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Most Visited Cities and Famous Citizens
Top Vacation Places in the World
1. Bangkok — 22.78 million
Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s
led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a
regional force in finance, business, transport, health care, arts, fashion, and entertainment.
2. Paris — 19.10 million
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. Paris is one of Europe's major centres of finance,
diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science and arts. Paris was the second most expensive city in the world. The
city is a major railway, highway and air-transport hub served by two international airports. Paris is
especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks. (Wikipedia)
3. London — 19.09 million
London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames
in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea. London
has been a major settlement for two millennia. (Wikipedia)
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates — 15.93 million
Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai.
5. Singapore — 14.67 million
Singapore is a sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It has the second greatest population
density in the world. (Wikipedia)
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — 13.79 million
Kuala Lumpur is the largest city in Malaysia. (Wikipedia)
New York City is the most populous city in the United States. New York City is also the most densely
populated major city in the United States. New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and
media capital of the world, significantly influencing commerce, entertainment, research, technology,
education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. (Wikipedia)
8. Istanbul — 13.4 million
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center.
9. Tokyo — 12.93 million
Tokyo is the capital and most populous prefecture of Japan. Tokyo is the political and economic center of the
country, as well as the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the national government. (Wikipedia)
10. Antalya, Turkey — 12.41 million
Antalya is the fifth-most populous city in Turkey. (Wikipedia)
Source: Global Destination Cities Index 2019
The 25 Most Visited Tourist Spots in America
1. Times Square, New York
2. Central Park
3. The Las Vegas Strip
4. Union Station
5. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
6. Grand Central Terminal, New York City
7. Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Florida
8. Lincoln Park, Chicago
9. Disneyland Resort, California
10. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
11. Balboa Park
12. Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando Florida
13. EPCOT, Disney World, Florida
13. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
14. Disney's Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Florida
15. Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
16. Venice Beach, California
17. Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington
18. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
19. South Street Seaport, New York City
20. Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
21. Navy Pier, Chicago
22. Grand Canyon, Arizona
23. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
24. Mall of America, Minnesota
25. Statue of Liberty, New York
The 25 Most Visited Tourist Spots in America
Munich, Germany: Travelogue
It has been two years living in Munich and even today, the city is able to hypnotize me with its
unending mysteries and secrets that I endeavor to unravel every day, much like a child opening a
"Living in Munich – The City That Fulfills Every Dream" by Shaira Mohan
St. Louis, Missouri: Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry had a long
career as a pioneering rock 'n' roll musician that influenced
rock 'n' roll's future. His showmanship and guitar solos impressed the audience, leading to his
induction into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame in 1986. His hit,
“Johnny B. Goode,” was put on a golden record with other recordings and launched into space on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977.
Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry in Missouri
on October 18, 1926, Chuck Berry was an outstanding American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His work
shaped rhythm and blues into the new genre of rock 'n' roll.
As a wayward teenager, he was convicted of armed robbery and spent three years in a Missouri prison.
During this incarceration, he formed a singing quartet that performed until his release at twenty-one.
A year later, Berry married Themetta “Toddy” Suggs with a child. He took odd jobs in St. Louis to
support his family--from automobile factory worker to janitor to beautician. The family lived in a small house, now a historic place on
the National Register.
Berry performed locally in his free time. In search of a recording contract, he traveled to Chicago on a
road trip. He met Muddy Waters, who
referred him to Chess Records. His version of an old country song named “Ida Red” impressed co-founder
Leonard Chess, who signed him. Berry named his song “Maybellene,”
and it was a runaway success, selling over one million copies and topping the R&B Billboard chart in
1955. In ‘56, he toured with another smash named “Roll
Over Beethoven.” In ‘57, he toured with Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. More than a dozen
hit singles followed, including “Sweet
Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B.
Goode.” He acted in
films and played himself in Go, Johnny, Go!
In 1959, he was arrested for violating the Mann Act that prohibits human trafficking, and he was
sentenced to three years in prison. After his release, he published five albums and toured the U.K. The
Beach Boys' hit “Surfin' U.S.A.” was released
in 1963, peaking at number three. The song borrowed the melody of Berry's “Sweet Little Sixteen.” He saw
chart-topping success in '72, with his light-hearted single, “My Ding-A-Ling.”
In the 1990s, he was sued by various women for having a video camera in the bathroom of his restaurant.
The settlement cost him over one million dollars. Later, he served six months for marijuana possession.
In 2000, his former pianist, Johnnie Johnson, sued him claiming he co-wrote many of Berry's songs, but
the case was dismissed.
When asked about his meteoric rise, he replied, “Well, actually they begin to listen to it, you see,
because certain stations played certain music. The music that we, the blacks, played, the cultures were
so far apart, we would have to have a play station in order to play it. The cultures begin to come
together, and you begin to see one another's vein of life, then the music came together.”
Fremont, California: Tesla Electric Car Factory
From the company that promises, “To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport and electric
technology,” the Tesla Model 3 seems to be exactly what it promises: a version of the groundbreaking
electric car that most people can actually afford.
The Model 3 is a four-door sedan that looks similar to the Model S from the side and back. Its general
characteristics include a high roof and a smooth bob at the front and backend. It also has a blunt nose,
which makes it look a little similar to the Tesla Roadster, at least in the front.
According to Car and Driver, the Model 3 is “genetically linked to all of its ancestors,” which fits well
with the assertion of Tesla CEO Elon Musk that this particular model could have only been built with the
help and support of those who “bought an S or an X” in the past.
Like Tesla's other models, the Model 3 is an electric car, and it provides drivers with over 300 miles of
range before needing to recharge. There is room for up to five passengers, and drivers can store items
in both the front and rear trunks. The car can also increase in speed very quickly and quietly, as it
can jump from zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds.
The model also includes the Autopilot feature found in other Tesla cars, all-wheel drive, and is able to
use the Tesla Supercharger charging network. It's a sports sedan with electric car capabilities that
could be purchased for $42,990.
Whatever the case, Tesla seems to have pulled out all the stops when it comes to the Model 3 and created
an impressive, enviable vehicle that is actually energy efficient and affordable too.
Hawaii: The Aloha State
The Hawaiian Islands may have been settled as early as the second century; by 1000, villages near the
ocean were farming, and by 1500, populations were spreading to the interiors of the islands. Around
1200, a new social structure had been introduced, separating the people into classes. It also included
new laws, including the kapu, a strict code of conduct governing many aspects of Hawaiian life. Religion
in Hawaii included a ritual, high priests, four major gods, many lesser deities, and guardians and
Each island was split up into several subdivisions, with communities usually set up around streams.
Important crops included sweet potatoes, bananas, coconuts, and sugarcane. In addition to community
crops, Hawaiians also maintained gardens at their homes.
Contact with Europeans started in 1778, when British Captain James Cook traded for supplies with the
residents of the island of Kauai. He continued his voyage to the coast of North America and Alaska, then
landed on Hawaii Island during his return trip. After Cook's longboat went missing, he tried to kidnap
the king. In defense, the king's attendant killed him with a knife.
The Kingdom of Hawaii began in 1795 with the unification of the islands. The kingdom's first king,
Kamehameha I, was a great-grandson of Keawe'ikekahiali'iokamoku, a 17th-century king of Hawaii Island.
His uncle Kalani'opu'u had encountered Captain Cook, and raised Kamehameha after his father's death.
Supporters of Kamehameha overthrew his cousins, making Kamehameha the king of Hawaii Island, and by
1795, Kamehameha had conquered most of the main islands. Kamehameha then built a palace which became the
seat of government for 50 years. The king had many wives, but Ka'ahumanu became the most prominent,
ruling alongside her stepson Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and as regent for her stepson Kauikeaouli
The reign of Kamehameha II saw the beginning of a system of dual-government involving a co-ruler, along
with the decline of the Hawaiian religion. He and his wife died of measles while visiting England.
Kamehameha III was still a minor, so Ka'ahumanu ruled in his stead, along with a new co-ruler, Boki.
They both converted to Christianity shortly after Kamehameha II's death.
Sugar had become a major export after Cook's arrival. By the mid-1800s, there were plantations operating
on the main islands. American plantation owners wanted a voice in politics, and in 1843 the U.S. did not
interfere with a brief occupation by the British.
The Rebellion of 1887, led by the Hawaiian Patriotic League, resulted in a new constitution, known as the
Bayonet Constitution, which they forced Kalakaua to sign. This constitution limited the voting rights of
native Hawaiians and Asians, and limited the power of the king. It also granted Americans in the kingdom
Upon Kalakaua's death, his sister, Lili'uokalani, became queen. In 1893, a group of conspirators, known
as the Committee of Safety and made up of legislators and government officials who were American and
European citizens, gathered about 1500 non-native men across the street from ‘Iolani Palace. They were
supported by U.S. Government Minister John L. Stevens. The men placed Queen Lili'uokalani under house
arrest at the palace, and the Kingdom of Hawaii became the Republic of Hawaii.
Hawaii remained a republic for about 5 years, then was annexed by the U.S. in 1898, becoming the
Territory of Hawaii. A territorial government was set up in 1900, and sugarcane plantations expanded
during this period.
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy, and Hawaii was placed under
martial law until 1945. In 1954, a series of non-violent protests led to the ousting of the Hawaii
Republican Party, and the election of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. This also led to labor unions and
the decline of the sugar plantations.
Hawaii was admitted to the U.S. as a state on August 21, 1959.
Pearl Harbor: Surprise Attack on Hawaii
It lasted only about 90 minutes, but in that time the Imperial Japanese Navy managed to kill 2,403
Americans, destroy 18 ships and 188 airplanes, and draw the United States into World War II, all on a
day of infamy. More than half the American deaths were caused by a single bomb that hit the USS Arizona,
whose remains now lie at the bottom of Pearl Harbor as a memorial to the attack on the morning of Dec.
