Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years. With his distinctive raspy voice and a stage show that features numerous props, including guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, reptiles, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be “The Godfather of Shock Rock”. He has drawn equally from horror films, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people.
Originating in Phoenix, Arizona in 1964, “Alice Cooper” was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and Neal Smith on drums. The original Alice Cooper band released their debut album in 1969, and broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit song “I’m Eighteen”. The band reached their commercial peak in 1973 with their sixth studio album Billion Dollar Babies. The band broke up in 1975 and Furnier adopted the band’s name as his own name, beginning his solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare.
Expanding from his detroit rock roots, Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, glam metal, and industrial rock. He is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and has been described as the artist who “first introduced horror imagery to rock and roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre”. He is also known for his witty and humorous personality offstage, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide calling him the world’s most “beloved heavy metal entertainer”. Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper.