The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
In the Still of the Night (The Five Satins song)
"In the Still of the Nite" subsequently titled "In the Still of the Night", is a song written by Fred Parris and recorded by his Five Satins. While only a moderate hit when first released, it has received considerable airplay over the years and is notable as one of the best known doo-wop songs, recorded by artists such as Boyz II Men and Debbie Gibson, it is heard in several films, such as The Buddy Holly Dirty Dancing. The Five Satins' original version was included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings—published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies —and ranked No. 90 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The song was recorded in the Saint Bernadette Catholic School basement in New Haven, Connecticut in February 1956. Marty Kugell produced the song; the saxophone solo was played by Vinny Mazzetta of New Haven. The rhythm section was Bobby Mapp and Curlee Glover, it was released on Kugell's Standord label with the B-side "The Jones Girl", a play on the Mills Brothers' 1954 hit, "The Jones Boy".
Although the single was only a moderate hit after it was reissued on the Ember label, peaking at No. 24 on the national pop charts and No. 3 on the R&B "race" charts, its reputation came to surpass its original chart placement. For three decades, the single always topped the influential Top 500 Songs countdown on oldies radio station WCBS-FM; the track sold over 10 million copies in 1988 as part of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. The song was included on the influential 1959 LP Oldies But Goodies on Original Sound. "In the Still of the Nite" is the only song to have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 three separate times, by the same artist with the same version each time. After reaching No. 24 in 1956, it was released again in 1960 and reached No. 81. More than a year in 1961 it reached No. 99. "In the Still of the Nite" is one of two songs that may lay claim to being the origin of the term doo-wop. The plaintive doo wop, doo wah refrain in the bridge has been suggested as the origin of the term to describe that musical genre.
Boyz II Men recorded an a cappella arrangement of the song for the soundtrack to the television miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream. This version reached No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on January 16, 1993. It debuted at No. 1 in New Zealand—becoming the band's second chart-topper there—and charted in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. It was added to the 1993 re-release of their album Cooleyhighharmony. 7" single "In the Still of the Nite" – 2:51 "Snippets from'An American Dream'" by The JacksonsCD maxi "In the Still of the Nite" – 2:51 "Snippets from'An American Dream'" by The Jacksons "Medley" by The Jacksons The original recording hit the charts again in 1960 and 1961. None of these releases reached the top half of the Billboard Hot 100, however; the Crests recorded a version titled "I Remember" for their 1960 album The Crests Sing All Biggies on Coed Records. The Fleetwoods released a version of the song on their 1961 album The Fleetwoods Sing the Best Goodies of the Oldies.
The Tokens released a version in 1961. Dion DiMucci released a version on his 1961 album Runaround Sue. Deborah Gibson recorded the song transposed to C major during her Atlantic-years concert tours and recorded the same arrangement for the Atlantic soundtrack album The Wonder Years - Music from the Emmy Award-Winning Show and its Era; the song was spelled as "In the Still of the Nite" to avoid confusion with Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night". The Five Satins rock and roll standard is at times spelled in that manner; the song was used in the Disney attraction The Enchanted Tiki Room. The song was recorded by Jan & Dean as a single in 1968 and was planned to be released on their album Carnival of Sound that same year. Carnival of Sound was not released until 2010. In 1972, Sha Na Na recorded a version faithful to the original on their album The Night Is Still Young, with Johnny Contardo singing lead. "In the Still of the Nite" was recorded by the Beach Boys on their 1976 album 15 Big Ones.
