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"My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary." Martin Luther
Joe Cocker
Joe Cocker
John Robert "Joe" Cocker, OBE (born 20 May 1944) is an English rock/blues musician, composer and actor who came to popularity in the 1960s, and is most known for his gritty voice, his idiosyncratic arm movements while performing, and his cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of The Beatles. He is the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his song "Up Where We Belong", a duet which he performed with Jennifer Warnes. He was ranked #97 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers list.
Isaac Albeniz
Isaac Albeniz
Isaac Albéniz i Pascual (Spanish pronunciation: ) (May 29, 1860 – May 18, 1909) was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music.

Albéniz’ Suite Española Op.47 is comprised mainly of pieces written in 1886, and grouped together in 1887 in honor of the Queen of Spain. Like many of Albéniz' piano pieces, these works are miniature tone pictures of different geographical regions and musical idioms of Spain. The eight original titles are Granada, Cataluna, Sevilla, Cadiz, Asturias, Aragon, Castilla and Cuba but only the first three titles and Cuba appeared in the original collection. The other pieces were published in later collections, often with different titles. The publisher Hofmeister published all eight titles of Suite Espanola in 1911 after Albéniz’ death, appropriating other pieces for the other four titles so those pieces do not always accurately reflect the geographic designation of the titles, most obviously in the case of Asturias (Leyenda) whose Andalusian flamenco rhythms bear little resemblance to the music of the northern province Asturias. The opus number 47 assigned by Hofmeister has no relation to any chronological order in Albéniz’ oeuvre, in which opus numbers were randomly given by publishers or by Albéniz himself, with some pieces appearing in more than one collection.
James P. Johnson
James P. Johnson
James P. Johnson (born James Price Johnson, also known as Jimmy Johnson; February 1, 1894 – November 17, 1955) was an American pianist and composer. A pioneer of the stride style of jazz piano, he was one of the most important pianists who bridged the ragtime and jazz eras, and, with Jelly Roll Morton, one of the two most important catalysts in the evolution of ragtime piano into jazz. As such, he was a model for Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, and Fats Waller.

Johnson composed many hit tunes including the theme song of the Roaring Twenties, "Charleston" and "If I Could be With You One Hour Tonight" and remained the acknowledged king of New York jazz pianists through most of the 1930s. Johnson's artistry, his significance in the subsequent development of jazz piano, and his large contribution to American musical theatre, are often overlooked, and as such, he has been referred to by Reed College musicologist David Schiff, as "The Invisible Pianist".
Water Babies
Water Babies
Jim Brickman
Jim Brickman
Jim Brickman (born November 20, 1961) is an American composer and pianist. Brickman is known for his solo piano compositions, which are classified as new age music. However, he is as well known for his original love songs and performing them with vocalists such as Martina McBride, Michael W. Smith, Michelle Wright and others.

His music career started when he was nineteen, when Jim Henson hired him to write tunes for Sesame Street. He was also hired to write commercial jingles while in college.

Brickman signed with Windham Hill Records to release his first album, No Words, in 1994. The song "Rocket To The Moon" from that album was the first solo instrumental song ever to be ranked on Billboard's charts. Four of his albums (By Heart, Picture This, The Gift, and Destiny) have all sold over 500,000 copies, qualifying them as gold records in the United States.

Brickman writes a wide variety of music. Besides his piano compositions and love songs, he has also created arrangements of other songs. Several of his albums feature arrangements of children's music; he has produced two Christmas-themed albums The Gift (1997) and Peace (2003); and his 2005 album Grace concentrates on arrangements of well-known Christian music.
Debussy
Debussy
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.
Rent
Rent
Rent is a rock musical, with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of the Bohemian East Village, under the shadow of AIDS.

Rent won a Tony Award for Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize, among other awards. In addition, its cast was unusually ethnically diverse. Rent brought controversial topics to a traditionally conservative medium, and it helped to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation. "Rent speaks to Generation X the way that the musical Hair spoke to the baby boomers or those who grew up in the 1960s, calling it "a rock opera for our time, a Hair for the 90s."

