Artists

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Timmy Thomas

Timmy Thomas is notable for having been a major one-hit wonder with "Why Can't We Live Together?," a song distinguished by its stripped-down production -- soulful organ, played seemingly improvisationally over a rhythm from a primitive drum machine, with Thomas' impassioned vocals layered over both.

Lisa Stansfield

Born: April 11, 1966 in Manchester, England
Years Active: 80 's, 90 's, 00's
Genre: R&B

Jill Scott

A mature R&B vocalist who excelled most with slower, sensual material ("Slowly, Surely," "I'm Not Afraid," "My Love") and was versatile enough to pack plenty of punch with anthems of pride and self-empowerment ("Golden," "Family Reunion," "Hate on Me"), Jill Scott grew up in north Philadelphia and began her performing career reading her own poetry.

Prince

Few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince. During the '80s, he emerged as one of the most singular talents of the rock & roll era, capable of seamlessly tying together pop, funk, folk, and rock.

Rick Astley

Wielding a rich, deep voice, Rick Astley became an overnight sensation in the late '80s with his well-crafted dance-pop. Astley was discovered by producer Pete Waterman in 1985, when the Merseyside native was singing in the English soul band FBI.

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart may have begun his career as a respected singer, yet that critical respect eroded as he got older, as he became more concerned with stardom and adult contemporary songcraft than the rock music that launched him. While he has recorded some terrible albums -- and he would admit that freely -- Stewart was once rock & roll's best interpretive singer as well as an accomplished songwriter, creating a raw combination of folk, rock, blues, and country that sounded like no other folk-rock or country-rock material.

Alicia Bridges

Alicia Bridges is an American singer who co-wrote and performed her international hit "I Love the Nightlife (Disco 'Round)" in 1978.
Alicia Bridges was born in Lawndale, North Carolina, a small town in Cleveland County. She sang from a very young age and learned to play guitar at the age of 10. At the age of 12 she had her own radio program, The Alicia Bridges Show, broadcast every Saturday on station WADA in Shelby, North Carolina.

Miquel Brown

Miquel Brown, born Michael Brown in Montreal, was raised in Vancouver, Canada. She changed to Miquel so people wouldn't confuse her with a guy, a ploy that didn't help much since she kept her hair very short. Her parents wanted her to be a doctor but she had entertainment on the brain and frequented nightclubs without their knowledge.

Candy Dulfer

Candy Dulfer was born on 19 September 1969 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, as the daughter of saxophonist Hans Dulfer. She played drums at the age of five. On her own initiative, and never pushed by her father, she wanted to play the saxophone. As a six-year-old she started to play on a soprano saxophone, because her father's tenor saxophone was too heavy. She switched to alto saxophone at the age of seven, and played in the local concert band Jeugd Doet Leven (English translation: "Youth Brings Life") in Zuiderwoude. Apart from some basic musical training in a concert band and a few months of music lessons, she taught herself how to play the sax.

Sade

When Sade first came on the recording scene in the '80s, her record company, Epic, made a point of printing "pronounced shar-day" after her name on the record labels of her releases. Soon enough the world would have no problem in correctly pronouncing her name. Born Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan, Nigeria, about 50 miles from Lagos, she was the daughter of an African father and an English mother. After her mother returned to England, Sade grew up on the North End of London.

Tina Charles

Session vocalist Tina Charles was no stranger to music by the time she partnered with Martin Jay in 5000 Volts, in 1975, to score the international hit &"I'm on Fire." Charles and Jay already had some time together under their belts in the little-remembered band Northern Lights, while she also released a string of unsuccessful singles for CBS during 1969-1970: &"Nothing in the World," &"In the Middle of the Day," &"Good to Be Alive," and &"Bo-Bo's Party." Another early outfit, Wild Honey, cut a brace of 45s for Gordon Mills' MAM label during 1971-1972.

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin born in Memphis, mar.25, 1942.
Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records -- "Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and several others -- earned her the title "Lady Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since. Yet as much of an international institution as she's become, much of her work -- outside of her recordings for Atlantic in the late '60s and early '70s -- is erratic and only fitfully inspired, making discretion a necessity when collecting her records.

George Benson

George Benson is simply one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history, but he is also an amazingly versatile musician, and that frustrates to no end critics who would paint him into a narrow bop box. He can play in just about any style -- from swing to bop to R&B to pop -- with supreme taste, a beautiful rounded tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing.

