Tupac Amaru Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac or Makaveli, is considered as one of the greatest American rappers of all time. Talent and trouble went hand in hand in Shakur’s journey to fame; the higher Shakur rose in his iconic status, the deeper he became entangled in gang violence and an infamous rivalry, which sadly led to his untimely demise.
Popular singer and songwriter, Lady Gaga has been active in the music industry since her teens. One of the world's best-selling music artists, she is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. A versatile performer, she is known for her consistent image reinventions in music. She is actively involved in philanthropy and social activism.
Jennifer Lopez established herself as the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood after starring in films such as Out of Sight, The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan and Shall We Dance’. She is also an accomplished dancer and commercially very successful singer. She helped propel the Latin pop movement in American music. She is also a fashion designer and a businesswoman.
The Notorious B.I.G. was a rapper and songwriter and is considered one of the best ever. His debut album Ready to Die in 1994 was critically acclaimed. He was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in September 1996. His album Life After Death was released two weeks after his death.
Aaliyah was an American singer, actress and model, who became famous when her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number sold three million copies in the US. Her subsequent albums also sold in millions and won her numerous accolades. She also acted in some films. She tragically died in an airplane crash in the Bahamas, at the age of 22.
From selling drugs and getting arrested in his teens to becoming one of the world’s best-selling rappers, Curtis James Jackson III’s journey has been an interesting one. Better known by his stage name 50 Cent, his albums have sold in millions. However, despite being one of the richest celebrities, he filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015 due to financial troubles.
Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys has been active in the music industry since the mid-1990s. Her debut album was a super hit and earned her five Grammy Awards. She is one of the best-selling artists in the United States and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. She is also known for her humanitarian work, philanthropy, and activism.
Jay-Z is an American rapper and songwriter and is one of the world's best-selling music artists. His debut album Reasonable Doubt was hugely successful in 1996 and since then he has gone on to release many more acclaimed and successful albums. He has been charged with assaulting a record executive and was given a three-year probation sentence in January 2000.
Having sold more than 75 million records worldwide, Christina Aguilera is one of the best-selling music artists of the current generation. In 2008, she was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list. In 2013, she was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list.
Popularly known as the Piano Man, Billy Joel is a singer-songwriter and musician. Having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, Billy is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He is also America's third best-selling solo artist and the sixth best-selling recording artist. He is also known for his multiple relationships with popular women.
Barbra Streisand is one of the most popular American entertainers and one of the few women to win four major entertainment awards - Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award (EGOT). Apart from being a great entertainer, she has also played a major role as a philanthropist; she has raised $25 million for charity organizations through live performances.
LL Cool J is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and record producer. Such is his popularity that LL Cool J was named on VH1's list of 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time in 2010. In 2017, he became the first rapper to be awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. Over the years, Cool J has had a profound influence on hip-hop.
Widely considered one of the greatest rappers ever, Nas has seven platinum and multi-platinum albums under his belt in the US. In 2006, he was ranked fifth on MTV's The Greatest MCs of All Time list. In 2012, he was ranked second on the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time list published by The Source. He is also an entrepreneur.
Mary J. Blige is a popular singer-songwriter and actress. Having sold 80 million records worldwide, she is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Referred to as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary is credited with influencing the fusion of R&B and hip hop. She often gets featured in lists like The 100 Greatest Women in Music.
Luther Vandross was an American record producer and singer-songwriter. As a background vocalist, Vandross contributed to the success of several songs recorded by artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Judy Collins. Regarded as a singer with one of the greatest voices in recorded history, Luther Vandross' works have influenced many artists like D'Angelo, Jaheim, Ne-Yo, John Legend, and Usher.
Actor-singer and teen idol David Cassidy soared to fame with his iconic role of Keith Partridge in the long-running musical sitcom The Partridge Family. Known for hits such as Cherish and Daydreamer, he was often mobbed by girls in his youth. He spent his later life struggling with alcoholism and dementia.
Method Man is part of the hip-hop duo Method Man & Redman and Wu-Tang Clan. His collaborative single with Mary J. Blige, I'll Be There for You, won a Grammy. He has also appeared on the show Method & Red, in HBO series such as Oz, and in several films.
Known for her five-octave vocal range and melismatic singing style, singer-songwriter Mariah Carey is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She holds the record for the most number-one singles by a solo artist and a female songwriter. She was ranked second on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music in 2012.
Popularly known as the Demon of Screamin, Steven Tyler is the lead singer of the famous rock band Aerosmith. Known for his high-energy performances, Tyler is named in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Singers. Also a well-known philanthropist, Tyler launched a non-profit organization called Janie's Fund and has helped raise more than $2.4 million for the organization.
