John Royce "Johnny" Mathis is an American singer of popular music. Starting his career with singles of standard music, he became popular as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status and 73 making the Billboard charts to date. According to Guinness Music Chart historian Paul Gambacini, Johnny Mathis has sold well over 360 million records worldwide making Mathis the third biggest selling artist of the 20th century. Mathis has received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings. Although he is described as a romantic singer, his discography includes traditional pop and Spanish music, soul and blues, show tunes, Tin Pan Alley, soft rock, country music, a few disco songs for his album Mathis Magic in 1979. Mathis has recorded six albums of Christmas music. In a 1968 interview, Mathis cited Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby among his musical influences. Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas, on September 30, 1935, the fourth of seven children of Clem Mathis and Mildred Boyd.
The family moved to San Francisco, settling on 32nd Avenue in the Richmond District, where Mathis grew up. He is from Spanish origins, his father had worked in vaudeville, when he saw his son's talent, he bought an old upright piano for $25 and encouraged him. Mathis began learning routines from his father, his first song was "My Blue Heaven". Mathis started singing and dancing for visitors at home, at school, at church functions; when he was 13, voice teacher Connie Cox accepted him as her student in exchange for work around her house. Mathis studied with Cox for six years, learning vocal scales and exercises, voice production and operatic singing; the first band he sang with was formed by his high school friend Merl Saunders. Mathis eulogized him at his funeral in 2008, thanking him for giving him his first chance as a singer. Mathis was a star athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco, he was a high jumper and hurdler, he played on the basketball team. In 1954, he enrolled at San Francisco State College on an athletic scholarship, intending to become an English teacher and a physical education teacher.
While there, Mathis set a high jump record of 6’-5 1/2”. This is still one of the college's top jump heights and was only two inches short of the Olympic record at the time. Just as when he was in high school, Johnny's name was mentioned in the sports sections of the Northern California newspapers. In fact, he & future NBA star Bill Russell were featured in a 1954 sports section article of the San Francisco Chronicle demonstrating their high jumping skills. During one meet at the University of Nevada, Johnny beat Russell's highest jump attempt that day, he was referred to as "the best all-around athlete to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area." In San Francisco while singing at a Sunday afternoon jam session with a friend's jazz sextet at the Black Hawk Club, Mathis attracted the attention of the club's co-founder, Helen Noga. She became Mathis' music manager, in September 1955, after Noga had found Mathis a job singing weekends at Ann Dee's 440 Club, she learned that George Avakian, head of Popular Music A&R at Columbia Records, was on vacation near San Francisco.
After repeated calls, Noga persuaded Avakian to come hear Mathis at the 440 Club. After hearing Mathis sing, Avakian sent his record company a telegram stating: "Have found phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way. Send blank contracts."At San Francisco State, Mathis had become noteworthy as a high jumper, in 1956 he was asked to try out for the U. S. Olympic Team that would travel to Melbourne, that November. Mathis had to decide whether to go to the Olympic trials or to keep his appointment in New York City to make his first recordings. On his father's advice, Mathis opted to embark on a professional singing career, his LP record album was released in late 1956 instead of waiting until the first quarter of 1957. Mathis's first record album, Johnny Mathis: A New Sound In Popular Song, was a slow-selling jazz album, but Mathis stayed in New York City to sing in nightclubs, his second album was produced by Columbia Records vice-president and record producer Mitch Miller, who helped to define the Mathis sound.
Miller preferred that Mathis sing soft, romantic ballads, pairing him up with conductor and music arranger Ray Conniff, Ray Ellis, Glenn Osser, Robert Mersey. In late 1956, Mathis recorded two of his most popular songs: "Wonderful! Wonderful!" and "It's Not For Me To Say". That year, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer signed him up to sing the latter song in the movie Lizzie. Shortly afterwards, Mathis made his second film appearance for 20th Century Fox, singing the song "A Certain Smile" in the film of that title, he had small acting roles in both movies as a bar singer. This early visibility in two successful movies gave him mass exposure, his appearance on the popular TV program The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957 helped increase his popularity. Critics called him "the velvet voice". Mathis appeared during this period on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, as did fellow African-American entertainers Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey. During the summer of 1958, Mathis left San Francisco with the Nogas, who sold their interest in the Black Hawk club that year, moved to Beverly Hills, where the Nogas bought a house.
