Dua Lipa

English singer, songwriter, and model Dua Lipa was born 22 August 1995 in London, to Albanian parents from Kosovo who had left Pristina in the 1990s. She attended Sylvia Young Theatre School part-time before moving to Kosovo with her family in 2008; there she attended the private school Mileniumi i Tretë in Pristina.Lipa grew up listening to her father, singer Dukagjin Lipa. Her first name means “love” in Albanian;

Her musical career began At the age of 14, when she began posting covers of her favourite songs by artists such as Pink and Nelly Furtado on YouTube. At the age of 15, she moved back to London with aspirations of becoming a singer. Lipa lived with a family friend and studied at Parliament Hill School, returning to the Sylvia Young Theatre School on Saturdays. At the age of 16, she began working as a model. In 2013, at the age of 18, she starred in a television advertisement for The X Factor.

In 2015, she signed with Warner Music Group and released her first single soon after. In 2015, Lipa began working on her debut album for Warner Music Group. In August 2015, she released her first single “New Love”, produced by Emile Haynie and Andrew Wyatt. She released her second single “Be the One”, in October 2015. “Be the One” achieved success across Europe, reaching number one in Belgium, Poland and Slovakia, as well as charting within the top 10 in over 11 European territories. In Australia and New Zealand, the song became an airplay success, reaching numbers 6 and 20 respectively. Lipa describes her musical style as “dark pop”. On 30 November 2015, she was revealed as one of the acts on the BBC Sound of…2016 long list. Her first tour in the UK and Europe began in January 2016. In November 2016, Lipa concluded her tour through Europe.

On 18 February 2016, Lipa released her third single “Last Dance”, followed by “Hotter than Hell” on 6 May. “Hotter than Hell” became a hit worldwide, especially in the UK, where it peaked at number 15. On 26 August, her fifth overall single “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” was released, peaking at number 30 in the UK It became the singer’s first entry on the US Billboard Hot 100, debuting at number 72. “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” also topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and reached number 23 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart. In November 2016, Sean Paul released the single “No Lie” featuring Lipa. The song reached number 10 in the UK. In December 2016, a documentary about Lipa was commissioned by The Fader magazine, called See in Blue.

In 2017, Lipa released the single “Scared to Be Lonely” with Martin Garrix, and also won the EBBA Public Choice Award. Her self-titled debut studio album was released on 2 June 2017. The album spawned seven singles, including two UK top-10 singles “New Rules”, which became Lipa’s first number one in the UK, and the first by a female solo artist to reach the top in the UK since “Hello” by Adele in 2015, “Be the One” “New Rules” and “IDGAF”. Lipa won two Brit Awards for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. In April, the single “One Kiss” by Lipa and Calvin Harris reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. Lipa performed at the 2017 Glastonbury Festival attracting one of the biggest audiences at that year’s event. She performed on the BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland in October. In December, Lipa was named the most streamed woman of 2017 in the UK by Spotify. She had four singles reach the UK top 10 in 2017, with “Be the One”, “Bridge over Troubled Water” (a charity single arranged by Simon Cowell for the families of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London), “New Rules” and “No Lie”.

In 2018, Lipa received nominations in five categories at the Brit Awards ceremony  at the O2 Arena – more nominations than any other artist that year. She was nominated for British Female Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, MasterCard British Album of the Year (Dua Lipa), British Single of The Year (“New Rules”) and British Video of The Year (“New Rules”). She also performed at the awards in London and won the awards for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act.

Lipa announced via social media that she had begun working on new material for her second album. She is working with MNEK, who previously co-wrote her single “IDGAF”. The singer also collaborated with electronic music producer Whethan on a song called “High” for the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack released in February 2018. Lipa and Calvin Harris also released the single “One Kiss”which topped the UK Singles Chart making it Lipa’s second UK number one; Lipa provided the vocals and is also credited as a writer. She performed in the opening ceremony of the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev on 26 May. In May 2018, she said that her second album, likely released in 2019, would be heavily influenced by acts such as Prince and OutKast. It was also reported that she plans to have collaborations with other artists coming out later in 2018, such as one with Mark Ronson and Diplo’s newly-formed superduo Silk City. Ronson later confirmed the song’s title would be “Electricity”.

