Robert Peter Williams is an English singer-songwriter and entertainer. He found fame as a member of the pop group Take That from 1989 to 1995, but achieved greater commercial success with his solo career, beginning in 1997. Williams has released 7 UK number 1 singles and all but one of his 11 studio albums have reached number one in the UK, he is the best-selling British solo artist in the United Kingdom and the best selling non-Latino artist in Latin America. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the United Kingdom–four albums in the top 60–and in 2006 he entered the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 1.6 million tickets of his Close Encounters Tour in a single day. Williams has received a record eighteen Brit Awards—winning Best British Male four times, two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the 2017 Brits Icon for his "lasting impact on British culture", twelve German ECHO Awards, three MTV European Music Awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted the "Greatest Artist of the 1990s".
According to the British Phonographic Industry, Williams has been certified for 19.8 million albums and 7 million singles in the UK as a solo artist. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold 75 million records worldwide. Williams topped the 2000–2010 UK airplay chart, racking up 50% more plays than the Sugababes at number 2. In 2014, he was awarded the freedom of his home town of Stoke-on-Trent, as well as having a tourist trail created and streets named in his honour. After a fifteen year hiatus from the group, he was re-united with Take That on 15 July 2010, co-writing and performing lead vocals on their album Progress, which became the second fastest-selling album in UK chart history and the fastest-selling record of the century at the time; the subsequent stadium tour, which featured seven songs from Williams's solo career, became the biggest-selling concert in UK history, selling 1.34 million tickets in less than 24 hours. In late 2011, Take That's frontman Gary Barlow confirmed that Williams had left the band for a second time to focus on his solo career, although the departure was amicable and that Williams was welcome to rejoin Take That in the future.
He has since performed with Take That on three separate television appearances, has collaborated with Gary Barlow on a number of projects - including the West End musical The Band, Williams's 2012 solo-single "Candy", which reached #1 in the UK Charts. Following the completion of The Heavy Entertainment Show Stadium Tour in late 2018, he has temporarily retired from world touring to ensure he is present for his three children with whom he resides in Los Angeles. Williams was born on 13 February 1974 in Stoke-on-Trent, England, his parents and Peter Williams, ran a pub called the Red Lion in Burslem, before his father became the licencee at the Port Vale FC Social Club. His maternal grandfather was hailed from Kilkenny. Williams attended St Margaret Ward Catholic School in Tunstall, before attending dance school UKDDF in Tunstall, he participated in several school plays, his biggest role was that of the Artful Dodger in a production of Oliver!, the musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist.
In 1990, the sixteen-year-old Williams was the youngest member. According to the documentary Take That: For the Record, his mother read an advertisement seeking members for a new boy band and suggested that he try out for the group, he met fellow member Mark Owen on the day of his audition/interview with Nigel Martin-Smith. Although the majority of the group's material was written and performed by Gary Barlow, Williams performed lead vocals on their first Top Ten hit "Could It Be Magic", "I Found Heaven", "Everything Changes". However, he had conflicts with Martin-Smith over the restrictive rules for Take That members, he began drinking more alcohol and dabbling in cocaine. In November 1994, Williams's drug abuse had escalated. According to the documentary For the Record, he was unhappy with his musical ideas not being taken by lead singer Barlow and Martin-Smith. Barlow explained in interviews. Noting Williams' belligerent behaviour and poor attendance at rehearsals, worried that he might drop out during the group's upcoming tour and Barlow took their concerns to Martin-Smith.
During one of the last rehearsals before the tour commenced, the three confronted Williams about his attitude and stated they wanted to do the tour without him. He agreed to quit and left the group in July 1995. Despite the departure of Williams, Take That completed their Nobody Else Tour as a four-piece, they disbanded on 13 February 1996, Williams's 22nd birthday. Shortly afterwards, Williams was photographed by the press partying with the members of Oasis at Glastonbury Festival. Following his departure, he became the subject of talk shows and newspapers as he acknowledged his plans to become a solo singer, he was spotted partying with George Michael in France. However, a clause in his Take That contract prohibited him from releasing any material until after the group was dissolved, he was sued by Martin-Smith and forced to pay $200,000 in commission. After various legal battles over his r
Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk blues. Country music consists of ballads and dance tunes with simple forms, folk lyrics, harmonies accompanied by string instruments such as banjos and acoustic guitars, steel guitars, fiddles as well as harmonicas. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. According to Lindsey Starnes, the term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music. In 2009 in the United States, country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, second most popular in the morning commute; the term country music is used today to describe many subgenres. The origins of country music are found in the folk music of working class Americans, who blended popular songs and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional English ballads, cowboy songs, the musical traditions of various groups of European immigrants.
