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West Side Story is a 1961 film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. It is an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, adapted from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, and was photographed by Daniel L. Fapp, A.S.C. in Super Panavision 70.
The action was filmed largely in Los Angeles on sets designed by Boris Leven, although the film's opening sequence was shot on the streets of New York City, mainly in the area where the Lincoln Center campus of Fordham University now stands. The construction of the new campus was halted to allow completion of the sequence. Jerome Robbins, who had directed the stage version, was responsible for planning and directing all music and dance sequences in the film, as well as all the fight scenes. When approximately 60% of principal photography was complete, the producers became concerned that the production was over-budget and Robbins was fired. His final contribution before leaving the film was to write out the staging for the rumble.
The film was released on October 18, 1961 through United Artists. It received praise from critics and the public and became the second highest grossing film of the year, domestically. The film won ten Academy Awards in its eleven nominated categories as well as a special award for Robbins, including Best Picture. The soundtrack album made more money than any other album before it.
John Marshall Kernochan (August 3, 1919 – October 29, 2007) was a law professor, composer and music publisher who founded Columbia Law School's Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts. His pioneering work in intellectual property law helped spur stronger protections for artists.
Kernochan was born August 3, 1919, the only child of composer Marshall Kernochan and Caroline Rigney Hatch, a World War I nurse.
Kernochan prepped at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts. There, for the school's yearbook, he produced memorable verses on that year's graduates, which kicked off a lifelong pastime of writing doggerel verse and bawdy limericks. He also composed religious music.
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an influential American songwriter, singer and guitarist. He has recorded and toured with the E Street Band. Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock infused with pop hooks, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered around his native New Jersey. His eloquence in expressing ordinary, everyday problems has earned him numerous awards, including eighteen Grammy Awards and an Academy Award, along with a notoriously dedicated and devoted global fan base. His most famous albums, Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A., epitomize his penchant for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily life. He has sold over 65 million albums in the U.S.
Springsteen's lyrics often concern men and women struggling to make ends meet. He has gradually become identified with progressive politics. Springsteen is also noted for his support of various relief and rebuilding efforts in New Jersey and elsewhere, and for his response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, on which his album The Rising reflects.
Springsteen's recordings have tended to alternate between commercially accessible rock albums and somber folk-oriented works. Much of his iconic status stems from the concerts and marathon shows in which he and the E Street Band present intense ballads, rousing anthems, and party rock and roll songs, amongst which Springsteen intersperses long, whimsical or deeply emotional stories.
Springsteen has long had the nickname "The Boss", a term which he was initially reported to hate but now seems to have come to terms with, as he sometimes jokingly refers to himself as such on stage. The nickname originated when a young Springsteen, playing club gigs with a band in the 1960s, took on the task of collecting the band's nightly pay and distributing it amongst his bandmates.
Savage Garden was an Australian pop duo that enjoyed major international success between 1997 and 2000. The band was composed of Darren Hayes (vocals) and Daniel Jones (keyboards, sequencing, and guitar). They had a string of hits in the late nineties, and are best remembered today for their ballad "Truly Madly Deeply", which is considered their signature song, and the songs "To the Moon and Back", "I Knew I Loved You", "Crash and Burn", "I Want You" and "Affirmation".
They had sold over 25 million albums and more than 15 million singles around the world, spent five years in the UK album charts despite only two albums released. They had ten Top 40 chart singles in the UK, nine charted Top 20 and four went Top 10. They also performed "Affirmation" as part of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Closing Ceremony.
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, released in theaters on June 15, 1994 by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd film in the Disney animated feature canon. The film was the highest grossing animated film of all time until the release of Finding Nemo (a Disney/Pixar computer-animated film). The Lion King still holds the record as the highest grossing traditionally animated film in history. This film also belongs to an era known as the Disney Renaissance.
The story, which was strongly influenced by the Shakespearean play Hamlet and Disney's 1942 classic Bambi, takes place in a kingdom of anthropomorphic animals in Africa. A musical film, The Lion King garnered two Academy Awards for its achievement in music. Songs were written by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice, with an original score by Hans Zimmer. Disney later produced two related movies: a sequel, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride; and a part prequel-part parallel, The Lion King 1½.
