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3 Doors Down is an American rock band formed in 1994 in Escatawpa, Mississippi by Brad Arnold (vocals and drums), Matt Roberts (guitar) and Todd Harrell (bass). The band signed to Universal Records after the success of their song "Kryptonite". The band has since sold well over 15 million albums worldwide since their debut album, The Better Life, which was released in 2000. They also perform more than 300 concerts a year and have shared the stage with other artists such as Tantric, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Staind, Nickelback, Alter Bridge, Breaking Benjamin, Econoline Crush, Hinder, Seether, Shinedown, Finger Eleven, and Daughtry. Hit song It's Not My Time is featured in the video game NHL 09.
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country-pop singer-songwriter. In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", which peaked at number six on the Billboard country charts. Later in October 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, which produced five hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and was certified 3× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. The New York Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults".
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Swift was the biggest selling artist of 2008 in America with combined sales of more than four million albums. Swift's Fearless and her self-titled album finished 2008 at number three and number six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the year end album chart. Fearless has topped the Billboard 200 in 11 non-consecutive weeks. No album has spent more time at number one since 1999-2000. It also was the first album by a female artist in country music history to log eight weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200. In mid-January 2009, Swift became the first country artist to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with three different songs. As of the week ending February 8, 2009, Swift's single "Love Story" became the country song with most paid downloads in history and the first country song to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart. According to the 2009 issue of Forbes, Swift is ranked as the 69th most powerful celebrity with over $18 million dollars in earnings this year.
Vincent Millie Youmans (September 27, 1898 – April 5, 1946) was an American Broadway composer and Broadway producer.
A leading Broadway composer of his day, Youmans collaborated with virtually all the greatest lyricists on Broadway: Ira Gershwin, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Irving Caesar, Anne Caldwell, Leo Robin, Howard Dietz, Clifford Grey, Billy Rose, Edward Eliscu, Edward Heyman, Harold Adamson, Buddy De Sylva and Gus Kahn. Youmans' early songs are remarkable for their economy of melodic material: two-, three- or four-note phrases are constantly repeated and varied by subtle harmonic or rhythmic changes. In later years, however, apparently influenced by Jerome Kern, he turned to longer musical sentences and more free-flowing melodic lines. Youmans published fewer than 100 songs, but 18 of these were considered standards by ASCAP, a remarkably high percentage.
Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher.
Liszt became renowned throughout Europe for his great skill as a performer; to this day, many consider him to have been the greatest pianist in history. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner and Hector Berlioz.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind a huge and diverse oeuvre, in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.
Liszt has most frequently been credited to have been the first pianist who gave concerts with programs consisting only of solo pieces. An example is a concert he gave on March 9, 1839, at the Palazzo Poli in Rome. Since Liszt could not find singers who — following the usual habit of the time — should have completed the program, he played four numbers all alone.
Liszt was a prolific composer. Most of his music is for the piano and much of it requires formidable technique.In his most famous and virtuosic works, he is the archetypal Romantic composer. Liszt pioneered the technique of thematic transformation, a method of development which was related to both the existing variation technique and to the new use of the Leitmotif by Richard Wagner. Liszt's piano works are usually divided into two classes. On the one hand, there are "original works", and on the other hand "transcriptions", "paraphrases" or "fantasies" on works by other composers.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Alongside his brothers, he made his debut as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. He began his solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century")—more than any artist—, 17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide making him the world's best selling artist in history.
Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted when the jury ruled him not guilty on all charges. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people; as well as a huge surge in his album sales, resulting in him becoming the best selling artist of 2009 with sales in excess of 8.2 million in the United States where he became the first artist ever to have 4 of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year, and 29 million albums globally, where he had an unprecedented 8 of the top 25 best-selling albums worldwide.
Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni (December 7, 1863 – August 2, 1945) was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. His 1890 masterpiece Cavalleria rusticana caused one of the greatest sensations in opera history and single-handedly ushered in the Verismo movement in Italian dramatic music. However, though it has been stated that Mascagni, like Leoncavallo, was a "one-opera man" who could never repeat his first success, this is inaccurate. L'amico Fritz and Iris have been popular in Europe since their respective premieres. In fact, Mascagni himself claimed that at one point Iris was performed in Italy more often than Cavalleria (cf. Stivender).
Mascagni wrote a total of seventeen operas and operetta, several orchestral and vocal works, as well as songs and piano music. He enjoyed immense success during his lifetime, both as a composer and conductor of his own and other people's music. If he never repeated the international success of Cavalleria it was probably because Mascagni refused to copy himself. The variety of styles in his operas — the Sicilian passion and warmth of Cavalleria, the exotic flavor of Iris, the idyllic breeze that ventilates the charming L'amico Fritz and Lodoletta, the Gallic chiaroscuro of Isabeau, the steely, Veristic power of Il piccolo Marat, the overripe postromanticism of the lush Parisina — demonstrate a versatility that surpasses even that of Puccini.
George Winston (born 1949) is an American pianist who was born in Michigan, and grew up in Miles City, Montana, and Mississippi. He is a graduate of Stetson University in Deland, Florida and lives in Santa Monica, California. Many of his pieces, self-described as "Rural Folk Piano", evoke the essence of a season and reflect natural landscapes. He performs in the new age genre. He also is known for his tribute album of Vince Guaraldi's compositions for the Peanuts animations.
Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685, O.S.31 March 1685, N.S. – 28 July 1750, N.S.) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, A Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, as well as the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes and Organ Mass.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 - 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He was one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, the last great representative of Russian late Romanticism in classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom which included a pronounced lyricism, expressive breadth, structural ingenuity and a tonal palette of rich, distinctive orchestral colors.
Understandably, the piano figures prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, either as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble. He made it a point, however, to use his own skills as a performer to explore fully the expressive possibilities of the instrument. Even in his earliest works, he revealed a sure grasp of idiomatic piano writing and a striking gift for melody. In some of his early orchestral pieces he showed the first signs of a talent for tone painting, which he would perfect in The Isle of the Dead, and he began to show a similar penchant for vocal writing in two early sets of songs, Opp. 4 and 8. Rachmaninoff's masterpiece, however, is his choral symphony The Bells, in which all of his talents are fused and unified.
Rachmaninoff sometimes felt threatened by the success of modernists such as Scriabin and Prokofiev and wondered whether to cease composing even before he left Russia. His musical philosophy was rooted in the Russian spiritual tradition, where the role of the artist was to create beauty and to speak the truth from the depths of his heart. In his last major interview, in 1941, he admitted his music, like Russian music, was a product of his temperament. He said, on another occasion, "The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works exalt—they meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate and brood, but they do not exalt."
Godspell (an archaic spelling of the word gospel) is a 1970 musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak. It opened off Broadway on May 17, 1971, and has played in various touring companies and revivals many times since. Several cast albums have been released over the years and one of its songs, "Day By Day" from the original cast album, reached #13 on the Billboard pop singles chart in the summer of 1972.
The structure of the musical is that of a series of parables, taken primarily from the Gospel of Matthew. These are then interspersed with a variety of modern music set primarily to lyrics from traditional hymns, with the passion of Christ treated briefly near the end of performance. It started as a college project performed by students at Carnegie Mellon University and moved to La Mama in Greenwich Village. It was then re-scored for an off-Broadway production that was a long-running success, but most people are familiar with the film version or have seen a local high school production of the musical.
The musical opened a year after another religiously-themed successful rock musical, Jesus Christ Superstar.
Irving Berlin (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian-born American composer and lyricist, and one of the most prolific American songwriters in history. Berlin was one of the few Tin Pan Alley/Broadway songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his songs. Although he never learned to read music beyond a rudimentary level, with the help of various uncredited musical assistants or collaborators, he eventually composed over 3,000 songs, many of which (e.g. "God Bless America", "White Christmas", "Anything You Can Do", "There's No Business Like Show Business") left an indelible mark on music and culture worldwide. He composed seventeen film scores and twenty-one Broadway scores.
