New Years Day

New Year’s Day is observed annually on January 1. It is the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year’s Day is the closest thing to being the world’s only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year. New Year’s Day is also a postal holiday in the United States.

The Romans dedicated New Year’s Day to the two headed God Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is also named. After Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC and was subsequently murdered, the Roman Senate voted to deify him on the 1st January 42 BC in honor of his life and his institution of the new rationalized calendar. The month originally owes its name to the deity Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward. This suggests that New Year’s celebrations are founded on pagan traditions. Some have suggested this occurred in 153 BC, when it was stipulated that the two annual consuls (after whose names the years were identified) entered into office on that day, though no consensus exists on the matter. Dates in March, coinciding with the spring equinox, or commemorating the Annunciation of Jesus, along with a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December.

Among the 7th century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands, it was the custom to exchange gifts at the New Year. This was a pagan custom deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemings and Dutchmen not to. Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year’s Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752. The March 25 date was known as Annunciation Style; the January 1 date was known as Circumcision Style, because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, considered to be the eighth day of Christ’s life, counting from December 25 when his birth is celebrated. This day was christened as the beginning of the New Year by Pope Gregory as he designed the Liturgical Calendar. Celebrations Are held world-wide on January 1 as part of New Year’s Day.

During the Middle Ages under the influence of the Catholic Church, many countries in western Europe moved the start of the year to one of several important Christian festivals – December 25 (the Nativity of Jesus), March 1, March 25 (the Annunciation), or even Easter. Eastern European countries (most of them with populations showing allegiance to the Orthodox Church) began their numbered year on September 1 from about 988. In England, January 1 was celebrated as the New Year festival, but from the 12th century to 1752 the year in England began on March 25 (Lady Day). So, for example, the Parliamentary record notes the execution of Charles I as occurring on January 30, 1648, (as the year did not end until March 24), although modern histories adjust the start of the year to January 1 and record the execution as occurring in 1649.

Most western European countries subsequently changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. England, Ireland and the British colonies changed the start of the year to January 1 in 1752. the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies.

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Hogmanay

Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year’s Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January—a Scottish bank holiday. Hogmanay Customs vary throughout Scotland, and usually include gift-giving and visiting the homes of friends and neighbours, with special attention given to the first-foot, the first guest of the new year.

The roots of Hogmanay perhaps reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Norse, as well as incorporating customs from the Gaelic celebration of Samhain. The Vikings celebrated Yule. which later contributed to the Twelve Days of Christmas, or the “Daft Days” as they were sometimes called in Scotland. Christmas was not celebrated as a festival and Hogmanay was the more traditional celebration in Scotland. This may have been a result of the Protestant Reformation after which Christmas was seen as “too Papist”. There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake), intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses well into the middle of January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year. Traditionally, tall, dark-haired men are preferred as the first-foot.

The 1693 Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence, held that Hogmanay is a corruption of the Greek agía mína (αγία μήνα), or “holy month” other theories derive it from a French, Norse or Gaelic root. The word is first recorded in a Latin entry in 1443 annals as hagnonayse. It first appeared in English in 1604 in the records of Elgin, as hagmonay. Subsequent 17th-century spellings include Hagmena (1677),Hogmynlae night (1681), and Hagmane. It may have been introduced to Middle Scots via French. The most commonly cited explanation is a derivation from the northern French dialectal word hoguinané, or variants such as hoginane, hoginono and hoguinettes, those being derived from 16th century Middle French aguillanneuf meaning either a gift given at New Year, a children’s cry for such a gift, or New Year’s Eve itself. Compare also the apparent Spanish cognate aguinaldo/aguilando, with a suggested Latin derivation of hoc in anno “in this year. A children’s tradition, was observed up to the 1960s which involved visiting houses in their locality on New Year’s Eve and requesting and receiving small treats such as sweets or fruit. some sources suggesting a druidical origin of the practice overall.