The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the original motion picture soundtrack for Walt Disney's The Lion King. The songs were written by Elton John and Tim Rice. The original score was composed and arranged by Hans Zimmer. The soundtrack was recorded in three different countries, namely: USA, UK and South Africa.
Glee is a musical comedy-drama television series that airs on Fox in the United States. It focuses on the high school glee club New Directions competing on the show choir competition circuit, while its members deal with relationships, sexuality and social issues. The initial main cast encompassed club director and Spanish teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), Will's wife Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), and eight club members played by Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Mark Salling and Jenna Ushkowitz. For the second season, formerly recurring cast members Mike O'Malley, Heather Morris and Naya Rivera were promoted to the main cast.
The series was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, who first conceived Glee as a film. The pilot episode was broadcast on May 19, 2009, and the first season aired from September 9, 2009 to June 8, 2010. The second season began airing on September 21, 2010, and a third season has been commissioned. Glee features on-screen performance-based musical numbers that are selected by Murphy, who aims to maintain a balance between show tunes and chart hits. Songs covered in the show are released through the iTunes Store during the week of broadcast, and a series of Glee albums have been released by Columbia Records. The music of Glee has been a commercial success, with over thirteen million digital single sales and five million album sales. The series' merchandise also includes DVD and Blu-Ray releases, a young adult book series, an iPad application, and a karaoke game for the Wii.
During its first season, Glee received generally favorable reviews from critics, with Metacritic's weighted average based on the impression of 18 critical reviews of 77 percent. The season was nominated for nineteen Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, six Satellite Awards and fifty-seven other awards, with wins including the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series—Musical or Comedy, and Emmy awards for Lynch, guest-star Neil Patrick Harris and Murphy's direction of the pilot episode. The second season has currently been nominated for five Golden Globes including Best Television Series in a Comedy and as well as nominations for Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele and Chris Colfer.
Muse are a British rock band formed in Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom in 1994 under the alias of Rocket Baby Dolls. The band comprises Matthew Bellamy (vocals, guitar and piano), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums and percussion). Muse's style can be considered as a mixture of many musical genres, most notably alternative rock, classical music and electronica. Muse are known best for their energetic and visually dazzling live performances and on June 16th & 17th, 2007 became the first band to sell out the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Muse have released four studio albums with their first, Showbiz, released in 1999, followed by Origin of Symmetry in 2001 and Absolution in 2003. The most recent, Black Holes & Revelations (2006), was also the most critically acclaimed, garnering the band a Mercury Prize nomination and a third place finish in the NME Albums of the Year list for 2006. Muse have won various awards throughout their career including 5 MTV Europe Music Awards, 5 Q Awards, 4 NME Awards and 2 Brit awards.
Louis Armstrong (4 August 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Sachimo and Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer.
Coming to prominence in the 20s as an innovative cornet and trumpet virtuoso, Armstrong was a foundational influence on jazz, shifting the music's focus from collective improvisation to solo performers. With his distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing, or wordless vocalizing.
Renowned for his charismatic stage presence, Armstrong's influence extended well beyond jazz, and by the end of his career in the '60s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general: critic Steve Leggett describes Armstrong as "perhaps the most important American musician of the 20th century."
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist 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 introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation in composition for diverse musical forces, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth and technical and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg concertos; the Goldberg Variations; the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Well-Tempered Clavier; the Mass in B Minor; the St. Matthew Passion; the St. John Passion; The Musical Offering; The Art of Fugue; the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo; the Cello Suites; more than 200 surviving cantatas; and a similar number of organ works, including the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
While Bach's fame as an organist was great during his lifetime, he was not particularly well-known as a composer. His adherence to Baroque forms and contrapuntal style was considered "old-fashioned" by his contemporaries, especially late in his career when the musical fashion tended towards Rococo and later Classical styles. A revival of interest and performances of his music began early in the 19th century, and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
The Killers are an American rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2002, the group consists of Brandon Flowers (vocals, keyboards), Dave Keuning (guitar, vocals), Mark Stoermer (bass guitar, vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr., (percussion, drums) with Ray Suen often providing support during live performances.
