Beyoncé Knowles

American singer, songwriter, performer, and actress.Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter was born September 4, 1981. She was raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé wher she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. Beyoncé attended St. Mary’s Montessori School in Houston, where she enrolled in dance classes. Her singing talent was discovered when dance instructor Darlette Johnson began humming a song and she finished it, able to hit the high-pitched note Beyoncé’s interest in music and performing continued after winning a school talent show at age seven, singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” to beat 15/16-year-olds. In 1990, Beyoncé enrolled in Parker Elementary School, in Houston, where she performed with the school’s choir. She also attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and later Alief Elsik High School. Beyoncé was also a member of the choir at St. John’s United Methodist Church as a soloist for two years.

When Beyoncé was eight, she and childhood friend Kelly Rowland met LaTavia Roberson while at an audition for an all-girl entertainment group. They were placed into a group called Girl’s Tyme with three other girls, and rapped and danced on the talent show circuit in Houston. After seeing the group, R&B producer Arne Frager brought them to his Northern California studio and placed them in Star Search, the largest talent show on national TV at the time. In 1995 Beyoncé’s father resigned from his job to manage the group. The original line-up was cut to four and the group continued performing as an opening act for other established R&B girl groups. The girls auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records, moving to Atlanta Records briefly to work on their first recording, but were later dropped. In 1995, Dwayne Wiggins’s Grass Roots Entertainment signed the group. In 1996, the girls began recording their debut album

She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny’s Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world’s best-selling girl groups in history. Their hiatus saw Beyoncé’s theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and the release of her debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003). The album established her as a solo artist worldwide, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and earning five Grammy Awards, and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number one singles “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy”.

Following the break-up of Destiny’s Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B’Day (2006), which contained the singles, “Irreplaceable”, “Déjà Vu”, and “Beautiful Liar”. Beyoncé also continued her acting career, with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the introduction of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”. Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album 4 (2011) was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed eponymous album, released in 2013 with no prior announcement, was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. Her sixth album, Lemonade (2016), also received widespread critical acclaim, with many referring to it as her most personal and political work to date, and subsequently became the best-selling album of 2016. She released Everything Is Love, her seventh album, a collaboration with husband Jay-Z as The Carters in 2018.

Throughout her career, Beyoncé has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists. She has won 22 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award’s history. She is also the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins, including the Video Vanguard Awards. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Beyoncé as the Top Certified Artist in America, during the 2000s decade. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s decade, and awarded her their Millennium Award in 2011. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes ranked her as the most powerful female in entertainment on their 2015 and 2017 lists, and in 2016 she occupied the sixth place for Time’s Person of the Year. With the release of Lemonade, Beyoncé became the first and only musical act in Billboard chart history to debut at number one with their first six solo studio album

Mark Ronson

British musician, DJ, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Mark Daniel Ronson was born 4 September 1975 at the Wellington Hospital, St John’s Wood, London, to Jewish parents, Laurence Ronson, a real-estate speculator and music manager, and Ann Dexter. His ancestors emigrated from Austria, Lithuania and Russia. Ronson was brought up in Masorti Judaism and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony. The Ronson family had been one of Britain’s wealthiest families in the 1980s; however, “the Ronson family lost $1 billion of its own money in the property crash of the early 1990’s. The family name was originally “Aaronson”, and was shortened by Mark’s grandfather Henry. He is the nephew of businessman Gerald Ronson & his mother, he is also related to British Conservative politicians Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Leon Lord Brittan, as well as Odeon Cinemas founder Oscar Deutsch. He is not related to the late English guitarist Mick Ronson, who coincidentally fathered a son named Mark in 1975.

After his parents divorced, his mother married Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones, which contributed to a childhood surrounded by music. Ronson has twin sisters who are two years younger: Charlotte Ronson, a fashion designer; and Samantha Ronson, a singer and DJ. He has five younger half-siblings: Alexander and Annabelle, from his mother’s marriage to Mick Jones; and Henrietta, David, and Joshua, from his father’s marriage to model Michele First. In 1983 Ronson, along with his mother, step-father and twin sisters, moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City & attended high school at the private Collegiate School in Manhattan before attending Vassar College and then New York University (NYU).

While attending New York University (NYU), Ronson became a regular at downtown hip hop spots and made his name as a DJ on the New York club scene in 1993, charging $50 per job. He soon became known for his diverse, genre-spanning selection. Influenced by funk, the hip hop scene of New York and the more rock influence of the UK (all of which he incorporated in his sets) he attracted a wider audience. He was soon a popular and sought after DJ in New York City, frequently booked for high-profile events and private parties. In 1999, Ronson was featured in an ad wearing Tommy Hilfiger denim in the recording studio for an ad campaign for the company.

