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"It was Elvis who really got me hooked on beat music. When I heard "Heartbreak Hotel" I thought, this is it." Paul McCartney
Puccini
Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22, 1858 – November 29, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas, including La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La Bohème, and "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular culture.

The subject of Puccini's style is one that has been long avoided by musicologists; this avoidance can perhaps be attributed to the perception that his work, with its emphasis on melody and evident popular appeal, lacked "seriousness" (a similar prejudice beset Rachmaninoff during his lifetime). Despite the place Puccini clearly occupies in the popular tradition of Verdi, his style of orchestration also shows the strong influence of Wagner, matching specific orchestral configurations and timbres to different dramatic moments. His operas contain an unparalleled manipulation of orchestral colors, with the orchestra often creating the scene’s atmosphere.

The structures of Puccini's works are also noteworthy. While it is to an extent possible to divide his operas into arias or numbers (like Verdi's), his scores generally present a very strong sense of continuous flow and connectivity, perhaps another sign of Wagner’s influence. Like Wagner, Puccini used leitmotifs to connote characters (or combinations of characters). This is apparent in Tosca, where the three chords which signal the beginning of the opera are used throughout to announce Scarpia. Several motifs are also linked to Mimi and the Bohemians in La Bohème and to Cio-Cio-San's eventual suicide in Butterfly. Unlike Wagner, though, Puccini's motifs are static: where Wagner's motifs develop into more complicated figures as the characters develop, Puccini's remain more or less identical throughout the opera (in this respect anticipating the themes of modern musical theatre).
Luciano Berio
Luciano Berio
Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (October 24, 1925 – May 27, 2003) was an Italian composer. He is noted for his experimental work (in particular his 1968 composition Sinfonia for voices and orchestra and his series of numbered solo pieces titled Sequenza) and also for his pioneering work in electronic music.

Berio's electronic work dates for the most part from his time at Milan's Studio di Fonologia. One of the most influential works he produced there was Thema (Omaggio a Joyce) (1958), based on Cathy Berberian reading from James Joyce's Ulysses. A later work, Visage (1961) sees Berio creating a wordless emotional language by cutting up and rearranging a recording of Cathy Berberian's voice.

In 1968, Berio completed O King a work which exists in two versions: one for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, the other for eight voices and orchestra. The piece is in memory of Martin Luther King, who had been assassinated shortly before its composition. In it, the voice(s) intones first the vowels, and then the consonants which make up his name, only stringing them together to give his name in full in the final bars.

The orchestral version of O King was, shortly after its completion, integrated into what is perhaps Berio's most famous work, Sinfonia (1967–69), for orchestra and eight amplified voices. The voices are not used in a traditional classical way; they frequently do not sing at all, but speak, whisper and shout. The third movement is a collage of literary and musical quotations. A-Ronne (1974) is similarly collaged, but with the focus more squarely on the voice. It was originally written as a radio program for five actors, and reworked in 1975 for eight vocalists and an optional keyboard part. The work is one of a number of collaborations with the poet Edoardo Sanguineti, who for this piece provided a text full of quotations from sources including the Bible, T. S. Eliot and Karl Marx.
Queen
Queen
Queen were an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor, with bass guitarist John Deacon completing the lineup the following year. While it is uncertain how many albums the band has sold, estimations range from 130 million to over 300 million albums worldwide.

The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.

Queen had moderate success in the early 1970s, with the albums Queen and Queen II, but it was with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year that the band gained international success. They have released fifteen studio albums, five live albums, and numerous compilation albums. Eighteen of these have reached number one on charts around the world.

Following Mercury's death in 1991 and Deacon's retirement later in the decade, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2005 they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers.
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.
Wicked
Wicked
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.
Sting
Sting
Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, CBE (born October 2, 1951), better known by his stage name Sting, is a three time Academy Award-nominated and multiple Grammy-winning English musician from Wallsend in North Tyneside. Prior to starting his solo career, he was the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist of the rock band The Police. As a solo musician and member of The Police, Sting has sold over 100 million records, and received over sixteen Grammy Awards for his work, receiving his first Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1981, and receiving an Oscar nomination for best song.