The musical was first seen at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1994. On January 26, 1996, Rent opened in New York City off-Broadway before moving to Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996. Rent has been successful on Broadway, where it had critical acclaim and word-of-mouth popularity. The Broadway production of Rent closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12 year run and 5,124 performances, making it the seventh-longest-running Broadway show. The production has grossed over $280 million. At the time of its closing, it was the second-longest-running musical currently on Broadway, eight years behind The Phantom of the Opera.
Vince Guaraldi
Vince Guaraldi
Vincent Anthony "Vince" Guaraldi (July 17, 1928 – February 6, 1976) was an Italian American jazz musician and pianist noted for his innovative compositions and arrangements and for composing music for animated adaptations of the Peanuts comic strip. Guaraldi was born in San Francisco, California. He graduated from Lincoln High School, attended San Francisco State University, and served as an Army cook in the Korean War.

While searching for just the right music to accompany a planned Peanuts television documentary, Lee Mendelson (the producer of the special) heard a single version of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi's trio on the radio while traveling in a taxicab on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Mendelson contacted Ralph J. Gleason, jazz columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and was put in touch with Guaraldi. He proposed that Guaraldi score the upcoming Peanuts Christmas special and Guaraldi enthusiastically took the job, performing a version of what became "Linus and Lucy" over the phone two weeks later. The soundtrack was recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, whose other members were Puzzy Firth standing in bassist for band member Fred Marshall, who was ill at the time, and drummer Jerry Granelli. Guaraldi went on to compose scores for sixteen Peanuts television specials, plus the feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown as well as the unaired television program of the same name.
Liz Callaway
Liz Callaway
Liz Callaway (born April 13, 1961) is an American actress and singer who provided the singing voices of many female characters in animated films, such as Anya/Anastasia in Anastasia, Odette in The Swan Princess, Jasmine in the Aladdin sequels The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves, and adult Kiara in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
Bach
Bach
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.
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935–August 16, 1977, middle name sometimes written Aron)a was an American singer, musician and actor. A cultural icon, he is commonly referred to as the "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" or "The King".

In 1954, Presley began his career as the first performer of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing "black" and "white" sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he has been inducted into four music halls of fame.

In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-one movies—mainly poorly reviewed, but financially successful, musicals. In 1968, he returned with acclaim to live music in a television special, and thereafter performed across the U.S., notably in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. Health problems, drug dependency and other factors led to his premature death at age 42.
Maroon 5
Maroon 5
Maroon 5 is a Grammy Award-winning American pop rock band. Formed with only two members at the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts and expanded in Los Angeles, the group comprises five members: Adam Levine (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), James Valentine (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Mickey Madden (bass guitar), and Matt Flynn (drums, percussion).
The Corrs
The Corrs
The Corrs are a Celtic folk rock group from Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. The group consists of the Corr siblings: Andrea (vocals, tin whistle); Sharon (violin, vocals); Caroline (drums, percussion, bodhrán, vocals); and Jim (guitar, keyboards, vocals).

The Corrs came to international prominence with their performance at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, they have released five studio albums and numerous singles, which have reached platinum in many countries. Talk on Corners, their most successful album to date, reached multi-platinum status in Australia and the UK.

The Corrs have been actively involved in philanthropic activities. They have performed in numerous charity concerts such as the Prince's Trust in 2004 and Live 8 alongside Bono in 2005. The same year, they were awarded honorary MBEs for their contributions to music and charity. The Corrs are on hiatus because Sharon, Jim, and Caroline are raising families, while Andrea is pursuing a solo career.
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
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.
Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Bocelli
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.
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music during the latter half of the 20th century , Wonder has recorded more than thirty top ten hits, won 26 Grammy Awards (a record for a solo artist), plus one for lifetime achievement, won an Academy Award for Best Song and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame. He has also been awarded the Polar Music Prize.

Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records as a pre-adolescent at age twelve, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day. He has nine U.S. number-one hits to his name (on the pop Charts, 20 U.S. R&B number one hits), and album sales totaling more than 150 million units. Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well. Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, organ, melodica, and clavinet. In his early career, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocals.
Rascal Flatts
Rascal Flatts
Rascal Flatts is an American Grammy Award-winning country music group founded in Nashville, Tennessee. Since its inception, Rascal Flatts has been composed of three members: Gary LeVox (lead vocals), Jay DeMarcus (bass guitar, vocals), and Joe Don Rooney (lead guitar, vocals). DeMarcus and LeVox are also second cousins.

Rascal Flatts has released five studio albums and a live compilation to date, all on Lyric Street Records. Their first two albums, 2000's Rascal Flatts and 2002's Melt, have been certified 2× Multi-Platinum and 3× Multi-Platinum, respectively, in the United States, while 2004's Feels Like Today and 2006's Me and My Gang have received 5× Multi-Platinum and 4× Multi-Platinum certifications respectively. 2007's Still Feels Good, their most recent album, is certified 2× Multi-Platinum.

To date, they have also released twenty-two singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts; of these, eight have reached Number One. A cover of Tom Cochrane's "Life Is a Highway", from the soundtrack to the 2006 film Cars, also entered the country music charts from unsolicited airplay.
Billy Preston
Billy Preston
William Everett Preston (September 2, 1946 – June 6, 2006) was an American musician whose work included R&B, rock, soul, funk, and gospel. Preston was a top session keyboardist in the 1960s, during which he backed artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and the Beatles. He then went on to achieve fame as a solo artist, with hit pop singles including "That's the Way God Planned It", "Outa-Space", "Will It Go Round in Circles", "Space Race", and "Nothing from Nothing". Additionally, Preston co-wrote "You Are So Beautiful", which became a number 5 hit for Joe Cocker; Stephen Stills asked Preston if he could use his phrase "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" and created the hit song.

Preston was the only musician to be credited on a Beatles recording other than the group's four members: the group's number-one hit "Get Back" is credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston". Preston continued to record and perform with other artists, notably George Harrison after the Beatles' break-up, and Eric Clapton, and he played keyboards for the Rolling Stones on many of the group's albums and tours during the 1970s.
Final fantasy IV
Final fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV (ファイナルファンタジーIV Fainaru Fantajī Fō, also known as Final Fantasy II for its initial North American release) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Released in 1991, it is the fourth main installment of the Final Fantasy series. The game's story follows Cecil, a dark knight, as he tries to prevent the sorcerer Golbez from seizing powerful crystals and destroying the world. He is joined on this quest by a frequently changing group of allies. Final Fantasy IV introduced innovations that became staples of the Final Fantasy series and role-playing games in general. Its "Active Time Battle" system was used in five subsequent Final Fantasy games, and unlike prior games in the series, IV gave each character their own unchangeable character class.

Final Fantasy IV has been ported to several other platforms with varying differences. An enhanced remake, also called Final Fantasy IV, with 3D graphics was released for the Nintendo DS in 2007 and 2008. The game was re-titled Final Fantasy II during its initial release outside Japan as the original Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III had not been released outside Japan at the time. However, later localizations used the original title.

With its character-driven plot, use of new technologies and critically acclaimed score by Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy IV is regarded as a landmark of the series and the role-playing genre. The various incarnations of the game have sold more than four million copies worldwide. A sequel, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, was released for Japanese mobile phones in 2008, and worldwide via the Wii Shop Channel on June 1, 2009. In 2011, both Final Fantasy IV and The After Years were released for the PlayStation Portable as part of the compilation Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection, which also included a new game, set between the two; Final Fantasy IV: Interlude. Ports of the Nintendo DS remake were released for iOS in 2012, for Android in 2013 and for Windows in 2014.
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX (ファイナルファンタジーIX Fainaru Fantajī Nain) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation video game console. Originally released in 2000, it is the ninth title in the Final Fantasy series and last to debut on the original PlayStation console. In 2010, it was re-released as a PSone Classics title on the PlayStation Network. The game introduced new features to the series like the "Active Time Event", "Mognet", and a unique equipment and skill system.

