A gifted musician since the age of 8 years old, Lil Wayne, otherwise known as Dwayne Michael Carter, is an American rapper who originally gained fame as a member of the rap group Hot Boys. He was born in the New Orleans neighborhood known as Hollygrove where he enrolled in the gifted program of Lafayette Elementary School. At the age of 11 he met Bryan Williams the owner of Cash Money Records and a talented rapper in his own right.
Bryan Williams, after listening to the freestyle raps that Lil Wayne left on his answering machine, would eventually mentor the young talent and include him in the distributed songs of Cash Money. In 1997, Get it How U Live was the first album released by Hot Boys. Then in 1999 Lil Wayne released his solo album, The Block Is Hot. But, it wasn’t until his 2004 release entitled Tha Carter that he would gain worldwide notoriety. That work would later be followed by his 2005 release Tha Carter II, which in turn was followed by 2008’s Tha Carter III. Tha Carter III earned Lil Wayne various nods from the industry including 8 grammy nominations. In July of 2009 Lil Wayne is scheduled to release a rock album entitled Rebirth.
Britney Spears is an American pop artist that was born on December 2, 1981 in Kentwood, Louisiana. She started her meteoric rise to fame at the tender age of 11 on the television variety show Star Search. Then in 1993 she landed a spot on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club where she starred until 1994. Originally she was considered to young for the role but the producer went ahead and referred her to a New York Agent. She then appeared in a couple of off Broadway productions including Ruthless. For a few years she was off the radar, that is until she hit the charts with her 1998 debut album entitled Baby One More Time.
That album would peak on the Billboard Top 100 at number one and would remain on the charts for a period of two weeks. In late 1999 She appeared on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and performed the song You Drive Me Crazy. Then in May 2000 Britney Spears released her album “Oops!…I Did It Again”, which debuted at number one and sold more than 1.3 million copies in it’s first week. She is probably best known for her 2004 marriage to Kevin Federline whom she divorced on November 7, 2006.
Born on February 20, 1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna is a recognized model, singer and beauty queen. Shortly after she turned 16 she picked up and moved to the United States where she met producer Evan Rogers. Under his tutelage she signed a contract with Def Jam Records after a successful audition in front of former label president Jay Z. In 2005 she would release her debut album Music Of The Sun, which peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. She followed that success with her sophomore album entitled A Girl Like Me.
The album would eventually end up in the top 5 of the Billboard chart. Then in 2007 she released her junior album entitled Good Girl Gone Bad. That album would hit number two on the Billboard Top 200 and spawn three number one singles, Umbrella, Disturbia and Take A Bow. Rihanna has sold over twelve million albums worldwide and received several awards such as the 2007 World Music Award for Best Selling Female Artist and the award for best female R&B artist of 2008 presented by the American Music Awards. And if all that wasn’t enough, she also serves in a political capacity as one of Barbados cultural ambassadors.
Chris Brown was born in Tappahannock, Virginia on May 5, 1989. He started his entertainment career at the age of 2 by taking up tap dancing and singing in the choir of his parent’s church. He has cited the physical abuse of his mother at the hands of his father as a major impact on his life. At the age of 13 he began to pursue a record deal. He eventually landed a deal with Jive Records an in 2005 he released his self entitled debut album, Chris Brown. The single Run It off of the album debuted on the Billboard Hot 100. That album has subsequently sold over two million copies. Two years later he followed that success up with his sophomore album “Exclusive” .
That album sold almost two million copies and spawned two successful singles, Kiss Kiss and Without You. The single Without You peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at the number two spot. Besides his own personal success Chris Brown has also been featured on the albums of several other successful artist including Lil Bow Wow, Lil Mama and T-Pain.Early in 2009 Chris Brown was arrested for suspicion of making criminal threats while he was under investigation for domestic abuse following an argument with a then unidentified women who was later rumored to be his girlfriend Rihanna.
The Jonas Brothers is a pop band that has released four albums since their debut in 2006. The band started off as the project of Nick Jonas and includes his two brothers, Kevin Jonas and Joe Jonas. At the young age of 7, Nick Jonas began appearing in several Broadway plays which included A Christmas Carol, Annie Get Your Gun and Beauty And The Beast. It was the song entitled Joy To The World (A Christmas Prayer) that he had written with his father that opened the door to his future success.
It was released to Christian radio and caught the attention of Columbia Records. He was signed to Columbia and INO Records in a dual record deal. Then in 2005 Columbia Records got a new president who listened to Nick Jonas’ record. He then decided to sign him and his brothers to an exclusive contract. They released their debut album in 2005 titled It’s About Time. Since then they have released three other records, Jonas Brothers in 2007, A Little Bit Longer in 2008 and Lines, Vines And Trying Times in 2009. At the 51st grammy awards the Jonas Brothers were nominated for the Best New Artist Award.