Sting has stated that he gained his nickname while with the Phoenix Jazzmen. He once performed wearing a black and yellow sweater with hooped stripes that bandleader Gordon Solomon had noted made him look like a bumblebee; thus Sumner became "Sting". He uses Sting almost exclusively, except on official documents. In a press conference filmed in the movie Bring on the Night, he jokingly stated when referred to by a journalist as Gordon, "My children call me Sting, my mother calls me Sting, who is this Gordon character?"
Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

The grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, he was born into a notable Jewish family, although he himself was brought up initially without religion, and later as a Lutheran. He was recognized early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his abilities. Indeed his father was disinclined to allow Felix to follow a musical career until it became clear that he intended to seriously dedicate himself to it.

Early success in Germany was followed by travel throughout Europe; Mendelssohn was particularly well received in England as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there, during which many of his major works were premiered, form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes however set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Liszt, Wagner and Berlioz. The Conservatory he founded at Leipzig became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook.

Mendelssohn's work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano and chamber music. He also had an important role in the revival of interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality is now being recognized and re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.
Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman
Richard Morton Sherman (born June 12, 1928) is an American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Robert B. Sherman. According to the official Walt Disney Company website and independent fact checkers, "the Sherman Brothers were responsible for more motion picture musical song scores than any other songwriting team in film history."

Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into live action and animation musical films including: Mary Poppins, The Happiest Millionaire, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Snoopy Come Home, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Slipper and the Rose, and Charlotte's Web.
Alexandre Guilmant
Alexandre Guilmant
Félix-Alexandre Guilmant (12 March 1837 – 29 March 1911) was a French organist and composer.
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah Ann McLachlan, OC, OBC (born January 28, 1968) is a Grammy-winning Canadian musician, singer and songwriter.

She is known for the emotional sound of her ballads. Some of her most popular songs include "Angel", "Building a Mystery", "Adia", "Possession", "Fallen", "I Will Remember You", and "World on Fire". As of 2006, she has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won eight Juno Awards and three Grammy Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians in the late 1990s.

Her 1991 album, Solace, was her mainstream breakthrough in Canada, spawning the hit singles "The Path of Thorns (Terms)" and "Into the Fire". Solace also marked the beginning of her partnership with Pierre Marchand. Marchand and McLachlan have been collaborators ever since, with Marchand producing all of McLachlan's albums and occasionally co-writing songs.

1994's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was an immediate smash hit in Canada. From her Nettwerk connection, her piano version of the song "Possession" was included on the first Due South soundtrack in 1996. Over the next two years, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy quietly became McLachlan's international breakthrough as well, scaling the charts in a number of countries.

Following the success from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, McLachlan returned in 1997 with Surfacing, her best selling album to date. Earning her two Grammy awards and four Junos, the album has since sold over 11 million copies worldwide and brought her much international success
Take 6
Take 6
Take 6 is an American a cappella gospel sextet formed in 1980 on the campus of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. The group integrates jazz with spiritual and inspirational lyrics. Take 6 has received Grammy Awards as well as Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award and nominations for the NAACP Image Award. The band has worked with Ray Charles, Nnenna Freelon, Gordon Goodwin, Don Henley, Whitney Houston, Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones, k.d. lang, Queen Latifah, The Manhattan Transfer, Brian McKnight, Luis Miguel, Marcus Miller, Joe Sample, Ben Tankard, CeCe Winans, Stevie Wonder and Jacob Collier. All original members grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Jonas Brothers
Jonas Brothers
Jonas Brothers is an American pop rock band from Wyckoff, New Jersey made up of three brothers: Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, and Nick Jonas. They have released three albums: It's About Time (2006), Jonas Brothers (2007), and A Little Bit Longer (2008).
Diana Krall
Diana Krall
Diana Jean Krall, (born November 16, 1964) is a Canadian jazz pianist and singer.

Krall was born into a musical family in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. She began learning the piano at the age of four. In high school, she started playing in a small jazz group. When she was 15 she started playing regularly in several Nanaimo restaurants.

At age seventeen she won a scholarship from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and completed three terms.

