It’s always fun to have something in common with a celebrity. Zac Efron dated your cousin? Your Facebook friends will definitely like that. Beyoncé was in your kindergarten class? That’s instant cocktail party fodder. Even knowing you’re the same age as a celebrity gives you a special bond, no matter how small that bond may be. That’s why we compiled this list of the most famous musician born the same year as you.
Stacker identified musicians born in every year from 1920 to 2000 and then selected the top three musicians in each year using page view analysis from Wikipedia while ignoring data spikes that may have been caused by big news stories or other anomalies. The result is a full list of the most famous musician born the same year as you, including some of the biggest names in pop, rock, rap, and jazz. Who was born in your birth year? You’ll have to click through to find out.
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Date of birth: Aug. 29 (Died: March 12, 1955)
Charlie “Yardbird” Parker set the jazz world on fire with his progressive saxophone style. Parker was born in Kansas City, Kan., and moved to New York in his early 20s. There, he found kindred spirits in other future legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis. Parker changed the face of jazz forever with his inventive time signatures and solos, but passed away prematurely at 34 due to several health issues.
Other notable artists: Dave Brubeck, Peggy Lee
Date of birth: Dec. 28 (Died: Jan. 17, 2012)
“Godfather of rhythm and blues” Johnny Otis was born in Vallejo, Calif., but grew up in a predominantly black area of Berkeley that greatly shaped his worldview and musical development. Otis was a hit DJ and TV star in the ‘50s and found great acclaim with hits like “Willie and the Hand Jive.” The R&B innovator passed away at the age of 90 in Altadena.
Other notable artists: Charles Mingus, Yma Sumac
Date of birth: April 22 (Died: Jan. 5, 1979)
Charles Mingus was a bass player and bandleader who grew up in Watts, Calif., before becoming one of the most influential American jazz musicians of all time. Playing alongside Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, Mingus carved out a place for himself as a musician and composer. He recorded over 100 albums and 300 scores.
Other notable artists: Yma Sumac, Illinois Jacquet
Date of birth: Sept. 17 (Died: Jan. 1, 1953)
One pioneer of country music, Alabama-born Hank Williams Sr. lived a short but prolific life. He hit the Grand Ole Opry with songs like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” and won fans all over America. While he only recorded 66 songs under his name, an astonishing 37 of them became hits.
Other notable artists: Maria Callas, Jim Reeves
Date of birth: May 22 (Died: Oct. 1, 2018)
Armenian-French singer Charles Aznavour sold more than 180 million records over his storied, 70-year career. He continued touring up until he was 93, and shared the stage over the years with musical luminaries including Placido Domingo, Elton John, and Liza Minnelli.
Other notable artists: Henry Mancini, Chet Atkins
Date of birth: Dec. 8 (Died: May 16, 1990)
Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr. was a singer, actor, and dancer. Born in New York City, Davis overcame rampant racism to become one of America’s favorite entertainers with hits like “The Candy Man” and “I’ve Gotta Be Me.”
Other notable artists: BB King, Celia Cruz
Date of birth: May 26 (Died: Sept. 28, 1991)
It’s hard to understate the cultural impact of iconic jazz musician Miles Davis, whom Rolling Stone called the “most revered jazz trumpeter of all time.” Born in St. Louis and educated at New York’s prestigious Juilliard School of Music, Davis solidified his place in history with “Kind of Blue,” the best-selling jazz record of all time.
Other notable artists: Chuck Berry, Tony Bennett
Date of birth: March 1
Harry Belafonte crossed racial barriers as a singer and actor and became the first African-American to win an Emmy. Born in New York City to Jamaican parents, Belafonte’s first hit was “Matilda,” followed by “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song).” He has spent his career making an impact on the world as both an entertainer and an outspoken civil rights activist.
