New York City is at the heart of American culture and traditions, and over the years music industry has also found deep roots. In this list we will take a look at some of the icons which the Big Apple has produced;
Regarded as the most influential person of Hispanic origin in the entertainment industry at the moment, Jennifer Lopez is a singer, songwriter, actress and an entrepreneur. Lopez comes from a humble background, and started her career as a fly girl dancer on the television comedy program “In Living Colour” in1991. She did the role till 1993, after which she decided to concentrate on pursuing a career in acting. She got her first role in the film “Selena”, and then went on to do “Anaconda” in 1997 and “Out of Sight” in 1998. “Out of Sight” proved to be a commercial success and introduced Lopez to the world. In 1999, Lopez ventured into the music industry with her debut music album “On the 6”.
In 2001, she released her second studio album “J.Lo”, which reached number 1 on the music charts and made her a worldwide music sensation. Since then, Lopez has released four more music albums including a Spanish one, and has sold more than 70 million records worldwide. She is one of the biggest music stars in the world, and has also been a judge on the reality television show “American Idol” for one season in 2011. Besides her music career, she is also a highly paid actress, and is considered one of the most well known and famous celebrities of the current era.
Lindsay Lohan is a singer, songwriter, actress and model who started her career at a very young age and became of the most successful and popular child stars of her age. Lohan modelled for brands such as GAP and Abercrombie when she was a child, and appeared on the TV opera “Another World” at the age of 10. She made her film debut with Disney Films in 1998 through a film called “The Parent Trap”. Lohan went on to star in “Freaky Friday” in 2003 and “Mean Girls” in 2004, both of which were huge box office successes and made her a Hollywood star.
Lohan next moved on to singing, and released her debut album “Speak” in 2004. The Album went platinum and made her a music star as well. Her next album was titled “A Little More Personal” and was released in 2005. That album also went gold. She went on to appear in a number of other film projects including “Herbie: Fully Loaded” in 2005 and the TV film “Labour Pains” in 2009.
Vanessa Williams is one of the most famous singers and musicians of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Williams was crowned the Miss USA in 1984, becoming the first African American woman to win the honour. However, instead of going into modelling like many of her predecessors, Williams decided to take up a career in music. She released her debut album in 1988 titled “The Right Stuff”. Her second studio album, titled “The Comfort Zone”, was released in 1991 and topped the Billboard R&B Album Chart, making her a household name and a famous singer.
Williams received an Oscar in 1995 for Best Original Song for her song “colours of the wind” which was featured in the Disney animated film “Pocahontas”. Williams next moved to a career in acting and got her first acting role in 1996 in the film “Eraser”. Her career was rejuvenated in 2006 when she landed a role in 2006 for the TV series “Ugly Betty”. Williams appeared in the show from 2006 to 2010, won three Emmy nominations for her role and became an instant star due to the popularity of the show. From 2010 to 2012, she also starred in the hit television show “Desperate Housewives”.
Elizabeth Wooldridge Grant, better known by her stage name “Lana Del Rey”, is an singer and songwriter who jumped to worldwide recognition and fame in the year 2012. Del Ray started singing and song writing at an early age and began performing in clubs in New York City at the age of 18. She signed her first contract with 5 Points Records when she was 20 years old and released her first studio album “Lana Del Rey a.ka. Lizzy Grant” in January 2010. Her album did not receive commercial success but was enough to capture the attention of Interscope Records.
She signed a joint contract with Interscope, Polydor and Stranger Records in October 2011, and released her second studio album in January 2012 titled “Born to Die” under the new banner. The album sold 2.8 million copies worldwide, was one of the highest selling albums of the year, and catapulted her to the status of a music star and celebrity.
She was named “Women of the Year” by GQ Magazine and won numerous awards for her music. She has also signed a contract with “Next” model management and endorses the H&M clothing company, as well as Jaguar Cars.
Marco Antonio Muniz, better known by his stage name Marc Anthony, is a singer and songwriter who has received much success in the Spanish, Latin and salsa market, and is the top selling solo artist of all time. Anthony has sold more than 12 million records worldwide, is a two times Grammy and three times Latin-Grammy award winner, and was the recipient of the 2009 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Chair Award.
Anthony started his career in the late 1980’s as an English singer, and released his first album in 1988. He released his first Latin album in 1993 and began focusing on the Latin market. He broke out internationally in 1999 after the success of Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias, and his song “You Sang To Me” made him in international star and celebrity. He is also an actor and is a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins of the NFL.
Norah Jones is one of the top selling artists of the last decade, and was named the top Jazz artist of the 2000-2009 decade by Billboard magazine. Jones was born in New York and launched her solo career with her debut album “Come Away With Me”. The album was certified gold and sold over 26 million copies worldwide, making her an instant star. She earned five Grammy Awards for her album that year, including album of the year. She has since released four more studio albums, the last of which came out in April 2012. Jones has won a total of 9 Grammy awards in her music career, sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and is considered one of the best jazz/pop artists of the past decade as well as one of the top selling artists.
Giardina is a 19 year old singer and actress, who started her career on Broadway at the age of 5 and later performed in a small role in Peter Pan. By the age of 13, she was signed by 785 records and released her debut music album titled “We’ve Got Christmas” in 2005.
In 2009, she released her second studio album titled “No Average Angel”. She is a favourite among teens and kids, and received a nomination for Best Female Soloist in the 2008 FanGap Choice Awards.
Lenny Kravitz is one of the most versatile singers and musicians of the past two decades, producing music that has inspirations from soul, R&B, ballads, rock and pop among other genres. He is not only a singer and songwriter, but also plays most of the instruments on his recordings and produces his own music as well.
Kravitz won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance four years in a row from 1999 to 2002, breaking records along the way. Besides, Grammy Awards, he has won numerous other music awards including the MTV music awards and American Music Awards. He released his first album in 1989, and has since released 8 more albums over the course of his career spanning two decades. His most recent album was released in 2011. Kravitz has sold millions of records worldwide, and remains one of the most famous singers and musicians of the present era because of his alternative music.
Cyndi Lauper is an American singer and songwriter hailing from New York City, and is regarded as one of the greatest women of rock and roll. She burst onto the mainstream in 1983 with the release of her debut album “She’s So Unusual” which included four Billboard 100 top five songs. She won the Grammy for Best new Artist in 1985 for her album. Her second album was released in 1986 which also did well on the Billboard chart and earned her two Grammy nominations.
Since 1989, she has released 9 more studio albums, the most recent being the 2010 album “Memphis Blues” which was the most successful blues album of that year. Over her long and illustrious career, she has sold more than 50 million albums and 20 million singles. She was listed number 58 on the VH1 list of 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll in 1999. She remains one of the most versatile and critically acclaimed rock and jazz/blues artist of the current era.