Final Fantasy IX's plot at first centers on a war between nations in a medieval fantasy world called Gaia. Players follow bandit Zidane Tribal after the thief troupe to which he belongs is hired to kidnap Garnet Til Alexandros XVII, the princess of Alexandria. He goes on to team up with Garnet and a growing cast of characters on a quest to take down Queen Brahne of Alexandria, the one responsible for starting the war. The plot shifts, however, when it is revealed that Brahne was only working alongside a much more menacing threat, Kuja, who shares a mysterious history with Zidane spanning two worlds.

Final Fantasy IX was developed alongside Final Fantasy VIII, but took a different approach by returning to the more traditional style of the early Final Fantasy games. Consequently, Final Fantasy IX was influenced significantly by the original Final Fantasy game, and features allusions to other titles in the series. It was released to critical acclaim and holds the highest Metacritic score of all Final Fantasy installments. Final Fantasy IX was commercially successful, selling over five million units worldwide by March 2003. Ports for iOS and Android were released in February 2016, while a port for Microsoft Windows was released in April 2016.
G.F. Haendel
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI, also known as Final Fantasy III for its initial North American release, is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Released in 1994, it is the sixth title in the mainline Final Fantasy series. Set in a fantasy world with a technology level equivalent to that of the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's story focuses on a group of rebels as they seek to overthrow an imperial dictatorship. The game features fourteen permanent playable characters, the most of any game in the main series.

It was ported by Tose with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation in 1999 and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance in 2006, and it was released for the Wii's Virtual Console in 2011. The game was known as Final Fantasy III when it was first released in North America, as the original Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, and Final Fantasy V had not been released outside Japan at the time (leaving IV as the second title released outside Japan and VI as the third). However, most later localizations used the original title. Final Fantasy VI was the first game in the series to be directed by someone other than producer and series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was filled instead by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito. Yoshitaka Amano, a long-time contributor to the Final Fantasy series, returned as the image and character designer, while regular composer Nobuo Uematsu wrote the game's score, which has been released on several soundtrack albums.
Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
Hans Florian Zimmer (born September 12, 1957) is a German film score composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including Hollywood blockbusters such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Gladiator, The Lion King, The Da Vinci Code and The Dark Knight.

Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios, and works with other composers through the company which he founded, Remote Control Productions. His work is notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements.
Dario Marianelli
Dario Marianelli
Dario Marianelli (born June 21, 1963 in Pisa, Italy) is a composer of piano, orchestral, and film music. He has composed the soundtracks for The Brothers Grimm (2005), Pride & Prejudice (2005), and Atonement (2007), the last two for which he received Oscar nominations for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score. He has won Best Original Score for the score of Atonement at the 80th Academy Awards and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. He has collaborated with Joe Wright three times, on Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and The Soloist.
Gary Moore
Gary Moore
Robert William Gary Moore (4 April 1952 – 6 February 2011) was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer, songwriter, and virtuoso rock and blues guitarist.

In a career dating back to the 1960s, Moore played with musicians including Phil Lynott and Brian Downey during his teenage years, leading him to memberships of the Irish bands Skid Row and Thin Lizzy, and British band Colosseum II. Moore shared the stage with such blues and rock musicians as B.B. King, Albert King, John Mayall, Jack Bruce, Albert Collins, George Harrison, and Greg Lake, as well as having a successful solo career. He guested on a number of albums recorded by high-profile musicians.
Delibes
Delibes
Clément Philibert Léo Delibes (21 February 1836 – 16 January 1891) was a French composer of ballets, operas, and other works for the stage.
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V (ファイナルファンタジーV Fainaru Fantajī Faibu) is a medieval-fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1992 as a part of the Final Fantasy series. The game first appeared only in Japan on Nintendo's Super Famicom (known internationally as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System). It has been ported with minor differences to Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. An original video animation produced in 1994 called Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals serves as a sequel to the events depicted in the game. It was released for the PlayStation Network on April 6, 2011 in Japan. An enhanced port of the game, with new high resolution graphics and a touch-based interface, was released for iPhone and iPad on March 28, 2013, and for Android on September 25, 2013.