Craig Finn (The Hold Steady)

Craig Finn, American singer-songwriter and guitarist with The the American bands The Hold Steady and Lifter Puller was born 22 August 1971. The Hold Steady are from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2004. The band consists of Craig Finn (vocals, guitar), Tad Kubler (lead guitar), Galen Polivka (bass), Bobby Drake (drums), and Steve Selvidge (guitar). They are noted for their “lyrically dense storytelling,”and classic rock influences, the band’s narrative-based songs frequently address themes, including drug addiction, religion and redemption, and often take place within the city of Minneapolis.

They formed In 2003, after Minnesota-raised vocalist, lyricist, and guitarist Craig Finn and New York City bartender and bassist Galen Polivka began talking about starting a band. Finn and lead guitarist Tad Kubler (both formerly of Lifter Puller) developed the idea of The Hold Steady when, while watching The Band concert film The Last Waltz, Finn asked Kubler, “Dude, why aren’t there any bands like this anymore?”The Hold Steady’s 2004 debut album Almost Killed Me, released on Frenchkiss Records, was a sleeper hit among music critics, reaching No. 31 in the Pazz & Jop critics poll that year, an achievement which Finn described as “like being nominated for an Oscar or something.” In May 2005, they were the first rock band to grace the front page of The Village Voice in 15 years. They were Blender’s 2006 “Band of the Year”. In 2005 the band released their second album, Separation Sunday. The album was a loose concept album following the exploits of a character named “Holly” (short for “Hallelujah”) and her quest to find a balance between Catholicism and rock and roll through drugs and a metaphorical resurrection. The album was critically lauded, with its religious overtones.

After Separation Sunday, the band moved to Vagrant Records and released theor third album Boys and Girls in 2006 which ranked at No. 8 on the Rolling Stone Best Albums of 2006 list, and first by The A.V. Club. Pitchfork Media’s Scott Plagenhoff wrote of the album, “Craig Finn not only has a commanding, rousing voice but he also says something worth hearing, displaying gifts for both scope and depth that are all too rare in contemporary rock — indie or mainstream. In 2006, they released a music video for “Chips Ahoy”, directed by Moh Azima and starring Avital Ash. In 2007, the band recorded a modified version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to be played during the seventh-inning stretch at Minnesota Twins home games. They also contributed a cover of the Bob Dylan and The Hawks/The Bandsong Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? to the motion picture I’m Not There.

The Hold Steady released their fourth album, Stay Positive, in 2008. This album was recorded in Hoboken, New Jersey and Wild Arctic studio in Queens, New York with producer John Agnello. Guests on the sessions included Ben Nichols from Lucero, J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., Emilyn Brodsky, and Doug Gillard, who played guitar in Guided By Voices. Stay Positive contains Many familiar elements – sing-along choruses, extended piano and guitar solos and lyrics that deal with faith, crime, rumor, loss and love. The Hold Steady has toured and played with a variety of other artists, amongst them Les Savy Fav, The Constantines, P.O.S, Swearing at Motorists, the Rolling Stones (as mentioned in the Stay Positive bonus track “Ask Her For Adderall”), Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows, The Thermals, Art Brut, Kings of Leon, The Loved Ones, the Oranges Band, and Drive-By Truckers.In April 2009, the band released a two-disc documentary and live album set entitled A Positive Rage.

On January 20, 2010, Franz Nicolay confirmed on his official website that he had left the band and The Hold Steady announced the release of Heaven Is Whenever in 2010. The band’s subsequent tour featured Steve Selvidge, formerly of Lucero, on guitar and Dan Neustadt, of In Cadeo and The World/Inferno Friendship Society. Neustadt had previously played keyboards on Heaven is Whenever, but eventually left the touring band by 2011.In 2011, Selvidge was added to the band’s official line-up.”In July 2011, during a five-month break from the band, Craig Finn recorded a solo album, entitled Clear Heart Full Eyes, which was subsequently released in January 2012. The bands sixth studio album “Teeth Dreams” was released in 2014 And they have also recorded a track for Game of Thrones, entitled “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”, and released it, alongside a new track, “Criminal Fingers”,