Immigrants to the southern Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America brought the music and instruments of Europe along with them for nearly 300 years. Country music was "introduced to the world as a Southern phenomenon." The U. S. Congress has formally recognized Bristol, Tennessee as the "Birthplace of Country Music", based on the historic Bristol recording sessions of 1927. Since 2014, the city has been home to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Historians have noted the influence of the less-known Johnson City sessions of 1928 and 1929, the Knoxville sessions of 1929 and 1930. In addition, the Mountain City Fiddlers Convention, held in 1925, helped to inspire modern country music. Before these, pioneer settlers, in the Great Smoky Mountains region, had developed a rich musical heritage; the first generation emerged in the early 1920s, with Atlanta's music scene playing a major role in launching country's earliest recording artists. New York City record label Okeh Records began issuing hillbilly music records by Fiddlin' John Carson as early as 1923, followed by Columbia Records in 1924, RCA Victor Records in 1927 with the first famous pioneers of the genre Jimmie Rodgers and the first family of country music The Carter Family.
Many "hillbilly" musicians, such as Cliff Carlisle, recorded blues songs throughout the 1920s. During the second generation, radio became a popular source of entertainment, "barn dance" shows featuring country music were started all over the South, as far north as Chicago, as far west as California; the most important was the Grand Ole Opry, aired starting in 1925 by WSM in Nashville and continuing to the present day. During the 1930s and 1940s, cowboy songs, or Western music, recorded since the 1920s, were popularized by films made in Hollywood. Bob Wills was another country musician from the Lower Great Plains who had become popular as the leader of a "hot string band," and who appeared in Hollywood westerns, his mix of country and jazz, which started out as dance hall music, would become known as Western swing. Wills was one of the first country musicians known to have added an electric guitar to his band, in 1938. Country musicians began recording boogie in 1939, shortly after it had been played at Carnegie Hall, when Johnny Barfield recorded "Boogie Woogie".
The third generation started at the end of World War II with "mountaineer" string band music known as bluegrass, which emerged when Bill Monroe, along with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were introduced by Roy Acuff at the Grand Ole Opry. Gospel music remained a popular component of country music. Another type of stripped-down and raw music with a variety of moods and a basic ensemble of guitar, dobro or steel guitar became popular among poor whites in Texas and Oklahoma, it became known as honky tonk, had its roots in Western swing and the ranchera music of Mexico and the border states. By the early 1950s a blend of Western swing, country boogie, honky tonk was played by most country bands. Rockabilly was most popular with country fans in the 1950s, 1956 could be called the year of rockabilly in country music, with Johnny Cash emerging as one of the most popular and enduring representatives of the rockabilly genre. Beginning in the mid-1950s, reaching its peak during the early 1960s, the Nashville sound turned country music into a multimillion-dollar industry centered in Nashville, Tennessee.
The late 1960s in American music produced a unique blend as a result of traditionalist backlash within separate genres. In the aftermath of the British Invasion, many desired a return to the "old values" of rock n' roll. At the same time there was a lack of enthusiasm in the country sector for Nashville-produced music. What resulted was a crossbred genre known as country rock. Fourth generation music included outlaw country with roots in the Bakersfield sound, country pop with roots in the countrypolitan, folk music and soft rock. Between 1972 and 1975 singer/guitarist John Denver released a se
Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records. Artists who have recorded for Columbia include Harry Styles, AC/DC, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Beyoncé, Dave Brubeck, The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Mariah Carey, The Chainsmokers, The Clash, Miles Davis, Rosemary Clooney, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Wind & Fire, Duke Ellington, 50 Cent, Erroll Garner, Benny Goodman, Adelaide Hall, Billy Joel, Janis Joplin, John Mayer, George Michael, Billy Murray, Pink Floyd, Lil Nas X, Frank Sinatra and Garfunkel, Bessie Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Andy Williams, Pharrell Williams, Bill Withers, Paul Whiteman, Joe Zawinul The Columbia Phonograph Company was founded in 1887 by stenographer and New Jersey native Edward D. Easton and a group of investors.