Mark made the leap from DJ to producer after Nikka Costa’s manager heard one of his sets and introduced the musicians. Ronson produced Costa’s song “Everybody Got Their Something,” and Ronson soon signed a record contract with Elektra Records. He had already produced tracks for Hilfiger ads and, in 2001, used the connection to have Costa’s single “Like a Feather” used in an advertisement.

Ronson’s debut album, Here Comes the Fuzz, was released in 2003 and Ronson wrote the songs on the album, created the beats, played guitar, keyboards, and bass. The album featured performances from artists from diverse genres, including Mos Def, Jack White, Sean Paul, Nikka Costa, Nappy Roots and Rivers Cuomo. The best known song from the album, “Ooh Wee,” samples “Sunny” by Boney M and features Nate Dogg, Ghostface Killah, Trife Da God, and Saigon. It was featured that year in the movie Honey and its soundtrack. The song was later used in the movies Hitch and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. In 2004, Ronson formed his own record label, Allido Records, a subsidiary of Sony BMG’s J Records, along with his longtime manager Rich Kleiman. The first artist he signed to Allido was rapper Saigon, who later left to sign with Just Blaze’s Fort Knox Entertainment. He has signed Rhymefest, most well known for winning the Grammy for co-writing Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks.” Ronson has also produced multiple songs on the albums of singers Lamya, Macy Gray, Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, and Robbie Williams.

In 2007, Ronson released a cover of The Smiths’ track “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” under the title “Stop Me”, featuring singer Daniel Merriweather. Ronson also remixed the Bob Dylan song “Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine” in promotion for the three disc Bob Dylan set titled Dylan and produced Candie Payne’s “One More Chance (Ronson mix)”. Ronson’s album Version was also awarded the title Album of the Month by the British dance music magazine, Mixmag and he appeared on the cover of the Guardian newspaper’s Guide magazine, alongside singer Lily Allen. Ronson signed DC hip hop artist Wale to Allido Records and collaborated with Daniel Merriweather on his debut album, and recording again with Amy Winehouse and Robbie Williams. Ronson also performed a one-off set at The Roundhouse in Camden, London as part of the BBC Electric Proms 2007 which featured the BBC Concert Orchestra and included special guests Terry Hall, Sean Lennon, Tim Burgess, Alex Greenwald, Ricky Wilson, Charlie Waller, Adele and Kyle Falconer

2007, Ronson received his first Grammy Award nomination, for ‘Producer of the Year, Non Classical’. Ronson’s work with Amy Winehouse also received substantial accolades, gaining 6 nominations. Winehouse’s “Back to Black” album, mostly produced by Ronson, was nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’. Her song “Rehab” received nods for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’, ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Record of the Year’. Ronson would go on to win three Grammys: ‘Producer of the Year’ as well as ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ and ‘Record of the Year’ (the latter two of which he shared with Amy Winehouse) in early February 2008.

Ronson is credited as producer on a mixtape album called Man in the Mirror, released in January 2008 by the rapper Rhymefest which is a tribute to the pop star Michael Jackson. The album features Rhymefest appearing to speak to Michael Jackson using archive audio from interviews with the pop star. The same month Ronson received three nominations for the Brit Awards, including ‘Best Male Solo Artist,’ ‘Best Album’ (Version) and ‘Song of the Year’ (“Valerie”). Ronson won his first Brit for ‘Best Male Solo Artist’ in mid February 2008 over favourite Mika. He also performed a medley of “God Put a Smile upon Your Face” with Adele, “Stop Me” with Daniel Merriweather and “Valerie” with Amy Winehouse. Following This performance “Valerie” “Just”, “Stop Me”, “Oh My God” and the album “Version” all became popular again. He collaborated with Kaiser Chiefs on their third album. During 2008 Ronson toured Europe Including Hammersmith Apollo and Brixton Academy. Ronson is known to champion new upcoming artists on the road with him, such as Sam Sparro and Julian Perretta And the all-female string quartet Demon Strings.

In 2008, Ronson played at the largest private party in the world, the Trinity Ball in Trinity College Dublin and also performed live with Duran Duran in Pariperforming new arrangements by Ronson of some Duran Duran songs, and tracks from the band’s new album, Red Carpet Massacre. Ronson & the Version Players also performed songs from his album Version. Simon LeBon sang. Ronson collaborated with the group on their 13th and 14 albums All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods. In 2010, Ronson revealed new album Record Collection, and a new band, “The Business Intl.’ The first single “Bang Bang Bang” features rapper Q-Tip and singer MNDR and The second single from the album, “The Bike Song”, features Kyle Falconer from The View and Spank Rock. He provided the score for the 2011 film Arthur. Ronson was one of the artists featured in the 2012 documentary Re:GENERATION Music Project. His song “A La Modeliste” features Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Trombone Shorty, members of The Dap-Kings, and Zigaboo Modeliste.