Andrea Bocelli (born 22 September 1958) is an Italian operatic pop tenor and a classical crossover singer who has also performed in operas. To date, he has recorded six complete operas (La bohème, Il trovatore, Werther, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana and Tosca) in addition to various classical and pop albums. He has sold 60 million albums worldwide thus far. Born with congenital glaucoma, total blindness came to Bocelli at the age of twelve, after a football accident.
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (often abbreviated as Corpse Bride) is a 2005 stop-motion-animation film based loosely on a 19th century Russian-Jewish folktale version of an older Jewish story and set in a fictional Victorian era village. It was directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, and filmed at 3 Mills Studios in London. Johnny Depp led an all-star cast as the voice of Victor and Helena Bonham Carter (for whom the project was specially created) as the voice of the title character. This is the first animated film in which Johnny Depp has been a voice actor. The film's initial release was two weeks prior to that of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, marking the first time that a stop-motion animated film and a claymation animated one were in simultaneous wide theatrical release. Interestingly, both films feature the voice of Helena Bonham Carter in a lead role and a character named Victor. Coincidentally, Burton's first stop-motion film, The Nightmare Before Christmas was released the same year as Nick Park's The Wrong Trousers.
The film was nominated in the 78th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature. It lost to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
The film is dedicated to the memory of Joe Ranft.
The movie exhibits Burton's trademark style and recurring themes (the complex interaction between light and darkness, and of being caught between two irreconcilable worlds). Life is portrayed as boring and dully gray tinted while death is more fun, as evidenced by the brighter colors and jaunty music. The movie can be particularly compared to The Nightmare Before Christmas, Burton's previous stop-motion feature project (directed by Henry Selick and based on a Tim Burton poem, which Corpse Bride director Mike Johnson worked on as an animator) and Beetlejuice, especially in the scenes depicting the underworld and its deceased denizens. The studio intentionally emphasized the links, as some commercials for Corpse Bride were accompanied by songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas (specifically, "What's This"); also, in an issue of Disney Adventures, Emily (the title character) was compared to The Nightmare Before Christmas's Sally, despite the stark contrasts in personality between the outspoken, free-spirited Emily and the quiet, timid Sally. The Corpse Bride is also considered to be the spiritual successor of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Most of the characters in the film bear a strong resemblance to the original cast of the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs. In the "Special Features" section of the DVD, Tim Burton states that the films' setting pays tribute to the series, with the Land of the Living being the "upstairs", and the Land of the Dead being the "downstairs".
Love Actually is a 2003 British romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many of whom are linked as their tales progress. The ensemble cast is composed of predominantly English actors.
The film begins five weeks before Christmas and is framed around a week-by-week countdown until the holiday, with an epilogue that takes place one month later.
Richard Melville Hall, also known as Moby (born September 11, 1965 in Harlem, New York) is an American DJ, singer-songwriter and musician.
He plays keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums. After eight top 40 singles in the UK in the 1990s he released the album Play, in 1999, which sold 9 million copies worldwide. His follow up albums, 18, Hotel, and Last Night sold 6 million copies and have achieved gold and platinum status in over 30 countries.
Albert Hammond (born 18 May 1944, London, England) is a Gibraltarian-British singer, songwriter and music producer. Hammond is one of the more successful pop/rock songwriters to come out of England during the 1960s and 1970s, and has also enjoyed a long career as a recording artist, his work popular in two languages on three continents across four decades.
