First the girls. Then the boys.
Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes
, Diana Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, the second of six children of African-American parents Ernestine Lillian (Moten), a schoolteacher, and Fred Earl Ross, who served in the army...
One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland
was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals. She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in Minnesota...
Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director and producer and one of the most successful personalities in show business. She is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards,...
Patti LaBelle, born Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards, is an American singer, author, and actress. Patti began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer of the band Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. A decade later the group changed their name to Labelle and recorded the hit song "Lady Marmalade". Patti became a solo artist in 1976 and her debut album was another success...
Several Grammy award wins, the first women to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and dubbed as the Queen Of Soul. Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Aretha was born to parents, Barbra Singers homemaker, and Clarence Franklin a baptist minster. Aretha Franklin started to sing due to her father being a minister...
Lesley Gore was born Lesley Sue Goldstein in Brooklyn, New York City, to Ronny and Leo Goldstein, a manufacturer of children's clothes and swimwear. Her family was Jewish. She grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey. Gore hit the music scene at 17 years of age in 1963 with the teen anthem "It's My Party". Born in Brooklyn (Kings County)...
The beat goes on ... and on ... and as strong as ever for this superstar entertainer who has well surpassed the four-decade mark while improbably transforming herself from an artificial, glossy "flashionplate" singer into a serious, Oscar-worthy, dramatic actress ... and back again! With more ups and downs than the 2008 Dow Jones Industrial Average...
Billie Holiday was a true artist of her day and rose as a social phenomenon in the 1950s. Her soulful, unique singing voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made her a superstar of her time. Today, Holiday is remembered for her masterpieces, creativity and vivacity...
When one thinks of Edith Piaf, one thinks of love, sorrow and music. One did not breathe without the other two. Born in Paris practically on the streets on December 19, 1915, she struggled from day one, the daughter of street performers. The mother, a singer, eventually abandoned both Edith and her father for a solo career...
An out-of-wedlock child, Eartha Kitt was born in the cotton fields of South Carolina. Kitt's mother was a sharecropper of African-American and Cherokee Native American descent who became pregnant after being raped by a white plantation owner. Given away by her mother, she arrived in Harlem at age nine...
Lena Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. In her biography she stated that on the day she was born, her father was in the midst of a card game trying to get money to pay the hospital costs. Her parents divorced while she was still a toddler. Her mother left later in order to find work as an actress and Lena was left in the care of her grandparents...
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born into a musical family on 9 August 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of gospel star Cissy Houston
, cousin of singing star Dionne Warwick
and goddaughter of soul legend Aretha Franklin
. She began singing in the choir at her church, The New Hope Baptist Church in Newark...
Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the former Ruth Lee Jones moved with her family to Chicago as a young girl. She considered the Windy City her true home. And it was there in early 1940s that a local nightclub owner provided her first gig - and a new name that she would make famous. By 1959 she had earned a Grammy for her version of the song "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes." In his 2001 biography Q...
Multi Grammy Award-winning singer/comedienne/author Bette Midler has also proven herself to be a very capable actress in a string of both dramatic and comedic roles. Midler was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 1, 1945. She is the daughter of Ruth (Schindel), a seamstress, and Fred Midler, a painter...
Dusty Springfield has been acknowledged around the world as the best female soul singer that Britain ever produced. With her oddly erotic, throaty voice, she racked up a string of hits from the 1960s onwards. Born in London to Irish parents, Dusty grew up in and around London. Her early work included an all-girl trio...
Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author. Bright and booming talent Hudson is a perfect example of how NOT winning the title of American Idol
can actually be a boon to your career and not necessarily the end of a childhood dream...
Pop icon Belinda Carlisle experienced full-blown American success twice in the 1980s, first with the all-female rock band The Go-Go's
and then, on an international level (which she always wanted), as a solo artist. The Go-Go's
first album, 1981's "Beauty And The Beat", spent six weeks at number 1 and they are still the only all-female band ever to have a number 1 album...
Born Darlene Wright in Los Angeles in 1938, she began her career as lead singer with the vocal trio, The Blossoms
. After a spell as regulars on ABC TV's variety show Shindig!
in the early 60s, the trio went on to sing backup on a variety of Elvis Presley
recordings, and even backed him on his 1968 NBC-TV special Elvis
Amy Winehouse was a five-time Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter known for such hits as 'Rehab' and 'You Know I'm No Good' among her other works. She was born Amy Jade Winehouse, on September 14, 1983, in Enfield, London, England to a Jewish family with Russian ancestry on her mother's side...