It derived its name from the District of Columbia. At first it had a local monopoly on sales and service of Edison phonographs and phonograph cylinders in Washington, D. C. Maryland, Delaware; as was the custom of some of the regional phonograph companies, Columbia produced many commercial cylinder recordings of its own, its catalogue of musical records in 1891 was 10 pages. Columbia's ties to Edison and the North American Phonograph Company were severed in 1894 with the North American Phonograph Company's breakup. Thereafter it sold only phonographs of its own manufacture. In 1902, Columbia introduced a molded brown wax record, to use up old stock. Columbia introduced black wax records in 1903. According to one source, they continued to mold brown waxes until 1904 with the highest number being 32601, "Heinie", a duet by Arthur Collins and Byron G. Harlan; the molded brown waxes may have been sold to Sears for distribution. Columbia began selling disc records and phonographs in addition to the cylinder system in 1901, preceded only by their "Toy Graphophone" of 1899, which used small, vertically cut records.
For a decade, Columbia competed with both the Edison Phonograph Company cylinders and the Victor Talking Machine Company disc records as one of the top three names in American recorded sound. In order to add prestige to its early catalog of artists, Columbia contracted a number of New York Metropolitan Opera stars to make recordings; these stars included Marcella Sembrich, Lillian Nordica, Antonio Scotti and Edouard de Reszke, but the technical standard of their recordings was not considered to be as high as the results achieved with classical singers during the pre–World War I period by Victor, England's His Master's Voice or Italy's Fonotipia Records. After an abortive attempt in 1904 to manufacture discs with the recording grooves stamped into both sides of each disc—not just one—in 1908 Columbia commenced successful mass production of what they called their "Double-Faced" discs, the 10-inch variety selling for 65 cents apiece; the firm introduced the internal-horn "Grafonola" to compete with the popular "Victrola" sold by the rival Victor Talking Machine Company.
During this era, Columbia used the "Magic Notes" logo—a pair of sixteenth notes in a circle—both in the United States and overseas. Columbia stopped recording and manufacturing wax cylinder records in 1908, after arranging to issue celluloid cylinder records made by the Indestructible Record Company of Albany, New York, as "Columbia Indestructible Records". In July 1912, Columbia decided to concentrate on disc records and stopped manufacturing cylinder phonographs, although they continued selling Indestructible's cylinders under the Columbia name for a year or two more. Columbia was split into one to make records and one to make players. Columbia Phonograph was moved to Connecticut, Ed Easton went with it, it was renamed the Dictaphone Corporation. In late 1922, Columbia went into receivership; the company was bought by its English subsidiary, the Columbia Graphophone Company in 1925 and the label, record numbering system, recording process changed. On February 25, 1925, Columbia began recording with the electric recording process licensed from Western Electric.
"Viva-tonal" records set a benchmark in tone and clarity unequaled on commercial discs during the 78-rpm era. The first electrical recordings were made by Art Gillham, the "Whispering Pianist". In a secret agreement with Victor, electrical technology was kept secret to avoid hurting sales of acoustic records. In 1926, Columbia acquired Okeh Records and its growing stable of jazz and blues artists, including Louis Armstrong and Clarence Williams. Columbia had built a catalog of blues and jazz artists, including Bessie Smith in their 14000-D Race series. Columbia had a successful "Hillbilly" series. In 1928, Paul Whiteman, the nation's most popular orchestra leader, left Victor to record for Columbia. During the same year, Columbia executiv
Slim Dusty, AO MBE was an Australian country music singer-songwriter and producer. He was an Australian cultural icon and one of the country's most awarded stars, with a career spanning nearly seven decades and numerous recordings, he was known to record songs in the legacy of Australia of bush life and renowned Australian bush poets Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson that represented the lifestyle. The music genre was coined the "bush ballad", a style first made popular by Buddy Williams, the first artist to perform the genre in Australia, for his many trucking songs. Dusty was the first Australian to have a No. 1 international hit song, with a version of Gordon Parsons' "A Pub with No Beer". He received an unequalled 37 Golden Guitar and two Australian Recording Industry Association awards and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and Australian Roll of Renown. At the time of his death, at the age of 76, Dusty had been working on his 106th album for EMI Records. In 2007, his domestic record sales in Australia surpassed seven million.
