the BBC's survey The Big Read. In 2007, it was adapted into a graphic novel, written by Antony Johnston, and illustrated by Kanako Damerum and Yuzuru Takasaki.
The book opens with the death of American electronics billionaire Michael J. Roscoe in an elevator shaft, a friend of Blunt's from University, in his New York City office, arranged by a reputable contract killer known only as The Gentleman. In London, Alex Rider ends up in trouble with the police for causing a large amount of damage to a new conference centre while trying to expose a drug dealer operating at Brookland School. In exchange for any potential charges being dropped, Alex is assigned by MI6 to investigate the motive behind the mysterious deaths of Roscoe and another billionaire, former KGB agent and head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, General Viktor Ivanov, who died when his private yacht exploded on the Black Sea. The only apparent connection between the two men is that they both had a son attending Point Blanc, an academy for the problem sons of billionaires in the French Alps run by a South African scientist, Dr. Hugo Grief.
Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, known in America asArtemis Fowl: The Time Paradox, is the sixth book in the seriesArtemis Fowlby Irish writer Eoin Colfer. It was released in the U.S. on 5 July 2008, and on 7 August in the U.K. At 432 pages, it is the longest book in the series. In Colfer's video blogs, he mentioned the book, saying it may not be the last, but the last one for at least three years. It is followed byArtemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex.
Angeline Fowl, Artemis Fowl's mother contracts a debilitating disease, which Artemis worsens by trying to use magic. Artemis desperately contacts Captain Holly Short and No. 1, in hopes that they will be able to shed some new light on his mother's condition. They determine Angeline is suffering from Spelltropy, a fairy disease that is spread through the use of magic, and can only be cured by the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur of Madagascar. Unfortunately, the lemur is extinct, due to a ruthless deal Artemis made almost 8 years ago with a group called the Extinctionists. Foaly tells him that his mother will die without the cure. Artemis pleads for No.1 to open up the time stream, allowing him to save the lemur, and thus his mother. Foaly argues against the idea, but due to Artemis' lying to Holly, saying that she infected Angeline with Spelltropy, Holly agrees to help Artemis immediately to make up for it, and Foaly had to give in.
Serial is an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig, narrating a nonfiction story over multiple episodes. The series was co-created and is co-produced by Koenig and Julie Snyder and developed by This American Life; as of July 2020, it is owned by The New York Times.
Season 1 investigated the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee (Hangul: 이해민), an 18-year-old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County. Season 2 focused on Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American Army soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban, and then charged with desertion. Season 3, which debuted in September 2018, explores cases within the Justice Center Complex in the Cleveland area.
Serial ranked number one on iTunes even before its debut and remained there for several weeks. Serial won a Peabody Award in April 2015 for its innovative telling of a long-form nonfiction story. As of September 2018, episodes of seasons 1 and 2 have been downloaded over 340 million times, establishing an ongoing podcast world record.
The Moth is a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Founded in 1997, the organization presents a wide range of theme-based storytelling events across the United States and abroad, often featuring prominent literary and cultural personalities alongside everyday people like veterans, astronauts, school teachers, and parents. The Moth offers a weekly podcast and in 2009 launched a national public radio show, The Moth Radio Hour, which won a 2010 Peabody Award. The Moth has published four books including The Moth: 50 True Stories (2013) reached #22 on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-Seller List; All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown (2017); and Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible (2019) and How to Tell a Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth (2022). In September of 2022, The Moth published an interactive card deck called, A Game of Storytelling, which debut at #1 on Amazon's top selling card game list.
This American Life (TAL) is an American monthly hour-long radio program produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media and hosted by Ira Glass. It is broadcast on numerous public radio stations in the United States and internationally, and is also available as a free weekly podcast. Primarily a journalistic non-fiction program, it has also featured essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage. The first episode aired on November 17, 1995, under the show's original title, Your Radio Playhouse. The series was distributed by Public Radio International until June 2014, when the program became self-distributed with Public Radio Exchange delivering new episodes to public radio stations.
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is an hour-long weekly news radio panel show produced by WBEZ and National Public Radio (NPR) in Chicago, Illinois. On the program, panelists and contestants are quizzed in humorous ways about that week's news. It is distributed by NPR in the United States, internationally on NPR Worldwide and on the Internet via podcast, and typically broadcast on weekends by member stations. The show averages about six million weekly listeners on air and via podcast.
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! was usually recorded in front of a live audience in Chicago at the Chase Auditorium beneath the Chase Tower on Thursday nights. They also do tours around the country performing in front of a live audience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the spring of 2020 they converted to recording remotely, largely from their homes, and had sound effects and a virtual audience added for broadcast. Beginning in August 2021, they have held in-person recordings, when possible, with a live audience. Starting with the June 11, 2022 episode, the show returned to having a live audience every week in the Studebaker Theater.
The Joe Rogan Experience is a podcast hosted by American comedian, presenter, and UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. It launched on December 24, 2009, on YouTube by Rogan and comedian Brian Redban, who was its sole co-host and producer until 2012 when Jamie Vernon was hired to co-produce. Vernon would eventually take over production. By 2015, it was one of the world's most popular podcasts, regularly receiving millions of views per episode, also including a wide array of guests, including business magnate Elon Musk, whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Senator Bernie Sanders. Since December 2020, the podcast has been exclusively available on Spotify, with highlights uploaded onto the main Joe Rogan Experience YouTube channel. The podcast was originally recorded at Rogan's home in California, before moving to a private studio in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. Production was relocated to Austin, Texas after the podcast was exclusively licensed on Spotify in 2020.
Welcome to Night Vale is a fiction podcast presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale, reporting on the strange events that occur within it. The series was created in 2012 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Published by Night Vale Presents since March 15, 2015, the podcast was previously published by Commonplace Books. Cecil Gershwin Palmer—the host, main character, and narrator—is voiced by Cecil Baldwin, while secondary characters are sometimes voiced by guest stars or recurring guests—such as Dylan Marron, who voices Carlos the Scientist. The podcast typically airs on the first and fifteenth of every month, and consists of "news, announcements and advertisements" from the desert town, located "somewhere in the Southwestern United States." In an interview with NPR, Joseph Fink said that he "came up with this idea of a town in that desert where all conspiracy theories were real, and we would just go from there with that understood."
S-Town is an American investigative journalism podcast hosted by Brian Reed and created by the producers of Serial and This American Life. All seven chapters were released on March 28, 2017. The podcast was downloaded a record-breaking 10 million times in four days and had been downloaded over 40 million times by May 2017.
My Brother, My Brother and Me is a weekly comedy advice podcast distributed by the Maximum Fun network and hosted by brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy. Regular episodes of the podcast feature the brothers comedically providing answers to questions either submitted by listeners or found online.
Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend is a weekly podcast hosted by American comedian and former talk show host Conan O'Brien. It is co-hosted by O'Brien's assistant, Sona Movsesian, and producer, Matt Gourley. The podcast debuted in November 2018 and features O'Brien talking with comedians and actors in the industry, including Jeff Goldblum, Adam Sandler, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Will Ferrell, Kristen Bell, Bill Burr, Tom Hanks, and Tina Fey; along with personal friends, such as Lisa Kudrow and Timothy Olyphant; as well as people he admires, such as Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Neil Young, and Robert Caro.
Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend has received positive reviews from critics and is one of the top podcasts on iTunes.