One of television's premier African-American series stars, elegant actress, singer and recording artist Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann (or Diahann) Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, New York. The first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson, music was an important part of her life as a child...
Donna Summer rocketed to international super-stardom in the mid-1970s when her groundbreaking merger of R&B, soul, pop, funk, rock, disco and avant-garde electronica catapulted underground dance music out of the clubs of Europe to the pinnacles of sales and radio charts around the world. Maintaining an unbroken string of hits throughout the 70s and 80s...
was born in Phoenix, Arizona. From an early age, she showed a love and aptitude for music, singing country and western duets with her grandfather when she was 4 years old. After moving to San Francisco, she began songwriting and performing at Menlo-Atherton High School, where she met her future long-time companion...
Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, MO, in 1906 to Carrie McDonald, a laundress, and Eddie Carson, a musician. Her early life hinted at her future career. She first danced for the public on the streets of St. Louis for nickels and dimes. Later she became a chorus girl on the St...
Shirley Bassey was born in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales, and raised in the nearby working class neighborhood of Splott. Her mother was originally from Yorkshire, and her father was a Nigerian seaman who left the family when she was less than two. She later helped to support her family by working in an Enamelware factory...
Cass Elliot was born Ellen Naomi Cohen on September 19, 1941, in Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up in the Washington D.C. environs and in her senior year of high school, performed in a summer stock production of "The Boyfriend" at the Owings Mills Playhouse, where she played the French nurse who sings "It's Nicer...
Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born on May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana, to Katherine Jackson
(née Katherine Esther Scruse) and Joe Jackson
, a musician. She is the youngest of ten children. After her birth, her brothers formed a band later called The Jackson 5. She lived at home with her sisters, while her brothers and father lived an extravagant life in Los Angeles...
The remarkable, hyper-ambitious Material Girl who never stops reinventing herself, Madonna is a seven-time Grammy Award-winner who has sold over three hundred million records and CDs to adoring fans worldwide. Her film career, however, is another story. Her performances have consistently drawn scathing or laughable reviews from film critics...
Pat Benatar was born Patricia Andrzejewski in Brooklyn and raised in suburban Lindenhurst, Long Island. Her mother Millie had sacrificed her own career as an opera singer to bring up Pat and son Andrew. Years later, it was Pat who singing classical, honing the powers of her 4.5-octave voice as a member of Lindenhurst High's musical-theater department...
Petula Clark was a star at the age of 11. She starred in the music halls and on BBC radio singing for the troops during WWII. She was a child star in a series of British films from the end of WWII through to the early 1950s,and by 1954 was having hit records. After a move to France in 1960, having fallen for a Frenchman...
Wonderfully talented vocalist and lyricist, primarily with Swedish band 'The Cardigans'. Persson was born on September 6th 1974 in Orebro, Sweden. Always interested in music (she plays harmonica, some guitar, piano and drums), she joined The Cardigans in 1992. The band had formed in Jonkoping, Sweden after guitarist Peter Svensson met the extremely tall Magnus Sveningsson
playing in a hardcore group...
The daughter of Grateful Dead
devotee and first manager Hank Harrison
and psychotherapist Linda Caroll, Courtney Love was born Courtney Michelle Harrison in San Francisco, California in 1964. Love spent her early years living in hippie communes in Oregon and at schools in Europe and New Zealand, under the care of her mother and other family members...
Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner. Growing up on the gritty streets of Hoboken made Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. Starting out as a saloon singer in musty little dives (he carried his own P.A...
He was the fourth of seven children born to Clement and Mildred Mathis. His father performed briefly in vaudeville and exposed all of the Mathis siblings to music. Before he entered his teens, young John received vocal lessons from Connie Cox in exchange for performing chores around her home. When he...
Tom Jones was born Thomas Jones Woodward in Pontypridd, South Wales, to a traditional coal-mining family, the son of Freda (Jones) and Thomas Woodward. His father was of English descent and his mother was of Welsh and English ancestry. He began singing at an early age in church and in the school choir...
Multi-talented performer/writer/producer Smokey Robinson's career, and life, is inextricably tied up with Motown Records' founder Berry Gordy
(his first two children are named Tamla, for the Gordy-owned label Smokey recorded for, and Berry, for Gordy himself). He and Gordy have had a professional and personal relationship since the late 1950s...