Mathis lived with the family. In 1958, Johnny's Greatest Hits was released; the album spent an unprecedented 490 consecutive weeks through 1967 on the Billboard top 200 a
Seth Woodbury MacFarlane is an American actor, voice artist, animator and singer, working in animation and comedy, as well as live-action and other genres. MacFarlane is the creator of the TV series Family Guy and The Orville, co-creator of the TV series American Dad! and The Cleveland Show. He wrote and starred in the films Ted, its sequel Ted 2, A Million Ways to Die in the West. MacFarlane is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Recruited to Hollywood, he was an animator and writer for Hanna-Barbera for several television series, including Johnny Bravo and Chicken, Dexter's Laboratory, I Am Weasel, Larry & Steve, he made several guest appearances on TV series such as Gilmore Girls, The War at Home and FlashForward. In 2008, he created his own YouTube series titled Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, he won several awards for his work on Family Guy, including four Primetime Emmy Awards and an Annie Award. In 2009, he won the Webby Award for Video Person of the Year, he speaks at universities and colleges throughout the United States, is an active supporter of gay rights.
MacFarlane has performed as a singer at several venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York and the Royal Albert Hall in London. MacFarlane has released four studio albums, in the same vein of his musical idol Frank Sinatra, beginning with Music Is Better Than Words in 2011, he has been nominated for four Grammy Awards for his musical work. MacFarlane hosted the 85th Academy Awards in 2013 and was nominated for Best Original Song for the song "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted. MacFarlane served as executive producer of the Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, an update of the 1980s Cosmos series hosted by Carl Sagan. MacFarlane was instrumental in providing funding for the series, as well as securing studio support for it from other entertainment executives. MacFarlane was raised in Kent, Connecticut, his parents, Ronald Milton MacFarlane and Ann Perry, were born in Massachusetts. MacFarlane's younger sister Rachael is a voice actress, he has roots in New England going back to the 1600s, is a descendant of Mayflower passenger William Brewster.
MacFarlane's parents met in 1970, when they both lived and worked in Boston and married that year. The couple moved to Kent in 1972, where Ann began working in the Admissions Office at South Kent School, she worked in the College Guidance and Admissions Offices at the Kent School, a selective college preparatory school, where Ronald was a teacher. During his childhood, MacFarlane developed an interest in illustration and began drawing cartoon characters Fred Flintstone and Woody Woodpecker, as early as two years old. By the age of five, MacFarlane knew that he would want to pursue a career in animation, began by creating flip books, after his parents found a book on the subject for him. Four years aged nine, MacFarlane began publishing a weekly comic strip titled "Walter Crouton" for The Kent Good Times Dispatch, the local newspaper in Kent, which paid him five dollars per week. In one anecdote from the time, MacFarlane said in an October 2011 interview that as a child he was always "weirdly fascinated by the Communion ceremony".
He created a strip with a character kneeling at the altar taking Communion and asking "Can I have fries with that?" The paper printed he got an "angry letter" from the local priest. MacFarlane received his high school diploma in 1991 from the Kent School. While there, he continued experimenting with animation, his parents gave him an 8 mm camera. MacFarlane went on to study film and animation at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree; as a student, he changed his mind after graduating. At RISD MacFarlane created a series of independent films, meeting future Family Guy cast member Mike Henry, whose brother Patrick was MacFarlane's classmate. During his time at RISD, he performed stand-up comedy. In his senior year he made a thesis film titled The Life of Larry, which became the inspiration for Family Guy. A professor submitted his film to the animation studio Hanna-Barbera, where he was hired. MacFarlane was recruited during the senior film festival by development executive Ellen Cockrill and President Fred Seibert.