There is also a Norman custom hoguinané and the obsolete customs in Jersey of crying ma hodgîngnole, and in Guernsey of asking for an oguinane, for a New Year gift (see also La Guiannee). In Québec, “la guignolée” was a door-to-door collection for the poor. Hogmanay may also derive from au gui mener (“lead to the mistletoe”), à gueux mener (‘bring to the beggars’), au gui l’an neuf (‘at the mistletoe the new year’, or (l’)homme est né (‘(the) man is born’. Hogmanay may be derived from the Goidelic word Hogunna. Hogmanay may also be derived from the phrase thog mi an èigh/eugh ([hok mi ˈɲeː], “I raised the cry”), which resembles Hogmanay in pronunciation and was part of the rhymes traditionally recited at New Year. Gaelic refers to the New Year’s Eve as Oidhche na Bliadhn(a) Ùir(e) (“the Night of the New Year”) and Oidhche Challainn (“the Night of the Calends”. The roots of Hogmanay perhaps reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Norse, plus customs from the Gaelic celebration of Samhain. The Vikings celebrated Yule which later contributed to the Twelve Days of Christmas. Protestant Reformation after which Christmas was seen as “too Papist and was not celebrated as a festival in Scotland with Hogmanay being the more traditional celebration.

There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake), intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses well into the middle of January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year. Traditionally, tall, dark-haired men are preferred as the first-foot. Fireball swinging is another Hogmanay custom Which takes place in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, in northeast Scotland. Another example of a pagan fire festival is the burning the clavie in the town of Burghead in Moray.

In the east coast fishing communities and Dundee, first-footers once carried a decorated herring. And in Falkland in Fife, local men marched in torchlight procession to the top of the Lomond Hills as midnight approached. Bakers in St Andrews baked special cakes for their Hogmanay celebration (known as “Cake Day”) and distributed them to local children. In Glasgow and the central areas of Scotland, the tradition is to hold Hogmanay parties that involve singing, dancing, eating of steak pie or stew, storytelling and drink. These usually extend into the daylight hours of 1 January. Many Scottish regiments have a Hogmanay tradition in which, officers waited on the men at special dinners while at the bells, the Old Year is piped out of barrack gates. The sentry then challenges the new escort outside the gates: “Who goes there?” The answer is “The New Year, all’s well.” Another ancient Hogmanay custom is the saining (Scots for ‘protecting, blessing’) of the household and livestock. This takes place Early on New Year’s morning, when householders drink and then sprinkle ‘magic water’ from ‘a dead and living ford’ around the house (a ‘dead and living ford’ refers to a river ford that is routinely crossed by both the living and the dead). After the sprinkling of the water in every room, on the beds and all the inhabitants, the house is sealed up tight and branches of juniper are set on fire and carried throughout the house and byre. The juniper smoke is allowed to thoroughly fumigate the buildings until it causes sneezing and coughing among the inhabitants. Then all the doors and windows are flung open to let in the cold, fresh air of the new year. The woman of the house then administers ‘a restorative’ from the whisky bottle, and the household sits down to its New Year breakfast.

The Hogmanay custom of singing “Auld Lang Syne” has become common in many countries. “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scots poem by Robert Burns, based on traditional and other earlier sources. It is now common to sing this in a circle of linked arms that are crossed over one another as the clock strikes midnight for New Year’s Day, though it is only intended that participants link arms at the beginning of the final verse, co-ordinating with the lines of the song that contain the lyrics to do so. Typically, it is only in Scotland this practice is carried out correctly.

The tradition of Hogmanay can trace it’s roots back Centuries and The 1693 Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence contained one of the first mentions of the holiday in official church records. Hogmanay was treated with general disapproval. Still, in Scotland Hogmanay and New Year’s Day are as important as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Although Christmas Day held its normal religious nature in Scotland amongst its Catholic and Episcopalian communities, the Presbyterian national church, the Church of Scotland, discouraged the celebration of Christmas for nearly 400 years; it only became a public holiday in Scotland in 1958. Conversely, 1 and 2 January are public holidays and Hogmanay still is associated with as much celebration as Christmas in Scotland. Most Scots still celebrate New Year’s Day with a special dinner, usually steak pie. A Viking longship is also traditionally burnt during Edinburgh’s annual Hogmanay celebrations. In addition Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen – hold all-night celebrations, as do Stirling and Inverness. The Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations are among the largest in the world. Celebrations in Edinburgh in 1996–97 were recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest New Years party, with approximately 400,000 people in attendance. Numbers have since been restricted due to safety concerns. Handsel day also took place on the first Monday of the New Year during this day presents were traditionally given in Scotland. A roast dinner would be eaten to celebrate the festival. However In modern Scotland this practice has died out.