Ray Bradbury

Best known for his dystopian futuristic novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , The American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer Ray Bradbury was born 22 August. Throughout his youth Bradbury was an avid reader and writer. He knew as a young boy that he was “going into one of the arts.” Bradbury was drawing, acting and writing. In 1932, one of Bradbury’s earliest influences was Edgar Allan Poe. At age twelve, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and said he tried to imitate Poe until he was about eighteen. At the time, his favorites were also Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter as well as comic books. He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, and when the show went off the air every night he would sit and write the entire script from memory. In his youth, he spent much time reading H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, He loved Burroughs’ The Warlord of Mars so much that at the age of 12 he wrote his own sequel. The young Bradbury also was a cartoonist and loved to illustrate. He wrote about Tarzan and drew his own Sunday panels.

Bradbury Was also influenced by many other authors from Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, to Thomas Wolfe. He attended Los Angeles High School and was active in both the Poetry Club and the Drama club, continuing plans to become an actor but becoming serious about his writing as his high school years progressed. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School, where he took poetry classes and short story writing courses where the teachers recognized his talent and furthered his interest in writing.When he was seventeen, Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and said he read everything by Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A.E. Van Vogt, but cited H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as his big science fiction influences. In 1936, Ray Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Thrilled to find there were others with his interests, at the age of sixteen Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave. Soon Bradbury began submitting his short stories for publication. After a rejection notice from the pulp magazine Weird Tales, Bradbury submitted to other magazines.

During World War Two Ray Bradbury started a career in writing after, he was rejected by the military during World War II. Having been inspired by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines, he was also invited to attend meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, which met in downtown Los Angeles. His first published story was “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, which appeared in the fanzine Imagination! in January, 1938. Bradbury’s first paid piece, “Pendulum,” written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories in November 1941,and he also published “The Lake”, and became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947, Bradbury’s short stories, “Homecoming’” was also spotted and subsequently published in Madamoiselle magazine where it won a place in The O. Henry Prize Stories of 1947, Bradbury also wrote his classic story of a dystopian book-burning future, The Fireman, which was later published under the name, Fahrenheit 451.

Besides his fiction work, Bradbury wrote many short essays on the arts and culture, and In the 1980s, Bradbury concentrated on detective fiction. Several comic book writers have also adapted Bradbury’s stories. Particularly noted among these were EC Comics’ line of horror and science-fiction comics, which often featured Bradbury’s name on the cover announcing that one story in that issue would be an adaptation of his work. The comics featuring Bradbury’s stories included Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Crime Suspenstories, Haunt of Fear and others.

Bradbury sadly passed away on June 5th, 2012 after a lengthy illness, however he remained an enthusiastic playwright throughout his life and left a rich theatrical and literary legacy. Bradbury became one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers. His obituary stated that Bradbury was “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.” Many of Bradbury’s works have also been adapted into television shows or films, he is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories, and More than eight million copies of his works, published in over 36 languages, have been sold around the world.

John Lee Hooker

American Blues singer, songwriter and guitarist John Lee Hooker was born circa August 22, 1912 or 1917. in Tutwiler, Mississippi, in Tallahatchie County, although some sources say his birthplace was near Clarksdale, in Coahoma CountyIn 1922 his mother married William Moore, a local blues singer and guitarist In Shreveport, Louisiana who provided John Lee with an introduction to the guitar (and whom he would later credit for his distinctive playing style) , off whom Hooker learned to play a droning, one-chord blues that was strikingly different from the Delta blues of the time. Another influence was Tony Hollins, who dated Hooker’s sister Alice, helped teach Hooker to play, and gave him his first guitar. For the rest of his life, Hooker regarded Hollins as a formative influence on his style of playing and his career as a musician. Among the songs that Hollins reputedly taught Hooker were versions of “Crawlin’ King Snake” and “Catfish Blues”.