Four-time Grammy-winning rock artist Pat Benatar left her job as a teller to step into the music industry and is best known for her chartbusting tracks Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Fire and Ice, and Love Is a Battlefield. She has platinum albums in both the U.S. and Canada.
Much appreciated for his introspective songwriting, singer-songwriter, Post Malone ,is the first-ever solo artist to top both the Billboard Rap Airplay and Adult Contemporary charts as a lead artist. His music covers a range of genres including country, grunge, rap, and R&B. He has been accused of "appropriating" African-American culture and has been called a “culture vulture".
Rap legend Cardi B rose from being an exotic dancer and internet celebrity to being featured on Forbes and Time 100. Her triple-platinum-certified debut album, Invasion of Privacy, topped the Billboard 200. She was the only female solo artist to win the Grammy for the Best Rap Album.
Singer, songwriter, and painter, Paul Stanley is best known for being a co-founder of the rock band Kiss. A rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the band, he also wrote or co-wrote many of their hit songs. He has been ranked 18th on Hit Parader’s list of the Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time.
Singer and songwriter, Lana Del Rey broke into the world of music when her debut single, Video Games, became viral in 2011. She then gained international fame with her debut album Born to Die in 2012. Over the years, she has released a numerous chart-topping albums. Violet Bent Backwards over the Grass, a collection of poetry, is her first book.
Bebe Rexha is an American singer-songwriter. As a songwriter, Rexha has contributed to the success of songs recorded by artists like Eminem, Nick Jonas, and Selena Gomez. Her debut album Expectations did well in the US. Having described her sexual orientation as fluid, Rexha serves as an inspiration to the LGBTQ+ community; she is also a supporter of the community.
A well-known singer-songwriter, Lenny Kravitz won the Grammy Award for four consecutive years from 1999 to 2002 under the same category - Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. In 2003, he founded a New York City-based company called Kravitz Design Inc. From being an award-winning musician to a successful entrepreneur, Lenny Kravitz is truly a multi-talented individual.
Actress and singer-songwriter Idina Menzel has been active in the entertainment industry for over 25 years. Beginning her career as a theater artist, she gradually moved to TV and films. As a singer, she has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. She is a feminist and LGTBQA+ activist who champions for equal rights for all.
Singer, pianist, and composer Neil Sedaka initially co-founded the group The Tokens. Most of his collaborations have been with lyricists Phil Cody and Howard Greenfield. He has delivered hits such as Breaking Up Is Hard to Do and Bad Blood. He also launched free online mini-concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cyndi Lauper is an American singer-songwriter, activist, and actress. Apart from her distinctive appearance, Lauper is also known for her achievements; having won three of the four major entertainment awards (Grammy, Emmy, Tony), she is consistently named in lists like 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll. Cyndi Lauper is also celebrated for her humanitarian work and charitable efforts.
Big Pun was an American songwriter and rapper. Well-known for his heavy use of alliteration and exceptional breath control, Pun was also widely regarded as one of the best MCs ever. He struggled with weight issues and obesity throughout his life, which eventually led to his death caused by respiratory failure and a heart attack at the age of 28.
Pete Seeger was an American social activist and folk singer. Seeger believed that the power of music could bring about a social change, an ideology that reflected on his works. Through his music, Seeger expressed his support towards counterculture, civil rights, environmental rights, international disarmament, and workers rights.
Marc Anthony is a singer-songwriter, television producer, and actor. He is the top-selling salsa artist in history, for which he entered the Guinness Book of Records. Also a well-known philanthropist, Marc Anthony helped launch the Maestro Cares Foundation, which helps orphans and teenagers around the world.
Peggy Lipton achieved fame after playing Julie Barnes in the TV series The Mod Squad; her character Julie became a fashion icon. Peggy is also credited with raising her children Kidada and Rashida Jones—both celebrities—after marrying Quincy Jones. Interestingly, Peggy achieved all these after overcoming nervousness and stuttering as a child after being sexually abused by a relative.
Lea Michele is an American actress and singer. She began her career as a child actress on Broadway and is best known for the role of Rachel Berry on the comedy-drama series Glee. She won many awards and was critically acclaimed for it. However, Lea has also been accused of being rude to her co-actors on the sets of Glee.
Nicknamed “Mister Show Business,” posthumous Grammy-winner Samuel Davis Jr. was a multifaceted performer who excelled in dancing, singing, and acting. From delivering vaudeville performances as a child, Samuel graduated to creating Billboard charters and performing with Frank Sinatra as part of the Rat Pack. Sadly, he died in debt.