Wednesday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Leo Sayer

May 22, 2019
Editor In Chief

Leo Sayer (born Gerard Hugh Sayer, May 21, 1948) is an English-Australian singer-songwriter musician and entertainer whose singing career has spanned four decades. He is now an Australian citizen and resident.

Sayer launched his career in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, and became a top singles and album act on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1970s. His first seven hit singles in the United Kingdom all reached the Top 10 – a feat first registered by his first manager, Adam Faith. His songs have been sung by other notable artists, including Cliff Richard (“Dreaming”).

Tuesday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Cher

May 21, 2019
Editor In Chief

Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian; May 20, 1946) is an American singer and actress. Commonly referred to by the media as the Goddess of Pop, she has been described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry. She is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in numerous areas of entertainment, as well as adopting a variety of styles and appearances during her six-decade-long career.

Cher gained popularity in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher after their song “I Got You Babe” reached number one on the American and British charts. By the end of 1967, they had sold 40 million records worldwide and had become, according to Time magazine, rock’s “it” couple. She began her solo career simultaneously, releasing in 1966 her first million-seller song, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”. She became a television personality in the 1970s with her shows The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, watched by over 30 million viewers weekly during its three-year run, and Cher. She emerged as a fashion trendsetter by wearing elaborate outfits on her television shows.

While working on television, Cher established herself as a solo artist with the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”, “Half-Breed”, and “Dark Lady”. After her divorce from Sonny Bono in 1975, she launched a comeback in 1979 with the disco album Take Me Home and earned $300,000 a week for her 1980–1982 concert residency in Las Vegas.

In 1982, Cher made her Broadway debut in the play Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and starred in its film adaptation. She subsequently received critical acclaim for her performances in films such as Silkwood (1983), Mask (1985), The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and Moonstruck (1987), with the latter having earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress. She then revived her musical career by recording the rock-inflected albums Cher (1987), Heart of Stone (1989) and Love Hurts (1991), all of which yielded successful singles such as “I Found Someone”, “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “Love and Understanding”.

Cher reached a new commercial peak in 1998 with the dance-pop album Believe, whose title track became the biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist in the UK. It features the pioneering use of Auto-Tune, also known as the “Cher effect”. Her 2002–2005 Living Proof: The Farewell Tour became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time, earning $250 million. In 2008, she signed a $180 million deal to headline the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for three years. In 2018, Cher returned to film for her first on-screen role since 2010’s Burlesque, starring in the musical romantic comedy film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Inspired by the film, the album Dancing Queen (2018) debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, tying with 2013’s Closer to the Truth for Cher’s highest-charting solo album in the U.S.

Cher has won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and an award from the Kennedy Center Honors and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, among several other honors. She has sold 100 million records worldwide to date, becoming one of the best-selling music artists in history. She is the only artist to date to have a number-one single on a Billboard chart in six consecutive decades, from the 1960s to the 2010s. Outside of her music and acting, she is noted for her political views, philanthropic endeavors, and social activism, including LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Monday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Joe Cocker

May 20, 2019
Editor In Chief

John Robert Cocker OBE (May 20,1944 – December 22, 2014), better known as Joe Cocker, was an English singer. He was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance, and distinctive versions of popular songs of varying genres.

Cocker’s recording of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends” reached number one in the UK in 1968. He performed the song live at Woodstock in 1969 and performed the same year at the Isle of Wight Festival, and at the Party at the Palace concert in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. His version also became the theme song for the TV series The Wonder Years. His 1974 cover of “You Are So Beautiful” reached number five in the US. Cocker was the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his US number one “Up Where We Belong”, a duet with Jennifer Warnes.

In 1993, Cocker was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, in 2007 was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Cocker was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers list.

Cocker died from lung cancer on December 22, 2014 in Crawford, Colorado, at the age of 70. He had smoked 40 cigarettes a day until he quit in 1991. The two remaining living ex-Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, were among those who paid tribute to the singer, while Cocker’s agent, Barrie Marshall, said that Cocker was “without doubt the greatest rock/soul singer ever to come out of Britain”.

Friday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Ramones

May 17, 2019
Editor In Chief

The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success initially, the band was highly influential in the United States and the United Kingdom.

All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, although none of them were biologically related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. By 2014, all four of the band’s original members had died – lead singer Joey Ramone (1951–2001), bass guitarist Dee Dee Ramone (1951–2002), guitarist Johnny Ramone (1948–2004) and drummer Tommy Ramone (1949–2014).

Recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and are now mentioned in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as number 26 in the Rolling Stone magazine list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” and number 17 in VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only the Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the original four members and Tommy’s replacement on drums, Marky Ramone, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on their first year of eligibility, though Joey had died by then. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thursday 11am: Spot Light Artist – George Strait

May 16, 2019
Editor In Chief

George Harvey Strait Sr. (born May 18, 1952) is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer. George Strait is known as the “King of Country” and is considered one of the most influential and popular recording artists of all time. He is known for his neotraditionalist country style, cowboy look, and being one of the first and main country artists to bring country music back to its roots and away from the pop country era in the 1980s.

Strait’s success began when his first single “Unwound” was a hit in 1981. During the 1980s, seven of his albums reached number one on the country charts. In the 2000s, Strait was named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music, was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and won his first Grammy award for the album Troubadour. Strait was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1989, 1990 and 2013, and ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1990 and 2014. He has been nominated for more CMA and ACM awards and has more wins in both categories than any other artist.

By 2009, he broke Conway Twitty’s previous record for the most number-one hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart when his 44 number one singles surpassed Twitty’s 40. Counting all music charts, Strait has amassed a total of 60 number-one hits, breaking a record also previously set by Twitty, and giving him more number one songs than any other artist in any genre of music.

Strait is also known for his touring career when he designed a 360-degree configuration and introduced festival style tours. For example, the Strait Tours earned $99 million in three years. His concert at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in June 2014 drew 104,793 people, marking a new record for largest indoor concert in North America. Strait was successful innovating country music and in numerous aspects of being a part of popular music.

Strait has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His certifications from the RIAA include 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold albums. His best-selling album is Pure Country (1992), which sold 6 million (6× platinum). His highest certified album is Strait Out of the Box (1995), which sold 2 million copies (8× Platinum due to being a box set with four CDs). According to the RIAA, Strait is the 12th best-selling album recording artist in the United States overall.

Wednesday 11am: Spot Light Artist – Janet Jackson

May 15, 2019
Editor In Chief

Janet Damita Jo Jackson (born May 16, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer. A prominent figure in popular culture, she is known for sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, and elaborate stage shows.

The youngest child of the Jackson family, she began her career with the variety television series The Jacksons in 1976 and went on to appear in other television shows throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including Good Times and Fame. After signing a recording contract with A&M Records in 1982, she became a pop icon following the release of her third and fourth studio albums Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989). Her collaborations with record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis incorporated elements of rhythm and blues, funk, disco, rap and industrial beats, which led to crossover success in popular music.

In 1991 Jackson signed the first of two record-breaking multimillion-dollar contracts with Virgin Records, establishing her as one of the highest-paid artists in the industry. Her fifth album Janet (1993) saw her develop a public image as a sex symbol as she began to explore sexuality in her music. That same year, she appeared in her first starring film role in Poetic Justice; she has since continued to act in feature films. Jackson then released her sixth studio album The Velvet Rope (1997), which is distinguished for its innovative production and dark lyrical content. By the end of the 1990s, she was named by Billboard magazine as the second most successful recording artist of the decade after Mariah Carey. Her seventh album All for You (2001) coincided with a celebration of her impact on the recording industry as the inaugural MTV Icon. After parting ways with Virgin Records, she released her tenth album Discipline (2008), her first and only album with Island Records. In 2015, she partnered with BMG Rights Management to launch her own record label, Rhythm Nation, and released her eleventh album Unbreakable the same year.

Having sold over 180 million records, Jackson is one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. She has amassed an extensive catalog, with singles such as “Nasty”, “Rhythm Nation”, “That’s the Way Love Goes”, “Together Again” and “All for You”; she holds the record for the most consecutive top-ten entries on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by a female artist with 18. In 2008, Billboard placed her number seven on its list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, and in 2010 ranked her fifth among the “Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years”. In December 2016, the magazine named her the second most successful dance club artist of all-time after Madonna. She has been cited as an inspiration among numerous performers. Jackson was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.

Tuesday 11am: Spot Lite Artist – Talking Heads

May 14, 2019
Editor In Chief

Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), and Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar). Described by the critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine as “one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the ’80s,” the group helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock, funk, and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and an anxious, clean-cut image.

Former art school students who became involved in the 1970s New York punk scene, Talking Heads released their debut album, Talking Heads: 77, to positive reviews in 1977. They collaborated with producer Brian Eno on a trio of experimental and critically acclaimed releases: More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), Fear of Music (1979), and Remain in Light (1980). After a hiatus, Talking Heads hit their commercial peak in 1983 with the U.S. Top 10 hit “Burning Down the House” and released the concert film Stop Making Sense, directed by Jonathan Demme. They released several more albums, including their best-selling LP Little Creatures (1985), before disbanding in 1991.

In 2002, Talking Heads were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four of their albums appear in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and three of their songs (“Psycho Killer”, “Life During Wartime”, and “Once in a Lifetime”) were included among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. Talking Heads were also number 64 on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In the 2011 update of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, they were ranked number 100.

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