In Nanaimo her playing attracted the attention of famed bass player Ray Brown (ex-husband of the late Ella Fitzgerald, long-time member of the Oscar Peterson Trio and Grammy-winning composer) and drummer Jeff Hamilton. After hearing her play, Brown and Hamilton persuaded Krall to move to Los Angeles, and study with pianist Jimmy Rowles, with whom she began to sing. This also brought her into contact with influential teachers and producers. In 1990, Krall relocated to New York.

Oscar Hammerstein
Oscar Hammerstein
Oscar Greeley Clendenning Ritter von Hammerstein II (/ˈhæmərstaɪn/; July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and (usually uncredited) theatre director of musicals for almost 40 years. He won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Many of his songs are standard repertoire for vocalists and jazz musicians. He co-wrote 850 songs.

Hammerstein was the lyricist and playwright in his partnerships; his collaborators wrote the music. Hammerstein collaborated with numerous composers, such as Jerome Kern, with whom he wrote Show Boat, Vincent Youmans, Rudolf Friml, Richard A. Whiting, and Sigmund Romberg, but he is best known for his collaborations with Richard Rodgers, as the duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, whose collaborations include Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) is an American band that has spanned the musical genres of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, Latin, and Afro pop. They have been described as one of the most innovative and commercially successful bands of all time. Rolling Stone called them "innovative, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing" and declared that the band "changed the sound of black pop".

The band was founded in Chicago by Maurice White in 1970, having grown out of a previous band known as the Salty Peppers. Other members have included Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Fred White, Ralph Johnson, Larry Dunn, Al McKay and Andrew Woolfolk. The band has received 20 Grammy nominations; they won six as a group and two of its members, Maurice White and Bailey, won separate individual awards. Earth, Wind & Fire has 12 American Music Awards nominations and four awards. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and have sold over 90 million records, making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time.

Five members of Earth, Wind & Fire were also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame: Maurice White, Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Larry Dunn, and Al McKay. The band received Lifetime Achievement awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award – 2002), NAACP (Hall of Fame – 1994), and the BET Awards (Lifetime Achievement Award – 2002).

Earth, Wind & Fire is known for its horn section, energetic and elaborate stage shows, and the contrast between Philip Bailey's falsetto vocals and Maurice White's baritone. Of the band's songs two have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame being "That's the Way of the World" in 2004 and "Shining Star" in 2007. As well Earth, Wind & Fire also went on to be bestowed with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Earth, Wind & Fire is the first African-American act to sell out Madison Square Garden and to receive the MSG Gold Ticket Award. As well the band went on to be bestowed with the 2012 Congressional Horizon Award.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American rock and roll and country music singer, songwriter and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and his pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #24 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2003, they listed his box set All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology #242 on their list of "500 greatest albums of all time".
Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. According to Billboard magazine, she was the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States.

Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001, and she was dropped by Virgin Records the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to pop music in 2005.

Carey was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards. She has had the most number-one singles for a solo artist in the United States (eighteen; second artist overall behind The Beatles), where, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female and sixteenth overall recording artist. In addition to her commercial accomplishments, Carey has earned five Grammy Awards, and is well-known for her vocal range, power, melismatic style, and use of the whistle register.
Once on This Island
Once on This Island
Once on This Island is a one-act musical with a book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. Based on the novel My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy, the musical is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid set in the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. The show also includes elements of the Romeo and Juliet story.

Originally staged at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons, the Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele and starring LaChanze as Ti Moune, opened on October 18, 1990 at the Booth Theatre, where it ran for 469 performances. In 2002, the original cast was reunited with special guest Lillias White to perform the show for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund.
Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel are an American singer-songwriter duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. They formed the group Tom and Jerry in 1957, and had their first taste of success with the minor hit "Hey, Schoolgirl". As Simon and Garfunkel, the duo rose to fame in 1965, backed by the hit single "The Sounds of Silence". Their music was featured in the landmark film The Graduate, propelling them further into the public consciousness.