Danny McNamara

Danny McNamara, the lead singer with the indie rock band Embrace was born 31st December 1970. Embrace are an English band from Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse, West Yorkshire and consists of brothers singer Danny McNamara and guitarist Richard McNamara, bassist Steve Firth, keyboardist Mickey Dale, and drummer Mike Heaton.The band was begun in a small outbuilding at the bottom of a garden in Bailiff Bridge in 1990. A bass player joined the McNamara brothers, Richard playing guitar and Danny singing. The three of them started creating songs, with the aid of a cassette recorder, and soon a drum machine was added. In 1992 The band recorded a three track demo in a 16 track recording studio in Huddersfield which was sold at concerts.A single, “All You Good Good People” was released in February 1997. their debut album The Good Will Out was released on 8 June 1998 and went to number 1 in the UK Albums Chart. In 27 March 2000 the band released Drawn from Memory. the album was supported by an acclaimed tour, during which they were supported by then-fledgling Coldplay.

Afterwards they recorded their third studio album If You’ve Never Been, which was released on 3 September 2001. In 2004 they released the album Out of Nothing, which reached number one in the UK in 2004 and contained The single “Gravity”, which had been written by Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Danny McNamara and Martin having become friends after Coldplay had supported Embrace in 2000. In October 2005, the band released their first b-side compilation, called Dry Kids: B-Sides 1997–2005, featuring b-sides from their previous album and including many fan-favourites such as “Blind” and a live rendition of D12′s “How Come”.

The band’s fifth studio album, This New Day was released on 27 March 2006, with the single “Nature’s Law”. The band then had a break during much of 2007 until 2010. Albums released so far by Embrace include The Good Will Out (1998), Drawn from Memory (2000), If You’ve Never Been (2001), Out of Nothing (2004), This New Day and the self titled album Embrace which was released in 2014. Embrace’s forthcoming album “Love is a Basic need” will be released in 2018.

Donna Summer

The late great Queen of Disco Donna Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on 31st December 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts. Summer’s performance debut occurred at church when she was ten years old after being invited to perform by the local pastor. Summer attended Boston’s Jeremiah E. Burke High School where she performed in school musicals and was considered popular. She was also something of a troublemaker, skipping home to attend parties, circumventing her parents’ strict curfew. In 1967, just weeks before graduation, Summer left for New York where she was a member of the blues rock band Crow.

Summer auditioned for a role in the musical, Hair. When Melba Moore was cast in the part, Summer agreed to take the role in the Munich production of the show. She moved to Munich, Germany after getting her parents’ reluctant approval. She achieved fame after signing as a solo artist to the pioneering disco label, Casablanca, in 1975 and her soaring voice and effervescent stage presence helped to propel her first single “Love to Love You Baby” to No 4 in the UK charts and ignited the disco craze of the 1970s, which was defined by sex, drugs and extravagant clothes. She participated in the musicals Ich bin ich (the German version of The Me Nobody Knows), Godspell and Show Boat and moved to Vienna. In 1968, Summer released her first single, a German version of the title “Aquarius” from the musical “Hair,” followed in 1971 by a second single, a cover of The Jaynetts’ “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses”, in 1972 she released the single “If You Walkin’ Alone” and married Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973 and had a daughter, Mimi, the same year. Sadly she later divorced Sommer Citing marital problems caused by her affair with German artist (and future live-in boyfriend), Peter Mühldorfer. However She kept his last name, but anglicized it to “Summer”.

She provided backing vocals on producer-keyboardist, Veit Marvos’ 1972 Record Nice to See You. Summer then met German-based producers, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte while at a recording session at Munich’s Musicland Studios and The trio began collaborating on songs together. Summer’s first album, Lady of the Night contained the songs “The Hostage” and “Lady of the Night”. Summer and Morodor then released the song love to Love You and an American label requested that Moroder produce a longer version for discothèques. So Moroder, Bellotte and Summer returned with a 17-minute version. The song generated controversy due to Summer’s moans and groans and some American and European radio stations, including the BBC, refused to play it. Despite this “Love to Love You Baby” became incredibly successful And was followed by “Try Me, I Know We Can Make It”, “Could It Be Magic”, “Spring Affair”, and “Winter Melody”, she released The albums love Trilogy and Four Seasons of Love and Then In 1977, Summer released the concept album I Remember Yesterday, which included the song “I feel Love”.