Other notable artists: Eartha Kitt, Andy Williams
Date of birth: Feb. 26 (Died: Oct. 24, 2017)
New Orleans-born Fats Domino tore up the charts with his rock and roll piano-playing, which led to 25 gold records and 65 million albums sold. In some circles, Domino’s first single “The Fat Man” is considered the first rock-and-roll record.
Other notable artists: Rosemary Clooney, Eddie Fisher
Date of birth: June 23 (Died: May 15, 2003)
June Carter Cash was country music royalty two times over as part of the Carter family and as the wife of Johnny Cash. Her prolific career included noteworthy credits such as co-wring "Ring of Fire,” one of Johnny Cash's biggest hits.
Other notable artists: Lata Mangeshkar, Link Wray
Date of birth: Sept. 23 (Died: June 10, 2004)
Known for his effortlessly cool persona and angelic voice, pianist and singer-songwriter Ray Charles transformed R&B and soul music over his multi-decade career, scoring a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Born in Georgia and raised in Florida, Charles—who became completely blind by age seven—recorded and performed right until his death at 73.
Other notable artists: Stephen Sondheim, Rolf Harris
Date of birth: Jan. 22 (Died: Dec. 11, 1964)
The songs of Sam Cooke are forever intertwined with the soulful music of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Cooke developed his musical abilities as a gospel singer before crossing over and basically inventing soul music. A string of still-loved hits like “Wonderful World,” “Twistin’ the Night Away,” and “Having a Party” have rendered Cooke's influence immortal.
Other notable artists: Della Reese, Ike Turner
Date of birth: Feb. 26 (Died: Sept. 12, 2003)
Johnny Cash was born to Arkansas sharecroppers and forged a path to the highest heights of country music with hit songs “I Walk the Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the June Carter Cash-penned “Ring of Fire.” Cash became the youngest inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 at 48. He died less than four months after his wife.
Other notable artists: John Williams, Little Richard
Date of birth: April 29
One star of the outlaw country subgenre, Texas-born Willie Nelson had a decent career in the ‘60s until he broke big with his 1973 album “Shotgun Willie.” Known for his trademark red bandana headband, long pigtails, and a flagrant love of marijuana, Nelson still tours regularly.
Other notable artists: Quincy Jones, Nina Simone
Date of birth: September 21 (Died: Nov. 7, 2016)
Canadian folk singer and poet Leonard Cohen didn’t release his first album until he was 33, but certainly made his mark with hits like “Hallelujah” and “Suzanne.” Cohen’s impact as a songwriter is felt through other artists, who have covered his songs over 2,000 times (and counting).
Other notable artists: Frankie Valli, Eduard Khil
Date of birth: Jan. 8 (Died: Aug. 16, 1977)
White jumpsuits, swinging hips, and tender loving defined the life of Elvis Presley, the biggest star to ever come out of Memphis. “The King of Rock & Roll” became rock music’s first big star, with seven #1 Billboard hits and 25 songs in the top-10. The popularity of Elvis has endured with posthumous record releases and the addition of his Graceland Mansion to the National Register of Historic Places.
Other notable artists: Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Mathis
Date of birth: April 22 (Died: Aug. 8, 2017)
Pop country singer Glen Campbell released over 70 albums over his career. An Arkansas native, Campbell started his professional career as a studio musician and wound up a Grammy and Golden Globe winner, TV host, and actor by the time it was all over.
Other notable artists: Roy Orbison, Kris Kristofferson
Date of birth: June 15 (Died: Feb. 13, 2002)
Country music giant Waylon Jennings grew up in poverty in West Texas before becoming Buddy Holly’s bassist when Jennings was just a teenager. The rebel singer carved a huge niche for himself in the intersection between country and rock over 60 albums. Jennings died at 64, not long after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Other notable artists: Merle Haggard, Jerry Reed
Date of birth: Aug. 21
He knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, so when “The Gambler” himself Kenny Rogers decided to hang up his hat in October 2017 after seven decades of performing, the world knew it was time to say goodbye—professionally, at least. Today, the Texas-born star makes his home in Georgia where he lives with his wife, twin boys, and a goat named Smitty.