Sam Cooke was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was one of eight children of Charles Cook Sr., a Baptist minister. When Sam sang as a little boy in church, everyone made note that his voice had "something special". He sang in church and in local gospel choirs until a group called the Highway Q.C.'s asked him to sing with them at various venues...
He was the heartbeat of R&B during the 1980s and 1990s, yet led a productive singing and songwriting life prior to this preeminence. The soul balladeer's strong commitment to the art of music continued on its Grammy-winning course, even after an acute stroke in 2003 left him severely incapacitated and unable to continue public appearances...
Brian Douglas Wilson was born on June 20th 1942 and has gone on to become one of, if not the greatest, musical geniuses in the world. It was while growing up, while being physically and psychologically abused by his father, that he discovered music as a way of shutting out all hurt and pain that he was feeling at home...
Barry White first made his mark in the music business in the 1960s as a session musician, even serving for a spell as an A&R man for a small, independent Los Angeles record label. He first hit it big in 1973 with a series of albums and singles emphasizing lush orchestrations and elaborate production values...
If you were to try and summarize Barry Gibb's forty-five year career in the music industry in a single phrase you would probably come up with something such as "versatile". Barry Gibb continues to remain an important, relevant figure in the music industry due to his willingness to adapt his music, his style and his image into whatever musical styling is at the fore...
A blessing or a curse? Every silver lining has a cloud, yet sadly Andrew Roy Gibb had to find that out the hard way. Born the fifth and final child to parents Barbara (Born 2 November 1920) and Hugh Gibb (Born 15 January 1916) Andy grew up with his three older siblings dominating the music charts, collectively known as The Bee Gees
Talented singer/songwriter Billy Stewart was discovered by Bo Diddley
in 1956. He had great chart success in 1965 and 1966 with consecutive hits: "I Do Love You", "Sitting In The Park", "Secret Love" and a unique upbeat scat-singing version of "Summertime", from "Porgy and Bess", which has become a rock standard today.
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Presley
(née Gladys Love Smith) and Vernon Presley
(Vernon Elvis Presley). He had a twin brother who was stillborn. In September 1948, Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended Humes High School...
Born in Washington, D.C., Johnny Gill was discovered by singer Stacy Lattisaw after singing in his family's group Wings of Faith from the age of five. His solo career began in 1983 with the Top 30 R&B single "Super Love." In 1988, he joined New Edition, replacing Bobby Brown. In 1989 he sang on two R&B hits: "Where Do We Go from Here," a #1 by Stacy Lattisaw...
Phil Collins was born in Chiswick, London, England, to Winifred (Strange), a theatrical agent, Greville Philip Austin Collins, an insurance agent. He spent most of his early entertainment life as a young actor and model. He played the "Artful Dodger" in the West End production of "Oliver!" alongside the future movie screen "Artful Dodger," Jack Wild
Born Stevland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, United States, to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway. Due to being born six weeks premature, Stevie Wonder was born with a condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which made him blind. Stevie Wonder, even with this disability, made his landmark to be a pioneer and innovator in the music industry...
Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana on August 29, 1958, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson
, had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Katherine Jackson
(née Katherine Esther Scruse). Together...
Prior to Hobbstweedle (a pickup blues band formed to honour a gig at West Midlands College Of Education) Robert was the frontman for The Band of Joy - featuring Percy, John Bonham, Paul Lockey (bass), Chris Brown (keyboards) and Kevyn Gammond (guitar). The BOJ were on verge of making a record deal when they split a little acrinmoniously...
Considered by many to be the "Ultimate Rock Cult Hero", Todd Rundgren has maintained a legion of fans through four decades, rivaled only by Grateful Dead
. Todd was raised in the Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) area, and his first professional bands, Money and Woddy's Truckstop, achieved much regional success...
Sting was born Gordon Matthew Sumner on 2 October, 1951 in Wallsend, North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England, the eldest of four children of Audrey (Cowell), a hairdresser, and Ernest Matthew Sumner, an engineer and milkman. He received his name from a striped sweater he wore which looked like a bee...
Kurt Cobain was born on February 20 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. Kurt and his family lived in Hoquiam for the first few months of his life then later moved back to Aberdeen, where he had a happy childhood until his parents divorced. The divorce left Kurt's outlook on the world forever scarred. He became withdrawn and anti-social...