Jepsen cites a mix of classic rock and alternative bands as her musical influence, such as James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, Kimbra, La Roux, and Robyn.
Life and career
Jepsen was born November 21, 1985 attended Heritage Park Secondary School in Mission, British Columbia and has since performed there post-graduation. She later attended the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, BC before auditioning for Canadian Idol. After completing the Canadian Idol
tour, Jepsen retreated to B.C. to focus on writing, recording and
completing her band. Her demos attracted attention and she was
eventually signed a joint management deal with Simkin Artist Management
and Dexter Entertainment. A deal with Fontana/Maple Music quickly followed, leading Jepsen into the studio with producer/writer Ryan Stewart.
2008–11: Tug of War
On June 16, 2008, Jepsen released her debut single and another single, a cover of John Denver‘s song “Sunshine On My Shoulders“. It is the only cover song on her debut album.
On July 21, 2008, Jepsen added two new songs from the album to her
MySpace page: “Bucket” and “Heavy Lifting”. In August 2008, Jepsen’s
MySpace page announced that the album’s title would be Tug of War,
and it was released on September 30, 2008. The page also mentioned two
more songs that were included on the album: “Tug of War” and “Sweet
Talker”. The former was released as a single on iTunes on September 16,
2008, and has been receiving radio airplay on various stations across
Canada. She performed the latter as her Canadian Idol audition.
A music video for “Tug of War” was released in January 2009. “Bucket”,
her second single, was released in May 2009, and the video for “Sour
Candy”, a duet with Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench
who has also help produce some of her songs including “Call Me Maybe”,
has also been released. All of Jepsen’s music videos have been directed
by Ben Knechtel. In spring 2009, she toured western Canada with Marianas
Trench and Shiloh. She then went on a cross-Canada tour with Marianas Trench, The New Cities and Mission District.
2012–present: Curiosity and second studio album
Jepsen’s second album Curiosity was released on February 14,
2012. It was produced by Ryan Stewart and Kevin James Maher produced the
track “Dear Julien”. On the same day as the release, Justin Bieber made the announcement on the MuchMusic program New Music Live that Jepsen has been signed to School Boy Records, the label run by Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun.
The lead single, “Call Me Maybe” (which gained notoriety after “Primetime” Sam Roberts played the track during “After Opie and Anthony Live” on SiriusXM Satellite Radio) is from her second studio album Curiosity was released on September 21, 2011 and was produced by Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench
and co-written by Jepsen, Ramsay and Tavish Crowe. “Call Me Maybe” is
the first song by a Canadian artist to reach the top of the digital
chart since Justin Bieber’s “Baby” in January 2010. It is also only the
11th song by a Canadian artist to reach No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart
since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital download sales in 2005.
The song has also peaked at #1 on Billboard‘s Canadian Hot 100, being the 4th Canadian artist to do so, after Avril Lavigne‘s “Girlfriend“, Nikki Yanofsky‘s “I Believe“, and the Young Artists for Haiti version of “Wavin’ Flag“, originally by Canadian rapper K’naan.
Jepsen is currently touring on the Shout it Out World Tour. She is the opening act for the pop-rock trio Hanson. In February 2012, Jepsen visited Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun in Los Angeles, California, where she subsequently signed to School Boy Records and Interscope. Her music will still be distributed by 604 Records in Canada. On March 23, 2012, Jepsen made her first American television debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, performing “Call Me Maybe” (with Jared Manierka on keys), later joined by Justin Bieber. Carly was also the first Canadian Idol contestant to enter the UK charts, when Call Me Maybe debuted at number one.
Carly played at Citywalk at Universal Studios on April 14, 2012. 400
people who paid $5 were allowed to meet with the singer and get CDs
autographed by her.
Jepsen, 26, has been observed as either dressing “too young” for her
age, in an effort either to appeal to the pre-teen demographic, or keep a
“squeaky clean” image in contrast to her scandal-ridden contemporaries.
On May 20, 2012 Jepsen performed “Call Me Maybe” at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. On May 22, 2012 she performed “Tug of War”, “Curiosity”, and “Call Me Maybe” at the first Q102 Springle Ball concert. On June 17, 2012 Jepsen performed “Call Me Maybe” at the 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards and later on she dueted “Wild Ones” with Flo Rida. On June 26, 2012 Jepsen’s duet with Owl City “Good Time“, was released as a digital download. The song is expected to appear on both artists’ upcoming album. The song debuted at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, being his second top 20 hit single on the chart.
In October 2012, Jepsen will appear in the premiere episode of 90210 and perform a new song from her upcoming album.
Canadian Idol performances
|Episode||Song choice||Original artist||Order #||Result|
|Audition||“Sweet Talker”||Carly Rae Jepsen||N/A||Advanced|
|Top 80||“I Try“||Macy Gray||Duets||Advanced|
|Top 40||“Breathe (2 AM)“||Anna Nalick||N/A||Advanced|
|Top 22||“Put Your Records On“||Corinne Bailey Rae||11||Advanced|
|Top 18||“Sweet Ones“||Sarah Slean||4||Advanced|
|Top 14||“Waiting in Vain“||Bob Marley & The Wailers||3||Advanced|
|Top 10||“Inside and Out“||Bee Gees||3||Bottom 3|
|Top 9||“Georgia on My Mind“||Hoagy Carmichael||5||Safe|
|Top 7||“Killer Queen“||Queen||3||Bottom 3|
|Top 6||“Come To My Window“||Melissa Etheridge||4||Bottom 3|
|Top 5||“Chuck E’s in Love“||Rickie Lee Jones||4||Safe|
|Top 4||“My Heart Belongs to Daddy“||Mary Martin||1||Safe|
|“I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)“||Ivie Anderson||5|
|Top 3||“At Seventeen“||Janis Ian||3||Eliminated|
- Tug of War (2008)
- Curiosity (2012)
|2007||Canadian Idol||Herself (Contestant)||Season 5/Eliminated 3rd|
Awards and nominations
|2010||Canadian Radio Music Awards||Song of the Year, “Tug of War”||Won|
|Western Canadian Music Awards||Song of the Year, “Tug of War”||Nominated|
|Juno Awards||New Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Juno Awards||Songwriter of the Year (With Ryan Stewart)||Nominated|
|Much Music Video Awards||UR FAVE New Artist||Nominated|
|2012||Much Music Video Awards||Pop Video of the Year, “Call Me Maybe”||Nominated|
|Much Music Video Awards||UR Fave Artist||Nominated|
|Much Music Video Awards||Most Streamed Video of the Year, “Call Me Maybe”||Won|
|Much Music Video Awards||Video of the Year, “Call Me Maybe”||Won|
|Much Music Video Awards||UR Fave Video, “Call Me Maybe”||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Breakout Artist||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Summer Song, “Call Me Maybe”||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Music Star Female||Nominated|
|Western Canadian Music Awards||Pop Recording of the Year, “Curiosity”||Pending|
Who is Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg? The entertainment and acting world knows hims as Mark Wahlberg, he is an American actor, film and television producer, and former rapper. He was known as Marky Mark in his earlier years, and became famous for his 1991 debut as frontman with the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. He was named No. 1 on VH1‘s 40 Hottest Hotties of the 90’s. Wahlberg is well known for his roles in films such as Fear (1996), Boogie Nights (1997), Three Kings (1999), The Perfect Storm (2000), Planet of the Apes (2001), Rock Star (2001), The Italian Job (2003), I Heart Huckabees (2004), Four Brothers (2005), The Departed (2006), Invincible (2006), Shooter (2007), Max Payne (2008), The Fighter (2010), Date Night (2010), and Ted (2012). He has also served as the executive producer of the TV series Entourage, Boardwalk Empire and How to Make It in America.
Wahlberg was born June 5, 1971 in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest of nine children, with siblings Arthur, Jim, Paul, Robert, Tracey, Michelle, Debbie (died in 2003 at age 44), and Donnie. Wahlberg’s mother, Alma Elaine (née Donnelly), was a bank clerk and nurse’s aide, and Wahlberg’s father, Donald Edward Wahlberg, was a Teamster who worked as a delivery driver. His parents divorced in 1982. His father was of half Swedish and half Irish ancestry, and his mother is of Irish, English, and French Canadian descent. Maternally, Wahlberg is distantly related to author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Wahlberg had a Roman Catholic upbringing and attended Copley Square High School (but never graduated) on Newbury Street in Boston.
Assaults and conviction
Wahlberg had been in trouble 20–25 times with the Boston Police Department in his youth. By the age of thirteen, Wahlberg had developed an addiction to cocaine and other substances. At fifteen, he harassed a group of black school children on a field trip by throwing rocks and shouting racial epithets.
When he was sixteen, Wahlberg approached a middle-aged Vietnamese man
on the street and, using a large wooden stick, knocked him unconscious
(while calling him “Vietnam fucking shit”). He also attacked another
Vietnamese man, leaving him permanently blind in one eye.
For these crimes, Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder, pled guilty to assault, and was sentenced to two years in state prison at Boston’s Deer Island House of Correction, of which he served 45 days. In another incident, the 21-year-old Wahlberg fractured the jaw of a neighbor in an unprovoked attack.
Commenting in 2006 on his past crimes, Wahlberg has stated: “I did a
lot of things that I regret, and I have certainly paid for my mistakes.”
He said the right thing to do would be to try to find the blinded man
and make amends, and admitted he has not done so, but added that he was
no longer burdened by guilt: “You have to go and ask for forgiveness and
it wasn’t until I really started doing good and doing right by other
people, as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go
away. So I don’t have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good
when I wake up in the morning.”
After landing in prison following this assault, he decided to change
his ways. According to Wahlberg, “As soon as I began that life of crime,
there was always a voice in my head telling me I was going to end up in
jail. Three of my brothers had done time. My sister went to prison so
many times I lost count. Finally I was there, locked up with the kind of
guys I’d always wanted to be like. Now I’d earned my stripes and I was
just like them, and I realized it wasn’t what I wanted at all. I’d ended
up in the worst place I could possibly imagine and I never wanted to go
back. First of all, I had to learn to stay on the straight and narrow.”
Wahlberg first relied on the guidance of his parish priest to turn his back on crime. He told his street gang
that he was leaving them and had “some serious fights” with them over
it. The actor commented in 2009: “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life
and I’ve done bad things, but I never blamed my upbringing for that. I
never behaved like a victim so that I would have a convenient reason for
victimizing others. Everything I did wrong was my own fault. I was
taught the difference between right and wrong at an early age. I take
Wahlberg first came to fame as the younger brother of Donnie Wahlberg of the successful 1980s and 1990s boy band New Kids on the Block. Mark, at age thirteen, had been one of the group’s original members, along with Donnie, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, and Jonathan Knight. However, he soon quit. It was his departure that eventually allowed Joe McIntyre to take his place as the fifth member of the group.
Wahlberg began recording as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, earning a hit with “Good Vibrations” from the album Music for the People. The record was produced by brother Donnie and later hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, later becoming certified as a platinum single. The second single, “Wildside”, peaked at No. 5 on Billboards Hot Singles Sales chart and at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
It was certified as a gold single. Marky Mark opened for the New Kids
on the Block during their last tour. The second Marky Mark and the Funky
Bunch LP, You Gotta Believe,
was not as successful as the prior, yielding only a minor hit single in
the title track. Wahlberg later collaborated with the late reggae/ragga singer Prince Ital Joe on the album Life in the Streets. The project combined rap and ragga vocals with strong eurodance music (as in the singles Happy People, German No. 1 hit United, Life in the Streets, and Babylon) courtesy of Frank Peterson and Alex Christensen as producers.
Wahlberg first displayed his physique in the Good Vibrations music video and most prominently in a series of underwear ads for Calvin Klein shot by Herb Ritts, following it with Calvin Klein television advertisements. Magazine and television promotions would sometimes feature Mark exclusively or accompanied by model Kate Moss. Annie Leibovitz also shot a famous session of Mark Wahlberg in underwear for Vanity Fair’s annual Hall of Fame issue. He also made a workout video titled The Marky Mark Workout: Form… Focus… Fitness (ISBN 1-55510-910-1).
In 2012, he launched a line of sports nutrition supplements called “Marked”.
Wahlberg dropped the “Marky Mark” moniker and began an acting career, making his debut in the 1993 TV movie The Substitute. His big screen debut came the next year, with the Danny DeVito feature Renaissance Man. A basketball fanatic, he caught the attention of critics after appearing in The Basketball Diaries in 1995, playing the role of Mickey alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, in a film adaptation of the Jim Carroll book of the same name. He also starred in the 1996 James Foley thriller Fear.
He has earned many positive reviews after successful movies like Boogie Nights (as Dirk Diggler), Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, The Italian Job, and Four Brothers. His performance in I ♥ Huckabees was voted best supporting performance of the year in the 2004 Village Voice Critics Poll. Wahlberg was originally cast as Linus Caldwell in Ocean’s Eleven; Matt Damon played the role instead. The two later worked together in The Departed. Wahlberg was also considered for a role in the film Brokeback Mountain. It was originally intended to star him and Joaquin Phoenix,
but Wahlberg was uncomfortable with the film’s sex scenes as was
Phoenix (whose role went to Heath Ledger) and Mark’s role ultimately
went to Jake Gyllenhaal.
Wahlberg starred in the American football drama, Invincible, based on the true story of bartender Vince Papale. He is also the executive producer of the HBO series Entourage which is loosely based on his experiences in Hollywood. He also appeared as a foul-mouthed Massachusetts State Police detective in Martin Scorsese‘s critically acclaimed thriller, The Departed in 2006, which netted him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, and an NSFC Best Supporting Actor award. Wahlberg has confirmed that he was approached to star in a sequel to The Departed, but it is still early in development. The sequel would reportedly revolve around the Staff Sergeant played by Wahlberg.
To prepare for his role in Shooter, Wahlberg attended long-range shooting training at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Pahrump, Nevada, and was able to hit a target at 1100 yards on his second day, a feat which usually takes weeks to achieve. He has said in a number of interviews that he will retire at the age of 40 to concentrate on parenthood and professional golf. However, in early 2007 he indicated that the latter was no longer the plan as “his golf game is horrible”. He played Jack Salmon, a leading role in Peter Jackson‘s film of The Lovely Bones. In 2007, he starred opposite Joaquin Phoenix in We Own the Night, a movie about a family of police officers in New York City.
He starred in M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Happening as Eliot Moore, which premiered in movie theatres on June 13, 2008. The same year, he played the title role in Max Payne, based on a video game of the same name. While promoting Max Payne, Mark became involved in a playful feud with Saturday Night Live‘s Andy Samberg and threatened to “crack that big fucking nose of his”. Samberg had done an impression of Wahlberg in a Saturday Night Live skit titled “Mark Wahlberg Talks To Animals”.
However, Wahlberg later appeared in a follow-up skit parodying both the
original skit, Samberg’s impression of Wahlberg, and his own threats to
Family and relationships
In the early 1990s, Wahlberg dated former child actress Soleil Moon Frye. Wahlberg and model Rhea Durham
have been together since 2001 and were married on August 1, 2009 at the
Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. The couple have four
children, Ella Rae (born September 2, 2003), Michael Robert (born March
21, 2006), Brendan Joseph (born September 16, 2008) and Grace Margaret
(born January 11, 2010). In a 2011 interview with USA Weekend, Wahlberg stated that he had taken his children to visit his old Dorchester neighborhood, saying “I want them to know that not everyone is as fortunate and how important it is to work hard and give back.”
Wahlberg is a committed Roman Catholic,
who attends daily Mass, credits his faith and a priest from his
childhood for helping him turn his life around, and recognizes the
seriousness of his faith.
Actively involved in charity, Wahlberg established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in May 2001 for the purpose of raising and distributing funds to youth service and enrichment programs.
Wahlberg is also active with The Good Shepherd Center for Homeless
Women and Children. In an interview, Mark said that it’s important to
let the homeless know that people care about them and are working to
help the impoverished get back on their feet.
Wahlberg has four tattoos done by various artists including Paul Timman. The tattoos include Sylvester the cat with Tweety Bird in his mouth on his ankle, a design of his initials “MW” with his surname “Wahlberg” on his upper right arm, and a Bob Marley tattoo with “One Love” on his upper left arm. The final tattoo, which Wahlberg holds as his most meaningful, is the rosary tattooed around his neck, with a crucifix and the words “In God I Trust” resting over his heart. On January 9, 2012 Wahlberg was a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman.
He spoke about his tattoos and stated he is in the process of having
them removed. Initially he was told it would take 8–10 laser treatments,
however he required over 30 treatments and is still in the process of
getting them removed. He cited his career and children as the reason for
the removal of the tattoos. His first tattoo was as a young teenager
and it was of a shamrock. As it was not professionally done, he said the
shamrock was not straight and had the Tweety Bird tattoo placed over it
after arriving in Los Angeles.
|We Own the Night||2007||Producer|
|In Treatment||2008–10||Executive producer|
|How to Make It in America||2010–11||Executive producer|
|Boardwalk Empire||2010–present||Executive producer|
Before Roxy Music (before 1971)
Ferry was born 26 September 1945, Washington, County Durham, UK into a working class family (his father, Fred Ferry, was a farmer who also looked after pit ponies), Ferry attended Washington Grammar-Technical School (now called Washington School) on Spout Lane from 1957 and achieved nine O levels, then studied fine art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne under Richard Hamilton. His contemporaries included Tim Head and Nick de Ville. He became a pottery teacher at Holland Park school in London. Ferry formed the band The Banshees, and later, together with Graham Simpson, the band The Gas Board.
Roxy Music and solo years (1971–1983)
Ferry formed Roxy Music with a group of friends and acquaintances, beginning with Graham Simpson, in November 1970. The line-up expanded to include saxophonist/oboist Andy Mackay and his acquaintance Brian Eno, who owned tape recorders and played Mackay’s synthesiser. Other early members included timpanist Dexter Lloyd and ex-Nice guitarist David O’List, who were replaced respectively by Paul Thompson and Phil Manzanera before the band recorded its first album. (Early Peel sessions for UK radio station Radio 1 feature O’List’s playing.)
Roxy Music’s first hit, “Virginia Plain”, just missed topping the charts, and was followed up with several hit singles and albums, with Ferry as vocalist and occasional instrumentalist (he taught himself piano in his mid-twenties) and Eno contributing synthesiser backing.
For many years, Ferry has collaborated with fashion designer Antony Price for clothing and image consultations. Price is famous for his shop on London’s Kings Road. He created suits recognised worldwide for their elegance, and gained fame when celebrities and rock stars dressed in his designs. Indeed, one comment by Nicky Haslam about Ferry was that he was more likely to redecorate a hotel room than to trash it.
After their second album, Eno left Roxy Music, leaving Ferry its undisputed leader. Ferry had already started a parallel solo career in 1973, initially performing cover versions of old standards on albums such as These Foolish Things (1973) and Another Time, Another Place (1974), both of which reached the UK Top 5. After the concert tours in support of Siren, Roxy Music temporarily disbanded in 1976 though band-members Paul Thompson, Phil Manzanera and Eddie Jobson took part in recording Ferry’s subsequent solo material. In 1976, Ferry covered a Beatles song, “She’s Leaving Home” for the transitory musical documentary All This and World War II. He went on to release three solo albums during this period, Let’s Stick Together (1976), In Your Mind (1977) and The Bride Stripped Bare (1978), but by this time his career had begun to wane.
Roxy Music reconvened in 1979, with Ferry, Manzanera, Thompson and Mackay (Jobson was no longer a member). The band recorded the albums Manifesto (1979), Flesh + Blood (1980) and Avalon (1982), the latter two reaching number one in the UK album charts. The band also achieved their first and only UK number one single, “Jealous Guy“, released in 1981 as a posthumous tribute to its author John Lennon who had been murdered some months earlier. It was the only one of their singles not written by Ferry.
After lengthy tours to promote the Avalon album in 1982, Ferry decided to put Roxy Music on hold and continue as a solo artist.
After Roxy Music (1985–2001)
Ferry continued to record, and released his sixth solo album, Boys and Girls, in 1985. The album reached number one in the UK, his first and only solo recording to do so, and also became his biggest selling album in the US.
In July 1985, Ferry performed at the London Live Aid show, again accompanied by David Gilmour. He was hit with technical difficulties on sound, the drummer’s drumstick broke at the start of the first song “Sensation” and Gilmour’s Fender Stratocaster went dead, so he had to switch to his candy-apple red Stratocaster for the rest of the performance. The difficulties in sound were overcome for “Slave to Love” (featured on the soundtrack to 9½ Weeks) and “Jealous Guy”. As with other successful Live Aid acts, his current album, Boys and Girls, remained in the chart for almost a year.
After the Avalon promotional tours, Ferry was rather reluctant to return to life on the road; however, a change of management persuaded him to try touring again in 1988 to promote the previous year’s Bête Noire release. Following the tour, Ferry teamed up again with Brian Eno for Mamouna (collaborating with Robin Trower on guitar and as producer). The album took more than five years to produce, and was created under the working title Horoscope. During production, Ferry simultaneously recorded and released another covers album, Taxi in 1993, which proved to be a greater commercial and critical success than Mamouna would be when it was finally released in 1994. In 1996, Ferry performed the song “Dance With Life” for the Phenomenon soundtrack, which was written by Bernie Taupin and Martin Page. In 1999 Ferry appeared with Alan Partridge (played by Steve Coogan) on BBC’s Comic Relief.
After taking some time off from music, Ferry returned in 1999. He began to perform a mix of 1930s songs and songs of his own, including several from the Roxy collection, and recorded them on the album As Time Goes By, which was nominated for a Grammy award.
Roxy Music reunion and continuing solo career (2001–present)
Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay and Thompson re-reformed Roxy Music in 2001 and toured extensively for a couple of years though the band did not record any new material. In 2002, with the help of Manzanera and Thompson, Ferry returned with his next studio album, Frantic, which also featured a collaboration with Brian Eno. The album was a mix of new original material and covers – something that Ferry had not attempted on a solo album since The Bride Stripped Bare in 1978.
In 2003, Ferry provided the entertainment for the Miss World election, a show with an expected 2 billion viewers worldwide. In 2004, Ferry starred in the short film The Porter. In 2005, it was confirmed that Roxy Music (Ferry, Eno, Mackay, Manzanera and Thompson) would be performing further shows at that year’s Isle Of Wight festival and that they would also be recording a further album of new and original songs, with no indication of when such a project would reach completion. Brian Eno confirmed that he has worked in the studio with Roxy Music once more and has co-written songs for the new album. However, Ferry later debunked the idea of a new Roxy Music album and stated that the material from these sessions will most likely be released as part of his next solo album, and that “I don’t think we’ll record as Roxy again.”
In October 2006, Bryan Ferry modelled clothing range Autograph with British retailer, Marks and Spencer. In 2007, Ferry released the album Dylanesque, a tribute album to Bob Dylan. The album charted in the UK Top 10, and Ferry undertook a UK tour.
On October 7, 2008, Ferry was honored as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards. He joined past Icons including Peter Gabriel, Ray Davies, Steve Winwood, Van Morrison, amongst others.
In 2009, Ferry provided vocals on DJ Hell‘s record, U Can Dance. A new version of the track was recorded for Ferry’s new studio album, Olympia, released in October 2010. The album contained the material he had been recorded with his former Roxy Music bandmembers, and also featured an impressive cast of other musicians such as Nile Rodgers, David A. Stewart, Scissor Sisters, Groove Armada, Michael “Flea” Balzary, Johnny Greenwood and David Gilmour, and also featured model Kate Moss on the front cover. The album recieved excellent reviews and made the UK Top 20 as well as entering the U.S. Billboard Charts, pushed by it’s lead single “You Can Dance”.
Several of the women Ferry has been involved with have appeared as cover models on the Roxy Music albums. Ferry dated singer and model Amanda Lear, who was photographed with a black jaguar for the cover of the For Your Pleasure album. She later went on to date David Bowie.
Ferry then began a relationship with model Jerry Hall. Hall appeared in several of Ferry’s music videos, including “Let’s Stick Together” and “The Price of Love.” Ferry first met Hall when she posed for the Roxy Music album cover for Siren in Wales during the summer 1975. Hall’s autobiography Tall Tales describes the photo session, and she elaborates on how the blue body paint she wore to look like a mythical siren would not wash off; Hall says that Ferry took her back to his house, claiming he would help her to remove the paint. Her stay at Ferry’s Holland Park (London) home, following the album cover photo shoot, marked the start of their affair. Hall and Ferry moved in together, sharing homes in London and in the ritzy Bel Air section of Los Angeles. His relationship with Hall ended when she left him for Mick Jagger in late 1977. To this day, Ferry rarely speaks about Hall, but fans often speculate that his song “Kiss and Tell” from the Bête Noire album was Ferry’s response to Hall’s tell-all book about their relationship. Ferry often refuses to discuss his feelings about Hall or talk about their romantic history during interviews. Bryan Ferry’s solo album The Bride Stripped Bare is widely believed to contain allusions to his break-up with Hall—particularly the song “When She Walks in the Room”. Ferry’s original songs on the album were in fact written some time before the relationship ended, although it was recorded afterwards.
Ferry eventually settled down to married life with Lucy Helmore, and they had four sons, including huntsman and political activist Otis, Isaac, Tara and Merlin.Tara was performing in a rock band called “Rubber Kiss Goodbye” and simultaneously studying at Chelsea College of Art and Design, according to the Sunday Times (28 Sept. 2008). Merlin studied at Marlborough College for his “A” Levels.
Ferry and Helmore split in the early 2000s and were divorced in 2003. After their separation, British newspapers photographed Ferry with Katie Turner, 35 years his junior, naming her as his new ‘girlfriend’. Ferry and Turner met while she worked as one of the dancers on Roxy Music’s concert tour in 2001 (and is featured on the DVD of the 2001 Hammersmith Odeon Show). She went on to appear with Ferry on several TV shows to promote the Frantic album, and also performed on the Frantic tour in 2002. After their break-up, Ferry had a relationship with Lady Emily Compton, a socialite. In 2006, he resumed his relationship with Katie Turner for some time. Ferry is now in a relationship with Amanda Sheppard, who previously worked in public relations, until she quit her job in 2009 after Ferry offered to financially support her.