Other notable artists: Etta James, Ben E. King
Date of birth: Nov. 26
Tina Turner has nurtured a wildly successful career for six decades now as one of the most powerful R&B and soul singers of all time. She has the impressive distinction of holding the Guinness World Record for most concert tickets sold by a solo performer.
Other notable artists: Marvin Gaye, Frankie Avalon
Date of birth: Oct. 9 (Died: Dec. 8, 1980)
Liverpudlian Lennon crafted some of the most recognizable songs in history as part of the Fab Four, including "I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Hey Jude.” Lennon’s incredible songwriting continued after the Beatles disbanded, with more big hits like “Imagine.”
Other notable artists: Ringo Starr, Tom Jones
Date of birth: May 24
Folk singer-songwriter Dylan became one of the counterculture voices of the 1960s with generation-defining anthems such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” Dylan's success is so far reaching, he even received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his impact on the world through music. He still performs and records to this day.
Other notable artists: Paul Simon, Neil Diamond
Date of birth: June 18
The second Beatle on the list, Paul McCartney is one of two surviving members of the band. While he made his mark as one of the primary voices and songwriters of the most popular rock band in the world, McCartney has enjoyed success even after the band dissolved. His ‘70s band Wings, and his solo work, have propelled him to unparalleled status among rock stars.
Other notable artists: Jimi Hendrix, Barbra Streisand
Date of birth: Feb. 25 (Died: Nov. 29, 2001)
Beatles’ lead guitarist George Harrison didn’t soak up the spotlight like Paul and John, but his impact was just as large. Harrison wrote some of the Beatles’ most loved songs, from “Something” to “Here Comes the Sun.” He’s been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice: as a Beatle and as a solo artist.
Other notable artists: Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison
Date of birth: March 26
As the lead singer of The Supremes, Detroit native Diana Ross solidified Motown’s place in history. The Supremes scored a record-setting 12 #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 charts with major hits like “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Stop! In the Name of Love.” Ross’s solo career was just as impressive; in 2012, she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.
Other notable artists: Jimmy Page, Gladys Knight
Date of birth: Feb. 6 (Died: May 11, 1981)
The biggest name in island music is Bob Marley, the Jamaican superstar who brought reggae to the masses in the ‘60s and ‘70s with his band The Wailers and as a solo artist. Marley’s legacy is so powerful that as of 2017, his estate was still earning $23 million a year—and the next generation of Marleys has followed suit with similarly successful careers.
Other notable artists: Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart
Date of birth: Sept. 5 (Died: Nov. 24, 1991)
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury started life in Zanzibar as Farrokh Bulsara and grew up going to boarding schools in India. His musical legacy as part of Queen includes the ‘70s arena rock anthems “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.” The eccentric singer passed away tragically from AIDS.
Other notable artists: Cher, Dolly Parton
Date of birth: Jan. 8 (Died: Jan. 10, 2016)
English rocker David Bowie captivated audiences with his androgynous glam style and theatrical performances as the alter-ego Ziggy Stardust. Musical chameleon Bowie had hit after hit, from “Changes” to “Heroes” to “Space Oddity,” and toured extensively until his death at 69.
Other notable artists: Elton John, Iggy Pop
Date of birth: May 26
Phoenix-born Stevie Nicks has been a singer for Fleetwood Mac since 1975. Rolling Stone named her as one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time and one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She still performs regularly with the band and shows no signs of stopping.
Other notable artists: Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper
Date of birth: June 20
Lionel Richie found his first commercial success as part of funk/soul band The Commodores. In 1982, he launched a solo career that has earned millions of fans for his soulful crooning on songs like “Hello” and “Say You, Say Me,” both of which were #1 on the Billboard charts.
Other notable artists: Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen
Date of birth: May 13
Blind wunderkind Stevie Wonder first broke out when he was signed to Motown Records at 11 years old. From that moment on, Wonder became one of the greatest living singer-songwriters with dozens of hit tracks like “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” “Superstition,” and “Higher Ground.”
