Aretha Franklin

Prolific American singer and songwriter Aretha Louise Franklin sadly died on August 15 2018. She was born March 25, 1942. In Memphis, Tennessee.  Her father was an itinerant preacher originally from Shelby, Mississippi, while her mother was an accomplished piano player and vocalist. Her parents had three other children, and both C. L. and Barbara had children from outside their marriage. The family relocated to Buffalo, New York, when Aretha was two. Before her fifth birthday, C. L. Franklin permanently relocated the family to Detroit, Michigan where he took over the pastorship of New Bethel Baptist Church. Aretha’s parents had a troubled marriage due to stories of her father’s philandering and in 1948, the couple separated, with Barbara relocating back to Buffalo with her son, Vaughn, from a previous relationship.

Contrary to popular notion, her mother did not abandon her children; not only would Aretha recall seeing her mother in Buffalo during the summer, Barbara also frequently visited her children in Detroit. Aretha’s mother died on March 7, 1952, before Aretha’s tenth birthday. Several women, including Aretha’s grandmother Rachel and Mahalia Jackson, took turns helping with the children at the Franklin home. Aretha also learned how to play piano by ear. Aretha’s father’s emotionally driven sermons resulted in his being known as the man with the “million-dollar voice” and earning thousands of dollars for sermons in various churches across the country. His celebrity status led to his home being visited by various celebrities, among them gospel musicians Clara Ward, James Cleveland and early Caravans members Albertina Walker and Inez Andrews as well as Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke. Aretha attended Northern High School but later dropped out during her sophomore year.

Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. Just after her mother’s death, Franklin began singing solos at New Bethel, debuting with the hymn, “Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me”. Four years later, when Franklin was 14, her father began managing her, bringing her on the road with him during his so-called “gospel caravan” tours for her to perform in various churches. He helped his daughter sign her first recording deal with J.V.B. Records, where her first album, Songs of Faith, was issued in 1956. Franklin sometimes traveled with The Soul Stirrers during this time. At the age of 16, Franklin went on tour with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success.

In January 1961, Columbia issued Franklin’s first secular album, Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo. The album featured her first single to chart the Billboard Hot 100, “Won’t Be Long”, which also peaked at number 7 on the R&B chart. Mostly produced by Clyde Otis, Franklin’s Columbia recordings saw her recording in diverse genres such as standards, vocal jazz, blues, doo-wop and rhythm and blues. Before the year was out, Franklin scored her first top 40 single with her rendition of the standard, “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody”, which also included the R&B hit, “Operation Heartbreak”, on its b-side. “Rock-a-Bye” became her first international hit, reaching the top 40 in Australia and Canada. By the end of 1961, Franklin was named as a “new-star female vocalist” in Down Beat magazine. In 1962, Columbia issued two more albums, The Electrifying Aretha Franklin and The Tender, the Moving, the Swinging Aretha Franklin,

By 1964, Franklin began recording more pop music, reaching the top ten on the R&B chart with the ballad, “Runnin’ Out of Fools” in early 1965. She had two R&B charted singles in 1965 and 1966 with the songs “One Step Ahead” and “Cry Like a Baby” while also reaching the Easy Listening charts with the ballads “You Made Me Love You” and “(No, No) I’m Losing You”. By the mid-1960s, Franklin was netting $100,000 from countless performances in nightclubs and theaters. Also during that period, Franklin appeared on rock and roll shows such as Hollywood A Go-Go and Shindig!.

In November 1966,  Franklin signed to Atlantic Records. In January 1967, she traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record at FAME Studios to record the song, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” in front of the musicians of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section giving Franklin her first top ten pop single. The song’s b-side, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”, reached the R&B top 40, peaking at number 37. In April, Atlantic issued her frenetic version of Otis Redding’s “Respect”, which shot to number one on both the R&B and pop charts. “Respect” became her signature song and was later hailed as a civil rights and feminist anthem.

She signed to Atlantic Records in 1967.IFranklin’s debut Atlantic album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, also became commercially successful, later going gold. Franklin scored two more top ten singles in 1967 including “Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman”. In 1968, she issued the top-selling albums, Lady Soul and Aretha Now, which included some of Franklin’s most popular hit singles, including “Chain of Fools”, “Ain’t No Way”, “Think” and “I Say a Little Prayer”. In February 1968, Franklin earned the first two of her Grammys, including the debut category for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.[29] On February 16, 1968, Franklin was honored with a day in her honor and was greeted by longtime friend Martin Luther King, Jr. who gave her the SCLC Drum Beat Award for Musicians just two months before his death. In June 1968, she appeared on the cover of Time magazin

Franklin’s success expanded during the early 1970s in which she recorded top ten singles such as “Spanish Harlem”, “Rock Steady” and “Day Dreaming” as well as the acclaimed albums Spirit in the Dark, Young, Gifted & Black, and her gospel album, Amazing Grace, which sold over two million copies. In 1971, Franklin became the first R&B performer to headline Fillmore West, later releasing the live album Aretha Live at Fillmore West. Franklin’s career began to experience problems while recording the album, Hey Now Hey, which featured production from Quincy Jones. Despite the success of the single “Angel”, the album bombed upon its release in 1973. Franklin continued having R&B success with songs such as “Until You Come Back to Me” and “I’m in Love”, but by 1975 her albums and songs were no longer top sellers. After Jerry Wexler left Atlantic for Warner Bros. Records in 1976, Franklin worked on the soundtrack to the film Sparkle with Curtis Mayfield featuring the song, “Something He Can Feel”. Franklin’s follow-up albums  Sweet Passion, Almighty Fire and La Diva, bombed on the charts And she began experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s, then her father was shot in 1979. So Franklin subsequently left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with her part in the film The Blues Brothers and with the albums Jump to It and Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

In 1980, after leaving Atlantic Records, Franklin signed with Arista Records and  gave a command performance at the Royal Albert Hall in front of Queen Elizabeth. Franklin also made an acclaimed guest role as a waitress in the comedy musical, The Blues Brothers. Franklin’s first Arista album, Aretha, featured the No. 3 R&B hit, “United Together” and her Grammy-nominated cover of Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose”. The follow-up, 1981’s Love All the Hurt Away, included her famed duet of the title track with George Benson while the album also included her Grammy-winning cover of Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin'”. Franklin achieved a gold record—for the first time in seven years—with the album Jump to It. Its title track was her first top 40 single on the pop charts in six years.

