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The R&B artist known as Betty Wright was born Bessie Regina Norris in 1953 in Florida. The youngest in a large family, Betty began part of her sibling’s gospel group when she was still a preschooler, and she performed with her family until 1965, when she was only eleven year olds. At that time, Wright caught the attention of record labels, and she was signed to her first contract when she was only twelve. Initially, Betty rose to local fame with the singles &ldqu...Betty Wright Bio Continue
The rapper known as Big Daddy Kane was born Antonio Hardy in 1968 in Queens, New York. In the early 1980’s, Big Daddy Kane teamed up with Biz Markie to form both a songwriting partnership and the duo Juice Crew, which led to his own debut single, “Raw,” in 1987. The song was an underground sensation, spawning a career which would last well up to the new millennium. Long Live the Kane, Big Daddy Kane’s debut album, was released in 1988 and featured “...Big Daddy Kane Bio Continue
World renowned jazz drummer and composer Billy Cobham was born in 1944 in Panama. Cobham grew up in New York City and studied at the High School of Music and Art. After graduating in 1962, Billy first played for the U.S. Army Band, and then returned to the New York music scene, performing around the city and introducing New Yorkers to a unique blend jazz fusion, incorporating elements of of funk, jazz, and rock. In 1971, Billy Cobham began to tour extensively with Miles Davis, a...Billy Cobham Bio Continue
The American actor and comedian Billy Crystal was born in 1948 in New York. Long before Crystal became one of the era’s most beloved comedians, appearing in such blockbuster hits as When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers, he grew up in Long Beach, on Long Island. Billy’s father was a music producer and promoter who unfortunately passed away when Billy was a teenager. But Billy followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a career in the entertainment industry, alt...Billy Crystal Bio Continue
Billy Idol was one of the artists of the 1980’s whose launch to stardom was perfectly timed with the launch of the first television video network, MTV. A good-looking “bad boy,” Billy Idol was the precise combination of attitude, sound, and presence to fully capitalize on the video craze and what it had to offer. Billy Idol was born in 1955 in Middlesex, England. As a young man, he joined a group of punk rockers who idolized the Sex Pistols, and learned quickly...Billy Idol Bio Continue
The recording artist known as Billy Ocean was born Leslie Sebastian Charles in 1950 in Fyzabad, Trinidad and Tobago. Billy grew up in Essex, England, and as a child he was greatly influenced by his father, who was also a musician. As a teenager, Ocean frequented the clubs around London until he was discovered by a manager who saw his potential as a recording artist. Billy Ocean recorded his self-titled debut album in 1976, featuring the song “Love Really ...Billy Ocean Bio Continue
Billy Squire was born in 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts. Squire grew up influenced by the music of Eric Clapton, and while growing up he learned to play the guitar. After high school he attended Berklee College of Music, and in the early 1970’s he established his first band, Kicks, before joining the band Piper. The band fared pretty well; they opened for KISS during their tours in the late 1970’s and received positive reviews from the critics. After leavi...Billy Squier Bio Continue
Biz Markie was born Marcel Theo Hall in 1964 in New Jersey. In the early 1980’s, Markie began rapping and beat-boxing around Long Island, and released his debut single “Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz,” in the mid 1980’s. His light-hearted, humorous approach to rap garnered him some attention, and by the time his debut album, Goin’ Off, was released in 1988, he’d already established a local following. Biz’s sophomore effort, The Biz ...Biz Markie Bio Continue
The band Blondie originally came together when Chris Stein joined The Stilettos in 1973 and formed a romance with Deborah Harry, one of the band’s vocalists. The rest, they say, is history. As early pioneers of the 1970’s punk and New Wave scene, Stein and Harry originally created the band Angel and the Snakes, but renamed themselves Blondie in 1975. Drummer Billy O’Connor and bassist Fred Smith came on board, and Blondie was released in 1977. The Aust...Blondie Bio Continue
The band Blue Oyster Cult began in the late 1960’s on Long Island, in New York, when Albert Bouchard, Donald Roeser, and Bruce Abbott came together to create the band The Disciples, playing local venues and college parties while attending college in Potsdam, New York. Later incarnations of the band would include the name Travesty, with other musicians, but eventually Albert and Donald forged ahead, adding some other band members, and the seeds for Blue Oyster Cult were planted. ...Blue Oyster Cult Bio Continue
Irish singer, songwriter, and political activist Bob Geldof was born Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof in 1951 in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Before rising to prominence in the music industry, Geldof worked a variety of odd jobs, until he was hired to work as a journalist for the music publication The Georgia Straight. The experience led to his interest in a career as a musician, and so in 1975 he...Bob Geldof Bio Continue
Bob Newhart was born in 1929 in Chicago. He grew up in a working-class household, and after graduating from Loyola University of Chicago in 1952, he was drafted into the army during the Korean War. Following his discharge, he began working as an accountant and then as an advertising copywriter. It was here that a friendship with a co-worker inadvertently launched Newhart’s acting career; the two of them would frequently record comedic conversations and send them out to radio stations...Bob Newhart Bio Continue
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