Ronnie Lee Milsap (born Ronald Lee Millsaps; January 16, 1943) is an American country music singer and pianist. He was one of country music’s most popular and influential performers of the 1970s and 1980s. He became one of the most successful and versatile country “crossover” singers of his time, appealing to both country and pop music markets with hit songs that incorporated pop, R&B, and rock and roll elements. His biggest crossover hits include “It Was Almost Like a Song”, “Smoky Mountain Rain”, “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me”, “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World”, “Any Day Now”, and “Stranger in My House”. He is credited with six Grammy Awards and 35 number-one country hits, third to George Strait and Conway Twitty. He was selected for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
In October 2018, Billboard announced that Milsap would release a duets album, titled Ronnie Milsap: The Duets in January 2019. The album was released on January 18, 2019.
Milsap’s son, Ronald Todd Milsap, was found dead on February 23, 2019, on his houseboat. Ronald Todd’s son, who had not heard from his father for the past two days, found the body. Ronald Todd was 49.
Joyce Reeves Milsap, wife, died on Sept. 6, 2021 She was 81.
AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 75 million albums in the United States, making them the ninth-highest-selling artist in the United States and the 16th-best-selling artist worldwide. Back in Black has sold an estimated 50 million units worldwide, making it the third-highest-selling album by any artist, and the highest-selling album by any band. The album has sold 22 million units in the US, where it is the sixth-highest-selling album of all time. AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and were named the seventh “Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time” by MTV. In 2004, AC/DC ranked No. 72 on the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Producer Rick Rubin, who wrote an essay on the band for the Rolling Stone list, referred to AC/DC as “the greatest rock and roll band of all time”. In 2010, VH1 ranked AC/DC number 23 in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
Patty Loveless (born Patricia Lee Ramey; January 4, 1957), is an American country music singer. Since emerging on the country music scene in late 1986 with her first (self-titled) album, Loveless has been one of the most popular female singers of neotraditional country. She also recorded albums in the country pop and bluegrass genres. Loveless was born in Pikeville, Kentucky, and raised in Elkhorn City, Kentucky, and Louisville, Kentucky. She rose to stardom thanks to her blend of honky tonk and country-rock and a plaintive, emotional ballad style. Loveless has sold 15 million albums worldwide.
Loveless has charted more than 40 songs on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including five number ones: “Timber, I’m Falling in Love”, “Chains”, “Blame It on Your Heart”, “You Can Feel Bad”, and “Lonely Too Long”. She has also released 16 studio albums; in the United States, four of these albums have been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and two have been certified gold. She has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1988. Loveless was married to Terry Lovelace, from whom she derived her professional name, from 1976 to 1986. She has been married to record producer Emory Gordy Jr. since 1989.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known professionally as Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s and became known as the “Queen of Disco”, while her music gained a global following.
Influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, Summer became the lead singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. In 1968 she joined a German adaptation of the musical Hair in Munich, where she spent several years living, acting, and singing. There, she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, and they went on to record influential disco hits together such as “Love to Love You Baby” and “I Feel Love”, marking Summer’s breakthrough into international music markets. Summer returned to the United States in 1976, and more hits such as “Last Dance”, her version of “MacArthur Park”, “Heaven Knows”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” with Barbra Streisand, and “On the Radio” followed.
Summer earned a total of 42 hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 in her lifetime, with 14 of those reaching the top ten. She claimed a top-40 hit every year between 1975 and 1984, and from her first top-ten hit in 1976, to the end of 1982, she had 12 top-ten hits (10 were top-five hits), more than any other act during that time period. She returned to the Hot 100’s top five in 1983, and claimed her final top-ten hit in 1989 with “This Time I Know It’s for Real”. She was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach the top of the US Billboard 200 chart and charted four number-one singles in the US within a 12-month period. She also charted two number-one singles on the R&B Singles chart in the US and a number-one single in the United Kingdom. Her most recent Hot 100 hit came in 1999 with “I Will Go with You (Con te partirò)”. While her fortunes on the Hot 100 waned in subsequent decades, Summer remained a force on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart throughout her entire career.
Summer died on May 17, 2012, from lung cancer, at her home in Naples, Florida. She sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She won five Grammy Awards. In her obituary in The Times, she was described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.” Moroder described Summer’s work on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In December 2016, Billboard ranked her sixth on its list of the “Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists”.
Susan Kay “Suzy” Bogguss (born December 30, 1956) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Bogguss began her career in the early 1980s as a solo singer. In the 1990s, she released one platinum and three gold albums and charted six top ten singles, winning the Academy of Country Music’s award for Top New Female Vocalist and the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award.
After taking a brief recording hiatus in the mid-1990s to start a family with her husband, songwriter Doug Crider, Bogguss returned to the country music industry, but did not match her earlier success. Although she last appeared on the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart in 2001, Bogguss continues to record and tour extensively.