In 1985, inspired by a desire to have a “younger sound” in her music, Who’s Zoomin’ Who? became her first Arista album to be certified platinum. The album sold well over a million copies thanks to the hits, “Freeway of Love”, the title track, and “Another Night”. The next ablum 1986’s Aretha album featured the hit singles “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Jimmy Lee” and “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me”, her international number-one duet with George Michael. Franklin provided vocals to the theme songs of the TV shows A Different World and Together. In 1987, she issued her third gospel album, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, which was recorded at her late father’s New Bethel church, followed by Through the Storm in 1989. Franklin’s 1991 album, What You See is What You Sweat, failed, howeverFranklin returned to the charts in 1993 with the dance song “A Deeper Love” and returned to the top 40 with the song “Willing to Forgive” in 1994

In 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma”, at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. In 1998 she sang the Lauryn Hill-produced song, “A Rose Is Still a Rose”, Her final Arista album, So Damn Happy, was released in 2003 and featured the Grammy-winning song, “Wonderful”. In 2004, Franklin announced that she was leaving Arista her final album, Wasd the duets compilation album, Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets with the Queen, in 2007. Then in 2008 she issued the holiday album, This Christmas, Aretha, on DMI Records.

In 2006 Franklin performed The Star Spangled Banner with Aaron Neville and Dr. John for Super Bowl XL, held in Detroit. She later made international headlines for performing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at President Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremony with her church hat becoming a popular topic online. In 2010, Franklin accepted an honorary degree from Yale University. In 2011, under her own label, Aretha’s Records, she issued the album, Aretha: A Woman Falling Out Of Love. In 2014, Franklin was signed under RCA Records, controller of the Arista catalog and a sister label to Columbia via Sony Music Entertainment, and was working with Clive Davis. An album was planned with producers Babyface and Danger Mouse. On September 29, 2014, Franklin performed to a standing ovation, with Cissy Houston as backup, a compilation of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” on the Late Show with David Letterman. Franklin’s cover of “Rolling in the Deep” was featured among nine other songs in her first RCA release, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, released in October 2014 and she became the first woman to have 100 songs on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with the success of her cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”,

In 2015, Franklin performed “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman” at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors during the section for honoree Carole King, who co-wrote the song. During the bridge of the song, Ms. Franklin dropped her fur coat to the stage, for which the audience rewarded her with a mid-performance standing ovation. She returned to Detroit’s Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day 2016 to once again perform the national anthem before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. Seated behind the piano in a black fur coat and Lions stocking cap, this rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” lasted over four minutes and featured a host of improvisations by Franklin.

Over the years Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Franklin has been honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time; and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

 

Advertisements

Elvis Presley

Often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King”, Elvis Presley tragically died 16 August 1977 at the age of 42. He was born 8th January, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. At the age of 13 Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family and began his career there in 1954, working with Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was one of the originators of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. Presley’s rise to national attention in 1956 transformed the field of popular music and had a huge effect on the broader scope of popular culture.

Presley’s first RCA single, “Heartbreak Hotel“, was released in January 1956, and was a number one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender. He was Conscripted into military service in 1958, and relaunched his recording career two years later with some of his most commercially successful work. He staged few concerts however, and guided by Colonel Tom Parker, he proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood movies and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, after seven years away from the stage, he returned to live performance in a celebrated comeback television special that led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973 Presley staged the first concert broadcast globally via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii, seen by approximately 1.5 billion viewers.

Presley is regarded as one of the most important figures of 20th-century popular culture. He had a versatile voice and unusually wide success encompassing many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues. He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. Nominated for 14 competitive Grammys, he won three, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame, and is regarded As the catalyst for the cultural revolution that was rock and roll, he was central not only to defining it as a musical genre but in making it a touchstone of youth culture and rebellious attitude. His name, image, and voice are instantly recognizable around the globe, and in In polls and surveys, he is recognized as one of the most important popular music artists and influential Americans.

“Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century”, said composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. “He introduced the beat to everything and he changed everything—music, language, clothes. It’s a whole new social revolution—the sixties came from it.” Bob Dylan described the sensation of first hearing Presley as “like busting out of jail”. A New York Times editorial on the 25th anniversary of Presley’s death observed, “All the talentless impersonators and appalling black velvet paintings on display can make him seem little more than a perverse and distant memory. But before Elvis was camp, he was its opposite: a genuine cultural force. … Elvis’s breakthroughs are underappreciated because in this rock-and-roll age, his hard-rocking music and sultry style have triumphed so completely.” Not only Presley’s achievements, but his failings as well, are seen by some cultural observers as adding to the power of his legacy.

His sudden death was contributed to by Prescription drug abuse And poor diet which severely compromised his health. Despite this Elvis Presley remains a supreme figure in American life, one whose presence, no matter how banal or predictable, brooks no real comparisons, The cultural range of his music has expanded to the point where it includes not only the hits of the day, but also patriotic recitals, pure country gospel, and really dirty blues. Elvis emerged as a great artist, a great rocker, a great purveyor of schlock, a great heart throb, a great bore, a great symbol of potency, a great ham, a great nice person, and a great American.

Madonna

American singer-songwriter, actress, author, director, entrepreneur and philanthropist Madonna Louise Ciccone was born August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan. In 1977 she moved to New York City to pursue a career in modern dance and performed in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy. In 1982, Madonna signed with Sire Records (an affiliate of Warner Bros. Records) and her debut single, “Everybody”, was released in 1982, and the second, “Burning Up”, in March 1983. Madonna Asked boyfriend John “Jellybean” Benitez, To help Produce her eponymous debut album, Madonna. Benitez remixed most of the tracks and produced “Holiday”, which was her third single and her first international top-ten hit. The album contained upbeat synthetic disco,and was released in 1983 containing the hits “Holiday”, “Borderline” and “Lucky Star”. Madonna’s look, style of dressing, performances, and her music videos influenced young girls and women. Her style became one of the female fashion trends of the 1980s. Created by stylist and jewelry designer Maripol, the look consisted of lace tops, skirts over capri pants, fishnet stockings, jewelry bearing the crucifix, bracelets, and bleached hair.