They are well known for their close harmonies and sometimes unstable relationship. Their last album, Bridge over Troubled Water, was delayed several times due to artistic disagreements. They were among the most popular recording artists of the 1960s, and are perhaps best known for their songs "The Sounds of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", "Bridge over Troubled Water", and "The Boxer". They have received several Grammys and are inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007). In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Simon and Garfunkel #40 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

They have reunited on several occasions since their 1970 breakup, most famously for 1981's The Concert in Central Park, which attracted more than 500,000 people.
Madonna
Madonna
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.
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).
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.
Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840 – November 6 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. While not part of the nationalistic music group known as "The Five", Tchaikovsky wrote music which, in the opinion of Harold Schonberg, was distinctly Russian: plangent, introspective, with modally-inflected melody and harmony.

Aesthetically, Tchaikovsky remained open to all aspects of Saint Petersburg musical life. He was impressed by Serov and Balakirev as well as the classical values upheld by the conservatory. Both the progressive and conservative camps in Russian music at the time attempted to win him over. Tchaikovsky charted his compositional course between these two factions, retaining his individuality as a composer as well as his Russian identity. In this he was influenced by the ideals of his teacher Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolai's brother Anton.

Tchaikovsky's musical cosmopolitanism led him to be favored by many Russian music-lovers over the "Russian" harmonies and styles of Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Nonetheless he frequently adapted Russian traditional melodies and dance forms in his music, which enhanced his success in his home country. The success in St. Petersburg at the premiere of his Third Orchestral Suite may have been due in large part to his concluding the work with a polonaise. He also used a polonaise for the final movement of his Third Symphony.
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American pop rock singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. Clarkson made her debut under RCA Records after she won the highly-publicized first season of the television series American Idol in 2002. She was originally marketed as a pop musician with her debut album Thankful (2003). With the release of her multi-platinum second album Breakaway (2004), Clarkson moved to a more pop rock-oriented style of music. Clarkson's third album, entitled My December, was released on June 26, 2007. Her fourth album is due in fall 2008. Clarkson has sold over 19 million albums worldwide. Clarkson is the most successful American Idol alumna, with eight of her singles becoming Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2008, she joined Vh1's list of 10 sexiest women of the new millennium at #8. She also hit #28 on Vh1's Top 30 Hottest Rock Front women.
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).
Tori Amos
Tori Amos
Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963) is a pianist and singer-songwriter of dual British and American citizenship. She is married to English sound engineer Mark Hawley, with whom she has one child, Natashya "Tash" Lórien Hawley, born on September 5, 2000.

Amos was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument. She is known for emotionally intense songs that cover a wide range of subjects including sexuality, religion and personal tragedy. Some of her charting singles include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Cornflake Girl", "Caught a Lite Sneeze", "Professional Widow", "Spark", and "A Sorta Fairytale".

Amos had sold 12 million records worldwide as of 2005 and has also enjoyed a large cult following. Having a history of making eccentric and at times ribald comments during concerts and interviews, she has earned a reputation for being highly idiosyncratic. As a social commentator and sometimes activist, some of the topics she has been most vocal about include feminism, religion, and sexuality.
Evanescence
Evanescence
Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.

After recording two private EPs and a demo CD named Origin, with the help of Bigwig Enterprises in 2000, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Fallen sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, Anywhere but Home, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, The Open Door, which has sold more than four million copies.

The band has suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving in 2003, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. Lee is now the only original member of Evanescence remaining in the band.
Adele
Adele
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in Enfield, North London), She is the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice, which was given to artists who, at the time, had yet to release an album. She debuted at number one with her Mercury Prize nominated debut album 19 in the UK album chart and has since then been certified platinum with sales over 500,000 copies.
Erroll Garner
Erroll Garner
Erroll Louis Garner (June 15, 1921 – January 2, 1977) was an American jazz pianist and composer whose distinctive and melodic style brought him both popular acclaim and the admiration of peers. Of note, Garner was never able to read or write sheet music.