Shortly after 7:30 that Sunday, two Army men manning a new-fangled "radar" at Opana on Oahu's north shore
saw more than a hundred blips 136 miles north of the island and notified their superiors at Pearl
Harbor. The officer in charge there had confidential information that a dozen stripped-down and unarmed
B-17s from the West Coast were due in at about that time on about the same route, so he told the radar
men to ignore the blips.
By then, five two-man midget submarines launched from the fleet the previous day had attempted to sneak
into the harbor morning. One was spotted and attacked by a pair of U.S. Navy ships cruising offshore.
Three others ended up at the bottom of the sea just outside the harbor, but not before they managed to
launch several torpedoes. A fifth managed to ground itself twice, and after the second time one of its
crewmen swam to shore and became America's first Japanese prisoner of war.
The radar blips were the first wave of the attack, led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida. His plane led 182
others off the decks of six aircraft carriers stationed about 200 miles north of Oahu. The planes
included about equal portions of bombers armed with armor-piercing bombs weighing nearly a ton each,
bombers carrying quarter-ton torpedoes, dive bombers and fighters known as Zeros for their rising-sun
The planes formed two groups, each circling the island to attack Pearl Harbor from the south and from the
north to begin the attack at 7:48 a.m. Most of the U.S. Navy personnel were on shore leave that weekend,
many of those still aboard ship still asleep. As the attack began, they scrambled from their bunks to
battle stations unprepared for battle, costing precious minutes. Army anti-aircraft batteries onshore
similarly were unprepared. A few ships managed to get underway to get out of the harbor, but only one
made it. Some of the dive bombers attacked Oahu air fields, among them Bellows Field, Ford Island,
Hickam Field and Wheeler Field.
Fuchida's wave was followed by another led by Lt. Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki. His fleet included 171
planes armed with smaller bombs to attack other targets on the island. One group attacked airfields such
as Barbers Point, Ford Island, Hickam Field and Kaneohe; the other two concentrated on the entire Pearl
Harbor area. The second wave wrapped up its attack at about 9:30 and returned to its fleet, which
weighed anchor and was headed back to Japan by 1 p.m.
The main targets of the twin attacks were the eight battleships—Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada,
Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia-- at anchor inside the harbor. The fleet's three
aircraft carriers were safely out to sea. The attack managed to hit all of the battleships and the
unarmed Utah, a former battleship used only for training. But, it was the attack on the Arizona that was
most effective, killing 1, 177.
A 16-inch Japanese shell hit an ammunition magazine on the ship, causing a massive explosion. Burning oil
in the water from the explosion and from one on the West Virginia drifted to other ships, including the
California, which ordered its men to abandon ship, leaving it to sink. The attack also sank or damaged
cruisers, destroyers, a seaplane tender, and a repair vessel that had the misfortune of being moored
next to the Arizona.
Six of the battleships were back in service and nine of other types of ships also returned to service by
the end of the war, most within a year of the attack. And, the dozen B-17s? They arrived over Oahu low
on fuel early during the first wave and tried to land however and wherever they could, one on a golf
course. Most remained intact.
Japan's losses included 64 fatalities and one captured, 29 planes lost, and 64 damaged by fire from
antiaircraft batteries that managed to get into operation in time for the second wave. One of the planes
was damaged while attacking Wheeler and managed to fly to Niihau, the designated rescue point, where the
pilot was captured by the locals.
The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed an emergency joint session of Congress and
delivered the speech that called December 7 "a day which will live in infamy." After the speech,
Congress voted to declare war.
Pinner, United Kingdom: Elton John
Elton John's career has taken him from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of musical success.
Reginald Kenneth Dwight to a father less than delighted with his son's choice of direction in life, Elton
changed not only in name, but stature as well - netting numerous awards and accolades usually reserved only
for a fortunate few.
One of a small group of artists to be Knighted by the Queen of England and
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, John is a true star at an international level. His life and
career were not devoid of hardships, but his music and compositions have held up against time as
Near the start of Elton John's early career, he labored as a studio composer and vocalist,
but his entry into the world of music began as early as his school years.
Though Elton flunked out at
the age of 17, his musical abilities had actually given him an opportunity to excel academically. He was
awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London at a young age and attended
classes there on weekends.
Once he'd left school for good, he devoted much of his time to performing
with a band called "Bluesology." He greatly enjoyed the time he spent amongst them and decided to change his
name to reflect what the band had meant to him - choosing two of his bandmates' names as his new stage
It was around this time that he got into studio work and became a resident artist at a local
label. For a period of time, Liberty Records employed him alongside another musician by the name of Bernie
Taupin as a songwriter. The two spent a year writing lyrics for Liberty artists before switching to the DJM
label. It was the year 1969 that bore witness to Elton's first singing release on his album "Empty Sky."
However, it wasn't until the following year that he got his big break as a solo recording
Elton's Rise to Notoriety
1970 would come to be a pivotal year in Elton John's
development as an artist. It marks the release of his self-entitled album, on which appeared the charting
hits, "Your Song" and "Border Song."
This first album had been released in both the U.S. as well as
the U.K. - landing John on the radar of an international audience right from the start of his career. From
here on out, he was off and running with a series of top albums and stellar hits.
Soon, with the help
of his own band, Elton was performing his hit songs in the US and abroad.
During this stretch of
time, between 1970 and 1980, Elton John went on to release an astonishing 17 albums and many of his biggest
hit singles. Songs like "Rocket Man," "Daniel," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and "Don't Go
Breaking My Heart" came into existence throughout this decade, among many other notable examples. For this
reason, the music he produced throughout the 70's is considered the most exemplary of his unique style,
sound and genius.
Elton in the 80's
By the time the 80's rolled around, Elton was no longer
working with his original band lineup. It is alleged that he was tired and indeed, his output had waned
some, with only 1 Elton John album per year being released. He'd seen immense highs, broken records with his
chart-topping albums and even had his own star added to the Hollywood walk of fame, but would not stop
there. By 1982, he'd dreamt up a fresh new hit song in loving memory of his friend John Lennon entitled
"Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)" that rose high on the charts and brought him back into the limelight.
"That's What Friends Are For" and "Nikita" would follow later in the decade.
It was during the 80's
that John brought to the forefront another young star and friend of his, George Michaels of "Wham!." This
wasn't the only star he performed with though, the 80's saw Elton recording and playing with acts as diverse
as Saxon, the heavy metal band, and Dionne Warwick. His collaboration song with Stevie Wonder, "I Guess
That's Why They Call It the Blues," went on to be a major hit as did "I'm Still Standing."
wasn't without hardships in the 80's though. He unexpectedly lost his voice while on tour in '86 -
warranting a critical throat surgery that permanently altered his vocal chords. On top of this, the
following year, he was accused by publication "The Sun" of having rented young boys for sexual purposes. He
later won a libel case against the Sun over these allegations. Despite such troubles, John pushed through
into the 90's with more hits up his sleeve and triumphs to enjoy.
entire decades' worth of hits, performances and accolades, Elton had little need to continue producing great
music, but he did so anyway.
Cue the creation of songs such as "Sacrifice" and "Runaway Train," his
duet with Eric Clapton. He didn't stop at producing mere singles and albums though, John then branched out
to film and musicals - producing the phenomenally successful score for the animated Disney classic "the Lion
King." His Lion King single "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" won him an Academy Award and a
1994 marks the year in which Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by
none other than Axl Rose of Guns n' Roses. Unfortunately, Elton lost two good friends just 3 years later,
one of whom was Princess Diana.
He performed a revised version of his song "Candle in the Wind" at
her funeral service in Westminster Abbey which he vowed to never perform again. The iconic song rose to
legendary status - setting the record for sales of a single and being the only track to ever be certified
Diamond in the United States.
John continued accruing accolades all around with his work on the
musical "Aida" and its accompanying album as well as being Knighted by the Queen of England in 1998 for his
charitable work. It was also during this decade that Elton and David Furnish began their relationship. They
would later go on to marry in 2014 when gay marriage was made legal.
Elton John's Ongoing
The singer took to musicals yet again with compositions for "Billy Elliot the Musical" in
2005 which went on to massive success as the 11th longest-running West End musical of all time. John tried
his hand at theater alongside his fellow writer Taupin, but their rendition of Anne Rice's vampire novels
went over poorly with critics.
Elton shocked many with his contribution to Tupac Shakur's posthumous
release, "Ghetto Gospel" in 2005 and continued to sell out huge venues like Madison Square Garden with his
public performances. A few years later, in 2009, he shocked many yet again by contributing to an Alice in
Chains song entitled "Black Gives Way to Blue." His alt rock contributions far from over, he's sung and
played with Queens of the Stone Age as recently as 2013 on their track "Fairweather Friends."
performing and even appearing in film (Kingsman, the Golden Circle), the 70 year old musician is admirably
active with plans for the future.
His enduring success as a performer and musician has been no
accident, but the direct result of his boundless dedication to the arts. Coupled with his commitment to
funding AIDS research and generous charity to struggling communities, his impact on the world is not likely
to be forgotten for quite some time.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: The Life and Music of Prince
As an artist, Prince broke many barriers throughout his career - challenging a number of social norms to the
his own drum.
His incredible career in music now stands as testament to his groundbreaking
However, his incredible success came after a difficult childhood.
Nelson, in Minnesota in 1958 to jazz musician John L. Nelson and singer Mattie Della Shaw, he was given his
Prince faced medical difficulties as a child. Specifically, he was born with a propensity
of epilepsy. Peculiarly, while still a child, his epilepsy subsided after his having mentioned to his mother
angels said he'd improve.