She released Another concept album, Once Upon a Time and In 1978, released “MacArthur Park” and “Heaven Knows”. In 1978 Summer married Bruce Sudano & acted in the film Thank God It’s Friday playing a singer determined to perform at a hot disco club. This contained the song “Last Dance” which won a Grammy Award. In 1979, Summer performed at the world-televised Music for UNICEF Concert, joining ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Rod Stewart, John Denver, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson for a TV special that raised funds and awareness for the world’s children. Summer’s next album Bad Girls became a huge success spawning the hits “Hot Stuff”, “Dim All the Lights”. With “MacArthur Park”,“Bad Girls” and the Barbra Streisand duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)”, these together with the songs. “Heaven Knows”, “Last Dance”, “Dim All the Lights” and “On the Radio” (from her upcoming double-album). “Hot Stuff” later won her a second Grammy in the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

in 1979 Summer released On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II, her first (international) greatest hits set, Which featured A new song “On the Radio”. Summer signed with Geffen Records in 1980 Summer’s first Geffen album, The Wanderer, featured an eclectic mixture of sounds similar to Bad Girls combined with rock, rockabilly, new wave and gospel music. And contained the Singles The Wanderer, “Cold Love” and “Who Do You Think You’re Foolin’,”. Eventually, though Moroder, Bellotte and Summer left Geffen and hired top R&B and pop producer Quincy Jones to produce Summer’s next album, Donna Summer which contained the songs “Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)” “State of Independence” and “The Woman in Me”.

Summer’s next album featured the song She Works Hard for the Money. This became a major hit & garnered another Grammy nomination as well as “Unconditional Love” & “Love Has A Mind of Its Own”. Donna Summer’s next release. Cats Without Claws included the Songs “There Goes My Baby”, “Eyes” and “I’m Free,” . On January 19, 1985, she sang at the 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan. then In 1987, Summer returned with the album All Systems Go, featuring the singles “Dinner with Gershwin,” and “All Systems Go”. For Summer’s next album, She teamed up with Stock Aitken Waterman (or SAW), who had incredible success writing and producing for such acts as Kylie Minogue, Dead or Alive, Bananarama and Rick Astley, , entitled Another Place and Time, The album featured the singles “This Time I Know It’s for Real” “I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt” and “Love’s About to Change My Heart”. Then In 1990, the compilation, The Best of Donna Summer, was released. In 1991 Summer released the album Mistaken Identity containing the song “When Love Cries” and in 1992 Summer embarked on a world tour to promote the album and later that year received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1993, the two-disc set The Donna Summer Anthology was released, containing 34 tracks. In 1994 Summer released the Christmas album Christmas Spirit which included renditions of classic Christmas songs such as “O Holy Night” and “Joy to the World” together with Summer-penned songs. Then Summer released Another hits collection, Endless Summer: Greatest Hits, featuring eighteen songs that were single cuts of the songs differentiating from the Anthology set, on which fuller length recordings were featured.

In 1992, she reunited with Giorgio Moroder, to record the dance song “Carry On”, which won Summer the first Grammy given to anyone in its dance category, then In 1995 she released the dance tune “Melody of Love (Wanna Be Loved)”. Summer was also offered a guest role on the sitcom Family Matters as Steve Urkel’s (Jaleel White) Aunt Oona, making a second appearance in 1997. Summer received a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Dance Recording, after a remixed version of her 1992 collaboration with Giorgio Moroder, “Carry On”, was released in 1997. Then In 1999, Summer taped a live television special for VH1 titled Donna Summer – Live and More Encore, Featuring the songs “I Will Go with You (Con te partirò)” and “Love Is the Healer”. In 2000, Summer participated in VH1’s third annual Divas special, dedicated to Diana Ross, singing her own material and In 2003, Summer issued her autobiography, Ordinary Girl: The Journey, and released a best-of set titled The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer. In 2004, Summer was inducted into theDance Music Hall of Fame alongside the Bee Gees and Barry Gibb as an artist. In 2004 and 2005, Summer released the songs “You’re So Beautiful” and “I Got Your Love”. Summer also claimed that whilst living in Manhattan she had a premonition concerning The September 11 Attacks one month before they occurred