Madonna achieved global recognition after the release of her second studio album, Like a Virgin, in 1984 Containing The title track, “Like a Virgin”. However it attracted controversy and many organizations who complained that the song and its accompanying video promoted premarital sex and undermined family values, and moralists sought to have the song and video banned. Madonna was also criticized for her performance of “Like a Virgin” at the first 1984 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) when She appeared on stage atop a giant wedding cake, wearing a wedding dress and white gloves. The performance is noted by MTV as an iconic moment in VMA history. The next hit was “Material Girl” with a video inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s performance of the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.Madonna started dating actor Sean Penn. They married on her birthday in 1985.

In 1985 Madonna appeared as a club singer in The romantic drama Vision Quest, the soundtrack contained two new singles, “Crazy for You” and “Gambler”. She also played the title role in the 1985 comedy film Desperately Seeking Susan, containing the song “Into the Groove”. In 1985, Madonna embarked on The Virgin concert Tour, with the Beastie Boys as her opening act. She progressed from playing CBGB and the Mudd Club to playing large sporting arenas. She also released two more songs, “Angel” and “Dress You Up”. In July, Penthouse and Playboy magazines published a number of nude photos of Madonna, taken in New York in 1978. She had posed for the photographs as she needed money at the time, and was paid as little as $25 a session. The photographs were ultimately sold for up to $100,000. She referred to these events at the 1985 outdoor Live Aid charity concert, saying that she would not take her jacket off because “the media might hold it against me ten years from now.”

In June 1986, Madonna released her third studio album, True Blue, which was inspired by and dedicated to Sean Penn.and contained the songs “Live to Tell”, “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Open Your Heart”,”True Blue” and “La Isla Bonita”. Madonna also starred in the critically panned film Shanghai Surprise, for which she received her first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress. She made also her theatrical debut in a production of David Rabe’s Goose and Tom-Tom; the film and play both co-starred Penn. In 1987 Madonna was featured in the film Who’s That Girl. She contributed four songs to its soundtrack, including “who’s that Girl?” and “Causing a Commotion”. In 1987 Madonna embarked on the Who’s That Girl World Tour. In 1987 she also released a remix album of past hits, titled You Can Dance. Madonna also filed for divorce from Penn in January 1989, citing irreconcilable differences.

In 1989, Madonna signed a deal with soft-drink manufacturer, Pepsi. In one of her Pepsi commercials, she debuted her song “Like a Prayer”. The corresponding music video featured many Catholic symbols such as stigmata and cross burning, and a dream of making love to a saint, leading the Vatican to condemn the video. Religious groups sought to ban the commercial and boycott Pepsi products. Pepsi revoked the commercial and canceled her sponsorship contract. “Like a Prayer” appeared on Madonna’s fourth studio album, Like a Prayer, which was co-written and co-produced by Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray and contained the songs “Like a Prayer”, “Express Yourself”, “Cherish”, In 1990 Madonna starred as Breathless Mahoney in the film Dick Tracy with Warren Beatty playing the title role.Her performance led to a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress. To accompany the film, she released the soundtrack album, I’m Breathless, which included songs inspired by the film’s 1930s setting. It also featured the songs “Vogue” and “Sooner or Later”, which earned songwriter Stephen Sondheim an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1991. In 1990, Madonna embarked on her Blond Ambition World Tour, Which caused controversy and generated strong negative reaction from religious groups for her performance of “Like a Virgin”, during which two male dancers caressed her body before she simulated masturbation. The Laserdisc release of the tour won Madonna a Grammy Award in 1992 for Best Long Form Music Video. In 1990 Madonna released the Greatest-hits compilation album,”The Immaculate Collection” Including new songs, “Justify My Love” and “Rescue Me” The album was certified diamond by RIAA and sold over 30 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling compilation album by a solo artist in history. Madonna again courted controversy in the video for “Justify My Love” which featured scenes of sadomasochism, bondage, same-sex kissing, and brief nudity. In 1990 Madonna Pulled out of Jennifer Lynch’s film, Boxing Helena. Madonna had an eight-month relationship with rapper Vanilla Ice; he ended their relationship because of Madonna’s Sex book. Her first documentary film Truth or Dare (known as In Bed with Madonna outside North America)[86] was released in May 1991 and Chronicled her Blond Ambition World Tour.

In 1992, Madonna Starred in the film A League of Their Own as Mae Mordabito, a baseball player on an all-women’s team. She also recorded the film’s theme song, “This Used to Be My Playground”. She also founded her own entertainment company, Maverick in 1992, consisting of a record company (Maverick Records), a film production company (Maverick Films), and associated music publishing, television broadcasting, book publishing and merchandising divisions. The deal was a joint venture with Time Warner.The first release from the venture was Madonna’s book, titled Sex. It consisted of sexually provocative and explicit images, photographed by Steven Meisel. The book again caused controversy and received strong negative reaction from the media and the general public.she also released her fifth studio album, Erotica, containing The singles: “Deeper and Deeper”, “Bad Girl”, “Fever”, “Rain” and “Bye Bye Baby”. Madonna also featured in the 1993 erotic thriller, Body of Evidence, a film which contained scenes of sadomasochism and bondage and also starred in the film Dangerous Game, which was described as “angry and painful, and the pain feels real.” in 1993, Madonna embarked on The Girlie Show World Tour, in which she dressed as a whip-cracking dominatrix surrounded by topless dancers. In Puerto Rico she rubbed the island’s flag between her legs on stage, causing outrage among the audience. in 1994, she caused further controversy on the Late Show with David Letterman, using profanity that required censorship on television, and handing Letterman a pair of her panties and asking him to smell it. The releases of her sexually explicit films, albums and book, and the aggressive appearance on Letterman all made critics question Madonna as a sexual renegade.