Lead vocals were by drummer Dennis Wilson. Songwriters Mike Reid and Troy Seals incorporated the song in the 1985 song "Lost in the Fifties Tonight", performed by Ronnie Milsap. Milsap's song was a number one country hit that year. "In the Still of the Nite". Rolling Stone. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Five Satins". Allmusic. Whitburn, Joel. Top Pop Singles 1955-1999. Menomonee Falls, WI, 2000. "The Five Satins: In The Still of the Nite" at Discogs "Santo & Johnny: I'll Remember" at Discogs "Boyz II Men: In the Still of the Nite" at Discogs Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
The ARIA Charts are the main Australian music sales charts, issued weekly by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The charts are a record of the highest selling albums in various genres in Australia. ARIA became the official Australian music chart in June 1988, succeeding the Kent Music Report, Australia's national charts since 1974; the Go-Set charts were Australia's first national singles and albums charts published from 5 October 1966 until 24 August 1974. Succeeding Go-Set, the Kent Music Report began issuing the national top 100 charts in Australia from May 1974; the compiler, David Kent published Australia's national charts from 1940–1974 in a retrospective fashion using state based data. In mid 1983, the Australian Recording Industry Association commenced licensing the Kent Music Report chart; the first printed national top 50 chart available in record stores, branded the Countdown chart, was dated the week ending 10 July 1983. ARIA began compiling its own charts in-house from the chart survey dated 13 June 1988, corresponding with the printed top 50 chart dated week ending 26 June 1988.
Various artists compilation albums were included in the albums chart, as they had been on the Kent Report chart, until 2 July 1989, when a separate Compilations chart was created. The ARIA Report, detailing the top 100 singles and albums charts, was first available via subscription in January 1990; the printed top 50 chart ceased publication in June 1998, but resumed publication in the year. The printed top 50 chart again ceased publication at the end of 2000; the ARIA charts are based on data collected from digital retailers in Australia. Data of physical sales come from retailers such as Sanity and JB Hi-Fi, while data of digital sales come from online retailers such as iTunes. Since 17 February 1997, all physical sales data contributing towards the chart has been recorded electronically at point of sale. In March 1991, "Do the Bartman" by The Simpsons was the first single to reach #1 in Australia, not available on 7 inch vinyl, but cassingle only. Starting from 8 October 2006, due to low physical single sales at the time, the ARIA singles chart included online data as well as physical sales.
In 2006, it was announced that the Brazin retailing group, comprising major retailers HMV, Sanity and Virgin music/DVD stores would no longer contribute sales data to the ARIA charts. However, after a five-month absence, Brazin re-commenced contributing sales figures to the ARIA Charts on 26 November 2006; the ARIA website publishes the top 50 singles and albums charts, top 40 digital tracks chart, top 20 dance singles chart. The ARIA Report is available via paid e-mail subscription each week; these reports are uploaded to the Pandora Archive periodically. On 5 February 2006, the ARIA Chart Show was a radio program launched on the Nova network and broadcast throughout Australia, playing the official ARIA top 50 singles; the live music program was hosted by Jabba each Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm. From 1 June 2013 to 3 September 2016, the Take 40 Australia radio program broadcast the official ARIA top 40 singles on Saturday afternoons from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, on each state's Hit Network-owned radio station.
The show was aired before the top 50 chart, dated for the following Monday, is published on the ARIA website at 6:00 pm. The charts were published online at 6:00 pm each Sunday. ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart ARIA Top 100 Albums Chart ARIA Top 100 Physical Albums Chart ARIA Top 50 Digital Tracks Chart ARIA Top 50 Digital Albums Chart ARIA Top 50 Streaming Tracks Chart ARIA Top 50 Club Tracks Chart ARIA Top 50 Catalogue Albums Chart ARIA Top 40 Urban Singles Chart ARIA Top 40 Urban Albums Chart ARIA Top 40 Country Albums Chart ARIA Top 40 Music DVDs Chart ARIA Top 25 Dance Singles Chart ARIA Top 25 Dance Albums Chart ARIA Top 20 Australian Artist Singles Chart ARIA Top 20 Australian Artist Albums Chart ARIA Top 20 Compilation Albums Chart ARIA Top 20 Jazz & Blues Albums Chart ARIA Top 20 Classical/Crossover Albums Chart ARIA Top 10 Core Classical Albums Chart ARIA Top 20 Hitseekers Singles Chart ARIA Top 20 Hitseekers Albums Chart Yearly Top 100 End of Year charts profiling the year in music End of Decade Top 100 charts profiling the decade in music Pre-2000: 2000 to present: 2006 to present: Pre-2000: 2000 to present: 2016 to present: Music of Australia List of Australian chart achievements and milestones Official website Top 50 chart archives from June 1988 at australian-charts.com Top 100 chart archives from January 2001 at Pandora Archive
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men is an American R&B vocal group from Philadelphia, best known for emotional ballads and a cappella harmonies. They are a trio composed of baritone Nathan Morris alongside tenors Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman. During the 1990s, Boyz II Men found fame on Motown Records as a quartet including bass Michael McCary, who left the group in 2003 due to health issues. During the 1990s, Boyz II Men gained international success; this began with the release of top 5 singles "Motownphilly" and "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" in 1991, followed by the number one single "End of the Road" in 1992, which reached the top of charts worldwide. "End of the Road" would set a new record for longevity, staying at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for thirteen weeks, breaking the decades-old record held by Elvis Presley. Boyz II Men proceeded to break this record with the subsequent releases of "I'll Make Love to You" and "One Sweet Day", which, at fourteen and sixteen weeks each set new records for the total number of weeks at number one.