At only 7, Prince was writing his own music. Much to his father's delight,
young musician produced his first song at this age, entitled "Funk Machine." Unfortunately, by the time he'd
10 years of age, his parents' relationship was on rocky ground.
Prince’s parents divorced and his
remarried – leading the young artist to struggle in his dealings with both his stepfather and father. He
moved between their two separate households until he was kicked out by his father and taken in by the
years he lived in their basement - attending high school and remaining active in sports and dance. These
had a son whom Prince befriended who would later go on to be known as Andre Cymone, another successful
1975, both artists would get a chance to shine, in the same band.
saw Prince and Andre Cymone inducted into Pepe Willie's funk band "94 East." The opportunity proved
both young musicians at the time and served to jump start Prince's career. Prince himself wrote an entire
the band entitled "Just Another Sucker" as well as multiple guitar parts.
94 East's main recorded
named "Minneapolis Genius – The Historic 1977 Recordings." However, it would turn out to be a demo tape made
Prince with the help of producer Chris Moon that got the young artist his big break.
demo to a local businessman by the name of Owen Husney who quickly jumped at the chance to sign him under a
management contract. With Husney's help Prince recorded yet another demo; this time at Sound 80 Studios.
a solid press kit produced by Husney's own company, Prince got serious attention from big box labels.
thereafter, he was signed to Warner Bros and on his way to California.
An Expensive First
Prince's First Band
Prince came at his new record deal with all he had to offer - writing and
entire album (except for "Soft and Wet") solo as well as playing all 27 instruments on it. Although the
a smash hit, two of its tracks manage to make the charts: "Soft and Wet" and "Just as Long as We're
This first album ended up costing the young musician twice as much as his first advance
Bros. Tough stuff. This didn't quite dismay the eager young performer, though. He put together a brand new
his friend Andre Cymone on bass) and put on a show on the 5th of January in 1979. Then, by October, his
was already set for release.
Prince released his second album
substantial success. He nearly topped the Billboard R&B/Black Albums chart - maxing out at number 4 - and
itself went platinum. "I Wanna Be Your Lover" hit the very top of the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart -
young artist's first top single.
The very next year, Prince followed up his previous success with
album "Dirty Mind" was certified gold.
"Dirty Mind" was fairly explicit in its inclusion of sexual
signaling a slightly edgy turn for the rising star. That edge landed him on the bill for Rick James's "Fire
tour as the opening act.
Prince in the Early 80's
A decade of exemplary musical
the 80's saw some of Prince's best releases take shape.
Late in '81, Prince released "Controversy,"
fourth studio album and opened for the Rolling Stones in support of it. That same year, he launched a small
on the side which he called "the Time." For the Time, he played multiple instruments and performed backing
behind singer Morris Day. Controversy received little fanfare, but the following year's album hit
1982, Prince went ahead with the release of his album "1999." The album did well - selling over 3 million
its titular track was a top 10 hit even outside of the U.S. The song "International Lover" earned Prince a
nomination and "Little Red Corvette" became one of Prince's most-played music videos. In fact, "Little Red
and "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson were the first two black artist-produced videos to see significant
on MTV. Come 1984, Prince would be in video again - on the big screen.
The year 1984 marked the
which Prince graduated from well-known musician to full-blown international icon. All this transpired thanks
Prince's major film appearance in "Purple Rain," a movie created almost entirely to show off the musician's
Surprisingly, the film did incredibly well - grossing over $68,000,000 throughout the U.S. and spurring the
of the artist's accompanying album by the same name.
Three of Prince's biggest hits debuted in the
"Let's Go Crazy," "When Doves Cry" and "Purple Rain." Presumably thanks to these, the movie netted an
for Best Original Song Score. The album earned Prince 2 Grammy awards as well. For a brief period, that
had the top single, album and film in the country. Not too shabby. Before the year had ended, even Andy
taken in by Prince's appeal - crafting a portrait painting of him entitled "Orange
was the song "Darling Nikki" off of the Purple Rain album that tipped Tipper Gore, U.S. Vice President Al
wife, off on the importance of 'parental advisory' warning labels, which she advocated for through her
the "Parents Music Resource Center." The entire recording industry ended up going along with the
Prince in 1985 and Beyond
After a sudden announcement that he'd no longer be
live once his next album released, Prince released "Around the World in a Day" in 1985.
at number 1 on the Billboard 200 for three weeks straight, with the single "Raspberry Beret" taking #2 on
Billboard Hot 100. Come 1986, he'd release yet another super successful album entitled "Parade."
platinum and its first single proved to be one of Prince's most successful so far; "Kiss" went straight to
the top on
Billboard's Hot 100. Parade was coupled with another film featuring Prince, "Under the Cherry Moon," which
poorly enough to earn the artist multiple Golden Raspberry Awards.
The sting of a poorly received
offset by the success of Prince's music throughout the year, though. Even a song he'd written for other
performed well; the Bangles saw great success with "Manic Monday."
Going against his announcement
from just a
year before, Prince did in fact go on tour with his band "the Revolution." However, right after the tour, he
disbanded the band - shelving their unreleased album "Dream Factory" for later release as part of his album
the Times" in '87.
Sign o' the Times charted at 6 on Billboard's Top 200 albums, with multiple hit
including "U Got the Look" and "If I Was Your Girlfriend." He assembled a backing band and set off overseas
on a long
tour for it - later refusing to continue touring upon returning to the U.S. Later that year, Prince would
dark side with a new album, and choose not to release it.
"The Black Album" was an instrumental/hip
creation that Prince suddenly decided not to release. Apparently, he'd come to the conclusion the album
evil and no longer wanted to put it out in the open. After stopping its release, he endeavored to craft a
as its opposite, which he released the following year.
"Lovesexy" ranked 11th on the Billboard 200
lead single "Alphabet St." made it to 8th on the Hot 100. The attendant world tour was a major success, but
make a profit thanks to substantial expenses. Regardless, as the 80's came to a close, Prince revved into
In 1989, he collaborated with Madonna on her album "Like a Prayer" and Tim Burton's "Batman"
"Batman" album topped the charts that year - selling millions of copies.
Prince of the
broke into the 90's with his "Nude Tour" and another film entitled "Graffiti Bridge." The film's
album made it high on the charts, but the film itself flopped big time. Ready to shake things up again,
at 1991 with a whole new band, "the New Power Generation," and a fresh album called "Diamonds and
Diamonds and Pearls hit number 3 on the charts with a total of 4 hit singles, including
the album's title track. The next year, his twelfth album came out - bearing no name other than an
symbol - and it reached the 5th position on Billboard's Top 200.
All was relatively well for Prince
1993, when he entered into a dispute with Warner Bros. and, in protest, changed his stage name to the same
unpronounceable symbol on his 12th album. This led to him being referred to as "the Artist Formerly Known as
The dispute lingered all the way to the end of '96, when Prince's contract with Warner Bros. finally
elapsed. By the
time he left Warner Bros. he'd released an additional 4 albums, including the previously shelved "The Black
as well as another hit single "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World."
At the end of 1996, Prince
huge 36-song album named "Emancipation" through his own record company NPG Records. The album went platinum
securing Prince's prominent position in music even without a major label's support. Unfortunately, two years
the release of his album "Crystal Ball" didn't go over so well, with a number of sales discrepancies and
issues to blame. Perhaps because of this, Prince elected to sign with Arista Records in '99 for the release
newest record "Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic."
Prince at the Turn of the Millennium
the reversion from symbol to original name by Prince. His publishing contract with Warner expired, he
"Prince" on stage and on his albums. A number of his releases during this period came out on his website
subsequently became a hub for his community of fans.
In 2004, after a major performance at the
alongside Beyonce, Prince found himself being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That same year,
released yet another album entitled "Musicology" through Columbia Records. Musicology outperformed his other
released since 2000 and went on to net Prince a pair of Grammies too. The album tour also assisted in making
the highest-earning musician in the world, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
Prince's next major
release came out in 2006. The album "3121" made waves with its top notch music videos and Spanish influence.
also saw Prince receive a Webby Award for his use of the Internet to distribute his music, though he
his website down mere weeks later. Busy as ever, Prince labored on in 2006 - performing at multiple venues
shows, opening his own nightclub in Las Vegas and more. He wrote and performed "The Song of the Heart" for
movie "Happy Feet" and landed a Golden Globe for it. Then, in November, he was inducted into the UK Music
Prince gave a performance at the Super Bowl in 2007 that Billboard ranked as the best ever in
history. He followed up the massively successful performance with a slew of others around the world. Prince
at the ALMA Awards, on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, at Coachella and more before the end of 2008. He put
live album by the name of "Indigo Nights" and a grouping of songs debuted over radio broadcast. More would
'09; this time on his new website "Lotusflow3r.com." Shortly thereafter, that same year, a Prince triple set
albums released: "Lotusflower," "MPLSoUND" and "Elixer."
2010's and Prince's Passing
the artist's "20Ten" album release, but saw him close down Lotusflow3r.com - rejecting the Internet music
distribution model at the time. His 20Ten tour was completed and followed up with another before the year's
Prince’s achievements continued to garner attention in the industry and he was presented with an
into the Grammy Hall of Fame in December that year. From 2010 to 2014, Prince staged numerous performances
finally, in 2014, re-signed with Warner Bros. Records for future releases.
2014 marked the year in
Prince ran the first leg of his "Hit N Run" tour, which revolved around the creative concept of announcing
dates and locations the day of their occurrence on his Twitter feed. His related album "Hit n Run Phase One"
in 2015, as did its 'Phase Two' continuation. These proved to be his last albums.