In 2008, Ferry alluded to support for the Conservative Party, referring to himself as “conservative by nature,” but essentially apolitical. Without elaborating, he stated he was “proud” of his son Otis and declared the ban on fox hunting “futile.” He also alluded to an opposition to “left-wing bitterness” and the spectre of “political correctness,” but the model of free speech he cited was the anarchic 1970s and not the Thatcher era or a more distant past. In a 2009 interview, Ferry stated: “I would support a Cameron government. I have met him, and he’s a bright guy. I hope they do well. I don’t like the way the present Government has done things, most of all putting my son in prison for four and a half months, totally unlawfully … and that’s not just my opinion: judges, all sorts, have said it was a stitch-up. It was politically motivated. The poor lad just wants to live the traditional country life.”
Ferry is a supporter of the Countryside Alliance and has played concerts to raise funds for the organisation.
In other media
In 1985, Ferry contributed the song “Is Your Love Strong Enough” to the Ridley Scott-Tom Cruise film Legend. The song (featuring guitar work by David Gilmour) plays during the end credits of the U.S. theatrical release, and was released with the Tangerine Dream version of the soundtrack on CD (although this is out of print and rare). A promotional music video was created, integrating Ferry and Gilmour into scenes from the film; this is included as a bonus in the 2002 “Ultimate Edition” DVD release.
In 2005, Ferry appeared in Neil Jordan‘s movie, Breakfast on Pluto, starring Cillian Murphy as a young Irish transvestite who goes to London in the glam 1970s to find his mother. Ferry, appearing in a bit part as Mr. Silky String, played a suave but creepy john who picks up the sexually ambiguous young man and, after a short conversation, attempts to strangle him in the front seat of his car.
Ferry is referenced in the comedy show The Mighty Boosh in the episode “Hitcher”, as Vince Noir’s adopted father and King of the Forest. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that ‘Brian Ferry’ actually resembles Terry Wogan.
The song “Which Way to Turn” from the album Mamouna, is the feature song in the 2007 Woody Harrelson movie The Walker. Ferry’s song “Slave to Love“, from the album Boys and Girls, was featured in Bitter Moon, a 1992 film directed by Roman Polanski; the entire song is also played in a scene in the 1986 movie Nine 1/2 Weeks by Adrian Lyne.
- These Foolish Things (October 1973, UK #5)
- Another Time, Another Place (July 1974, UK #4)
- Let’s Stick Together (September 1976, UK #19, US #160)
- In Your Mind (February 1977, UK #5, US #126, Aust.#1)
- The Bride Stripped Bare (April 1978, UK #13, US #159)
- Boys and Girls (May 1985, UK #1, US #63)
- Bête Noire (October 1987, UK #9, US #63)
- Taxi (13 April 1993, UK #2, US #79)
- Mamouna (5 September 1994, UK #11, US #94)
- As Time Goes By (15 October 1999, UK #16, US #199)
- Frantic (18 May 2002, UK #6, US #189)
- Dylanesque (5 March 2007, UK #5, US #117)
- Olympia (26 October 2010, UK #19, US #71)
To see more of Who Is click here
The character was originally named Chloe Stewart but was changed to Miley Stewart.
Cyrus learned about the casting for a new Disney show at the age of
11 through a Nashville talent agent. She sent in a tape auditioning for
the show’s best friend role, but received a call asking her to audition
for the lead. After she sent in a tape and was flown to Hollywood for
further auditions, Cyrus was told that she was too young and too small
for the role. However, Cyrus’ persistence and ability to sing in
addition to act caused the show’s producers to invite her back for
further auditions. Producers eventually narrowed the large pool of
candidates down to three actresses, including Cyrus and Taylor Momsen, and gave the part to Cyrus, then twelve. According to Disney Channel president Gary Marsh, Cyrus was chosen because of her energetic and lively performance and was seen as a person who “loves every minute of life,” with the “everyday relatability of Hilary Duff and the stage presence of Shania Twain.”
Cyrus’ casting also led to the casting of her real life father, Billy Ray Cyrus,
as the father of her character on the show. Cyrus was initially wary;
according to her mother and co-manager, Tish Cyrus, “Miley’s concern at
the time was, oh my gosh, people are going to think I only got this part
because of my dad.”
However, worried that her family would otherwise have to be separated
as they had been when her father first landed the lead in the television
series Doc, Cyrus relented and helped audition her father for the part.
Miley was born in the fictional town of Crowley Corners in Tennessee
on November 23, 1992 (Cyrus’s real birth date). Her family consisted of
her parents Robby and Susan Stewart and an older brother named Jackson.
She also has many relatives in her extended family including her
grandmother Ruthie Stewart, Aunt Dolly (played by Dolly Parton), Uncle Earl and Aunt Pearl, and a cousin named Luanne. The characterizations given to most of her family members poke fun at country bumpkin
stereotypes. She also had a pet pig named Luanne and a pet hamster
named Leslie. She has a horse named Blue Jeans, who came from Tennessee
to Malibu to live with Miley and her family.
Miley received a love for music from her father, who was a popular
country music star. Her parents recognized Miley’s potential and gave
her a guitar on December 25, 2000. This event is shown in the episode “I
Am Hannah, Hear Me Croak” when Miley views it on her laptop.
By the time she was 12 years old, Miley had become a famous pop star under the stage name
“Hannah Montana.” She goes to great lengths to disguise herself as
Hannah in order to keep her true identity a secret, because she is
worried that if people knew her secret they would like her just because
she’s famous. The only people who knew she’s Hannah before revealing her
identity to the world in I’ll Always Remember You, outside of her family are her best friends, Lilly Truscott, Oliver Oken and her bodyguard Roxy. However, in the episode “Hannah Montana to the Principal’s Office” it is shown that the President of the United States knows her secret.
Apart from her life as a pop star, Miley leads a very normal life. She is fond of camping and hanging out at the beach, but is not at all athletic. She has a fear of spiders and visiting the dentist.
She also occasionally struggles with her school work and her self
confidence. She often goes through over-the -top schemes to deal with
In the first season, Miley is an 8th grader at Seaview Middle School, and in the second season she enters Seaview High School. She became a sophomore in early episodes in Season 3 and later, a junior during the season before the beginning of Season 4. Despite her father offering her the option of homeschooling, Miley decided to attend Public School in order to be a “normal kid,” a decision she sometimes finds herself regretting. Due to her double life, she is often in awkward positions and is forced to lie in order to keep her secret.
Miley is especially close with her father, from whom she receives
much good advice and emotional support. She also values her
relationships with her best friends Lilly and Oliver. However Miley is
shown to be very uncomfortable with the fact that they’re dating and
even stops them from being a couple. Her relationship with Lilly
occasionally suffers the occasional setback, but they always make up. In
the episode ‘What I Don’t Like About You’, Miley is asked to choose a
side between a fight Lilly and Oliver had. But Miley, showing what a
kind friend she was, made a mini-Indiana Joannie movie, which made Lilly
and Oliver forgive each other. Miley’s relationship with her brother
Jackson is often hostile. The two siblings constantly fight and trash
talk each other. However, in a few private conversations, both Miley and
Jackson say that they love and appreciate each other, but they are both
unwilling to admit this in public.
Miley also has several dating relationships, many of which are short lived.
Oliver Oken (played by Mitchel Musso):
Miley and Lily’s best male friend. “In I Honestly Love You (No Not
You)”, Miley believes that Oliver is in love with her when she overhears
him (while asleep in the hospital because of a broken ankle) say “I
love you”. However after a talk with her dad she thinks that Oliver will
move on and so will Lilly but when Lilly announces that she is in love
with Oliver, Miley ends up telling her the truth. Lilly and Miley hatch a
plan to get Oliver back but only to find out that he was practicing
saying “I love you” so he could say it to Lilly. They both say that they
love each other in the end of the episode. (It is mentioned in this
episode that neither Oliver nor Miley have romantic feelings for each
other). However, Oliver did used to have romantic feelings towards
Hannah Montana before he knew she was Miley. Miley,at first, didn’t want
to tell him who she was, just in case he had romantic feelings for her
as Miley, but when she eventually told him, he saw her as just a friend.
Leslie “Jake” Ryan (played by Cody Linley):
Jake is a famous television star. Miley and Jake meet when he briefly
attends Seaview Middle School. Jake is attracted to Miley because she is
the only person at school who is not starstruck by his arrival. Miley
at first denies having feelings for him, but she tries to “make him
jealous” by using another guy. It works in a fortunate result of her and
Jake kissing, but Jake tells Miley he has to go shoot a movie in
Romania and she stands him up. Jake then reappears in “Achy Jakey Heart“
Part 1 and tries to win Miley back. She decides to give him a chance,
after Jake revealing feelings for her on live national TV. Miley soon
tells Jake that she’s Hannah Montana, because Jake told his secret to
Miley. Jake tries to play normal like Miley, but when he cannot handle
the pressure of not getting what he wants, the two decide to be just
friends, although it is revealed to the audience in “Jake… Another
Piece of My Heart,” that both Jake and Miley still have feelings for
each other, but neither one is willing to admit it. In “He Could Be The
One”, Miley chooses Jake over Jesse (her guitarist) because they have so
much history and she believes he could be the one. They then officially
start dating. It was unknown whether they were still together or not
because Jake had never been seen or mentioned since the episode “He
could be the one”. However,in the season 4 episode “California Screamin”
it is implied that the two are still together as Miley talks about Jake
quite often in the episode suggesting that they haven’t broken up. In
the season 4 episode “It’s the End of Jake As We Know It” Oliver gets a
picture texted to his phone of Jake cheating on Miley, so Miley beats
Jake up on the taping of a Christmas special with guest star Sheryl Crow. This ends their relationship for good.
Travis Brody (played by Lucas Till):
Travis is a childhood friend from Tennessee. It is said in the movie
that they both used to like each other when they were younger. The two
become reacquainted during Miley’s return to Tennessee in Hannah Montana: The Movie.
He discovers that Miley is Hannah Montana and the two kiss, assuming
that they get together. However, even though the movie does not show it,
it is implied that they broke up due to the fact that Miley went back
to California and their relationship would not work long distance. Also,
he is not mentioned during the episodes following the movie.
Jesse (played by Drew Roy):
Is a part of Hannah’s band in episode “He Could Be The One”. Hannah
pretends to like Jesse, so that Robby will be thankful of Jake. But she
starts to have real feelings for him. Miley then has to listen to her
heart and chose the guy who could “be the one.” She ends up choosing
Jake over Jesse. In the season 4 episode “Been Here All Along”, She goes
out on a date with Jesse (as Miley), but gets angry when he took a
phone call from his father, since she blow off her “father- daughter
day” with her dad, but when Jesse tells her that he took the call
because his dad is stationed in Afghanistan and they don’t get to talk
often, Miley is inspired to hold a concert as Hannah for military
families. In another episode in the 4th season Miley reveals to Jesse
that she is Hannah. Yet to her surprise he already knows. Jesse can’t
take the pressure of dating Hannah and Miley and ends it with Miley. In
the end of the episode, Jesse comes back to Miley and then she reveals
her secret to the whole world.
Although she never plays instruments while performing as Hannah,
Miley can play the piano and the guitar. She owns several acoustic and
electric guitars, including a black strat copy she nicknamed “Whammy Bar Wally” and a pink sparkle electric acoustic Stardust Series Daisy Rock guitar. In Hannah Montana: The Movie, Miley plays a custom built Gibson acoustic guitar.
While her father is her main songwriter, Miley has written a few of
her own songs. In “She’s a Supersneak,” Miley writes the song “I Miss
You” about her mother after learning her father is dating another woman.
(In real life, the song was written by Miley Cyrus for her grandfather Ron Cyrus.) In Hannah Montana: The Movie, Stewart writes “Butterfly Fly Away” and “The Climb“.
Stewart wrote “Butterfly Fly Away” after an argument with Travis (Till)
and her dad breaking off his relationship for her. In the story, “The
Climb” began when she was in the hen house writing. Travis (Till) told
her that the song didn’t represent who she is or how she feels. Later in
a concert, she performs it live revealing the entire song with its new
lyrics. Then, in the episode “He Could Be the One” Miley wrote a song
called “I’m Just Having Fun”. While practicing with her band, Miley
decided the song needed lyrical innovation and revamping. Then, when she
was mad at her father; Miley altered the lyrics to a “I don’t care what
you say, I don’t care what you say, just ’cause your my daddy doesn’t
mean you get it your way”. She decided to give up on the song, but later
with her guitar player she finally made it into “He Could Be the One”,
inspired by Jake (Cody Linley)and
Jesse ( her guitar player ). In the 4th season, Miley writes a bunch of
new songs that are heard and played throughout the season. She made a
song with Iyaz called “Gonna Get This”.
Hannah Montana is Miley Stewart’s alter ego. The character was originally going to be named Alexis Texas, but the name was changed to Hannah Montana. Hannah exists as a secret identity, an extremely popular and influential worldwide popstar.
Hannah’s many fans are not aware that she is really just a normal
teenage girl, and Miley tries to keep her two lives separate from each
Hannah’s blonde wig is the primary difference between her and the
brunette Miley, although Hannah also wears more extravagant clothes,
make-up, and sometimes large sunglasses. In the Hannah Montana story, the famous blonde wig was picked out for Miley by Roxy. (In real life, the wig was not chosen until the second episode. The original wig seen in the pilot
was a slightly different style.) Miley Stewart also mentions that she
intentionally patterned Hannah’s look after her godmother Dolly Parton.
Miley previously experienced an image crisis in “Yet Another Side of
Me” in which she grew concerned that Hannah’s look might become
outdated. After considering a “Techno Hannah,” “Half-Dolla Hannah,” (Hip hop) and the “Anti-Hannah,” (Grunge) Miley decides that her fans like her for who she is.
Starting in the third season, Hannah’s look changes slightly. Her wig
is shorter and wavy and her fashion changes as well. This is discussed
on the DVD Keeping It Real in the bonus feature “Miley’s Makeover – Hannah Gets a New Look.” Cyrus and her team describe the new look as an “’80s flavored style with the glitz and glam of modern fashion.” It is also revealed in Super(stitious) Girl, as part of Wizards on Deck With Hannah Montana, that she wears a single pink glove during concerts and it is also shown in music videos like It’s All Right Here and Let’s Get Crazy
that she does. It symbolizes how Hannah Montana is growing up as well.
In season 4, she gets a new wig that’s long again but curlier.
Hannah Montana’s music career is very successful although there have
been a few slips. In the pilot episode she is said to be continuing a
“smash tour” which was being sold out. In “Yet Another Side of Me,” Robby says that he has written 15 straight number ones for her. However, he may have been exaggerating since in “Miley Hurt the Feelings of the Radio Star” he says he has written 14 number ones for her. Hannah also wins several awards including a Silver Boot “Booty” award for best country pop crossover with the song “True Friend,” and an International Music Award for Female Artist of the Year. She is also honored with her own diamond on the Hollywood Parade of Diamonds, a parody of the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also sings for the Queen of England and the President of the United States (President Martinez in a crossover episode and mentioned performing for President Obama
and Sasha and Malia Obama in season 4’s “Hannah Montana to the
Principal’s Office”). Hannah’s greatest rival is fellow pop star Mikayla
(Selena Gomez) who is determined to steal Hannah’s fans.
Beyond her music career, Hannah also does some acting. She guest stars on the television show Zombie High as Zaronda, Princess of the Undead. Jake Ryan’s character saves Zaronda from the portal to the underworld. Hannah later stars in her own feature film, Rob Reiner’s Indiana Joannie and the Curse of the Golden Cobra, alongside Chace Crawford. Hannah also endorses perfume and skin care products.
As a well known celebrity, Hannah makes regular appearances on talk
shows and attends glamorous parties. Despite being fictional, Hannah
knows many real life celebrities, including some who are friends of
Miley Cyrus, such as Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers.
- Hannah Montana (2006)
- Hannah Montana 2 (2007)
- Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009)
- Hannah Montana 3 (2009)
- Hannah Montana Forever (2010)
- Live albums
- Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (2008) – CD + DVD
Miley has several reasons for creating Hannah. She is afraid that if
the kids at school discover she is famous they won’t treat her the same. While she enjoys the attention of her fame as Hannah, she equally enjoys the option of “stepping out” of her role. Miley also values her privacy and doesn’t want fans or paparazzi
photographers mobbing her when she goes out in public. In this way,
Hannah Montana presents a unique inversion of typical celebrity
experiences. While most celebrities become famous as themselves and
later need disguises to not be noticed in public, Hannah Montana became
famous while in disguise, and now has the freedom to be in public as
As a secondary benefit, Miley also sometimes uses Hannah for specific purposes such as spying.
She also uses Hannah in other ways. In “Money for Nothing, Guilt for
Free,” Hannah raises money for a school charity drive in which Miley is
competing. In “Bye Bye, Ball,” Hannah performs at a restaurant in order
to get a baseball autographed for Jackson. And in “Ready, Set, Don’t
Drive,” Hannah obtains a drivers license after Miley fails the test.
Hannah also sometimes tries to use her dual personality as an excuse.
For example, in “You Gotta Not Fight for Your Right to Party,” Miley
asks Robby to only ground Miley, not Hannah, because “Hannah didn’t do
Beyond the show
Hannah Montana as a character has found fame beyond the television
show, primarily as a recording artist and music performer. Three of the
seven released soundtracks (Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus, and Hannah Montana: The Movie) topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. From September 2006 to October 2006, she performed several songs from Hannah Montana during the The Party’s Just Begun Tour as an opening act for The Cheetah Girls.
Then, from October 2007 to January 2008, Miley Cyrus performed in a
successful concert tour as Hannah Montana. The tour, called the Best of Both Worlds Tour, became a classic example of life imitating art
as Hannah Montana’s fictional popularity seen in the television show
became a real-life fan base which bought out every concert. The
popularity of Hannah Montana has also given Miley Cyrus the opportunity
to become a pop star in her own right.
Hannah also appears in Hannah Montana: The Movie, the Hannah Montana book series, and two other Disney Channel shows in cameo appearances. The character appeared in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody episode “That’s So Suite Life of Hannah Montana” along with Raven Baxter, and The Suite Life on Deck episode “Wizards on Deck With Hannah Montana” which also includes characters from Wizards of Waverly Place. (Although the characters from Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana never interact)
Keeping Miley’s secret involves a two sided effort. As Hannah, she
must keep her fans unaware that she is really a normal kid, and as
Miley, she must keep her friends unaware that she is really Hannah
Montana. In interviews, Miley Cyrus spoke of the implausibility of being
able to keep a secret such as Miley and her family do in the show in a
world of intense media scrutiny. The show however, remains workable
primarily based on suspension of disbelief.
In the show, three other people (Robby, Lilly, and Oliver) also wear
disguises when around Hannah to prevent anyone from drawing a connection
to Miley (Jackson is himself, only as a childhood friend). Hannah also
typically swaps limos as she leaves concert venues to keep the paparazzi
from following her home.
Miley must also rely on the silence of the people who know her secret.
These include her family members, Robby, Jackson, Mammaw Ruthie, Aunt
Dolly, Uncle Earl and Aunt Pearl, her cousin Luann, her friends Lilly
Truscott and her parents, Oliver Oken and his mother, Jake Ryan, Farmine
and Roxy, as well as Officer Diaria and his daughter Kelsey, Siena and
the President of the United States. (This group grows exponentially at
the end of Hannah Montana: The Movie.)
Despite these careful efforts, her father seems to enjoy writing
Hannah songs which explicitly speak of her double life, such as “The Best of Both Worlds,”
“Just Like You,” “The Other Side of Me,” “Rock Star,” “Old Blue Jeans,”
“Just a Girl,” “Supergirl,” and “Ordinary Girl.” In frustration of
this, Miley once complained “You might as well tattoo ‘I’m really Miley
Stewart’ on my forehead!” Also, in the episode Get Down Study-udy-udy,
Rico has almost discovered Miley’s secret according to the “Bone Dance”
which was created by Miley by rewritting the lyrics of “Nobody’s Perfect” and her voice singing it
In Hannah Montana: The Movie, Hannah reveals herself as Miley
during a concert in Crowley Corners, Tennessee,(her hometown) but her
fans do not want her to stop being Hannah, and so they promise to keep
her secret. This event is actually mentioned in For (Give) a Little Bit
during an argument between Miley and Jackson, meaning that the movie
would fit right in the middle of season 3 as if it were a part of the
Near the end of the series, in I’ll Always Remember You,
Miley reveals her secret on The Jay Leno Show by taking off her wig and
singing a song called “Wherever I Go” as Miley. She gets a standing
ovation and the episode ends with Miley smiling. Lilly and Robby also
take off their disguises.
To see more of Who Is click here
Vega was born August 27, 1988 in Miami, Florida. Her father is Colombian and her mother, Gina Rue, is an American former model. Alexa has six siblings: paternal half-sister Margaux Vega (b. 1981), sister Krizia Vega (b. 1990), sister Makenzie Vega (b. 1994; starred in Saw and Sin City),
maternal half-sister Greylin James (b.2000), maternal half-brother Jet
James (b. 2005), and maternal half-brother Cruz Hudson Rue (b. 2009).
She moved with her family to California when she was four years old.
|Jo Harding in Twister.|
In 1996, Vega starred as young Jo Harding in Twister. She guest-starred in numerous television shows and films, including ER, Follow the Stars Home, Ghost Whisperer, and The Bernie Mac Show. She became known worldwide in 2001 for her role as Carmen Cortez in Spy Kids. The first Spy Kids movie was a huge success, and subsequently two sequels, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
were filmed. During the shooting of the three films, she performed most
of her own stunts. Vega reprised the role in the 2011 sequel, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World.
In 2003, she was named one of that year’s hottest teen celebrities in the July 2003 issue Vanity Fair. In 2004, Vega finished filming two films: Sleepover and State’s Evidence. The he following year she starred in the Lifetime television film entitled Odd Girl Out as a victim of cyber-bullying. She also filmed for another made-for-TV movie, Walkout. In June 2006, she finished filming Remember the Daze, which was released in limited theaters on April 2007. She also finished filming Repo! the Genetic Opera, which was released in 2008. Vega has also been confirmed as the lead role in Helix, written and directed by Aram Rappaport, which began filming in Chicago in March 2008. Vega was originally cast in the 2009 Robert Rodriguez film Shorts, however, due to her being in Australia for the filming of Broken Hill, she had to be recast. She was replaced by Kat Dennings.
Vega made her Broadway debut as Penny Pingleton in Hairspray in 2007.
In 2009, she played Ruby Gallagher on the ABC Family television sitcom Ruby & The Rockits, which also starred Patrick and David Cassidy. The series was not renewed for a second season.
Vega played Wick in the 2012 film The Devil’s Carnival, an upcoming film from director Darren Lynn Bousman and screenwriter Terrance Zdunich, who previously worked with Vega in Repo! The Genetic Opera.
Vega plays the young heroine in Aerosmith‘s music video Legendary Child.
She recorded three songs for the soundtracks while playing Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids films. She released her debut single, “Isle of Dreams”, to coincide with the release of the second film. She also released “Game Over”, for the third film. Another song, “Heart Drive” featuring Bobby Edner, was also recorded for Spy Kids 3. She also has recorded songs for the movie Repo! The Genetic Opera, released in 2008.
Vega sang the song “Christmas is the Time to Say ‘I Love You’” in the ABC Family film Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe. The track appears on the compilation album Songs to Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas, which was released on November 3, 2009 by Walt Disney Records. The music video for the song premiered during the ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas programming block in 2009.
Vega enjoys freshwater fishing, can speak Spanish fluently, is an experienced gymnast, and describes herself as a Christian. Vega married film producer Sean Covel on October 10, 2010 in a ceremony held in his hometown of Lead, South Dakota. She wore an Ian Stuart gown and was walked down the aisle by Robert Rodriguez. Vega is close friends with Nikki Reed, and was the maid of honor at Reed’s wedding to Paul McDonald on October 16, 2011.
In July 2012, Vega announced on Twitter that she had divorced Covel. Citing irreconcilable differences, Vega and her ex already have a division of property based upon a “written agreement.” 
|Evening Shade||Emily Newton||6 episodes|
|1995||ER||Bonnie Howe||Episode: “Sleepless in Chicago“|
|Chicago Hope||Sara Wilmette||Episode: “Every Day a Little Death“|
|1996||Life’s Work||Tess Hunter||Pilot|
|1998||The Magnificent Seven||Olivia Greer||Episode: “Safecracker“|
|To Have & to Hold||Kelly McGrail||7 episodes|
|1999||Ladies Man||Wendy Stiles No. 2||9 episodes|
|2002||All That||Carmen Cortez||Episode: “Spy Kids/ Play“|
|2003||The Bernie Mac Show||Jill||Episode: “Magic Jordan“|
|2003||Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls||Herself||Episode: Siblings “Eli vs. Kali“|
|2009||Ghost Whisperer||Serena||2 episodes: “Endless Love” & “The Book of Changes“|
|Ruby & The Rockits||Ruby Gallagher||main character, 10 episodes|
|2010||The Middle||Morgan||2 episodes: “The Break-Up” and “Worry Duty“|
|Royal Pains||Hollister||Episode: “Imperfect Storm”|
|1995||Nine Months||Molly Dwyer|
|It Was Him or Us||Young Carrie||TV film|
|1996||A Promise to Carolyn||Young Kay||TV film|
|Twister||Jo Harding (age 5)|
|Shattered Mind||Sarah||also known as The Terror Inside|
|The Glimmer Man||Cole’s Daughter||cameo|
|Ghosts of Mississippi||Claire DeLaughter|
|1998||Dennis the Menace Strikes Again||Gina||direct-to-video|
|The Deep End of the Ocean||Kerry Cappadora|
|Run the Wild Fields||Opal ‘Pug’ Miller|
|2001||Follow the Stars Home||Amy Williams||also known as A Second Chance (Australia)|
|Spy Kids||Carmen Cortez||first starring role|
|2002||Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams||Main Role|
|2003||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Main Role|
|2004||Sleepover||Julie Corky||first main billing role|
|2005||Odd Girl Out||Vanessa||Lifetime Original Movie|
|2006||State’s Evidence||Sandy||Direct to DVD, filmed in 2004|
|Walkout||Paula Crisostomo||HBO original movie|
|Marrying God||Ivy||Short film|
|2007||Remember the Daze||Holly||originally titled “The Beautiful Ordinary”|
|2008||Repo! The Genetic Opera||Shilo Wallace|
|2009||Innocent||Ashley||originally titled “Helix”|
|Broken Hill||Kat Rogers|
|2010||Mother’s Day||Jenna Luther||Minor role, second film with Darren Lynn Bousman; third with Matt O’Leary|
|2011||From Prada to Nada||Mary|
|Summer Song||Ellie||Main role, second film with Aram Rappaport|
|Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World||Carmen Cortez||Main role|
|2012||The Pregnancy Project||Gaby Rodriguez||Lifetime Original Movie|
|The Devil’s Carnival||Wick||short, third film with Darren Lynn Bousman|
|The Clockwork Girl||Tesla||Main role, voice|
|The Mine||Sharon||Main role, shot in 2009|
|2013||23 Blast||Ashley||Main role|
|Machete Kills ||KillJoy||First non-Spy Kids film with Robert Rodriguez|
|2002||“Isle of Dreams”||Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams||Robert Rodriguez||Milan Records|
|2003||“Game Over”||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Robert Rodriguez & Rebecca Rodriguez|
|2008||“Seventeen”||Repo! The Genetic Opera (soundtrack)||Terrance Zdunich & Darren Smith||Lionsgate Records|
|2009||“Lost In Your Own Life”||Ruby & The Rockits||Shaun Cassidy||Hollywood Records|
|“You are Where I Live”||David Cassidy|
|“The Way It’s Gonna Be”|
|“Forever Your Song”|
|“Too High a Price”|
|“Possibilities” (with Austin Butler)|
|“Now When I Close My Eyes”|
|“Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You“||Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe||Billy Squier||Walt Disney Records|
- 2002: Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
- 2003: Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
- 2008: Repo! The Genetic Opera
- 2009: Songs To Celebrate 25 Days Of Christmas
|2002||“Isle of Dreams”||Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams||Robert Rodriguez||Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams|
|2009||“You are Where I Live”||Ruby & The Rockits||Ted Wass||ABC Family/ABCFamily.com|
|2009||“Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You”||Songs to Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas||Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe/ABC Family Channel|
Who is Allah Rakha Rahman? The entertainment and music world knows him as A. R. Rahman, he an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist. Described as the world’s most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, his works are notable for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, world music genres and traditional orchestral arrangements. He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South in addition to numerous other awards and nominations.