. At the age of 14, Hooker ran away from home, reportedly never seeing his mother or stepfather again. In the mid-1930s, he lived in Memphis, Tennessee, where he performed on Beale Street, at the New Daisy Theatre and at house parties. He worked in factories in various cities during World War II, eventually getting a job with the Ford Motor Company in Detroit in 1943. He frequented the blues clubs and bars on Hastings Street, the heart of the black entertainment district, on Detroit’s east side. In a city noted for its pianists, guitar players were scarce. Hooker’s popularity grew quickly as he performed in Detroit clubs, and, seeking an instrument louder than his acoustic guitar, he bought his first electric guitar.

Hooker’s recording career began in 1948, when Modern Records, based in Los Angeles, released a demo he had recorded for Bernie Besman in Detroit. The single, “Boogie Chillen’ became a huge hit. Despite being illiterate, Hooker was a prolific lyricist. In addition to adapting traditional blues lyrics, he composed original songs. In the 1950s, like many black musicians, Hooker earned little from record sales, and so he often recorded variations of his songs for different studios for an up-front fee. To evade his recording contract, he used various pseudonyms, including John Lee Booker, Johnny Lee, John Lee, John Lee Cooker, Texas Slim, Delta John, Birmingham Sam and his Magic Guitar, Johnny Williams, and the Boogie Man. His early solo songs were recorded by Bernie Besman.

Hooker rarely played with a standard beat, but instead he changed tempo to fit the needs of the song. This often made it difficult to use backing musicians, who were not accustomed to Hooker’s musical vagaries. As a result, Besman recorded Hooker playing guitar, singing and stomping on a wooden pallet in time with the music. He recorded and toured with Eddie Kirkland. In Hooker’s later sessions for Vee-Jay Records in Chicago, studio musicians accompanied him on most of his recordings, including Eddie Taylor, who could handle his musical idiosyncrasies. “Boom Boom” and “Dimples”, two popular songs by Hooker, were originally released by Vee-Jay.

Hooker performed “Boom Boom” in the role of a street musician in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. In 1989, he recorded the album The Healer with various other notable musicians, including Carlos Santana and Bonnie Raitt. He recorded several songs with Van Morrison, including “Never Get Out of These Blues Alive”, “The Healing Game”, and “I Cover the Waterfront”. He also appeared on stage with Morrison several times; some of these performances released on the live album A Night in San Francisco. On December 19, 1989, Hooker performed “Boogie Chillen’” with the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton in Atlantic City, New JerseY.

As part of the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels tour, the show was broadcast live on cable television as a pay-per-view program. His last studio recording on guitar and vocal was “Elizebeth”, a song he wrote with Pete Sears, accompanied by members of his Coast to Coast Blues Band, with Sears on piano. It was recorded on January 14, 1998, at Bayview Studios in Richmond, California. The last song Hooker recorded before his death was “Ali d’Oro”, a collaboration with the Italian soul singer Zucchero, in which Hooker sang the chorus, “I lay down with an angel.”

Hooker spent the last years of his life in Long Beach, California. In 1997, he opened a nightclub in San Francisco’s Fillmore District called John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room, after one of his hit songs. Among his many awards, Hooker was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2016. Two of his songs, “Boogie Chillen” and “Boom Boom”, were included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. “Boogie Chillen” was also included in the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of the “Songs of the Century”.He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Some of his other songs include “B”Crawling King Snake”, “Dimples” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”, The Healer, Mr. Lucky, Chill Out and Don’t Look Back” which won a Grammy Award in 1998.

Sadly Hooker fell ill just before a tour of Europe in 2001 and died in his sleep on June 21, 2001, in Los Altos, California. He was interred at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland. He was survived by eight children, 19 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.

Donna Godchaux (Grateful Dead)

Famous for being a member of the Grateful Dead, the musician Donna Jean Godchaux (nee Thatcher) was born 22 August 1947 in Florence, Alabama. Prior to 1970, she had worked as a session singer in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, eventually singing with a group called Southern Comfort and appearing as a backup singer on at least two #1 hit songs: “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge in 1966 and “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley in 1969. Her vocals were featured on other classic recordings by Boz Scaggs and Duane Allman, Cher, Joe Tex, Neil Diamond and many others. She then moved to California and met future fellow Grateful Dead member Keith Godchaux, whom she married in 1970.