In 2016, Prince set
his final tour the "Piano and a Microphone Tour" featuring only him and a custom piano. The tour was
well-received, but came to a screeching halt when the star succumbed to illness. He battled with influenza,
and rescheduling shows to rest and recover. Sadly, on April 21, Prince was found to be unresponsive and
pronounced dead at his own home, due to an accidental overdose of fentanyl at the age of
time was cut short, Prince packed a huge amount of achievement into his life. His music is still fresh in
and hearts of his many devout followers worldwide.
Seattle, Washington: Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix, as he exists today, is a cultural icon among few greats.
His deft musicianship, experimental music and riveting performances drove fans wild during his brief
career. Had his life not been cut short, much more astounding music would likely have been made by the
Although he is cherished in memory by many today, his life and career took a number of interesting and
devastating turns before he reached age 30 - leaving the world with a legendarily tragic life story and the
music he made throughout it.
Jimi's Troubled Childhood
Jimi Hendrix was born to another name; Johnny Allen Hendrix. Four years after his birth, in 1946, his
parents elected to change his name to James Marshall Hendrix - like his father and late brother.
Hendrix's childhood was, unfortunately, that of a child to impoverished parents. His father struggled to
support his family after an honorable discharge from the military. The two went on to have 3 additional
children, but they were all given up to foster care.
Jimi's childhood experiences would later be disclosed in private to one of his girlfriends, whom he told
of the sexual abuse he suffered from a man in uniform. This difficult period of his life likely shaped his
later outlook and interests dramatically.
Jimi's Introduction to Music
In the 50's, a young Hendrix caught the attention of a social worker while attending elementary school
in Seattle. He had a habit of carrying a broom with him and using it to emulate a guitar. Despite the social
worker's efforts to sway them, the school directors were not convinced to buy the child a guitar, and so
Jimi went without for some time.
In 1957, Jimi obtained his first instrument. He'd had a stroke of luck while assisting his father with
an odd job and came across an old ukulele which he was allowed to keep. The thing had only one string left
to play, but Jimi's fascination with it was limitless.
He followed along to his favorite songs by Elvis and others - picking up the tunes by ear and plucking
at his one-stringed uke with zeal.
Just a year later, he'd obtain his first guitar and begin developing his playing. Unfortunately, that
same year, he'd lose his mother to cirrhosis.
Growing Guitar God
Jimi set about developing his guitar skills in the midst of the tremendous loss of his mother. He played
his $5 acoustic guitar in his first band, "the Velvetones" until it became apparent that he'd need a louder
instrument to be heard over the group. Around this time, in 1959, he also met Billy Davis, whom he was
friends with from then on.
Halfway through 1959, his father bought him his first electric guitar, and Jimi was off and running in
the local music scene.
His first big gig was at Seattle's Jewish Temple De Hirsch Sinai, where he managed to get himself fired
in between sets for excessive showboating. His next success came when he joined the "Rocking Kings" and
began playing regularly with them in local venues. Unfortunately, hardship would soon find him once more -
leading him shockingly far away from his burgeoning career in music and into unsettling terrain.
Jimi Joins the Army
A less-than-19-year-old Hendrix, presented with an ultimatum by authorities after being caught in stolen
cars on multiple occasions, would choose a stint in the U.S. military over prison time.
Thus it went, Jimi enlisted in the army May 31, 1961. Eight weeks of basic training later, he was
assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He wasn't enthusiastic about his stay in
the military though - writing home disparaging remarks about the experience to his father.
It proved a difficult time for him overall. He managed to have his guitar shipped out to his base, which
helped him cope somewhat. Still, he couldn't quite cut it in the army - according to his superiors who soon
found a way to discharge him. An injury sustained on a jump gave Hendrix an out, but his discharge was on
the grounds of unsuitability.
Back on the Music Scene
Jimi was doubtless delighted to have left the military, but the time he'd spent there hadn't been
entirely a loss. During his stay, he'd met and jammed with fellow recruit Billy Cox, who'd played bass. When
Cox left the military in 1963, they both moved to Tennessee to start a band called the "King Kasuals."
It was during this time that Jimi first learned to play guitar with his teeth, so as not to be upstaged
by the other guitarist in their band who also knew the trick. The band rose in relative notoriety - playing
as a resident band at Club del Morocco, a popular venue in the area at the time, among others.
Hendrix also found time to play as backing musician for a number of prominent acts at the time. These
included the likes of Ike & Tina Turner as well as Sam Cooke.
Jimi Makes the Move
Hendrix eventually chose to leave Tennessee in search of a more fulfilling solo career. He settled in
Harlem, New York and played local venues - winning the Apollo Theater's amateur contest at one point.
However, it was a chance audition with none other than the Isley Brothers that got him his biggest break
yet. He applied and landed the position as guitarist of their backing band.
He left the band in 1964, tired of the monotony, but not before recording their two-part single,
He joined Little Richard's backing band and recorded "I Don't Know What You Got (But It's Got Me)" with
him in 1965. While in Hollywood, Jimi ended up recording two tracks with singer Rosa Lee Brooks; "My Diary"
and "Utee." That same year, he made his first televised appearance playing on Nashville's "Channel 5 Night
Train." In the same month, he was booted from Little Richard's band for butting heads over showboating,
among other things.
Hendrix returned to the Isley Brothers' band for a short while and recorded with them once more before
moving on to an R&B band by the name of "Curtis Knight and the Squires." He recorded with this band as well
as King Curtis at the time.
Come 1966, Jimi was ready for more changes and decided to form a band of his own.
Rise to Stardom
Hendrix created his own band, "Jimmy James and the Blue Flames," in Greenwich Village, NY.
The band landed a few residencies at local clubs and saw minor success. However, it was a chance
introduction to former "Animals" member Chas Chandler who'd taken an interest in managing artists, that
catapulted Jimi to true stardom. Chas took Jimi to London and helped him build his soon-to-be-famous band,
"the Jimi Hendrix Experience."
Partnered with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, Jimi would soon see a level of success
that had, up to that point, eluded him.
The band's first show was played as Johnny Hallyday's supporting act in France at the Novelty in Evreux.
Later that year, the band would be signed to Track Records. "Hey Joe" and "Stone Free" were recorded that
same year, the former of which peaked at 6 on the UK charts. 1967 saw songs like "Purple Haze" and "The Wind
Cries Mary" recorded to great success.
That same year, Hendrix would give one of his most memorable performances, in which he set his guitar on
fire, at the London Astoria. He'd do the same once more at the Monterey Pop Festival.
'67 also saw the release of Jimi's band's first full-length album, "Are You Experienced?" which featured
an eclectic mix of influences and peaked at number 2 on the charts. Another album followed shortly
thereafter; "Axis: Bold as Love" to little fanfare. Then another, "Electric Ladyland", in 1968, which went
on to be considered Hendrix's greatest album. The album included his only US top 40 song, a cover of Bob
Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."
The End of the Experience
1969 marked the end of the original Experience lineup as Hendrix's and Redding's mounting frustration
formed a rift between them. With his old friend Cox on bass, Jimi played the Woodstock Music and Art Fair
that year as the main event. The crowd had reached an incredible size of roughly 400,000 people to catch his
performance. He played his iconic rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during this performance, which
featured on a later documentary of the fair.
In 1970, Hendrix released his LP "Band of Gypsys" to appease his former manager Ed Chalpin, with whom
he'd run into legal trouble over their old contract. The LP featured live material by his new band and was
released by Capitol Records.
Jimi's Final Tour
The "Cry of Love" tour in 1970 was the guitarist's final tour, the American leg of which ended in
Honolulu. During this tour, he played for the largest crowd of his career at the Atlanta International Pop
Festival, on July 4. Some 500,000 people were in attendance.
Unfortunately, during the European leg of the tour, Hendrix played his final show - an impromptu jam
session with "War" - before passing away 48 hours later.
The details surrounding Hendrix's death are hazy and inconclusive. The official cause was cited as
asphyxiation while intoxicated. His untimely death lent an air of martyrdom to his status as a rock and roll
icon that has since transformed him into an immortal musical icon.
Jimi Hendrix, the rock legend and troubled musician will forever be remembered for his contributions to
New York City: Cyndi Lauper
Singer, Cyndi Lauper is widely regarded as one of the first female recording artists to embrace being
unique while building a massive following.
Her musical success came as a result of not only her memorable songs and unique style, but her enduring
to honoring uniqueness in all its forms.
She has had a long and illustrious career in the music industry and is still working on new projects to this
however, things were not always easy for her and her life actually got off to a pretty rocky start.
Childhood and Inspirations
Born Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper to parents who divorced when she was only 5, Cyndi spent the bulk of her
growing up in Ozone Park, a small neighborhood in Queens, New York City. Her birth took place in Brooklyn
earliest years were spent there before moving to Ozone Park at 4.
Cyndi's mother took charge of her and her two siblings (Fred and Ellen) following her divorce - raising them
share in her own love of art by frequenting events and museums in Manhattan. Lauper's time in school was
riddled with hardships, but her interest in music steadily grew and blossomed.
At age 12, she was already writing songs of her own.
Cyndi’s Early Career
Cyndi fled home at 17 in an effort to leave her stepfather's abuse behind and set about joining the work
In a flash, she found herself in Canada. Anguished, she spent two weeks soul-searching in the woods with her
before finally venturing all the way to Vermont.
She bounced between multiple odd jobs and took art classes at Johnson State College at the time to satisfy
thirst for creative expression.
The 70's saw Lauper performing with multiple cover bands such as "Doc West" and "Flyer." Nearing the
in '77, she suffered a vocal cord injury that threatened to keep her from ever singing again, but recovered
help of a vocal coach.
