Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation, a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in California, it is considered one of the "Big Three" record labels, along with Warner Music Group. Since 2004, the corporation is no longer related to the film studio Universal Studios. Universal Music was once the record company attached to film studio Universal Pictures; the company's origins go back to the formation of the American branch of Decca Records in September 1934. The Decca Record Co. Ltd. of England spun American Decca off in 1939. MCA Inc. merged with American Decca in 1962. In November 1990, Japanese multinational conglomerate Matsushita Electric agreed to acquire MCA for $6.59 billion. In 1995, Seagram acquired 80 percent of MCA from Matsushita. On December 9, 1996, the company was renamed Universal Studios, Inc. and its music division was renamed Universal Music Group. In May 1998, Seagram purchased PolyGram and merged it with Universal Music Group in early 1999.
With the 2004 acquisition of Universal Studios by General Electric and merging with GE's NBC, Universal Music Group was cast under separate management from the eponymous film studio. This is the second time a music company has done so, the first being the separation of Time Warner and Warner Music Group. In February 2006, the label became 100 percent owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi when Vivendi purchased the last 20 percent from Matsushita. On June 25, 2007, Vivendi completed its €1.63 billion purchase of BMG Music Publishing, after receiving European Union regulatory approval, having announced the acquisition on September 6, 2006. Doug Morris stepped down from his position as CEO on January 1, 2011. Former chairman/CEO of Universal Music International Lucian Grainge was promoted to CEO of the company. Grainge replaced him as chairman on March 9, 2011. Morris became the next chairman of Sony Music Entertainment on July 1, 2011. With Grainge's appointment as CEO at UMG, Max Hole was promoted to COO of UMGI, effective July 1, 2010.
Starting in 2011 UMG's Interscope Geffen A&M Records will be signing contestants from American Idol/Idol series. On January 2011, UMG announced it was donating 200,000 master recordings from the 1920s to 1940s to the Library of Congress for preservation. In March 2011, Barry Weiss became chairman and CEO of The Island Def Jam Music Group and Universal Republic Records. Both companies were restructured under Weiss. In December 2011, David Foster was named Chairman of Verve Music Group. In 2011, EMI sold its recorded music operations to Universal Music Group for £1.2 billion and its music publishing operations to a Sony-led consortium for $2.2 billion. Among the other companies that had competed for the recorded music business was Warner Music Group, reported to have made a $2 billion bid. IMPALA opposed the merger. In March 2012, the European Union opened an investigation into the acquisition The EU asked rivals and consumer groups whether the deal would result in higher prices and shut out competitors.
On September 21, 2012, the sale of EMI to UMG was approved in Europe and the United States by the European Commission and Federal Trade Commission respectively. However, the European Commission approved the deal only under the condition the merged company divest one third of its total operations to other companies with a proven track record in the music industry. UMG divested Mute Records, Roxy Recordings, MPS Records, Cooperative Music, Now That's What I Call Music!, Universal Greece, Sanctuary Records, Chrysalis Records, EMI Classics, Virgin Classics, EMI's European regional labels to comply with this condition. UMG retained The Beatles and Robbie Williams; the Beatles catalogue was transferred to UMG's newly formed Calderstone Productions, while Williams' catalogue was transferred to Island Records. Universal Music Group completed their acquisition of EMI on September 28, 2012. In November 2012, Steve Barnett was appointed CEO of Capitol Music Group, he served as COO of Columbia Records. In compliance the conditions of the European Commission after purchase of EMI, Universal Music Group sold the Mute catalogue to the German-based BMG Rights Management on December 22, 2012.
Two months BMG acquired Sanctuary Records for €50 million. On November 8, 2012, Universal Music and Hewlett-Packard launched a marketing operation that allows customers with an HP computer with HP Connected Music software to access music from Universal artists, as well as exclusive content. On February 8, 2013, Warner Music Group acquired the Parlophone Label Group for $765 million. In February, Sony Music Entertainment acquired Universal's European share in Now That's What I Call Music for $60 million. Play It Again Sam acquired Co-Operative Music for £500,000 in March 2013. With EMI's absorption into Universal Music complete, its British operations will consist of five label units: Island, Decca, Virgin EMI and Capitol. In April 2013, Universal Music Greece was sold to Victoras Antippas, who renamed the company Cobalt Music. Edel AG acquired the MPS catalogue from Universal in January 2014. On March 20, 2013, UMG announced the worldwide extension of their exclusive distribution deal with the Disney Music Group, excluding Japan and Russia.
