Blondie, Fat Joe, Apocalyptica, Stevie Wonder

Blondie

Blondie is an American rock band that was formed in in the late 1970s in New York City, New York. Blondie consisted of Deborah Harry, Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Leigh Foxx, Paul Carbonara, Matt Katz-Bohen and Jimmy Destri. Blondie released their self titled debut album in 1976 through Private Stock Records. After disappointing sales and poor publicity, Blondie was dropped from the label. Chrysalis Records then signed the band and re-released the album in 1977, along with single “Rip Her to Shreds”. In 1977, Blondie released their second album, Plastic Letters. “Denis”, a cover of the Randy & the Rainbows’ 1963 hit “Denise”, was a hit all over Europe; reaching number two in February 1978 in the United Kingdom. They followed Plastic Letters success with the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. The album reached number one in the United Kingdom in February 1979. It contains several of the best-known Blondie hits, including “Heart of Glass”, “Hanging on the Telephone”, “Sunday Girl” and “One Way or Another”. Deborah Harry achieved a level of celebrity that eclipsed that of other band members, so much so that people began referring to her as Blondie. This led to the dissolution of the group in 1982. As members pursued other projects, Blondie’s reputation grew over the following decade and the group reformed in 1997, achieving renewed success and a number one single in the United Kingdom with “Maria” in 1999.

Fat Joe

Fat Joe is the stage name of Joseph Cartagena. He’s an American rapper from the Bronx neighborhood of New York. He is currently signed to Imperial Records, CEO of Terror Squad Entertainment, and member of musical groups D.I.T.C. and Terror Squad. In 1993, he released his debut album, Represent. It features guest appearances from Diamond D, Grand Puba, Apache, Kool G Rap, Gismo, Kieth Kieth and King Sun. It also features DJ scratches by Roc Raida and Rob Swift. In 1995, Fat Joe released his second studio album, Jealous One’s Envy, which peaked at #71 on The Billboard 200 and at #7 on Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums. The album featured a guest appearance from KRS-One and production from Diamond D. The success of this album led Fat Joe to be featured on the remix of LL Cool J’s single I Shot Ya along with Foxy Brown, Keith Murray and Prodigy of Mobb Deep. In 1998, Fat Joe signed to Atlantic Records and released his third album, Don Cartagena. It peaked at the number seven spot on the Billboard Top 200. Since then Fat Joe has released six more albums. Starting in 2006, when his album Me, Myself, & I was released, Fat Joe was signed to Imperial Records, which distributes through Terror Squad Entertainment. His follow up album wasThe Elephant in the Room, which was released in 2008.

Apocalyptica

Apocalyptica is a Finnish band that was formed in 1993 in Helsinki, Finland. It features Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Perttu Kivilaakso and Mikko Sirén. In 1996, Apocalyptica released their debut studio album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which consisted solely of Metallica covers played on cellos. In 1999, Antero Manninen left the group, and was replaced by Perttu Kivilaakso. In 2000, Apocalyptica released their third studio album, Cult, which featured 10 original songs, and 3 covers. And it was after the recording of Cult that an Apocalyptica track was first seen featuring vocals, “Path Vol. 2”. In 2002, Max Lilja left the group and joined Hevein, leaving Apocalyptica with only three members. Apocalyptica released three more albums of the same stock material and found little commercial success. Apocalyptica released their sixth studio album, Worlds Collide, on September 17, 2007. It was produced by Jacob Hellner. The first single “I’m Not Jesus” featuring Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour from the “Worlds Collide” album cracked the top 10 of both the Active rock and Alternative rock charts. In November 2008, Apocalyptica featuring Adam Gontier hit first at the BDS and Mediabase Active Rock radio charts with the single “I Don’t Care”.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan. third of six children to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway Morris. The product of a premature birth, the blood vessels at the back of his eyes had not yet reached the front, and an aborted growth spurt caused the retinas to detach. The medical term for this condition is known as retinopathy of prematurity. Stevie Wonder took up piano at age seven, and had mastered it by age nine. During his early childhood he was active in his church choir. He also taught himself to play the harmonica and the drums, and had mastered both by age ten. Wonder also learned to play the bass during his early years. In 1961, at the age of eleven, Wonder was discovered singing outside a street corner by a relative of The Miracles’ Ronnie White, who was later introduced to Wonder. White brought Wonder and his mother to Motown Records. Impressed by the young musician, Motown CEO Berry Gordy signed Wonder to Motown’s Tamla label. Stevie Wonder has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits, won twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever won by a solo artist in history. His albums have sold more than than 100 million units.