During his lifetime, Dusty was considered an Australian National Treasure. He performed "Waltzing Matilda", a famous song in Australia, at the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. David Gordon Kirkpatrick was born on 13 June 1927 in Nulla Nulla Creek near Kempsey, New South Wales, the son of a cattle farmer, his childhood home, "Homewood", is now heritage-listed. He was known by Gordon, he wrote his first song "The Way the Cowboy Dies" in 1937 and adopted the stage name "Slim Dusty" in 1938 at age 11. His earliest musical influences included the American Jimmie Rodgers, New Zealander Tex Morton and Australia's own Buddy Williams. In 1945, Dusty wrote "When the Rain Tumbles Down in July" and released his first record that year at the age of 19. In 1946, he signed his first recording contract with Columbia Graphophone for the Regal Zonophone label. In 1951, Dusty married singer-songwriter Joy McKean and, with her help, achieved great success around Australia. In 1954, the two launched a full-time business career, including the Slim Dusty Travelling Show.
McKean was Dusty's manager for over 50 years. Together the couple had two children, Anne Kirkpatrick and David Kirkpatrick who are accomplished singer-songwriters. McKean wrote several of Dusty's most popular songs, including "Lights On The Hill", "Walk a Country Mile", "Indian Pacific", "Kelly's Offsider", "The Angel of Goulburn Hill" and "The Biggest Disappointment". Although himself an accomplished writer of songs, Dusty had a number of other songwriters, including Mack Cormack, Gordon Parsons, Stan Coster, Kelly Dixon, who were short on formal education but big on personal experience of the Australian bush. Drawing on his travels and such writers over a span of decades, Dusty chronicled the story of a changing postwar Australian nation; the arrival of rock and roll music saw major metropolitan music radio stations abandon support for country artists, despite record sales in the multimillions, after the 1950s, Dusty was heard on-air outside regional centres in Australia. Dusty's 1957 hit "A Pub with No Beer" was the biggest-selling record by an Australian to that time, the first Australian single to go gold and the first and only 78 rpm record to be awarded a gold disc.
In 1959 and 1960, Dutch and German cover versions of the song became number one hits in Belgium and Germany, brought by the Flemish country singer-guitarist and amusement park founder Bobbejaan Schoepen. In 1964 the annual Slim Dusty Australia-round tour, a 48,280 kilometres journey that went on for ten months, was started; this regular event was the subject of a feature film, The Slim Dusty Movie, in 1984. Dusty recorded not only songs written by himself and other fellow Australian performers but classic Australian poems by Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson, with new tunes to call attention to the old "bush ballads". An example is "The Man from Snowy River" by Paterson; the 1980 album and songs The man who steadies the lead and The pearl of them all were the works of Paterson's rival for the title of Australia's bush balladeer, Scottish-Australian poet Will H. Ogilvie. In 1970, he was made a member of the Order of the British Empire for services to music. In 1973, he won Best Single at the inaugural Country Music Awards of Australia at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
In all, he won a record 37 "Golden Guitars" over the years. Dusty and his wife were patrons of the National Truck Drivers' Memorial located in Tarcutta, New South Wales; the general manager of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Bob Whitaker, invited him and his wife to perform in 1997, recognising 50 years contributing to country music. The following January, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the entertainment industry. Dusty recorded and released his 100th album, Looking Forward, Looking Back, in 2000 and became the first artist in worldwide commercial recording history to do so. All 100 albums had been recorded with the same record label, EMI, making Dusty the first music artist in the world to record 100 albums with the same label, he was given the honour of singing "Waltzing Matilda" in the closing ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics, with the whole stadium singing along with him. Dusty died at his home in St Ives, New South Wales, on 19 September 2003 at the age of 76 after a protracted battle wit
Virgin Records Ltd. is a British record label founded by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, musician Tom Newman in 1972. It grew to be a worldwide phenomenon over time, with the success of platinum performers such as George Michael, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Roy Orbison, Tangerine Dream, Keith Richards, the Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, dc Talk, the Smashing Pumpkins, Mike Oldfield and Spice Girls, among others. After its acquisition by Universal Music Group through its purchase of EMI in 2012, UMG absorbed Virgin's British operations to create Virgin EMI Records in March 2013. Today, the operations of Virgin Records America, Inc. the company's North American operations founded in 1986, are still active and headquartered in Hollywood and have operated under the Capitol Music Group imprint owned by UMG, since 2007. The US operations have taken on the name Virgin Records. A minor number of artists remain on Virgin Records America's roster, mostly occupied with European artists such as Bastille, Circa Waves, Corinne Bailey Rae, Ella Eyre, Walking on Cars, Seinabo Sey, Prides.