It was her stint as lead vocalist of "Blue Angel" that gave her a taste of success. She and the band were
Polydor Records thanks to Steve Massarsky, their manager at the time. However, when their self-titled album
commercially (despite being acclaimed by critics), the band fell apart - firing Massarsky, who then sued
Cyndi spent the difficult period that followed bankrupt and working in various retail stores as well as
It was the time she spent working in thrift stores that allegedly sparked her fashion transition to
chic" that would later serve to seriously set her apart from other artists at the time.
Cyndi's Rapid Rise to Fame
Cyndi went back to singing and finally caught her chance at success in a bar in New York. Her singing had
ear of David Wolff, who then got her signed by Portrait Records.
Cue the gestation and release of her debut album, "She's So Unusual."
"She's So Unusual" took the world by surprise. Cyndi's unique style and sound catapulted her to
status in a flash and her album went on to be the first female debut album with 4 top-five hits on
Songs like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time" were veritable pop sensations at release and
since become truly legendary offerings of the genre.
Awards poured in from all directions with nominations for Record of the Year and Album of the Year in the
actually won a Grammy for Best Album Package!
Her fame grew even larger as she began making appearances in WWF events alongside Hulk Hogan, a move that
perfectly with her raw and unrestrained image.
Continued Success and Achievement
In 1986, Cyndi put out her album "True Colors" which was massively successful, though to a lesser degree
first. It tackled tough subjects tastefully - championing the struggles of the LGBT community and setting
philosophical tone for her many musical efforts to come.
The titular track charted at #1 on Billboard's "Hot 100" and ended up being licensed to Kodak for the
This period saw Lauper debuting in film, though her first movie appearance did very poorly. The movie
"Vibes," was a flop in all respects, but the song Cyndi released for it ("Hole in My Heart (All the Way to
did quite well in Australia.
Her third album, "A Night to Remember" had only 1 hit; Roy Orbison's "I Drove All Night," a number 6
Marriage, Albums and More
Although Lauper's wide scale fame is still confined to her early two albums, she has yet to stop fervently
After marrying actor David Thornton in 1991, Cyndi went on releasing albums, one after another to
commercial success than her first 3. In fact, both her albums "Sisters of Avalon" and "Shine" were released
exclusively in Japan.
She jumped back into acting as well - starring in "Life with Mikey" and "Mad About You," the latter of which
an Emmy. A slew of cameos and accomplishments followed as well as the birth of her son Declyn W.
Her albums "Bring Ya to the Brink" and "Memphis Blues" were very well received and featured charting hits.
case of "Memphis Blues," the entire album held the #1 spot on Billboard's Blues Albums chart for 14 weeks
Cyndi's Musical, Most Recent Album and Legacy
In 2012, a musical entitled "Kinky Boots" opened in Chicago. It was hugely successful, with 13 nominations
wins at the Tony Awards. Best of all, Cyndi had composed the music and lyrics herself - landing a Tony Award
Best Original Score in the process.
She released her most recent album, "Detour" in 2016; a country album she'd been working on with top
Lauper continues inspiring others to this day and will forever be admired as the world's first big female
take a strange sense of style mainstream. A true icon in the world's eyes, Cyndi Lauper's impact on music,
even fashion won't likely be forgotten any time soon.
Newark, New Jersey: Whitney Houston
Few American singers have accrued quite the widespread appeal that Whitney Houston was able to amass during
Whitney's miraculous vocal abilities and charming appearance earned her a spot in everyone's hearts halfway
the 80's. A series of achievements and accolades ensued soon after her debut, culminating in the early
Unfortunately, her life took a drastic turn for the worse after her marriage to singer Bobby Brown. Although
able to make a small comeback in 2009, the height of her fame was never fully regained.
Whitney's Early Career
Whitney Houston was born on the 9th of August in the year 1963.
New Jersey was her birthplace and where she initially got her start in music. Her gifted singing ability
have run in her family; her cousin, mother and godmother were incredibly influential figures in music. Her
was actually Dionne Warwick and her godmother the one and only Aretha Franklin. Her mother, Cissy Houston,
minister of the church choir in which a young Whitney first began to wow and woo audiences. Congregations
found her incredible to watch and listen to. Soon the entire world would follow suit.
It was around the time she turned 15 that Whitney began modeling successfully. Her natural beauty landed her
cover of Seventeen Magazine. She was one of the first black women to do so. Houston continued on with music
seeking out an opportunity at a record deal and big success in the industry. At 19, she got her big break as
newly-signed artist under Arista Records, thanks to Clive Davis who had signed her immediately after seeing
perform. After debuting on the Merv Griffin Show with a cover of "Home" from Oz-based musical remake, "The
Whitney and Davis worked closely together on her first album. In 1985, her debut album was released and
life changed forever.
Houston's Liftoff to Fame
Whitney was quickly catapulted to immense success and notoriety upon the release of her self-titled first
Over 14 non-consecutive weeks, Whitney's sensational first album topped the charts and dominated the
Iconic songs such as "How Will I Know" and "Saving All My Love for You" earned her critical acclaim,
fame and prestigious awards. "Saving All My Love for You" actually won Whitney a Grammy in 1986! With a huge
fans to please, Whitney released her second album in 1987. This album, titled "Whitney," did just as
her first - earning her another Grammy for the smash hit, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." This time around,
completed a tour of the world to great success.
At this time, Houston historically appeared and performed at Nelson Mandela's birthday!
Whitney's Move to Movies
After two incredibly successful albums, Whitney found her way onto the big screen - first appearing in "The
Bodyguard" with Co-star Kevin Costner in 1992. The movie did tremendously well, but the accompanying
stole the show, due in no small part to her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You." The song rose
top of the charts and stuck there for 14 solid weeks, while the soundtrack earned her 3 Grammys. She went on
release hit albums for and star in two more movies (Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife), but began to
experience serious difficulties in her personal life shortly thereafter.
Whitney's marriage to singer, Bobby Brown back in 1992 had gone from good to terrible in short time -
a torrid fit of drug abuse and alleged domestic violence.
She and Bobby had entered into very rocky terrain in their relationship and, unfortunately, things did not
in a positive direction. A series of public incidents began to erode her stature in the public eye and give
serious concerns over her health. It was a 2005 reality show with Bobby Brown as the focus that greatly
Houston's reputation - showing all of the worst moments the couple went through in 2004.
Their ailing relationship did not benefit from the massive publicity of the reality show and their many
problems earned Whitney very little sympathy from viewers. Her 1998 album, "My Love is Your Love" and
with Mariah Carey in "The Prince of Egypt" garnered awards but her 2002-release, "Just Whitney..." did
poorly. Once the reality show hit, her public image was tarnished almost irreparably. Soon, she was being
as coiner of the phrase "Hell to the No" rather than the incredible singer she had previously won the world
It was hard to imagine her coming out such a serious funk in her career, but more importantly in her own
life and health.
Her Comeback and Passing
Houston's life had been severely derailed, but she somehow found the strength to pull herself together after
split with Bobby Brown and a slew of familial issues. She'd succeeded in obtaining custody of her daughter,
Kristina Houston Brown, and managed to put together a successful new album entitled "I Look to You."
live performances were no longer what they used to be and her voice was reputedly less impressive after
Despite the difficulties with her voice, Whitney appeared to be coming back strong. She was set to star as a
on "The X Factor" and sing alongside Jordin Sparks in upcoming movie musical, "Sparkle," but unfortunately
away tragically before these plans could fully mature.
It was at a Beverly Hilton hotel in LA that Whitney allegedly drowned accidentally.
Clive Davis had been holding a Grammy party there and Houston had spent her last days at the pre-Grammy
the area. Official autopsies revealed traces of cocaine in her system as well as the telltale signs of a
debilitating heart condition. Houston's substance use had finally taken its toll it would seem, but many are
of the true details of her death.
Although her life was cut short, her incredible singing legacy lives on to this day - inspiring millions
to value, appreciate and even take up music themselves.
Tupelo, Mississippi: Elvis
Elvis Aron Presley was a performing artist of monumental import to the development of rock and roll.
The crowned king of his genre, he managed to build a lasting legacy as a musician and entertainer within his
42 years of life. The worldwide phenom from the small town of Tupelo, Mississippi endured a rapid
rise to fame and stardom after starting his musical career in Memphis, Tennessee. At just 19, he recorded
his first song at Sun Records, but a mere two years later (in 1956), he was hot on the charts at number one
with "Heartbreak Hotel."
Elvis's music spanned genres and ethnic backgrounds - pulling significant influence from the black-dominated
genre “rhythm and blues,” of which his eponymous debut album featured three songs covered in his own unique
style. He sang Little Richard's, Ray Charles's and the Drifters' songs in a manner that white listeners
hadn't heard from a country-born performer. His take on this music would prove, ultimately, to serve as a
major driving force for his meteoric ascent in notoriety. Coupled with his lively, overtly sexual stage
presence, it's little wonder his fans caused such a stir at his concerts. At the height of his fame, most
all of his concerts were riotous affairs.
Elvis's stardom crossed musical-visual boundaries as well when he first stepped into film in 1956. His film
debut saw him playing to his sexual appeal in "Love Me Tender." A slew of films would follow this first one,
most created during his 7-year recording hiatus in the 60's and all of them moving along similar love-based
narratives. Before his extensive body of films would be produced, though, he was drafted into the U.S. Army.
1958 marked the year in which Elvis joined the Army. He served first as a private in Arkansas - having been
convinced to serve as a regular soldier instead of joining Special Services. He took advantage of his brief,
2-week leave to record songs which were carefully released during his stay in the military to help maintain
interest in his music. This proved a successful plan - sustaining his notoriety in the public eye with a
number of well-received hits during his absence.