Part of the post-punk revival movement, The Killers draw influence from music styles of the 1980s and 1990s. The group's debut album, Hot Fuss (2004) brought the band mainstream success. The Killers' second album, Sam's Town, was released in 2006, and the compilation album Sawdustk containing B-sides, rarities, and new material, was released in 2007. The band's first two albums have sold in excess of 12 million copies worldwide combined. The group is currently working on their third album, entitled Day and Age, which is being produced by Stuart Price.
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.
Star Wars is an epic space opera franchise initially conceived by George Lucas during the 1970s and significantly expanded since that time. The events depicted in Star Wars media take place in a fictional galaxy. Many species of alien creatures (often humanoid) are depicted. Robotic droids are also commonplace and are generally built to serve their owners. Space travel is common, and many planets in the galaxy are members of a Galactic Republic, later reorganized as the Galactic Empire.
One of the prominent elements of Star Wars is the "Force", which is an omnipresent form of energy which can be harnessed by those with that ability. It is described in the first produced film as "an energy field created by all living things binds the galaxy together." The Force allows users to perform a variety of supernatural feats (such as telekinesis, clairvoyance, precognition, and mind control) and also can amplify certain physical traits, such as speed and reflexes; these abilities can vary from user to user and can be improved through training. While the Force can be used for good, it has a dark side that, when pursued, imbues users with hatred, aggression, and malevolence. The six films feature the Jedi, who use the Force for good, and the Sith, who use the dark side for evil in an attempt to take over the galaxy. In the Expanded Universe many dark side users are Dark Jedi rather than Sith, mainly because of the Rule of Two.
Kool & the Gang is a highly successful American jazz/R&B/soul/funk/disco group. They originally formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA in 1964. They went through several musical phases in their career, starting out with a purist jazz sound, becoming practitioners of R&B and funk, progressing to a smooth disco ensemble, and ended the successful period of their career producing pop/R&B crossovers. They have sold over 70 million albums worldwide.
The group's main members over the years included brothers Robert Bell (known as "Kool") on bass (born October 8, 1950, Youngstown, Ohio) and Ronald Bell on tenor saxophone (born November 1, 1951, Youngstown, Ohio); George Brown on drums (born January 5, 1949); Robert Mickens on trumpet; Dennis Thomas on alto saxophone; Claydes Charles Smith on guitar (born September 6, 1948, died June 20, 2006) , and Rick Westfield on keyboards. The Bell brothers' father was an acquaintance of Thelonious Monk and the brothers were friends with Leon Thomas.
McFly are a British pop rock/pop punk band who first found fame in 2004. The band, formed in London, was founded by Tom Fletcher (lead vocals/guitar) and also consists of Danny Jones (lead vocals/guitar), Dougie Poynter (vocals/bass guitar) and Harry Judd (drums). They are managed by Prestige Management, and were signed to the Island Records label from their launch (2004) until December 2007, before creating their own label, Super Records.
McFly's debut album, Room on the 3rd Floor, debuted at #1 in the UK album chart and is certified as double platinum. McFly are also the youngest band ever to have an album debut at #1. A month after the album was released, the band had their first UK headlining tour.The band's second album, Wonderland, also charted at #1 in the UK, and was released in 2005. Their third album, Motion in the Ocean, was released on 6 November 2006 and charted at #6 in the UK. McFly released their All the Greatest Hits compilation album on 5 November 2007, which charted at #4 in the UK. The band's fourth studio album, Radio:Active, was given away for free as a supplement in The Mail on Sunday on 20 July 2008.
McFly appeared in the teen comedy film Just My Luck, starring Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine, in 2006. The band played themselves in the film and released a US album, "Just My Luck", which was also used as the film's soundtrack.
As of July 2008, McFly have fourteen top ten singles, seven of which reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart.
