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Jon Bon Jovi Biography
Bon Jovi Fan Club Site Musician, actor. Born John Francis Bongiovi Jr. on March 2, 1962 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Jon was raised by his parents, Carol and John Bongiovi, a hairdresser. By his early teens, he was hanging out at local clubs, convinced that one day he would be a rock star.
Idolizing local rising stars such as Bruce Springsteen and the Asbury Jukes, Jon was playing in clubs by the time he was 16. He met keyboardist David Bryan in high school, and the two formed a ten-piece rhythm and blues band called Atlantic City Expressway. Jon also performed with bands called The Rest, The Lechers and John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones.
In 1980, Jon recorded his first single, Runaway, at his cousin's studio, with back-up by studio musicians. A local radio station included the song on a compilation tape, and it began to get frequent airplay. The success of Runaway got Jon noticed, and he realized that he'd need more than session players if he wanted to capitalize on his success.
Jon gave David a call, who in turn tapped Alec John Such, Tico Torres and guitarist Richie Samborra. During a show in New York in 1983, the band caught the attention of record exececutive Derek Shulman, who signed them to PolyGram. It was Shulman who anglicized John Bongiovi's name to Bon Jovi.
Their self-titled debut came out on January 21, 1984. Filled with the group's now-signature power ballads underscored by soaring guitar riffs and well-crafted melodies, the album went gold. Bon Jovi released its follow-up album, 7800 Farenheit, in April 1985, which was popular with the fans, but less so with the press. Many critics were turned off by the hard-rock band's manicured image and formulaic style.
Tours opening for the Scorpions, Kiss and Judas Priest ****ed Bon Jovi build up a considerable fan base that appreciated the group's rugged, soulful collection of songs about how tough it was to be a teenager. The band responded to tepid critical praise with its third album, Slippery When Wet, which went gold and platinum simultaneously within six weeks of its release. Powered by songs like Livin' on a Prayer and Wanted Dead or Alive, the album sold in excess of 14 million copies, putting it in the same league as Michael Jackson's Thriller.
The band went into temporary retirement in 1989. Jon concentrated on his solo career, married karate champion Dorothea Hurley and appeared in his first movie, Young Guns II, for which he won he won a Golden Globe for Best Song, Blaze of Glory.
In 1994, the commercial incentive to return to Bon Jovi proved too hard to resist, and the band released another album, Keep The Faith. Jon enjoyed further solo success with 1997's Destination Anywhere. The band regrouped two years later to record the Grammy-nominated album, Crush, and again in 2002 to put out its latest album, Bounce.
In the '90s, Jon stretched his talents by nurturing an acting career with starring roles in Moonlight and Valentino and The Leading Man. He also appeared in a handful of independent films, incluidng Pay It Forward and U-571. On television, he was a regular guest star on Ally McBeal until the series finale in 2002. Bon Jovi also made headlines in 2004 when he and Sambora became co-founders and owners of the Arena Football League's Philadelphia Soul. The following year, he and the band donated $1,000,000 to Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network.
Jon married Dorothea Hurley, a karate instructor, in 1989. They have four children, Stephanie, Jesse, Jacob and Romeo Jon.
in full Beyoncé Giselle Knowles
Born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas, she began singing with the original members of the popular R&B group Destiny's Child — LaToya Luckett, Kelly Rowland and LaTavia Roberson — as a pre-teen.
The girls went through various incarnations, singing a mix of gospel, rhythm and blues, and hip hop, before they officially became Destiny's Child in 1995. Knowles' father, Mathew, served as manager of the group.
After performing in the Houston area, the group appeared on Star Search, the popular television talent competition. Although they did not win the competition, a contract with Columbia Records soon followed.
Their first release, Destiny's Child (1997), was a tremendous success in Europe. Upon the album's release, the group kicked off a tour of sold-out shows there.
Their second effort, The Writing's on the Wall (1999), brought them wider acclaim back home. The album generated three top-ten hits on the Billboard R&B singles chart.
In 2000, despite internal conflicts that resulted in the departure of Luckett and Roberson from the group, Destiny's Child continued to promote their sophomore effort, playing as a supporting act for Christina Aguilera's summer tour.
In 2001, still calling themselves Destinys Child, the group released their third album, Survivor. In 2004, after launching a successful solo career with Dangerously in Love, Knowles won five Grammy Awards, tying a record for most wins by a female artist.
Her second solo effort, B'Day, was released in September 2006 to coincide with the singer's twenty-fifth birthday. In its first week, B'Day sold more than 540,000 copies in the U.S.
Beyoncé Knowles has also made a start in acting, making her debut in MTV's Hip Hopera: Carmen in 2001 and co-starring as Foxxy Cleopatra in Mike Myers' James Bond parody Goldmember in 2002. Other films include 2004's The Fighting Temptations and 2006's The Pink Panther.