Branson and Powell had run a small record shop called Virgin Records and Tapes on Notting Hill Gate, specializing in "krautrock" imports, offering bean bags and free vegetarian food for the benefit of customers listening to the music on offer. The first real store was above a shoe shop at the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street. After making the shop into a success, they turned their business into a fledged record label; the name Virgin, according to Branson, arose from Tessa Watts, a colleague of his, when they were brainstorming business ideas. She suggested Virgin – as they were all new to business – like "virgins"; the original Virgin logo was designed by English artist and illustrator Roger Dean: a young naked woman in mirror image with a large long-tailed serpent and the word "Virgin" in Dean's familiar script. A variation on the logo was used for the spin-off Caroline Records label; the first release on the label was the progressive rock album Tubular Bells by multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield, discovered by Tom Newman and brought to Simon Draper – who persuaded Richard and Nik to present it as their first release in 1973, produced by Tom Newman, for which the fledgling label garnered unprecedented acclaim.
This was soon followed by some notable krautrock releases, including electronic breakthrough album Phaedra by Tangerine Dream, The Faust Tapes and Faust IV by Faust. The Faust Tapes album retailed for 49p and as a result allowed this unknown band to reach number 12 in the album charts. Other early albums include Gong's Flying Teapot, which Daevid Allen has been quoted as having never been paid for; the first single release for the label was Kevin Coyne's "Marlene", taken from his album Marjory Razorblade and released in August 1973. Coyne was the second artist signed to the label after Oldfield. Although Virgin was one of the key labels of English and European progressive rock, the 1977 signing of the Sex Pistols reinvented the label as a new-wave outpost, a move that plunged the record company into the mainstream of the punk rock era. Under the guidance of Tessa Watts, Virgin's Head of Publicity, the Pistols rocketed the label to success. Shortly afterwards, the Nottingham record shop was raided by police for having a window display of the Sex Pistols' album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols in the window.
Afterwards they signed other new wave groups: Public Image Ltd, Culture Club, Gillan and the Italians, Human League, Skids, the Motors, the Ruts, Shooting Star, Simple Minds, XTC. After modified versions of the twins label came the red and blue design introduced in 1975, which coincided with the height of punk and new wave; the current Virgin logo was created in 1978, commissioned by Simon Draper managing director of Virgin Records Limited. Brian Cooke of Cooke Key Associates commissioned a graphic designer to produce a stylised signature; the logo was first used on Mike Oldfield's Incantations album in 1978 and by the Virgin Records label until other parts of the Virgin Group adopted it, including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Money. In 1983 Virgin purchased Charisma Records, renaming it Charisma/Virgin later Virgin/Charisma, before folding the label in 1986 and transferring its remaining artists to Virgin. In the process they acquired comedy group Monty Python; the Charisma label was reactivated in the US in 1990 and enjoyed success with signings such as Maxi Priest, Right Said Fred, 38 Special and Enigma.
When this Charisma label was retired in 1992, all of its artists were, as before, transferred to Virgin. In 1987, Venture Records was created for new age and modern classical artists including Klaus Schulze, associated with Virgin since the early 1970s. 10 Records Immortal Records Delabel Caroline Records was a budget label used from 1973 to 1977. The name and
Parlophone Records Limited is a German-British record label founded in Germany in 1896 by the Carl Lindström Company as Parlophon. The British branch of the company was founded in 8 August 1923 as The Parlophone Company Limited, which developed a reputation in the 1920s as a jazz record label. On 5 October 1926, the Columbia Graphophone Company acquired Parlophone's business, name and release library, merged with the Gramophone Company on 31 March 1931 to become Electric & Musical Industries Limited. George Martin joined EMI in 1950 as assistant label manager, taking over as manager in 1955. Martin produced and released a mix of product, including comedy recordings of the Goons, pianist Mrs Mills, teen idol Adam Faith. In 1962, Martin signed the Beatles, at the time a struggling rock band from Liverpool. During the 1960s, when Cilla Black, Billy J. Kramer, the Fourmost, the Hollies signed, Parlophone became one of the world's most famous labels. For several years, Parlophone claimed the best-selling UK single, "She Loves You", the best-selling UK album, Sgt.