"I'll Make Love to You" topped the charts in Australia and garnered international success. As of 2018, "One Sweet Day" still holds the all-time record with sixteen weeks at the top of the Hot 100, tied with "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber. Boyz II Men is among the music industry's elite with regard to time spent at number one in Billboard history with 50 cumulative weeks, ranking fourth behind Presley, The Beatles, Carey. Furthermore, when "On Bended Knee" took the number one spot away from "I'll Make Love to You", Boyz II Men became only the third artists to replace themselves at the top of the Billboard Hot 100; these achievements were enough to earn Boyz II Men recognition as Billboard magazine's biggest boy band during the period of 1987 to 2012. Boyz II Men continue to perform worldwide, as a trio, their most recent studio album, Under The Streetlight, was released in 2017. In June 2017, a section of Broad Street in Philadelphia was renamed "Boyz II Men Boulevard".
This section of the street is near the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, where the members once attended. The group known as Unique Attraction, was started by friends Nathan Morris and Marc Nelson at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts along with fellow schoolmates George Baldi, Jon Shoats, Marguerite Walker in 1985. In 1987, Wanya Morris, who sang in the school's choir along with the members of Unique Attraction, joined the group and became a permanent member since he was only a freshman. In 1988 Baldi and Walker all left the group due to graduation, they recruited Shawn Stockman after seeing him perform a solo in the school's choir. One day Nate, Marc and Shawn were practicing harmonies in a school bathroom and in walked Michael McCary who started singing along with the group and would become the group's new bass singer. Now with a permanent lineup of members the group would rehearse in the high school's bathrooms, due to the excellent acoustics, on the corners of their schools and local hangouts.
They found inspiration in New Edition's harmonies and routines, renamed the group "Boyz II Men", after one of New Edition's songs, "Boys to Men", from their 1988 album Heart Break. After performing at a Valentine's Day party at school in 1989 they got their big break when they snuck backstage at a concert in their hometown to sing for New Edition member Michael Bivins, who along with fellow groupmates Ricky Bell and Ronnie DeVoe just announced they were forming a New Edition spin-off trio Bell Biv DeVoe. After they sang New Edition's Can You Stand The Rain for him and everyone in attendance including other celebrities were impressed, he gave the group his number and told them to give him a call. Nate called him, he agreed to manage and helped produce the group; the delay before recording their own material and reported personality conflicts led founding member Marc Nelson to leave the group, making Boyz II Men into the quartet that would find international fame: Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman.