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Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, so on, electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, the electric guitar, which are made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin and computer can produce electronic sounds; the first electronic devices for performing music were developed at the end of the 19th century, shortly afterward Italian futurists explored sounds that had not been considered musical.
During the 1920s and 1930s, electronic instruments were introduced and the first compositions for electronic instruments were made. By the 1940s, magnetic audio tape allowed musicians to tape sounds and modify them by changing the tape speed or direction, leading to the development of electroacoustic tape music in the 1940s, in Egypt and France. Musique concrète, created in Paris in 1948, was based on editing together recorded fragments of natural and industrial sounds. Music produced from electronic generators was first produced in Germany in 1953. Electronic music was created in Japan and the United States beginning in the 1950s. An important new development was the advent of computers to compose music. Algorithmic composition with computers was first demonstrated in the 1950s. In the 1960s, live electronics were pioneered in America and Europe, Japanese electronic musical instruments began influencing the music industry, Jamaican dub music emerged as a form of popular electronic music. In the early 1970s, the monophonic Minimoog synthesizer and Japanese drum machines helped popularize synthesized electronic music.
In the 1970s, electronic music began having a significant influence on popular music, with the adoption of polyphonic synthesizers, electronic drums, drum machines, turntables, through the emergence of genres such as disco, new wave, synth-pop, hip hop and EDM. In the 1980s, electronic music became more dominant in popular music, with a greater reliance on synthesizers, the adoption of programmable drum machines such as the Roland TR-808 and bass synthesizers such as the TB-303. In the early 1980s, digital technologies for synthesizers including digital synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7 were popularized, a group of musicians and music merchants developed the Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Electronically produced music became prevalent in the popular domain by the 1990s, because of the advent of affordable music technology. Contemporary electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music. Today, pop electronic music is most recognizable in its 4/4 form and more connected with the mainstream culture as opposed to its preceding forms which were specialized to niche markets.
At the turn of the 20th century, experimentation with emerging electronics led to the first electronic musical instruments. These initial inventions were not sold, but were instead used in demonstrations and public performances; the audiences were presented with reproductions of existing music instead of new compositions for the instruments. While some were considered novelties and produced simple tones, the Telharmonium synthesized the sound of orchestral instruments, it achieved viable public interest and made commercial progress into streaming music through telephone networks. Critics of musical conventions at the time saw promise in these developments. Ferruccio Busoni encouraged the composition of microtonal music allowed for by electronic instruments, he predicted the use of machines in future music, writing the influential Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music. Futurists such as Francesco Balilla Pratella and Luigi Russolo began composing music with acoustic noise to evoke the sound of machinery.
They predicted expansions in timbre allowed for by electronics in the influential manifesto The Art of Noises. Developments of the vacuum tube led to electronic instruments that were smaller and more practical for performance. In particular, the theremin, ondes Martenot and trautonium were commercially produced by the early 1930s. From the late 1920s, the increased practicality of electronic instruments influenced composers such as Joseph Schillinger to adopt them, they were used within orchestras, most composers wrote parts for the theremin that could otherwise be performed with string instruments. Avant-garde composers criticized the predominant use of electronic instruments for conventional purposes; the instruments offered expansions in pitch resources that were exploited by advocates of microtonal music such as Charles Ives, Dimitrios Levidis, Olivier Messiaen and Edgard Varèse. Further, Percy Grainger used the theremin to abandon fixed tonation while Russian composers such as Gavriil Popov treated it as a source of noise in otherwise-acoustic noise music.
Developments in early recording technology paralleled that of electronic instruments. The first means of recording and reproducing audio was invented in the late 19th century with the mechanical phonograph. Record players became a common household item, by the 1920s comp
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
Kylie Ann Minogue known mononymously as Kylie, is an Australian-British singer and actress. She achieved recognition starring in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, where she played tomboy mechanic Charlene Robinson. Appearing in the series for two years, Minogue's character married Scott Robinson in an episode viewed by nearly 20 million people in the United Kingdom, making it one of the most watched Australian TV episodes ever. Since Minogue has been a recording artist and has achieved commercial success and critical acclaim in the entertainment industry. Minogue has been recognised with several honorific nicknames, most notably the "Princess of Pop." She is recognised as the highest-selling Australian artist of all time by the Australian Recording Industry Association. Born and raised in Melbourne, Minogue has worked and lived in the United Kingdom since the 1990s, she released her first studio album Kylie the next year. In 1992, she left PWL and signed with Deconstruction Records where she released her self-titled studio album and Impossible Princess, both of which received positive reviews from critics.