His extensive body of work for film and the stage earned him the
nickname “the Mozart of Madras” and several Tamil commentators and fans
have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (English: Music Storm). In 2009, Time placed Rahman in its list of World’s Most Influential People. The UK based World Music magazine Songlines named him one of ‘Tomorrow’s World Music Icons’ in August 2011.
Having set up his own in-house studio called Panchathan Record Inn at Chennai,
arguably one of Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech studios,
Rahman’s film scoring career began in the early 1990s with the Tamil
film Roja. Working in India’s various film industries, international cinema and theatre, Rahman has reportedly sold more than 300 million records worldwide of his film scores and soundtracks as of 2009 for over 100 film scores worldwide, making him one of the world’s all-time top selling recording artists.
In a notable career spanning two decades, Rahman has garnered
particular acclaim for redefining contemporary Indian film music and
thus contributing to the success of several films. Rahman is currently
one of the highest paid composers of the motion picture industry. He has
also become a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and
raising money for beneficial causes and supporting charities.
A. R. Rahman was born as A. S. Dileep Kumar on January 6, 1966 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to a musically affluent Mudaliar Tamil family. His father R. K. Shekhar, was a film music composer and conductor for Tamil as well as Malayalam films. Rahman used to assist his father during recordings and play keyboard
for the songs. Rahman lost his father at the age of 9 and his family
had to rent out his father’s musical equipment as their source of
income. Rahman was raised by his mother Kareema (born Kashturi).
During these formative years, Rahman served as a keyboard player and an
arranger in bands such as “Roots”, with childhood friend and
percussionist Sivamani, John Anthony, Suresh Peters, JoJo and Raja. Rahman is the founder of the Chennai-based rock group, “Nemesis Avenue”. He mastered various music instruments like Keyboard, Piano, Synthesizer, Harmonium and Guitar.
His curiosity in Synthesizer in particular, increased because, he says,
it was the “ideal combination of music and technology”.
He began early training in music under Master Dhanraj.
At the age of 11, he started playing musical instruments in the
orchestra of Malayalam composer and a close friend of Rahman’s father, M. K. Arjunan. Soon he started working with other composers such as M. S. Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraaja, Ramesh Naidu, Raj-Koti and also accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship with Trinity College, London, board of the Trinity College of Music. Studying in Chennai, he graduated with graded examinations and a diploma in Western classical music via the college. He was introduced to Qadiri Islam
when his younger sister fell severely ill in 1984. Subsequently, Rahman
along with other members of his family converted to Islam in 1989, when
he was 23 years old. He changed his name from A. S. Dileep Kumar to
Allah Rakha Rahman i.e. A. R. Rahman.
Film scoring and soundtracks
When he was nine, Rahman accidentally played a tune on piano during
his father’s recording for a film, which R. K. Shekhar later developed
into a complete song, “Vellithen Kinnam Pol”, for the Malayalam film Penpada. This track credited to his father, was sung by Jayachandran and penned by Bharanikkavu Sivakumar. His film career began in 1992, when he started Panchathan Record Inn,
a music recording and mixing studio attached to the backyard of his
house. Over time it would become the most advanced recording studio in
India, and arguably one of Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech studios. He initially composed scores for documentaries, jingles for advertisements and Indian Television
channels and other projects. In 1987 Rahman, then still known as Dileep
got his first opportunity to compose jingles for new range of watches
being launched by Allwyn. In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam’s Tamil film Roja. The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus) award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, an unprecedented win for a first-time film composer. Rahman has since been awarded the Silver Lotus three more times for Minsara Kanavu (Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Hindi) in 2002, Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil) in 2003, the most ever by any composer.
Roja’s score met with high sales and acclaim in both its original and dubbed versions, led by the theme song “Chinna Chinna Aasai” bringing about a marked change in film music at the time. Rahman followed this with successful scores for Tamil–language films of the Chennai film industry including Ratnam’s politically charged Bombay, the urbanite Kadhalan, Thiruda Thiruda and S. Shankar‘s debut film Gentleman, spurred by the popular dance song “Chikku Bukku Rayile“. Rahman worked with director Bharathiraaja‘s Kizhakku Cheemayile and Karuththamma, producing successful Tamil rural folk inspired scores and delivered the grand saxophonic score for K. Balachander‘s Duet. The 1995 film Indira and the romantic comedies Mr. Romeo and Love Birds all gained him considerable notice. His fanbase in Japan increased with Muthu ‘s success there.
His soundtracks gained him recognition in the Tamil Nadu film industry
and around the world for his stylistic versatility incorporating Western classical, Carnatic and Tamil traditional/folk music traditions, jazz, reggae and rock music. The soundtrack of Bombay sold 12 million copies worldwide. The “Bombay Theme“—from Ratnam’s Bombay—would later reappear in his score of Deepa Mehta‘s Fire and various compilations and media around the world. It was featured in the Palestinian film Divine Intervention in 2002, and in the Nicolas Cage film Lord of War, in 2005. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman’s debut for Hindi-language films made in the Mumbai film industry. Many successful scores for films including Dil Se.. and the percussive Taal followed. Sufi mysticism would inspire the track “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from the former, as well as the composition “Zikr” from his score for the film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero for which he created large symphonic orchestral and choral arrangements. His score for the Chennai production Minsaara Kanavu garnered Rahman his second National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1997, and a South FilmFare Award for Best Music Direction in a Tamil film,
breaking a record with six consecutive wins in the latter category.
Rahman would go onto win the award a further three consecutive times.
Musical cues in scores for Sangamam and Iruvar employed Carnatic vocals and instruments such as the veena with leads of rock guitar and jazz. In the 2000s Rahman created hit scores for Rajiv Menon‘s Kandukondain Kandukondain, Alaipayuthey, Ashutosh Gowariker‘s Swades and Rang De Basanti. He composed songs with Hindustani motifs for Water (2005). By the end of 2003, Rahman had sold more than 150 million records of his film scores and soundtracks for over 50 film scores worldwide.
Rahman has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Vairamuthu and Vaali. He has consistently produced commercially successful soundtracks when collaborating with particular film directors such as Mani Ratnam, who he has worked with since Roja, and the director S. Shankar in the films Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys, Sivaji and lately for Enthiran.
In 2005, Rahman extended his Panchathan Record Inn studio by establishing AM Studios in Kodambakkam, Chennai, thereby creating the most cutting-edge studio in Asia. In 2006, Rahman launched his own music label, KM Music. Its first release was his score to the film Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. Rahman scored the Mandarin language picture Warriors of Heaven and Earth in 2003 after researching and utilizing Chinese and Japanese classical music, and won the Just Plain Folks Music Award For Best Music Album for his score of the 2006 film Varalaru (God Father). He co-scored the Shekhar Kapur project and his first British film, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, in 2007. He garnered an Asian Film Award nomination for Best Composer at the Hong Kong International Film Festival for his Jodhaa Akbar score. His compositions have been sampled for other scores within India, and appeared in such films as Inside Man, Lord of War, Divine Intervention and The Accidental Husband. In 2008, Rahman scored his first Hollywood picture, the comedy Couples Retreat released the next year, which won him the BMI London Award for Best Score. Rahman scored the film Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, for which he won a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards, becoming the first Asian to do so. The songs “Jai Ho” and “O…Saya“
from the soundtrack of this film met with commercial success
internationally. In 2010, Rahman composed scores for the romance film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, blockbuster sci-fi romance film Enthiran and Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours. Rahman started off the year 2011 by scoring Imtiaz Ali‘s musical film Rockstar. The soundtrack became a phenomenal success and earned Rahman immense critical praise.
Performing and other projects
Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. Vande Mataram,
an album of his original compositions released on India’s 50th
anniversary of independence in 1997, enjoyed great commercial success. Vande Mataram is the largest selling Indian non-film album to date. He followed it up with an album for the Bharat Bala–directed video Jana Gana Mana, a conglomeration of performances by many leading exponents and artists of Indian classical music.
Rahman has written jingles for ads and composed several orchestrations
for athletic events, television and internet media publications,
documentaries and short films. He frequently enlists the Czech Film Orchestra, Prague and the Chennai Strings Orchestra.
In 1999, Rahman partnered with choreographers Shobana and Prabhu Deva and a Tamil cinema dancing troupe to perform with Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany at his “Michael Jackson and Friends” concert. In 2002, he composed the music for his maiden stage production, Bombay Dreams, commissioned by musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Finnish folk music band Värttinä collaborated with Rahman to write the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production and in 2004, Rahman composed the piece “Raga’s Dance” for Vanessa-Mae‘s album Choreography performed by Mae and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since 2004, Rahman has performed three successful world tours to audiences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and India. He has been collaborating with Karen David for her upcoming studio album. A two-disc soundtrack, Introducing A. R. Rahman (2006) featuring 25 of his pieces from Tamil film scores was released in May 2006, and his non-film album, Connections was released on 12 December 2008. Rahman also performed at the White House State dinner arranged by US President Barack Obama during the official visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 24, 2009. Rahman is one of over 70 artists who performed on “We Are the World 25 for Haiti“, a charity single to raise emergency relief funds in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2010, Rahman composed “Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the formation of Gujarat State,
“Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam” as part of World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, and the official theme song of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, “Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto“. Rahman organised his first world tour, named A. R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour,
in 2010. The ongoing tour was kicked off on June 11 at the Nassau
Coliseum in New York and will span 16 major cities worldwide.
Some of his notable compositions were performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2010. In February 2011, Rahman collaborated with Michael Bolton for his new studio album Gems – The Duets Collection. Rahman reworked on his song “Sajna” from the 2009 American film Couples Retreat to create the track.
On 20 May 2011, English musician Mick Jagger announced the formation of a new supergroup, SuperHeavy, which includes Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and Rahman. The band’s self-titled album is slated for release in September 2011.
The album will see Mick Jagger singing in Rahman’s composition
“Satyameva Jayate”, which translates to “the truth alone triumphs”.
In January 2012, it was announced the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg would join KM Music Conservatory
musicians in a 100-member concert tour of five Indian cities performing
Rahman’s compositions. The tour, named “Germany and India 2011–2012:
Infinite Opportunities’. Classic Incantations”, will mark the centenary
of Indian cinema and of Studio Babelsberg, the world’s oldest film
Music style and impact
Skilled in Carnatic music, Western classical, Hindustani music and the Qawwali style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan,
Rahman has been noted to write film songs that amalgamate elements of
these music systems and other genres, layering instruments from
differing music idioms in an improvisatory manner. Symphonic orchestral themes have accompanied his scores, occasionally employing leitmotif. In the 1980s, Rahman recorded and played arrangements on monophonic sound, synonymous with the era of his musical predecessors K. V. Mahadevan and Vishwanathan–Ramamoorthy.
In later years his methodology changed as he experimented with the
fusion of traditional instruments with new electronic sounds and
Rahman’s musical interests and outlook stem from his love of
experimentation. Rahman’s compositions, in the vein of past and
contemporary Chennai film composers, bring out auteuristic uses of counterpoint, orchestration and the human voice, melding Indian pop music with unique timbre,
forms and instrumentation. By virtue of these qualities, broad ranging
lyrics and his syncretic style, the appeal of his music cuts across the
spectrum of classes and cultures within Indian society.
His first soundtrack for Roja was listed in Time‘s “10 Best Soundtracks” of all time in 2005. Film critic Richard Corliss
felt the “astonishing debut work parades Rahman’s gift for alchemizing
outside influences until they are totally Tamil, totally Rahman.” Rahman’s initial global reach is attributed to the South Asian diaspora.
Described as one of the most innovative composers to ever work in the
industry, his unique style and immense success transformed film music in
the 1990s prompting several film producers to take film music more
seriously. The music producer Ron Fair considers Rahman to be “one of the world’s great living composers in any medium”.
The director Baz Luhrmann notes
|“||I had come to the music of A. R. Rahman through the emotional and haunting score of Bombay and the wit and celebration of Lagaan.
But the more of AR’s music I encountered the more I was to be amazed at
the sheer diversity of styles: from swinging brass bands to triumphant
anthems; from joyous pop to West-End musicals. Whatever the style, A. R.
Rahman’s music always possesses a profound sense of humanity and
spirit, qualities that inspire me the most.
Rahman has introduced the 7.1 technology in south Indian movies to provide better output.
Rahman was the 1995 recipient of the Mauritius National Award and the Malaysian Award for contributions to music. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his first West-End production. A four-time National Film Award winner and recipient of six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South for his music and scores. He has been conferred Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu for excellence in the field of music, special music achievement awards from the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Government of Madhya Pradesh and the Padma Shri from the Government of India. In 2006, he received an honorary award from Stanford University for contributions to global music. In 2007, Rahman was entered into the Limca Book of Records as “Indian of the Year for Contribution to Popular Music”, and the Guinness World Records in 2010 as the original composer of “Maa Tujhe Salaam”, from the album Vande Mataram – the song performed in the most number of languages worldwide (265). He is the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Rotary Club of Madras. In 2009, for his score of Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and two Academy Awards for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song at the 81st Academy Awards. Rahman has received honorary doctorates from Middlesex University and Aligarh Muslim University. Later the year Rahman was conferred the honorary doctorate from Anna University in Chennai. He has also won two Grammy Awards, for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for a Visual Media. Rahman was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honor, in 2010. Rahman’s work for the film 127 Hours
garnered him Golden Globe, BAFTA, and two Academy Award nominations for
Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song in 2011. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, presented to him by Trinity College London.
On May 7, 2012, he was conferred Honorary Doctorate from the Miami University, Ohio. During the acceptance speech, he mentioned that he received a Christmas card from the US President’s family and an invitation for the dinner at White House.
|Rahman and his wife|
He is married to Saira Banu and has three children, Khatija, Rahima, and Ameen. Ameen sings the track “NaNa” from Couples Retreat and his daughter Khatija the track “Pudhiya Manidha” from Enthiran. Rahman is the uncle of composer G. V. Prakash Kumar, who is the son of Rahman’s elder sister, A. R. Reihana. Prakash Kumar’s first work in film was singing on the Rahman composition “Chikku Bukku Rayile” from his score to the 1993 film Gentleman. A. R. Reihana debuted in film singing on the track “Vidai Kodu Engal Naadae” from Kannathil Muthamittal
and is also a music director. Rahman’s younger sister Fathima is in
charge of his Music conservatory in Chennai. The youngest Ishrath has
her own music studio. A. R. Rahman is brother-in-law of film actor Rahman.
An atheist through much of his childhood, in 1989 Rahman converted to
Islam, the religion of his mother’s family. After the early death of
his father, his family went through hard times and Sufism had a great influence on his mother and slowly on his family. During the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, he paid tribute to his mother, saying “There is a Hindi dialogue, mere pass ma hai, which means ‘even if I have got nothing I have my mother here’.” He also began his own catchphrase, “Ella pughazhum iraivanukke“, in Tamil
which literally means “All praises dedicated to God”. The phrase was
popularized after Rahman uttered it prior to his speech at the 81st
Academy Awards ceremony.
Rahman is involved in various charitable causes. In 2004, he was appointed as the Global Ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership, a project by WHO. He has shown support to charities including Save the Children, India, and worked with Yusuf Islam for his song “Indian Ocean”. The song featured a-ha keyboard player Magne Furuholmen and drummer Travis, Neil Primrose. The proceeds of the song went towards helping orphans in Banda Aceh, that was affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. He produced the single “We Can Make It Better” by Don Asian alongside Mukhtar Sahota. In 2008, Rahman opened his KM Music Conservatory
partnered with Audio Media Education facility to tutor and train
aspiring musicians in vocals, instruments, music technology and sound
design. The conservatory – with preeminent musicians on its panel and a
newly founded symphony orchestra – is located near his studio in Kodambakkam, Chennai, offering courses at Beginners, Foundation and Diploma level. Violinist L. Subramaniam is on its board of advisors. Several of Rahman’s proteges from the studio have gone onto score music for feature films. Rahman composed the theme music for a short film for The Banyan in 2006, in aid of destitute women in Chennai. In 2008, Rahman with noted percussionist Sivamani created a song titled “Jiya Se Jiya”, inspired by the Free Hugs Campaign and promoted it through a video shot in various cities in India.
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Who is Jordin Brianna Sparks? The entertainment and music world knows her as Jordin Sparks. Sparks is an American pop/R&B singer-songwriter, model and actress from Glendale, Arizona who rose to fame as the winner of the sixth season of American Idol. Sparks won when she was 17 years old, making her the youngest winner in Idol history. She followed her American Idol victory with the release of her self-titled debut album in 2007, which has gone platinum in the U.S. and has sold over 2 million copies worldwide. Sparks’ single, “No Air” is the highest selling single by any American Idol contestant, selling about 4 million digital copies worldwide. Due to the success of her debut album and its four top 20 singles, she has received numerous awards and nominations including an American Music Award in 2008 and her first Grammy nomination in 2009.
Sparks’ second album Battlefield was released in July 2009 worldwide and debuted at #7 in the U.S., three spots higher than her first album. The album’s lead single, also titled “Battlefield“, peaked in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it her third top 10 single and fifth consecutive top 20 single. Sparks is the only Idol contestant to have their first five singles reach the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Battlefield” has sold almost 2 million copies worldwide. Sparks has sold over 9 million singles worldwide to date, making her one of the most successful idol winners. Battlefield’s second single, “S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)“, was her first song to top the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play making it her first U.S. number one single. Sparks followed her success in 2010 by making her debut on Broadway. Sparks starred as Nina Rosario in the Tony Award winning broadway musical, In The Heights.
Sparks was born December 22, 1989 in Phoenix, Arizona to Jodi Weidmann Sparks and former professional football player Phillippi Sparks. Sparks has a younger brother, Phillippi “PJ” Sparks, Jr., who plays football at Mountain Ridge High School. She grew up in the suburbs of Ridgewood, New Jersey, while her father played as a defensive back for the New York Giants. After living in New Jersey, Sparks attended Northwest Community Christian School in Phoenix through the eighth grade. Sparks attended Sandra Day O’Connor High School until 2006, when she was homeschooled to better concentrate on her singing. Sparks is an evangelical Christian and attends Calvary Community Church in Phoenix. On her American Idol biography, she thanks her parents and God for her win. She wears a purity ring that symbolizes her desire to remain a virgin until marriage. She won an award for best young artist of the year in Arizona for three years.
Before appearing on American Idol, Sparks participated in and won such talent competitions as Coca-Cola’s Rising Star, the Gospel Music Association Academy’s Overall Spotlight Award, America’s Most Talented Kids, Colgate Country Showdown, and the 2006 Drug Free AZ Superstar Search. Prior to Idol, Sparks frequently performed the national anthem at various local sporting events, notably for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Sparks also appeared with Alice Cooper in his 2004 Christmas show and toured with Christian contemporary singer Michael W. Smith in 2006. In 2006, Sparks was one of six winners of the Phoenix Torrid search for the “Next Plus Size Model”. She was flown to California, where she was used in a number of Torrid ads and promotional pieces. A full-page ad for Torrid featuring Sparks ran in the December 2006 issue of Seventeen magazine.
On June 15th, 2011 Jordin had her first-ever bikini shoot for the cover of People Magazine Most Amazing Bodies issue. Jordin was interviewed by a couple media publications and when speaking about her weight loss and diet to Access Hollywood she says “My diet has pretty much remained the same, like if I want a piece of bread, I’m gonna have a piece of bread, but I’m making healthier decisions like instead of a bag of chips for a snack, I’ll see if I can find an apple, I’ve also upped my intake of vegetables and I’m drinking a lot more water.” 
In the summer of 2006, Sparks auditioned twice for the sixth season of American Idol: once in Los Angeles (only auditioned for producers) and again in Seattle after winning Arizona Idol, a talent competition conducted by Phoenix Fox station KSAZ-TV. The Seattle audition is the one seen in the January 17, 2007 broadcast of American Idol, in which she earned a “gold ticket” and the right to appear in the Hollywood Round. American Idol judge Randy Jackson made the offhand prediction that, “Curly hair will win this year.” While on the show, Sparks gained a loyal fan base known as “Sparkplugs”. On May 23, 2007, Sparks was crowned the winner of the sixth season of American Idol. She remains the youngest winner in American Idol history. Cowell said, “Jordin was the most improved over the whole season – didn’t start the best, but midway through this was the girl who suddenly got momentum.” He included that “Young girl, likeable, and the singer won over the entertainer [Lewis].” Four selected songs Sparks had performed on American Idol, including the season’s coronation song, “This Is My Now“, were made available on her self-titled EP, released on May 22, 2007, the day before the grand finale. The coronation song, “This Is My Now” peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Sparks’ first top fifteen hit on the chart. The following summer, Sparks took part in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2007 from July 6 to September 23, 2007 along with other contestants in the top ten.
Since her win in 2007, Sparks has returned to Idol five times. She performed twice on the seventh season of American Idol, once on the Idol Gives Back results show singing “No Air” with Chris Brown and again with “One Step at a Time” on May 21, 2008 for the finale. She performed “Battlefield” on the May 13, 2009 episode of American Idol. The following year, Sparks took part in a tribute to Simon Cowell with other former contestants at the Season 9 finale on May 26, 2010. Most recently, during Season 10, Sparks performed her new song “I Am Woman” on the Top 4 results show.
|Episode||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||Order #||Result|
|Audition||N/A||“Because You Loved Me“||Celine Dion||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood||N/A||“Some Kind of Wonderful“||Soul Brothers Six||N/A||Advanced|
|Top 24 (12 Women)||N/A||“Give Me One Reason“||Tracy Chapman||6||Safe|
|Top 20 (10 Women)||Dedication Week||“Reflection“||Christina Aguilera||6||Safe|
|Top 16 (8 Women)||N/A||“Heartbreaker“||Pat Benatar||1||Safe|
|Top 12||Diana Ross||“If We Hold On Together“||Diana Ross||12||Safe|
|Top 11||British Invasion||“I (Who Have Nothing)“||Ben E. King||7||Safe|
|Top 10||No Doubt/artists who inspire Gwen Stefani||“Hey Baby“||No Doubt||9||Safe|
|Top 9||American Classics||“On a Clear Day”||Tony Bennett||5||Safe
|Top 8||Latin||“Rhythm Is Gonna Get You“||Gloria Estefan||6||Safe|
|Top 7||Country||“A Broken Wing“||Martina McBride||2||Safe|
|Top 6||Inspirational||“You’ll Never Walk Alone“||Rodgers and Hammerstein||6||Safe
|Top 6||Bon Jovi||“Livin’ on a Prayer“||Bon Jovi||2||Safe|
|Top 4||Barry Gibb||“To Love Somebody“
“Woman in Love“
|Top 3||Judge’s Choice (Simon Cowell)
|“Wishing on a Star“
“She Works Hard for the Money“
“I (Who Have Nothing)”
Ben E. King
“A Broken Wing”
“This Is My Now“
2007–2008: Jordin Sparks
After winning American Idol, Sparks signed to 19 Recordings/Jive Records, becoming the first Idol winner to join the label. On August 27, 2007, she released her debut single, “Tattoo“, which peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Sparks’ first top ten hit on the chart. The song certified platinum in the United States and Australia. To date, “Tattoo” has sold over two million copies in the U.S.
Sparks released her self-titled debut studio album on November 20, 2007, which debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200. To date, it has sold over a million copies in the U.S and was certified platinum by the RIAA. “No Air“, a duet with Chris Brown, was released as the second single from the album in February 2008. In the United States, the song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming Sparks’ best-charting single to date. It was also her first song to appear on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it reached number four. To date, the song has sold over three million copies in the U.S, making Sparks the first American Idol contestant to reach the three million mark. It also became Brown’s first song to hit three million. “No Air” also charted in Australia and New Zealand, where it reached number one, receiving platinum certifications in both countries.
On February 3, 2008, Sparks sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLII. She performed in a tribute to Aretha at the NAACP Awards in February, as well. She had previously performed in a tribute to Diana Ross in December 2007.
In support of the album, Sparks opened for Alicia Keys on the North America leg of her As I Am Tour, starting on April 19, 2008. Before the tour, a career-threatening throat injury forced Sparks to cancel a few weeks of the shows. Officials revealed she was suffering an acute vocal cord hemorrhage and was ordered strict vocal rest until the condition improved. Sparks was back on the road by April 30, 2008 and remained on the tour until June 18, 2008. Sparks later joined Keys for the tour leg in Australia and New Zealand in December 2008.