She later released the ballad “I’ll Remember” in an attempt to tone down her provocative image, which was recorded for Alek Keshishian’s film With Honors. She made a subdued appearance with Letterman at an awards show and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 1994 Madonna released her sixth studio album, Bedtime Stories which Had a softer image to try to improve the public perception. It featured the songs, “Secret”, “Take a Bow”, “You’ll See”, “One More Chance”, and a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You”.Madonna started dating rapper Tupac Shakur, but it ended in 1994. Next year, the rapper revealed in a letter to the singer that he ended the relationship because she was white. She later became romantically involved with fitness trainer Carlos Leon. In 1996 Madonna starred in the musical Evita, Playing the title role of Eva Perón whom Madonna had always wanted to portray, so she asked director Alan Parker. She had vocal training and learned about the history of Argentina and Perón. During shooting she became ill several times due to the intense emotional effort required. After its release, Evita garnered critical appreciation and Madonna won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for the role. She released three singles from the Evita soundtrack album, including “You Must Love Me” (which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1997) and “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”. Madonna was later presented with the Artist Achievement Award by Tony Bennett at the 1996 Billboard Music Awards.

PART TWO

On October 14, 1996, Madonna gave birth to Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, her daughter with Leon. However Her relationship with Carlos Leon ended 1997. After Lourdes’s birth, Madonna became involved in Eastern mysticism and Kabbalah. She was also introduced to Jewish mysticism by actress Sandra Bernhard in 1997. Madonna’s seventh album, Ray of Light, was released in 1998 and She collaborated with electronica producer William Orbit to create a sound that could blend dance music with pop and British rock. Techno and rave was happening in the 90s and had a lot of different forms Such as very experimental, hard stuff like Aphex Twin and party stuff like Fatboy Slim. Ray of Light was honored with four Grammy Awards—including Best Pop Album and Best Dance Recording—and was nominated for both Album of the Year and Record of the Year Rolling Stone listed it among “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. It featured the songs, “Frozen” and “Ray of Light”. In 1999, Madonna recorded the single “Beautiful Stranger” for the film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, which earned her a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Madonna also starred in the 2000 film The Next Best Thing, and contributed two songs to the film’s soundtrack; “Time Stood Still” and a cover of Don McLean’s 1971 song “American Pie”.

In 2000 Madonna Collaborated with French producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï, and released her eighth studio album, Music, which featured elements from the electronica-inspired Ray of Light era. “Music”, “Don’t Tell Me”, and “What It Feels Like for a Girl” The music video of “What It Feels Like for a Girl” depicted Madonna committing acts of crime and vandalism, and was banned by MTV and VH1. In 1998 She met director Guy Ritchie, who would become her second husband, and gave birth to their son Rocco John Ritchie on August 11, 2000 in Los Angeles. Rocco however Madonna suffered complications from the birth due to her experiencing placenta praevia. He was christened at Dornoch Cathedral in Dornoch, Scotland, on December 21, 2000. Madonna married Ritchie the following day at nearby Skibo Castle. In 2001 Madonna embarked on Her fifth concert tour, titled Drowned World Tour, Visiting cities in the U.S. and Europe She also released her second greatest-hits collection, titled GHV2, to coincide with the home video release of the tour. Madonna then starred in the film Swept Away, directed by Ritchie And appeared in London in the West End play Up For Grabs at the Wyndhams Theatre (billed as ‘Madonna Ritchie’) in 2002. She also released “Die Another Day”, the title song for the James Bond film Die Another Day, in which she had a cameo role. The song was nominated for both a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Raspberry for Worst Song.

Following Die Another Day, Madonna collaborated with fashion photographer Steven Klein in 2003 for an exhibition installation named X-STaTIC Pro=CeSS in New York’s Deitch Projects gallery. It included photography from a photo shoot in W magazine, and seven video segments. Madonna also released her ninth studio album, American Life in 2003, which was based on her observations of American society. However the original music video was canceled as Madonna thought that the video, featuring violence and war imagery, would be deemed unpatriotic since America was then at war with Iraq. Madonna gave another provocative performance at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, while singing “Hollywood” with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Missy Elliott. Madonna sparked controversy for kissing Spears and Aguilera suggestively during the performance. Madonna provided guest vocals on Spears’ single “Me Against the Music”. Followed by the release of Remixed & Revisited which contained remixed versions of songs from American Life and included “Your Honesty”,

Madonna also signed a contract with Callaway Arts & Entertainment to be the author of five children’s books. Including The English Roses, which was about four English schoolgirls and their envy and jealousy of each other. In 2004 Madonna and Maverick sued Warner Music Group and Time Warner, claiming that mis management of resources and poor bookkeeping had cost the company millions of dollars In return, Warner countersued alleging that Maverick had lost tens of millions of dollars by itself. The dispute was resolved when the Maverick shares, owned by Madonna and Ronnie Dashev, were purchased by Warner. Madonna and Dashev’s company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music. In 2004 Madonna embarked on the Re-Invention World Tour in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Which became the subject of her documentary I’m Going to Tell You a Secret. Madonna was also inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame as one of its five founding members, along with The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, and U2. Rolling Stone ranked her at number 36 on its special issue of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2005, Madonna performed a cover version of the John Lennon song “Imagine” at Tsunami Aid and also performed at the Live 8 benefit concert in London in July 2005. Madonna also released Her tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, which won a Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album and featured the song, “Hung Up”, which went on to reach number one in 40 and 41 countries respectively, earning a place in Guinness World Record. The song contained a sample of ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)”, ABBA songwriter Björn Ulvaeus remarked “It is a wonderful track—100 per cent solid pop music.” The second single was “Sorry”.

In 2006 Madonna embarked on the Confessions Tour again causing controversy by using religious symbols, such as the crucifix and Crown of Thorns, in the performance of “Live to Tell”. This caused the Russian Orthodox Church and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia to urge all their members to boycott her concert. the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced officially that Madonna had sold over 200 million copies of her albums. While on tour Madonna participated in the Raising Malawi initiative by partially funding an orphanage in and traveling to that country. While there, she decided to adopt a boy named David Banda in October 2006. The adoption caused more controversy, because Malawian law requires would-be parents to reside in Malawi for one year before adopting, which Madonna did not do. Madonna also launched A clothing line titled M by Madonna, in collaboration with Swedish clothing retailer H&M, Consisting of leather trench coats, sequined shift dresses, cream-colored calf-length pants, and matching cropped jackets. H&M said the collection reflected Madonna’s “timeless, unique and always glamorous style.”