What makes Garner's playing easy to recognize is his trademark introductions, which seem to make no sense until breaking dramatically into his exposition of the tune he will play, and the guitar strumming sound of his left hand, playing crotchet accompaniment to his rich sounding right hand. He places his chords and octaves on syncopated beats that swing very hard and can be used to build excellent tension, such as between phrases. The approach also suggests he was influenced by the iconic rhythm guitar work of Count Basie's long time guitarist, Freddie Green. But discerning listeners could find that while his even four left hand was a fixture, it was far from being the only rhythmic approach he took to playing.
Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken (born Clayton Holmes Grissom on November 30, 1978) is an American pop singer who began his rise to fame on the second season of the television program American Idol in 2003. Based on album sales surpassed only by Idol winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, Aiken has become the most successful male and the most successful runner-up in that show's history.

In the years following his American Idol appearance Aiken has launched eight tours, authored a New York Times best-selling book Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life with Allison Glock, and was the executive producer for a 2004 televised Christmas special, A Clay Aiken Christmas. He has been a frequent talk show guest, particularly on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live, appeared as a guest star on Scrubs, participated in comedy skits on Kimmel and Saturday Night Live, and made his Broadway debut playing the role of Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot in January 2008.

Aiken created the Bubel/Aiken Foundation in 2003, accepted a UNICEF ambassadorship in 2004,

Aiken released a new studio album (the first album of original material since 2003's Measure of A Man), titled On My Way Here on May 6th, 2008. This is his 4th full length studio album, including a Christmas CD, and a CD of covers. He has also released one EP. On August 8, 2008, he became a father.
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Norman Cohen, CC, GOQ (born September 21, 1934) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often deals with the exploration of religion, isolation, sexuality and complex interpersonal relationships. Famously reclusive, spending years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, and possessing a persona frequently associated with mystique, he is extremely well-regarded by critics for his literary accomplishments and for producing an output of work of high artistic quality over a five-decade career.

Musically, Cohen's earliest songs (many of which appeared on the 1967 album, Songs of Leonard Cohen) were rooted in European folk music. In the 1970s, his material encompassed pop, cabaret and world music. Since the 1980s his high baritone voice has evolved into lower registers (bass baritone and bass), with accompaniment from a wide variety of instruments and female backing singers.

Over 2,000 renditions of Cohen's songs have been recorded. Cohen has been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. While giving the speech at Cohen's induction into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008, Lou Reed described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters".
Jacques Brel
Jacques Brel
Jacques Romain Georges Brel (April 8, 1929 – October 9, 1978) was a Belgian French-speaking singer-songwriter. The quality and style of his lyrics are highly regarded by many leading critics of popular music.

Brel's songs are not especially well known in the English-speaking world except in translation and through the interpretations of other singers, most famously Scott Walker and Judy Collins. Others who have sung his work in English include Marc Almond, Dave Van Ronk, Alex Harvey, David Bowie, Dusty Springfield, The Dresden Dolls, Frank Sinatra, Terry Jacks, Nina Simone, Rod McKuen, The Kingston Trio, Gavin Friday, Jack Lukeman, Dax Riggs and Beirut. In French-speaking countries, Brel is also remembered as an actor and director.
Chris Tomlin
Chris Tomlin
Christopher Dwayne Tomlin (born May 4, 1972) is a Christian worship leader and songwriter from Grand Saline, Texas, United States. He is a staff member at Austin Stone Community Church and is signed to EMI's sixstepsrecords. Tomlin also leads worship at many Passion events. Some of his most well-known songs are "How Great Is Our God", "Indescribable", "Forever", "Famous One", "We Fall Down", "Holy Is the Lord" and "Made to Worship".

According to the Christian Copyright Licensing International, Tomlin is the most sung Christian artist in the United States. He was awarded Male Vocalist at the 2006 and 2007 Gospel Music Awards, and was named Artist of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Chris Tomlin will be releasing his 7th studio album "Hello Love" which is due September 2nd 2008.
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.
La Roux
La Roux
La Roux (pronounced /læˈɹu/ in English, French pronunciation: ) is an English electropop duo band made up of singer Eleanor Jackson (born 8 March 1988), and synth player, co-writer and co-producer Ben Langmaid. Jackson describes their respective roles as "very much a half and half sharing situation... not like a singer producer outfit", but also recognizing that it often can "look like a solo act".

