Kanye West was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta,Georgia. His full and legal name is Kanye Omari West. When he was three years old, his parents divorced, and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. Kanye West took some art classes at the American Academy of Art and also enrolled at Chicago State University, but dropped out due to poor grades and an ever increasing interest in music. In 2004, Kanye West released his debut album, The College Dropout. The album was recorded over a period of four years, beginning in 1999.
The album became a smash hit spawning three ten top singles and selling over four hundred thousand copies in its first week. It has since gone on to sell three million units. The album received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year and won Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song. Kanye West has since gone on to release three more records, Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007) and 808s & Heartbreak (2008). In August 2008, Kanye West revealed plans to open 10 Fatburger restaurants in the Chicago area, with the first coming in September 2008 in Orland Park. The second will follow in January 2009.
Leona Lewis is a British born singer and song writer. She was born on April 3, 1985 in the London Borough of Islington. Her full name is Leona Louise Lewis. When she was young, her parents enrolled her at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, and from there she attended the Italia Conti Academy and the BRIT School. It was here that she learned to play instruments such as the guitar and piano and began to write her own songs in the hope of becoming a singer or songwriter. In early 2006, Lewis auditioned for the third series of The X Factor, singing “Over the Rainbow”.
She made it through to the final stages and was finally announced the winner on 16 December 2006, winning a £1 million recording contract. She was mentored by Simon Cowell and released her debut album, Spirit in 2007. It was released in the U.S in 2008. Spirit has sold over 8 million copies and spawned several singles including Bleeding Love and I Will Be. Leona Lewis’s second album is planned for a worldwide release in November 2009. Production was said to have begun in February 2009, including work with Ryan Tedder, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.
Evanescence is a rock band formed by Amy Lee and Ben Moody in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995. The core line up includes Amy Lee on vocals, Benny Moody on guitar and Tim McCord on bass guitar. The band has suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving mid-tour in 2003, bassist Will Boyd in mid-2006, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. After experimenting with band names, such as Childish Intentions and Stricken, they decided on Evanescence, which means “disappearance” or “fading away”.
Amy Lee loved the name because “it is mysterious and dark, and places a picture in the listeners’ mind”. In 2000, they released their debut demo album entitled Origin. In 2003, Evanescence released it’s first studio album, Fallen. It was released on the Wind-up Records label, and was their first album to be released worldwide. Fallen spent 58 weeks on the Billboard Top 20 and about 100 weeks on the Billboard Top 200. The album sold fifteen million records and thrust the group to fame. In 2006, Evanescence released their sophomore album, The Open Door. It debuted at number one in the United States and generated several singles such as Call Me When You’re Sober, Lithium, Sweet Sacrifice and Good Enough. The album has sold over four million copies worldwide.
Ashlee Simpson was born on October 3, 1984 in Waco, Texas and is the daughter of Joe Truett Simpson and Tina Ann Drew. She is also the younger sister of pop and reality show star Jessica Simpson. An accomplished dancer, Ashlee Simpson began studying classical ballet at the age of three years old, and was admitted to the School of American Ballet in New York City at the age of eleven. After her sister Jessica Simpson landed a record deal, the Simpson family decided to move to Los Angeles, California, where Ashlee began appearing in television commercials and television shows such as Malcolm in the Middle in 2001 and a recurring role on the family drama 7th Heaven. Tobuild interest in the beginning of her own music career, Ashlee Simpson got her own MTV reality show entitled The Ashlee Simpson Show.
On July 20, 2004 she released her debut album, Autobiography. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was certified triple platinum in the U.S. The album spawned three singles, Pieces of Me, Shadow and ‘La La’. Ashlee Simpson appeared as a musical guest on Episode 568 of Saturday Night Live
on October 23,2004 and was scheduled to perform two songs. Her first song, Pieces Of Me,went without a hitch but when she performed her second song, the vocals for the song Pieces of Me were heard again, before she had even raised the microphone to her mouth. She than broke into an impromptu dance. During the closing of the show Simpson appeared with the guest host Jude Law and said, “I’m so sorry. My band started playing the wrong song, and I didn’t know what to do, so I thought I’d do a ho-down. Since 2005, Ashlee Simpson has released two more albums, I Am Me and Bittersweet World.
Bow Wow is the stage name of Shad, born on March 9, 1987 in Columbus, Ohio. He is an American rapper, actor and producer formerly known as Lil’ Bow Wow. His debut album, Beware of Dog was released on September 26,2000 when he was just 13 years old. It features the hit singles “Bounce With Me” and “Bow Wow (That’s My Name). The album went on to generate over two million sales. He followed up that success with the release of his second studio album, Doggy Bag.
That album peaked at the number eleven position on the Billboard 200 and generated two singles, Thank You and Take Ya Home. Bow Wow went on to release his third album, Unleashed in 2003. Though it lacked the commercial success of his last two albums, it did go on to peak at number three on the Billboard charts and gain a gold certification. Bow Wow has since released four more albums. These include Wanted (2005), The Price of Fame (2006), Face Off With Omarion(2007) and New Jack City II (2009). Bow Wow has also maintained somewhat of a status as an actor starring in movies such as Roll Bounce and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Daddy Yankee is the stage name of Ramón Ayala. He was born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico on February 3, 1976. In 1995 he released his debut studio album entitled No Mercy. It was produced by independent labels White Lion Records and BM Records. After it’s release he started promoting himself by selling his cassettes in various stores and clubs, and performing for free in high school dances and private parties. In 2002, he released his second album, El Cangri.com through V.I. Music. The album achieved success in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic with such songs as Latigazo, Muévete y Perrea and Dimelo.
The song Latigazo received mainstream success in Spanish radio stations in Miami, and New York City.Since then Daddy Yankee has released three more albums, Barrio Fino in 2004, El Cartel: The Big Boss in 2007 and Talento de Barrio in 2008. On February 27, 2009, he performed at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile. Daddy Yankee has enjoyed international fame and his performances have appeared on more than 70 albums. Daddy Yankee is married to Mireddys González, whom he married when he was just seventeen years old. They have 3 children together, Yamilet, Jeremy and Jesairis.