PART THREE

Madonna released the song “Hey You” for the Live Earth series of concerts. She also performed it at the London Live Earth concert. Madonna also produced and wrote I Am Because We Are, a documentary on the problems faced by Malawians which was directed by Nathan Rissman, who worked as Madonna’s gardener. She also directed her first film Filth and Wisdom which concerns three friends and their aspirations. In 2008, Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. Madonna did not sing at the ceremony but asked fellow Hall of Fame inductees and Michigan natives The Stooges to perform her songs “Burning Up” and “Ray of Light”. In 2008 Madonna released her eleventh studio album, Hard Candy, Which had R&B and urban pop influences, and featured collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Nate “Danja” Hills. It contained the song “4 Minutes” which became Madonna’s 37th top-ten hit and pushed Madonna past Elvis Presley as the artist with the most top-ten hits. At the 23rd Japan Gold Disc Awards, Madonna received her fifth Artist of the Year trophy from Recording Industry Association of Japan. Madonna also embarked on the Sticky & Sweet Tour; which became second highest-grossing tour of all time, behind The Rolling Stones’s A Bigger Bang Tour and remained the highest-grossing tour by a solo artist until Roger Waters’ The Wall Live in 2013. a book by Madonna’s brother Christopher “Life with My Sister Madonna,” was also published. In 2008 Madonna filed for divorce from Ritchie, citing irreconcilable differences. Madonna then decided to adopt a child from Malawi. The country’s High Court initially approved the adoption of Chifundo “Mercy” James; however, the application was rejected because Madonna was not a resident of the country. Madonna appealed, and on June 12, 2009, the Supreme Court of Malawi granted Madonna the right to adopt Mercy James.

In 2009 Madonna released her third greatest-hits album, Celebration, Containing the new songs “Celebration” and “Revolver” along with 34 hits. She also appeared at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, to pay tribute to deceased pop star Michael Jackson. In 2010 Madonna performed at the Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earth quake Relief concert and released Her third live album, Sticky & Sweet Tour. It also became her 20th top-ten album on the Oricon Albums Chart, breaking The Beatles’ record for the most top-ten album by an international act in Japan. An episode of The American television show Glee also featured eight cover versions of Madonna songs. Madonna then released the 1980’s inspired Material Girl clothing line, which she designed with her daughter, Lourdes and opened a series of fitness centers around the world named Hard Candy Fitness. Madonna and MG Icon also released the second fashion brand called Truth or Dare by Madonna to include footwear, underclothing, and accessories.

In 2011 Madonna directed her second feature film, W.E., a biographical film about the affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Co-written with Alek Keshishian it premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival in September 2011. Madonna contributed the ballad “Masterpiece” for the film’s soundtrack, which won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. In 2012 Madonna performed at Super Bowl XLVI halftime show,visualized by Cirque Du Soleil and Jamie King and featured special guests LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and Cee Lo Green. Madonna also released Her twelfth studio album, MDNA and collaborated with various producers including William Orbit and Martin Solveig. The song “Give Me All Your Luvin’”, also featured guest vocals from Minaj. However The subsequent MDNA Tour, featured controversial subjects such as violence, firearms, human rights, nudity and politics. Madonna won Top Touring Artist, Top Dance Artist and Top Dance Album At the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, and was named the top-earning celebrity of the year by Forbes. Madonna’s also released her fourth live album, MDNA World Tour, in 2013. Madonna’s Raising Malawi organization had also built ten schools to educate 4,000 children in Malawi

In 2013 Madonna Released a 17-minute film called secretprojectrevolution Working with photographer Steven Klein. The BitTorrent company was selected by Madonna to release the film as part of a Madonna bundle which consisted of the 17-minute film, its stills, a Vice interview, and a message from Madonna With the film she launched the Art for Freedom initiative, which helped to promote “art and free speech as a means to address persecution and injustice across the globe”. The website for the project has had over 3,000 art related submissions since its inception, with Madonna regularly monitoring and enlisting other artists like David Blaine and Katy Perry as guest curators. Madonna released thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart, in 2015 collaborating with Avicii, Diplo and Kanye West, and also embarked on the Rebel Heart Tour throughout North America, Europe and Asia and Australia. Madonna became embroiled in a legal battle with Ritchie, over the custody of their son Rocco. The dispute started when Rocco decided to continue living in England with Ritchie when the Rebel Heart Tour had visited there, while Madonna wanted him to return with her. Madonna eventually decided to withdraw her application for custody, and appealed for a mutual discussion about Rocco, between herself and Ritchie. During 2014 Madonna visited her hometown of Detroit and contributed funds to three of the city’s organizations, to help eliminate poverty. Extending her business ventures, the singer premiered MDNA Skin in 2014, a range of skin care products in Tokyo, Japan.In 2016 Billboard named Madonna its Woman of the Year. Her “blunt and brutally honest” speech at the ceremony received widespread coverage in the media.

Her upcoming projects include co-writing and directing a film adaptation of Andrew Sean Greer’s novel, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells. Tentatively titled Loved, the film would portray the protagonist’s relationship with her gay twin brother Felix . In November 2016, Madonna, who actively supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, performed an impromptu acoustic concert at Washington Square Park in support of Clinton’s campaign. Upset that Donald Trump won the election, Madonna spoke out against him at the Women’s March on Washington, a day after his inauguration. In 2017, Madonna also adopted four-year-old twin sisters from Malawi named Esther and Stella.

Wizard of Oz

The musical fantasy film the Wizard of Oz was released On 15 August 1939. It was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.The film stars Judy Garland; Terry the dog, billed as Toto; Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, with Charley Grapewin and Clara Blandick, and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins, with Pat Walshe as leader of the flying monkeys.

The Wizard of Oz tells the story of Dorothy Gale who finds herself swept up on an magical adventure after a tornado transports her house in Kansas to the magical land of Oz which is inhabited by Witches, Wizards, Fairies, talking Animals and other semtient beings. Here she encounters the diminutive local Munchkins and the Good Fairy Glinda and asks them how to get home. They suggest asking the Wizard of Oz to help, who lives in the Emerald City. so she must travel the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City where the Wizard of Oz lives. Along the way she encounters the Tin-man a Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, who for reasons of their own, all agree to accompany her to the Emerald City.

Meanwhile the evil Wicked Witch of the West is also after Dorothy because she inadvertantly killed the Witches’ sister “Elphaba” when the house landed in Oz, This angers the Wicked witch of the West and she continually tries to clobber Dorothy and the others and stop them reaching the Emerald City. Until eventually the Witches’ Flying Monkey servants successfully manage to kidnap one of the group along the way so they must all journey to the evil witches castle and mount a daring rescue attempt before defeating the Wicked Witch once and for all before  travelling to the Emerald City in order to return to Kansas.