Other notable artists: Tom Petty, Agnetha Faltskog
Date of birth: Jan. 30
Born in West London, Phil Collins spent time as a child actor before he found his way to rock-and-roll. His musical career started with drumming for progressive rock band Genesis, eventually becoming the group's lead singer. Collins additionally pursued a wildly successful solo career, racking up chart-topping hits including “Sussudio” and “Don’t Lose My Number.”
Other notable artists: Sting, Bonnie Tyler
Date of birth: May 18
King of Country George Strait has been crooning to country music fans since the early 1980s. His full-on rancher style (cowboy hat, western shirt, jeans) coincided perfectly with the “Urban Cowboy” movement—and Strait added his name to the top of the list of honky-tonk heroes.
Other notable artists: Paul Stanley, Neil Peart
Date of birth: June 22
Cyndi Lauper found immense success in the ‘80s as a pop star with hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “True Colors,” and “Time After Time.” Born in Quebec, Lauper has expanded her purview to include scores for Broadway musicals (she composed the score for “Kinky Boots”) and inspiring humanitarian work.
Other notable artists: Chaka Khan, Tito Jackson
Date of birth: Oct. 3 (Died: Aug. 27, 1990)
Dallas-born Stevie Ray Vaughan was arguably one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived. He picked up the guitar at 7 and eventually played the Texas roadhouse circuit with his band Double Trouble until being discovered by David Bowie. After playing a legendary show with Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy, Vaughan’s helicopter crashed—leaving the world without one of its greatest musical talents.
Other notable artists: Annie Lennox, Elvis Costello
Date of birth: March 28
Country singer and actress Reba McEntire was born on an Oklahoma ranch and got her start singing in a high school cowboy band. She was named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year in 1986 and has since top-lined her own sitcom, “Reba,” and earned the National Artistic Achievement from the United States Congress.
Other notable artists: Angus Young, Billy Idol
Date of birth: Aug. 29
Easily one of the greatest saxophonists of all time, Kenny G will not only be remembered for having sold over 75 million copies worldwide, but also for having diversified himself across many disciplines of entertainment. In addition to producing his many multi-platinum solo albums, Kenny has also collaborated on soundtracks for films like “The Bodyguard” and “Pretty Woman,” and accepted cameos in big pop culture productions such as Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” music video.
Other notable artists: La Toya Jackson, Ian Curtis
Date of birth: Sept. 12
Composer Hans Zimmer became a minor rockstar in his native Germany before transitioning into the advertising world. Throughout the '80s he scored a number of films before his big breakout with “Rain Man.” After that, Zimmer began scoring high volumes of films each year and continues to this day, including the upcoming live-action “Lion King” remake and the latest film in the “X-Men” franchise.
Other notable artists: Sid Vicious, Gloria Estefan
Date of birth: Aug. 29 (Died: June 25, 2009)
The King of Pop got his start in Gary, Ind., as part of his family pop group The Jackson 5. After going solo, Jackson dominated the charts with songs like "Beat It" and "Bad" that were adored by the entire planet. As Jackson dealt with scandals, he his behavior became more reclusive and eccentric. Just before launching a comeback tour, he succumbed to a fatal combination of drugs at 50.
Other notable artists: Prince, Madonna
Date of birth: Oct. 23
There’s something poetic about Weird Al following Michael Jackson on this list, since some of Weird Al’s biggest hits (“Eat It,” “Fat”) are parodies of Jackson songs. Yankovic’s entire career is built off of parodying other artists’ work, but even as a parodist, Weird Al has been nominated for 15 Grammys and won four times.
Other notable artists: Morrissey, Bryan Adams
Date of birth: May 10
Born and raised in Dublin, Paul David Hewson later took the nickname Bono in the late ‘70s. As the frontman for U2, Bono made his mark on rock history; as a humanitarian, he’s made his mark on the world. He’s been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and previously named one of Time Magazine’s People of the Year.
