(born May 2, 1972) Dwayne Johnson was born in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (née Maivia) and professional wrestler Rocky Johnson. His maternal grandfather, "High Chief" Peter Maivia, was also a wrestler. His maternal grandmother, Lia Maivia, was one of wrestling's few female professional promoters, taking over Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling after her husband's death in 1982, until 1988. His father is of Black Nova Scotian (Canadian) origin, and his mother is of Samoan heritage. Johnson briefly lived in Auckland, New Zealand, with his mother's family. While there, his mother ensured he was exposed to one of the urban Polynesian cultural strongholds of the southern hemisphere.clarification needed Johnson attended Richmond Road Primary School, before returning to the United States with his parents.
He spent 10th grade at President William McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. As he entered 11th grade, his father's job required his relocation to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the state's Lehigh Valley region. He began playing football at Freedom High School in the East Penn Conference. He was also a member of the school's track and field and wrestling teams. On April 17, 2009, changes to Canadian nationality law came into effect, making all people born in the first generation abroad after 1947 to Canadian-born parents automatically (and retroactively to date of birth) Canadian citizens. Johnson, through his father, thus became a Canadian.
Stevland Hardaway Morris (born May 13, 1950 as Stevland Hardaway Judkins), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, a child prodigy who developed into one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century. Blind since shortly after birth, Wonder signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of eleven, and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day. Among Wonder's best known works are singles such as "Superstition", "Sir Duke", "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You". Well known albums also include Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth anniversary, with Wonder at number five.
Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American recording artist and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television appearances, and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture since the early 1970s. The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career appearing on the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear on other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame. After signing a recording contract with A&M in 1982, she came to prominence following the release of her third studio album Control (1986). Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap, and industrial beats, which led to crossover appeal in popular music. In addition to receiving recognition for the innovation in her records, choreography, music videos, and prominence on radio airplay and MTV, she was acknowledged as a role model for her socially conscious lyrics.
Thomas DeCarlo Callaway (born May 30, 1974), better known by his stage name Cee Lo Green, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, and actor. Initially, he came to prominence as a member of the southern hip hop group Goodie Mob, and as part of the soul duo Gnarls Barkley with Danger Mouse. Subsequently he embarked on a solo career, partially spurred by YouTube popularity. His work has earned numerous awards and accolades, including five Grammys.
Internationally, Cee Lo is best known for his soul work: his most popular was Gnarls Barkley's 2006 worldwide hit "Crazy", which reached number one in various singles charts worldwide, including the UK. In the United States, "Crazy" reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Parent album St. Elsewhere was also a hit, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart and number four on the US Billboard 200 album charts. Gnarls Barkley's second album is The Odd Couple (2008), which charted at number 12 on the Billboard 200.
Shanice Lorraine Wilson-Knox (born May 14, 1973), better known as Shanice,
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wilson relocated to Los Angeles with her mother and aunt (Krystal and Penny) who were themselves interested in pursuing careers in the music industry. They soon abandoned their aspirations of stardom, instead focusing their efforts on young Shanice, forming the management company Krystal Penny to cultivate and promote her talents. At the age of eight, she appeared in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial with venerable jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. In 1984, she appeared as a regular on the children's program Kids Incorporated, and also performed on Star Search. Shortly after her appearance on Star Search, she was signed to A&M Records.
Cher born Cherilyn Sarkisian, May 20, 1946) is an American singer and actress with a career spanning five decades. Recognized for having brought the sense of female autonomy and self-actualization into the entertainment industry,citation needed she is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in various areas of entertainment, as well as for continuously reinventing both her music and image which has led to her being called the Goddess of Pop.citation needed Cher became prominent in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband–wife duo Sonny & Cher, who popularized a particular smooth sound that successfully competed with the dominant British Invasion and Motown sounds of the era. From 1965, she had established herself as a successful solo artist with million-selling singles such as "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)", "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves", "Half-Breed", and "Dark Lady", songs that deal with subjects rarely addressed in American popular music. Goldmine magazine's Phill Marder described her as the leader of an effort in the 1960s to "advance feminine rebellion in the rock world and the prototype of the female rock star, setting the standard for appearance and attitude" After the duo's drug-free lifestyle had lost its popular appeal in the United States owing to the drug culture of the 1960s, she returned to stardom in the 1970s as a television personality with her shows The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and Cher, both of which attained immense popularity. She became a fashion trendsetter with her daring outfits. After Cher and Sonny divorced in 1975, Cher experimented with various musical styles, including disco and New Wave, before becoming a top-earning live act in Las Vegas.