Seweryn Krajewski (born January 3, 1947 in Nowa Sól, Poland) is a Polish singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1960s and 70s with the popular Polish band Czerwone Gitary. After leaving the group in 1997, he recorded several solo albums.
He has written songs for many popular Polish singers including Irena Jarocka, Maryla Rodowicz, Urszula Sipińska, Zdzisława Sośnicka, Edyta Geppert and many others.
Gentle Giant were a British progressive rock band active between 1970 and 1980. The band was known for the complexity and sophistication of its music and for the varied musical skills of its members. All of the band members, except the first two drummers, were multi-instrumentalists. Although not commercially successful, they did achieve a cult following.
The band's onetime stated aim was to "expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of becoming very unpopular," although this stance was to alter significantly with time. While never achieving the commercial heights of progressive rock contemporaries such as Jethro Tull, Genesis, Yes or Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gentle Giant was considered to be one of the most experimental bands in the genre (as well as one of the most experimental rock bands of the 1970s).
Lonestar is an American country music group consisting of lead singer Cody Collins, Michael Britt (lead guitar, background vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums) and Dean Sams (keyboard, melodica, background vocals). Collins replaced former lead vocalist Richie McDonald, who left in November 2007 for a solo career. John Rich, was also the band's bass guitarist and second lead vocalist until 1998, when he left for a solo career of his own, before founding the duo Big & Rich in 2003. Since Rich's departure, Lonestar has not had an official bass guitarist.
Lonestar made its debut on the Billboard country music charts in 1995 with the Top 10 single "Tequila Talkin'". Since then, they have amassed a total of twenty-seven singles on the country charts, with nine of those singles reaching Number One. Their biggest crossover hit was 1999's "Amazed", a crossover hit that reached Number One on both the country charts and the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first single to do so since Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream" in 1983. To date, the group has also recorded eight studio albums and a Greatest Hits compilation; three of their albums have been certified gold, while three more have been certified platinum or higher.
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms and melodies of the folk music of his native Bohemia and Moravia. His works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works are his New World Symphony (particularly the slow movement), as well as his Slavonic Dances, American String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B minor.
Dvořák wrote in a variety of forms: his nine symphonies generally stick to classical models that Beethoven would have recognised, but he also worked in the newly developed symphonic poem form and the influence of Richard Wagner is apparent in some works. Many of his works also show the influence of Czech folk music, both in terms of rhythms and melodic shapes; perhaps the best known examples are the two sets of Slavonic Dances. Dvořák also wrote operas (the best known of which is Rusalka); serenades for string orchestra and wind ensemble; chamber music (including a number of string quartets, and quintets); songs; choral music; and piano music.
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.
Édith Piaf (19 December 1915—10 October 1963) was a French singer and cultural icon who "is almost universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer." Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being the ballads. Among her famous songs are "La vie en rose" (1946), "Hymne à l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960), and Padam Padam.
Edith Piaf's signature song "La vie en rose" was written in 1945 and was voted a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.
The legendary Paris Olympia concert hall is where Piaf achieved lasting fame, giving several series of concerts at the hall, the most famous venue in Paris, between January 1955 and October 1962. Excerpts from five of these concerts (1955, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962) were issued on record and CD and have never been out of print. The 1961 concerts were promised by Piaf in an effort to save the venue from bankruptcy and where she debuted her song "Non, je ne regrette rien". In April 1963, Piaf recorded her last song, "L'homme de Berlin".
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic-drama film that depicts the complex romantic and sexual relationship between two men in the American West from 1963 to 1983.
The film was directed by Taiwanese director Ang Lee from a screenplay by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, which they adapted from the short story "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx. The film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams.
Brokeback Mountain won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and was honored with Best Picture and Best Director accolades from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Golden Globe Awards, Critics Choice Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards among many other organizations and festivals. Brokeback Mountain had the most nominations (eight) for the 78th Academy Awards, where it won three: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. The film was widely considered to be a front runner for the Academy Award for Best Picture, but lost to Crash.