The album’s third single, “One Step at a Time“, was released in June 2008. It peaked at number seventeen on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Sparks her fourth top twenty hit on the chart. This makes Sparks the only American Idol contestant to have her first four singles reach the top twenty of the Hot 100. It also charted in the top twenty in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In New Zealand, the song reached number two and was certified gold by the RIANZ. In August 2008, Sparks co-headlined the Jesse & Jordin LIVE Tour with Jesse McCartney in the United States.
Sparks received two MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best Female Video for “No Air” and Best New Artist at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. While at the awards show, Sparks caused controversy by responding to a joke made by host Russell Brand during his opening monologue, in which he held up a silver ring, claiming to have relieved one of the Jonas Brothers of their virginity, saying he would “take them more seriously if they wore it (the ring) around their genitals”. Sparks who also wears a promise ring, began her introduction of T.I. and Rihanna by saying “It’s not bad to wear a promise ring because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut.” In response to the controversy over her “slut” remark, Sparks told Entertainment Weekly that she doesn’t regret the remark, commenting that “I wish I would’ve worded it differently – that somebody who doesn’t wear a promise ring isn’t necessarily a slut – but I can’t take it back now.” At the 2008 American Music Awards, Sparks won the award for Favorite Artist in the Adult Contemporary Category.
On January 20, 2009, Sparks performed “Faith” at the Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball, hosted by President Barack Obama. Her second studio album, Battlefield was released in the United States on July 21, 2009. The album’s title track was released as the lead single on May 25, 2009 and reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. The song peaked in the top five in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In the United States, Battlefield debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200, peaking higher than her debut album’s position of number ten. However, the album was notably unsuccessful compared to her debut, only selling 177,000 copies in the U.S and having failed to earn any chart certificates.
In support of the album, Sparks opened for The Jonas Brothers on the North America leg of the Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009, starting on June 20, 2009. She also opened for Britney Spears on the second leg of her Circus Tour in North America, beginning on August 24, 2009. Sparks served as a replacement for Ciara.
“S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)“, was released as the second single from Battlefield on September 15, 2009. The song topped the U.S Hot Dance Club Songs chart, becoming Sparks’ first number one on the chart and peaked in the top fifteen in the United Kingdom. During this time, she recorded the duet, “Art of Love“, with Australian artist Guy Sebastian for his fifth studio album, Like It Like That. The song reached the top ten in Australia and New Zealand and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The third single from Battlefield, “Don’t Let It Go to Your Head“, was released in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2010. The song reached a peak of #16 on the UK Singles Chart despite no physical release.
In May 2010, Sparks embarked on her first headlining tour in the United States, the Battlefield Tour. It began on May 1, 2010 and ended on July 18, 2010, stopping in over 35 major cities in the United States. In support of the DVD/Blu-Ray re-release of the Disney animated film, Beauty and the Beast, Sparks recorded a cover of the film’s title track for the soundtrack. A music video for the song was released on October 18, 2010.
2010–present: Third studio album
In a October 2010 interview, Sparks revealed she had begun working on her third studio album. During an interview with Good Day New York in November 2010, Sparks confirmed she would be recording the album in New York and Arizona. In January 2011, it was reported that Sparks and John Legend were working on songs together in the studio. In March 2011, Sparks recorded a music video for a song called “The World I Knew” for the film, African Cats, which was released on April 22, 2011. To support her third album, Sparks will serve as an opening act for the NKOTBSB summer tour. On May 5, 2011, it was revealed that Sparks’ lead single for her forthcoming album is titled “I Am Woman“. On May 12, 2011, Sparks performed “I Am Woman” on the American Idol Top 4 results show. “I Am Woman” debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number eighty-two with 33,000 downloads sold. It also debuted on the US Billboard Digital Songs at number fifty-seven. Sparks performed “I Am Woman” on Regis and Kelly on June 14th..
In April 2008, it was announced that Sparks would team up with cosmetics company, Avon, to become a spokesperson for the teen-focused line Mark. In November 2008, Sparks teamed up with Wet Seal to create her own clothing line. The collection, appropriately named ‘Sparks’, began with an assortment of holiday dresses delivering to stores just in time for the busy Thanksgiving weekend. The line launched on November 19, 2008 and comes in sizes XS to XL. Sparks said, “I am so excited that Wet Seal and I have been able to create a line of clothing that will appeal to more girls than ever before.”
In 2009, she made her acting debut on Disney’s The Suite Life on Deck, guest starring as herself in the “Crossing Jordin” episode. The episode guest starring Sparks aired on October 23, 2009. Sparks also guest starred on the hit Nickelodeon show, Big Time Rush. The episode aired on June 18, 2010.
On May 3, 2010, it was announced that Sparks would join the cast of the Tony Award-winning Broadway show “In the Heights” as Nina Rosario. Sparks took part in the production from August 19 through November 14 for a consecutive 12 weeks.
In October 2010, Sparks released her debut fragrance “Because of You….” This fragrance is currently being exclusively distributed at Dots, but by November will spread to other retail stores. The perfume is described as a “fruity floriental perfume” consisting of notes of “clementine, white imperial currant and orange blossom; a heart of nectarine, sharry baby orchid and coral charm peony; and a drydown of sheer musks, vanilla bean, Baltic amber and blond woods.” Sparks wanted this product to be affordable for her fans, yet still high end. “When I was starting this project, I really wanted it to be affordable. I looked at some other celebrity fragrances, and they were like $80. Even now, I look at a fragrance that’s $80, and I can’t bring myself to spend that much.”
In 2007, Sparks was asked by a relative who works for SOS Children’s Villages USA in Florida to design a denim jacket festooned with Swarovski Crystal to support orphans. In February 2008, Sparks traveled to Ghana. She was part of the delegation of former U.S. President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush to help with Malaria No More, an organization with a goal to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Sparks joined Mrs. Bush at the Maamobi Polyclinic, where the First Lady donated a number of treated bed nets to some local female traders in order to help combat the scourge of malaria in Ghana. While there, Sparks sang “Amazing Grace” to the durbar of chiefs who had gathered at the venue to give audience to Laura Bush. Sparks said, “Traveling to Ghana with Malaria No More gives me the incredible opportunity to see for myself what a difference a simple mosquito net can make in the life of a child.”
On May 20, 2009, Sparks became an endorser for the Got Milk? campaign, an American advertising campaign encouraging the consumption of cow’s milk On September 17, 2009, Sparks took part in the VH1 Divas special, a concert created to support the channel’s Save The Music Foundation The concert was held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York where Sparks performed the second single from her Battlefield album, S.O.S. (Let the Music Play), as well as “A Broken Wing” with Martina McBride. In February 2010, Sparks was one of the many artists who contributed to “We Are the World 25 for Haiti“, a charity single for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Sparks teamed up with Pennyroyal Silver creator and designer, Tim Foster to create her very own necklace design for the company’s signature collection. Proceeds of the necklace funded medical units in Haiti.
On February 3, 2010, Sparks and David Archuleta performed at the “X the TXT” event, held at the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. All proceeds raised by the event went to a number of charities, including the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. The following day both Sparks and Archuleta delivered teddy bears to children at the hospital. In June 2010, the “Thumbs Up to X the TXT” pledge campaign, established by “The Allstate Corporation”, made its way to Sparks’ Battlefield Tour, presented by Mike & Ike to encourage teens and their families not to text while driving. Fans at Sparks’ concerts made a pledge not to text and drive by adding their thumbprint to a traveling banner at each of her shows. The campaign began at Sparks’ Battlefield Tour on June 3, 2010 and ended on July 18, 2010. Sparks is the main spokesperson for the “I’m M.A.D., Are You?” campaign. She also supports Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which helps to raise money for children with cancer. Sparks traveled to Louisiana in June 2010 to visit the Gulf Coast oil spill with the Audubon Society to view the effects of the oil spill on the wildlife and marshes. Sparks is also is a member of the National Youth Leadership Committee for the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, along with Nick Jonas, Genvieve Ryan, and Brodi Conover.
Awards and nominations
|2007||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Female Reality/Variety Star||Won|
|2008||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding New Artist||Won|
|BET Pre-Awards||Best Heartbreak Video (“No Air”)||Won|
|BET Awards||Viewers Choice (“No Air“)||Nominated|
|Beautiful Face Award||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Hook-Up (“No Air”)||Won|
|Choice Love Song (“No Air”)||Nominated|
|Choice Breakout Artist||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Female Video (“No Air”)||Nominated|
|Best New Artist||Nominated|
|American Music Awards||Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist||Won|
|2009||Grammy Awards||Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (“No Air”)||Nominated|
|People’s Choice Awards||Favorite Pop Song (“No Air”)||Nominated|
|Favorite Combined Forces (“No Air”)||Won|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (“No Air”)||Nominated|
|MTV Australia Awards||Best Collaboration (“No Air”)||Nominated|
|2010||ARIA Music Awards||Most Popular Australian Single (“Art of Love” with Guy Sebastian)||Nominated|
|2009||The Suite Life On Deck||Herself||Episode: “Crossing Jordin“|
|2010||Big Time Rush||Herself||Episode: “Big Time Sparks“|
|When I Was 17||Herself||Episode: 16|
|Team Umizoomi||Voice Over|
To see more of Who Is click here
Early life and career
Vaughn was born August 8, 1978 in Idabel, Oklahoma. She began her performing career at the age of three in 1981 singing at church. At age nine in 1988, she sang “I’ll Be There” to win the Star Search junior vocalist champion and overall junior champion. She was married to Joseph James, with whom she has a son Jaylin. During an appearance on the Mo’Nique Show, she shared that she also has a daughter.
Outside of television, she performed in the off-Broadway musical Mama, I Want to Sing! Part 2. In 1998, Vaughn was honored with anNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance in Moesha. In 1992, Vaughn released her first album, Countess, featuring a variety of songs, including dance music and urban ballads. The album’s lone single, a cover of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”, charted in the top-100 of the Bilo’Nique. She starred in the UPN sitcom, The Parkers, until the show’s ending in 2004. In 2011, Vaughn made her return to situational comedy on the BET sitcom Let’s Stay Together. Vaughn portrayed the friend of the character Kita portrayed by Erica Hubbard.
Celebrity Fit Club
Vaughn appeared in the third season of Celebrity Fit Club which premiered in January 2006 on VH1. On episode four,she announced that her and husband, James, were ending their marriage. During the course of the show, she became the first cast member to ever gain weight, with a weight gain of 4 pounds. It was said on the season finale that she was simply trying to lose weight at the wrong time.
Celebrity Rap Superstar
|2001||Max Keeble’s Big Move||Office Admin. Assistant|
|1992||Fievel’s American Tails||Monique (Voice)||1 episode|
|Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper||Keisha||2 episodes|
|1996||Minor Adjustments||Monique||1 episode|
|1996–1999||Moesha||Kimberly Ann Parker||83 episodes|
|1997||Goode Behavior||1 episode|
|1999–2004||The Parkers||Kimberly Ann Parker||111 episodes|
|Thugaboo: Sneaker Madness||Dee Dee||Voice|
|Thugaboo: A Miracle on D-Roc’s Street||Dee Dee||Voice|
|2011||Let’s Stay Together||Chanteuse||1 episode|
Awards and nominations
|1989||Young Artist Award||Nominated||Best Young Actress Featured, Co-starring, Supporting, Recurring Role in a Comedy or Drama Series or Special||227|
|1998||NAACP Image Awards||Won||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Moesha|
|1999||Nominated||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Moesha’c’|
|2000||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series|
To see more of Who Is click here
Who is Christopher Anthony John “Chris” Martin? The entertainment and music world knows Chris Martin as an English singer-songwriter, who is the lead vocalist, pianist and rhythm guitarist of the band Coldplay. He is married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Chris Martin was born 2 March 1977 in Exeter, Devon, England and is the eldest of five children. His father, Anthony Martin, is a retired accountant, and his mother, Alison Martin, is a music teacher. Martin started his education at the preparatory Exeter Cathedral School. It was at the prep school that Martin formed his first band, The Rocking Honkies, with Nick Repton & Iwan Gronow. Their debut performance was met with boos from the crowd. After Exeter Cathedral, Martin boarded at Sherborne School, a boys’ independent school in Dorset. He also met future Coldplay manager Phil Harvey at the school. Martin continued his studies at University College London, staying at Ramsay Hall where he read Ancient World Studies and graduated with First Class honours in Greek and Latin. It is here he met future Coldplay bandmates Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman 
While studying at University College London, Martin met Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman. In January 1998, they formed the rock band Coldplay. The band has had internationally recognised fame and success since their debut album, Parachutes, in 2000. Since then, they have released several further albums/EP’s including: A Rush of Blood to the Head, Live 2003, X&Y, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, and Prospekt’s March.
As a solo artist, Martin has written songs for a variety of acts including Embrace (“Gravity“) and Jamelia (“See It in a Boy’s Eyes“, co-written with Coldplay producer Rik Simpson). Martin has also collaborated with Ron Sexsmith, Faultline, The Streets, and Ian McCulloch. He also sang a part of the vocals for the Band Aid 20 single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” at the end of 2004. In 2005, Martin collaborated with Nelly Furtado on the track “All Good Things (Come to an End)“, for her 2006 album, Loose. The two were once rumoured to be a couple, after they both performed at Glastonbury in 2002. Furtado joked about the situation, saying that “Yeah, he’s my boyfriend — he just doesn’t know it yet”.
Martin’s fascination with hip hop was shown in the summer of 2006 when he collaborated with rapper Jay-Z for the rapper’s comeback album Kingdom Come after the two met earlier in the year. Martin put some chords together for a song known as “Beach Chair” and sent them to Jay-Z who enlisted the help of hip hop producer Dr. Dre to mix it (contrary to popular knowledge it was Coldplay producer Rik Simpson and not Dre who conceived and performed the drum beats). The song was performed on 27 September 2006 by the two during Jay-Z’s European tour at Royal Albert Hall. In 2007, Martin appeared on a track titled “Part of the Plan” for Swizz Beatz‘ debut solo album One Man Band Man. Martin has also worked on a solo collaboration with Kanye West, with whom he shared an impromptu jam session during a 2006 concert at Abbey Road Studios. He performed the chorus of “Homecoming“, from West’s album Graduation.
Martin’s primary influence is the British rock band Radiohead. In a 2008 Rolling Stone interview Martin stated: “Sometimes I feel like they [Radiohead] cleared a path with a machete, and we came afterward and put up a strip mall. I would still give my left [testicle] to write anything as good as OK Computer.” Martin is very vocal about his love for Norwegian new wave/Synthpop band a-ha. In 2005 he stated the following in an interview: “I found myself in Amsterdam the other day and I put a-ha’s first record on. I just remembered how much I loved it. It’s incredible songwriting. Everyone asks what inspired us, what we’ve been trying to steal from and what we listened to as we were growing up – the first band I ever loved was a-ha.” Martin has also performed live together with Magne Furuholmen of a-ha.
U2 has been an important influence on Martin both musically and politically, in which he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, in the section on U2, saying: “I don’t buy weekend tickets to Ireland and hang out in front of their gates, but U2 are the only band whose entire catalog I know by heart. The first song on The Unforgettable Fire, “A Sort of Homecoming“, I know backward and forward – it’s so rousing, brilliant, and beautiful. It’s one of the first songs I played to my unborn baby.” Martin also comments on Bono‘s effect on his own charity and political involvement he is even known to joke with friends referring to himself as “Crono”.
He is known to be a fan of artists such as Manchester rock band Oasis, Irish pop group Westlife, British pop groups Girls Aloud and Take That, and Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. Solo artists Martin likes include Leona Lewis, Noel Gallagher, and Kylie Minogue.
Martin and Coldplay guitarist Jon Buckland made cameo appearances in the film Shaun of the Dead as supporters of the fictional charity ZombAid. Martin has a second cameo in this film as a Zombie. In 2006 Martin had a cameo role in the second series episode four of the Ricky Gervais- and Stephen Merchant-created comedy Extras. He also appears singing in the closing credits of the 2009 film Brüno alongside Bono, Sting, Slash, Snoop Dogg, and Elton John. Martin also played one gig with the “Sid James Experience”.
Martin has been particularly outspoken on issues of fair trade and has campaigned for the charity Oxfam‘s Make Trade Fair campaign. He traveled to Ghana and Haiti to meet farmers and view the effects of unfair trade practices. When performing he usually has variations of “Make Trade Fair”, “MTF” or an equal sign written on the back of his left hand and the letters “MTF” can be seen emblazoned on his piano.
He was a vocal critic of President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. Martin was a strong supporter of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, most notably during his acceptance speech for the 2004 Grammy Awards Record of the Year, accepting for “Clocks“. Martin also supported the Democratic Party candidate for President in 2008, giving a shout-out to Barack Obama at the end of a performance of “Yellow” on 25 October 2008 episode of Saturday Night Live.
On 1 April 2006, The Guardian reported that Martin was backing the British Conservative Party leader David Cameron and had written a new theme song for the party titled “Talk to David”. This was later revealed to be an April Fool’s joke. Whilst touring Australia in March 2009, Martin and the rest of Coldplay were the opening act at the Sound Relief benefit concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, for the bushfires and floods in Victoria and Queensland. Whilst performing the final song “Fix You“, Martin leapt off the stage and proceeded to run through the crowd with thousands of fans chasing him. The song had finished well before he made it back on stage but he managed to sing the final refrain under exhaustion. He was so tired that he let the crowd sing it for him as well. At the end of the performance he was quoted to saying ‘I hope no-one got hurt’. He reportedly had to lie down for half an hour back stage and was suffering from heat exhaustion. The band then played a sold-out gig in Sydney that night.
Martin met American actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 2002 backstage at a Coldplay gig after the death of the actress’s father, Bruce Paltrow. The couple married a year later on 5 December 2003. Their daughter, Apple Blythe Alison Martin, was born on 14 May 2004 in London. Their second child, Moses Bruce Anthony Martin, was born on 8 April 2006 in New York City. Simon Pegg and Martin’s bandmate Jonny Buckland are Apple’s godfathers. Martin is a longtime friend of Pegg, having met him in 2001, and appears in Shaun of the Dead, one of Pegg’s movies.
Martin does not smoke or drink alcohol.
In a 2005 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Martin said of his religious views: “I definitely believe in God. How can you look at anything and not be overwhelmed by the miraculousness of it?” In the same interview he spoke of going through a period of spiritual confusion, stating “I went through a weird patch, starting when I was about sixteen to twenty-two, of getting God, religion, superstition, judgement all confused”.
|2006||Extras||Himself||“Chris Martin” (Season 2: Episode 4)|
|2010||The Simpsons||Himself||“Million Dollar Maybe” (Season 21: Episode 11)|
|2004||Shaun of the Dead||Himself||Cameo appearance
With Jon Buckland
- See Coldplay discography for his work with said group.
|2002||“Where Is My Boy?”
“Your Love Means Everything, Pt. 2″
|Faultline||Your Love Means Everything||Featured vocals|
|“Gold in Them Hills”||Ron Sexsmith||Cobblestone Runway||Featured vocals|
|2003||“Sliding”, “Arthur”||Ian McCulloch||Slideling||Piano, backing vocals|
|“See It in a Boy’s Eyes“||Jamelia||Thank You||Co-writer, backing vocals|
|2004||“Everybody’s Happy Nowadays”||Ash||Orpheus||Backing vocals|
|“Gravity“||Embrace||Out of Nothing||Writer|
|“Do They Know It’s Christmas?“||Band Aid 20||–||Featured vocals|
|2006||“All Good Things (Come to an End)“||Nelly Furtado||Loose||Co-writer, background vocals|
|“Beach Chair“||Jay-Z||Kingdom Come||Producer, featured vocals|
|2007||“Homecoming“||Kanye West||Graduation||Co-writer, featured vocals, piano|
|2009||“Lukas”, “Fun”, “Want“||Natalie Imbruglia||Come to Life||Co-writer|
|2009||“Dove of Peace”||Brüno||Brüno||Featured vocals|
|2010||“Most Kingz”||Jay-Z||–||Featured vocals|
|2010||“Me and Tennessee”||Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw||Country Strong||Writer|
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Who is Adam Noah Levine? The entertainment and music world knows Adam Levine as an American singer-songwriter and musician, best known as the front man and guitarist for the pop rock band Maroon 5. He is also a coach on the American talent show The Voice.
Levine was born March 18, 1979 in Los Angeles, the son of Patsy Noah and Fred Levine. His uncle is Slate writer and editor Timothy Noah. He has a brother, Michael, and a sister, Julia Milne. When he was six, he made the winning shot of his local YMCA championship basketball game (on a team his father coached) with no time left on the clock. He has said that the incident changed his life and gave him the confidence to be successful.
Levine attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts Camp (Hancock, NY) with best friend Jesse Carmichael, guitar player of the band known at that time as Kara’s Flowers. He graduated from Brentwood School in 1997.
Levine is Jewish on his father’s side and a Protestant on his mother’s side. He refused a Bar Mitzvah and is an atheist. 
Original band Kara’s Flowers
Having met at Brentwood School in Los Angeles, CA, the band released their first album entitled The Fourth World in 1997 as high school seniors. That same year the band appeared on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. The album had little success, and its only single, “Soap Disco”, failed commercially. Disappointed with the results of their album, the band went on hiatus and went their separate ways.
Levine and Carmichael left Los Angeles to study at Five Towns College, a small music and performing arts school in Dix Hills, Long Island, New York. This was the first time the two Los Angeles natives were exposed to a completely different music scene, a cultural awakening for the young men. On MTV News, in 2002, Levine said, “That’s when I started waking up to the whole hip hop, R&B thing. We had friends named Chaos and shit. It was not Brentwood High.”
Maroon 5 and mainstream success
During this time, Levine worked a two-week stint as a waiter at Johnny Rockets. After dropping out of Five Towns College, Levine and Jesse reunited with Mickey and Ryan, but added former Square guitarist, James Valentine in 2001. Renaming the band Maroon 5, Levine and his friends began to compile all of their new found musical influences into their music. While Levine was working as a writer’s assistant on the television show “Judging Amy,” he spent time writing the lyrics about his ex-girlfriend, Jane. Those lyrics became the album “Songs About Jane.”
Levine has collaborated with various musical acts. In 2005, Levine was featured on the Ying Yang Twins song “Live Again”. He appeared on Kanye West‘s Late Registration album, on the third single, “Heard ‘Em Say“. He is also featured in the song “Wild Horses” on Alicia Keys‘ third album Alicia Keys: MTV Unplugged. Over the next year, he co-wrote the track “Say It Again” on Natasha Bedingfield‘s album N.B.. He also performed the background vocals on this song. Most recently, Levine offered his vocals on Gym Class Heroes’ newest album in the song “Stereo Hearts.”
Levine has made several notable comic appearances on television. During 2007, he appeared on the 33rd season premiere of Saturday Night Live in an SNL Digital Short called Iran So Far with Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen and Jake Gyllenhaal. Levine played himself while singing a humorous bridge to a “love song” for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 2008, he appeared on Comedy Central‘s “Night Of Too Many Stars”. Levine also had a cameo on Jimmy Kimmel Live for the night of stars and endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election.
In October 2008, Levine collaborated with First Act to create the First Act 222 Guitar, fashioned to Levine’s specifications. The guitar was made available for purchase at Target retail stores.
Levine has stated in various interviews that he does not plan on continuing in Maroon 5 forever, and may stop after the tour for Maroon 5’s third album.
Levine made a guest appearance as himself on the season three finale of 30 Rock in the episode Kidney Now!.
In 2009, Levine recorded “Gotten”, a song for Slash‘s first solo album Slash released in April 2010. “Gotten” was premiered at amazon.com on March 29, 2010.
Levine is also featured as a singer for his band’s song “She Will be Loved” in the music rhythm game Band Hero.
In February 2010, he was among approximately 80 musicians who sang on the charity-single remake of “We Are the World” called “We Are the World 25 for Haiti“.
Levine is one of the contestant judges and coach mentors on the singing TV show, The Voice. The winner, Javier Colon, was on Levine’s team.
Levine’s ex-girlfriend Jane is the muse behind the name of the band’s debut album Songs About Jane. In a 2004 interview, he claimed that she had not contacted him despite the success of the album. They have since made up, and by 2007, Levine referred to them as being “close friends”.
Levine is a “car junkie”, his favorite car being his 1971 Mercedes 280 SE 3.5 Cabriolet.
In 2006, Levine broke his sternum while lifting weights, what he called “one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced.” He began using spotters while lifting weights before giving up weightlifting completely when he began yoga in 2007.
In September 2010, Levine said on the Howard Stern Show he had been dating Russian Sports Illustrated swimsuit and Victoria’s Secret model Anne Vyalitsyna seriously for about eight months. The couple met when Maroon 5 performed at the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue release party in Las Vegas.
Levine stripped naked for testicular cancer awareness for a centerfold in Cosmopolitan UK’s February 2011 issue.
|centerfold in Cosmopolitan|
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Who is Gwyneth Kate Paltrow? The entertainment and acting world knows Gwyneth Paltrow as is an American actress and singer. She made her acting debut on stage in 1990 and started appearing in films in 1991. After appearing in several films throughout the decade, Paltrow gained early notice for her work in films such as Se7en (1995) and Emma (1996) (in which she played the title role). Following the films, Sliding Doors (1998) and A Perfect Murder (1998), Paltrow garnered worldwide recognition through her performance in Shakespeare in Love (1998), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, a Golden Globe Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, for Outstanding Lead Actress and as a member of the Outstanding Cast.
Since then, Paltrow has portrayed supporting as well as lead roles in films such as The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Shallow Hal (2001), and Proof (2005), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in Motion Picture Drama. In 2008, she appeared in the highest grossing movie of her career, the superhero film Iron Man (2008), and then reprised her role as Pepper Potts in its sequel, Iron Man 2 (2010). Paltrow also appeared in the television series, Glee, and has been the face of Estée Lauder‘s Pleasures perfume since 2005. She is married to Chris Martin, the lead vocalist of Coldplay. They have two children together, Apple and Moses.
Paltrow was born September 27, 1972 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Blythe Danner, an actress, and Bruce Paltrow, a film and television director and producer. Paltrow’s father was of Ashkenazi Russian Jewish descent; her mother is a Quaker of Pennsylvania Dutch and more distant white Barbadian ancestry. Paltrow’s paternal great-great-grandfather, whose surname was “Paltrowicz”, was a rabbi in Nowogród, Poland. Paltrow has a younger brother, Jake Paltrow, and is a half-cousin of actress Katherine Moennig, and a second cousin of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-08).