The game begins as a wanderer named Bartz investigates a fallen meteor. There, he encounters several characters, one of whom reveals the danger facing the four Crystals that control the world's elements. These Crystals act as a seal on Exdeath, an evil sorcerer. Bartz and his party must keep the Crystals from being exploited by Exdeath's influence and prevent his resurgence.

Final Fantasy V has been praised for the freedom of customization that the player has over the characters, achieved through the greatly expanded Job System. Despite being released only in Japan, the Super Famicom version sold more than two million copies. The PlayStation version has earned "Greatest Hits" status, selling more than 350,000 copies.
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII (ファイナルファンタジーVIII Fainaru Fantajī Eito) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1999, it is the eighth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Set on an unnamed fantasy world with science fiction elements, the game follows a group of young mercenaries, led by Squall Leonhart, as they are drawn into a conflict sparked by the sorceress Edea. After defeating Edea, the protagonists learn that she was under the control of Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time. During the quest to defeat Ultimecia, Squall struggles with his role as leader and develops a romance with one of his comrades, Rinoa Heartilly.

Development began in 1997, during the English localization of Final Fantasy VII. The game builds on the visual changes brought to the series by Final Fantasy VII, including use 3D graphics and pre-rendered backgrounds, while also departing from many Final Fantasy traditions. It is the first Final Fantasy to use realistically proportioned characters consistently, feature a vocal piece as its theme music, forego the use of magic points for spellcasting, and deviate from the series' traditional means of increasing a character's power.

Final Fantasy VIII was mostly well received by critics, who praised its originality and visuals while criticizing some of its gameplay elements. It was voted the 22nd-best game of all time in 2006 by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. The game was a commercial success; 13 weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than US$50 million in sales, making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy title until Final Fantasy XIII, a multi-platform release. It was later ported to Windows-based personal computers and became available on PlayStation Network as a PSone Classics title in 2009. As of December 2013, it has sold more than 8.5 million copies worldwide.
Daft Punk
Daft Punk
Daft Punk is an electronic music duo consisting of French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (born February 8, 1974) and Thomas Bangalter (born January 3, 1975). Daft Punk reached significant popularity in the late 1990s house movement in France and met with continued success in the years following, combining elements of house with synthpop. The duo is also credited with producing songs that are considered essential in the French house scene. They were managed from 1996 to 2008 by Pedro Winter (Busy P), the head of Ed Banger Records. Early in the group's career, the band members were strongly influenced by groups such as The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo were originally in a band called Darlin', which disbanded after a short period of time, leaving the two to experiment musically on their own.
The duo became Daft Punk, and released their critically acclaimed debut album Homework in 1997. The 2001 release Discovery was even more successful, driven by the club singles "One More Time", "Digital Love" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". In March 2005, the duo released the album Human After All to mixed reviews. However, the singles "Robot Rock" and "Technologic" achieved success in the United Kingdom. Daft Punk toured throughout 2006 and 2007 and released the live album Alive 2007, which won a Grammy award for Best Electronic/Dance Album. The duo composed the score of the film Tron: Legacy and in 2010 released the soundtrack album of the film. Daft Punk are noted for their elaborate live shows, in which visual elements and effects are incorporated with the music. The group is also known for its emphasis on visual and story components associated with their musical productions, as well as for wearing disguises, most notably, ornate robot costumes in public and while performing.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1997, it is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in the West by Sony Computer Entertainment, becoming the first in the series to be released in Europe. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop the world-controlling megacorporation, Shinra, from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a superhuman intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.

Development on Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 for the Super NES. After delays and technical difficulties from experimenting on several platforms, Square ultimately moved development to the PlayStation, largely due to the advantages of the CD-ROM format. Veteran series staff returned, including series creator and producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, director Yoshinori Kitase, and composer Nobuo Uematsu. The title became the first in the series to use full motion video and 3D computer graphics, with most scenes using character models superimposed over pre-rendered backgrounds. Although the gameplay systems remained mostly unchanged from previous entries, Final Fantasy VII featured science fiction elements with a more realistic presentation. The scale of development was unprecedented at the time, with a combined development and marketing budget of over USD$80 million, and a staff of over 100.
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande-Butera (born June 26, 1993), known as Ariana Grande (/ˌɑːriˈɑːnə ˈɡrɑːndeɪ/), is an American singer and actress. She began her career in 2008 in the Broadway musical 13, before playing the role of Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television series Victorious for four seasons, and in the spinoff, Sam & Cat, for two seasons until 2014. She has also appeared in other theatre and television roles, and has lent her voice to animated television and films.