(born May 21, 1941) Ronald Isley was born the third of six brothers (O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald, Vernon Isley, Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley) to Sallye Bernice (Bell) and O'Kelly Isley, Sr. Ronald, like many of his siblings, began his career in the church. He began singing at the age of three, winning a $25 war bond for singing at a spiritual contest at the Union Baptist Church. By the age of seven, Ronald was singing on-stage at venues such as the Regal Theater in Chicago, alongside Dinah Washington and a few other notables. By his early teens, he was singing regularly with his brothers in church tours and also first appeared on TV on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour. In 1957, sixteen-year-old Ronald and his two elder brothers Kelly, 19 and Rudy, 18, moved to New York, recording doo-wop for local labels before landing a major deal with RCA Records in 1959, where the trio wrote and released their anthemic "Shout." By the summer of 1959, the Isley family had moved from Cincinnati to a home in Englewood, New Jersey. For much of the Isley Brothers' duration, Ron Isley would remain the group's consistent member of the group as well as the lead vocalist for most of the group's tenure with sporadic lead shares with his older brothers. In 1969, Ron and his brothers reformed T-Neck Records in a need to produce themselves without the control of record labels, forming the label shortly after ending a brief tenure with Motown. In 1973, the group's style and sound drastically changed following the release of the 3 + 3 album where brothers Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley and in-law Chris Jasper permanently enter the brothers' lineup, writing the music and lyrics to the group's new sound. The younger brothers had been providing instrumental help for the brothers since the late 1960s. By the mid-1970s, Ronald was living in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), best known as The Notorious B.I.G., was an American rapper and hip hop artist. He was also known as Biggie Smalls (or simply Biggie) (after a character in the 1975 film Let's Do It Again), Big, Big Poppa, and as Frank White (after the main character of the 1990 film King of New York). Born in St. Mary's Hospital on May 21, 1972, Wallace grew up in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, New York City on 226 St. James Place near the border of Bedford-Stuyvesant. He was the only child of Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican preschool teacher, and George Latore, a welder and small-time Jamaican politician. His mother worked two jobs while raising him. At the Queen of All Saints Middle School, Wallace excelled in class, winning several awards as an English student. He was nicknamed "Big" because of his overweight size by age 10. At his request, Wallace transferred out of the Roman Catholic Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School to attend the state-funded George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, which future rappers Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes also attended at the time. According to his mother, Wallace was still a good student, but he developed a "smart-ass" attitude at the new school. Wallace began rapping when he was a teenager. He entertained people on the streets as well as performed with local groups, the Old Gold Brothers and the Techniques. Wallace made a demo tape under the name Biggie Smalls, a reference to his childhood nickname and to his stature; he stood at 6 feet 3 inches and weighed as much as 300 to 380 pounds according to differing accounts. The tape was reportedly made with no serious intent of getting a recording deal, but was promoted by New York-based DJ Mister Cee, who had previously worked with Big Daddy Kane, and was heard by the editor of The Source.
Patricia Louise Holte-Edwards (born May 24, 1944), better known under the stage name Patti LaBelle, is a Grammy Award-winning American singer, author, and actress who has spent over 50 years in the music industry. LaBelle spent 16 years as lead singer of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, who changed their name to Labelle in the early 1970s and released the iconic disco song "Lady Marmalade".
LaBelle started her solo career shortly after the group disbanded in 1977 and crossed over to pop music with "On My Own", "If Only You Knew", "If You Asked Me To", "Stir It Up", and "New Attitude". She has also recorded R&B ballads such as "You Are My Friend" and "Love, Need and Want You".