Paltrow was raised in Santa Monica, where she attended Crossroads School, before moving and enrolling in The Spence School, a private girls’ school in New York City. Later, she briefly studied art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before dropping out to act. She is an “adopted daughter” of Talavera de la Reina (Spain), where at 15 she spent a year as an exchange student and learned to speak Spanish.
Early work, 1990–1996
After spending several summers watching her mother perform at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, Paltrow made her professional stage debut there in 1990. Her film debut followed next year with Shout (1991), starring John Travolta, she was cast by Steven Spielberg in his film, Hook (1991), as the young Wendy Darling. Paltrow then had minor roles in Malice (1993) and Flesh and Bone (1993). She was next cast in a supporting role in Se7en (1995) alongside Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, which earned her a Satellite Award nomination. In 1996, she played the title character in Emma to critical acclaim.
Worldwide recognition, 1998–2003
Paltrow appeared in several films throughout 1998, including Sliding Doors and the leading role in the film adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, Great Expectations with Ethan Hawke, Robert De Niro, Anne Bancroft and Chris Cooper. Also in 1998 Paltrow appeared in two thrillers, Hush opposite Jessica Lange and A Perfect Murder inspired by Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1954 film, Dial M for Murder. Paltrow appeared opposite Michael Douglas as Emily Taylor, based on Grace Kelly‘s character from the original film, though the film was met with mixed reviews.
In 1998, Paltrow starred in Shakespeare in Love, portraying the fictional lover of William Shakespeare, played by Joseph Fiennes. The film earned more than US$100 million in box office receipts in the United States and Paltrow gained critical acclaim for her portrayal. Entertainment Weekly commented, “Best of all is Gwyneth Paltrow, who, at long last, has a movie to star in that’s as radiant as she is.” The New York Times summed up her turn as Viola as such: “Gwyneth Paltrow, in her first great, fully realized starring performance, makes a heroine so breathtaking that she seems utterly plausible as the playwright’s guiding light.” The award-winning Shakespeare in Love earned Paltrow the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role from the Screen Actors Guild, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the Academy Award for Best Actress, among other honors. Her Pink Ralph Lauren dress worn at the 71st Academy Awards in collecting her Oscar was extremely popular and was credited for bringing pink back into fashion.
In 1999, Paltrow co-starred in The Talented Mr. Ripley alongside Jude Law, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett which earned $80 million domestically and received positive reviews. She showcased her singing ability in 2000’s Duets, which was directed by her father and co-starred singer Huey Lewis. The same year, Paltrow co-starred with Ben Affleck in the romantic drama Bounce as Abby Janello. She was part of an ensemble cast, as Margot Tenenbaum, in The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Also in 2001, she starred with Jack Black in the comedy Shallow Hal, where she had to wear a specially designed 25 pound fatsuit and heavy make-up. The film was released to mixed reviews.
Recent work, 2004–present
Since the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, Paltrow’s film success has been less noteworthy. She said she was unequipped for the pressure, leading to several bad movie choices, agreeing with peers who believe the win is, in some ways, a curse. During this time, Paltrow took a career hiatus to raise her family rarely appearing in films. In The Guardian, she said she divided her career into movies for love and films for money: The Royal Tenenbaums, Proof, and Sylvia fell into the former category, while she did View from the Top and Shallow Hal for the latter. In 2004, she appeared in the science-fiction film, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow opposite Jude Law. The same year, she was recognized as an outstanding woman in entertainment by Women in Film Los Angeles with the Crystal Award. In 2005, she appeared in the film Proof as the depressed daughter of a brilliant, eccentric mathematician. The movie is based on the play of the same name, in which Paltrow also played the same character at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 2002. For her performance Paltrow earned her second Golden Globe nomination Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama. In 2006, she had small roles in Running With Scissors and Infamous, in which she sang Cole Porter‘s “What Is This Thing Called Love?“
In 2008, she appeared in the superhero film Iron Man as Pepper Potts, Tony Stark‘s closest friend, budding love interest, and business partner. Iron Man man is Paltrow’s highest-grossing film to date, earning more than $585,000,000 worldwide. Paltrow said she was hesitant to appear in a big-budget project but she was won over by Robert Downey Jr., the film’s lead, and director Jon Favreau. She recalled a conversation with Downey, saying:
In 2010, Paltrow reprised her role in the sequel to Iron Man, Iron Man 2. Later in 2010, she appeared in the musical, Country Strong, where she also recorded the song Country Strong for the films’ soundtrack. The song was released to country radio in August 2010. At the 83rd Academy Awards, Paltrow performed the song “Coming Home” from the film which was nominated for Best Original Song. She also appeared in Fox’s Glee, as substitute teacher, Holly Holliday who fills in for Matthew Morrison‘s character when he falls ill. She sang “Nowadays” from the musical Chicago with Lea Michele, Cee Lo Green‘s “Forget You” and Gary Glitter‘s “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)“, plus a mash-up of “Singin’ In the Rain” and Rihanna‘s “Umbrella” with Morrison, Mark Salling and Chris Colfer in the episode. She later performed “Forget You” with Cee-Lo Green himself and The Muppets at the 2011 Grammy Awards. She reprised her role later that season performing “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)” by Gary Glitter, an acoustic version of “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and “Kiss” by Prince. Paltrow’s upcoming film is the Steven Soderbergh thriller, Contagion, in which she is part of an ensemble cast including Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and her The Talented Mr. Ripley co-stars, Matt Damon and Jude Law.
Paltrow is a Save the Children artist ambassador, raising awareness about World Pneumonia Day. She is on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization that works to alleviate poverty in New York City. In February 2009, Paltrow received a Grammy nomination for her reading of the classic bear books of author Bill Martin, Jr.
Paltrow had her singing debut in the 2000 film Duets, in which she performed a cover version of Smokey Robinson‘s “Cruisin’“. The song was released as a single. The song went to number one in Australia, while Paltrow’s rendition of the Kim Carnes classic “Bette Davis Eyes” reached number three. In the 2006 film Infamous, she sang “What Is This Thing Called Love”. On September 27, 2006, Paltrow sang with rapper Jay-Z during his concert at Royal Albert Hall. She sang the chorus for “Song Cry“, from the rapper’s album Blueprint. In an interview, she said she would be at the concert but not that she would perform. She was quoted as saying “I’m a Jay-Z fan. He’s my best friend.”
In May 2005, Paltrow became the face of Estée Lauder’s Pleasures perfume. She appeared in Chicago on 17 August 2007, to sign bottles of the perfume, and on 8 July 2008, she promoted Lauder’s Sensuous perfume in New York with the company’s three other models. Estée Lauder donates a minimum of $500,000 of sales of items from the ‘Pleasures Gwyneth Paltrow’ collection to breast cancer research. In 2006, she became the face for Bean Pole International, a Korean fashion brand.
In October 2007, she signed for a PBS television series Spain… on the road Again with Mario Batali that showcases the food and culture of Spain. In September 2008, she launched a weekly lifestyle newsletter, Goop, encouraging readers to ‘nourish the inner aspect’. The website’s title is derived from the initials of her first and last names. Each week, the newsletter focuses on an action: Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, and See. It has been ridiculed by E-Online, Vanity Fair, The Independent, and the UK‘s Daily Mirror.
In her early 20s, Paltrow was engaged for six months to, whom she dated from December 1994 to May 1997. The engagement was called off, according to Paltrow, because she wasn’t ready for marriage and later felt responsible for hurting Pitt since she was “such a mess” during that time in her life. Paltrow has since said that as this was her first high-profile relationship with another celebrity, it taught her the need for public discretion about her romantic life; she told Biography magazine, “I said things about being in a relationship [with Brad Pitt] that felt wrong to me even as I was saying them.”
Paltrow had an on-off three year relationship with Ben Affleck from 1997 to late 2000. They first dated from November 1997 to January 1999. Soon after their breakup, Paltrow convinced Affleck to work in the film Bounce with her; during the making of the film, which was shot in mid 1999, the couple started dating again and eventually broke up in October 2000. Paltrow has said that she stopped reading celebrity magazines in 1999.
In October 2002, Paltrow met Chris Martin of the British rock group Coldplay backstage three weeks after the death of her father Bruce Paltrow. They married on December 5, 2003 in a ceremony at a hotel in Southern California. On 14 May 2004, the couple had their first child, a girl named Apple Blythe Alison Martin. Paltrow explained the unusual first name on Oprah, saying: “It sounded so sweet and it conjured such a lovely picture for me – you know, apples are so sweet and they’re wholesome and it’s biblical – and I just thought it sounded so lovely and … clean! And I just thought, ‘Perfect!'” The child’s godfathers are Simon Pegg and Martin’s bandmate, Jonny Buckland.
Her second child, a boy named Moses Bruce Anthony Martin, was born on 8 April 2006, in New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Her son’s first name was explained as the song, entitled “Moses”, that her husband wrote for her before their wedding. Paltrow has stated that she cut down on work after becoming a mother. She has also said that she suffered from postpartum depression after the death of her father and after the birth of her second child.
In December 2006, Paltrow was reported on the Internet to have told Notícias Sábado, the weekend magazine supplement of Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias, that she thought British people were more civilized and intelligent than Americans. Paltrow denied making the statements attributed to her and told People magazine that she never gave an interview to a Portuguese publication, but instead had tried to say in Spanish, during a press conference, that Europe was an “older culture” and Americans “live to work”. Diário de Notícias said in their 6 December 2006 edition that it had obtained the quotes from English-language articles that are still referenced online, though Paltrow has insisted that she was misquoted, declaring in 2007: “I love America, and I’m an American through and through.”
|Saturday Night Live||1999||Host||Hosted episodes in 1999, 2001, and 2011|
|Spain… on the road Again||2008||Herself|
|The Marriage Ref||2010||Herself|
|Glee||2010–2011||Holly Holliday||Season 2 Episode 7 “The Substitute“
Season 2 Episode 15 “Sexy“
Season 2 Episode 17 “A Night Of Neglect“
|Who Do You Think You Are?||2011||Herself||Season 2 Episode 6 “Gwyneth Paltrow”|
|Single||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|“Cruisin’“ (with Huey Lewis)||2000||—||1||—||1||1||—||Duets|
|“Bette Davis Eyes“||—||—||—||3||—||—||
|“Country Strong“||2010||81||—||30||—||—||—||Country Strong|
|“Me and Tennessee” (with Tim McGraw)||2011||—||—||34||—||—||63|
|“—” denotes releases that did not chart|
|Single||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|“Forget You” (with Glee Cast)||2010||11||24||12||20||31||Glee: The Music, Volume 4|
|“Nowadays / Hot Honey Rag” (with Glee Cast)||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album singles|
|“Singing in the Rain / Umbrella” (with Glee Cast)||18||23||20||10||22|
|“Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)” (with Glee Cast)||2011||57||—||63||—||95||Glee: The Music, Volume 5|
|“Kiss” (with Glee Cast)||83||98||80||—||—|
|“Landslide” (with Glee Cast)||23||38||35||36||52|
|“Turning Tables” (with Glee Cast)||66||—||66||—||75||Glee: The Music, Volume 6|
|“—” denotes releases that did not chart.|
|“Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” (with Babyface)||2000||Duets|
|“Shake That Thing”||2010||Country Strong|
|“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (with Matthew Morrison)||2011||Matthew Morrison|
|“Country Strong”||2010||Kristin Barlowe, Christoper Sims|
|“Me and Tennessee” (with Tim McGraw)
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Who is Miranda Leigh Lambert? The entertainment and country music world knows Miranda Shelton. Shelton is an American country music/Texas Country artist who gained fame as a finalist on the 2003 season of Nashville Star, where she finished in third place and later signed to Epic Records. Lambert made her debut with the release of “Me and Charlie Talking”, the first single from her 2005 debut album Kerosene. This album, which was certified Platinum in the United States, also produced the singles “Bring Me Down”, “Kerosene“, and “New Strings”. All four singles were Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.
After Epic’s Nashville division closed, Lambert was transferred to Columbia Records Nashville for her second album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was released in early 2007. Although the title track failed to make top 40, the next three singles (“Famous in a Small Town“, “Gunpowder & Lead“, and “More Like Her“) were all Top 20 hits, with “Gunpowder & Lead” becoming her first Top 10 country hit in July 2008. Lambert’s third album, Revolution, was released in September 2009. Five singles have been released from the album, including Lambert’s two Number One hits “The House That Built Me,” which spent four weeks at the top of the chart, and “Heart Like Mine“. Lambert has also been honored by the Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Country Music Association Awards.
Miranda Leigh Lambert was born November 10, 1983 in Longview, Texas and raised in Lindale, Texas. Her father, Richard Lee “Rick” Lambert, is a retired police officer who in later life became a private investigator in partnership with her mother, Beverly June Lambert (née Hughes). Miranda was taught about guns by her father at an early age and later became an avid deer hunter. Her parents took her to a Garth Brooks concert when she was nine and this started her interest in country music. Her father wrote and performed country music and she soon began singing in talent contests under his tutelage.
At age sixteen, Lambert began appearing on the Johnny High Country Music Review in Arlington, Texas, the same show that helped launch the career of LeAnn Rimes. Lambert quickly landed a recording session in Nashville, but left the studio after she became frustrated with the “pop” sound of music. She then went back to Texas and asked her dad to teach her how to play guitar so she could write her own songs.
While still in high school, Lambert made her professional singing debut. She fronted the house band at the Reo Palm Isle Ballroom in Longview, Texas, a long-running venue that has showcased Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, and is where Brooks & Dunn started out as a bar room band.
In 2003, Lambert auditioned for the talent competition Nashville Star, eventually becoming a third-place finisher on the show. On September 15, 2003, she signed with Epic Records. Her debut single, “Me and Charlie Talking” (co-written by her father and Heather Little), was released in summer of 2004 as the lead-off single to her debut album. Titled Kerosene, Lambert’s first album comprised twelve songs, eleven of which she co-wrote. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts, and eventually gained a Platinum certification by the RIAA for shipments of over one million copies, selling more than 930,000 copies up to July 2008. Overall, the album produced four Top 40 singles on the Billboard country charts, including the title track which was a Top 20 hit. Lambert also toured with Keith Urban and George Strait in early 2006. In 2007, she toured with Dierks Bentley and Toby Keith.
2007-2008: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Lambert’s second album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was released on May 9, 2007. She wrote eight of the album’s eleven tracks, including its four singles. Much of the track “Gunpowder & Lead,” the album’s third single and her highest-charting single, was written while she was taking a concealed handgun class in her home town.
In 2005, at the 40th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Lambert won the Cover Girl Fresh Face of Country Music Award. She was also nominated for the Country Music Association‘s Horizon Award in 2005; in 2007, Lambert also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her single “Kerosene”. She also won the Top New Female Vocalist award at the 2007 ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards. At the 2008 ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend won Album of the Year.
Lambert was ranked #90 on the 100 Greatest Women (of Country Music) by Country Universe in 2008.
In February 2009, Miranda Lambert entered the studio to record her third album, Revolution, which was to be released on September 29, 2009. Lambert co-wrote all but four of the album’s 15 tracks; the album also includes co-writes from Blake Shelton, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum. Ahead of the album’s release, an EP, titled Dead Flowers, was issued on September 8, 2009. The EP, available exclusively at Best Buy, featured the Revolution album track “Dead Flowers” and three bonus tracks previously included on limited editions of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
During this time, Lambert (along with two other singers), became the new face of Cotton Inc.’s revived “The Touch, The Feel of Cotton” campaign. She has appeared in ads to promote cotton, and the website features a free download of the full version of her song, “Fabric of My Life.”
Lambert debuted her new single, “Dead Flowers“, at the 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 5, 2009. It was released to country radio on May 4, 2009, and was a minor Top 40 hit on the charts.
On September 24, 2009, Lambert and her band performed all the tracks on Revolution in sequence at the Ryman Auditorium, five days before its scheduled release date.
Upon the release of Revolution, Lambert’s work was met with significant critical praise. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 85, based on 11 reviews, which indicates “universal acclaim”.
Rolling Stone magazine praised the album saying, “Lambert remains country’s most refreshing act, and not just because she makes firearms seem like a matter-of-fact female accessory.” Entertainment Weekly magazine said, “She’s found stylistic shades of songwriters twice her age…” and that the album is “…a portrait of an artist in full possession of her powers, and the best mainstream-country album so far this year.” Boston Globe commented that “Revolution’’ is the sound of Miranda Lambert coming into her own.” Slant magazine also had high praises reserved for the album saying, “Miranda Lambert expands on her fascinating, fully realized artistic persona on Revolution.”
The album’s second single, “White Liar“, was released on August 17, 2009, and debuted at #50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In February 2010, “White Liar” became Lambert’s highest-charting single to date, reaching a peak of #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
In promotion of Revolution, Miranda Lambert launched a headlining tour; Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars kicked off in March 2010 and included stops in over 22 cities, as well as a performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.
“The House That Built Me,” the album’s third single, was released on March 8, 2010 and became a #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It retained this position for four weeks and it received a platinum certification from the RIAA on July 8, 2010.
“Only Prettier” followed as the album’s fourth single in July 2010 and its accompanying music video became somewhat viral. The music video for “Only Prettier” was directed by Trey Fanjoy and filmed in Joelton, Tennessee in June 2010, and premiered on VEVO on August 3, 2010. It features a 1950s theme and cameo appearances by fellow country artists Kellie Pickler, Laura Bell Bundy, and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. In the video, Lambert and her friends portray two rival cliques attending a high school sock hop. The alter-egos are shown doing things such as spiking the punch, stuffing their bras and smoking. Ultimately, the alter-egos have a bad time at the party, while Lambert, Pickler, Bundy and Scott enjoy themselves the entire night. Additionally, Lambert is also shown performing with her band on stage at the event. The humorous video introduced Lambert to a larger audience outside of her Country music base.
On September 1 it was announced Miranda led nominations with an impressive 9 CMA awards, setting a record for the female with the most nominations in a single year by the organization. Miranda performed at the 44th Annual Country Music Association Awards on November 10, 2010. That same night she won the CMA Award for Female Vocalist of the Year and Revolution won Album of the Year. Lambert and Sheryl Crow performed “Coal Miner’s Daughter” as a tribute to country legend Loretta Lynn, who also entered the stage to join them and finished the song with Crow and Lambert as backup. Later that night, Lynn presented the Female Vocalist of the Year CMA award to Lambert.
In December 2010, “Only Prettier“, eventually reached a peak of number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, giving Lambert her seventh Top 20 hit. The fifth single from Revolution was “Heart Like Mine“, which later would become Lambert’s second number one hit.
On February 13, 2011, Lambert won a Grammy Award in the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category for “The House That Built Me.”
On April 4, 2011 during the taping of the Academy of Country Music’s ‘Girls’ Night Out’ television special in Las Vegas, Lambert debuted her new project, girl group Pistol Annies. The group consists of Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. They released their single, “Hell On Heels”, in May 2011.
Miranda Lambert is currently working on two albums which is her fourth solo album and her band “Pistol Annies” debut album.
In 2006, Lambert began dating fellow country singer Blake Shelton. Lambert sang background vocals on Shelton’s 2008 country cover of Michael Bublé‘s song “Home“. The two recorded and co-wrote duet “Bare Skin Rug,” for his studio album Startin’ Fires released later in 2008. Shelton also co-wrote three songs on Revolution, and provided background vocals on “Maintain the Pain.” On May 9, 2010, Shelton proposed to Lambert, after seeking (and receiving) her father’s blessing and they became engaged. The two got married on May 14, 2011 at Don Strange Ranch in Boerne, Texas. Wearing her mother’s wedding dress, Miranda walked down the aisle and exchanged vows with Blake in front of five hundred fifty family members and friends, including fellow celebrities Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, Cee Lo Green, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Charles Kelley, and the Bellamy Brothers. After the ceremony, Miranda expressed her excitement saying, “I’m married to my best friend! Looking forward to a lifetime of laughter.”
- Miranda Lambert (2001)
- Kerosene (2005)
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2007)
- Revolution (2009)
|2005||Country Music Association||Horizon Award||Nominated|
|2006||CMT Music Awards||Female Video of the Year — “Kerosene”||Nominated|
|Breakthrough Video of the Year — “Kerosene”||Nominated|
|Country Music Association||Horizon Award||Nominated|
|2007||Grammy Awards||Best Female Country Vocal Performance — “Kerosene”||Nominated|
|Academy of Country Music||Top New Female Vocalist||Won|
|Female Vocalist of the Year||Nominated|
|Country Music Association||Female Vocalist of the Year||Nominated|
|2008||Grammy Awards||Best Female Country Vocal Performance — “Famous in a Small Town”||Nominated|
|CMT Music Awards||Female Video of the Year — “Famous in a Small Town”||Nominated|
|Academy of Country Music||Top Female Vocalist||Nominated|
|Album of the Year — Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Won|
|Single Record of the Year — “Famous in a Small Town”||Nominated|
|Country Music Association||Female Vocalist of the Year||Nominated|
|Single of the Year — “Gunpowder & Lead”||Nominated|
|2009||Academy of Country Music||Top Female Vocalist||Nominated|
|Single Record of the Year — “Gunpowder & Lead”||Nominated|
|CMT Music Awards||Female Video of the Year — “More Like Her”||Nominated|
|Country Music Association||Female Vocalist of the Year||Nominated|
|2010||Grammy Awards||Best Female Country Vocal Performance — “Dead Flowers”||Nominated|
|Academy of Country Music||Top Female Vocalist of the Year||Won|
|Album of the Year — Revolution||Won|
|Single Record of the Year — “White Liar”||Nominated|
|Song of the Year — “White Liar”||Nominated|
|Video of the Year — “White Liar”||Won|
|MusicRow Awards||Song of the Year – “The House That Built Me”||Won|
|CMT Music Awards||Video of the Year – “White Liar”||Nominated|
|Female Video of the Year – “White Liar”||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Female Country Artist||Nominated|
|Choice Music: Country Song – “The House That Built Me”||Nominated|
|16th Inspirational Country Music Awards||Mainstream Inspirational Country Song, “The House That Built Me”||Nominated|
|Inspirational Country Music Video, “The House That Built Me”||Nominated|
|8th French Country Music Awards||Best Female Vocalist of the Year (Meilleure Chanteuse)||Nominated|
|Country Music Association||Entertainer of the Year||Nominated|
|Female Vocalist of the Year||Won|
|Album of the Year – Revolution||Won|
|Musical Event – “Bad Angel” (with Dierks Bentley and Jamey Johnson)||Nominated|
|Single of the Year – “The House That Built Me”||Nominated|
|Single of the Year – “White Liar”||Nominated|
|Song of the Year – “White Liar”||Nominated|
|Song of the Year – “The House That Built Me”||Won|
|Music Video of the Year – “The House That Built Me”||Won|
|Music Video of the Year – “White Liar”||Nominated|
|American Country Awards||Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Female Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Album of the Year – Revolution||Nominated|
|Single by a Female Artist – “White Liar”||Nominated|
|Music Video by a Female Artist – “White Liar”||Nominated|
|2011||Grammy Awards||Best Female Country Vocal Performance — “The House That Built Me”||Won|
|Best Country Collaboration with Vocals — “Bad Angel” (with Dierks Bentley and Jamey Johnson)||Nominated|
|Best Country Album — Revolution||Nominated|
|Academy of Country Music||Entertainer of the Year||Nominated|
|Top Female Vocalist of the Year||Won|
|Single Record of the Year — “The House That Built Me”||Won|
|Song of the Year — “The House That Built Me”||Won|
|Video of the Year — “The House That Built Me”||Won|
|Video of the Year — “Only Prettier”||Nominated|
|CMT Music Awards||Female Video of the Year — “The House That Built Me”||Won|
|Video of the Year — “The House That Built Me”||Nominated|
|Collaborative Video of the Year — “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (with Loretta Lynn and Sheryl Crow)||Nominated|
Sun City Carnival Tour(w/ Kenny Chesney,Lady Antebellum,Sugarland & Montgomery Gentry (2009)
“Amarican Saturday Night Tour 2010″ (w/Brad Paisley,Justin Moore)(2010)
Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars (w/Chris Young,Randy Houser,Luke Bryan,Eric Church,James Otto,David Nail,Wade Bowen,Jake Owen,Cross Canadian Ragweed((2010)
CMT On Tour: Miranda Lambert Revolution(w/Eric Church & Josh Kelley(2010)
“Miranda Lambert: Revolution Tour 2011″(w/Justin Moore,Josh Kelley & Little Big Town) (2011)
Lambert’s road band and crew consists of the following:
- Aden Bubeck — bass guitar
- Chris Kline — keyboard, harmonica, pedal steel, percussion, guitar
- Alex Weeden — lead guitar
- Scotty Wray — rhythm guitar, lap steel guitar, resonator guitar, banjo
- Keith Zebroski — drums
- Scott Fowler — backline tech
- Jason “Pone” Macalik — front of house engineer, backup bus driver
- Chris Newsom — monitor engineer, production manager, stage manager
- Sammy Bones — backline tech
- Jordan Powell — tour manager
- Jose “Puma” Raices — merchandise manager
- Aaron Luke — lighting director
- Charlie Sherman — bus driver
- David Sherman — bus driver
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Who is Paula Julie Abdul? The entertainment and acting world knows Paula Abdul as an American recording artist, dancer, choreographer, actress and television personality.
In the 1980s, Abdul rose from cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers to highly sought-after choreographer at the height of the music video era before scoring a string of pop music-R&B hits in the late-1980s and early-1990s. Her six number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 tie her for fifth among the female solo performers who have reached #1 there. She won a Grammy for “Best Music Video – Short Form” for “Opposites Attract” and twice won the “Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography“.
After her initial period of success, she suffered a series of setbacks in her professional and personal life, until she found renewed fame and success in the 2000s as a judge on the television series, American Idol, for eight years, before departing from the show. Abdul had moved on to another television series, CBS‘s Live to Dance, which debuted in January 2011. The series has since been canceled. Following her judging role in Live to Dance, Abdul moved to the American version of The X Factor with her former American Idol co-judge Simon Cowell which will premiere in September 2011. She is said to be working on a new album.