Donna introduced Keith to Jerry Garcia after Garcia’s performance at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner in September 1971. At the time, Donna Jean was not working as a musician. She joined the band shortly afterwards, remaining a member until February 1979. Donna Jean provided back-up and lead vocals in the group’s music. During their membership in the Grateful Dead, the couple also issued the mostly self-written Keith & Donna album in 1975 with Jerry Garcia as a Keith and Donna Band member. In turn, they performed as part of the Jerry Garcia Band. Keith and Donna’s son, Zion “Rock” Godchaux of BoomBox, was born in 1974. After the Grateful Dead, the couple started the Heart of Gold Band. Donna did not perform again with any Grateful Dead band members until after the death of Jerry Garcia. Shortly after her husband’s death in 1980, Donna Jean turned to religion. She married bassist David MacKay (former Fiddleworms member and bassist for the Donna Jean Godchaux Band) and the couple moved to her childhood town of Florence, Alabama, to record at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

In 2009, Donna Jean formed a brand new band, the Donna Jean Godchaux Band, with Jeff Mattson (of Phil Lesh and Friends, Zen Tricksters, and Dark Star Orchestra), after re-entering the music scene with Mattson and Mookie Siegel (of David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Ratdog) to form Kettle Joe’s Psychedelic Swamp Revue, later known as Donna Jean & the Tricksters. She occasionally makes guest appearances with Bob Weir & RatDog, Zero & Steve Kimock, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Dark Star Orchestra and Dead & Company. In 1994, Donna Jean was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead. She resides in Killen, Alabama, and remains an active member of the Muscle Shoals music scene when not touring with the Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson.

Vernon Reid (Living Colour)

Vernon Reid, the American guitarist and songwriter with Living Colour was born 22 August 1958. Living Colour are an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1984 by English-born guitarist Vernon Reid. They grew out of the Black Rock Coalition, a non-profit organization founded by (among others) Reid for black musicians interested in playing rock music. Reid was well known on the downtown New York jazz scenes because of his tenure in Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society. Reid assembled a number of bands under the name Living Colour from 1984 to 1986.Early band members included bassists Alex Mosely, Jerome Harris and Carl James, drummers Greg Carter, Pheeroan Aklaff and J.T. Lewis, keyboardist Geri Allen, and vocalists D.K. Dyson and Mark Ledford, with Reid occasionally singing lead vocals himself. The band’s sound was vastly different from the songs that showed up later on their major label recordings. Material from this period included instrumental jazz/funk workouts, politically pointed punk rock burners, experimental excursions via Reid’s guitar synth, and an early version of the song “Funny Vibe”, which was reworked for their debut album Vivid.I n 1992, Skillings left the band due to creative differences and was replaced by Doug Wimbish. This new line up released their third full-length album, Stain, in 1993.

Stylistically, the band’s music is a creative fusion influenced by free jazz, funk, hip hop,hard rock, and heavy metal. Their lyrics range from the personal to the political, in some of the latter cases attacking Eurocentrism and racism in America.Living Colour rose to fame with their debut album Vivid in 1988. Although the band scored a number of hits, they are best remembered for their signature song “Cult of Personality”, which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. Despite retaining their strong fan base, Living Colour disbanded in January 1995, after failing to settle on a common musical goal during sessions for their fourth studio album. Four of these tracks were included on the compilation Pride.Following the breakup, individual band members released a variety of solo efforts.

After disbanding in 1995, Living Colour reunited in late 2000. at CBGB as a gig billed “Head>>Fake w/ special guests”. Head>>Fake was the currentdrum and bass project headed by Calhoun and Wimbish. Glover was on the bill to sing a few songs and Reid came on after three songs. The reunion was followed by the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Collideøscope, in 2003, their first album not to chart in the United States, although it was critically praised.[citation needed] In 2005, Sony Records released Live From CBGB, a live album recorded on December 19, 1989, as well as another best of compilation, Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour, with songs fromVivid to Collideøscope.In August 2006, Glover took on the role of Judas Iscariot in a national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, touring with JCS veteran Ted Neeley. Doug Pinnick, vocalist and bassist of King’s X, filled in for Glover on lead vocals. Glover’s tour of the musical ran through June 2008, and he then rejoined the band. On September 22, 2006, Skillings joined the band for the first time in fourteen years when they played at a private party which drummer Jack DeJohnette threw for his wife Lydia. Wimbish was unable to come back from his base in London to play for the event, so Skillings agreed to take over for the special private event.