Returning to more mainstream dance-oriented music, Minogue signed to Parlophone and released Light Years. The followup, was a hit in many countries, including the United States; the lead single "Can't Get You Out of My Head" became one of the most successful singles of the 2000s, selling over ten million units. It is recognised as her "signature song" and was named "the catchiest song ever" by Yahoo! Music. Other successful singles by Minogue include "I Should Be So Lucky", "The Loco-Motion", "Especially for You", "Hand on Your Heart", "Better the Devil You Know", "Confide in Me", "Spinning Around", "Love at First Sight", "Slow", "2 Hearts" and "All the Lovers". In 2005, while Minogue was on her Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After treatment, she resumed the tour under the title Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour, which critics viewed as a "triumph". Minogue made her film debut in The Delinquents and portrayed Cammy in Street Fighter. Minogue has appeared in the films Moulin Rouge!, Jack & Diane, Holy Motors.
In 2014, she appeared as a judge on the third series of The Voice Australia. Her other ventures include children's books and fashion; as of 2015, Minogue has had worldwide record sales of more than 80 million. She has mounted several successful and critically acclaimed concert world tours and received a Mo Award for "Australian Entertainer of the Year" for her live performances. Minogue was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 New Year Honours for services to Music, she was appointed by the French government as a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her contribution to the enrichment of French culture. Minogue was awarded an honorary Doctor of Health Science degree by Anglia Ruskin University for her work in raising awareness for breast cancer. In November 2011, on the 25th anniversary of the ARIA Music Awards, she was inducted by the Australian Recording Industry Association into the ARIA Hall of Fame. In December 2016, Billboard ranked her as the 18th most successful dance artist of all-time.
Minogue signed a new global recording contract with BMG Rights Management in early 2017. Her latest album Golden was released on 6 April 2018, debuting at No. 1 in the Australia. Kylie was born to Ronald Charles Minogue and Carol Ann Jones in Melbourne, Australia, on 28 May 1968, her father is a fifth generation Australian, has Irish ancestry, while her mother came from Maesteg, Wales. Jones had lived in Wales until age ten when her mother and father and Denis Jones, decided to move to Australia for a better life. Just before Kylie's birth, Ron qualified as an accountant and worked through several jobs while Carol worked as a professional dancer. Kylie's younger brother, Brendan, is a news cameraman in Australia, while her younger sister Dannii Minogue is a singer and television host; the Minogue family moved around various suburbs in Melbourne to sustain their living expenses, which Kylie found unsettling as a child. After the birth of Dannii, the family moved to South Oakleigh; because money was tight, Ron worked as an accountant at a family-owned car company and Carol worked as a tea lady at a local hospital.
After moving to Surrey Hills, Minogue attended Studfield Primary School before attending Camberwell Primary School. She went on to Camberwell High School. During her schooling years, Minogue found it difficult to make friends, she got her HSC with subjects including English. Minogue described herself as being of "average intelligence" and "quite modest" during her high school years. From the age of 11, Kylie appeared in small roles in soap operas including The Sullivans and Skyways. In 1985, she was cast in one of the lead roles in The Henderson Kids. Minogue took time off school to film The Henderson Kids and while Carol was not impressed, Minogue felt that she needed the independence to make it into the entertainment industry. During filming, co-star Nadine Garner labelled Minogue "fragile" after producers yelled at her for forgetting her lines. Minogue was dropped from the second season of the show after producer Alan Hardy felt the need for her character to be "written off". In retrospect, Hardy stated that removing her from the showing "turned out to be the best thing for her".