Elvis scored a total of 10 top 40 hits while he was still in the military - including songs like "Hard
Headed Woman" and "A Big Hunk o' Love." On top of that, his compilation album, "Elvis' Golden Records,"
reached 3rd on the LP chart in 1958.
Coming into the 60's, Elvis' courtship with the young Priscilla Ann Wagner had already begun. The two had
met on September 13, 1959 - when she was just 14 years old. Elvis himself was 24 and still serving in the
Army at that time. It was in Germany that they first met. A long and somewhat scandalous courtship would
follow over the course of 7 years, fraught with myriad allegations of affairs on Elvis' behalf with the
leading ladies of the movies he would film throughout the early 60's. Despite the difficulties, they would
eventually marry in Vegas on the 1st of May, 1967. The ceremony itself would last but 8 minutes - lending
large notoriety to the iconic Vegas-styled, impulsive wedding concept. Nine months later, their only
daughter, Lisa Marie, was born.
Their marriage officially ended in 1973, when Elvis filed for divorce.
Although Elvis' life had taken many interesting turns throughout the 60's his appeal had dwindled.
By the end of the 60's, Elvis found himself in a rut. Having spent the better portion of the decade building
up a collection of film appearances, his musical output had seen a dip in positive reception. Most of his
songs weren't causing much of a commotion and only two of his eight releases between January 1967 and May
1968 managed to chart at all. He needed a revival and, luckily, he got one.
It was the December 1968 Elvis special airing on NBC that would later come to be known as the Elvis comeback
special. It positively reignited his fame and ramped up his standing in the public eye to new heights. The
special proved to be the first chance Elvis had of performing live since 1961 - charming a small studio
audience with his energetic playthroughs of his own classic songs. The show itself became NBC's highest
rated production of the season and the launchpad Elvis needed to put his career back on track. This was also
the singer's first shift in fashion towards his iconic, high-collar look; this time in black
Throughout the 5 years following his 1968 special, he built up his image and success substantially with a
solid body of well-received releases. His "From Elvis in Memphis" album of 1969 garnered positive reviews
all-around and reached the number one slot in the UK's chart. This success was followed by a long-lasting
series of successful Vegas performances. It was at this time that Elvis set about having his classic
jumpsuit stage uniform designed; a look he derived from his fascination with karate.
In 1973, Elvis performed in the now legendary "Aloha from Hawaii" television special wearing his stage
uniform adorned with a cape and eagle motif. The special was the world's first global satellite concert
broadcast. The performance's resultant double-album went on to sell five million copies and reach number one
on the charts that year.
After 1973, Elvis began to suffer the consequences of a difficult, demanding lifestyle and routine
prescription drug abuse, according to popular reports. His health waned quickly in the wake of his failed
marriage and increased touring requirements. On August 16, 1977, he died - suffering a heart attack in his
own home on the Graceland property. The Graceland estate is now listed as a historic place (since 1991) and
a full-fledged national landmark (since 2006) - serving as the second most-visited house in the country,
just behind the White House.
Elvis' life and career over, his legacy lives on in the hearts of many faithful fans around the world.
Though he publicly refused the title of "King of Rock and Roll" - attributing it rightly to the likes of
rhythm and blues predecessors such as "Fats Domino," his legacy in the genre and in music as a whole is
difficult to exaggerate.
Santa Barbara, California: Katy Perry
Katy Perry's career in music has taken her from one major accomplishment to the next - seeing her accomplish
feats few other performers have come close to.
Her major hits in pop music serve as excellent
examples of the genre overall both in style and feel as well as general popularity.
success overtook her in a flash, she'd been a musician for quite some time with little fame to speak of. Her
story actually found its start in gospel music when she was a child.
Born in California as Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, Katy's childhood was one of rather
staunch religious adherence under the watchful eyes of her parents, two born-again Christian pastors. Her
parents reputedly allowed only gospel music in their household for the most part - forcing young Katy to
delve into the genre. Up until she turned 11, her family also moved quite a bit as her parents established a
number of churches in other areas. Eventually, they would return to the Santa Barbara area she was born
During her formative years, Katy took a marked interest in singing and was put in vocal classes
at the age of 9. It was from this age until she turned 17 that she sang in church. Her song writing habits
began at 13, though, when she was gifted a guitar. Set on a career in music, Katy completed her "General
Educational Development" requirements at age 15 and made her way to the "Music Academy of the West" in Santa
Barbara to study Italian Opera.
The Start of Katy's Career
Her stay at the Music Academy
would be brief. Two Nashville natives took notice of her and whisked her away to their hometown to help her
with her songwriting. One of these musicians was Jennifer Knapp, the folk-rock musician.
saw Katy recording demos and learning guitar before landing her first record deal with "Red Hill Records."
In 2001, she released her first album entitled "Katy Hudson." The album was gospel and was pretty well
received by critics at the time but sold very few copies. She toured with Christian Kiwi Rocker, Phil Joel
and embarked on her own small tours as well.
At 17, after "Red Hill" had shut down, Katy moved to Los
Katy's Big Break
While performing in L.A., Katy adopted her stage name "Katy
Perry" as a means of separating herself from actress Kate Hudson and avoiding confusion thereof. She spent
some time writing music with a producer by the name of Glen Ballard who then signed her under his own label,
Java, in 2004. Java was dropped from its "The Island Def Jam Music Group" association shortly thereafter,
though, and the creation of Perry's debut album was put on hold.
Ballard helped introduce Katy to an
executive in A&R at Columbia Records and she was quickly signed to the label as a solo artist. Her debut
album back on track, she worked with a number of producers and songwriters on it. Unfortunately, Columbia
dropped her in 2006 and she ended up working at "Taxi Music," an A&R company in the area, for a
Thanks to Angelica Cob-Baehler of Columbia Records, who took Katy's demos to an executive at
Virgin Records, she was soon signed again, this time to Capitol Records. With the help of Dr. Luke, a
producer she'd worked with before, her two first major hits were written: "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot n
Cold." Her album, "One of the Boys" would come out to controversy, craze and massive
Katy on Tour and Achieving More
2008 was a flood of performing success for Perry
as she ended up on the lineup of the "Warped Tour" and hosted the "MTV Europe Music Awards," where she won
an award for Best New Act. Her success carried on into 2009. The year saw the rising star opening for "No
Doubt" during their Summer tour and hosting the MTV Europe Music Awards yet again; a first in the history of
the European event's hosts.
In 2010, Katy began breaking records in the music industry, with Guiness
World Records bestowing her the "Best Start on the U.S. Digital Chart by a Female Artist" position for
selling over two million copies. This proved to be just the beginning; she would go on to break the record
for female recording artists with five number-one Billboard Hot 100 songs on a single album. In fact, the
only artist ever to have topped this achievement was the King of pop himself, Michael Jackson. She was given
an honorary American Music award for this. A few of the songs that helped her achieve such a chart-topping
triumph were "California Gurls," "Last Friday Night" and "Firework."
Her "California Dreams" tour of
2010 went on to massive success as well.
From 2010 through 2012, Katy Perry grew in fame to the level
of being almost a household name. She made film appearances on "the Simpsons," "Saturday Night Live" and
"the Smurfs," released an autobiographical documentary to wild success and even endorsed her own fragrances,
"Purr" and "Meow!". In 2010, she also married Russell Brand, but their union proved to be brief - lasting
only 14 months in total.
2013 saw the release of her ninth hit single, "Dark Horse" on another
successful album entitled "Prism." Awards soon followed and she was dubbed the "Top Package" by the
Billboard Touring Awards that year. Soon, yet another record would be broken by the star, this time in
Perry Plays the Super Bowl
Katy Perry was announced as halftime performer
for the 2015 Super Bowl and performed with both Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott. Their performance was a
phenomenal success - marking the first time in Super Bowl history that an act garnered 118.5 million viewers
in the U.S. alone. The act even topped the overall viewership of the game itself!
Following her Super Bowl smash hit performance, Katy appeared in a number of documentaries,
shows and advertising campaigns. She also released new fragrances and, in 2017, launched her own shoe line
called "Katy Perry Collections."
She released her fifth album, "Witness," in 2017 and is set to star
as a judge on the revival of American Idol this year (2018).
With such an incredible career under
her belt, odds are good that Katy Perry will continue to kill it in the music industry in coming years. At
only 33, she has plenty of time to break more industry records in the future.
Phoenix, Arizona: Stevie Nicks
Rock heroine Stephanie 'Stevie' Lynn Nicks played a pivotal role in the enduring international success of
British—American rock band Fleetwood Mac. However, her solo career in music has made waves as well and her
lifelong devotion to music first began in infancy.
As a baby, Stephanie could hardly pronounce her own name and would end up coining her own nickname 'Stevie'
as she learned to speak.
Stevie enjoyed a loving, music—filled childhood. Her grandfather was especially supportive of her musical
development—teaching the growing girl to sing duets with him by the time she was four years old.
Over the course of her childhood, Nicks would experience life and growth in multiple cities as her father's
job prompted her family to relocate frequently. She'd pass much of her free time at home with her guitar (a
gift at 16 years of age) and her favorite records. Once she reached Arcadia High School in California, she'd
become part of a band for the first time (a folk rock band named "the Changing Times").
Stephanie's senior year came in a different High School. It was at Menlo—Atherton High School that she first
met the young man she'd partner with as musicians and more. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie ended up playing a
song together in a religious club they both attended. A few years later, he'd call Nicks up with an
opportunity she couldn't refuse.
Suddenly, Stevie found herself as lead singer in Buckingham's psych—rock band "Fritz."
Stevie From Band to Band
From 1967 to 1972, Stevie's career in music blossomed as lead singer for "Fritz."