The film is Notable for its use of Technicolor during a time when all other films were black and white, its fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters. Over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and has become part of American popular culture. It also featured in cinema what may be for the time the most elaborate use of character make-ups and special effects. Despite this It was not a box office success on its initial release, earning only $3,017,000 on a $2,777,000 budget, despite receiving largely positive reviews Wizard of Oz did not recoup much of the studio’s investment until subsequent re-releases when it was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture but lost out to Gone with the Wind. It did however win in two other categories including Best Original Song for “Over the Rainbow.” The song was ranked first in two list: the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs and the Recording Industry Association of America’s “365 Songs of the Century”.

The 1956 Television broadcasts of the film re-introduced the film to the public and subsequent broadcasts have made it an annual tradition staple and one of the most known films in cinema history. The film was named the most viewed motion picture on television syndication in history by the Library of Congress who also included the film in its National Film Registry in its inaugural year in 1989. Designation on the registry calls for efforts to preserve it for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant”. It is often included in the Top 10 Best Movies of All Time by critics’ and public polls. It is the source of many quotes referenced in modern popular culture. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming. Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but there were uncredited contributions by others. The songs were by Edgar “Yip” Harburg (lyrics) and Harold Arlen (music). The incidental music, based largely on the songs, was composed by Herbert Stothart, with interspersed renderings from classical composers.

David Crosby

American singer-songwriter and guitarist David Crosby was born in Los Angeles, California on August 14, 1941. His father Floyd Crosby, was an Academy Award–winning cinematographer and He is also the younger brother of musician Ethan Crosby. Growing up in California, he attended several schools, including the University Elementary School in Los Angeles, the Crane Country Day School in Montecito, and Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara. At Crane, he starred in HMS Pinafore and other musicals and He graduated from the Cate School in Carpinteria, completing his secondary studies by correspondence. Crosby briefly studied drama at Santa Barbara City College before dropping out to pursue a career in music. He became a member of the Les Baxter’s Balladeers and With the help of producer Jim Dickson, Crosby recorded his first solo session in 1963.

In 1964 Crosby joined Jim “Roger” McGuinn, Gene Clark, drummer Michael Clarke and bass player Chris Hillman on rhythm guitar to form The Byrds. Jim Dickson (the Byrds’ manager) knew Bob Dylan’s publisher, and the band obtained a demo of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and recorded a version of the song, featuring McGuinn’s 12-string guitar as well as McGuinn, Crosby, and Clark’s vocal harmonizing which became a huge hit in 1967. The Byrds second single was “All I Really Want to Do”. Together with McGuinn and Hillman Crosby became a prolific songwriter. writing the 1966 hit “Eight Miles High” and co-writing “Why” with McGuinn. Crosby persuaded the Byrds to record “Hey Joe” on their 1967 album Fifth Dimension. By Younger Than Yesterday.

Sadly Friction between Crosby and the other Byrds came to a head in mid-1967 after the Monterey Pop Festival, when Crosby’s onstage political diatribes between songs annoyed McGuinn and Hillman. He further annoyed his bandmates when, at the invitation of Stephen Stills, he substituted for an absent Neil Young during Buffalo Springfield’s set. This boiled over during recording of The Notorious Byrd Brothers album and Crosby Left the Byrds. Jefferson Airplane recorded the Crosby penned song “Triad” instead and released it on their album Crown of Creation in 1968. Crosby sang a solo acoustic version on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 1971 double live album Four Way Street. The Byrds’ version appeared on the 1988 Never Before release and is now available on The Notorious Byrd Brothers. In 1973, Crosby reunited with the original Byrds for the album Byrds, with Crosby acting as the album’s producer.

In 1968 After leaving the Byrds Crosby met Stephen Stills at a party at the home of Cass Elliot (of the Mamas and the Papas) in California, they were joined by Graham Nash, from the Hollies and Crosby Stills and Nash Played at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969 and released Their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash Which featured the songs”Guinnevere”, “Almost Cut My Hair”, “Long Time Gone”, and “Delta”. Crosby also co-wrote “Wooden Ships” with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and Stephen Stills. In 1969, Neil Young joined the group and they recorded the album Déjà Vu, featuring the songs “Almost Cut My Hair” and “Déjà Vu”. Tragically Crosby’s longtime girlfriend Christine Hinton was killed in a car accident only days after Hinton, Crosby, and Debbie Donovan moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. Crosby was devastated, and he began abusing drugs.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young then released double live album Four Way Street, before having a break to focuson their respective solo careers.In 1969, Crosby appeared with CSNY at the Altamont Free Concert, and also performed at Monterey Pop and Woodstock. In 1970 he joined Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart from Grateful Dead, billed as “David and the Dorks”. In 1971, Crosby also released his first solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, featuring contributions by Nash, Young, Joni Mitchell, and members of Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Santana.CSNY reunited in 1973 at the Winterland in San Francisco and embarked on a stadium tour in 1974. CSNY then recorded the Crosby song, “Little Blind Fish” And a greatest hits compilation entitled So Far was also released during 1974. During 1976, Crosby & Nash and Stills & Young worked seperately to produce a CSNY album but this ended bitterly after Stills and Young deleted Crosby and Nash’s vocals from their album Long May You Run. Following this CSNY did not perform together again as a foursome until Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985.

As a duo, Crosby & Nash (C&N) have released four studio albums and two live albums, including Another Stoney Evening, which features the duo in a 1971 acoustic performance with no supporting band. Some Crosby songs recorded by C&N in the 1970s include “Where Will I Be?”, “Carry Me”, “Bittersweet”, “Low Down Payment”, “Homeward Through the Haze”, “Time After Time”, “Dancer” and “Foolish Man”. During the mid-1970s, Crosby and Nash enjoyed lucrative careers as session musicians, with both performers (as a duo and individually) contributing harmonies and background vocals to albums by Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne (whom Crosby had initially championed as an emerging performer), Dave Mason, Rick Roberts, James Taylor (most notably “Lighthouse” and “Mexico”), Art Garfunkel, J.D. Souther, Carole King, Elton John, and Gary Wright. Crosby sang backup vocals on several Paul Kantner and Grace Slick albums from 1971 through 1974 and the Hot Tuna album Burgers in 1972. He also participated in composer Ned Lagin’s proto-ambient project Seastones along with members of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Starship.