Other notable artists: Amy Grant, Roger Taylor
Date of birth: June 14
This karma chameleon started life in London as George O’Dowd, eventually finding his way into England’s “blue-eyed soul” movement as the lead singer of Culture Club. That group's hit “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” went to #1 in countries around the globe—and Boy George, along with his signature genderless style, has been riding the wave ever since.
Other notable artists: Billy Ray Cyrus, Susan Boyle
Date of birth: Feb. 6
Axl Rose welcomed everyone to the jungle as the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses and has been named as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. The Indiana troublemaker made his way out to Los Angeles in the early 1980s and landed in the middle of the hard rock explosion. As Guns N’ Roses climbed up the charts, Rose earned a reputation as one of the bad boys of rock-and-roll, a distinction that survives today.
Other notable artists: Garth Brooks, Jon Bon Jovi
Date of birth: June 25 (Died: Dec. 25, 2016)
George Michael grew up in north London and broke onto the pop scene in 1980 as half of the hit group Wham! “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” was a smashing success, but Michael went solo in 1987 with the mega-hit “Faith.” His illustrious career spanned four decades before his death at 53 years old.
Other notable artists: Whitney Houston, Seal
Date of birth: Sept. 7 (Died: March 26, 1995)
One of the founders of seminal gangster rap group N.W.A., Eric Wright grew up on the streets of Compton. He went from being a drug dealer to multi-platinum artist as N.W.A. exploded onto the scene. Less than a decade after his career began, N.W.A. had disbanded and Eazy-E fell prey to complications from AIDS. He was just 30.
Other notable artists: Lenny Kravitz, Courtney Love
Date of birth: Feb. 18
While Eazy-E’s story tragically ended, fellow N.W.A. member Dr. Dre’s tale is still being told. Compton gave birth to Dre as Andre Young. He first made his name as the group’s DJ—but as a solo artist and the creator of Death Row Records, Dr. Dre took gangster rap mainstream. As the CEO of Aftermath Records, Dre launched the career of Eminem. After that, he started a small headphone company called Beats by Dre that eventually sold to Apple for $3 billion.
Other notable artists: Shania Twain, Slash
Date of birth: May 16
Janet is the youngest member of the infamous Jackson family, and started her career performing with her siblings as part of the family’s TV variety show, “The Jacksons.” She went off on her own and found enormous success as a solo singer and dancer, earning 10 #1 Billboard hits, five Grammys, and an Academy Award nomination.
Other notable artists: Darius Rucker, Rick Astley
Date of birth: Feb. 20 (Died: April 5, 1994)
The mercurial lead singer of iconic rock band Nirvana was one of the most influential names of the entire grunge movement that grew out of his home state of Washington. Nirvana became one of the most significant bands of the ‘90s, but broke up after the loss of Cobain.
Other notable artists: Keith Urban, R. Kelly
Date of birth: March 30
Quebecois superstar Celine Dion sang on TV for the first time when she was just 13 years old. She’s one of the best-selling female singers in music history and continues to perform with sold-out shows around the world.
Other notable artists: Kylie Minogue, LL Cool J
Date of birth: July 24
J.Lo, Jenny from the Block, the former Mrs. Marc Antony: It doesn’t matter what you call her, Jennifer Lopez is one of the biggest stars in the world. Originally from the Bronx, Lopez started her career as a backup dancer before transitioning into acting in 1993. She released her debut album in 1999 and became a massive star, eventually winding up in the top spot of Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list. She currently serves as a judge and executive producer on NBC’s hit dance competition show, “World of Dance.”
Other notable artists: Jay-Z, Gwen Stefani
Date of birth: March 27
Mariah Carey became an overnight sensation in 1990 with the release of her self-titled album and recorded a #1 hit in every year of the ‘90s. As one of the best-selling artists of all time with over 200 million records sold, Mariah has earned her place in history. She continues to perform regularly, with a new residency announced for this summer in Las Vegas.