In 2008, Summer released her first studio album of fully original material in 17 years, entitled Crayons, which contained the songs “I’m a Fire”, “Stamp Your Feet”, “Fame (The Game)”,”The Queen is Back”,the ballad “Sand on my Feet” and “Mr. Music” with J.R. Rotem and Evan Bogart, the son of Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart. On December 11, 2009, Summer performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway in honor of American President Barack Obama, backed by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. In August 2010, she released the single “To Paris With Love”, and also appeared in the PBS television special Hitman Returns: David Foster and Friends. In it Summer performed with Seal on a medley of the songs “Un-Break My Heart / Crazy / On the Radio” before closing the show with “Last Dance”. On September 15, 2010, Summer appeared as a guest celebrity singing alongside rising star Prince Poppycock on the television show America’s Got Talent. On October 16, 2010, she performed at a benefit concert at the Phoenix Symphony. On June 6, 2011, Summer was a guest judge on the show Platinum Hit in an episode entitled “Dance Floor Royalty”. In July 2011, Summer worked Paramount Recording Studios in Los Angeles with her nephew, the rapper and producer Omega Red, producing the song “Angel”.

Sadly After having a glittering career that spanned four decades, Donna Summer tragically passed away on 17th May 2012 in Florida, while attempting to put the finishing touches to her 24th album after having a short but acute battle with lung cancer which she beleived was the result of inhaling toxic dust from the collapsed Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in the aftermath of 9/11 terror attack. Donna was announced to be one of the 2013 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was inducted on April 18, 2013, at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater. During her incredible music career Summer made 24 albums putting the disco into discography, won five Grammys and in 2012 she was a nominee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to celebrate her extraordinary life,long-lasting career and her continuing legacy.

Donna Summer – Live & More Encore http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i1y9kz7eNfs

Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith)

Tom Hamilton, The Bass Player with rock Band Aerosmith celebrates his birthday on 31st December. Sometimes referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. In 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston, Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists. They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972, and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album, followed by their 1974 album Get Your Wings.

In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars.The band released two more albums, toured extensively, and charted a string of Hot 100 singles. By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army”. However, drug addiction and internal conflict took their toll on the band, which resulted in the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981, respectively; they were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. Aerosmith released the album Rock in a Hard Place, which went gold but failed to match their previous successes. Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records. After a comeback tour, the band recorded Done with Mirrors, which won some critical praise but failed to come close to commercial expectations. It was not until the band sobered up and released 1987′s Permanent Vacation that they regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s.Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the band scored several hits including Dude, looks like a lady Walk this Way (Featuring RUN DMC) and “love in an elvator“, and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump, Get a Grip, and Nine Lives.

The band also became a pop culture phenomenon with popular music videos and notable appearances in television, film, and video games. Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock ‘n’ roll history. Additional albums followed in 2001 and 2004 including the songs Crazy (Featuring Alicia Silverstone & Liv Tyler) and I don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, from the film Armageddon. After 42 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music. Their latest album, Music from Another Dimension, was released in 2012. Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million albums worldwide,including 66.5 million albums in the United States alone. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group. The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1′s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Andy Summers (The Police)

Andy Summers, British guitarist with rock band The Police was born December 31st 1942. Formed in London in 1977.The Police consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and are generally regarded as one of the first New Wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock that was influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz.

They made many great albums including Regatta de Blance, Zenyatta Mondatta and Their 1983 album, Synchronicity, which reached number one on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, and sold over 8 million copies in the US. Sadly The group disbanded in 1986, however they reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour lasting until August 2008. The band has won a number of music awards throughout their career, including six Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group once, an MTV Video Music Award, and in 2003, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Police have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, and became the world’s highest-earning musicians in 2008, thanks to their reunion tour.

