Friday 2pm: Feature Artist – Roger Waters / Pink Floyd

George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943) is an English songwriter, singer, bassist, and composer. In 1965, he co-founded the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. Waters initially served solely as the bassist, but following the departure of songwriter Syd Barrett in 1968, he also became their lyricist, co-lead vocalist, and conceptual leader.

Pink Floyd achieved international success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979). By the early 1980s, they had become one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful groups in popular music; by 2013, they had sold more than 250 million albums worldwide. Amid creative differences, Waters left in 1985 and began a legal dispute with the remaining members over the use of the band’s name and material. They settled out of court in 1987.

Waters’ solo work includes the studio albums The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984), Radio K.A.O.S. (1987), Amused to Death (1992), and Is This the Life We Really Want? (2017). In 2005, he released Ça Ira, an opera translated from Étienne and Nadine Roda-Gils’ libretto about the French Revolution.

In 1990, Waters staged one of the largest rock concerts in history, The Wall – Live in Berlin, with an attendance of 450,000. As a member of Pink Floyd, he was inducted into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Later that year, he reunited with Pink Floyd bandmates Mason, Wright and David Gilmour for the Live 8 global awareness event, the group’s first appearance with Waters since 1981. He has toured extensively as a solo act since 1999; he performed The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety for his world tour of 2006–2008, and the Wall Live tour of 2010–13 was the highest-grossing tour by a solo artist at the time.

Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining a following as a psychedelic band, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows, and became a leading band of the progressive rock genre. They are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.

Pink Floyd were founded by students Syd Barrett (guitar and lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass and vocals), and Richard Wright (keyboards and vocals). Under Barrett’s leadership, they released two charting singles and a successful debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined in December 1967; Barrett left in April 1968 due to deteriorating mental health. Waters became their primary lyricist and thematic leader, devising the concepts behind the albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979) and The Final Cut (1983). The band also composed several film scores.

Following personal tensions, Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979, followed by Waters in 1985. Gilmour and Mason continued as Pink Floyd, joined later by Wright. The three produced two more albums—A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994)—and continued to tour before quietly disbanding in 1995. In 2005, all the members except Barrett reunited for a one-off performance at the global awareness event Live 8. Barrett died in 2006, and Wright in 2008. The last Pink Floyd studio album, The Endless River (2014), was recorded without Waters and based almost entirely on unreleased material from The Division Bell recording sessions.

Pink Floyd are considered one of the first groups of British psychedelia and are credited with inspiring the development of genres such as progressive rock and ambient music. They had four albums that topped US or UK record charts; the songs “See Emily Play” (1967) and “Another Brick in the Wall” (1982) were the group’s only top 10 singles in either territory. The band were inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. By 2013, they had sold more than 250 million records worldwide, with The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall two of the best-selling albums of all time.

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