Best known for her role as Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical film series, Vanessa Hudgens is an California born singer and actress that was born on December 14, 1988. She began her professional career at the age of 8 years old by appearing in small productions of Cinderella, The Music Man, Carousel, The King And I and The Wizard Of Oz. In 2003 she made her film debut by appearing as Noel in the Movie Thirteen. She also appeared in the movie Thunderbirds. In September of 2006 she launched her music career with her debut album “V”. It hit the charts at the number twenty four position and would later go gold.
A year later she would be involved in a scandal where apparently nude photos of her ended up on the internet. Hudgens publicist would later state that the photo was taken privately and never intended for public viewing. Vanessa would later apologize over the incident. In July of 2008, Vanessa Hudgens released her sophomore album entitled Identified. It opened to generally favorable reviews from critics. It sold over 22,000 copies it’s first week, which is almost 50% less than the opening sales of her first album.
Born September 4, 1981 in Houston, Texas to Matthew Knowles and Tina Beyince, Beyonce isa noted songwriter, singer and actress. She started off in Destiny’s Child, the band which also featured Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Destiny’s Child was formed in 1990 and has sold over 50 million records worldwide. During her hiatus with the bandin the summer of 2003, Beyonce Giselle Knowles released her debut album, Dangerously In Love. The album generated singles such as Baby Boy Naughty Girl and Crazy In Love.
The album became the most successful one of that year and garnered Beyonce 5 Grammy Awards. In 2005, Destiny’s Child disbanded and Beyonce released her sophomore album entitled, B’day in 2006. B’day debuted at the number one spot on the Billboard 200 and sold over a half a million copies it’s first week. In 2008, Beyonce continued her success with the release of her third album, I Am…Sasha Fierce. It spawned three hit singles, If I Were A Boy, Halo and Single Ladies(Put A Ring On It). Beyonce is one of the most successful artist of her time, having the most top 10’s on the Hot 100 by a female artist, twelve top tens in all.
Born on September 24, 1984 in Ontario Canada, Avril Lavigne is an accomplished singer, songwriter and fashion designer. Her name means April in french and was given to her by her french born father John. She started her career by winning a contest to sing with Shania Twain on her first concert tour. In November of 2000 she was signed to Arista records and in the summer of 2002, she released her first album Let Go. The album peaked at number two in the U.S and made it all the way to number one in Australia and the United Kingdom. It went platinum many times over on the U.S, U.K and Australian charts. It has also been certified Diamond on the Canadian Albums Chart.
Avril Lavigne followed the critical success of her debut album with the release of Under My Skin. It’s first week it sold over 381,000 copies and debuted on the charts at the number one position. It spawned several hit singles including Don’t Tell Me, My Happy Ending and Nobody’s Home. By January of 2006 the album had been certified triple platinum. In April of 2007 she released her third album, The Best Damn Thing. It debuted at number one in the United States and became her third album to reach number one in the United Kingdom.
Originally born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph Missouri, he is better known by his stage moniker Eminem. Shortly after his birth, his father abandoned the family and they ended up bouncing around several Missouri towns until they finally settled in Warren Detroit. At the age of twelve years old he procured his first album, the Beastie Boy’s License To Ill. He was immediately drawn in and started practicing rap in his spare time. At the age of 17 he dropped out of High school and worked a string of minimum wage jobs such as a cook and a dishwasher and started rapping full time. In 1996 he released his first album Infinity.
Than in 1999 he released his second album, The Slim Shady LP. It hit the charts at the number two position and has to date sold over 9 million copies. His third album, The Marshall Mathers LP became the fastest selling rap album in history moving over 1.7 million units it’s first week. In 2002, he released his fourth album, The Eminem Show which was the best selling album of that year. It eventually went on to become certified platinum eight times over. His last album, Relapse was released in May of 2009.
Born in Huntington, Long Island on March 27,1990, Mariah Carey is an internationally celebrated singer, songwriter and actress. She is the youngest child of Patricia Hickey, a formerly trained opera singer, and Alfred Carey, an aeronautical engineer. Mariah Carey began her career while she was still in High School, working as a demo sing for a local recording studio. After school she moved to New York city where she became a back up singer for Brenda K. Starr. Than in 1988, Mariah Carey received her first big break. She met Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola at a party and he signed her to a recording contract after listening to her demo tape. Then in 1990, Mariah Cary released her debut album, Mariah Carey. Although it met a lukewarm reception upon release it eventually went on to spawn four hit singles and become certified in 1999 as platinum nine times over.
Her sophomore album Emotions was released in September 1991. To date it has sold over 10 million units. 1993 was a seminal year for Mariah Carey as she released her third album Music Box and married her mentor Tommy Mottola. The album helped her achieve her first number one hit single in the U.K ., Without You and propelled her to Worldwide stardom. From 1993-1997 she released three more albums, Merry Christmas, Daydream and Butterfly. It was in 1997 that she split from her husband and was divorced the subsequent year. After the separation she hired a new publicist and manager and remade her her image. She than went on to release the album Butterfly which debuted at number one at sold over a quarter million copies it’s first week. Butterfly is the album that is often seen as her transitional record, one that solidified her position in the ranks of R&B music. She has since released five more albums and has won five Grammy Awards and over thirty-five nominations.