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.
Thomas Robert "Tom" Kitt (born 1974) is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator and musician. For his score for the musical Next to Normal, he shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Brian Yorkey. He also won the Tony Award and 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for American Idiot and Everyday Rapture.
Wicked is a musical with songs and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The story is based on the best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, a parallel novel of L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz.
Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West and her relationship with Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Their friendship struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, their reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's public fall from grace. The plot is set mostly before Dorothy's arrival from Kansas, and includes several references to well-known scenes and dialogue in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
The musical debuted on Broadway on October 30, 2003. It is produced by Universal Pictures and directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. Its original stars were Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. Although the production received mixed reviews and was panned by The New York Times, it has proved to be a favorite among patrons. The Broadway production's success spawned productions in Chicago, Los Angeles, London's West End, Tokyo, Melbourne, and Stuttgart, along with two North American tours that have visited over 30 cities in Canada and the United States.
The score of Wicked is heavily thematic, bearing in some senses more resemblance to a film score than a musical's score. While many musicals' scores develop new motifs and melodies for each song with little overlap, Schwartz integrated a handful of leitmotifs throughout the production. A cast recording of the original Broadway production was released on December 16, 2003, by Universal Music. All of the songs featured on stage are present on the recording with the exception of "The Wizard And I (Reprise)" and "The Wicked Witch of the East". The short reprise of "No One Mourns The Wicked" that opens Act II is attached to the beginning of "Thank Goodness". The music was arranged by Stephen Oremus, who was also the conductor and director, and James Lynn Abbott, with orchestrations by William David Brohn. The recording received the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 2005 and was certified platinum by the RIAA on November 30, 2006.
James Blunt (born James Hillier Blount, February 22, 1974) is an English singer-songwriter whose debut album, Back to Bedlam, and single releases — especially the number one hit "You're Beautiful" — brought him to fame in 2005. His style is a mix of pop, rock and folk. Along with vocals, James Blunt performs a variety of instruments, including piano and guitar. He is signed to Linda Perry's independent American label Custard Records. Blunt won two BRIT Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards, and was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2006. Blunt subsequently released his second album, All The Lost Souls, in 2007; this album was certified gold within its first week of release. The first single from his second album, "1973", was Blunt's first Global Number 1 in October 2007, beating "You're Beautiful" which peaked at Number 2 in the United World Chart.
Prior to embarking on a career in music, Blunt was an officer in the Life Guards, a reconnaissance regiment of the British Army, and served under NATO in Kosovo during the conflict in 1999. While posted to Kosovo, Blunt was introduced to the work of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders), a humanitarian aid group best known for its emergency medical care in conflict-torn regions. Since then, Blunt has supported MSF by holding meet-and-greet auctions at many of his concerts.
Blunt's primary residence is now on the Spanish island of Ibiza, where he wrote many of the songs on his second album.
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.
Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 â 5 December 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His over 600 compositions include works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.
Mozart's music, like Haydn's, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. His works spanned the period during which that style transformed from one exemplified by the style galant to one that began to incorporate some of the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque, complexities against which the galant style had been a reaction. Mozart's own stylistic development closely paralleled the development of the classical style as a whole. In addition, he was a versatile composer and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata. While none of these genres were new, the piano concerto was almost single-handedly developed and popularized by Mozart. He also wrote a great deal of religious music, including masses; and he composed many dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.
The central traits of the classical style can be identified in Mozart's music. Clarity, balance, and transparency are hallmarks of his work.
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.
Pink Floyd are an English rock band from Cambridge. The band initially earned recognition for their psychedelic and space rock music, and, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most successful acts, the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million albums in the United States alone. Pink Floyd have influenced progressive rock artists of the 1970s such as Genesis and Yes; and contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Dream Theater.
Pink Floyd had moderate mainstream success and were one of the most popular bands in the London underground music scene in the late 1960s as a psychedelic band led by Syd Barrett. However, Barrett's erratic behaviour eventually forced his colleagues to replace him with guitarist and singer David Gilmour. After Barrett's departure, singer and bass player Roger Waters gradually became the dominant and driving force in the group by the late-1970s, until his eventual departure from the group in 1985. The band recorded several albums, achieving worldwide success with The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979).