Her starring role as Deena Jones, a Diana Ross-like character in the big-screen adaptation of the 1981 Broadway hit musical Dreamgirls earned a Golden Globe nomination in 2006. Beyoncé's song "Listen" was nominated for an Academy Award.
Knowles' was romantically linked to hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, since September 2002. They performed together in music videos for two of her hit singles, Crazy in Love and Deja Vu. The couple married in April 2008. Among the guests sighted at the wedding were Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles, her father and manager Mathew, her sister Solange, Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and friend Gwyneth Paltrow.
Lady Gaga Biography
in full: Stefania Gabrielle Germanotta
Singer. Born Stefania Gabrielle Germanotta on March 28, 1986, to Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta. Germanotta, now known as Lady Gaga, is an international pop star born in Yonkers, New York.
Gaga learned to play the piano by the age of four. At the age of 11, she was accepted to the Juilliard School in Manhattan, but instead attended a private Catholic school in the city. She continued studying music and performing, writing her first piano ballad at the age of 13 and holding her first performance at the age of 14 in a New York nightclub. The self-dubbed "Lady Gaga" (she has attributed the inspiration for her name to the Queen song, "Radio Ga-Ga") was granted early admission to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts at the age of 17—one of only 20 students in the world to receive the honor of early acceptance. While there, she studied music and worked on her songwriting skills. She later withdrew from school in order to find creative inspiration. To make ends meet, she took three jobs—including a stint as a gogo dancer—while she honed her performance-art act.
In 2005, Lady Gaga was briefly signed by Def Jam Records, but was dropped just months after signing. Being dropped by the label propelled the singer to perform on her own in clubs and venues on New York City's Lower East Side. There, she collaborated with several rock bands, and began her experimentation with fashion.
In 2007, at the age of 20, Lady Gaga began work at Interscope Records as a songwriter for other groups on the label, including Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, and The Pussycat Dolls. R&B singer Akon discovered Gaga while she was performing a burlesque show she called "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue," which she had created to make a name for herself. Impressed, he signed the performer to his label under the Interscope umbrella, Kon Live. Through 2007 and 2008, Lady Gaga wrote and recorded her debut album, The Fame. The record was received positive reviews and popular success in the United States. With the **** of her own creative team, "Haus of Gaga," the performer also began to make a name for herself internationally.
Lady Gaga's debut single, "Just Dance," was released to radio in early 2008 to both popular and commercial acclaim. The song was then nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Dance Recording in 2008. The song lost to Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," but this didn't keep Gaga from reaching No. 1 on the mainstream pop charts in January 2009. The second single off of her album, "Poker Face," earned Lady Gaga even more success. The song topped singles charts in almost every category, and in almost every country. Both songs were produced by Akon's affiliate RedOne, who co-wrote most of Lady Gaga's album.
Most recently, Lady Gaga opened for the newly reformed New Kids on the Block. She also collaborated with the group on the song "Big Girl Now" from New Kids on the Block's album The Block. She is now headlining on The Fame Ball Tour, and has announced plans to tour with Kanye West in the very near future.
Justin Timberlake Biography
Pop singer. Born Justin Randall Timberlake on January 31, 1981, in Memphis, Tennessee. Raised a Baptist, Timberlake grew up singing in the church choir. From 1993 to 1995, he performed with The Mickey Mouse Club along with popsters Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and JC Chasez. Afterward, Timberlake and Chasez, along with Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, formed the all-male singing group 'N Sync. The boy band would go on to become one of the hottest pop groups of the 1990s, releasing No Strings Attached in 2000 and Celebrity in 2001.
In 2002, Timberlake decided to pursue a solo career, debuting with the hit song "Like I Love You." Later that year, he released his first solo album, Justified, which sold over seven million copies worldwide. He received two Grammy Awards in 2004 for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The wins came on the heels of a controversial Super Bowl performance with Janet Jackson in which Timberlake accidentally tore off a portion of Jacksons costume revealing her bare breast.
As a solo artist, Timberlake has often collaborated with the Black Eyed Peas, receiving an Grammy nomination with the band for "Where Is The Love?" He has also worked with Nelly, Snoop Dogg and Nelly Furtado and started his own record company, JayTee Records, in 2005. The following year, he released his second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. The album's lead single, "SexyBack", spent several consecutive weeks at No. 1. In 2008, Timberlake ****ed make Madonnas single, 4 Minutes, a top ten hit. Not only did he provide some of the vocals, he was also a co-writer of the song. Timberlake also contributed to several other tracks on Madonnas Hard Candy album.