"It Never Rains in Southern California" reached number five in the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and became a million-seller around the world, the first in a string of eight charting singles that Hammond enjoyed over the next five years. The accompanying album also introduced "Down by the River" and "If You Gotta Break Another Heart" — which was recorded by Cass Elliot in a slightly rewritten version — and "The Air That I Breathe." The latter was Hammond's favorite song on the album, and it was later to become the last major international hit by The Hollies (and that group's last significant U.S. single for more than a decade). Meanwhile, Hammond's follow-up album, The Free Electric Band (its title track salvaged from the unproduced musical), was nearly as impressive musically as its predecessor, although it sold far fewer copies without a huge hit to drive its sales. His next hit, "I'm a Train," came amid a flurry of activity surrounding Hammond's career. He produced records by Johnny Cash ("Praise the Lord and Pass the Soup"), collaborated with Richard Carpenter and John Bettis ("I Need to Be in Love"), wrote songs with Art Garfunkel, and, growing out of the latter project, recorded a self-titled third album produced by Garfunkel producer Roy Halee.
David Lanz (born June 28, 1950 in Seattle, Washington) is a Grammy-nominated New Age pianist. He has released 13 albums, each having some chart success. His most famous album, Cristofori's Dream, topped the New Age charts in 1988, which was Number One on Billboard's first adult alternative/New Age chart for 27 weeks and eventually sold platinum. Natural States peaked at place 125 on the Billboard 200.
Lanz's goal is to have his music create an atmosphere of enlightenment. In an interview with Barnes & Noble, Lanz stated that he wanted to create an atmosphere similar to that of Steven Halpern's music, but with a "more popular hook in it".
Lanz has said himself, " is the most divinely inspired instrument on the planet. It presents a great attraction to our left-right brain relationship. My goal is to create entertainment that also provides enlightenment."
Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 musical film directed by Baz Luhrmann, based largely on the Giuseppe Verdi opera La Traviata. It tells the story of a young British poet/writer, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine, played by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, respectively. It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France. The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two: for art direction and costume design. It was shot at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia.
In 2006, Moulin Rouge! ranked twenty-fifth on the American Film Institute's list of best musicals.
Percy Wenrich (January 23, 1880 – March 17, 1952) was a United States composer of ragtime and popular music.
Born in Joplin, Missouri, he left for Chicago in 1901 and moved on to New York City around 1907 to work as a Tin Pan Alley composer, but his music retains a Missouri folk flavor. He composed at least eighteen rags, including "Ashy Africa," "Noodles," "Peaches and Cream" (1905), "Crabapples," and "The Smiler" (1907). His songs include "Wabash Avenue After Dark" and the hits "Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet" (1909, lyrics by Stanley Murphy) and "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose" (1914, lyrics by Jack Mahoney).
George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer. He wrote most of his vocal and theatrical works in collaboration with his elder brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin. George Gershwin composed songs both for Broadway and for the classical concert hall. He also wrote popular songs with success.
Many of his compositions have been used on television and in numerous films, and many became jazz standards. The jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald recorded many of the Gershwins' songs on her 1959 Gershwin Songbook (arranged by Nelson Riddle). Countless singers and musicians have recorded Gershwin songs, including Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Al Jolson, Bobby Darin, Art Tatum, Bing Crosby, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Madonna, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Marni Nixon, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Nina Simone, Maureen McGovern, John Fahey, The Residents, Than & Sam, Sublime, and Sting. A residential building is named after him on the Stony Brook University campus.
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Since their formation in 1996, the band has sold more than 50 million albums and won two Grammy Awards. They achieved mainstream success with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005. Their following studio album, Meteora, continued the band's success, topping the Billboard 200’s album charts in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work around the world.
Recognized for their adaptation of the nu metal and rap rock genre into a radio-friendly yet densely-layered style in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the band moved away from this and explored a variety of other genres in their latest studio album, Minutes to Midnight. The album topped the Billboard charts and had the third best debut week of any album that year. They are also known for their several collaborations, most notably with rapper Jay-Z in their mash-up album Collision Course, and many other artists on Reanimation.
Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM, OM, (born February 17, 1957) is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined, warbling soprano vocals. She has sold more than 14 million records worldwide.
The King and I is a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Its script is based on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. The plot comes from the story written by Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Leonowens' story, The English Governess at the Siamese Court, was autobiographical, although its objective accuracy is questionable; in Thailand, the possession of anything related to Anna and the King of Siam or The King and I is illegal, because of the historical inaccuracies about the King of Siam.