He went to work at Hanna-Barbera based on the writing content of The Life of Larry, rather than on cartooning ability. He was one of only a few people hired by the company based on writing talent, he worked as an writer for Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoons series. In 1996, MacFarlane created a sequel to The Life of Larry entitled Larry & Steve, which features a middle-aged character named Larry and an intellectual dog, Steve; the short was broadcast as one of Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toons. He described the atmosphere at Hanna-Barbera as resembling an "old-fashioned Hollywood structure, where you move from one show to another or you jump from a writing job on one show to a storyboard job on another". MacFarlane worked on four television series during his tenure at the studio: Dexter's Laboratory and Chicken, I Am Weasel, Johnny Bravo. Working as both a writer and storyboard artist, MacFarlane spent the most time on Johnny Bravo, he found it easier to develop his own style at Johnny Bravo through the show's process of scriptwriting, which Dexter's Laboratory and Chicken, I Am Weasel did not use.
As a part of the Johnny Bravo crew, MacFarla
Lana Del Rey
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, known professionally as Lana Del Rey, is an American singer, record producer, poet and music video director. Her music has been noted by critics for its stylized cinematic quality, its preoccupation with themes of tragic romance and melancholia, its references to pop culture 1950s and 1960s Americana. Raised in Upstate New York, Del Rey moved to New York City in 2005 to embark on her music career. Following numerous projects including her debut studio album and the unreleased Sirens, Del Rey's breakthrough came after the viral success of her single "Video Games" in 2011, she signed with Interscope and Polydor that year. Her major label debut Born to Die proved an international success and spawned her first top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 with the Cedric Gervais remix of "Summertime Sadness". Since, Del Rey has released the US Billboard 200 number-one albums Ultraviolence and Lust for Life, along with top-ten releases Paradise and Honeymoon, she has received nominations for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album for both Paradise and Lust for Life.
Del Rey has contributed to a variety of film soundtracks, most notably "Young and Beautiful" for The Great Gatsby and the eponymous theme for Big Eyes, which garnered her a Grammy and Golden Globe nomination, respectively. Del Rey wrote and starred in the musical film Tropico and in short films to accompany her work including Ride, National Anthem, Freak, her official YouTube channel has accumulated over 3.1 billion views as of November 9, 2018, with 11 of her videos surpassing 100 million views on Vevo. Elizabeth Woolridge Grant was born in New York City on June 21, 1985, to Robert England Grant, Jr. a Grey Group copywriter turned entrepreneur, Patricia Ann "Pat", a former Grey account executive turned high school teacher. She has one younger sister, Caroline Grant, one brother, Charlie, her paternal grandfather, Robert England Grant, Sr. was a Kidder, Peabody & Co. investment banker, a vice president for Plough and Textron, venture capitalist. She has Scottish ancestry from both father. Grant grew up in Lake Placid, New York, was raised Roman Catholic.
She for one year, a high school where her mother taught. She began singing in her church choir. At age 15, she was sent to Kent School by her parents to resolve a budding drinking problem, her uncle, an admissions officer at the boarding school, secured her financial aid to attend. After graduating, Del Rey was accepted to the State University of New York at Geneseo, but she decided not to attend and instead spent a year living on Long Island with her aunt and uncle while working as a waitress. During this time, Del Rey's uncle taught her how to play guitar, she "realized could write a million songs with those six chords." Shortly after, she began writing songs and performing in nightclubs around the city under various names such as "Sparkle Jump Rope Queen" and "Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena". "I was always singing, but didn't plan on pursuing it seriously", Del Rey said. "When I got to New York City when I was eighteen, I started playing in clubs in Brooklyn—I have good friends and devoted fans on the underground scene, but we were playing for each other at that point—and, it."The following fall, at age 19, she enrolled at Fordham University where she majored in philosophy, with an emphasis on metaphysics.