Also pursuing an acting career, Timberlake has experienced limited success. While parts in Alpha Dog (2006) and Black Snake Moan (2006) garnered little notice, he did hit it big as the voice for a young King Arthur in 2007s smash animated film Shrek the Third, which featured Mike Myers as the title character. Timberlake continues to seek out new roles. Reteaming with Myers, he appeared in the 2008 comedy The Love Guru. He will also appear in the upcoming drama The Open Road with Jeff Bridges and Mary Steenburgen, plans to reprise his role as Artie in the fourth Shrek movie, and is in talks to play Green Latern in an upcoming DC Comics film remake.
In addition to acting, Timberlake has also opened several restaurants, started a clothing line and participated in humanitarian efforts in his native Tennessee.
Timberlake once dated fellow pop singer Britney Spears and actress Cameron Diaz. He is currently romantically linked to actress Jessica Biel
Alicia Keys Biography
original name Alicia Augello Cook
Musician. Born Alicia Augello Cook on January 25, 1981, in New York, New York. Blending pop, gospel, R&B and soul, Keys burst onto the music scene in 2001 with her debut album Songs in A Minor.
Keys was raised by her mother, Nikki Augello, a part-time actress and paralegal. Keys began piano lessons at age 7 and Augello's dogged insistence that her daughter stick with the instrument led Keys to attend Manhattan's prestigious Professional Performance Arts School where she majored in choir. She excelled academically and was allowed to graduate at the age of 16. Keys had already attracted the attention of record company executives during her high school years, and after what amounted to a bidding war for her talents, she signed with Arista Records in 1998.
While she was accepted to Columbia University on a full scholarship, after a four-week stint at the school, Keys departed to devote herself fully to her music.
In 1999, Clive Davis, the head of Arista Records, left the company to start J Records. Keys decided to follow Davis, who had engineered the careers of such soul luminaries as Aretha Franklin, to his new label. Unlike many of her pop-music contemporaries, the precocious Keys not only sings, but writes and produces her own music. At J Records, Keys found the freedom to complete her debut effort, which included material she had started work on years prior.
Davis carefully orchestrated a media blitz before the release of the album, including a series of television and small venue appearances. When it was finally released, Songs in A Minor went platinum five times over. Critics roundly praised the album not only for its musical polish, but also for its lyric maturity.
At the 2002 Grammy Awards, Keys took home awards for Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best New Artist. Keys fronted for fellow R&B sensation Maxwell in 2001. Her album "Diary" won her four Grammys in 2005.
Kanye West Biography
in full Kanye Omari West
Kanye Omari West was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 8, 1977. His parents divorced when he was three. He was raised on Chicago's South Side by his mother, an English professor, and spent summers with his father, an award-winning photographer who became a church counselor.
West graduated from Polaris High School and completed one year of art school at Chicago State University. After spending time rapping and working with local artists, West moved to New York in 2001 to pursue his music career full time. Respected rapper Jay-Z hired him to produce songs for his album The Blueprint, which sold more than 420,000 copies in the first week alone. West went on to produce for a handful of stars including rapper Ludacris and singer Beyonce.
While serving as producer to the stars, West cut his own demo and began shopping it around. He signed a deal with Roc-A-Fella Records, Jay-Z's label, in 2002 and began recording in the studio.
On the way home from a session in Los Angeles, West fell asleep at the wheel and was involved in a head-on car collision that left him with a fractured jaw.
With his jaw wired shut, West returned to the recording studio to complete his debut release The College Dropout. The album, which was released in 2004, sold 2.6 million copies and earned him a Best Rap Album Grammy. He matched that feat with 2005's Late Registration and 2007's Graduation.
West also has won three Best Rap Song Grammys for his hits "Jesus Walks," "Diamonds from ***rra Leone" and "Good Life." For his hit "Gold Digger," he took home the Best Rap Solo Performance award in 2005. West also won a Grammy for Best R&B Song for "You Don't Know My Name," sung by Alicia Keys. His collaboration with Common on "Southside" earned West the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 2007.
West was devastated when his mother, Donda West, died to complications from cosmetic surgery on November 10, 2007. During his first concert following the funeral, he dedicated a performance of "Hey Mama" to his mother.
Moving on after his tragic loss, West put out his next album, 808s & Heartbreak, in 2008. The recording reached the top of the charts and featured several hits, including "Heartless" and "Amazing." That same year, West earned two Grammys for his work with other artists. His duet with Estelle, "American Boy," won for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and his work with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and T.I. netted the honor for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
The following year, West released two albums on the same day—Good Morning Good Night: Dusk and Good Morning Good Night: Dawn. Also in 2009, Kanye West debuted the line of shoes he designed for the luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton. He engages in a number of charitable activities as well. Founded by his mother in 2007, he supports the Kanye West Foundation, which works to reduce the number of high school dropouts.
West and designer Alexis Phifer began dating in 2002. He proposed in August 2006, but the engagement ended 18 months later. West has also been romantically linked to model Amber Rose.
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