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, both by the Beatles. The label placed seven singles at No. 1 during 1964, when it claimed top spot on the UK Albums Chart for 40 weeks. Parlophone continued as a division of EMI until it was merged into the Gramophone Co. on 1 July 1965. On 1 July 1973, the Gramophone Co. was renamed EMI Records Limited. On 28 September 2012, regulators approved Universal Music Group's planned acquisition of EMI on condition that its EMI Records group would be divested from the combined group. EMI Records Ltd. included Parlophone and other labels to be divested and were for a short time operated in a single entity known as the Parlophone Label Group, while UMG pended their sale. Warner Music Group acquired Parlophone and PLG in 7 February 2013, making Parlophone their third flagship label alongside Warner Bros. and Atlantic. PLG was renamed Parlophone Records Limited in May 2013. Parlophone is the oldest of WMG's "flagship" record labels. Parlophone was founded "Parlophon" by Carl Lindström Company in 1896.
The name Parlophon was used for gramophones. The label's ₤ trademark is a German L. On 8 August 1923, the British branch of "Parlophone" was established, led by artists and repertoire manager Oscar Preuss. In its early years, Parlophone established itself as a leading jazz label in Britain. In 1927, the Columbia Graphophone Company acquired a controlling interest in the Carl Lindström Company, including Parlophone. Parlophone became a subsidiary of Electric & Musical Industries, after Columbia Graphophone merged with the Gramophone Company in 1931. In 1950, Oscar Preuss hired record producer George Martin as his assistant; when Preuss retired in 1955, Martin succeeded him as Parlophone's manager. Parlophone specialized in classical music, cast recordings, regional British music. Musicians signed to the labels include the Vipers Skiffle Group. One of the label's successful acts was teen idol Adam Faith, signed to the label in 1959; the label gained significant popularity in 1962. Parlophone gained more attention after signing the Hollies, Ella Fitzgerald, Gerry and the Pacemakers in the 1960s.
Martin left to form Associated Independent Recording Studios in 1965. Parlophone became dormant in 1973 when most of EMI's heritage labels were phased out in favor of EMI. Parlophone was revived in 1980. During the next decades the label signed Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Radiohead, Guy Berryman, the Chemical Brothers, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Damon Albarn, Conor Maynard, Gabrielle Aplin, Gorillaz. On 23 April 2008, Miles Leonard was confirmed as the label's president. On 28 September 2012, regulators approved Universal Music Group's planned acquisition of Parlophone's parent group EMI for £1.2 billion, subject to conditions imposed by the European Commission requiring that UMG sell off a number of labels, including Parlophone itself, Ensign, Virgin Classics, EMI Classics, EMI's operations in Portugal, France, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic and Poland. These labels and catalogues were operated independently from Universal as Parlophone Label Group to prepare for a transaction early in 2013.
UMG received several offers for PLG, including those from Island founder Chris Blackwell, Simon Fuller, a Sony/BMG consortium, Warner Music Group, MacAndrews & Forbes. On 7 February 2013, it was confirmed that Warner Music Group would acquire Parlophone Label Group for US$765 million; the deal was approved in May 2013 by the European Union, which saw no concerns about the deal because of WMG's smaller reach compared to the merged UMG and Sony. Warner Music closed the deal on July 1. Parlophone Label Group was the old EMI Records company that included both the Parlophone and the eponymous EMI labels; the EMI name was retained by Universal. Soon after acquiring Parlophone, WMG signed an agreement with IMPALA and the Merlin Network to divest $200 million worth of artists to independent labels in order to help offset the consolidation triggered by the merger. In April 2016, the back catalog
Sheena Shirley Easton is a Scottish singer and songwriter. She has a dual British-American nationality. Easton first came into the public eye as the focus of an episode in the first British musical reality television programme The Big Time: Pop Singer, which recorded her attempts to gain a record contract and her eventual signing with EMI Records. Easton's first two singles, "Modern Girl" and "9 to 5", both entered the UK Top Ten, she was the first UK female artist to appear twice in the same Top Ten since Ruby Murray. In 1981, "9 to 5" topped the US Hot 100, making her the third UK female solo artist to achieve this, following Petula Clark and Lulu, she became one of the most successful British female performers of the 1980s. A six-time Grammy nominee in the U. S. Easton is a two-time Grammy Award winner, winning Best New Artist in 1982 and Best Mexican-American Performance in 1985, for her duet with Luis Miguel on the song "Me Gustas Tal Como Eres", she has received five U. S. Gold albums and one U.