Abdul’s father, a Syrian Jew, was born in Aleppo, Syria, raised in Brazil, and subsequently emigrated to the United States; Abdul’s mother, a Canadian Jew, is originally from Minnedosa, Manitoba, with ancestors from Russia and Ukraine, and Abdul derives Canadian citizenship through her. She was June 19, 1962 she has a sister named Wendy, who is 7 years her senior. In 1980, she graduated from Van Nuys High School and was voted girl with the funniest laugh.
An avid dancer, Abdul was inspired towards a show business career by Gene Kelly in the classic film Singin’ in the Rain as well as Debbie Allen, Fred Astaire, and Bob Fosse.
Abdul began taking dance lessons at an early age in ballet, Jazz, and Tap. She attended Van Nuys High School, where she was a cheerleader and an honor student. At 15, she received a scholarship to a dance camp near Palm Springs, and in 1978 appeared in a low-budget Independent musical film, Junior High School.
Abdul studied broadcasting at the California State University at Northridge. During her freshman year, she was selected from a pool of 700 candidates for the cheerleading squad of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team—the famed Laker Girls. Within three months, she became head choreographer. Six months later, she left the university to focus on her choreography and dancing career.
1982-1986: Dance and choreography era
Abdul was discovered by The Jacksons, after a few of the band members had watched her while attending a Los Angeles Lakers game. She was signed to do the choreography for the video to their single “Torture“. “My only problem was how to tell the Jacksons how to dance,” Abdul later recalled. “Imagine me telling them what routines to do. I was young, I was scared. I’m not quite sure how I got through that.” The success of the choreography in the video led to Abdul’s career of choreographer in music videos. It was also due to the success of the video that Abdul was chosen to be the choreographer for the Jacksons’ Victory tour.
Abdul choreographed videos for several singers throughout the 1980s, including many videos for Janet Jackson during her Control era. In 1995, Abdul released a dance workout video entitled Paula Abdul’s Get Up and Dance! (re-released on DVD in 2003), a fast-paced, hip-hop style workout. In 1998, she released a second video called Cardio Dance (re-released on DVD in 2000). In December 2005, Abdul launched a cheerleading/fitness/dance DVD series called Cardio Cheer, which is marketed to children and teenage girls involved with cheerleading and dance.
In film, Abdul choreographed sequences for the giant keyboard scene involving Tom Hanks’s character in Big. Further credits include Coming to America, Action Jackson, Jerry Maguire, The Running Man, American Beauty (1999 film), Can’t Buy Me Love (film), and Oliver Stone‘s, The Doors. Television credits include The Tracey Ullman Show, American Music Awards, the Academy Awards, and several commercials, such as The King’s touchdown celebration, as seen in a string of popular Burger King television commercials that aired during the 2005–2006 NFL season.
1987-1994: Forever Your Girl and Spellbound
In 1987, Abdul used her savings to make a singing demo. Although her voice was relatively untrained, her exceptional dancing proved marketable to the visually-oriented, MTV-driven, pop music industry. She was a tireless worker, and relied on input from her vocal coach and producers to improve her sound.
In 1988, Abdul released her pop debut album, Forever Your Girl. The album took 62 weeks to hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart—the longest an album has been on the market before hitting #1—and spent 10 weeks there. The album eventually became multi-platinum in the spring and summer of 1989, and it spawned five American Top Three singles, four of them #1s (three in 1989 and one in 1990): “Straight Up,” “Forever Your Girl,” “Cold Hearted,” and “Opposites Attract.” A remix album, Shut Up and Dance, was also released and reached #7 on Billboard’s album chart, becoming one of the most successful remix albums to date. The Grammy award-winning video for “Opposites Attract” featured an animated cat named MC Skat Kat.
At the 33rd Grammy Awards, Abdul won her first Grammy for Best Music Video for Opposites Attract, She was also nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance For her song Straight Up but it lost to Bonnie Raitt‘s Nick Of Time.
In the early 1990s, Yvette Marine, backing vocalist on Forever Your Girl, claimed that she sang “co-lead vocals” on the album and sued Paula and Virgin Records for compensation. After one month of court proceedings, Abdul and Virgin won the case.
Abdul’s follow-up album, 1991’s Spellbound, contained another string of hits, and sold 7 million copies worldwide. The first single from Spellbound was the ballad, “Rush, Rush,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five consecutive weeks, and was noted for its music video and Rebel Without a Cause motif featuring Keanu Reeves in the James Dean role. “Promise of a New Day,” the second release from the album, also hit No. 1, and was followed by the Top 10 hit “Blowing Kisses in the Wind” and two Top 20 hits: “Vibeology” and “Will You Marry Me?.” The album, Spellbound, retained much of the dance-oriented formula heard on her debut album. The track “U” was written for Paula by Prince.
Abdul promoted the album through the “Under My Spell Tour,” which was named by an MTV contest for fans. This tour was nearly cancelled due to an accident during rehearsals. The tour began on schedule and ran from October 1991 to the summer of 1992. In 1991, Abdul embraced advertising and starred in a popular Diet Coke commercial in which she danced with a digital image of her idol, a young Gene Kelly.
1995-2001: Head over Heels and a music hiatus
By 1995, Paula Abdul had recovered from her battle with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa and prepared to return to the spotlight with her new album Head over Heels. The first single off the album, “My Love Is for Real” featured a fusion of R&B and traditional Middle Eastern instruments, and was performed with Yemeni-Israeli singer Ofra Haza. Its accompanying Lawrence of Arabia-inspired music video was played in theaters across the world as a preface to the film Clueless. The single was a hit in the clubs (peaking at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart), and made it to #28 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
The second single, “Crazy Cool,” peaked at #13 on the dance charts. “Ain’t Never Gonna Give You Up” was the album’s third and final single. To date, Head over Heels has sold 3 million copies worldwide.
In January 1997, Abdul starred in the ABC television movie Touched by Evil, playing a businesswoman who discovers that her boyfriend is a serial rapist. Also that year, Abdul co-wrote the song “Spinning Around” with songwriter and producer Kara DioGuardi, who became a fellow judge on American Idol in 2009. “Spinning Around” was a dance-pop track intended to be the lead single on Abdul’s follow-up album to Head over Heels. But the album never materialized, and “Spinning Around” was instead given to Kylie Minogue. The song was highly successful, reaching #1 in numerous countries.
While Abdul took a break from the music industry, she remained busy behind the scenes. Abdul served as the choreographer for several film and theater productions, including the 1998 musical Reefer Madness and the cheerleading scenes in the 1999 film American Beauty (she had previously also choreographed the 1991 film The Doors). Abdul also co-produced a 2001 pilot episode of Skirts, a dramatic series that would have aired on MTV about a high-school cheerleading squad; Abdul was also set to appear as the head coach. The pilot never aired.
In 2000, Abdul’s Paula Abdul: Greatest Hits CD was released by Virgin Records (with whom Abdul was already no longer affiliated). It included all her hit singles and other noteworthy tracks. The song “Bend Time Back ‘Round” had previously been heard only on the 1992 soundtrack for the hit television series Beverly Hills, 90210.
2002-2009: American Idol
In 2002, Abdul appeared as one of three judges for the reality television music competition show American Idol. Abdul, along with fellow judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson (joined by Kara DioGuardi in 2009) were to evaluate the talent of a large group of young amateur singers, eliminate most of them in various audition rounds, and then judge the finalists as American television viewers voted on which finalists would continue to each successive round, until all but the winner were eliminated. Abdul won praise as a sympathetic and compassionate judge. She seemed especially kind compared to fellow judge Simon Cowell, who was often blunt in his appraisals of the contestants’ performances. When she realized that Cowell’s over-the-top judging style was heartbreaking for many young contestants, Abdul was so horrified that she considered leaving the show. Although their differences often resulted in extremely heated on-air exchanges and confrontations, Cowell says he played a major role in convincing Abdul not to leave the show.
While serving as a judge on “American Idol,” Abdul accepted a second assignment as reporter for Entertainment Tonight.
In March 2006, Fox announced that Abdul had signed to stay on American Idol as a judge for at least three more years. Later that year, fellow American Idol judge Simon Cowell invited her to be a guest judge at some of the early auditions for the third series of his similar UK talent show The X Factor. Abdul was present at the initial audition of the eventual winner, Leona Lewis.
The week of May 14 to May 18, 2007 (the week before the season 6 finale), Abdul broke her nose when she tried to “avoid tripping over her pet chihuahua.” She was present at the May 22 performance and the May 23 finale.
Abdul’s American Idol wardrobe often includes a number of necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings that she designs, and she often gives show contestants custom-designed jewelry. In 2007, Paula Abdul Jewelry launched its nationwide consumer debut on QVC, with the tagline “fashion jewelry designed with heart and soul.” Paula’s first QVC appearance resulted in 15 sellouts of her first jewelry collection involving more than 34,000 pieces. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on July 18, 2009, Paula’s manager David Sonenberg told the newspaper that, “Very sadly, it does not appear that she’s going to be back on ‘Idol’.” This came about as a result of stalled negotiations between Paula and the show. On August 4, 2009, after numerous contract negotiations, Abdul confirmed that she would not be returning to Idol for its ninth season. The Times cited reports Abdul had been earning as much as $5 million per season and that she was reportedly seeking as much as $20 million to return.
On August 18, 2009, it was reported that Abdul was negotiating to return to Idol after not taking part in season nine of Dancing with the Stars. Two days later, Abdul’s manager said that there were not any talks with Fox, but they were not ruling anything out.
Abdul claimed her departure from Idol was not about money, but that she had to stand on principle.
On September 9, 2009 Ellen DeGeneres was confirmed as Abdul’s successor for Idol.
2007-2011: Post-Idol projects
Paula Abdul’s second greatest-hits CD, Greatest Hits: Straight Up!, was released by Virgin Records on May 8, 2007. Virgin Records also released the music videos to all six of Abdul’s #1 singles to iTunes. Meanwhile, Bravo began airing the reality television series Hey Paula, which followed Abdul through her day-to-day life. The series was produced by Scott Sternberg Productions and debuted on June 28, 2007. Abdul’s behavior as depicted on the show was described as ‘erratic’ by comedian Rosie O’Donnell and decried by numerous fans and critics. The show aired for only one season.
In January 2008, Abdul returned to the music charts for the first time in nearly 13 years with the single “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow,” the first track on the album Randy Jackson‘s Music Club Vol 1. The song debuted on On Air with Ryan Seacrest., and Abdul performed it during the pre-game show for Super Bowl XLII. “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow” was a modest comeback hit for Abdul, peaking at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100, #11 on iTunes and #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. She also made a brief guest appearance in season 3 episode 1 of the British television Comedy-Drama Hotel Babylon, which aired in the United Kingdom on February 19, 2008.
In January 2009, Abdul hosted “RAH!,” a 90-minute cheerleading competition on MTV. “RAH!” featured five collegiate squads competing in a series of challenges with Abdul crowning one the winner. In May 2009, Abdul debuted her latest song “I’m Just Here for the Music” (originally an unreleased song from Kylie Minogue‘s ninth album Body Language) on the Ryan Seacrest Radio KIIS-FM show and performed the single on the American Idol results show. “I’m Just Here for the Music“ reached #87 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Abdul’s 15th song to appear on the chart.
Paula Abdul has remained busy since leaving American Idol. She hosted “VH1 Divas Live” in September 2009, and opened the show by performing a medley of #1 hits, including “Straight Up”, “Cold Hearted”, “Opposites Attract”, and “Forever Your Girl.” Also on the program, Paula poked fun at her American Idol replacement Ellen DeGeneres.
In 2009 and 2010, Abdul appeared in several episodes of Lifetime Television’s hit series Drop Dead Diva, a comedy about a shallow model whose soul resurfaces in the body of a brilliant, plus-size and recently deceased attorney, Jane. On the show, Abdul played herself as “Judge Paula,” a figment of Jane’s subconscious.
In November 2010, Abdul launched and co-founded AuditionBooth.com, a website that allows aspiring talents to connect with casting directors, producers, and managers.
Abdul kicked off 2011 by serving as lead judge, executive producer, creative partner, mentor and coach on CBS‘ new dancing competition, Live to Dance (formerly Got to Dance) Abdul said that unlike American Idol, her new show is less about “competition” and more about “celebration.” After its first season of seven weekly shows, it was cancelled by CBS.
2011-present: The X Factor
On May 7, 2011, it was announced that Abdul would join Simon Cowell on the first season of the American version of The X Factor. The judging panel will consist of Abdul, Cowell, music executive L.A. Reid and former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger. The series will premiere in September 2011.
Marriages and relationships
Abdul was married to Emilio Estevez from 1992-1994. Another short lived marriage for Paula Abdul was to clothing designer Brad Beckerman in 1996. They divorced in 1998 citing irreconcilable differences.
On Valentine’s Day 2006, Abdul appeared on Dr. Phil as part of a prime time special on love and relationships. She was set up on two dates and Phil McGraw gave her advice.In mid July 2007, Abdul announced that she had begun dating J.T. Torregiani, a restaurant owner 12 years her junior. She told Access Hollywood: “He is a good guy. Things are looking upwards. It’s looking good right now. I wasn’t even looking for someone and that’s what usually happens.“ Paula and JT broke up in June 2008, citing their hectic work schedules.
On December 20, 2004, Abdul was driving her Mercedes on an L.A.-area freeway when she changed lanes and hit another vehicle. The driver and passenger snapped a photograph with a cell phone camera and wrote down the license plate number of the car, which was traced to Abdul. On March 24, 2005, Abdul was fined $900 and given 24 months of informal probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor hit-and-run driving in Los Angeles. In addition to the fines, she was ordered to pay $775 for damage to the other car.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Victim of battery
On April 4, 2006, Abdul filed a report at a Hollywood police station claiming she had been a victim of battery at a private party at about 1 a.m. April 2, according to L.A.P.D. spokesman police Lt. Paul Vernon. “According to Abdul, the man at the party argued with her, grabbed her by the arm and threw her against a wall,” Vernon said. “She said she had sustained a concussion and spinal injuries.”
Paula practices Judaism and is proud of her heritage. She once stated, “My father is a Syrian Jew whose family immigrated to Brazil. My mother is Canadian with Jewish roots. My dream is to come to Israel for a real holiday.” In November 2006, Israeli Tourist Minister Isaac Herzog invited her to Israel, Abdul responding with a hug, adding, “I will come; you have helped me make a dream come true.”
Paula is also a dog lover who raised awareness about National Guide Dog Month in May 2009 and she is teaming up with Dick Van Patten to help people with blindness to have more independence through the help of guide dogs. She does not wear real fur.
In May 2005, ABC‘s news magazine Primetime Live reported claims by Season 2 American Idol contestant Corey Clark that he and Abdul had an affair during that season, and that she had coached him on how to succeed in the competition. The fact that Clark came forward at a time when he was marketing a CD and trying to get a book deal was seen as suspicious by some, but Clark maintains that his career was being prejudiced because of his relationship with Abdul and that is why he came forward with the information to clear his name. For the most part, Abdul refused to comment on Clark’s allegations. Simon Cowell came to Abdul’s defense, calling Corey Clark a creep and stating “It was just somebody using her to get a lot of publicity for an appalling record, full stop. At the height of the debacle, Abdul appeared in a Saturday Night Live skit, making light of the situation. While Fox launched an investigation, Abdul received numerous calls of support from celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Kelly Ripa; Barbara Walters even addressed the camera during an episode of ABC’s The View to say she was sad to be part of an operation that would report Clark’s flimsy tabloid claims under the guise of a news story. In August 2005, the Fox network confirmed that she would be returning to the show, as the investigation had found “insufficient evidence that the communications between Mr. Clark and Ms. Abdul in any way aided his performance.”
Substance abuse allegations
Substance abuse allegations arose as the result of what some described as “erratic behavior” by Abdul during episodes of American Idol. After reading these allegations on message boards, Abdul told People magazine in April 2005 that she suffered from chronic pain for years following a “cheerleading accident” at age 17 and was diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) in November 2004. Abdul says she is now pain-free following treatment, including the anti-inflammatory medication Enbrel.
Allegations arose again in January 2007 when videos circulated on the Internet of Abdul appearing to sway in her chair and slur her speech during a set of interviews. Abdul’s publicist attributed this to fatigue and technical difficulties during the recording of the interviews. It was revealed on the Bravo show Hey Paula, which had followed Abdul with a video camera prior to the interviews, that Abdul had not been sleeping, perhaps suffering from some mild form of insomnia.
In February 2007, Abdul told Us Weekly that she had never been drunk or used illegal drugs and called the allegations “lies.”
In a March 2007 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Abdul joked that her scrutinized behavior was caused by her being “abducted by aliens.”
In several interviews given in the late 2000s, Paula claimed to have been left in debilitating pain after a 1992 car accident and a 1993 plane crash that required 15 spinal surgeries and which left her dependent on pain medication for years.
In May 2009, Ladies’ Home Journal posted an article on its Web site that said Abdul told them she attended the La Costa Resort and Spa the previous year to recover from physical dependence on prescription pain medications. The medications, prescribed due to injuries and her RSD diagnosis, included a pain patch, nerve medication, and a muscle relaxant. According to the article, Abdul said the medications made her “get weird” at times and that she suffered from physical withdrawal symptoms during her recovery.
Later that same week, though, in an interview with Detroit radio station WKQI, Abdul rejected the article’s accuracy. She told the radio station she never checked into a rehab clinic and never had a drug abuse problem.
- The Club MTV Tour
- The Under My Spell Tour
- Studio Albums
- 1988: Forever Your Girl
- 1991: Spellbound
- 1995: Head over Heels
Film and television
|1978||Junior High School||Sherry|
|1987||Can’t Buy Me Love||Dancer||Uncredited|
|1997||Touched By Evil||Elle Collier||TV Movie|
|1998||The Waiting Game||Amy Fuentes||TV Movie|
|Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Herself||1 Episode|
|1999||The Wayans Bros.||Sasha||1 Episode|
|Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Alan Freed Story||Denise Walton||TV Movie|
|Family Guy||Herself||2 Episodes|
|2002–2009||American Idol||Judge||Guest Appearance Finale 2010 2003 Zoe’s Dance Moves Herself|
|2004||That’s So Raven||Undercover Judge||1 Episode|
|2005||Romy and Michele: In the Beginning||Herself||TV Movie|
|Less Than Perfect||Kathleen||1 Episode|
|2006||The X Factor UK||Guest Judge||3 Episodes|
|2007||Hey Paula||Herself||7 Episodes, also Executive Producer|
|2009||RAH! Paula Abdul’s Cheerleading Bowl||Herself||Host|
|2008||Hotel Babylon||Herself||Guest star|
|2009– present||Drop Dead Diva||Herself||4 episodes|
|2011||Live to Dance||Judge|
|2011-present||The X Factor (U.S.)||Judge|
|1986||A Smoky Mountain Christmas|
|1987||The Tracey Ullman Show||Won 1989 Emmy Award for
“Outstanding Achievement in Choreography“
|Can’t Buy Me Love|
|The Running Man|
|Coming To America|
|1989||She’s Out of Control|
|Dance To Win|
|The Karate Kid, Part III|
|1990||17th American Music Awards||Won 1990 Emmy Award for
“Outstanding Achievement in Choreography“
|1991||The Doors||Val Kilmer‘s choreographer|
|2002||The Master of Disguise|
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Who is Jill Scott? The entertainment and music world knows Jill Scott as an American soul and R&B singer-songwriter, poet, and actress. In 2007, Scott made her cinematic debut in the films Hounddog (as Big Mama Thornton) and in Tyler Perry‘s feature film, Why Did I Get Married? That year, her third studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3, was released on September 25, 2007. She has won three Grammy Awards. She also appeared in the lead role of the BBC/HBO series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
Scott was born April 4, 1972 grew up an only child in a North Philadelphia neighborhood, raised by her mother, Joyce Scott, and her grandmother. She indicated in an interview with Jet Magazine that she had a happy childhood and was “very much a loved child”. Scott was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls. After graduating, she attended Temple University while simultaneously working two jobs. She studied secondary education for three years and had planned to become a high school English teacher, but after spending time as a teacher’s aide, disillusionment with the teaching profession set in causing her to drop out of school.
Prior to breaking through the music industry, Scott worked at a variety of jobs, including a number of retail positions and stints at a construction site and an ice cream parlor. She remains close to her mother and grandmother who is nicknamed Blue Babe. Scott has resided in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey and currently resides in California.
2000-2009: Words and Sounds
Scott began her performing career as a spoken word artist, appearing at live poetry readings to perform her work. She was eventually discovered by Amir “?uestlove” Thompson of The Roots. ?uestlove invited her to join the band in the studio. The collaboration resulted in a co-writing credit for Scott on the song, “You Got Me.” In 2000, Erykah Badu and The Roots won a Grammy for best rap performance by a duo or group for “You Got Me”, and Scott debuted as an artist during a Roots live show, singing as original artist/singer of the song. Subsequently, Scott collaborated with Eric Benet, Will Smith, and Common, and broadened her performing experience by touring Canada in a production of the Broadway musical Rent.
Scott was the first artist signed to Steve McKeever’s ‘Hidden Beach Recordings’ label. Her debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 was released in 2000. She experienced some notice and chart success with the single “A Long Walk”, eventually earning a Grammy nomination in early 2003 for Best Female Vocal Performance. Scott lost that award, but won a 2005 Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative R&B Performance for “Cross My Mind.” The live album, Experience: Jill Scott 826+, was released November 2001. Scott’s second full-length album, Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2, followed in 2004.
Scott continues to write poetry; a compilation volume of her poems, The Moments, The Minutes, The Hours, was published and released by St. Martin’s Press in April 2005. In early 2007, Scott was featured on the George Benson & Al Jarreau collaboration “God Bless The Child“, which earned Scott her second Grammy award, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, at the 2007 Grammy Awards ceremony. Scott shared the win with Benson & Jarreau. Recently, Scott was prominently featured on hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco‘s 2006 single “Daydreaming” which won a 2008 Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance and also appeared on a new Scott collection called Collaborations on January 30, 2007.
The Collaborations collection served as “an appetizer” for her next studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 released September 25, 2007. A clip of the title track was released on a bonus disc from Hidden Beach Records and included with Collaborations. The lead single “Hate on Me”, gained airplay in May 2007 with a video released in mid-July. In advance of the album’s release, Hidden Beach released a 17-minute album sampler through their forums. Interspersed between the dozen songs previewed on the sampler was a personal explanation from Jill for the inspiration behind some of her songs.
In 2008, Scott released her second live album, Live In Paris+, which consists of 8 songs recorded during her set list of the “Big Beautiful Tour” in Europe. The bonus DVD contains the same concert, plus some live cuts from The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. In the same year, “Whenever You’re Around”, a single from The Real Thing which features George Duke, was a moderate hit on urban radio.
2010-present: The Light of the Sun
Following up 2007’s Grammy nominated Gold certified album The Real Thing, Jill is currently about to release her fourth studio album titled The Light of the Sun. The album embarks Jill on a flurry of emotional poetry as both her career and personal life have skyrocketed with success in Hollywood and the birth of her first child.
In an interview with HitQuarters, producer and album collaborator JR Hutson commented on Scott’s approach to the record by saying, “She’s now in charge of a lot of different things and with it comes a lot of trials and tribulations, and I think her goal is to just give people a very realistic glimpse of where she is in her life right now.”
In 2011, following a recently settled, tumultuous legal battle with previous label Hidden Beach—which found her countersuing the label’s claim that she exited halfway through a six-album deal last year—Jill Scott signed a distribution deal with Warner Brothers Records. Jill plans to release her fourth studio album, The Light of the Sun, June 21, 2011. Dance auditions for Jill’s buzz single from the album, “Shame”, were held in Philadelphia on March 17, 2011. West Philly native Eve, who is featured on the song, will appear in the video, as will Black Thought, Mos Def, Pharaohe Monch, Peedi Crakk and Ms. Jade, says the video’s director, Devin Hampton. “So in Love” featuring Anthony Hamilton will be released as the first official single from the album.  The song debuted at number 43 on Billboards Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart, making it the highest debut of her career on that chart.
Before she releases her fourth studio album, former record label Hidden Beach Recordings is releasing a 10 song compilation entitled “Just Before Dawn: Jill Scott From the Vault, Vol. 1” She also has a cover of Bill Withers’ Lovely Day.
Other appearances and song-writing
Her live performance in 2004 with members of The Roots, which also includes a joint performance with Erykah Badu, is featured in Dave Chappelle’s 2006 concert film, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. UK dance duo Goldtrix covered Scott’s song “It’s Love”, re-naming it “It’s Love (Trippin’)” with singer Andrea Brown taking over vocal duties. The song became a top ten hit in the UK, peaking at number six. “It’s Love (Trippin’)” was also covered by South West Beats (Featuring Claudia Patrice) in 2008. The song “Golden” is featured in a R&B themed radio station in the Rockstar Games video game Grand Theft Auto IV. She recently appeared on Pharoahe Monch’s 2011 release W.A.R. (We Are Renegades). Also Jill is one of the featured artists in Kirk Franklin’s video “I Smile” released 2011.
Scott is a vocalist who infused jazz, R&B, spoken word, and hip hop among other genres to create a distinct style that many refer to as neo soul. Her vocal capabilities are so rich that a reviewer on Pop Matter, referring to Scott’s vocal ability, stated ‘Scott draws on her upper register, recalling the artistry of the late “songbird” Minnie Riperton and Deniece Williams‘. The same reviewer in another article stated, ‘The song evokes the artistry of Minnie Riperton as Scott sings in the upper register that makes its only appearances on Who is Jill Scott? on the teasing “I Think It’s Better” and “Show Me.” Scott has “a very rare facility to hit notes in the sixth octave as displayed on songs such as ‘Gimme’ where she hits a D6 with full vibrato, and on ‘Spring Summer Feeling’ where she hits a C7 in the background”.
Film and television
On the advice of her good friend, director Ozzie Jones, she began pursuing a career in acting in 2000. She joined a fellowship at a theater company in Philadelphia. For two years, she took small, menial jobs in exchange for acting lessons.
In 2004, Scott expanded her resume by appearing in several episodes of season four of UPN’s Girlfriends, playing Donna, a love interest to main character, William Dent (Reggie Hayes). She also appeared in the Showtime movie Cavedwellers, starring Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick.