Interested in following a career in music, Minogue made a demo tape for the producers of weekly music programme Young Talent Time, which featured Dannii as a regular performer
Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; this led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and the Swedish Empire was formed; this became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th
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
Richard Paul Astley is an English singer and radio personality. His 1987 song "Never Gonna Give You Up" was a number 1 hit single in 25 countries and won the 1988 Brit Award for Best British Single. By the time of his retirement in 1993, Astley had sold 40 million records worldwide. Astley made a comeback in 2007, becoming an Internet phenomenon when the music video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" became integral to the meme known as "rickrolling". Astley was voted "Best Act Ever" by Internet users at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008, his 2016 album 50 debuted in the UK at No. 1. Astley was born on 6 February 1966 in Newton-le-Willows in Lancashire, the fourth child of his family, his parents divorced when he was five and Astley was brought up by his father. Astley remained in close contact with his mother, who lived a few blocks away from his father. After finding out that his father was the one who kicked his mother out of the house, Astley distanced himself from his father, his musical career started.
During his schooldays, Astley formed and played the drums in a number of local bands, where he met guitarist David Morris. After leaving school at sixteen, Astley was employed during the day as a driver in his father's market-gardening business and played drums on the Northern club circuit at night in bands such as Give Way – specialising in covering Beatles and Shadows songs – and FBI, which won several local talent competitions. In 1985, Astley was performing, they were a well-known local band gigging in pubs and clubs. When FBI's lead singer left the band, Morris left to concentrate on his career in hairdressing, Astley offered to be the lead vocalist; this was when he was noticed by the record producer Pete Waterman, who persuaded him to come to London to work at the Pete Waterman Limited recording studio, with RCA Records publishing his records. Under the tutelage of the production team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, known as Stock Aitken Waterman, Astley was taught about the recording process and groomed for his future career starting off as the recording studio "tea boy".
The reason for Astley to be hired as a "tape op" was to overcome his shyness. SAW hired most of FBI, including Morris as a guitarist/songwriter, his first single was the little-known "When You Gonna", released as a collaboration with Lisa Carter, with little promotion. It did not chart, his first solo offering was "Never Gonna Give You Up", recorded on New Year's Day 1987, released eight months in August. Astley's distinctive rich, deep voice combined with dance-pop, made the song an immediate success, spending five weeks at the top of the British charts and becoming the year's highest-selling single; the song was a worldwide number one hit, topping the charts in 24 other countries, including the US, West Germany. It would become the first of 13 top 30 hit singles for him. "Never Gonna Give You Up" won Best British single at the 1988 BPI awards, he performed the hit in front of a global audience of 100 million. His next single was "Whenever You Need Somebody", released in October; the single was a recycled Stock, Waterman song recorded by O'Chi Brown in 1985.
It became a successful European hit, reaching No 1 in seven countries, including West Germany and Sweden, following up the success of his debut single. It reached No 3 in the UK, it was not released in North America. In November 1987, the album Whenever You Need Somebody, containing four tracks written by Astley reached number one in the UK and Australia, No 10 in the US It was certified 4x Platinum in the UK and Canada, 2x Platinum in the US. Overall Whenever You Need Somebody sold 15.2 million copies worldwide, making him the top-selling British act of the year. In December 1987, Astley released a cover version of the Nat King Cole classic "When I Fall in Love"; this single is remembered for a fought contest for UK Christmas Number 1. Rivals EMI, hoping to see their act the Pet Shop Boys reach No 1, re-released the version by Nat King Cole; this led to a slowdown of purchases of Astley's version, allowing the Pet Shop Boys to reach the coveted top spot with their cover version of Always On My Mind.
Despite selling over 200,000 copies and gaining a Silver certification from the BPI, it peaked in the UK at No 2 for two weeks. The re-release of Nat King Cole's version reached No 4; the B side was a dance number "My Arms Keep Missing You", successful in mainland Europe. Astley's fourth single release would be "Together Forever" in 1988, reaching No 2 in the UK, it was denied the top spot by Neighbours sensation Kylie Minogue's debut "I Should Be So Lucky". "Together Forever" was more successful in the US, topping the charts, making it his second US chart topper. In 1989 he lost to Tracy Chapman, his fifth and final release from his debut album was "It Would Take a Strong Strong Man". It was a more soulful song, when compared to his other releases, was intended for the North American market. Thus, it was not released in Britain, it was another hit for Astley, reaching No 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, No 1 in Canada. During the period between his debut release and his fifth single, Astley outsold every other artist in the world.
In the UK, he was in the Top 40 every week for the first 6 months of his career. A fire in the PWL studios destroyed much of Astley's new material, causing a delay in the release of his second album. Hold Me in Your Arms was released in January 1989, containing five sin