She has said she chose to study the subject because it "bridged the gap between God and science... I was interested in God and how technology could bring us closer to finding out where we came from and why." According to Del Rey, she had trouble making friends in both boarding college. She lived in The Bronx while attending Fordham. Before graduating in 2008, she moved to New Jersey, she was a Brooklyn resident for four years. In college, Del Rey volunteered work at homeless youth and drug and alcohol outreach programs, as well as helping paint and rebuild houses on an Indian reservation in Utah, she would cite this trip as integral in her decision to become a songwriter: "I remember when I decided that I wanted to be a singer. I was in college, we went to the Indian reservation; that day I realized that I had only two options: either making music or volunteering for a good cause. I chose the first option. If it not, I would social work in any small town." On April 25, 2005, a seven-track extended play was registered under Elizabeth Woolridge Grant with the United States Copyright Office.
The application title was Rock Me Stable with another title Young Like Me listed. A second extended play, titled From the End, was recorded under Del Rey's stage name at the time, May Jailer. Between 2005 and 2006, she recorded an acoustic album titled Sirens under the May Jailer project, which leaked on the internet in mid-2012. At her first performance in 2006 for the Williamsburg Live Songwriting Competition, Del Rey met Van Wilson, an A&R representative for 5 Points Records, an independent label owned by David Nichtern. In 2007, while a senior at Fordham, Del Rey submitted a demo tape of acoustic tracks titled No Kung Fu to 5 Points Records, who subsequently offered her a recording contract for $10,000. Del Rey used the money to relocate to Manhattan Mobile Home Park, a trailer park in North Bergen, New Jersey, subsequently began working with producer David Kahne, with whom she released a three-track EP titled Kill Kill in October 2008 as Lizzy Grant, she explained. He is known as a
The Platters are an American vocal group formed in 1952. They were one of the most successful vocal groups of the early roll era, their distinctive sound was a bridge between the pre-rock Tin Pan Alley tradition and the burgeoning new genre. The act went through several personnel changes, with the most successful incarnation comprising lead tenor Tony Williams, David Lynch, Paul Robi, Herb Reed, Zola Taylor; the group had 40 charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1955 and 1967, including four number-one hits. The Platters are one of the first African-American groups to be accepted as a major chart group and were, for a period of time, the most successful vocal group in the world; the Platters formed in Los Angeles in 1952 and were managed by Federal Records A&R man, Ralph Bass. The original group consisted of Alex Hodge, Cornell Gunter, David Lynch, Joe Jefferson, Gaynel Hodge. In June 1953, Gaynel Hodge left for the Hollywood Flames, while Gunter left to join the Flaires and was replaced by lead vocalist Tony Williams.
The band released two singles with Federal Records, under the management of Bass, but found little success. Bass asked his friend music entrepreneur and songwriter Buck Ram to coach the group in hope of getting a hit record. Ram made some changes to the lineup, most notably the addition of female vocalist Zola Taylor and, in autumn 1954, the replacement of Alex Hodge by Paul Robi. Under Ram's guidance, the Platters recorded eight songs for Federal in the R&B/gospel style, scoring a few minor regional hits on the West Coast, backed Williams' sister, Linda Hayes. One song recorded during their Federal tenure, "Only You" written by Ram for the Ink Spots, was deemed unreleasable by the label, though copies of this early version do exist. Despite their lack of chart success, the Platters were a profitable touring group, successful enough that the Penguins, coming off their #8 single "Earth Angel", asked Ram to manage them as well. With the Penguins in hand, Ram was able to parlay Mercury Records' interest into a 2-for-1 deal.