Grande's music career began with the soundtrack Music from Victorious (2011). She released her debut studio album, Yours Truly, in 2013, which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. The album's lead single, "The Way", debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, with critics comparing her wide vocal range to that of Mariah Carey.

Grande's second studio album, My Everything (2014), debuted at number one in the US and charted in the top 10 in 24 other countries. With the lead single "Problem" and several others from that album, she was continuously in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 for 34 weeks and had the most top 10 singles of any artist in 2014. In 2015, Grande promoted My Everything with her first world tour, The Honeymoon Tour, and released a holiday EP, Christmas & Chill. In 2016, she released her third studio album, Dangerous Woman. The title track debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Grande the first person in the history of that chart whose lead single from each of her first three albums debuted in the top 10. The album released at number two on the Billboard 200. In 2017, Grande is giving her international Dangerous Woman Tour.

As of June 2017, Grande's music videos had been viewed a total of more than eight billion times online. Her accolades include three American Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award and four Grammy Award nominations. All three of her albums have been certified platinum by the RIAA. She has supported a range of charities and has a large following on social media; she is the second most followed person on Instagram. In 2016, Time named Grande one of the 100 most influential people in the world on their annual list.
Handel
Handel
George Frideric Handel (Friday, 23 February 1685 - Saturday, 14 April 1759) was a German-born Baroque composer who is famous for his operas, oratorios and concerti grossi. Born as Georg Friedrich Handel in Halle, he spent most of his adult life in England, becoming a subject of the British crown on 22 January 1727. His most famous works are Messiah, an oratorio set to texts from the King James Bible; Water Music; and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Strongly influenced by the techniques of the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the English composer Henry Purcell, his music was known to many significant composers who came after him, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Handel's compositions include 42 operas; 29 oratorios; more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets; numerous arias; chamber music; a large number of ecumenical pieces; odes and serenatas; and sixteen organ concerti. His most famous work, the Messiah oratorio with its "Hallelujah" chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music and has become a centerpiece of the Christmas season. Also popular are the Opus 3 and 6 Concerti Grossi, as well as "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale", in which birds are heard calling during passages played in different keys representing the vocal ranges of two birds. Also notable are his sixteen keyboard suites, especially The Harmonious Blacksmith.

Handel introduced various previously uncommon musical instruments in his works: the viola d'amore and violetta marina (Orlando), the lute (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), three trombones (Saul), clarinets or small high cornets (Tamerlano), theorbo, French horn (Water Music), lyrichord, double bassoon, viola da gamba, bell chimes, positive organ, and harp (Giulio Cesare, Alexander's Feast).
Ary Barroso
Ary Barroso
Ary Barroso (November 7, 1903 in Ubá, Minas Gerais — February 9, 1964 in Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian composer, pianist, soccer commentator, and talent-show host on radio and TV. He was one of Brazil's most successful songwriters in the first half of the 20th century.
Mozart
Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 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.
Ernesto Lecuona
Ernesto Lecuona
Ernesto Lecuona y Casado (Spanish pronunciation: ; August 6, 1895 – November 29, 1963) was a Cuban composer and pianist of worldwide fame. He composed over six hundred pieces, mostly in the Cuban vein, and was a pianist of exceptional skill. His father was Canarian and his mother was Cuban.
Wagner
Wagner
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.
Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera
Christina María Aguilera (born December 18, 1980) is an American R&B/pop singer and songwriter. She was signed to RCA Records after recording "Reflection" A Latin pop album, Mi Reflejo, and several collaborations followed which garnered Aguilera worldwide success, but she was displeased with the lack of input in her music and image.

After parting from her management, Aguilera took creative control over her second studio album Stripped (2002), Aguilera's third studio album Back to Basics (2006), included elements of soul, jazz, and blues music, and was released to positive critical reception.