Their music is influenced by 1980s synthpop including Yazoo, Depeche Mode, The Human League, Heaven 17, and Blancmange. The band's name originates from Jackson's red hair and French heritage; she has said
To me, it means “red-haired one” – and it does, vaguely. It’s just a male version of “red-haired one”, which I think is even cooler, because I’m well androgynous anyway. So it kind of makes sense.
Howard Ashman
Howard Ashman
Howard Elliot Ashman (May 17, 1950 – March 14, 1991) was an American playwright and movie music lyricist. Ashman first studied at Boston University and Goddard College (with a stop at Tufts University's Summer Theater) and then went on to achieve his master's degree from Indiana University in 1974. He collaborated with Alan Menken on several films, notably animated features for Disney, Ashman writing the lyrics and Menken composing the music.
Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her singles "Fast Car", "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", "Baby Can I Hold You", "Give Me One Reason" "The Promise" and "Telling Stories". She is a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Tracy Chapman began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of eleven. She was quickly accepted into the program A Better Chance, which enabled her to attend one of the finest string musical schools in the world, Wooster School in Connecticut; she was eventually accepted to Tufts University.

In May 2004, Tufts honored her with an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, for her strongly-committed contributions as a socially conscious and artistically accomplished musician.

Chapman often performs at and attends Make Poverty History charity events such as amfAR and AIDS/LifeCycle.

Although Chapman has never spoken publicly about her sexuality, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker discussed her love affair with Chapman in an interview with The Guardian on December 15, 2006. She explained why they did not go public with their relationship at the time (the mid 1990s), saying, " was delicious and lovely and wonderful and I totally enjoyed it and I was completely in love with her, but it was not anybody's business but ours."
George Canseco
George Canseco
George Masangkay Canseco (April 23, 1934 – November 19, 2004) was a Filipino composer of numerous popular Filipino songs .Canseco wrote the classic "Kapantay Ay Langit", a theme from the award winning motion picture sung by Amapola. It also had an English version titled "You're All I Love" that was sung by American singer Vic Dana that included some Tagalog lines. The song won the Manila Film Festival Best Song Of The Year Award in 1972. Canseco followed it with an English song entitled "Songs" exclusively for "Songs and Amapola" under the Vicor Music Corporation Pioneer Label. Canseco's best-known composition, however, was "Child", the English-language version of Freddie Aguilar's signature song "Anák". He wrote for Sharon Cuneta and Basil Valdez, and his songs were also recorded by Regine Velasquez, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Pilita Corrales, Martin Nievera, and Kuh Ledesma. Rey Valera was a lyricist of two of Canseco's songs.
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.
Bela Bartok
Bela Bartok
Béla Viktor János Bartók (pronounced /ˈbɑrtɒk/ (Wells 1990), Hungarian pronunciation: ) (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered to be one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as his country's greatest composer (Gillies 2001). Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology.
Younha
Younha
Younha (Korean Hangul: 고윤하; hanja: 高潤荷; Go Yoon-ha, Japanese Katakana: ユンナ, Yunna) born April 29, 1988 in Seoul, Korea, is a K-Pop and J-Pop South Korean singer.

Younha made her debut as an artist at the young age of sixteen. Nicknamed the "Oricon comet" for her success in Japan, she has released eight singles and two albums there with varying degrees of success. Several of her songs have been featured in anime and drama series.

Younha was signed to Epic Records, a branch of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, from 2004 to 2008, after which she moved to Sistus Records, a Geneon Entertainment label. In South Korea, she is signed to Lion Media and Stam Entertainment.
Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor (born February 18, 1980) is a Soviet-born Jewish-American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her music is associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village.

Spektor has said that she has created 700 songs, but that she rarely writes any of them down. She has also stated that she never aspired to write songs herself, but songs seem to just flow to her. Spektor possesses a broad vocal range and uses the full extent of it. She also explores a variety of different and somewhat unorthodox vocal techniques, such as verses composed entirely of buzzing noises made with the lips and beatbox-style flourishes in the middle of ballads, and also makes use of such unusual musical techniques as using a drum stick to tap rhythms on the body of the piano or chair.