Elena Jane Goulding (born 30 December 1986) is an English singer and songwriter. Her career began when she met record producers Starsmith and Frankmusik, and she was later spotted by Jamie Lillywhite, who later became her manager and A&R. After signing to Polydor Records in July 2009, Goulding released her debut extended play, An Introduction to Ellie Goulding later that year.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is an American country rock band formed in 1966. The group has existed in various forms since its founding in Long Beach, California. The band’s membership has had at least a dozen changes over the years, including a period from 1976 to 1981 when the band performed and recorded as the Dirt Band.
Constant members since the early times are singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna and drummer Jimmie Fadden. Multi-instrumentalist John McEuen was with the band from 1966 to 1986 and returned during 2001, staying 16 years, then departing again in November 2017. Keyboardist Bob Carpenter joined the band in 1977. The band is often cited as instrumental to the progression of contemporary country and roots music.
The band’s successes include a cover version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles”. Albums include 1972’s Will the Circle be Unbroken, featuring such traditional country artists as Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, and Jimmy Martin. A follow-up album based on the same concept, Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two was released in 1989, was certified gold, won two Grammys, and was named Album of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards.
Steven Noel Wariner (born December 25, 1954) is an American country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. Initially a backing musician for Dottie West, he also worked with Bob Luman and Chet Atkins before beginning a solo career in the late 1970s. He has released eighteen studio albums and over fifty singles for several different record labels.
Wariner experienced his greatest chart successes in the 1980s, recording first for RCA Records Nashville and then MCA Nashville. While on these labels he sent a number of singles into the top ten of the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and received favorable critical reception for the amount of creative control he held over his body of work. Upon moving to Arista Nashville in 1991 he had his most commercially successful album I Am Ready, his first to be certified gold, but followups were less successful. After a period of commercial downfall, he experienced a second wave of success in the late 1990s which was spurred by co-writing the number-one singles “Longneck Bottle” by Garth Brooks and “Nothin’ but the Taillights” by Clint Black. These songs led to him signing with Capitol Records Nashville and achieving two more gold albums with Burnin’ the Roadhouse Down and Two Teardrops by decade’s end. While his commercial success once again dwindled after these albums, he has continued to record independently on his own SelecTone label.
Ten of Wariner’s singles have reached the number-one position on the Hot Country Songs charts: “All Roads Lead to You”, “Some Fools Never Learn”, “You Can Dream of Me”, “Life’s Highway”, “Small Town Girl”, “The Weekend”, “Lynda”, “Where Did I Go Wrong”, “I Got Dreams”, and “What If I Said” (a duet with Anita Cochran). Wariner holds several writing credits for both himself and other artists, and has collaborated with Nicolette Larson, Glen Campbell, Diamond Rio, Brad Paisley, Asleep at the Wheel, and Mark O’Connor among others. He has also won four Grammy Awards: one for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, and three for Best Country Instrumental. In addition to these he has won three Country Music Association awards and one Academy of Country Music award, and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Wariner’s musical style is defined by his lead guitar work, lyrical content, and stylistic diversity.
John David Anderson (born December 13, 1954) is an American country music singer and songwriter with a successful career that has lasted more than 40 years. Starting in 1977 with the release of his first single, “I’ve Got a Feelin’ (Somebody’s Been Stealin’)”, Anderson has charted more than 40 singles on the Billboard country music charts, including five number ones: “Wild and Blue”, “Swingin'”, “Black Sheep”, “Straight Tequila Night”, and “Money in the Bank”. He has also recorded 22 studio albums on several labels. His newest album, Years, was released on April 10, 2020, on the Easy Eye Sound label and was produced by Nashville veteran producer David Ferguson and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Anderson was inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame on October 5, 2014.
Alabama is an American country and Southern rock band formed in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1969. The band was founded by Randy Owen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass, backing vocals). They were soon joined by another cousin, Jeff Cook (lead guitar, fiddle, and keyboards). First operating under the name Wild Country, the group toured the Southeast bar circuit in the early 1970s, and began writing original songs. They changed their name to Alabama in 1977 and following the chart success of two singles, were approached by RCA Nashville for a record deal.
Alabama’s biggest success came in the 1980s, where the band had over 27 number one hits, seven multi-platinum albums and received numerous awards. Alabama’s first single on RCA Records, “Tennessee River”, began a streak of 21 number one singles, including “Love in the First Degree” (1981), “Mountain Music” (1982), “Dixieland Delight” (1983), “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” (1984) and “Song of the South” (1988). The band’s popularity waned slightly in the 1990s although they continued to produce hit singles and multi-platinum album sales. Alabama disbanded in 2004 following a farewell tour and two albums of inspirational music but reunited in 2010 and have continued to record and tour worldwide.