To sign the Penguins, Ram insisted, Mercury had to take the Platters. The Penguins would never have a hit for the label. Convinced by Jean Bennett and Tony Williams that "Only You" had potential, Ram had the Platters re-record the song during their first session for Mercury. Released in the summer of 1955, it became the group's first Top Ten hit on the pop charts and topped the R&B charts for seven weeks; the follow-up, "The Great Pretender", with lyrics written in the washroom of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas by Buck Ram, exceeded the success of their debut and became the Platters' first national #1 hit. "The Great Pretender" was the act's biggest R&B hit, with an 11-week run atop that chart. In 1956, the Platters appeared in the first major motion picture based around rock and roll, Rock Around the Clock, performed both "Only You" and "The Great Pretender"; the Platters' unique vocal style had touched a nerve in the music-buying public, a string of hit singles followed, including three more national #1 hits and more modest chart successes such as "I'm Sorry" and "He's Mine" in 1957, "Enchanted" in 1959, " The Magic Touch" in 1956.
The Platters soon hit upon the successful formula of updating older standards, such as "My Prayer", "Twilight Time", "Harbor Lights", "To Each His Own", "If I Didn't Care", Jerome Kern's "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". This latter release caused a small controversy after Kern's widow expressed concern that her late husband's composition would be turned into a "rock and roll" record, it topped both the British charts in a Platters-style arrangement. The Platters differed from most other groups of the era because Ram had the group incorporated in 1956; each member of the group received a 20% share in the stock, full royalties, their Social Security was paid. As group members left one by one and his business partner, Jean Bennett, bought their stock, which they claimed gave them ownership of the "Platters" name. A court ruled, that "FPI was a sham used by Mr. Ram to obtain ownership in the name'Platters', FPI's issuance of stock to the group members was'illegal and void' because it violated California corporate securities law."The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in its inaugural year of 1998.
The Platters were the first roll group to have a Top Ten album in the United States. They were the only act to have three songs included on the American Graffiti soundtrack that fueled an oldies revival underway in the early to mid-1970s: "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "The Great Pretender", "Only You"; the group's line-up has changed many times. The line-up in 1953 included lead vocalist Cornell Gunter, Herb Reed, Alex Hodge, Joe Jefferson, David Lynch. Soon, Gunter was replaced by tenor Tony Williams; the band's second manager Ram decided to build the group around Williams's distinctive and versatile voice and his ability to bring life to Ram's songs. Within a year and Jefferson were out and replaced by Paul Robi and a female, Zola Taylor; the details of baritone Hodge's departure are muddy. The resulting line-up, the one remembered for the group's biggest and most lasting hits, lasted until 1960; as a group, the Platters began to have difficulties with the public after 1959, when the four male members were arrested in Cincinnati on drug and prostitution charges.
Reed said he lost contact with Taylor shortly after this
Connie Francis is an American pop singer and top-charting female vocalist of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although her chart success waned in the second half of the 1960s, Francis remained a top concert draw. Despite several severe interruptions in her career, she is still active as a recording and performing artist. Francis was born to an Italian-American family in the Italian Down Neck, or Ironbound, neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, the first child of George Franconero, Sr. and Ida Franconero, spending her first years in a Brooklyn neighborhood on Utica Avenue/St. Marks Avenue before the family moved to New Jersey. Growing up in an Italian-Jewish neighborhood, Francis became fluent in Yiddish, which would lead her to record songs in Yiddish and Hebrew. In her autobiography Who's Sorry Now?, published in 1984, Francis recalls that she was encouraged by her father to appear at talent contests and other neighborhood festivities from the age of four as a singer and accordion player. Francis attended Newark Arts High School in 1951 and 1952.