Her lyrics are equally eclectic, often taking the form of abstract narratives or first-person character studies, similar to short stories or vignettes put to song. Spektor usually sings in English, though she sometimes includes a few words or verses of Latin, Russian, French, and other languages in her songs.
Counting Crows
Counting Crows
Counting Crows is a rock band originating from Berkeley, California. The group gained popularity in 1994 following the release of its debut album August and Everything After, which featured the hit single "Mr. Jones". The band's influences include Van Morrison, R.E.M., Nirvana, Bob Dylan, and The Band. They received a 2004 Academy Award nomination for the song "Accidentally in Love".
Boyzone
Boyzone
Boyzone is a popular Irish boy band of the 1990s that reformed in 2007. They had major success in the UK and Ireland and differing levels of success in parts of Europe and Asia with six #1 hit singles in the UK. By 2007 they had sold over 15 million records.

Boyzone was put together in 1993 by Louis Walsh who is also known for managing Johnny Logan and Westlife. Before even recording any material they made a now infamous appearance on RTÉ's The Late Late Show. Their first album Said and Done was released in 1995 and the following two studio albums in 1996 and 1998. Four compilation albums have been released, the latest being The Silver Collection in summer 2007.
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.
William Finn
William Finn
William Alan Finn (born February 28, 1952) is an American composer and lyricist of musicals. His musical Falsettos received the 1992 Tony Awards for Best Music and Lyrics and for Best Book.
Sally DeFord
Sally DeFord
Sally DeFord Musical artist Born: 1959 (age 60 years), Eugene, Oregon, United States
Record labels: Defordmusic, Defordmusic.com, Sally DeFord Music, Sally DeFord
Genres: Alt Contemporary Christian, Christian/Gospel
Albums: He Is My Song, MORE
Peter Mills
Peter Mills
After graduating from Princeton University with a degree in english/dramatic literature, he then acquired his MFA in musical theatre writing at the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He is one the founding members of Prospect Theater Company, which frequently put on his work.
Alan Menken
Alan Menken
Alan Menken (born July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American Broadway and an eight-time Academy Award winning composer and pianist. Menken has collaborated with several renowned lyricists including Howard Ashman (1950-1991), Tim Rice and Stephen Schwartz.
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.
Tarzan
Tarzan
Tarzan is a 1999 animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 18, 1999. The thirty-seventh film in the Disney animated features canon, it is based on the story Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is the only major motion picture version of the story Tarzan property to be animated. It was also the last "bona fide" hit before the Disney slump of the early 2000s making $171,091,819 in domestic gross and $448,191,819 worldwide, outgrossing its predecessors Mulan and Hercules. To date, it is the last film based on the fictional character Tarzan to have had a theatrical release, and also currently holds the record for being the most expensive Disney animated film, with a budget of $150 million. It was also the first Disney animated feature to open at #1 since Pocahontas. It is the last movie that belongs to the Disney Renaissance.

Tarzan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is the soundtrack for the 1999 Disney animated film, Tarzan. The songs on the soundtrack were by Phil Collins, and the instrumental score by Mark Mancina. The song "You'll Be in My Heart," won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best original song.

Tarzan was the first Disney soundtrack to be recorded in multiple languages for different markets, some by original singer Collins. Phil Collins was helped by composer Eric Serra to record and produce French version of the songs.
K-Ci & JoJo
K-Ci & JoJo
K-Ci & JoJo is an American R&B duo, consisting of brothers Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey (born September 2, 1969) and Joel "Jo-Jo" Hailey (born June 10, 1971). Natives of Charlotte, North Carolina, they were also members of the chart-topping R&B group Jodeci with the DeGrate brothers—DeVante and Dalvin.

K-Ci and JoJo's first sign of independence came in 1994 when K-Ci covered Bobby Womack's hit "If You Think You're Lonely Now" for the movie Jason's Lyric. Early in 1996, K-Ci and JoJo teamed up for the song "How Could You" for the movie Bulletproof starring Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler.