In 1985, Waters declared Pink Floyd "a spent force", but the remaining members, led by Gilmour, continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters sued them for the name and eventually they reached a settlement out of court, under which Gilmour, Mason and Wright would continue as Pink Floyd. They again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Waters performed with the band for the first time in 24 years on 2 July 2005 at the London Live 8 concert.
Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie (born August 16, 1958), known as Madonna, is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in Bay City, Michigan and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Madonna moved to New York City for a career in modern dance. After performing as member of the pop musical groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her self-titled debut album in 1983, and then produced three consecutive number-one studio albums on the Billboard 200 in the 1980s.
Madonna is known for her works that explore religious symbolism and sexual themes which also drew criticism from the Vatican in the late 1980s. In 1992, she founded an entertainment company, Maverick, which published a book of photographs (Sex). She also released a studio album (Erotica) and starred in a film (Body of Evidence) with erotic themes. These works generated negative publicity and coincided with a fall in commercial sales in the 1990s. Madonna's career was revived in 1998, when the release of her album Ray of Light garnered critical acclaim. She subsequently made four consecutive number-one studio albums.
Madonna has acted in 22 films. Although several failed critically and commercially, she earned a Golden Globe Award for her role in the 1996 film Evita. Divorced from actor Sean Penn, Madonna bore a daughter by personal trainer Carlos Leon before marrying film director Guy Ritchie. She and Richie have a son and in 2008 they adopted a second, Malawian David Banda, over media allegations they violated that country's adoption laws.
Rihanna (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty; February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, model and fashion designer. She is the second artist, and first female, from Barbados to have received a Grammy Award (the first being Jimmy Senya Haynes). Rihanna is currently signed to the Def Jam Recordings label. She has attained four Billboard Hot 100 number ones thus far ("SOS", "Umbrella", "Take a Bow", and "Disturbia"), tying her with Mariah Carey and Beyoncé as the female solo artist with the most number ones this decade.
Rihanna came to fame in 2005 with the release of her debut album Music of the Sun, which featured her breakthrough single "Pon de Replay". Less than a year later, Rihanna released A Girl Like Me and gave her first number one single, "SOS". In 2007, Rihanna released her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad. The album has yielded six hit singles including five worldwide number one singles "Umbrella", "Don't Stop the Music" and "Take A Bow". Since the release of her debut album, Rihanna has amassed eleven top 40 hit singles in the U.S.
Aziza Mustafa Zadeh (Azeri: Əzizə Mustafazadə; born December 19, 1969) also known as The Princess of Jazz, or Die Prinzessin des Jazz or as Jazziza is an Azerbaijani singer, pianist and composer who plays a fusion of jazz and mugam (a traditional improvisational style of Azerbaijan) with classical and Avant-garde influences. Reviewers have said that her style also shows some influence from Keith Jarrett. She currently resides in Mainz, Germany with her mother, Eliza Mustafa Zadeh, who is also her manager. Her two favorite leisure activities, she says, are painting and sleeping. She is a vegetarian. Since 1991, Aziza sold around 15 million albums worldwide.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the similarly titled first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Set in Middle-earth, the story tells of the Dark Lord Sauron (Sala Baker), who is seeking the One Ring (Alan Howard voice). The Ring has found its way to the young hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood). The fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance as Frodo and eight companions form the Fellowship of the Ring, and journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor: the only place where the Ring can be destroyed.
Released on December 19, 2001, the film was highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike, especially as many of the latter judged it to be sufficiently faithful to the original story. It was a box office success, earning over $870 million worldwide, and the second highest grossing film of 2001 in the U.S. and worldwide (behind Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) which made it the 5th highest grossing film ever at the time. Today it is the 14th highest grossing worldwide film of all time. It won five BAFTAs, including Best Film and Best Director. The Special Extended DVD Edition was released on November 12, 2002. In 2007, The Fellowship of the Ring was voted number 50 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 greatest American films. Also the AFI voted it the second greatest fantasy film of all time during their AFI's 10 Top 10 special.