During the late 1980s to the early 1990s Crosby occasionally worked with Phil Collins singing backup On “That’s Just the Way It Is” and “Another Day in Paradise”, and,Collins sang backup on Crosby’s 1993 song, “Hero”, from his album Thousand Roads, . In 1992, Crosby sang backup on the album Rites of Passage with the Indigo Girls on tracks 2 and 12. In 1999, he appeared on Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, singing a duet of the title track with Lucinda Williams. Crosby Stills and Nash also performed occasionally during1980s and 1990s (mainly at the annual Bridge School Benefit organized by Young’s wife Pegi). Without Young, however, Crosby, Stills & Nash toured in 1977 and 1982 after releasing the albums CSN and Daylight Again and toured from the 1980’s. Up to the present day.

In 1988 Crosby, Stills and Nash also released the albums American Dream (with Neil Young), Live It Up (1990), After The Storm (1994), and Looking Forward (1999, with Young). Crosby & Nash also released the self-titled album Crosby & Nash in 2004. Full-scale CSNY tours took place in 2000, 2002, and 2006. Crosby, Stills, and Nash appeared together on a 2008 episode of The Colbert Report, and “Neil Young” joined them during the musical performance at the end of the episode. However, eventually, it became clear that it was only Stephen Colbert impersonating Young as the group sang “Teach Your Children”. In 1996, Crosby formed CPR or Crosby, Pevar & Raymond with session guitarist Jeff Pevar, and pianist James Raymond, Crosby’s son. The group released two studio albums and two live albums featuringThe first song that Crosby and Raymond co-wrote, “Morrison” these included “Live at Cuesta College”,”Just Like Gravity”, and “Live at the Wiltern,” recorded at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, which features Phil Collins and Graham Nash.

In 2006, Crosby collaborated with David Gilmour on the album “On an Island” along with Nash. Crosby and Nash also performed live with Gilmour at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2006 and toured the United States,(featured on the 2007 DVD Remember That Night.)In January 2014, Crosby released his first solo album in 20 years, Croz, collaborating with his son James Raymond (of CPR). In 2016 Crosby released his fifth studio album Lighthouse featuring the song “Things We Do For Love” and embarked on an 18-date tour. Raymond has continued to perform with Crosby as part of the touring bands for C&N and CSN, as well as on solo Crosby projects, including 2014’s Croz and the subsequent tour, for which he served as musical director. Jeff Pevar has toured with many artists over his productive career, including CSN, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Marc Cohn, Phil Lesh & Friends, Jazz Is Dead, Rickie Lee Jones, Jefferson Starship and Bette Midler. Pevar has a solo record, From the Core, features the vocalist from Yes, Jon Anderson.

Crosby has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: once for his work in the Byrds and once for his work with CSN. Five albums he contributed to are included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, three with the Byrds and two with CSN(Y). He has been depicted as emblematic of the 1960s’ counterculture. He wrote or co-wrote “Lady Friend”, “Why”, and “Eight Miles High” with the Byrds and “Guinnevere”, “Wooden Ships”, “Shadow Captain”, and “In My Dreams” with Crosby, Stills & Nash. He wrote “Almost Cut My Hair” and the title track “Déjà Vu” for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 1970 album. He is known for his use of alternate guitar tunings and jazz influences.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The science fiction musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened in London On The 14 August 1975 and went on to become the longest-running release in film history. It concerns Brad Majors and Janet Weiss who find themselves lost and with a flat tyre on a cold and rainy late November evening, somewhere near Denton, Ohio. Seeking a telephone, the couple walk to a nearby castle where they discover a group of strange and outlandish people who are holding an Annual Transylvanian Convention. They are soon swept into the world of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a self-proclaimed “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania” and also meet Riff Raff, his sister Magenta, and a groupie named Columbia.

In his lab, Frank claims to have discovered the “secret to life itself”. His creation, Rocky, is brought to life. The ensuing celebration is soon interrupted by Eddie (an ex-delivery boy, both Frank and Columbia’s ex-lover, as well as partial brain donor to Rocky and proceeds to seduce Columbia but Eddie is killed by Frank. Brad and Janet are shown to separate bedrooms, where each is visited and seduced by Frank, who poses as Brad (when visiting Janet) and then as Janet (when visiting Brad). Janet finds Brad in bed with Frank and discovers Rocky hiding from Riff Raff, who has been tormenting him. While tending to his wounds, Janet becomes intimate with Rocky while Magenta and Columbia are watching.

Frank returns to the lab with Brad and Riff Raff, to look for Rocky and discovers that Brad and Janet’s old high school science teacher, Dr. Everett Scott, has come looking for his nephew, Eddie. Although Frank suspects that Dr. Scott actually investigates UFOs for the government. Upon learning of Brad and Janet’s connection to Dr. Scott, Frank suspects them of working for him. Frank, Dr. Scott, Brad, and Riff Raff then discover Janet and Rocky together. Later on Janet, Brad, Dr. Scott, Rocky, and Columbia all meet in Frank’s lab, where Frank captures them with the Medusa Transducer. Then Riff Raff, Magenta and Frank reveal that they are aliens from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania…

Mark Knopfler/Tanita Tikram/Pete Sampras

Mark Knopfler, the singer-songwriter and guitarist with British rock band, Dire Straits, was born 12th August 1949. Formed in 1977 by Brothers Mark (lead vocals and lead guitar)and David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), and friends John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals, and Pick Withers (drums and percussion), they recorded a five-song demo tape which included their future hit single, “Sultans of Swing”, as well as “Water of Love”, “Down to the Waterline”, “Wild West End” and David Knopfler’s “Sacred Loving”.The group’s first album, was intitled Dire Straits the album had little promotion when initially released in the United Kingdom However, the album came to the attention of A&R representative Karin Berg, working at Warner Bros. Records in New York City. She felt that it was the kind of music audiences were hungry for, That same year, Dire Straits began a tour as opening band for the Talking Heads after the re-released “Sultans of Swing” which scaled the charts to number four in the United States and number eight in the United Kingdom. The song was one of Dire Straits’ biggest hits and became a fixture in the band’s live performances. “

Recording sessions for the group’s second album, Communiqué, took place in December 1978, Released in June 1979 Communiqué Featured the single “Lady Writer”, the second album continued in a similar vein as the first and displayed the expanding scope of Knopfler’s lyricism on the opening track, “Once Upon a Time in the West”. In 1980, Dire Straits werenominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “Sultans Of Swing.In July 1980 the band started recording tracks for their third album. Making Movies which featured longer songs with more complex arrangements, a style which would continue for the rest of the band’s career. The album featured many of Mark Knopfler’s most personal compositions. The most successful chart single was “Romeo and Juliet” and was released in October 1980.