LaBelle possesses the vocal range of a soprano.She has received recognition of her works, being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Apollo Hall of Fame, the Songwriters' Hall of Fame as well as the World Music Awards presenting her with the prestigious Legend Award. LaBelle has sold over 50 million records worldwide.
Not long after signing, the group was credited with the hit single, "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman", though the song was recorded by another girl group, the Chicago-based The Starlets. This led to a. lawsuit by a manager of the group and its record label boss, later resulting in the group winning $5,000 in damages. "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman" eventually reached the Billboard top 20. Despite this credited success, the group could not follow up with any other hit. The Blue Belles supported themselves by constantly touring including an appearance at the Apollo Theater.
Gladys Maria Knight
(born May 28, 1944), known as the "Empress of Soul", is an American singer-songwriter, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian, and author. She is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, for both the Motown and Buddah Records labels, with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, the most famous incarnation of which also included her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest. Knight has won a total of seven Grammy awards (four as a solo artist, and three with The Pips). Knight was born in Oglethorpe, Georgia, the daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (née Woods) and Merald Woodlow Knight, Sr., a postal worker. She first achieved minor fame by winning Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour TV show contest at the age of 7 in 1952. The following year, she, her brother Merald, sister Brenda, and cousins William and Elenor Guest formed a musical group called The Pips (named after another cousin, James "Pip" Woods). By the end of the decade, the act had begun to tour, and had replaced Brenda Knight and Eleanor Guest with Gladys Knight's cousin Edward Patten and friend Langston George.
Gladys Knight & the Pips joined the Motown roster in 1966, and, although regarded as a second-string act, scored several hit singles, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", (recorded first by Marvin Gaye but released a year later), "Friendship Train" (1969), "If I Were Your Woman" (1970), "I Don't Want To Do Wrong" (1971), the Grammy Award winning "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" (1972), and "Daddy Could Swear (I Declare)" (1973). In their early Motown career Gladys Knight and the Pips toured as the opening act for Diana Ross and The Supremes. Gladys Knight stated in her memoirs that Ross kicked her off the tour because the audience's reception to Knight's soulful performance overshadowed her. Berry Gordy later told Gladys that she was giving his act a hard time.
Angela Tomasa Bofill (born on May 3, 1954 in The Bronx)
Raised in New York by a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother, Angela Bofill was a student of many styles of music, from the latin sounds played regularly by her family to the soul and jazz sounds of her neighborhood in the Bronx. She began singing professionally as a teenager as a member of New York's All City Voices and as featured lead soloist for the Dance Theater of Harlem.
After completing her studies in California, Bofill was introduced by her friend, jazz flutist Dave Valentin, to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen of GRP records, and they signed her for her 1978 debut, Angie. The album was a breakout smash on contemporary jazz radio and the tastefully arranged jazz vocal disc showed a gifted young artist with a rich voice beyond her years. Featuring a number of great cuts, including most notably a cover of "This Time I'll Be Sweeter," Angie became one of the year's biggest jazz albums. She followed it in 1979 with the even better Angel of the Night, a more muscular album that showed she had the chops to handle upbeat material like the title cut and the fantastic "What I Wouldn't Do" as well as softer tracks such as "I Try" (later beautifully remade by Will Downing).
Sensing a star in the making, Clive Davis and Arista Records bought out Angela's GRP contract and teamed her with hot writer/producer Narada Michael Walden for Something About You, an attempt at a more straight-ahead pop/soul album. While some of Bofill's jazz fans balked at the new album, it was undoubtedly a critical success, providing her with some of the best material of her career, including the stepper "Holding Out For Love" and the wonderful ballads "Break It To Me Gently" and Earl Klugh's "You Should Know By Now." It was one of 1982's best albums and still sounds great today (it was reissued in expanded form in 2002). Unfortunately, Arista pulled a rare blunder in its choices of singles to be released from the album, and the disc never received the props it deserved.
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