In 2007, Scott appeared in Hounddog (as Big Mama Thornton) and in Tyler Perry‘s movie, Why Did I Get Married?
In 2008, Scott appeared as Precious Ramotswe in Anthony Minghella‘s film adaption of Alexander McCall Smith‘s series of books The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency playing a detective. Scott then filmed additional episodes for the series in Botswana in late 2008, co-funded by the BBC and HBO that were broadcast as a seven-part series on BBC1 in March 2009; and on HBO, which debuted March 29, 2009. BBC and HBO are contemplating whether to produce a second round of episodes of the series.
In 2010 she voiced Storm of the Xmen on the BET series Black Panther.
On March 24, 2010, Scott guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She reprised her role as Sheila in Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010). The movie was shot in August 2009 and received an April 2, 2010 release.
In 2010, Scott starred in the Lifetime Movie, “Sins of the Mother”, as Nona, an alcoholic mother confronted by her estranged daughter who she neglected. At the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, Jill Scott was awarded Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for her role in “Sins of the Mother”.
Jill Scott will perform at BET Awards 2011 on June 26, 2011.
Scott and longtime boyfriend Lyzel Williams, a graphic artist and DJ, married in 2001 in a private Hawaiian ceremony during a vacation. The couple dated for seven years before they wed. Scott wrote and recorded the song “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)” about Williams. After six years of marriage, Scott and Williams divorced in 2007.
|Lil’ John Roberts|
On June 20, 2008, at a concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Scott shared a long on-stage kiss with her drummer, Lil’ John Roberts; the couple then told the audience that they were engaged. They expected their first child on April 25, 2009 but the baby boy, Jett Hamilton Roberts, arrived five days earlier. On June 23, 2009, Scott announced that she and Roberts had broken up, with Scott breaking the news to Essence. Despite the break-up, Scott hopes for both parents to have an active part in their child’s upbringing, stating that “We definitely love our son and we are co-parenting and working on being friends. It is what it is. I have a lot of support, so I want for nothing as far as that’s concerned.” During her 2010 tour with Maxwell, Scott has introduced her music band and Roberts is no longer a member. He is now a member of Mo’Nique‘s band on The Mo’Nique Show.
Charity work and advocacy
Scott has established the Blues Babe Foundation, a program founded to help young minority students pay for university expenses. The Blues Babe Foundation offers financial assistance to students between the ages of sixteen to twenty-one, and targets students residing in Philadelphia, Camden, and the greater Delaware Valley. Scott donated USD$100,000 to help start the foundation. The foundation was named after Scott’s grandmother, known as “Blue Babe”. On the foundation’s website, it defines its mission statement as one where it “seeks to provide financial support and mentoring for those students who have shown the aptitude and commitment to their education, but whose families may not have the resources to ensure completion of their undergraduate degrees”.
In Spring 2003, the Blues Babe Foundation made a donation of more than $60,000 to the graduating class of the Creative Arts School in Camden, New Jersey. Any student who maintained a 3.2 GPA received a yearly stipend for the next three years that was put toward his or her college education.
At the Essence Music Festival in July 2006, Scott spoke out about how women of color are portrayed in the lyrics of rap songs, and in rap music videos. Scott criticized the content for being “dirty, inappropriate, inadequate, unhealthy, and polluted” and urged the listening audience to “demand more”.
Scott was a columnist in the April issue of Essence magazine and she expressed her point of view about Black men who marry Caucasian women. In the column Scott says “We reflect on this awful past and recall that if a Black man even looked at a White woman, he would have been lynched, beaten, jailed or shot to death. These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children.” The column has sparked controversy on the internet.
- Studio albums
- 2011: The Light of the Sun
- Words And Sounds Tour (2001)
- Buzz Tour (2004)
- Big Beautiful Tour (2005)
- Sugar Water Festival Tour (2005)
- The Real Thing Tour (2008)
- Maxwell & Jill Scott: The Tour (2010)
- Summer Block Party (2011)
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Who is Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie? The entertainment and music world knows Lulu Kennedy-Cairns by her stage name Lulu. She is a Scottish singer-songwriter, actress, and television personality who has been successful in the entertainment business from the 1960s through to the present day. She is most famous worldwide for her hit “To Sir, with Love” and in the UK for “Shout“.
Lulu was born 3 November 1948 and she grew up in Dennistoun, Glasgow, where she attended Thomson Street primary school and Onslow Drive Junior School. She lived in the Gallowgate for a while before moving to Garfield Street. At the age of 12-13, she and her manager approached a band called the Bellrocks asking if she could sing with them to get used to a live band and the stage. Alex Thomson (bass player of the Bellrocks) said even at that age her voice was unbelievable. She then went on to sing with them every Saturday night. They were asked to become her backing band, but at that time, playing was just a hobby and a bit of fun. Taken under the wing of Marion Massey, she became famous at the age of fifteen with her version of The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout”, delivered in a raucous and extraordinarily mature voice. Her backing group was called The Luvvers, but after several more British hits, she left the group to become a solo artist. Massey would guide her career for more than 25 years, for most of which she was Lulu’s equal partner as a business enterprise. Massey’s husband Mark London also wrote many of Lulu’s hits.
In 1966, Lulu toured Poland with the British rock and roll band The Hollies, making her the first British female singer to appear live behind the Iron Curtain. In the same year, she recorded two German language tracks, “Wenn du da bist” and “So fing es an” for the Decca Germany label. All of Lulu’s Decca recordings were made available in 2009 on a 2-CD entitled Shout!, issued on RPM Records.
She left Decca after failing to place any singles on the chart in 1966 and signed with Columbia to be produced by Mickie Most, who also hired Jimmy Page to play guitar on a few sessions. All of the seven singles she cut and released with Most made the UK Singles Chart. Despite this, Lulu was disparaging about Most in her autobiography I Don’t Want To Fight, published in 2002. She described him as “cheap” and had little positive to say about their working relationship, which she ended in 1969 after her biggest UK solo hit. Nonetheless, when Mickie Most died in 2003, Lulu was full of praise for him and told the BBC they had been very close. 
In 1967 she made her debut as a film actress in To Sir, with Love, a British vehicle for Sidney Poitier. She had a major hit with the title song “To Sir, with Love“, which shot to number one in the United States; she makes notable use of melisma in the song, and decades later it remains the song for which she is best known in that country. In the UK, it was released only on the B-side of “Let’s Pretend”, a # 11 hit, but “To Sir, with Love” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. In the meantime, she continued with a thriving pop career in the UK and several television series of her own. From 30 June to 2 July 1967, Lulu appeared on The Monkees tour at the Empire Pool, Wembley. Rumors of a romance and indeed an engagement with Davy Jones of The Monkees were rife, but it was a complete media fabrication, created by Jones himself, apparently with her tacit approval.
The Eurovision Song Contest
On 29 March 1969, she represented the United Kingdom by performing the song “Boom Bang-a-Bang” at the Eurovision Song Contest. The song was chosen by viewers of her BBC1 variety series Happening for Lulu from a shortlist of six entries. Lulu performed one song a week for six weeks and then on week seven, Michael Aspel presented Lulu performing all six songs, one after another. The performances were then repeated and viewers invited to send in postcard votes for their favourites. The six songs were: “Are You Ready For Love?”, “March!”, “Come September”, “I Can’t Go On Living Without You”, “Boom Bang-a-Bang” and “Bet Yer!”. “I Can’t Go On…” was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin who were introduced by Aspel as Elton Jones and Bernie Poppins. Their song came last in the postcard vote, but was later recorded by Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw, Polly Brown, Lulu and Elton himself. “Boom Bang-a-Bang”, written by Peter Warne and Alan Moorhouse was declared the winner. On stage in Madrid, Lulu was accompanied by Sue and Sunny, two well-known backing singers who went on to be the first female members of Brotherhood of Man. The orchestra was conducted by Johnny Harris, Lulu’s resident musical director.
“Boom Bang-a-Bang” was the winner – with three other songs. The entries from Spain, (“Vivo cantando” by Salomé), Netherlands, (“De Troubadour” by Lenny Kuhr) and France, (“Un jour, un enfant” by Frida Boccara) also finished in first place with 18 votes each. There had never been a tie before, and the rules were altered to prevent it ever happening again. According to John Kennedy O’Connor‘s The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History, the result caused dismay and disgust, leading to Austria, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Finland all refusing to enter the 1970 competition. Lulu had the biggest hit around the continent with her winner, recording German, French, Spanish and Italian versions alongside the original English.
In 1975 she hosted the BBC’s A Song for Europe (now Eurovision: Your Country Needs You) contest, the qualifying heat for the Eurovision Song Contest, in which The Shadows performed six shortlisted songs. Lulu joined fellow Eurovision winners at a charity gala held in Norway in 1981. She was also a panellist at the 1989 UK heat, offering views on two of the competing eight entries. She told John Peel backstage that although she did not like “Boom Bang-a-Bang”, she would have sung anything just so long as she won the contest. “I know it’s a rotten song, but I won, so who cares? I’d have sung “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” standing on my head if that’s what it took to win…. I am just so glad I didn’t finish second like all the other Brits before me, that would have been awful.” Oddly enough, her potentially inflammatory statement only endeared her further to the European public.
Since then, Lulu rarely talks about her Eurovision experiences, or her song “Boom Bang-a-Bang”, which she then and now dislikes despite the fact that it was her biggest solo UK hit (reaching number two on the chart in 1969).
Below Lulu explains how she got into the contest, and about what came out (from the BBC Radio 2 special on 50 Years Of The Eurovision Song Contest):
Late 1960s – mid 1970s
Only weeks before her Eurovision appearance, Lulu married fellow musical star Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees in a ceremony in Gerrards Cross. Maurice’s older brother Barry was opposed to their marriage as he believed them to be too young. Their honeymoon in Mexico had to be postponed because of Lulu’s Eurovision commitment. Their careers and his heavy drinking forced them apart, and they divorced, childless, in 1973 but remained on good terms. In 1970 Lulu was back on the US charts with the Top 30 hit, “Oh Me Oh My (I’m a Fool for You Baby)” (later covered by Aretha Franklin and also John Holt) and a collaboration with the Dixie Flyers on “Hum a Song (From Your Heart)”. In 1969, she recorded New Routes an album recorded at Muscle Shoals studios; several of the songs featured slide guitarist Duane Allman, including a version of Jerry Jeff Walker‘s “Mr. Bojangles“. A year later she followed with a similar album Melody Fair. Both were recorded for Atlantic‘s Atco label and were produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin. She also recorded four other German language tracks, (“Ich brauche deine Liebe”, “Wach’ ich oder träum’ ich”, “Warum tust du mir weh”, and “Traurig, aber wahr”) on the Atlantic/WEA label. These songs again, went unnoticed in the German music market.
After appearing in a successful TV series, Three Of A Kind, which aired on the BBC in 1967, a format that featured music and comedy, Lulu was given her own TV series in 1968, which ran annually until 1975 under various titles including Lulu’s Back In Town, Happening For Lulu, Lulu, and It’s Lulu which featured Adrienne Posta. She later co-hosted a revived series of Oh Boy! for ITV in the early 1980s. Her BBC series featured music and comedy sketches and star guests. Her most famous guest was possibly Jimi Hendrix, who appeared in 1969, swore live on the show and refused to stick to the original songs that had been planned. Lulu began 1970 by appearing on the BBC‘s highly rated review of the sixties music scene Pop Go The Sixties, performing “Boom Bang-A-Bang” live on the show broadcast on BBC1, December 31, 1969. She was one of the main artists invited to appear on the BBC’s anniversary show Fifty Years Of Music in 1972. On December 31, 1976, Lulu performed “Shout” on BBC1’s A Jubilee Of Music, celebrating British pop music for Queen Elizabeth II’s impending Silver jubilee. In 1999, Lulu returned to BBC1 to host their Saturday night lottery/game show Red Alert.
In 1972 she starred in the Christmas pantomime Peter Pan at the Palace Theatre, Manchester where the show was a huge success. She repeated her performance at the London Palladium in 1975, and returned to the same role in different London-based productions from 1987 to early 1989. Other notable London stage appearances came in the early 1980s in Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Song and Dance and the Royal National Theatre‘s Guys and Dolls. She damaged her vocal cords while performing in the Webber show, requiring surgery that threatened her singing voice. She also made an appearance on the Morecambe and Wise Show in 1973, singing “All the Things You Are” and “Happy Heart”.
In 1974 she performed the title song in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. Two slightly different versions of the song were used, at the start and end respectively – the end song actually name-checking James Bond.
Also during 1974, she did a cover of two of David Bowie‘s classic songs, “The Man Who Sold the World” and “Watch That Man“. Bowie himself produced the recordings and played saxophone, and provided back-up vocals on it. There were also rumours that they had a brief affair at the time. Lulu confirmed these rumours in her 2002 autobiography. Bowie, perhaps characteristically, evaded comment on the subject.
“The Man Who Sold the World” peaked at number three on the UK chart, her first UK top 10 hit in five years and also her last until 1986.
In 1977, Lulu married John Frieda, who was previously her hairdresser, and remained with him for twenty years until divorcing him in 1995, having separated in 1991. They had one son, Jordan Frieda, later in 1977. She became interested in Eastern mysticism and joined Siddha Yoga, a new religious movement.
Lulu’s singing career waned, but she continued to remain in the public eye, continuing to act and host her own long running radio show on London’s Capital Radio station. She also became the celebrity spokes-model for Freemans fashion catalogue for a long while during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In late 1979, Lulu’s career suffered a minor setback when she was in a car accident that nearly took her life, having collided head on with another car on Brooksend Hill. That same year, she recorded for Elton John’s label Rocket Records and seemed about to hit the charts again, with the lauded “I Love to Boogie”, but surprisingly, despite critical acclaim and much airplay, it did not make the top 75.
In 1981, Lulu returned to the US charts with “I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)“, a Top 20 hit which also reached number two on the Adult Contemporary chart despite stalling at number 62 in the UK. Early the following year, she had a more modest US hit with “If I Were You”, which just missed the Top 40. Also in 1982, she appeared in the video for “Ant Rap” alongside Adam and the Ants and was nominated for a Grammy for “Who’s Foolin’ Who” from the “Lulu” album. She won the Rear of the Year award in 1983 and re-recorded a number of her songs. These included “Shout,” which reached the Top 10 in 1986 in the UK, securing her a spot to perform on the popular BBC music programme, Top of the Pops. In 2002, Lulu achieved the accolade of being one of only two performers (Cliff Richard being the other) to have sung in the Top of the Pops studio in each of the five decades that the show ran. A follow up single to “Shout”, an updated version of Millie‘s 1960s hit “My Boy Lollipop“, failed to chart and Lulu stopped recording until 1992, focussing instead on TV, acting and live performances. These tracks were released on the Jive Records label. Lulu has had hits on the Decca, Columbia, Atco, Polydor, Chelsea, Alfa, Jive, Dome, RCA, Mercury and Universal labels. She has also released singles for GTO, Atlantic, Globe, EMI, Concept, Lifestyle, Utopia and Rocket, and Epic in the US. For a while, she held the record for the most number of hit labels in the UK charts. In 1987, she played Adrian Mole‘s mother on television (replacing Julie Walters), and in 1993 she made a recording comeback, with the single Independence which reached number 11 on the UK charts.
Later that year she guested on the cover version of the Dan Hartman song “Relight My Fire“, with boy band Take That. The single reached number one in the British charts and Lulu went on to become Take That’s support act for their 1994 tour. By this time, her marriage to John Frieda had completely crumbled, and with the divorce, she released “Independence” in January 1993. She also appeared as herself, an unhappy public relations client of main character Edina Monsoon in two episodes of the hugely popular BBC television programme Absolutely Fabulous. She teamed with French & Saunders many times, including their send up of the Spice Girls (The Sugar Lumps) for Comic Relief in 1997 when she took the role of “Baby Spice”, mimicking Emma Bunton, who in turn appeared on Saunders’ show Absolutely Fabulous in a self-mocking cameo as herself, a refugee (with Edina’s daughter, Saffy) of a prestigious girls’ school. The title track from “Independence” just missed the top ten and all four singles released from the album hit the UK charts, as did two later singles released in 1994. Despite these hit singles, the album itself did not make a major impact on the charts, though it seemed to do nothing to diminish her European celebrity. A further album, recorded in 1999, and provisionally titled ‘Where the Poor Boys Dance’ was shelved due to supporting singles such as “Hurt Me So Bad” which charted, but did not make the Top 40.
Also in 1999, she co-wrote and recorded a duet with UK pop singer Kavana entitled “Heart Like The Sun”, but it was not released commercially until Kavana’s 2007 greatest hits collection, Special Kind Of Something: The Best of…. The National Lottery Game Show “Red Alert” saw Lulu return to prime time BBC television but, despite an attempted revamp, the shows commission soon ceased.
Now officially known as Lulu Kennedy-Cairns, in 2000, she was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth. Her 2002 autobiography is called I Don’t Want to Fight after the hit song she and her brother wrote with hit songwriter Steve DuBerry for Tina Turner, which is a song that Lulu later released in 2003, as part of her The Greatest Hits album. In 2002 her gold album Together was a collection of duets with such as Elton John and Paul McCartney, tracks from which were performed in a high profile TV special for ITV, An Audience With Lulu, which saw Lulu reunite with her first husband Maurice Gibb for a live performance of “First of May“. She followed this with the publication of her autobiography, “I Don’t Want To Fight”.
In 2004, she released the album Back on Track and went on a UK-wide tour to celebrate 40 years in the business despite the album charting at a low No 68. In late 2004, Lulu returned to radio, becoming the host of her own 2-hour radio show, on BBC Radio 2, playing an eclectic blend of music from the 1950s to the 2000s, all having to do with the influence of songwriting. In 2005, Lulu released A Little Soul in Your Heart, a collection of soul classics that entered the UK Albums Chart at number 28. In March 2006, Lulu launched her official MySpace profile, where she could keep in contact with current fans, and reconnect with old ones.Lulu continues to act occasionally and starred alongside Tom Courtenay and Stephen Fry in the British movie, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?. She has more recently appeared in the BBC’s reality TV show Just the Two of Us in 2006 as a judge, and in late June and early July 2006, appeared on Take That’s UK and Ireland tour, to perform their song “Relight My Fire”. She appeared on American Idol Season 6 on 20 March 2007 as a mentor for the female contestants, and the following night performed “To Sir, With Love” live. Later in 2007, Lulu appeared in the UK as a guest for Jools Holland in his series of concerts and features and on Holland’s CD release “Best of Friends”, performing “Where Have All the Good Guys Gone?”
Lulu’s complete Atco recordings (made between 1969 and 1972) were released onto a twin CD set for the first time on 12 November 2007. The two CD set included previously unreleased and demo versions of some of her recordings from this period. In December 2007, Lulu released a download single on iTunes in the UK, called “Run Rudolph Run“. At this time Lulu was also promoting a range of beauty products on QVC (UK), called “Time Bomb”, and appeared on the 2007 Christmas television advertisement for Morrisons, the UK supermarket chain.
In November 2008, Lulu was announced as one of a number of Scottish celebrities that would feature in the advertising campaign for Homecoming Scotland, a year-long event to encourage people around the world with Scottish heritage to return to Scotland.
Also in November 2008, Lulu posted the following message on her website, celebrating the election of Barack Obama as President of the USA: “Barack Obama Is In – Yippee, now we have got hope in the World. I’ve just turned 60, Obama is the new president of the USA and I think its going to be a fantastic yeah. Love Lu X”. In both the 1979 and 1983 UK General Elections, Lulu had been a staunch and highly visible supporter of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party.
In January 2009, Lulu began a four week stint as an advisor/coach on the BBC show Eurovision: Your Country Needs You, helping to choose the singer to represent the UK at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.
In the summer of 2009, Lulu guest presented on STV‘s daily lifestyle show The Hour, alongside main anchor Stephen Jardine. She appeared between 27 and 31 July. The Scottish magazine programme airs weekdays at 5 pm. As of 2009, she continues to pitch her range of “Lulu’s” anti-ageing products and other cosmetics through the QVC (UK) home shopping channel, using her youthful appearance as a promotional tool.
After appearing at an ABBA tribute concert in Hyde Park, London, during September 2009, Lulu announced that she would be touring the UK in a ‘Here Come The Girls’ concert performance alongside Chaka Khan and Anastacia. The trio promoted the concert series on UK TV, ahead of the first performance in November 2009, which took in 20 different dates.
In early 2010, Lulu performed the theme “The Word Is Love” to the movie Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!!.
In tribute to Lulu’s amazing career, the Scottish Town of Ullapool holds an annual music festival Loopallu (pronounced Loop A Lulu). Each September the small town welcomes people from all over the country to watch bands who were inspired by Lulu’s Music.
- Gonks Go Beat (1965)
- To Sir, with Love (1967)
- Cucumber Castle (1970)
- The Cherry Picker (1972)
- Alicja (1982) (voice)
- To Sir, with Love II (1996)
- Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999)
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Life and career
Brion was born December 11, 1963 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. He came from a musical family; his mother, LaRue, was an administrative assistant and singer, and his father, Keith Brion, was a band director at Yale. His brother and sister became a composer/arranger and a violinist, respectively. Brion had difficulties at Hamden High School and at the age of 17 left education, opting instead to play music professionally. From 1980-85 Jon was part of the band, The Excerpts, along with Stephen Harris, Dean Falcone & Spike Priggen.
In the early 1980s, Brion and musician/producer Bill Murphy began a writing collaboration in New Haven, Connecticut. They eventually enlisted bassist Don “Riff” Fertman and together formed The Bats, (not to be confused with the New Zealand group of the same name). The Bats released a single, “Popgun” and one album How Pop Can You Get?, on Gustav records in 1982. The recordings had much critical acclaim, but little commercial success, and the trio eventually disbanded.
In 1987, Brion moved to Boston, where he played solo gigs, formed the short-lived band World’s Fair and became a member of the last touring version of Aimee Mann’s new wave band ‘Til Tuesday. He contributed guitar work to Jellyfish‘s 1993 album Spilt Milk, and in 1994, joined Dan McCarroll, Buddy Judge and Jellyfish guitarist Jason Falkner in the short-lived pop band The Grays. Brion played numerous instruments on Sam Phillips‘ 1996 release Omnipop (It’s Only A Fleshwound Lambchop). Brion is featured as keyboardist and drummer on Marianne Faithfull‘s 2003 album, Kissin’ Time, and co-wrote a song, “City of Quartz”, for her next work, 2005’s Before the Poison.
After being recognized as an accomplished session player, Brion branched out into production on then-girlfriend Mann’s 1993 solo debut, Whatever, and its follow-up, I’m With Stupid. He has also produced albums by Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, Eleni Mandell, Rhett Miller, Robyn Hitchcock, Brad Mehldau and Evan Dando.
He also co-produced Kanye West‘s Late Registration album in 2005.
In the fall of 2002, Brion began producing the album Extraordinary Machine with Fiona Apple, but she later brought in producers Mike Elizondo and Brian Kehew (a friend of Brion’s) to complete the album. Brion’s versions leaked onto the Internet, where the album gained a cult following long before its official release.
Brion worked and performed on some of the tracks for Sean Lennon‘s 2006 album Friendly Fire. Lennon said that working with him was “how I would imagine it’s like to work with Prince. It’s like having a weird alien prodigy in your room.”
More recently, Brion has produced recordings by British pop performer Dido, Spoon, and Keane, as well as 2009’s Jon Brion Remix EP by Of Montreal.
Brion was signed to the Lava/Atlantic label in 1997, but was released from his contract after turning in his solo debut album Meaningless; the album was released independently in 2001.
He is rumored to be working on his second solo full-length album at Abbey Road Studios.
Brion is an accomplished film composer, having started scoring by frequently working with director Paul Thomas Anderson, with whom he has a preferential working relationship. In addition to scoring many of his films, Brion contributed music to Boogie Nights and had a cameo in the film as a moustached guitar player.
Particularly in his film soundtracks, Brion is noted for his use of early analog sampling instruments, particularly the Chamberlin and Optigan, to create near-realistic emulations of certain instruments.
He has earned a Best Score Soundtrack Album Grammy nominations for his work on 1999’s Magnolia and 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Brion was hired at the last minute to write the incidental music for The Break-Up. He has also scored the films and provided original music for I Heart Huckabees, Punch Drunk Love, Step Brothers and Synecdoche, NY. He also did live composition for a musical commentary on the Step Brothers DVD.
|Mary Lynn Rajskub|
He dated comedic actress Mary Lynn Rajskub for five years until they broke up in the fall of 2002.
Touring and live performances
Brion is renowned for his regular Friday-night gigs at the Los Angeles club Largo, which feature covers and original songs, a variety of instruments and occasional guest musicians and comedians. He works without a set list, instead using audience suggestions as a jumping-off point. His extraordinary use of layered loops and frequent adoption of a “jigsaw puzzle” approach to performing songs (starting often with drums, then adding piano, bass, guitar, and vocals in turn) have captivated the capacity crowds at Largo and earned Brion a strong following. Recent shows have featured spontaneous appearances with vocalist Rickie Lee Jones, singing old jazz standards like “My Funny Valentine”, with upright bassist Stephen Patt (ex-Chambers Brothers), percussionist Matt Chamberlain (ex-Wallflowers), bassist Sebastian Steinberg (ex-Soul Coughing), and fiddler Sara Watkins (ex-Nickel Creek).
In April 2006, recurring tendonitis in Brion’s right hand forced him to cancel all of his upcoming Largo shows. As a temporary ‘farewell’, he played one show only using his left hand, even looping his songs as he normally does and playing the drums with one stick. He is now back to playing at Largo on a regular basis.
Recalling his approach to the Largo shows with Chicago Tribune music editor Lou Carlozo, Brion said: “I taught my hands to follow whatever was coming into my head—and wherever my consciousness would go, I had to push my hands to follow. And at some level, you just had to abandon any concern about how you’d look. Performing without a set list: That was special.”