Tina Turner

The most dynamic female soul singer in the history of the music, Tina Turner oozed sexuality from every pore in a performing career that began the moment she stepped onstage as lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue in the late '50s. Her gritty and growling performances beat down doors everywhere, looking back to the double-barreled attack of gospel fervor and sexual abandon that had originally formed soul in the early '50s. Divorced from Ike in the mid-'70s, she recorded only occasionally later in the decade but resurfaced in the mid-'80s with a series of hit singles and movie appearances; her high-profile status was assured well into the '90s.

Billy Ocean

Billy Ocean was one of the first Caribbean singers to be embraced by MTV, resulting in a string of Top Ten hits during the mid-'80s. Born Leslie Charles in Trinidad on January 21, 1950, Ocean moved to England at the age of eight, and by his teenaged years, was singing regularly in London clubs. During this time, Ocean paid the bills by working at Ford Motors, but continued to pen songs and perform, as he issued an obscure debut single in 1974 under the name of Scorched Earth. But by 1975, the singer had dropped his alias and was going by Billy Ocean, resulting in a self-titled debut that spawned the singer's first hit single, "Love Really Hurts Without You," peaking on the singles chart at number two in the United Kingdom and number 22 in the United States.

Engelbert Humperdinck

Ultrasmooth balladeer Engelbert Humperdinck was often billed as "the King of Romance," and for millions of fans around the world, he more than lived up to that title. Despite the strange name and the latter-day ads hawking his music on late-night TV, Humperdinck was one of the finest middle-of-the-road balladeers around, a sensitive lyric interpreter with excellent vocal technique and a three-and-a-half-octave vocal range. During his heyday in the late '60s and early '70s, Humperdinck cultivated the image of a mysterious heartthrob, sporting shaggy sideburns and a flamboyant wardrobe that, when coupled with his rich, silky crooning, drove female fans wild. He was especially popular in Europe and his native U.K., and his worldwide record sales -- counting both albums and singles -- eventually totaled well over 100 million. Like his friendly rival Tom Jones (with whom he shared a manager for many years), he later settled into a comfortable niche as a stalwart of the Las Vegas entertainment circuit.

Tom Jones

Tom Jones became one of the most popular vocalists to emerge from the British Invasion. Since the mid-'60s, Jones has sung nearly every form of popular music -- pop, rock, show tunes, country, dance, and techno, he's sung it all. His actual style -- a full-throated, robust baritone that had little regard for nuance and subtlety -- never changed, he just sang over different backing tracks. On-stage, Jones played up his sexual appeal; it didn't matter whether he was in an unbuttoned shirt or a tuxedo, he always radiated a raw sexuality, which earned him a large following of devoted female fans who frequently threw underwear on-stage. Jones' following never diminished over the decades; he was able to exploit trends, earning new fans while retaining his core following.

Dennis Edwards

Once a Temptation, always a Temptation might be the motto for explosive vocalist Dennis Edwards, who's joined, left, and re-joined the group three times. Edwards was born in Birmingham, but his family moved to Detroit when he was seven. As a high school student, Edwards sang with the Crowns of Joy gospel group, then formed a soul-jazz band called Dennis Edwards && the Firebirds, inspired by organist Richard "Groove" Holmes. Motown bass legend James Jamerson heard Edwards singing one night and suggested he audition.

Gloria Gaynor

Perhaps second only to Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor has become one of the best-known female disco artists from the '70s due to the ongoing success of her monster 1979 hit (and subsequent "woman's anthem"), "I Will Survive." Born Gloria Fowles on September 7, 1949, in Newark, NJ, the singer (who began going by Gloria Gaynor by the early '70s), first sang as part of the obscure R&B outfit the Soul Satisfiers before being discovered by MGM Records head honcho Mike Curb (eventual leader of the Curb label and Lieutenant Governor of California), who decided to sign the singer to his label after several auditions.

Stephanie Mills

Stephanie Mills first came to fame as "the little girl with the big voice" as the star of the hit Broadway play, The Wiz, an adaptation of L. Frank Baum's classic book, -The Wizard Of Oz. She had many R&&B hits such as &"I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love," &"I Feel Good All Over," &"(You're Puttin') A Rush On Me," &"Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel)" and &"Home" along with one certified million selling single, &"Never Knew Love Like This Before." In addition, she also had five gold albums: Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin', Sweet Sensation, Stephanie, If I Were Your Woman and Home.

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