The band saw significant success—going so far as to open for both Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, but Nicks
remained undecided on it all. She didn't quite settle on music as a career choice until she dropped out of
college shortly before graduating with a major in speech communication. She'd intended to pursue a career in
teaching, but ultimately turned to music instead.
When "Fritz" found its end in '72, both Buckingham and Stevie kept on producing music together. Their
nightly recording sessions on Buckingham's own tape machine would ultimately prove handy to Polydor Records
when they were given a record deal. Polydor used their recordings for their "Buckingham Nicks" release in
Trouble and Odd Jobs
"Buckingham Nicks" went over poorly in sales and Polydor quickly dropped the two artists following the
release's failure. This left them in a tough situation and, to make matters worse, Lindsey began suffering
from mononucleosis. Stevie set about working a number of odd jobs to support them both at the time. They
lived in whatever places they could, including the homes of producers Keith Olsen and Richard
This period was a low point in more ways than the above. Unfortunately, the two young musicians were
introduced to cocaine during this stressful time.
While living with Dashut in 1972, Lindsey landed a new opportunity with the Everly Brothers and set off on
tour with them. Stevie spent the time writing songs, but her inner state was shaky. Her songs reflected
regrets concerning her lost career in teaching and her relationship with Lindsey. Her parents were
supportive and offered an out by paying for her to return to college if she wanted to. Luckily, fate was
waiting on the line with a phone call.
Stevie Meets Fleetwood
Upon receiving a call from Mick Fleetwood in 1974 about replacing the band's guitarist, Lindsey insisted the
band take in both himself and Stevie. A dinner discussion at a later date sealed the deal and the British
band became British—American. Their album "Fleetwood Mac" became a massive success and Stevie's own song
"Rhiannon" would go on to become one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" according to Rolling
Stevie quickly gained recognition for her passionate performances and signature fashion (developed by
designer Margi Kent). Behind the scenes, however, her relationship with Lindsey grew strained. The two
called it quits as a couple before the release of Fleetwood Mac's next album. They kept up their work as
members of the band though, and even joined forces as backup singers for other acts. Their relationship
formed foundation for future songs, though. Notably "Go Your Own Way" (Lindsey's song about Stevie) and
"Silver Springs" (Stevie's song about Lindsey).
When "Rumours," the band's next album, came out in '77, a song written by Nicks would become the band's only
ever Billboard Hot 100 chart—topping track. That track was "Dreams" and never in her wildest ones did Stevie
anticipate what would transpire later that same year.
Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks ended up romantically involved. Their relationship was not welcome,
especially given Fleetwood's married status and they quickly ended it. Mick's marriage still ended in
divorce the following year.
An album, a label and More for Nicks
Next up on the band's release radar would be "Tusk," the band's 12th studio album. However, a single album
wouldn't do for Stevie as she launched her own solo career soon after.
Tusk came out in 1979 and featured songs and sounds considered some of Fleetwood Mac's most experimental.
Though the album was influential to numerous artists and genres, it was considered a commercial failure in
comparison to their previous release.
While the band had been recording tracks for "Tusk," Stevie recorded her own demos for what would eventually
become "Bella Donna." Along with Danny Goldberg and Paul Fishkin, she founded Modern Records under which she
released her own music.
"Bella Donna" was a total success and topped the Billboard 200 chart with ease. With such a successful
release, it should have come as no surprise that Rolling Stone would name her "Queen of rock 'n' roll."
Things were looking up, but not for long...
Stevie in the 1980s
Just as Bella Donna began seeing such success in 1981, Nicks was made aware of an impending tragedy that
would shake her to her core. The looming threat of death for her best friend Robin who'd been diagnosed with
leukemia soured her success with sorrow.
Compounding the bad news was Robin's pregnancy. She birthed a son and made Stevie his godmother. In 1982,
Robin then succumbed to her illness—plummeting Nicks into grief. Bereft and mourning her friend, Stevie
decided to marry her widowed husband in an attempt to better care for her child. The two divorced mere
Freshly devastated by this development, Stevie returned to record "Mirage," Fleetwood Mac's next album. The
very next year, she released her own second album "The Wild Heart" which went double platinum. Two tours and
a slew of successful performances followed suit. In 1985, her third studio album "Rock a Little" would come
out to great success as well. The following year saw her touring with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan overseas, as
well as a major life change.
Stevie's use of cocaine had gradually gone from recreational to an addiction. As it turned out, a part of
her longed to follow in the footsteps of her idols Janis and Jimi, even to an early passing. Thankfully, she
was made aware of her problem during a visit with a plastic surgeon and chose to check into the Betty Ford
Center for help. In 30 days, she went from carrying a gram of cocaine with her at all times to sobriety,
though she’d taken up a prescription for Klonopin to help stave off a relapse.
With a new lease on life and an album on the way ("Tango in the Night"), Stevie was back on track in her
life. "Tango in the Night" would ultimately become the band's second—highest—grossing album of all time.
Unfortunately, not everything went so smoothly as its release.
Lindsey Buckingham made a decision to quit the band before their tour—resulting in an ugly spat between
himself and Nicks. Buckingham was replaced and the tour was made, though Stevie succumbed to the familiar
struggle of addiction; this time, to her Klonopin prescription. An ironic twist given the prescription's
In the face of Stevie's illness, the tour had to be suspended and started back up in '88. That same year,
she'd begin work on her next solo album "The Other Side of the Mirror" with a producer she'd later fall in
love with (Rupert Hine). The album was a commercial success upon release in 1989 and the accompanying tour
that same year went over well, despite Nicks noting her Klonopin dependency has since left her void of all
memories from the period. More music with Fleetwood Mac would follow, but also more trouble.
Nicks in the 1990s
In 1990, Fleetwood Mac's new album "Behind the Mask" released successfully, but Mick and Nicks had a falling
out. Stevie quit the band but would reunite with the original lineup two years later to play "Don't Stop" at
Bill Clinton's inauguration. The president had chosen the song for his campaign.
Nicks was notably ill at ease as her prescription predicament approached a tipping point. After an injury at
her home due to side—effects of the drug, she underwent an arduous hospital detox process that lasted over
four 0 days.
In 1994, Stevie put out another solo album entitled "Street Angel." The album went over poorly and her tour
was an equal disappointment. Fans were fed up with her for having gained weight, mostly due to the effects
of Klonoprin and she took a stronger interest in her health in response to the negative attention—avoiding
live performances until she was healthy again.
Come '96, Nicks would set differences aside to collaborate with Lindsey on "Twisted" for the movie
"Twister." More movie music came next, but also a full reuniting with Fleetwood Mac for a new tour. The tour
was named "The Dance" and it's accompanying live CD was hugely successful. Stevie's health had largely
improved before the tour.
2 Years after "The Dance," the band was inducted into the rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame and presented with an
"Outstanding Contribution" award at the BRIT Awards. Before the year ended, Stevie also released a box set
of her solo music with Warner Music entitled "Enchanted" to widespread acclaim.
Stevie at the Turn of the Millennium
Stevie's solo album release of 2001 opened up new opportunities for her as the 2000s began. "Trouble in
Shangri—La" revitalized Nicks's standing as a solo artist—garnering praise, awards and even a Grammy
nomination. The album featured collaborations with Natalie Maines, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan and Macy
The accompanying tour for "Trouble in Shangri—La" was also a success despite difficulties with bronchitis
and the events of 9—11.
The very next year, Stevie would return to Fleetwood Mac to help record yet another album by the name of
"Say You Will." The album and two year world tour went relatively well, but Stevie found little enjoyment in
it all. Fellow band—mate Christine McVie hadn't joined in and Stevie had struggled to work with Buckingham
during production. She took a couple months to recover from the stresses of the tour before embarking on a
number of solo performances across the country.
Some time late in 2004, Nicks set about donating hundreds of autographed iPod Nanos loaded with
hand—selected music to wounded military personnel. She ultimately founded a charity to support wounded
soldiers called "Stevie Nicks' Band of Soldiers."
A couple years later, in 2007, Stevie's best—of album "Crystal Visions" would unveil to relative success,
followed in 2009 by "The Soundstage Sessions" (her tenth solo album and first live album). That same year,
she went on tour with Fleetwood Mac yet again—playing the band's greatest hits.
Stevie in Modernity
As 2011 rolled in, so did the release of Stevie's solo album "In Your Dreams." She had produced this album
with the assistance of Dave Stewart of Eurhythmics fame.
For the first time, Nicks took mostly to television for the sake of promoting her new music. She starred as
a guest on more than five shows when her album released, including "The Tonight Show," "The X Factor," "The
Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Dancing with the Stars." "In Your Dreams" was quite well—received all—around and
even debuted high up on the Billboard 200 (number six ). She'd continue making appearances on T.V. with some
regularity from then on.
2013 saw the experienced star touring once more with Fleetwood Mac and even releasing fresh material with
the band on a four—track EP simply called "Extended Play."
More T.V. time was given to Stevie for her appearance in the eerie "American Horror Story" series' third
season. Nicks played a "white witch" and performed a bit of her own music on the show in 2014. That same
year, she released yet another album called "24 Karat Gold—Songs from the Vault" and took off on tour to
promote it. As of yet, her most recent studio release has been as a collaborator on singer Lana Del Rey's
song "Beautiful People Beautiful Problems."
It is clear that Stevie Nicks's dedication to her craft has taken her on a roller coaster ride
through life and love. Through ups and downs, trials and successes, she has stayed true to her purpose in
music and inspired millions in the process.
By no means is her long—standing career yet over, though. More music must be on the way.