She and her family moved to Belleville, New Jersey, where Francis graduated as salutatorian from Belleville High School Class of 1955. During this time, Francis continued to perform at neighborhood festivities and talent shows, appearing alternately as Concetta Franconero and Connie Franconero. Under the latter name, she appeared on NBC's variety show Startime Kids between 1953 and 1955. During the rehearsals for her appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, Francis was advised by Godfrey to change her stage name to Connie Francis for the sake of easier pronunciation. Godfrey told her to drop the accordion – advice she gladly followed, as she had begun to hate the large and heavy instrument. Around the same time, Francis took a job as a singer on demonstration records, which were brought to the attention of established singers and/or their management who would subsequently choose or decline to record the song for a professional commercial record. In 1955, Startime Kids went off the air. In May that same year, George Franconero Sr. and Francis' manager George Scheck raised money for a recording session of four songs which they hoped to sell to a major record company under Francis' own name.
The story goes that every record label they tried turned her down because, as a demo singer, Francis could copy other popular singers of the day like Kitty Kallen or Kay Starr, but had not yet developed a distinctive sound of her own. When MGM Records decided to sign a contract with her, it was because one track she had recorded, "Freddy", happened to be the name of the son of a company co-executive, Harry A. Meyerson, who thought of this song as a nice birthday gift. Hence, "Freddy" was released as Francis' first single, which turned out to be a commercial failure, just as her following eight solo singles were. Despite these failures, Francis was hired to record the vocals for Tuesday Weld's "singing" scenes in the 1956 movie Rock, Rock and for Freda Holloway in the 1957 Warner Brothers rock and roll movie Jamboree. In the fall of 1957, Francis enjoyed her first chart success with a duet single she had recorded with Marvin Rainwater: "The Majesty of Love", backed with "You, My Darlin' You", peaked at number 93 on Billboard's Hot 100.
The single sold over one million copies. However, her minor chart success came too late – Francis' recording contract consisted of ten solo singles and one duet single. Though success had seemed to come with "The Majesty of Love", Francis was informed by MGM Records that her contract would not be renewed after her last solo single. Francis considered a career in medicine and was about to accept a four-year scholarship offered at New York University. At what was to have been her final recording session for MGM on October 2, 1957, she recorded a cover version of the 1923 song "Who's Sorry Now?", written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. Francis has said that she recorded it at the insistence of her father, convinced it stood a chance of becoming a hit because it was a song adults knew and that teenagers would dance to if it had a contemporary arrangement. Francis, who did not like the song and had been arguing about it with her father heatedly, delayed the recording of the three other songs during the session so much, that in her opinion, no time was left on the continuously running recording tape.
Her father insisted and when the recording "Who's Sorry Now?" was finished, only a few seconds were left on the tape. The single seemed to go unnoticed like all previous releases, just as Francis had predicted, but on January 1, 1958, it debuted on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, on February 15 of that same year, Francis performed it on the first episode of The Saturday Night Beechnut Show hosted by Clark. By mid-year, over a million copies had been sold, Francis was launched into worldwide stardom. In April 1958, "Who's Sorry Now" reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and number 4 in the US. For the next four years, Francis was voted the "Best Female Vocalist" by American Bandstand viewers; as Connie Francis explains at each of her concerts, she began searching for a new hit after the success of "Who's Sorry Now?", since MGM Records had renewed her contract. After the relative failure of the follow-up singles "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry" and "Heartaches", Francis met Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, who sang a number of ballads they had written for her.
After a few hours, Francis began writing in her diary while the songwriters played the last of their ballads. Afterwards, Francis told them that she considered thei
Anita Denise Baker is an American singer-songwriter. Starting her career in the late 1970s with the funk band Chapter 8, Baker released her first solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. In 1986, she rose to stardom following the release of her platinum-selling second album, which included the Grammy-winning single "Sweet Love", she is regarded as one of the most popular singers of soulful romantic ballads during the height of the quiet storm period of contemporary R&B in the 1980s. As of 2017, Baker has five platinum albums and one gold album, her vocal range is contralto. Anita Baker was born on January 1958 in Toledo, Ohio; when she was two, her mother abandoned her and Baker was raised by a foster family in Detroit, Michigan. When Baker was 12, her foster parents died and her foster sister raised her afterwards. By the time Baker was 16, she began singing R&B at Detroit nightclubs. After one performance, she was discovered by bandleader David Washington, who gave her a card to audition for the funk band, Chapter 8.