The musical opened on Broadway in 1951 and was the sixth collaboration for the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein. It ran for 1,246 performances, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, among other awards. It spawned numerous revivals and a popular 1956 film version.
The best-known songs from the musical are probably "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Getting to Know You," "Hello, Young Lovers," and "Shall We Dance?" The most colorful number in the musical, visually (to Western audiences), is the ballet "Small House of Uncle Thomas," choreographed by Jerome Robbins.
Rodgers and Hammerstein knew they were writing for stars — Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, the original Broadway leads — who were primarily actors rather than singers. Therefore, they reserved the sweeping, more challenging melodies for the characters of Tuptim and Lun Tha and kept the songs sung by the other leads simple.
Mary Martin, who had starred in South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein a few years previously, was an investor in The King and I. When Gertrude Lawrence wanted to have a song with the children, Martin suggested that Rodgers and Hammerstein write new lyrics for "Suddenly Lovely," which had been cut out from South Pacific. The song then became "Getting to Know You."
Bat Boy is a fictional creature who made several appearances in the defunct supermarket tabloid Weekly World News. The Weekly World News published patently fabricated stories which were purported to be factual. Within the pages of the paper, Bat Boy is described as a creature who is 'half human and half bat'. His pursuers, according to Weekly World News are scientists and United States government officials; he is frequently captured, then later makes a daring escape.
Bat Boy was created by former Weekly World News Editor Dick Kulpa. He debuted as a cover story on June 23, 1992. The original front-page photo of Bat Boy, showing his grotesque screaming face, was the second-best selling issue in the tabloid's history, and he has since evolved into a pop-culture icon. The story of Bat Boy was turned into an acclaimed off-Broadway musical, Bat Boy: The Musical.
Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and ranks as one of music's greatest tone poets.
He was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a Polish mother and French-expatriate father, and in his early life was regarded as a child-prodigy pianist. In November 1830, at the age of 20, Chopin went abroad; following the suppression of the Polish November Uprising of 1830–31, he became one of many expatriates of the Polish "Great Emigration."
In Paris, he made a comfortable living as a composer and piano teacher, while giving few public performances. A Polish patriot,
Chopin's extant compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument. Though technically demanding, Chopin's style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than virtuosity. Chopin invented musical forms such as the ballade and was responsible for major innovations in forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music.
Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. His works include the musical comedies Kiss Me, Kate, Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady and Anything Goes, as well as songs like "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!" and "I've Got You Under My Skin". He was noted for his sophisticated, bawdy lyrics, clever rhymes and complex forms. Porter was one of the greatest contributors to the Great American Songbook. Cole Porter is one of the few Tin Pan Alley composers to have written both the lyrics and the music for his songs.
Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz, is a musical composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil. Sung through, it is perhaps the most famous of all French musicals and one of the most performed musicals worldwide. On October 8, 2006, the show celebrated its 21st anniversary and became the longest-running West End musical in history and is still running (though it has changed venues).
Among the most famous songs of this Tony award-winning musical are "I Dreamed a Dream", "One Day More", "A Heart Full of Love", "Stars", "Bring Him Home", "Do You Hear the People Sing?", "Master of the House", and "On My Own."
The musical is based on the 1862 novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Set in early 19th century France, it follows the intertwining stories of a cast of characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. The characters include a paroled convict named Jean Valjean who, failing attempts to find work as an honest man with his yellow ticket of leave, breaks his parole and conceals his identity; the police inspector Javert who becomes obsessed with finding Valjean; Fantine, the single mother who is forced to become a prostitute to support her daughter; Cosette, who eventually falls in love with a French student named Marius Pontmercy. After Fantine dies, Cosette becomes Jean Valjean's adopted daughter; the Thénardiers, the unscrupulous innkeepers who thrive on cheating and stealing; Éponine, their young daughter who is hopelessly in love with Marius; Gavroche, a young beggar boy; and student leader Enjolras who plans the revolt to free the oppressed lower classes of France. The main characters are joined by an ensemble that includes prostitutes, student revolutionaries, factory workers, and others.