Bay City, Michigan: Madonna
Among pop musicians and entertainers, Madonna ranks near the top for overall success and
The singer's career in music has spanned decades, yet her appeal endures to this day. With
numerous chart-topping singles and successful tours under her belt, it might seem as though she's always
been a star, but her massive achievement in the industry didn't quite happen overnight.
In fact, the
"Queen of Pop" started off her career as a college-dropout...
Madonna Louise Ciccone in 1958 to Italian immigrant parents in Michigan, Madonna would face a tragic loss at
an early age; that of her mother. In 1963, her mother passed away due to breast cancer and her father Tony
remarried. The relationship between Madonna and her father would be severely strained as she grew up
Madonna had a fairly positive time in school. Her grades were relatively high and she
was awarded a scholarship to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. She had an
interest in ballet, but ended up dropping out of college in 1978 to pursue a career in music somewhere in
Madonna in the Big Apple
Upon moving to New York, Madonna had very little to
work with. She took whatever jobs she could find as a dancer in a variety of dance troupes and also worked
at Dunkin' Donuts for a while.
Madonna met a musician by the name of Dan Gilroy while on tour as a
backup singer and dancer for Patrick Hernandez. The two fell in love and formed a band together called "the
Breakfast Club." The Breakfast Club played rock music and featured Madonna on drums and guitar as well as
Unfortunately, its time was short-lived and she chose to leave the band by 1981. She quickly
started another band with another boyfriend - this time naming the band "Emmy." Her and Stephen Bray, her
boyfriend, wrote songs together for "Emmy," but Madonna began breaking away as a solo
Madonna's Big Break
Madonna landed a singles deal with Sire Records and set
about working on her first track.
1982 marks the year in which her debut single, "Everybody,"
released. The single was a massive success in the US - ranking near the top on Billboard's dance chart. Her
second single, "Burning Up," followed suit in 1983.
Suddenly, the young performer was on track for
releasing a full album. She worked on her eponymous album "Madonna" initially with the help of Warner Bros.
producer Reggie Lucas. However, she decided to take her ideas to her boyfriend John Benitez, who helped to
finish production on the album and produced "Holiday."
"Holiday," her third single, became Madonna's
first international hit. Her album release in July of 1983 went over quite well too, with a peak rank of 8th
on Billboard's top 200. A pair of singles from the album ranked high on Billboard's 100 chart as well;
"Lucky Star" and "Borderline."
Like a Virgin, Marriage and Madonna's First Tour
fame grew and grew in the years that followed. Her singular style - created by stylist Maripol - helped
cement her as one of the most iconic performers of the 80's. When her second album, "Like a Virgin,"
released in 1984, it went number 1 in 7 countries and broke the record for female albums - selling enough
copies to eventually be certified diamond.
For six weeks, the title track of the album topped the
charts. Also on the album, "Material Girl" reached 2nd on the charts at the time.
Madonna met and
married actor Sean Penn in 1985. That same year marked the beginning of the singer's film career. Her most
successful appearance was in "Desperately Seeking Susan," a comedy that also featured her soon-to-be hit
song "Get Into the Groove."
In April that same year, she began her first major tour "the Virgin Tour"
with the Beastie Boys opening for her. It was a massive success.
Controversy and Continued
Like a Virgin had caused a minor uproar among moralists concerned with the song's sexual
undertones. However, of a far more controversial nature were a series of photos of the singer nude published
in Playboy and Penthouse in July of the same year.
The photos themselves were of a much younger
Madonna, from 1978, when she'd needed money desperately. The singer shrugged off the issue and pushed
through to greater success in the entertainment industry. Come 1986, Madonna would release a new album to
best her others - "True Blue."
"True Blue" unveiled to fanfare and unprecedented success. It topped
the charts in no less than 28 countries and was picked by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992 as the
best-selling female album of all time.
"True Blue" featured such memorable tracks as "La Isla
Bonita," "Papa Don't Preach" and "Live to Tell" - all Billboard Top 5's.
1986 and 1987 saw the star
performing in films such as "Shanghai Surprise" and "Who's That Girl" - the former of which helped her win a
Golden Raspberry award for Worst Actress. Come 1989, she'd reacquaint herself with
Madonna in the Early 90's
1989 marks the year in which Madonna would divorce
Sean Penn. Her success continued to grow, as did her controversial nature at the time. With the release of
her hit song and video "Like a Prayer," she'd invoke harsh public scrutiny on the basis of religion -
garnering religious condemnation from the Vatican and a dropped endorsement deal with Pepsi.
of the controversy surrounding it, song's accompanying album was successful and featured a number of top 5
charting hits like "Express Yourself" and "Cherish."
In 1990, Madonna would return triumphantly to
film as Breathless Mahoney in "Dick Tracey." Her soundtrack album for the film produced a chart-topper as
well; "Vogue." When April came around, the singer set off on her "Blond Ambition World Tour." A recording of
which would go on to win her a Grammy.
The tour's sexually suggestive choreography generated more
negative religious feedback towards the artist, but not quite as much as subsequent Madonna creations
In November that same year, Madonna released a record-breaking compilation album of her
greatest hits with bonus singles "Justify My Love" and "Rescue Me." The video for the former featured
particularly explicit sexual imagery and nudity considered so graphic that MTV banned it. Then, in 1992, her
relationship with rapper Vanilla Ice fell apart in the face of her explicit coffee table book "Sex's"
release. The public's general reaction to the book was negative at the time, though it was commercially
successful. It's success, however, did not transfer over to the album "Erotica" that she released at the
same time. It became the worst performing album she'd released up until that time.
Things weren't all
controversial for the artist in 1992, though. Her appearance in "A League of Their Own," a film about an
all-women baseball team, was quite successful. The movie itself was number 1 at the box office and the
attendant single Madonna released for it, "This Used to Be My Playground," topped the charts. Before year's
end, she'd found her own company in the entertainment industry, "Maverick."
Madonna made a point of indulging in controversy in 1993.
nude in 2 fairly provocative films entitled "Dangerous Game" and "Body of Evidence," then set out on her
"The Girlie Show World Tour," dressed as a dominatrix amidst topless dancers.
On television, her
language was strong enough to require expletive censoring and stunts such as asking David Letterman to sniff
a pair of her panties caused many of her fans to doubt her career's potential longevity.
thereafter, there was a noticeable shift in the performer's behavior and artistic direction. A far less
aggressive album followed by a collection of ballads would follow - signaling a new era for Madonna
Shortly after the release of her ballads and a brief
relationship with rapper Tupac Shakur, Madonna began a relationship with her fitness trainer Carlos Leon.
The relationship resulted in her becoming pregnant with her daughter Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. During her
pregnancy, Madonna made waves as Eva Peron in the musical "Evita" - netting a Golden Globe in the
After giving birth to her daughter, Madonna found faith in Kabbalah, which she then poured
into her 7th studio album "Ray of Light." The album single "Frozen" ranked 1st and 2nd in the UK and the US
respectively. The album itself also garnered a total of 4 Grammy's.
Madonna met her would-be second
husband Guy Ritchie and, come 1999, she'd release the hit single "Beautiful Stranger" for "Austin Powers"
and win yet another Grammy.
Millennium of Madonna
In 2000, Madonna's shift would mature to
modern electronic dance music. "Music," her album release at the turn of the millennium, was hugely
successful in over 20 countries - ranking 1st and selling millions. That same year, the singer married Guy
Ritchie and gave birth to her son Rocco John Ritchie. The very next year, she was touring again. Her "
Drowned World Tour" was a massive success with 47 sold-out shows.
2002 went relatively poorly for
Madonna as her reputation as an actress soured due to several poor performances in film and on stage. That
same year, her single for the James Bond movie "Die Another Day" would receive a nomination for 'Worst Song'
in the Golden Raspberry awards.
Her luck would not improve from 2003 to 2004... Her album "American
Life" was a failure and her provocative performance at the 2003 "MTV Video Music Awards" proved regrettably
controversial due to her kissing Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears on stage.
She landed a
lucrative children's book deal, but its success was overshadowed by her company's lawsuit against Warner
Finally, in mid-2004 the performer's luck changed. Her "Re-Invention World Tour" was a
massive success and the UK Music Hall of Fame inducted her into its ranks as one of the founding members.
Her next album release, in 2005, would return her to the spotlight in style. "Confessions on a Dance Floor"
won her a Grammy and its lead single "Hung Up" reached number 1 in 41 countries. The accompanying tour for
the album went over well too, albeit with some religious controversy. This was all overlooked when Madonna
founded a charity in Malawi during that same tour and adopted a boy by the name of David
2007 to Present
Madonna's career ploughed on in 2007 with her producing a
documentary, directing a film and, the next year, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her
2008 album "Hard Candy" landed another top-ten charting single and continued success in the industry. Her
"Sticky & Sweet Tour" became the second highest-grossing tour of all time.
marriage with Guy Ritchie came to an end in 2008, but 2009 saw her adopting another son in Malawi and taking
the top spot as best-selling single artist of the decade.
Madonna designed a clothing line with her
daughter, opened her own "Hard Candy" fitness centers around the world and, in 2012, gave a record-breaking
half-time show at the super bowl.
The singer's album release and tour of 2012 entitled "MDNA" was
largely successful and catapulted her to the number one position among celebrity earners of the
In 2015, Madonna released her most recent album, "Rebel Heart," another commercial success
featuring a number of prominent producers and artists. The attendant tour was just as positive and grossed
upwards of 160 million dollars overall. The next year, she proved outspoken as regards the U.S. presidential
election and disappointed in its outcome. The very next year, she moved to Portugal with her two newly
adopted daughters Esther and Stella.
Madonna's career has endured many changes in trends and
demographics, but her enduring success has earned her a place in history as the "Queen of Pop."
music and performances continue to attract listeners and viewers to this day and her incredible career is
still far from over.