The band’s blend of traditional country music and Southern rock combined with elements of bluegrass, folk, gospel and pop music gave it a crossover appeal that helped lead to their success. They also toured extensively and incorporated production elements such as lighting and “sets” inspired by rock concerts into their shows. The band has over 41 number one country records on the Billboard charts to their credit and have sold over 75 million records, making them the most successful band in country music history. AllMusic credited the band with popularizing the idea of a country band and wrote that “It’s unlikely that any other country group will be able to surpass the success of Alabama.”
Alabama was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019 and were awarded with the first ever Life Time Achievement Award from this institution.
Marie Dionne Warwick (born December 12, 1940) is an American singer, television host, and former Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest US hit makers between 1955 and 1999, based on her chart history on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop singles chart. She is one of the most-charted female vocalists of all time, with 56 of her singles making the Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998 (12 of them Top Ten), and 80 singles in total – either solo or collaboratively – making the Hot 100, R&B and/or adult contemporary charts.
Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. She is credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late 1990s and early 2000s, for which she is referred to as the “Princess of Pop”. Regarded as a pop icon, Spears has sold over 100 million records worldwide, including over 70 million solely in the United States, making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
After appearing in stage productions and television series, Spears signed with Jive Records in 1997 at age 15. Her first two studio albums, …Baby One More Time (1999) and Oops!… I Did It Again (2000), are among the best-selling albums of all time and made Spears the best-selling teenage artist of all time. With first-week sales of over 1.3 million copies, Oops!… I Did It Again held the record for the fastest-selling album by a female artist in the United States for 15 years. Spears adopted more mature and provocative style for her albums Britney (2001) and In the Zone (2003), and starred in the 2002 film Crossroads.
Spears was executive producer of her fifth studio album Blackout (2007), often referred to as her best work. Following a series of highly publicized personal problems, promotion for the album was limited, and Spears was involuntarily placed in a conservatorship. Since then, she released the chart-topping albums, Circus (2008) and Femme Fatale (2011), the latter of which became her most successful era of singles in the US charts. She embarked on a four-year concert residency, Britney: Piece of Me, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to promote her next two albums Britney Jean (2013) and Glory (2016). In 2019, Spears’s legal battle over her conservatorship became more publicized and led to the establishment of the #FreeBritney movement. On November 12, 2021, the conservatorship was terminated following her public testimony in which she accused her management team and family of abuse.
Spears has achieved six number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and four number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100: “…Baby One More Time”, “Womanizer”, “3”, and “Hold It Against Me”. As a featured artist, the “S&M” remix also topped the Billboard chart. Her singles “Oops!… I Did It Again”, “Toxic”, and “Scream & Shout” topped the charts in most countries. With “3” in 2009 and “Hold It Against Me” in 2011, Spears became the second artist after Mariah Carey in the Hot 100’s history to debut at number one with two or more songs. Her heavily choreographed videos earned her the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She has earned numerous other awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award, 15 Guinness World Records, six MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards (including the Millennium Award), the inaugural Radio Disney Icon Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Spears was ranked by Billboard as the eighth-biggest artist of the 2000s. In the United States, she is the fourth best-selling female album artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era as well as the best-selling female album artist of the 2000s. “…Baby One More Time” was named the greatest debut single of all time by Rolling Stone in 2020. In 2004, Spears launched a perfume brand with Elizabeth Arden, Inc.; sales exceeded $1.5 billion as of 2012. Forbes has reported Spears as the highest-paid female musician of 2002 and 2012. By 2012, she had topped Yahoo!’s list of most searched celebrities seven times in 12 years. Time named Spears one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2021.
ABBA are a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group’s name is an acronym of the first letters of their first names arranged as a palindrome. Widely considered one of the greatest musical groups of all time, they became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1983, and in 2021. ABBA have achieved 48 hit singles.
In 1974, ABBA were Sweden’s first winner of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo”, which in 2005 was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the contest. During the band’s main active years, it consisted of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. With the increase of their popularity, their personal lives suffered, which eventually resulted in the collapse of both marriages. The relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with latter compositions featuring darker and more introspective lyrics. After ABBA separated in December 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus continued their success writing music for multiple audiences including stage, musicals and movies, while Fältskog and Lyngstad pursued solo careers.
Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta. It is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger, and drummer Daniel Adair. It went through several drummer changes between 1995 and 2005, achieving its current lineup when Adair replaced Ryan Vikedal.
Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian rock bands, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. In 2009, Billboard ranked it the most successful rock group of that decade; “How You Remind Me” was the best-selling rock song and the fourth-best overall. The band ranked at No. 7 on the Billboard top artist of the decade list, with four albums among the publication’s top albums of the decade.