Other notable artists: DMX, Master P
Date of birth: June 16 (Died: Sept. 13, 1996)
Representing for the West Coast in the gangster rap feuds of the ‘90s, Tupac became a legend for his rap skills as well as his acting. He released his first album in 1991 and started to work regularly as a film actor (“Poetic Justice,” “Juice,” “Above the Rim”). After an intense feud between rival rap factions, Tupac was murdered in Las Vegas in September 1996 as his career was reaching new heights.
Other notable artists: Selena Quintanilla, Snoop Dogg
Date of birth: Oct. 17
Eminem was born as Marshall Mathers and spent most of his formative years in the Detroit area (and still lives there today). As a rapper, he’s one of the best-selling artists in history with eight albums that have gone multi-platinum and five Billboard #1 hits. Eminem hits the road this summer, first in the U.S. and then Europe.
Other notable artists: Notorious B.I.G., Liam Gallagher
Date of birth: April 5
First rising to prominence as part of the record-producing duo The Neptunes, Pharrell Williams has his hands in a lot of different pots including music, fashion, and movies. He’s remained a songwriter and producer his entire career, spearheading massive hits like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” as well as his own giant smash “Happy.”
Other notable artists: Nas, Akon
Date of birth: April 17
Victoria Beckham has enjoyed two significant careers in her life: first as a member of the hit U.K. girl group The Spice Girls, and the second as a fashion designer. As Posh Spice, she toured the world and released chart-topping pop songs. As soccer star David Beckham’s wife, she became a fixture of the tabloids which only helped raise her celebrity profile. She currently spends most of her time running her fashion empire and becoming a reality TV star.
Other notable artists: Robbie Williams, Lil Kim
Date of birth: July 6
Born in Queens as Curtis Jackson, 50 Cent transitioned out of the life of a drug dealer and into the world of rap. Just as he was finding success in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, he was shot nine times at close range. When he recovered, he released his debut album “Get Rich or Die Trying” and wound up setting sales records immediately. While he made his career as a rapper, he’s also been a hugely successful businessman—from his G-Unit empire to his shrewd investment in Vitamin Water.
Other notable artists: Sia, Fergie
Date of birth: June 18
Oklahoma-born Blake Shelton moved to Nashville at 17 to pursue his dream of becoming a country music star. His self-titled debut album registered three Top 20 hits, and he’s followed it up with a huge career that’s featured 35 total songs on the Billboard Top 100.
Other notable artists: Chester Bennington, Luke Bryan
Date of birth: June 8
Kanye West is a producer and performer who’s also one of the most controversial figures in hip-hop. After breaking in as a producer for Jay-Z, he scored hit after hit on his own records, like “Through the Wire,” “Gold Digger,” and “Stronger.” Kanye's made just as much noise outside of his performing career as the husband of reality star Kim Kardashian West and frequent Twitter user.
Other notable artists: Shakira, Daddy Yankee
Date of birth: June 29
The Pussycat Dolls became one of the biggest girl groups in history the 2000s with 54 million records sold and Nicole Scherzinger at the helm. The group broke up in 2009 and Scherzinger embarked on a solo career. She’s also spent time as an actress and reality TV judge of shows like “The Sing-Off” and “The X Factor.”
Other notable artists: John Legend, Luis Fonsi
Date of birth: Sept. 8
Philadelphian Alecia Moore, now known simply as P!nk, started off in an R&B group. She eventually went solo and scored major hits like “Get the Party Started” and “Just Like a Pill.” She continues to perform as one of the most influential female pop stars of the 21st century.
Other notable artists: Aaliyah, Adam Levine
Date of birth: Feb. 12
Gucci Mane started out as a young hustler named Radric Davis, but today is one of hip hop’s most successful acts. Drug addiction and legal issues have sidetracked his career somewhat, but he was a featured artist on the mega-hit “Black Beatles” in 2016 and toured all summer in 2018.
Other notable artists: Christina Aguilera, T.I.
Date of birth: Sept. 4
Born and raised in Houston, Beyoncé first found fame as a singer in Destiny’s Child before going the solo route and becoming one of the world’s most successful pop stars. Her biggest hits (“Crazy in Love,” “Single Ladies,” “Run the World”) have captivated the world and made her one of the most awarded stars in history with 22 Grammys and the most wins in MTV VMA history.
Other notable artists: Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears
Date of birth: Dec. 8
Born in Trinidad and raised in New York City, Nicki Minaj (formerly known as Onika Maraj) spent time at New York’s famous performing arts-focused LaGuardia High School (the “Fame” school) before hitting the mainstream with her debut album “Pink Friday.” Releasing hit after hit and rocking her glam-yet-outrageous fashion sense, Nicki Minaj propelled herself to the top of the charts on multiple occasions. Her acting career has bloomed as well, with appearances in movies like “Barbershop: The Next Cut” and notable "Saturday Night Live" performances.
Other notable artists: Lil Wayne, Kelly Clarkson
Date of birth: Sept. 14 (Died: July 23, 2011)
British soul singer Amy Winehouse made a name for herself with a deeply engaging voice and trademark beehive hairdo. She set records by winning five Grammys in 2008, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Pop Vocal Album, and Female Pop Vocal Performance. Winehouse fought addiction during most of her career and finally succumbed to the disease at just 27 years old.
Other notable artists: Future, Carrie Underwood
Date of birth: Oct. 25
Katy Perry grew up in a religious household in Santa Barbara, Calif., but left it behind to become one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Since her debut album in 2008 (“I Kissed a Girl”), her songs and accompanying music videos have racked up billions of views on YouTube and garnered awards across the musical spectrum.
Other notable artists: Mandy Moore, Avril Lavigne
Date of birth: Oct. 8
Bruno Mars became the biggest star to come out of the Hawaii islands. Singing since the age of 4 and signed to Motown at 18, Mars didn’t truly become a sensation until he released “Just the Way You Are,” which became a #1 hit in 2010. He’s the first solo artist in history to have his first 13 songs all reach the Top 10 in the American Top 40.
Other notable artists: Lana Del Rey, J. Cole
Date of birth: March 28
Half-popstar, half-performance artist, Lady Gaga has dominated dance music for more than a decade since her debut album “The Fame” produced four #1 hits. Known as much for her flamboyant costumes as she is for her performances, Gaga has been the reigning queen of dance music for so long that Esquire was already calling her “The Grandmother of Pop” back in 2010.
Other notable artists: Drake, Lindsey Stirling
Date of birth: June 17
Rap’s biggest star was born in Compton, Calif., as Kendrick Duckworth. His major label debut “good kid, m.A.A.d city” was certified platinum in 2013. Four albums later, MTV has named him the "Hottest MC in the Game," while Time Magazine lists him as one of 2016’s Most Influential People. But there’s even more—Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” became the first non-jazz album to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Other notable artists: Kesha, Wiz Khalifa
Date of birth: Feb. 20
Rihanna is the youngest and fastest artist to attain 14 #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Def Jam records signed her when she was just a teenager, and she’s been climbing the charts ever since. Her dancehall-inspired pop has sold more than 54 million records, with worldwide smash hits like “Umbrella” and “S.O.S.”
Other notable artists: Adele, Vanessa Hudgens
Date of birth: Dec. 13
Few artists can go from teenage country music star to global pop sensation, but that’s exactly what Pennsylvania’s Taylor Swift was able to do. She initially hit the country charts in 2006 with her self-titled debut was setting all kinds of records just a few years later with 22 Top-40 singles from 2006 to 2010.