Baker joined Chapter 8 in 1975 and the group toured until securing a deal with Ariola Records in 1979. The group's first album, Chapter 8, was released that year and featured the singles "Ready for Your Love," a duet between Baker and bandmate Gerald Lyles, the Baker-led "I Just Want to Be Your Girl." After Ariola was bought out by Arista Records in 1979, Chapter 8 was dropped by the label who were convinced that Baker, as the group's lead singer, didn't have "star potential." Baker returned to Detroit, working as a waitress and a receptionist until, in 1982, Otis Smith, a former associate of Ariola, convinced Baker to start a solo career under his Beverly Glen label. Baker released her debut solo album, The Songstress, in 1983; the album produced four singles: "No More Tears" and its B-side, "Will You Be Mine", "Angel" and "You're the Best Thing Yet". "Angel" became Baker's first top ten single, reaching number five on the R&B charts in late 1983. "You're the Best Thing Yet" followed it in the R&B top 40 early the following year.
Despite this early success, Baker complained that she hadn't received any royalties from the work. In addition, the label delayed work on Baker's follow-up of The Songstress. By 1984, after two years, Baker sought to leave the label but was sued by Smith for breach of contract in 1985. After months in court debating the matter, it was concluded that Baker should be allowed to record for other labels, winning the case against Smith. Baker signed with the Warner Music Group-associated Elektra Records label in 1985 and began working on her next album, her Elektra contract allowed the singer to have creative control and produce her own music, something she wasn't allowed to do at Beverly Glen. Baker used her old Chapter 8 bandmate and producer Michael J. Powell on her first Elektra album, though label execs were unhappy with her choice of Powell over more established producers. In March 1986, Baker released Rapture. While sales were slow following the release of the album's debut single, "Watch Your Step", Elektra released the mid-tempo ballad, "Sweet Love", which became her first pop hit, reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the UK Top 20.
The album launched three further hit singles, including "Caught Up in the Rapture", "No One in the World" and "Same Ole Love". Throughout 1986 and 1987, Baker promoted the album by touring, headlining her first tour, The Rapture Tour, a show from, released on home video as A Night of Rapture. By 1988, the album had sold over 8 million copies worldwide, 5 million of which were sold in the United States alone; the album resulted in Baker's winning two Grammy Awards at the 1987 ceremony. In 1987, Baker collaborated with The Winans on their song, "Ain't No Need to Worry", which gave Baker a third Grammy, this time in the Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus category. Baker's follow-up, Giving You the Best That I Got, was released in October 1988 and became a success, topping the Billboard 200 and selling 5 million copies worldwide, 3 million of which sold alone in the United States; the title track reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the R&B and adult contemporary charts, becoming her most successful charted single.
The follow-up, "Just Because", reached the top 20 on the pop chart, while a third single, "Lead Me Into Love", became a top ten R&B hit. The album resulted in three more Grammy Awards for the singer. In 1990, Baker released Compositions, which had Baker more involved in the songwriting and production process and the first in which she began incorporating more jazz elements than in previous albums; the album launched the singles "Talk to Me", "Soul Inspiration" and "Fairy Tales", sold over a million copies. After the end of the album's touring and promotion schedule in 1991, Baker took a break from the business when she settled down with her husband at the time having two children together. In 1991, Elektra re-issued Baker's first album, The Songstress, after buying rights to the album, it has sold more than 300,000 copies since its release. After appearing on Frank Sinatra's Duets album, Baker returned to the charts with Rhythm of Love in 1994; the album featured the hit "Body and Soul", which became her first top 40 pop hit since 1989.
