Prince

 

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He was a musical innovator who was known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the film Purple Rain. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of 100 Greatest Artists, “the most influential artists of the rock & roll era”.

Prince was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and developed an interest in music as a young child. He signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. at the age of 18, and released his debut album For You in 1978. His 1979 album Prince went platinum, and his next three records—Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)—continued his success, showcasing Prince’s prominently sexual lyrics and blending of funk, dance, and rock music.

In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as the Revolution and released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his eponymous 1984 film debut and was met with widespread acclaim. After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded, and Prince released the double album Sign o’ the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting the New Power Generation band in 1991.

In 1993, while in a contractual dispute with Warner Bros., he changed his stage name to Prince logo.svg, an unpronounceable symbol also known as the “Love Symbol”, and began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations. He released five records between 1994 and 1996 before signing with Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as “Prince” again. He released 16 albums after that, including the platinum-selling Musicology (2004). His final album, Hit n Run Phase Two, was first released on the Tidal streaming service on December 12, 2015. Prince died from a fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57.

Natalie Cole

 

Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer, songwriter, and actress.

The daughter of Nat King Cole, she rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits “This Will Be”, “Inseparable” (1975), and “Our Love” (1977). After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac”.

In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable… with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole seven Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide.

On December 31, 2015, Cole died at the age of 65 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, due to congestive heart failure.

Labels
Capitol Epic Modern EMI-Manhattan Elektra Verve DMI Records

http://nataliecole.com

Amy Winehouse

 

Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was an English singer and songwriter. She was known for her deep expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul (sometimes labelled as blue-eyed soul and neo soul), rhythm and blues, and jazz. Winehouse’s debut album, Frank (2003), was a critical success in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her follow-up album, Back to Black (2006), led to five 2008 Grammy Awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made her the first British female to win five Grammys, including three of the General Field “Big Four” Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Winehouse won three Ivor Novello Awards: in 2004, Best Contemporary Song for “Stronger Than Me”; in 2007, Best Contemporary Song again, this time for “Rehab”; and in 2008, Best Song Musically and Lyrically for “Love Is a Losing Game.” She also won the 2007 Brit Award for Best British Female Artist, having been nominated for Best British Album, with Back to Black.

Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011, aged 27. Her album Back to Black posthumously became, for a time, the UK’s best-selling album of the 21st century. In 2012, Winehouse was ranked 26th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women In Music. The BBC has called her “the pre-eminent vocal talent of her generation.”