S. Platinum album, she has recorded 16 studio albums, released 45 singles total worldwide, had 20 consecutive US singles, including 15 U. S. Top 40 singles, seven U. S. top tens and one U. S. No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1981 and 1991. She had 25 top 40 hits in international territories around the world. In Canada, Easton scored two platinum albums, she has singles worldwide. Easton became the first artist in history to have a Top 5 hit on each of Billboard's primary singles charts, with "Morning Train", "We've Got Tonight" with Kenny Rogers and "Sugar Walls". Easton's other hits include the James Bond theme "For Your Eyes Only", "Strut", "U Got the Look" and "The Arms of Orion" with Prince, "The Lover in Me" and "What Comes Naturally", she has worked with prominent vocalists and producers, such as Prince, Christopher Neil, Kenny Rogers, David Foster, Luis Miguel, L. A. Reid & Babyface, Patrice Rushen and Nile Rodgers. Sheena Shirley Orr was born on 27 April 1959, in the Scottish town of Bellshill, the youngest of six children of Annie and steel mill labourer Alex Orr.
She has two brothers. Her earliest known public performance as a singer was in 1964 at the age of five, when she sang "Early One Morning" for her uncle and aunt and various relatives at the couple's 25th wedding anniversary celebration. Easton's father died in 1969 and her mother had to support the family. According to Easton's website, despite her mother's heavy workload she was always available for her children: "Sheena always speaks highly of her mum and the wonderful job she did in bringing up her and her siblings, including teaching them all to read at home before they were enrolled in school."Easton did not consider a singing career until she saw the movie The Way We Were, with Barbra Streisand. Streisand's singing over the opening credits "overtook" the young girl and convinced her that what she wanted most was to be a singer and to have the same effect on others, her top grades in school earned her a scholarship to attend the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, where she trained from 1975 to 1979 as a speech and drama teacher by day, while singing with a band called "Something Else" by night at local clubs.
She chose to study teaching rather than performing, because it was a course of study that would let her perfect her craft as a singer. In 1979, she married the first of her four husbands, they divorced after eight months, Sheena decided to keep the surname Easton. That year, one of her tutors coaxed her into auditioning for Esther Rantzen, producer of the BBC programme The Big Time. Rantzen was planning a documentary film to chronicle a relative unknown's rise to pop-music stardom. Easton was selected as the subject for the programme, where she met and sang with Dusty Springfield and Lulu, whose manager Marion Massey told her that she was unlikely to make the big time. Within a year of the programme airing, Sheena Easton proved Massey wrong as EMI executives awarded her a contract, Christopher Neil was assigned as her recording producer. Deke Arlon became her first manager, Easton spent much of 1980 being followed by camera crews, who filmed her throughout the process of making her first EMI single, "Modern Girl".
The encounter with Massey, at which Lulu was present, was filmed and included in a revised and extended version of episode 12 of The Big Time, broadcast in 1981. Easton's first single, the disco-tinged soft-synth-pop tune, "Modern Girl", was released in the UK before The Big Time aired, reached number 56 and was certified a Silver single. At the end of the show, Easton was still unsure of her future as a singer; the question was resolved soon after the show aired, when her second single, "9 to 5", reached number 3 on the UK Singles Chart and was certified a Gold single in 1980. "Modern Girl" re-entered the chart subsequently and climbed into the top 10, Easton found herself with two songs in the UK top 10 simultaneously. During 1980, Easton was voted "Best British Female Singer" by the Daily Mirror Pop & Rock Awards, "Best Newcomer" by Capital Radio, "Best Female Singer" by the TV Times Readers Awards."9 to 5" was Easton's first single release in the United States, although it was renamed "Morning Train" for its release in the US and Canada to avoid confusion with Dolly Parton's hit movie title song "9 to 5".
"Morning Train" became Easton's first and only number 1 hit in the US and topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and A