The album sold over 2 million copies, resulting in her fourth consecutive platinum-selling album. Baker undertook the Rhythm of Love World Tour from December 14, 1994 to November 14, 1995. Baker was transferred to another label within the Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, in 1996. Taki
Sara Lynn Evans is an American country music singer and songwriter. Evans has released eight studio albums: Three Chords and the Truth, No Place That Far, Born to Fly, Real Fine Place, Slow Me Down, plus one Christmas album, At Christmas and a 2007 greatest hits package. Out of all her albums, Born to Fly is her best-selling one, having earned a 2x-platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of two million copies, she has charted more than 20 singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Four additional singles of hers have reached number one as well: "Born to Fly", "Suds in the Bucket", "A Real Fine Place to Start", "A Little Bit Stronger", plus four more that have reached the Top 10. Several of her singles have crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, where she has seven Top 40 entries. Evans has won one award each from Billboard, the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, Broadcast Music Incorporated, a Dove Award. While Evans' debut album was defined by neotraditionalist country influences, most of her subsequent material has taken a more slick, country pop production, similar to Faith Hill and Martina McBride.
Evans has collaborated with The Warren Brothers, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Mindy McCready, Lorrie Morgan, Phil Vassar, Pat Green among others. She has covered songs by Edwin McCain, Bruce Hornsby, Radney Foster, Rod Stewart, Gavin DeGraw. Evans was born in Boonville, Missouri, in 1971, is of Welsh, English and Native American descent, she was raised on a farm near New Franklin, the eldest girl of seven children. By five, she was singing weekends in her family's band. At the age of eight, she was struck by an automobile in front of the family home, her legs suffered multiple fractures. Recuperating for months in a wheelchair, she continued singing to help pay her medical bills; when she was 16, she began performing at a nightclub near Columbia, Missouri, a gig that lasted two years. Evans moved to Tennessee, in 1991 to be a country music artist, she left Nashville with him in 1992, moving to Oregon. They married in 1993, she returned to Nashville in 1995 and began recording demos. Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard was impressed by her demo of his song "Tiger by the Tail".
He decided leading to a signed contract with RCA Nashville. In 1997, Evans released her debut album for Three Chords and the Truth. Although none of its three singles reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the album received critical praise for its neotraditional country sound. In 1998, Evans released her second album; the album's lead single, "Cryin' Game," failed to reach the Top 40. However, the album's second single and title track, gave Evans her first Number One hit on the Hot Country Songs chart in March 1999; the album was certified Gold by the RIAA, produced one additional Top 40 country hit in "Fool, I'm a Woman." Evans' third studio album, Born to Fly, was released on October 10, 2000. She insisted on hiring Seattle-based rock drummer Matt Chamberlain, who brought a different sound to her music; the album's title track, released as the lead single, was a Number One hit on the Hot Country Songs chart. Three more singles were released from the album, the first two reaching the Top 10, the latter becoming a Top 20 hit.
Born to Fly was certified 2× Platinum by the RIAA in 2004. In 2001, Evans was the most-nominated artist at the Country Music Association awards with seven nominations overall, she won her first CMA award when "Born to Fly" won the award for Video of the Year, her first major industry award. Evans released her fourth studio album, Restless, on August 19, 2003; the album's lead single, "Backseat of a Greyhound Bus," was a Top 20 hit on the Hot Country Songs chart. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart and at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of over 40,000 copies. "Perfect," the album's second single, was a No. 2 hit on the country charts. However, the album's third single, "Suds in the Bucket," was the most successful single. Additionally, it was Evans' first Gold-certified single by the RIAA; the album's fourth and final single, "Tonight," failed to reach the Top 40 country charts. Restless received a nomination in the 2005 Academy of Country Music Awards.
Evans' fifth studio album, Real Fine Place, was released on October 4, 2005. The album's lead single, "A Real Fine Place to Start," reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2005, as well as reaching the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. It was certified Gold by the RIAA; the album sold 130,000 copies in its first week, which allowed it to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. "Cheatin'" was released as the second single from Real Fine Place and became a Top 10 country hit, reaching a peak of No. 9 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The album produced two additional char