Alicia J. Augello-Cook (born January 25, 1981), and has won numerous awards, including eleven Grammy Awards, seventeen Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards.
Her debut album Songs in A Minor was a worldwide success, selling nearly 11 millions albums, and received five Grammy Awards in 2002, with Alicia winning Best New Artist and also Song of the Year for "Fallin'".
The Eagles are an American rock band that was formed in Los Angeles, California during the early 1970s. With five Number 1 singles and six Number 1 albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful recording artists of the decade. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975 and Hotel California, ranked among the ten best-selling albums according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The best-selling studio album Hotel California is rated as the thirty-seventh album in the Rolling Stone list "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time", and the band was ranked number 75 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. They are also the best-selling American group ever, with Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975 being the best-selling album in the U.S. to date.
The Eagles broke up in 1980, but reunited in 1994 for Hell Freezes Over, a mix of live and new studio tracks. They have toured intermittently since then, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
In 2007, the Eagles released Long Road out of Eden, their first full studio album in 28 years.
Timothy B. Schmit
High School Musical is an Emmy Award-winning American television film. Upon its release on January 20, 2006, it became the most successful Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) ever produced, with a television sequel High School Musical 2 released in 2007 and the feature film High School Musical 3: Senior Year to be released theatrically in October 2008. It will be the first Disney Channel Original movie to have a theatrical sequel. A fourth installment, High School Musical 4, has been announced to be in the writing stages.
High School Musical was Disney Channel's most watched movie at its time, with 7.7 million viewers in its premiere broadcast in the US. In the UK, it received 789,000 viewers for its premiere (and 1.2 million viewers overall during the first week), making it the second most watched program for the Disney Channel (UK) of 2006. It was also the first ever Disney Channel Original Movie to be broadcast on the BBC on December 29, 2006. The film's soundtrack was the best-selling album in the United States for 2006.
With a plot described by the author and numerous critics as a modern adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, High School Musical is a story about two high school juniors from rival cliques – Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), a beautiful and shy transfer student who excels in math and science. Together, they try out for the lead parts in their high school musical, and as a result, divide the school. Despite other students' attempts to thwart their dreams, Troy and Gabriella resist peer pressure and rivalry, inspiring others along the way not to "stick with the status quo."
High School Musical was filmed at East High School located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the auditorium of Murray High School, & Downtown Salt Lake City. Murray High School was also the set of: Take Down (1978), Read It and Weep (2006), Minutemen (2008) and High School Musical: Get in the Picture (2008).
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. According to Billboard magazine, she was the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States.
Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001, and she was dropped by Virgin Records the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to pop music in 2005.
Carey was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards. She has had the most number-one singles for a solo artist in the United States (eighteen; second artist overall behind The Beatles), where, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female and sixteenth overall recording artist. In addition to her commercial accomplishments, Carey has earned five Grammy Awards, and is well-known for her vocal range, power, melismatic style, and use of the whistle register.
Laura Pausini (born May 16, 1974) is an Italian pop singer, popular in several European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern countries, famed for her powerful voice, her romantic adult contemporary ballads and love songs. She is fluent in several languages and has recorded songs in Italian, Spanish and English. She has also recorded some songs in Portuguese, a language of which she has a good (but not excellent) knowledge, and French, which she does not speak at all. At the 2006 Grammy Awards, Pausini won Best Latin Pop Album for Escucha.
Coldplay are a rock band formed in London, England in 1997. The group comprises vocalist/pianist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion. Coldplay have sold 34.6 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".
Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of their single "Yellow", followed by their debut album, Parachutes (2000), which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Its follow-up, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) won multiple awards such as NME's Album of the Year and was later included on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, ranking at #473. Their next release, X&Y (2005), received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews. All of Coldplay's albums have enjoyed great commercial success.
Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Il Divo, Italian for "divine male performer", is a multinational operatic pop vocal group created by pop impresario Simon Cowell, and signed to the Sony BMG music label. Il Divo is formed by singers Carlos Marín, Urs Bühler, David Miller, and Sébastien Izambard.
The idea behind Il Divo's creation came to Cowell after listening to Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's rendition of Con te partirò. Aware of this new appreciation for lyrical voices and classical music, he decided to form a multinational quartet (the members hail from Spain, Switzerland, France, and the United States) that tried to sound like The Three Tenors.
Simon Cowell conducted a worldwide search for young singers who were willing to embark on the Il Divo project which lasted two years , from 2001 until December 2003, when the fourth member of Il Divo, American tenor David Miller, was signed. The well-established formation of Il Divo comprises a renowned Spanish opera and Spanish baritone, Carlos Marín; two classically trained tenors, Swiss Urs Bühler and American David Miller; and a French pop singer, Sébastien Izambard.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 adventure film, based on the the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks. The story follows pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) as they rescue Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from her kidnapping by the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).
The film was directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and became the first Walt Disney Pictures release to earn a PG-13 rating by the MPAA (all previous WDP releases were rated G or PG). The world premiere was held at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, on June 28, 2003. The Curse of the Black Pearl was an unexpected success, with mostly positive reviews and grossing almost $654 million worldwide. The film became the first in a series, with two back-to-back sequels, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, released. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Depp.
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom which was created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical parody of the middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its titular family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and it lampoons many aspects of the human condition, as well as American culture, society as a whole, and television itself.
The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox, becoming the first Fox series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1992-1993).
Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the show has broadcast 420 episodes and the twentieth season will commence airing in on September 28, 2008. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and July 27, 2007, and has grossed approximately US$526.2 million worldwide to date.
The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 24 Emmy Awards, 26 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. Time magazine's December 31, 1999 issue named it the 20th century's best television series, and on January 14, 2000 it was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom and the longest-running American animated program. Homer's annoyed grunt "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English lexicon, while The Simpsons has influenced many adult-oriented animated sitcoms.
The series' distinctive theme song was composed by musician Danny Elfman in 1989, after Groening approached him requesting a retro style piece. This piece, which took two days to create, has been noted by Elfman as the most popular of his career.
Joshua Winslow Groban (born February 27, 1981) is a Grammy-nominated American singer-songwriter. He has concentrated his career so far mostly in concert singing and recordings, although he has stated that he wishes to pursue musical theater in the future.
Various music critics have described Groban's voice in different ways, with some referring to him as a tenor and others as a baritone. In performance, Groban's music goes as low as G2 (as in the song "To Where You Are") and extends up to at least B4 flat or the B flat above middle C (as heard in "You Raise Me Up"). He also hits a High B during the Baywatch theme song in his Emmy performance of TV Theme Songs on September 21, 2008.This places his voice lower than the tenor range on the low end, and just short of Tenor C, and therefore above the baritone range, on the high end.
Some of Groban's musical influences have been Radiohead, Paul Simon, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Björk. He says he is able to look up to anyone, musically, who has pushed the boundaries and stepped outside of the box. As for vocal influences, "anyone who told a story with their songs," including Mandy Patinkin, Klaus Nomi, George Hearn, and Luciano Pavarotti.
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. An excellent bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with different ensembles.
Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst Carlos Kuri has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (French pronunciation: ; 9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era. He is known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah (Opera) , Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).
Ultravox (formerly Ultravox!) were a British New Wave band that rose to prominence in the early 1980s. They were one of the primary exponents of the British electronic pop music movement of the early 1980s. The band was particularly associated with the New Romantic movement, although it both pre- and post-dated New Romanticism by several years.
John Foxx, Chris Cross, Stevie Shears, Warren Cann
Billy Currie, Robin Simon, Midge Ure, Mark Brzezicki
Tony Fenelle, Sam Blue, Vinny Burns, Tony Holmes, Gary Williams
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