Dire Straits’ fourth studio album Love Over Gold, an album of songs filled with lengthy, experimental passages, was well received when it was released in September 1982, going gold in America and spending four weeks at number one in the United Kingdom, its main chart hit, “Private Investigations”, gave Dire Straits their first top 5 hit single in the United Kingdom, where it reached the number 2 position despite its almost seven-minute length, and became another of the band’s most popular live songs. along with “Industrial Disease”, a song that looks at the decline of the British manufacturing industry in the early 1980s. In 1983, a four-song EP titled ExtendedancEPlay was released while Love Over Gold was still in the album charts. It featured the hit single “Twisting By the Pool”. Dire Straits also embarked on a world tour. wgich resulted in The double album Alchemy Live, a recording of two live concerts of the group at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in July 1983, was released in March 1984.

Dire Straits returned to the recording studios at the end of 1984 to record their biggest selling album to date, Brothers in Arms, which has so far sold over 30 million copies and contains the songs “Money for Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”, “Your Latest Trick” and “Brothers in Arms”. Released in May 1985, Brothers In Arms entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 and spent a total of 228 weeks in the charts, It went on to become the best-selling album of 1985 in the UK, “Money for Nothing” was also the first video ever to be played on MTV in Britain and featured guest vocals by Sting, who is credited with co-writing the song with Mark Knopfler, although in fact, it was just the inclusion of the melody line from “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.Brothers in Arms was among the first albums recorded on digital equipment due to Knopfler pushing for improved sound quality The album’s title track is reported to be the world’s first CD single. The album is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first compact disc to sell a million copies, and has been credited with helping to popularise the CD form

Their sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band’s early years, the band’s stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more “rootsy” influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits’ compositions were melancholic and they have gone on to became one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million. making them One of the world’s best selling music artists, and their fifth album, Brothers in Arms, has won many accolades. In November 2009, Dire Straits were honoured by the new PRS for Music Heritage Award. A special blue plaque was erected at Farrer House, Church Street, Deptford in south London, where the original group, Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers once shared a council flat and performed their first ever gig in 1977. PRS for Music has set up the Heritage Award to recognise the unusual “performance birthplaces” of famous bands and artists. Dire Straits have also won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards. The band’ most popular songs include “Sultans of Swing”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Tunnel of Love”, “Private Investigations” .Dire Straits’ career spanned 18 years. There were several changes in personnel over that period, leaving Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as the only two original bandmates who had remained throughout the band’s career. Dire Straits disbanded in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full time as a solo artist. Since then he has recorded many great solo albums including Privateering and Tracker

===========================================

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TANITA TIKARAM

British pop/folk singer-songwriter,Tanita Tikaram was born 12 August 1969, She is best known for the hits “Twist in My Sobriety” and “Good Tradition” from her 1988 debut album, Ancient Heart. Tikaram started singing in nightclubs while she was still a teenager. Her debut album, Ancient Heart, was released in September 1988 when she was 19-years-old.The album peaked at Number 3 in the United Kingdom, where it was certified Double Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. It also became an international hit and led to a world concert tour. The singles “Good Tradition” and “Twist In My Sobriety” were Top 10 hits in Europe. Tikaram’s second album, The Sweet Keeper, was released in 1990. While it also peaked at Number 3 in the UK, it was less successful than her debut, earning just a Gold disc. No singles from the album were Top 40 hits.

The album Everybody’s Angel followed in 1991, with Jennifer Warnes providing vocals on two tracks, including the lead single “Only The Ones We Love” The album was less successful than her previous releases, peaking at Number 19 in the UK. 1992 saw the release of Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness. And in 1995, she released Lovers in the City. In 1998 she released The Cappuccino Songs, which was produced by Marco Sabiu and one of the singles off the album, “I Don’t Wanna Lose At Love”, was remixed by the Asian Dub Foundation. She then retired from the music scene for several years. In 2005, Tikaram released the album, Sentimental, which features two collaborations with Nick Lowe. Tikaram began recording her eighth studio album in 2010 and also played some “acoustic sessions” live dates in Europe from September to November 2011, her first tour in 10 years. Tikaram’s eighth studio album, Can’t Go Back, was released 2012 and contained the single, “Dust On My Shoes”, was released digitally on 11 May 2012

==========================================

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETE SAMPRAS

Greek American tennis player and former world number 1.Peter “Pete” Sampras was born August 12, 1971 During his 14-year tour career, he won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and became recognized as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.Sampras debuted on the professional tour in 1988 and played his last top-level tournament in 2002 when he won the US Open, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final. He was the year-end world no. 1 for six consecutive years (1993–1998), a record for the Open Era. His seven Wimbledon singles championships is an Open Era record shared with Roger Federer, while Sampras’ five US Open singles titles is an Open Era record shared with both Federer and former World No. 1 player Jimmy Connors. Sampras is the last American male to win Wimbledon (2000) and the ATP World Tour Finals (1999)

Greek American tennis player and former world number 1. Peter “Pete” Sampras was born August 12, 1971 During his 14-year tour career, he won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and became recognized as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.Sampras debuted on the professional tour in 1988 and played his last top-level tournament in 2002 when he won the US Open, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final. He was the year-end world no. 1 for six consecutive years (1993–1998), a record for the Open Era. His seven Wimbledon singles championships is an Open Era record shared with Roger Federer, while Sampras’ five US Open singles titles is an Open Era record shared with both Federer and former World No. 1 player Jimmy Connors. Sampras is the last American male to win Wimbledon (2000) and the ATP World Tour Finals (1999)