Other notable artists: Chris Brown, G-Eazy
Date of birth: Jan. 22
Born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II (the Sir is part of his name, not a British honorific) in Maryland, hip-hop artist Logic started gaining traction with his mix tapes in 2010 and eventually found his way to Def Jam Records. With six mix tapes and three studio albums under his belt, including the major hit “1-800-273-8255,” Logic has become a fixture on Billboard charts.
Other notable artists: The Weeknd, Rita Ora
Date of birth: Feb. 17
The red-headed British pop crooner has won millions of fans with his romantic ballads, and he’s written songs for everyone from One Direction to Taylor Swift. A newly added Member of the Order of the British Empire, Sheeran has also added the title of actor to his resume—after appearances on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “The Bastard Executioner” on FX.
Other notable artists: Charlie Puth, Louis Tomlinson
Date of birth: Oct. 11
Cardi B hit the true mainstream when she appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live back in April. The female rapper from the Bronx started her rise to fame on Instagram back when she was working as an exotic dancer, and moved over to reality TV on VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: New York.” After two seasons on the show, she made the full time jump to music and has been climbing the ladder to stardom since then with songs like the ultra-popular “Bodak Yellow.”
Other notable artists: Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato
Date of birth: June 26
Ariana Grande was seemingly born for stardom: she started on Broadway at 15 and quickly landed roles on Nickelodeon sitcoms. She moved from actor to pop star in 2013 and found instant success with global hits like “Bang Bang” and “Love Me Harder.” At just 25 years old, she's already scored nine Top 10 hits on the Billboard charts.
Other notable artists: Zayn Malik, Liam Payne
Date of birth: March 1
Justin Bieber has been a worldwide celebrity since he was a pre-teen. The Canadian singer gained prominence from YouTube videos and released his first studio album at 15. He’s made hit after hit, but the spotlight has magnified the problems of success on someone so young. Now he’s trying to rehabilitate his image and maintain his post as a huge pop star.
Other notable artists: Halsey, Harry Styles
Date of birth: Aug. 22
Born in London to Albanian parents, Lipa is the youngest artist to get a billion music video views on YouTube. Her hits “IDGAF” and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” are in heavy rotation while fans eagerly await her next album.
Other notable artists: Post Malone, Troye Sivan
Date of birth: Nov. 1 (Died: Nov. 15, 2017)
Lil Peep was a heavily tattooed underground rapper from Long Island, N.Y., who found his audience through SoundCloud. Just as his star was rising, Lil Peep overdosed on drugs and lost his life at 21. Several songs are being released posthumously.
Other notable artists: Jack Gilinsky, Jack Johnson
Date of birth: Sept. 1
The youngest member of Korean pop boy band BTS is Jeon Jungkook. He is a singer and dancer from Busan, South Korea who, while known for his many talents, is no stranger to the exhaustion of training and performing—just look at BTS’ YouTube Red series.
Other notable artists: Camila Cabello, Kodak Black
Date of birth: Jan. 23 (Died: June 18, 2018)
Jahseh Onfroy is one of Florida’s newest rap sensations as Xxxtentacion; he’s broken out with the help of SoundCloud and his most popular song “SAD!” Legal troubles put Xxxtentacion in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, and changes to streaming service policies against hate speech influenced his popularity. It all came to an end in 2018 when the rapper was shot and killed during an armed robbery in Florida.
Other notable artists: Shawn Mendes, Khalid
Date of birth: Aug. 17
With over 11 million Instagram followers, Miami’s Lil Pump is the underground rapper of the Instagram generation. His song “Gucci Gang” has already gone certified platinum and the New York Times is doing stories about his rise. Not bad for a high school dropout.
Other notable artists: Willow Smith, Daniel Skye
Date of birth: Dec. 18
Billie Eilish stormed onto the music scene in 2016 with her SoundCloud release "Ocean Eyes." Since then Eilish has scored seven gold and three platinum singles on the United States pop charts. Raised in Los Angeles by her entertainment-industry executive parents, she frequently collaborates with her brother Finneas.
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