The band performed a week-long European Tour starting on December 12, 2006. In May 2007, the band released their first live DVD – On Stage At World Cafe Live. On July 11, 2008, the band performed at the 1980s hard rock-themed Rocklahoma festival at Pryor, Oklahoma. Once again, Skillings performed with them in August 2008 for a Black Rock Coalition Band of Gypsys tribute in Harlem. They performed “Them Changes” and “Power of Soul”.On October 25, 2008, MVD Audio and CBGB Records released CBGB OMFUG MASTERS: August 19, 2005 The Bowery Collection, a soundboard collection of songs from the Save CBGB’s benefit show. On November 25, 2008, Inakustik and MVD released The Paris Concert, a DVD recorded at New Morning, in Paris, France, during their 2007 European Tour. The band released their fifth studio album, The Chair in the Doorway, on September 15, 2009 on Megaforce Records. The album sold approximately 2,800 copies in its first week and landed at No. 159 on the Billboard 200. This was the band’s first album to chart since Stain in 1993. The band is currently touring the world in support of the record.According to an interview on breakdownroom. net, Glover hopes to release another album with the band next year. “We’re going to do something different [for us] and make a real record, right now, right after we’ve done this one,” Glover said with a laugh. The band’s song “Cult of Personality” received fresh exposure from 2011, as it was used as the entrance music for professional wrestler CM Punk. In 2013, Living Colour performed the song live at during Punk’s entrance at WrestleMania

Roland Orzabal (Tears for Fears)

Roland Orzabal was born 22 August 1961, He is best known for forming the band Tears for Fears, along with childhood friend Curt Smith whom he met when they were both were teenagers. They first formed a band in their teens, for which Smith taught himself to play bass guitar. They next formed the ska influenced band Graduate, releasing an album in 1980 achieving minor success in Europe. Smith and Orzabal also became session musicians for the band Neon. Fellow band members included Pete Byrne and Rob Fisher who went on to become the duo Naked Eyes. After Graduate and Neon disbanded, Smith and Orzabal founded Tears for Fears in 1981. Their debut album, 1983’s The Hurting, reached no.1 in the UK and produced three international hit singles – “Mad World”, “Change”, and “Pale Shelter” – each with lead vocals performed by Smith.

Their 1985 album Songs from the Big Chair was even more successful, yielding hits including “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (with Smith again on lead vocals), “Shout,” and “Head Over Heels” (which Smith co-wrote). The duo spent the next several years recording their 1989 album The Seeds of Love, which proved to be another international best-seller. Smith’s last single as a lead vocalist with the group (and his only lead vocal track on the album) was “Advice for the Young at Heart”. Following another world tour, increasing tensions between Orzabal and Smith prompted Smith to leave the band in 1991 and he moved to New York.

In 2000, routine legal paperwork obligations led to Orzabal and Smith’s first conversation in nearly a decade. The two patched up their differences and, along with Smith’s associate Charlton Pettus, began writing a new album – Everybody Loves a Happy Ending – released in 2004. Prior to this, “Mad World” was covered by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules for the soundtrack of film Donnie Darko. It was released as a single and reached no.1 in the UK during Christmas 2003. The single re-ignited interest in the group’s earlier work and their 1992 Greatest Hits album was re-released and re-entered the UK Top 10 for several weeks, garnering its second UK platinum disc.

After leaving Tears for Fears, Smith released his first solo album, Soul on Board, in 1993. The album was unsuccessful in the UK, and was not released at all in the U.S. After moving to New York, Smith formed the band Mayfield with guitarist-producer Charlton Pettus and which also featured Russ Irwin. According to Smith, the name of the band was a play on words (Curt is Mayfield) based on the name of the legendary American soul singer Curtis Mayfield. The band was mostly a live act but did release a self-titled album in 1997, which met with little success. Smith later released the album Aeroplane under his own name. In the U.S., this was a six song EP, but in Canada and elsewhere, it was essentially the earlier Mayfield album combined with additional songs from the U.S. EP. In October 2011, Smith announced on his website that he will re-release the Mayfield album on 15 November 2011. The new release, on his KOOK Media label, will include a bonus version of the song “Trees” featuring Janice Whaley