Boyz II Men's first album, Cooleyhighharmony, was released on Motown in 1991 and was produced by Michael Bivins. Cooleyhighharmony's drum-heavy new jack swing sound and multi-layered sampled backdrops were similar to that of Bell Biv DeVoe's own work, but featured classic-soul styled vocals in place of BBD's rapping and brassier singing; this style was dubbed "hip hop doo-wop" by the group and Bivins, who presented Boyz II Men and adolescent R&B group Another Bad Creation to the public as BBD's protégés. From the beginning, Boyz II Men featured all four members as leads, avoiding the usual R&B group arrangement of one or two lead singers and a team of background singers; the multiple-lead arrangement became a Boyz II Men trademark, it became typical to hear Wanya Morris' vibrato-heavy tenor, Shawn Stockman's tenor voice, Nathan Morris' baritone, Michael McCary's bass trading bars in each song. The album's liner notes identified unique nicknames for each member of the group; these nicknames were devised in collaboration with Bivins in an attempt at marketing.
Wanya was "Squirt", Shawn was "Slim", Michael was "Bass", Nathan assumed the name "Alex Vanderpool", after a soap opera character who brandished a nerdy style. Boyz II Men's first single, the Dallas Austin-produced "Motownphilly" featured a rap cameo by Michael Bivins that gives the story of how he met Boyz II Men; the single's release was accompanied with a music video that presented the gr
In the music industry, a single is a type of release a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song, released separately from an album, although it also appears on an album; these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks; the biggest digital music distributor, iTunes Store, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as does popular music player Spotify. Any more than three tracks on a musical release or thirty minutes in total running time is either an extended play or, if over six tracks long, an album; when mainstream music was purchased via vinyl records, singles would be released double-sided.
That is to say, they were released with an A-side and B-side, on which two singles would be released, one on each side. Moreover, only the most popular songs from a released album would be released as a single. In more contemporary forms of music consumption, artists release most, if not all, of the tracks on an album as singles; the basic specifications of the music single were set in the late 19th century, when the gramophone record began to supersede phonograph cylinders in commercially produced musical recordings. Gramophone discs were manufactured in several sizes. By about 1910, the 10-inch, 78 rpm shellac disc had become the most used format; the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century. The crude disc-cutting techniques of the time and the thickness of the needles used on record players limited the number of grooves per inch that could be inscribed on the disc surface, a high rotation speed was necessary to achieve acceptable recording and playback fidelity.
78 rpm was chosen as the standard because of the introduction of the electrically powered, synchronous turntable motor in 1925, which ran at 3600 rpm with a 46:1 gear ratio, resulting in a rotation speed of 78.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format and performers tailored their output to fit the new medium; the 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Although CBS tried to make the record more "radio friendly" by cutting the performance into halves, separating them between the two sides of the vinyl disc, both Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on one side, that radio stations play the song in its entirety; as digital downloading and audio streaming have become more prevalent, it has become possible for every track on an album to be available separately.
The concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a more promoted or more popular song within an album collection. The demand for music downloads skyrocketed after the launch of Apple's iTunes Store in January 2001 and the creation of portable music and digital audio players such as the iPod. In September 1997, with the release of Duran Duran's "Electric Barbarella" for paid downloads, Capitol Records became the first major label to sell a digital single from a well-known artist. Geffen Records released Aerosmith's "Head First" digitally for free. In 2004, Recording Industry Association of America introduced digital single certification due to significant sales of digital formats, with Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" becoming RIAA's first platinum digital single. In 2013, RIAA incorporated on-demand streams into the digital single certification. Single sales in the United Kingdom reached an all-time low in January 2005, as the popularity of the compact disc was overtaken by the then-unofficial medium of the music download.
Recognizing this, On 17 April 2005, Official UK Singles Chart added the download format to the existing format of physical CD singles. Gnarls Barkley was the first act to reach No.1 on this chart through downloads alone in April 2006, for their debut single "Crazy", released physically the following week. On 1 January 2007 digital downloads became eligible from the point of release, without the need for an accompanying physical. Sales improved in the following years, reaching a record high in 2008 that still proceeded to be overtaken in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch vinyl discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on Digital Compact Cassette, DVD, LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc; the most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, the standard diameter, 7 inches; the 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs.
The first 45
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. 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; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K