In 2014, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars appeared on Saturday Night Live performing “Uptown Funk” which became massively popular. His next single “Feel Right” (featured Mystikal). Then In 2015, Ronson starred in the documentary film Amy about his late friend Amy Winehouse discussing his career and relationship with Winehouse. Which features footage of Ronson during the recording session of the single “Back to Black” & Winehouse’s funeral in London in July 2011. Ronson became a patron of the Amy Winehouse Foundation. In 2016, Ronson was nominated for two Brit Awards; Best British Male Solo Artist, and British Producer of the Year, at the 2016 Brit Awards. Ronson also won two awards for “Uptown Funk”, including Record Of The Year At the 2016 Grammy Awards. Ronson also executive produced Lady Gaga’s fifth album Joanne and produced the Queens of the Stone Age’s 2017 album Villains and is currently working with Miley Cyrus on her upcoming 7th studio album.

Sir William Lyons

Sir William Lyons, the creator of Jaguar Cars Limited was born September 4, 1901 in Blackpool. After attending Arnold School, he obtained an engineering apprenticeship at Crossley Motors in Manchester, where he also studied at the technical school. He left Crossley in 1919 to work as a salesman at the Sunbeam dealers Brown and Mallalieu in Blackpool.In 1921 he met William Walmsley who was converting army-surplus motorcycles for civilian use and making sidecars. Lyons admired the sidecars and bought one. Lyons and Walmsley obtained a substantial £500 bank guarantee to go into business. So they founded the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, which became Jaguar Cars Limited after the Second World War.Their plans were delayed as Lyons was under the legal age, but on his 21st birthday he formed a partnership with Walmsley. It was called Swallow Sidecars and had a staff of “three men and a boy”.The company manufactured stylish sidecars, but after 1927 made increasing numbers of low cost coach-built cars, especially the Austin Seven Swallow which the Blackpool factory produced at the rate of 12 per week. Following several moves to larger premises in Blackpool, in 1928 Lyons moved the company (and his family) to Coventry. His family home was Woodside, Gibbet Hill, on the fringe of the city. Production increased to 50 cars each week. In 1931 they began selling the SS1, and in 1933 the company name was changed to SS Cars Ltd. The following year, William Walmsley left the company.

The first “Jaguar” model, the SS, was offered in 1935, and after WW2 and Lyons also changed the company name from Swallow Sidecars to Jaguar. During the War vehicle production was switched to aircraft manufacture and repair, but engineering development did continue. Some secretive military projects were undertaken but most importantly for the future of the company, Lyons and his engineering team worked on a new engine which was topower his vision of a mass produced sporting saloon car. The XK engine was completed in 1948 and launched in a (supposedly) one-off concept sports car to help draw attention to it. This succeeded far better than was envisaged and both became an overnight sensation, globally. The XK engine went on to power all Jaguars until its last appearance in 1983. The sports car, XK120, went into full production too and led to a string of attention-grabbing (and profitable) sports cars which led to international sporting success (most notably at Le Mans) and helped put the name of Jaguar Cars and Coventry on the world map. But Lyons main focus was on the saloon car which became his last and proudest achievement, the XJ6 of 1968.

He was responsible for the styling of every new model introduced (although the C-type, D-type, E-type and XJ-S were designed by Malcolm Sayer). This was remarkable, as Sir William was not a trained draughtsman, and designed primarily using full scale 3-D mockups, which were continually adjusted by craftsmen working under his instructions. Undoubtedly one of his other great skills was to pick the highly accomplished team that was to remain loyal to him for so long. In 1956 Lyons was knighted for his services to British industry and for the fine export performance of the company. In 1966, faced with a strengthening global industry, he merged Jaguar with the British Motor Corporation (BMC) to form British Motor Holdings, which was later absorbed into British Leyland.

During the final years of Lyons tenure in 1967 he remained as chairman but retired as Manging Director. Sadly he faced a constant struggle against impossible odds to retain the identity and independence of his company, not least its engineering department. He retired completely in 1972. Sadly His health declined fairly rapidly in retirement but happily he did live long enough to witness a remergence of sorts of his company under John Egan before passing away 8 February 1985 at his home in Wappenbury Hall, Leamington Spa. William’s daughter Patricia also married Leeds Jaguar-distributor and rally driver Ian Appleyard, and was his co-driver in many international rallies from 1951 to 53, mostly in an XK120 registered NUB 120, including the Alpine Rally, which they won three times.