With The Bats
- How Pop Can You Get? (1982)
With The Grays
- Ro Sham Bo (1994)
With Elliott Smith
- Background vocals in the song “Happiness” (2000)
Vocals on “Shine it all on” E song from the album Broken Toy Shop (1993)
- Meaningless (2001)
- Hard Eight (with Michael Penn) (1996)
- Magnolia (1999)
- Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
- I ♥ Huckabees (2004)
- The Break-Up (2006)
- Synecdoche, New York (2008)
- Step Brothers (2008)
- Glago’s Guest (2008)
- The Other Guys (2010)
- Aimee Mann, Whatever, (1993)
- Aimee Mann, I’m with Stupid, (1995)
- The Crystal Method – “Bad Stone” (1997)
- Rufus Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, (1998)
- Eleni Mandell, Wishbone, (1998)
- Robyn Hitchcock, Jewels for Sophia, (1998)
- Robyn Hitchcock, A Star for Bram, (1999)
- Fiona Apple, When the Pawn…, (1999)
- Aimee Mann, “Bachelor No. 2“, (2000)
- The Crystal Method – “Over the Line” (2001)
- Elliott Smith, From a Basement on a Hill, (unreleased version, recorded 2001)
- Brad Mehldau, Largo, (2002)
- Rhett Miller, The Instigator, (2002)
- Evan Dando, Baby I’m Bored, (2003)
- Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine, (unreleased version, recorded 2002–2003)
- The Crystal Method – “Realizer” (2004)
- Kanye West, Late Registration (as co-executive producer and co-producer on several tracks), (2005)
- Marjorie Fair, Self Help Serenade (as co-executive producer), (2005)
- Kanye West, Graduation (as co-producer), (2007)
- Spoon, “The Underdog,” Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, (2007)
- Keane, “You Haven’t Told Me Anything”, Perfect Symmetry, (2008)
- Dido, Safe Trip Home, (2008)
- Of Montreal, Jon Brion Remix EP, (2009)
- Of Montreal, False Priest, (2010)
- Brad Mehldau, Highway Rider, (2010)
- Punch Brothers, “Antifogmatic“, (2010)
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Who is Miguel Jontel Pimentel? The entertainment and music world knows Miguel as an American recording artist, songwriter and producer. Signed to Jive Records in 2007, Miguel released his debut album, All I Want Is You, in November 2010. The album was preceded by the release of the single “All I Want Is You“, featuring rapper J. Cole.
Life and career
Miguel Jontel Pimentel was born October 23, 1986 in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. He is one of two sons born to a Mexican father and an African american mother. Miguel’s parents divorced when he was eight years old. At a young age, Miguel listened to classic rock, hip hop, funk and rhythm and blues. At age 13, he began pursuing a career in music.
Miguel worked with a local production duo Drop Squad in 2000, before being signed with independent record label Black Ice in 2004. During this period, the labels had requested Miguel to make music similar to that of musical group B2K. For nearly a year, Miguel’s manager at the time submitted several songs to music mogul Mark Pitts; after receiving a song titled “Sure Thing”—which Miguel described as a “highly personal…record that no one was ever supposed to hear”—Pitts scheduled a meeting with Miguel in October 2007. The following month, Miguel signed a recording contract with Jive Records. Miguel recalled that the signing his contract took place in a “very small room in a very small office in a small corner of the building at Jive”. Miguel was subsequently sued by Black Ice for “monetary rights to his newfound success”. For the following three years,, he contributed to Usher’s Here I Stand and Raymond v. Raymond, as well as Asher Roth‘s Asleep in the Bread Aisle and Musiq Soulchild‘s “IfULeave“. Miguel also released Mischief: The Mixtape; he explained that the title referred to his attempt to “[tell] people that there is an alternative to getting sort of the same thing”. The lawsuit was settled in 2010.
All I Want Is You
After making his contribution to Usher’s Raymond v. Raymond in 2010, Miguel released his debut single titled “All I Want Is You“, which features J. Cole and was produced by Salaam Remi. It is the lead single from his debut album of the same title.
Miguel cites musicians Prince, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie Mercury, Phil Collins, Donny Hathaway, The Notorious B.I.G. and Kanye West, as well as the band Queen as his influences, in addition to expressing his admiration for Stevie Wonder, John Lennon and Diane Warren. Miguel revealed his desire to have worked with James Brown, whom he considers the “last innovator for me when it comes to soul”. In addition to singing, Miguel also plays the guitar. He incorporates R&B, funk, hip hop, rock and electronic into his music. Miguel described his sound as “nostalgic in a sense that it’s familiar… it’s shocking, edgy, energizing”. In an interview with Paper magazine, he regarded his music as “fly, funkadelic, intergalactic-hip-hop-meets-sexy-orgasmic crazy, dope shit”.
- 2008: Mischief: The Mixtape
|2010||All I Want Is You||37||9||
|2010||“All I Want Is You” (featuring J. Cole)||58||7||1||All I Want Is You|
|2007||“First Things First” (Blu & Exile featuring Miguel)||Below the Heavens|
|“Cold Hearted” (Blu & Exile featuring Miguel)|
|“You Are Now In The Clouds With … (The Koochie Monstas’)” (Blu & Exile featuring Miguel)|
|2009||“His Dream” (Asher Roth featuring Miguel)||Asleep in the Bread Aisle|
|2011||“Raise Your Hands” (Paul Oakenfold featuring Miguel)|
|“Hoe” (Jhené Aiko featuring Miguel)||.sailing soul(s).|
Awards and nominations
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Who is Jay Chou? The entertainment and acting world know Jay Chou as a Taiwanese musician, singer-songwriter, music and film producer, actor and director who has won the World Music Award four times. He is well-known for composing all his own songs and songs for other singers. In 1998 he was discovered in a talent contest where he displayed his piano and song-writing skills. Over the next two years, he was hired to compose for popular Mandarin singers. Although he was trained in classical music, Chou combines Chinese and Western music styles to produce songs that fuse R&B, rock and pop genres, covering issues such as domestic violence, war, and urbanization.
In 2000, Chou released his first album, titled Jay, under the record company Alfa Music. Since then he has released one album per year except in 2009, selling several million copies each. His music has gained recognition throughout Asia, most notably in regions such as Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and in overseas Asian communities, winning more than 20 awards each year. He has sold more than 28 million albums worldwide up to 2010. He debuted his acting career in Initial D (2005), for which he won Best Newcomer Actor in both the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in Curse of the Golden Flower (2006). He produced the theme song for the film Ocean Heaven starring Jet Li. His career now extends into directing and running his own record company JVR Music.
Life and career
Jay Chou was born 18 January 1979 and grew up in Linkou, Taipei County, Taiwan. Both his parents were secondary school teachers: his mother, Ye Hui Mei , taught fine arts, while his father, Zhou Yao Zhong , was a biomedical researcher. His mother noticed his sensitivity to music and took him to piano lessons at the age of three. During his childhood, he was fascinated with capturing sounds and songs with his tape recorder, which he carried everywhere with him. In the third grade, he became interested in music theory and also started cello lessons. He is an only child and loved to play piano, imitate TV actors, and perform magic tricks. His favorite composer was, and still is to this day, Chopin. His parents divorced when he was 13, which caused him to become reclusive and introverted. Although he had friends, he often preferred to be alone, listening to music, contemplating and daydreaming. At Tamkang Senior High School, he majored in piano and minored in cello. He showed talent for improvisation, became fond of pop music and began to write songs.
Chou graduated from high school with inadequate grades for university, so he prepared for military service, which was compulsory for all Taiwanese men at the age of 18. However, a sports injury triggered by an unexplainable and severe back pain eventually led to the diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis, a hereditary spine inflammation disease; as a result, he was exempted from conscription. Meanwhile, he found himself a job as a waiter. Without his knowing, his friend had entered both their names in a talent show called Super New Talent King. Chou played the piano accompaniment for his friend, whose singing was described as “lousy”. Although they did not win, the show’s host Jacky Wu—an influential character in Taiwan’s entertainment business—happened to glance at Chou’s music score and was impressed with its complexity. Wu hired him as a contract composer and paired him with the novice lyricist Vincent Fang.
Over the next two years he wrote songs for Mandarin pop artists, and also learned recording and sound mixing; his dedication was apparent as he even slept in the music studio. Wu’s music studio was later sold to Alfa Music, and the new manager Yang Jun Rong asked him to release his own album. Chou already had an arsenal of songs he wrote for others but had been rejected, so among those he chose 10 for his debut CD Jay that was released in 2000. The album established his reputation as a musically gifted singer-songwriter whose style is a fusion of R&B, rap, classical music, and yet distinctly Chinese. His fame spread quickly in Chinese-speaking regions including countries throughout Southeast Asia. Since 2000, Chou has released one album per year, except the year 2009, each selling several million copies, and has been recognized with hundreds of awards. In 2003, he was the cover story of Time magazine (Asia version), acknowledging his influence on popular culture. He has held four world tours, “The One” (2002), “Incomparable” (2004), “Jay Chou The World Tours” (2007–2008) and “The Era” (2010–2011) performing in cities such as Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Las Vegas, Toronto and Vancouver. Unlike most singers, Chou has an enormous amount of creative control over his music. He is not only the songwriter but also the producer on all of his albums; since 2005 he is also the music director and also directs his own music videos.
Chou’s compositions are loosely categorized as pop music. While many of his works fall into contemporary R&B, rap, and rock genres, the term “Chou Style” has been popularized to describe his trademark cross-cultural music and his insistence on singing with relaxed enunciation. Taipei Times once described the meaning of “Chou Style”: “In what has become the archetypal Chou style, Taiwan’s favorite son blends pop, rap, blues and a smorgasbord of esthetic elements of world music to create his dream-like never-never land …”
He regularly fuses traditional Chinese instruments and styles with R&B or rock to form a new genre called “Zhongguo feng” which literally means “Chinese Style Music“,[a] some of which are written in the Pentatonic Scale as opposed to the more common seven-note scale (Diatonic Scale) to accentuate an oriental style. Besides his own culture, he also incorporated Spanish guitar in “Red Imitation” , American techno/electronica in “Herbalist’s Manual” , rap with subtle classical music undertones in “Reverse Scales” , and Bossanova style in “Rosemary” , to name a few. Sound effects from everyday life are frequently woven into his music, such as bouncing ping pong balls, touch tone phone dialing, helicopter blades, dripping rain, and radio static noise (concrete music).[b]
His formal musical training is evident by the use of classical textures in his compositions. For example, counterpoint was used in “Perfection” and “Sorry” , while polyphony can be found in “The Wound That Ends War” and “Twilight’s Chapter Seven”.
Chou’s albums have been noted for the lack of change compared to his earlier works, yet he firmly stated that he will not alter his style: “They say I’ve been standing still … but this is the music I want, and I don’t see what I want by moving ahead.” To demonstrate his point, he named his 2006 album Still Fantasy after his 2001 album Fantasy. His use of relaxed enunciation has been criticized as “mumbling” which he also insisted will not change; however, recently he has adopted clearer pronunciation for certain songs, particularly more traditional Chinese style songs, such as “Faraway” which features Fei Yu-ching and “Chrysanthemum Terrace” .
Chou is more often a singer-composer than a lyricist. Several “regulars” write the lyrics for most of his music, but the content and style is unified with his own personality and image, covering a diverse range of topics and ideas. Vincent Fang accounts for more than half of the lyrics in his albums, helping to establish an important element in Chou’s music: the use of meaningful, imagery- and emotionally-rich lyrics, sometimes written in the form of ancient Chinese poetry with reference to Chinese history or folklore.[c] In addition to writing romantic hits,[d] he also touches on war, the Bible, sports, and martial arts.[e] Vivian Hsu is a singer herself and has helped with Chou’s earlier hits,[f] while Huang Jun Lang is noted for his work surrounding unusual themes (such as a detective story and chess game).[g]
Chou himself has written lyrics for many ballads,[h] but has also discussed societal ills such as drug addiction in “Coward” and loss of the rural countryside to urbanization in “Terrace fields” . Domestic violence discussed in “Dad, I am back” received a great deal of commotion since he was the first to bring up this taboo subject in Sanscript music, which helped solidify his status as a pioneer and a unique pop singer capable of approaching serious issues. In the songs “Maternal grandmother” and “Listen to Mother”, he voiced his high regard for family values. He addressed personal issues about his failure to enter university in “Split” , his resentment towards the paparazzi in “Besieged From All Sides” , and highlighted the importance of individuality in “Popular Imitation” . “Rice Fragrance” , a song from his 9th album Capricorn encourages people not to give up their dreams even when facing difficulties in life.
Chou began as a songwriter for other singers and continued this area of work even after he debuted his own career in singing. He has composed frequently for Jolin Tsai, Landy Wen, and occasionally for other Taiwanese singers such as Coco Lee, S.H.E, Vivian Hsu, Leehom Wang, Will Liu, Valen Hsu, and Hong Kong pop stars Edmond Leung, Gigi Leung, Jordan Chan, Edison Chen, Karen Mok, Leo Ku, Eason Chan, and Joey Yung, as well as a one-time collaboration with Howard Su. He has also written for singers outside of his generation—over one dozen songs for his mentor Jacky Wu, later also for Taiwanese singer Jody Chiang, and Hong Kong singers Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok, and Kenny Bee.
He initiated the band Nan Quan Mama in 2004, selecting band members and overseeing their album production. The group has been noted for sounding too similar to their mentor; as a result, Chou has reduced his involvement in the band, but continues to help increase their exposure to mass audiences by inviting them as guests performers for his own concerts and music videos.
He has performed live duets with Landy Wen, Jolin Tsai, and former girlfriend news anchor Patty Hou, but only two studio recordings of duets have been formally placed in his own albums: “Coral Sea” in 2005 with Lara Veronin (of Nan Quan Mama) and “Faraway” in 2006 features Fei Yu-Ching, who began his career in the 1970s. Besides working with singers, Chou’s longest-running collaboration is with lyricist Vincent Fang, as they both started their careers in the music field in 1998. The compilation album Partners featured 12 songs, each consisting of Chou’s musical and Fang’s lyrical compositions. Fang has written the words to more than 40 of Chou’s songs, was the chief editor of Chou’s book Grandeur de D Major , and is now Chou’s business partner (together with Chou’s manager JR Yang) for the record company JVR Music. Jay Chou was also featured in Cindy Yen‘s song “Sand Painting” released in October 2009. Jay Chou collaborates with Kobe Bryant on “The Heaven and Earth Challenge” in order to “promote youth creativity, as well as an upcoming slam-dunk competition in China.” The song was released at a press conference before the NBA All-Star Game on 20 February 2011.
Jay held his first series of five solo concerts, titled Fantasy Concert , with the first stop on 11 January 2001 at Taoyuan Arena, Taiwan. Followed by two shows at the Hong Kong Coliseum, one in Malaysia and ended in Singapore on 10 February 2002. His second concert tour, The One Concert commenced on 28 September 2002 at Taipei Municipal Stadium, followed by 11 stops and ended at Shenzhen Stadium, China on 3 January 2004.
Two more series of world tours followed: Incomparable Concert in 2004 and Jay Chou 2007 World Tours , with stops in cities such as Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Las Vegas, Toronto and Vancouver. In 2010, to celebrate Jay’s 10 year career in the entertainment industry, he embarked on his fifth series of concert tour titled, New Era World Tour, with the first stop of three concerts from 11 to 13 June 2010 at Taipei Arena, followed by 24 stops ending in Malaysia on 5 March 2011.
- World tours/Live (DVD) album releases
- 2001 – Fantasy Concert
- 2002 – The One Concert – Jay Chou The One Concert Live
- 2004 – Incomparable Concert – Incomparable Jay Concert Live
- 2007 – Jay Chou World Tours – Jay Chou 2007 the World Tours Concert Live
- 2010 – New Era World Tour – Jay Chou 2010 The Era World Tours Concert Live
Chou formally entered the film industry in 2005 with the release of the movie Initial D . He has since acted in three other movies, directed one film and more than a dozen music videos. Chou, who once said “I live because of music”, ventured into movies because he felt the need for a new challenge. As fans have grown concerned that movies will compromise his music career, Chou has repeatedly reassured that movies are a source of inspiration and not a distraction; at the same time, he realizes the need to balance both careers and maintain his place in the music field to garner the continued support of fans.
Entry into acting was an unexpected move for Chou. His high school English teacher thought he was capable of very few facial expressions, and the director of Hidden Track (2003, a movie in which Chou had a cameo role) said that his strong individualistic personality will not make him a good actor. In 2005, Chou’s first role as the lead actor in Initial D served two purposes: to launch his acting debut, and to increase his exposure to Japanese audiences. This film is based on the Japanese comic Initial D, where Chou played Takumi Fujiwara, a gifted touge racer who is quiet and rarely shows expression. Some reviewers criticized his bland acting while others felt he performed naturally, but only because the character’s personality closely mirrored his own. His performance in Initial D won him Best Newcomer Actor in Golden Horse Awards and Hong Kong Film Awards. Chou’s second film was Curse of the Golden Flower (2006). As a supporting character, he drew much of the attention of Chinese reporters; Chou’s involvement in this movie was announced in its own press conference, separate from the meeting held for Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li, and the other actors. Chou portrayed Prince Jai, the ambitious second eldest prince and general of the Imperial army whose personality epitomizes Xiao , the Chinese virtue of filial piety. In this internationally-released film, North American audiences saw Chou for the first time. According to Chinese movie critics, comments about his acting ranged from “lacks complexity” to “acceptable,” but was critically praised by Western reviewers. His performance in Curse of the Golden Flower was nominated Best Supporting Actor in the Hong Kong Film Awards. In the 2008 film Kung Fu Dunk, Chou portrayed a kung fu student and dunking prodigy, and the film earned over ¥100 million (US$14.7 million). Chou portrayed Kato in The Green Hornet, directed by Michel Gondry and released in January 2011, after Hong Kong actor Stephen Chow withdrew from the project, the film grossed over $228 million worldwide. MTV Networks‘ NextMovie.com named him one of the ‘Breakout Stars to Watch for in 2011′.
Chou’s acquired his first directing experience in 2004 through music videos. He initially experimented with a song by the group Nan Quan Mama titled “Home” where he was involved throughout the entire process from research to editing. After learning the difficulties of being a director, he refused to direct again even at the request of his record company. However, his interest resurfaced again as he directed music videos for 4 of the 12 songs in own album November’s Chopin in 2005, and later television advertisements. By 2006, he had taken responsibility for the storyboard, directing, and editing of music videos for all his songs. It is unclear how the public appraises his work, since music videos are rarely the subject of critical review; however, director Zhang Yimou said that Chou’s directing abilities may surpass his own in the future, after viewing several of Chou’s music videos.
In February 2007, Chou finally directed his first movie Secret. The story he wrote is based loosely on his relationship with a high school girlfriend, with a plot focused on music, love, and family. He stars as the lead actor of the film with Kwai Lun-Mei as the female lead, and Hong Kong veteran actor Anthony Wong as Chou’s father. Despite previous experience in filming music videos, Chou admits that movies are more challenging due to storyline and time constraints. This movie was released in July 2007.
In 2005, Jay Chou played the male lead in Initial D, but according to reports, he will be back to direct the sequel, while Andrew Lau, who was a co-director of the first Initial D, will take on the role of the producer.
Book: Grandeur de D Major
Chou published his first book titled Grandeur de D Major on November 25, 2004.[k] This 200-page book features a prologue written by his family, friends, and co-workers; the main section is a compilation of his personal attitudes, philosophies, and recollections of childhood experiences along with pictures from his music videos, many of which have never been released; and lastly, a list of the artist’s major awards, musical and lyrical compositions, and discography. For the usually low-profile singer, this book revealed his personality and convictions that has served as the basis of his musical and public image. He demonstrated a strong appreciation of family values with an especially deep connection with his mother and maternal grandmother. His confidence and dedication towards music is evident as he dedicated 2 out of 7 chapters to music: the current state of the industry, his composition methodology, and the importance of individualism to his success in music. This pride is contrasted against his modesty and self-assessed naivety about many aspects in life, particularly regarding relationships and marriage.
Chou has been a spokesperson for popular brands such as Pepsi (2002–2007), Panasonic (2001–2005), Motorola (since 2006), M-Zone/China Mobile (since 2003), Levi’s (2004–2005), Deerhui (sporting goods, since 2003), and Metersbonwe Group (casual wear, since 2003), Colgate (2004–2005), popular computer game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002), science and nature magazine National Geographic (2005). To maximize the celebrity branding effect, advertisements are nearly always linked to his music and TV commercials are occasionally directed by him. He acted as the tourism ambassador for Malaysia in 2003. Recently[when?], Jay is promoting Sprite with Angela Chang. In the commercial, he can be seen performing magic tricks. He also did a Sprite commercial with Kobe Bryant.
From the launch of his music career in 2000, Jay Chou has won more than 350 singer, singer-songwriter, and producer awards in Asia. The highly coveted Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan[j] awarded “Best Album” for his debut CD Jay (2000) in 2001, and five awards (including “Best Album”, “Best Composer”, and “Best Producer”) in the following year for the album Fantasy (2001). However, failure to win “Best Album” for three consecutive years has left him disheartened with award ceremonies. Although he continues to win more than 20 awards per year from various organizations in Asia, Chou has stated he will rely more on album sales as an indicator of his music’s quality and popularity. In 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008, he was awarded Best-Selling Artist in China by World Music Awards for the albums Common Jasmin Orange, Still Fantasy and On the Run.
Media and public relations
Despite living under continual media scrutiny, Chou’s public image has changed little over the years as he emphasizes individuality as his “personal philosophy”. In his music, this is also evident as he fuses Chinese and Western styles and explores topics unconventional for a pop singer, which have been described as “authentic” and “revolutionary”. The media describes a hard-working perfectionist with clear self-direction who is occasionally regarded as competitive and a “control freak”. There is a misunderstanding about his nickname “Chairman Chou” , used by both the press and fans to underscore his domineering personality and impact on Asian music, but also points at his musical talent. Yet the origin of this nickname emerges from his fever of collecting antiques as the word comes from “antique” in Chinese . Outside of music, Chou is reported as shy, quiet, modest, and views filial piety as “the most important thing“. In-line with his aim to present a positive image, he is a non-smoker, non-drinker, and does not go to nightclubs. Government officials and educators in Asia have awarded him for his exemplary behaviour, designated him a spokesperson in the youth-empowerment project “Young Voice” in 2005 and an anti-depression campaign in 2007, His lyrics for two songs[i] has been incorporated into the school syllabus to inspire motivational and filial attitudes. In November 2007, Chou was criticized for attending the funeral of Taiwanese gang leader Chen Chi-li to console Chen’s son Baron Chen, whom Chou met while filming Kung Fu Dunk.
Response to the news media and paparazzi
As with other stars, Chou has expressed a strong dislike of the paparazzi. In the early years of his career, unwanted attention by the media was usually dealt with by avoidance. In-line with his quiet nature, he frequently wore baseball caps and hoods while lowering his head and evading eye contact during interviews. In recent years however, he has been less passive about the invasion of his privacy. To discourage the paparazzi from taking unsolicited pictures, Chou is known to photograph the paparazzi that follow him. He openly calls the paparazzi “dogs” and tabloids “dog magazines”, as shown in his lyrics for “Besieged From All Sides”. The media have also accused Chou of evading compulsory military service by feigning to suffer from ankylosing spondylitis. Later that year he was acquitted after providing the relevant medical records and letters from the army confirming a lawful exemption from draft dated before the start of his music career.
Despite constant harassment and stalking by the media, he does acknowledge that not all media attention is unwelcome. Coverage by international journals and news agencies such as Time, The Guardian, and Reuters help ascertain his influence on mainstream culture. An editorial written by Kerry Brown of Chatham House named Chou as one of the 50 most influential figures in China, one of only three singers on a list dominated by politicians and corporate owners. At the end of 2009, he was included on JWT’s annual list of 100 Things to Watch in 2010.
It is difficult to estimate the size and global spread of Chou’s fanbase. Jay’s fanbase originated and grew extensively in China. The Chinese-speaking populations of Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Mainland China make up a significant percentage of Chou’s fans. Despite rampant piracy issues in this region of Asia, particularly in China, every album Chou has released so far has surpassed 2 million sales. According to Baidu, the most popular internet search engine in China, Chou is the number one searched male artist in 2002, 05, 06 and 07.
In Hong Kong, he has been the best-selling Mandarin artist for the past 4 years. According to a 2004 survey in five Chinese urban centers for children ages 9 to 14, 1 in 6 named Chou as their favorite idol; he was also reported as the favorite singer of youths aged 8 to 25 in a study conducted in seven Asian countries (2006). He has a solid fanbase throughout Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In Singapore, Chou was the second most searched celebrity behind Britney Spears in the music category.
Currently, Chou remains largely unknown outside of Asia, except in cities with large Chinese immigrant populations such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. He has held concerts in major venues such as the Acer Arena (Sydney – 3 July 2009), HP Pavilion at San Jose (San Jose – 31 December 2010), Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (Los Angeles – 8 January 2011), MGM Grand (Las Vegas—25 December 2002), Rogers Arena (Vancouver – 23 December 2010), Shrine Auditorium (Los Angeles—18 December 2004), Galen Center (Los Angeles—24 December 2007) and the Air Canada Centre (Toronto – 18 December 2008). His intention to increase his prominence in the Western world beyond Chinese audiences is clear. In 2006, Chou composed and sang the theme song for Fearless, a movie released in major theatres in most English-speaking countries, though the impact to his fame has been minimal. His role in Curse of the Golden Flower (limited release) marks his acting debut in North America. Despite having a supporting but important role in the story’s plot, the North American version of the official posters only featured a view of his back, greatly contrasting the Asian versions where his face and name were clear and placed between the leading actor and actress. Although Chou is still far from being well-known to English audiences, this movie has brought him international exposure. Chou gained further exposure to western audiences in his starring role as crimefighter Kato in January 2011’s The Green Hornet.
Chou has won the Favorite Male Artist of the 20th Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan. He did not attend the event to collect the award because he was on tour in China at the time.
|2005||Initial D||“Takumi Fujiwara“|
|2006||Curse of the Golden Flower||“Prince Jai – Yuan Jie”|
|2007||Secret||“Jay – Ye Xiang Lun – “
Original story author
|2008||Kung Fu Dunk||“Fang Shi Jie – Fong Sai Kit – “|
|2009||The Treasure Hunter||“Lead actor  – Qiao Fei”|
|2010||True Legend||“God of Wushu” / “Drunken God”|
|2011||The Green Hornet||“Kato” (First Hollywood Film)|
|Secret 2||“Jay – Ye Xiang Lun –”
|Viral Factor||Lead actor|
|2012||Initial D 2||“Takumi Fujiwara“
|2010||Pandamen||“Detective Leo Lee”
|Mr.J Channel||“Himself – Host”|