Aguilera is currently in the studio working on her forthcoming album. Aguilera's work has earned her numerous awards including five Grammy Awards amongst eighteen nominations. She has become one of the most successful recording artists of the decade, racking up sales of more than 37 million albums worldwide.
James Horner
James Horner
James Roy Horner (born August 14, 1953) is an award winning American composer, orchestrator and conductor of orchestral and film music. He is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for frequent use of Celtic musical elements.

In a career that spans over three decades, Horner has composed several of Hollywood's most famous film scores. He is probably best known for his critically acclaimed works on the 1997 film Titanic, which remains today the best selling film soundtrack of all time. Other popular works include Braveheart, Apollo 13, The Mask of Zorro, and The Legend of Zorro.

Horner is a two time Academy Award winner, and has received a total of 11 nominations. He has won numerous other awards, including the Golden Globe Award and the Grammy Award.
Joel Shoemake
Sister Act
Sister Act
Sister Act is a 1992 American comedy film released by Touchstone Pictures. Directed by Emile Ardolino, it features musical arrangements by Marc Shaiman and stars Whoopi Goldberg as a Reno lounge singer who has been put under protective custody in a San Francisco convent and has to pretend to be a nun when a mob boss puts her on his hit list. Also in the cast are Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy, Wendy Makkena, Mary Wickes, and Harvey Keitel. The film is #83 on Bravo's The 100 Funniest Movies list.

The film was followed by a 1993 sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. It also inspired a musical stage version that premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California in 2006.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer of musical theatre, the elder son of organist William Lloyd Webber and brother of the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Lloyd Webber started composing at the age of six, and published his first piece at the age of nine.
Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success, with several musicals that have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards (and 40 nominations), three Grammy Awards (with an additional 60 nominations), an Academy Award (two other nominations), seven Olivier Awards (with 100 nominations), a Golden Globe, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London.
Producers in several parts of the UK have staged productions, including national tours, of Lloyd Webber's musicals under licence from the Really Useful Group. According to britishhitsongwriters.com, he is the one hundredth most successful songwriter in U.K. singles chart history, based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart.
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Joshua Sondheim (born March 22, 1930) is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film. He is the winner of an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards (nine, more than any other composer) including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre (received 2008), multiple Grammy Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize. He has been described as "the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theatre." His most famous scores include (as composer/lyricist) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and Assassins, as well as the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. He was president of the Dramatists Guild from 1973 to 1981.
Jeff Blumenkrantz
Jeff Blumenkrantz
Jeff Blumenkrantz is an actor, composer and lyricist. Born and raised in New Jersey, Blumenkrantz is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Communication.
Hillsong United
Hillsong United
The Hillsong United band is an Australian rock and worship band, a part of Hillsong Church's youth ministry Hillsong United. Their music is a contemporary style of praise and worship tempered with mainstream rock.

Current members of the Hillsong United band include Jonathon Douglass (J.D.), Jadwin "Jad" Gillies, Holly Watson, Annie Garratt, Bec Gillies, and Michelle Fragar, daughter of Russell Fragar. Michael Guy Chislett plays guitar and Matthew Tennikoff plays bass guitar. Former original drummer Luke Munns made a transition from the drums to front the rock/indie band LUKAS. Popular New Zealand artist Brooke Fraser recently joined the band when she joined the church, first appearing on United We Stand.

The annual Hillsong United CD/DVD was recorded over many years during their October youth conference Encounterfest, with the album released in the first quarter of the following year. The 2007 album All of the Above was the first album to be fully studio recorded, containing videos of songs on the DVD. The band has toured in a number of countries, leading worship to thousands in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Gabriel Yared
Gabriel Yared
Gabriel Yared (born 7 October 1949) is a Lebanese award winning composer, best known for his work in French and American cinema.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, his work in France included the scores for Betty Blue and Camille Claudel. He later began working on English language films, particularly those directed by Anthony Minghella. He won an Oscar for his work on The English Patient (1996) and was also nominated for The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and Cold Mountain (2003).

