Artists who shook the music industry


Elvis Presley

1955 - 1960

Elvis Presley is a music icon that will be remembered for years. Also called the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis had his own style of music and sang anything from country to gospel songs (Brewster). The start of Presleys career began in 1955 when he signed with RCA. Soon afterwards, the song "Heartbreak Hotel" became a hit single and "Elvis Presley" became a number one album. Presley signed a movie contract with Paramount Pictures, and in 1956 his movie "Love me Tender" was a box office hit (Elvis Aaron Presley). That same year, Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, however he was only filmed from the waist up because of his provocative dance moves (Brewster). By the end of his music career, Presley had earned 52 gold records. His name is one that will never be forgotten.

"Elvis Aaron Presley." The Biography Channel Website. Web. 04 May 2013
Brewster, Mike. "Elvis Presley: Birth of a Rock Star." BloomberBusinessweek. Bloomberg. 23 Sept. 2004. Web. 04 May 2013


1982 - 1990

In 1982 Madonna burst onto the music scene with a dance singles titled "Everybody." The song was followed by her self-titled debut album in 1983 (Madonna Born). Within her music, Madonna tackled sexual and religious themes, while on the movie screen she played a female baseball player in the 1992 film "A league of their own." At the first MTV music Awards i 1984 wearing a wedding dress, Madonna performed her song "Like a Virgin", which went platinum in a month. Songs "Like a Prayer" (1984) and "True Blue" (1986) topped the charts and Madonna was one of the best selling artists of the 1980's (Madonna Born). By 1991, she had achieved twenty-one top ten hits, and had sold seventy million albums internationally (Madonna). Madonna is still making music today, and she is over the age of fifty.

"Madonna Born." The History Channel website. Web. 04 May 2013.
"Madonna" The Biography Channel website. Web. 04 May 2013.

Green Day

1988 - 2000

The members of the band Green Day include Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt. The four formed the band Green Day in 1988 in Berkeley, California (Erlewine). The bands major debut occurred in 1994 with their album "Dookie." "Dookie" sold over ten million copies in America, and fifteen million internationally (Erlewine). "Basket Case," a single off of "Dookie," was widely popular and spent five weeks at the top of the modern rock charts in America. More success was gained in 1994 with "Dookie," when it won a Grammy for best alternative music performance. Green Day burst onto the music scene in the 1990's, but continued to gain popularity and media attention well into the early 2000's.

Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Green Day." Billboard. web. 05 May 2013

The Black Eyed Peas

1995 - 2010

The Black Eyed Peas, or BEP for short, formed in 1995 in Los Angeles, California. The group included Fergie,, and Taboo (Kellman). Though it took the band a few years to hit it big, they have been very successful. Three of their albums went multi-platinum including Elephunk (2003), Monkey Business (2005) and The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) (2009). BEP's main style of music is hip-hop, which is relevant in their songs. Besides going multi-platinum, the album "Elephunk" stormed the Top 40 with three singles including "Where is the love?" "Hey Mama," and "Let's Get it Started" (Kellman). BEP's album "The E.N.D." was just as successful as "Elephunk" with three number one singles. The Black Eyed Peas have been around for a long time and continue to make music.

Kellman, Andy and Wade Kergan. "The Black Eyed Peas." Billboard. web. 05 May 2013

Lady Gaga

2008 - 2013

At the young age of twenty, Lady Gaga began working at Interscope Records as a songwriter for other artists on the label (Lady Gaga). Singer Akon noticed Lady Gaga performing one night, and decided to sign her on his label. During 2007 and 2008, Gaga wrote and recorded her first album titled "The Fame." Off of this album was the single "Just Dance" which was nominated for a Grammy award, however did not win. In January of 2009, Lady Gaga was number one on the mainstream pop charts. Another single, "Poker Face," topped singles charts in almost every category (Lady Gaga). A smaller album with just eight songs, "The Fame Monster," was released in 2009 and "Born This Way" was released in 2011. Along with her successful music career, Lady Gaga also does philanthropy work. In 2011, along with her mother, Gaga launched the Born This Way foundation with a standard of bravery and kindness (Walker). The foundation also tackles the problems of bullying and abandonment. Lady Gaga has been a role model to many girls, has had a successful music career, and will continue to be a household name.

"Lady Gaga." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Web. 05 May 2013
Walker, Andrew H. and Todd Williamson. "Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey Launch Born this Way Foundation in Boston." Rolling Stone. 29 Feb. 2012. Web. 05 May 2013

British Invasion

The Beatles

1957 - 1970

The Beatles is a British band formed in 1957 in Liverpool, England (Unterberger). The band included four members; John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison. The Beatles were the first British rock group to achieve worldwide prominence, and began the British Invasion (Unterberger). For five years the band played together before they were successful and had any hit songs. In 1962 they were signed by Parlophone, when their music career took off. "Please please me" topped the British charts the following year in 1963, and stayed there for thirty weeks. In the same year, the song "I want to hold your hand" topped the charts in the United States in the month of December. The Beatles are a band whose name will live on, though most of the members have died.

Unterberger, Richie. "The Beatles." allmusic. web. 04 May 2013.


1971 - 1980

Formed in 1971 in London, England, Queen was a band that embraced progressive rock and heavy metal. They had a mock operatic sound, with layered guitars and over-dubbed vocals (Erlewine). Members included Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor. Despite their enormous popularity, Queen was never taken very seriously by rock critic. In the mid-seventies, Queen became one of the most popular bands in the world, and in England second only to the Beatles (Erlewine). Thei debut album "Queen" in 1973 did gain much success, but the bands second album "Queen II" in 1974 was a breakthrough for them in England. In America, the album "A night at the Opera" was very popular, reached the top ten very quickly, and went platinum. Entering the 1980's, Queen was at the height of their popularity.

Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Queen." allmusic. Web. 04 May 2013.