In April 2007, French record label XIII Bis Records released Halfway, Pleased in France. Its 14 tracks included the original version of “Who You Are” (which was recorded by Tears for Fears on Everybody Loves a Happy Ending); a live version of “Snow Hill” from the 2005 Tears for Fears UK tour; the single version of “Seven of Sundays” (also recorded as a duet with French singer SO); and a cover of “On Ira Tous au Paradis” (also available on A Tribute to Polnareff). Two music videos were made for “Seven of Sundays” – one as a solo track, and one as the duet with SO. All the songs except “Seven of Sundays” were co-written by Smith and Pettus. The solo version of “Seven of Sundays” was co-written by Pettus and Chesney Hawkes; Smith released the album in the U.S. and the rest of the world in May 2008. The KOOK release features a slightly different track listing, eliminating the Polnareff tribute and adding two new acoustic tracks (“Coming Out” and “Seven of Sundays”).

Smith has made limited live concert appearances in the Los Angeles area to support Halfway, pleased. In January 2009, he announced that he will perform a weekly residency at The Standard Hollywood in West Hollywood, CA during the month of February 2009.In July 2013 Smith released his fourth solo album, his first since 2008. In January 2010, Smith released the standalone single “All Is Love (featuring Zoë Keating),” The second track in the series, “Perfectly…Still (featuring Universal Hall Pass)” was released in August 2010.mSmith occasionally collaborates with other artists. He worked with the French singer So (Sophie Saillet) providing vocals on her track “Les Autres”, and the pair worked together again on Smith’s track “Seven of Sundays” (Saillet also appeared in both videos for the song). Smith is also featured on The Shadow Bureau’s 2011 track “Don’t Give Yourself Away” with artist Linda Strawberry, inspired by the 2010 Australian film Griff the Invisible. Smith and longtime collaborator Charlton Pettus also composed and recorded the score for the 2011 film Meth Head, starring Lukas Haas. Smith contributed an original song, “This Is Christmas”, to an episode of the fifth season of the TV series Psych.

In August 2010, Smith debuted a live music web series, “Stripped Down Live With Curt Smith”,which he produces along with his manager Arlene Wszalek and Streamin’ Garage CEO Mike Rotman. Each episode is devoted to a single featured artist. The band or musician plays acoustic versions of their songs (the show is streamed live via UStream), Smith interviews them between sets. guests have included Hypnogaja, Carina Round, Chris Pierce, Peter Himmelman, Common Rotation, Gary Jules, All Day Sucker, The Daylights, Matthew Sweet, The Fallen Stars, Nightmare & The Cat, Whiskey Saints, Fitz & The Tantrums and Friendly Indians. In 1988, Smith appeared at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute performing “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, with accompanying musicians Phil Collins, Midge Ure, and Mark Brzezicki on stage.In 1989, Smith appeared onstage with various other performers at Stevie Wonder’s birthday concert at London’s Wembley Arena.

Smith has also tried his hand at acting. He had a minor role as a desk clerk in The Dead Connection (1994), had a more significant role as a professor in 2000’s The Private Public and made a surprise appearance to open Psych’s 2010 Comic Con panel, singing onstage with Psych co-stars James Roday and Dulé Hill. He appeared, in the “Psych” episode “Shawn 2.0”,and also wrote a variation of the opening theme. His single “This is Christmas” appeared in the episode “The Polarizing Express”. He again appeared as himself in the show’s 100th episode, “100 Clues”, and the episode “A Nightmare on State Street” as himself. In May 2009, Smith performed at the Artist for the Arts Foundation benefit at Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, California. Performing live, alongside Colin Hay (Men at Work), Fee Waybill (The Tubes) & Venice (Crazy on You) and over 70 members of the Santa Monica High School (SaMoHi) Orchestra and Girls Choir. In 2014, Smith appeared in the horror film Crazy Bitches as a Police Detective.The song “Mannequin”, from the album Deceptively Heavy, was also used as the theme song for the movie.