The Goo Goo Dolls are a rock band formed in 1986 in Buffalo, New York by John Rzeznik and Robby Takac.
The Goo Goo Dolls have announced recording sessions for a new album, on their official website, unrelated to their Volume Two in 2008. In addition, the band performed as part of the O2 Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park this summer, at the Miller Lite Rock 'N Racing show at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during qualifying for the 2008 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, as well as performing a four show tour across England.
On July 2, 2008, the Goo Goo Dolls released a new single called "Real" to select iTunes stores, while it was released on the AT&T USA Olympic Team soundtrack to the remaining iTunes stores on August 8, 2008, coinciding with the start of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
John Rzeznik - Lead vocals, guitar, backing vocals
Robby Takac - Backing vocals, bass guitar, lead vocals
Mike Malinin - Drums, percussion
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."
Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American soft rock/Piano pop singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the Billboard top five, Grammy-nominated single "A Thousand Miles" from her debut album, Be Not Nobody which was released April 30, 2002, and certified platinum in the U.S.
Her music, along with that of her contemporary Michelle Branch to whom she is sometimes compared, has had an influence on female solo pop singer-songwriters in the 21st century, including Kate Voegele, Lights, Sara Bareilles (another piano pop artist), Colbie Caillat and Tristan Prettyman.
Carlton's second album, Harmonium (released November 9, 2004), debuted at number 33 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and had sold 179,000 copies as of February 2006, with the single "White Houses," peaking at 86 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She subsequently parted company from her record label A&M, though she still holds a dedicated fanbase.
Her third album, Heroes and Thieves, was released on October 9, 2007 by the The Inc./Universal Motown record labels.
Camp Rock is a 2008 Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM). The music is written by Julie Brown, Paul Brown, Regina Hicks and Karen Gist. The movie is directed by Matthew Diamond and produced by Alan Sacks.
Leonard Albert "Lenny" Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and arranger whose "retro" style incorporates elements of rock, soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, Folk, and ballads.
In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and percussion himself when recording. He won the Grammy Award for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance" four years in a row from 1999 to 2002. He has sold an estimated 32 millions albums worldwide.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813, Leipzig, Germany - 13 February 1883, Venice, Italy) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called). Unlike most other great opera composers, Wagner wrote both the scenario and libretto for his works.
Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for contrapuntal texture, rich chromaticism, harmonies and orchestration, and elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with particular characters, locales or plot elements. Wagner pioneered advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, which greatly influenced the development of European classical music.
He transformed musical thought through his idea of Gesamtkunstwerk ("total artwork"), the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, epitomized by his monumental four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (1876). To try to stage these works as he imagined them, Wagner built his own opera house.
Wagner's musical style is often considered the epitome of classical music's Romantic period, due to its unprecedented exploration of emotional expression. He introduced new ideas in harmony and musical form, including extreme chromaticism. In Tristan und Isolde, he explored the limits of the traditional tonal system that gave keys and chords their identity, pointing the way to atonality in the 20th century. Some music historians date the beginning of modern classical music to the first notes of Tristan, the so-called Tristan chord.
Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-generated comedy film, directed by John Lasseter and starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. The film was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and Buena Vista Distribution. It was written by Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, and Alec Sokolow, and featured music by Randy Newman.
The top-grossing film on its opening weekend, Toy Story went on to gross over $191 million in the United States during its initial theatrical release and took in more than $356M worldwide. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, praising both the technical innovation of the animation and the wit and sophistication of the screenplay.
In addition to DVD releases, Toy Story-inspired merchandise has run the gamut from video games and costumes to model trains and shoes. Buzz Lightyear's classic line "To infinity and beyond!" has seen usage not only on T-shirts, but among philosophers and mathematical theorists as well.
Toy Story is the original soundtrack album, on the Disney label, of the 1995 Academy Award-winning animated feature Toy Story.
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