THE POLICE GREATEST HITS – http://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLarJd9RZ0sKcG8H8R4gHV-8o87vEZIUlV

Henri Matisse

French artist Henri Matisse was Born 31 December 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord, he is known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. Matsse was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Matisse was also recognized as a leader of an artistic movement known as Fauvism which began 1900 and continued beyond 1910. The leaders of the movement were Matisse & André Derain; who were friendly rivals, each with his own followers. Other members were Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck. The Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826–1898) was the movement’s inspirational teacher who pushed his students to think outside of the lines of formality and to follow their visions. In 1905, Matisse and a group of artists exhibited together & The paintings expressed emotion with wild, often dissonant colours, without regard for the subject’s natural colours. Matisse showed Open Window and Woman with the Hat at the Salon. Matisses’s fondnes for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he spent the summer of 1904 painting in St. Tropez with the neo-Impressionists Signac and Henri Edmond Cross. In 1904 he painted the most important of his works , Luxe, Calme et Volupté. In 1905 he travelled southwards again to work with André Derain. His paintings of this period are characterized by flat shapes and controlled lines, and use pointillism in a less rigorous way than before.

Around April 1906 he met Pablo Picasso, & The two became lifelong friends as well as rivals and areoften compared; one key difference between them is that Matisse drew and painted from nature, while Picasso was much more inclined to work from imagination. The subjects painted most frequently by both artists were women and still life, . Matisse and Picasso were first brought together at the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein and her companion Alice B. Toklas, who became important collectors and supporters of Matisse’s paintings during the first decade of the 20th century. They also collected many paintings by Renoir, Cézanne, and Picasso at the Salon and Gertrude Stein’s two American friends , the Cone sisters Claribel and Etta,also became major patrons of Matisse and Picasso, collecting hundreds of their paintings. The Cone collection is now exhibited in the Baltimore Museum of Art.In 1917 Matisse relocated to Cimiez on the French Riviera, a suburb of the city of Nice. His work of the decade or so following this relocation shows a relaxation and a softening of his approach. After 1930 a new vigor and bolder simplification appeared in his work. American art collector Albert C. Barnes convinced him to produce a large mural for the Barnes Foundation, The Dance II, completed 1932; the Foundation owns several dozen other Matisse paintings. This move towards simplification and a foreshadowing of the cutout technique are also evident in his painting Large Reclining Nude.In 1941, he underwent surgery and started using a wheelchair, and was cared for by , Lydia Delektorskaya who was formerly one of his models, Then With the aid of assistants he set about creating cut paper collages, often on a large scale, called gouaches découpés. His Blue Nudes series feature prime examples of this technique he called “painting with scissors”;

during World War II Matisse, was shocked to learn that his daughter Marguerite, was active in the Résistance and had been captured & tortured in Rennes prison and sentenced to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, but avoided further imprisonment by escaping from the Ravensbrück-bound train and survived in the woods until rescued by fellow members of the Resistance. In 1947 Matisse published Jazz, a limited-edition book containing about one hundred prints based on his colorful paper cutouts accompanied by his written thoughts. In the 1940s he also worked as a graphic artist and produced black-and-white illustrations for several books and over one hundred original lithographs at the Mourlot Studios in Paris. Matisse was much admired and repeatedly referred to by the Greek Nobelist poet Odysseas Elytis. Elytis was introduced to Matisse through their common friend Tériade, during the work on the Cutouts. Matisse had painted the wall of the dining room of Tériade’s residence, the Villa Natacha in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat,In 1951 Matisse finished designing the interior, the glass windows and the decorations of the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, often referred to as the Matisse Chapel. This project was the result of the close friendship between Matisse and Sister Jacques-Marie’ He had hired her as a nurse and model in 1941 before she became a Dominican nun and they met again in Vence and started the collaboration, .

In 1952 he established a museum dedicated to his work, the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau, and this museum is now the third-largest collection of Matisse works in France. Matisse’s final work was the design for a stained-glass window installed at the Union Church of Pocantico Hills near the Rockefeller estate north of New York City. “It was his final artistic creation; the maquette was on the wall of his bedroom when he died on November 3rd 1954 after having a heart attack at the age of 84. He is interred in the cemetery of the Monastère Notre Dame de Cimiez, near Nice . German media have also recently revealed th discovery of Nazi plundered art worth €1bn in Munich, including lost works by Picasso and Matisse.