In 2004, Yared's score to the movie Troy (which he had spent nearly a year working on) was rejected (less than a month before the film's opening) due to the poor reception by an audience at a test screening. The test audience were said to have found Yared's music too 'brassy and bold'. James Horner was then hired to create a replacement score in less than two weeks.

Yared expressed his dismay at the score's rejection in an open letter which was posted on his website. He said that the score which the test audience had heard was not yet finished or mixed properly, and that the studio had given him no opportunity to alter his score in light of the audience reaction.

Warner Bros. studio still currently owns the rights to Yared's Troy score and an official recording is not currently available and may never be (although selections from the score were briefly posted on Yared's website and bootleg versions are available for download on the web). Recently, due to contract holes, a German music label has released a CD with Gabriel Yared's original score.
Chopin
Chopin
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.
Liszt
Liszt
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.

Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American pianist and composer.

His career started with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in both classical music and jazz, as a group leader and a solo performer. His improvisation technique combines not only jazz, but also other forms of music, especially classical, gospel, blues and ethnic folk music.

In 2003 he received the Polar Music Prize, being the first (and to this day only) recipient not sharing the prize with anyone else.
Nina Simone
Nina Simone
Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist who worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.
Craig Carnelia
Craig Carnelia
Craig Carnelia (born 1949) is an American musical theater composer and singer, known for his collaboration on the musicals Working and Sweet Smell of Success.
Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Lawrence Schwartz (born March 6, 1948) is an American musical theater lyricist and composer. In a career already spanning over four decades, Schwartz has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003). He has also contributed lyrics for a number of successful films, including Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), The Prince of Egypt (1998; music and lyrics) and Enchanted (2007). Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy Awards, and three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards.
Blink-182
Blink-182
Blink-182 was an American pop punk In 1998, midway through a U.S. tour, drummer Travis Barker replaced Raynor. DeLonge left the group in early 2005, with the band portraying it as an "indefinite hiatus". DeLonge went on to play alternative rock in a band called Angels & Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker continued in a similar genre with their band +44.

Blink-182 were known for their catchy, simple melodies, teen angst and lyrical toilet humor. DeLonge cites punk rock bands The Descendents and Screeching Weasel as influences, although the band's songwriting and production were driven by a pop sensibility. The band was primarily known for popular hits such as "Dammit", "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things", "Adam's Song", "The Rock Show", "First Date", "Stay Together for the Kids", "Feeling This" and "I Miss You".
Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette
Alanis Nadine Morissette (born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-born singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has won 12 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, and has sold over 55 million albums worldwide. Morissette began her career in Canada, and as a teenager recorded two dance-pop albums, Alanis and Now Is the Time, under MCA Records. Her international debut album was the rock-influenced Jagged Little Pill, which remains the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S., and the highest selling debut album worldwide in music history, selling 30 million records worlwide. According to RIAA and United World Charts, Alanis is the biggest selling female rock artist in music. Her following album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998 and was a success as well. Morissette took up producing duties for her subsequent albums, which include Under Rug Swept, So-Called Chaos and latest release Flavors of Entanglement. In February 2005, Morissette became a naturalized citizen of the United States while maintaining her Canadian citizenship.
P. Diddy
P. Diddy
Sean Combs (born November 4, 1969), known by his stage names Puff Daddy, Diddy, P. Diddy and Puffy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, men's fashion designer, entrepreneur and dancer. He won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards.

He was originally known as Puff Daddy and then as P. Diddy (Puff and Puffy being often used as a nickname, but never as recording names). In August 2005, he changed his stage name to simply "Diddy". He continues to use the name P. Diddy in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the latter after a legal battle with another artist, Richard "Diddy" Dearlove. In June 2008 Combs' representative denied rumors of another name change.

His business interests include Bad Boy Records, the clothing lines Sean John and Sean by Sean Combs, a movie production company, and two restaurants. He has taken the roles of recording executive, performer, producer of MTV's Making the Band, writer, arranger, clothing designer, and Broadway actor. Combs is one of the richest hip-hop performers, having a net worth estimated at US $346 million in 2006.
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