By July 1996, K-Ci and JoJo finally had a hit on their hands as guest artists in 2Pac's number-one R&B hit "How Do U Want It". It also topped the Billboard Hot 100. The brothers made their side projects into a full album, Love Always. Released on June 17, 1997, the album spawned two top-ten R&B hits: "You Bring Me Up" (Pop #26) and "Last Night's Letter" (Pop #46).
Krezip
Krezip
Krezip is a Dutch band from Tilburg. Active members are singer and pianist Jacqueline Govaert, her sister Anne Govaert on guitar, Annelies Kuijsters playing keyboards, and Joost van Haaren on the bass guitar. In 2004 guitar player Thomas Holthuis was replaced by JanPeter Hoekstra and drummer Thijs Romeijn by Bram van den Berg.

Krezip started as a four-member school band during 1997, in Tilburg, The Netherlands. A year later a new drummer was added. During 1998 Krezip was an act at many festivals throughout the country, such as Festival Mundial, Noorderslag, and Lowlands. Studies and age became a sticking point to accept big offers in the music world. The first official sign of their existence came in 1999, when the band released a demo album on their own label called "Run Around". Big success however didn't materialize until 2000.
The meaning of the name 'Krezip' is rather unclear. Most likely, this name has been chosen as an anagram for 'perzik', the Dutch word for peach, since the band members have continually been eating peaches during their rehearsals.

Jacqueline Govaert has written all of Krezip's songs. She started writing music when she was 12 years old. She states that she can write the best when she doesn't understand anything of the world.
Alejandro Sanz
Alejandro Sanz
Alejandro Sanz, born Alejandro Sánchez Pizarro on December 18, 1968 in Madrid, is an Award winning, Spanish pop/ballad musician and singer-songwriter who has won a record 17 Latin Grammy´s, more than any other Spanish musician in history.

Sanz has won a total of 17 Grammys Awards (2 Regular Grammy Award and 15 Latin Grammy Awards) and has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.
Charles Gounod
Charles Gounod
Charles-François Gounod (/ɡuːˈnoʊ/; French: ; 17 June 1818 – 17 or 18 October 1893) was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, as well as his opera Faust. Another opera by Gounod that is still performed today is Roméo et Juliette.

Gounod died at Saint-Cloud in 1893, after a final revision of his twelve operas. His funeral took place ten days later at the Church of the Madeleine, with Camille Saint-Saëns playing the organ and Gabriel Fauré conducting. He was buried at the Cimetière d'Auteuil in Paris.
Helmut Lotti
Helmut Lotti
Helmut Lotti (born Helmut Lotigiers on October 22, 1969 in Ghent, Belgium) is a Belgian popular singer and songwriter. The son of Luc Lotigiers and Rita Lagrou, he began his singing career with a visual and singing style in an obvious imitation of Elvis Presley, and was described as "De Nieuwe Elvis" (in Dutch) or "The New Elvis". His first two albums were Vlaamse Nachten ("Flemish Nights", 1990) and Alles Wat Ik Voel ("All That I Feel", 1992). After a few more albums, he changed direction in 1995 with the first of what became a long series of "Helmut Lotti Goes Classic" albums, which proved to increase his popularity. Since 2000 he has also made successful recordings in traditional Latino, African and Russian-style music.

Helmut Lotti has sold over 13 million albums worldwide and received over 80 platinum and 70 gold albums.

He does volunteer work as an ambassador for UNICEF. Lotti has vowed to take part in the 0110 concerts against racism and the extreme right, organised by Tom Barman.
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Alongside his brothers, he made his debut as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. He began his solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century")—more than any artist—, 17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide making him the world's best selling artist in history.

Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted when the jury ruled him not guilty on all charges. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people; as well as a huge surge in his album sales, resulting in him becoming the best selling artist of 2009 with sales in excess of 8.2 million in the United States where he became the first artist ever to have 4 of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year, and 29 million albums globally, where he had an unprecedented 8 of the top 25 best-selling albums worldwide.
Jonathan Larson
Jonathan Larson
Jonathan David Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996) was an American composer and playwright noted for exploring the social issues of multiculturalism, addiction, and homophobia in his work. Typical examples of his use of these themes are found in his works Rent and Tick, Tick... Boom! He received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the rock musical Rent.
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