Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987) is an American hip hop recording artist and songwriter. Born and raised in Compton, California, he embarked on his musical career as a teenager under the stage name K-Dot, releasing a mixtape that garnered local attention and led to his signing with indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). He began to gain major recognition in 2010, after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated.
The following year, Lamar independently released his first studio album, Section.80, which included his debut single, HiiiPoWeR. By that time, he had amassed a large Internet following and collaborated with several artists in the hip hop industry, including The Game, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne.
Lamar secured a major-label record deal with Aftermath and Interscope Records, in 2012. His major-label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released in October 2012 to critical success. The record contained the top 40 singles Swimming Pools (Drank), and Poetic Justice.
It debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Lamar won his first Grammy Award for i, lead single from his critical acclaimed third album To Pimp a Butterfly (2015). The album drew on free jazz, funk, soul, and spoken word, debuted atop the charts in the U.S. and the UK, and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 58th ceremony. In 2016, Lamar released untitled unmastered., a collection of unreleased demos.
Chuck Berry Was the Sound of 20th Century America
Chuck Berry released his first single Maybellene in 1955, not long after the century he would help define reached its midpoint.
Charles Edward Anderson Chuck Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as Maybellene (1955), Roll Over Beethoven (1956), Rock and Roll Music (1957) and Johnny B. Goode (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.
Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant.
By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of the blues musician T-Bone Walker, Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio.
His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records fame.
With Chess, he recorded Maybellene—Berry’s adaptation of the country song Ida Red—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard magazine’s rhythm and blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star, with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis nightclub, Berry’s Club Bandstand.
After his release in 1963, Berry had several more hits, including No Particular Place to Go, You Never Can Tell, and Nadine.
But these did not achieve the same success, or lasting impact, of his 1950s songs, and by the 1970s he was more in demand as a nostalgic performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality. His insistence on being paid in cash led in 1979 to a four-month jail sentence and community service.
Hall of Fame
Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance. Berry is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine’s greatest of all time lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry’s: Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene, and Rock and Roll Music. Berry’s Johnny B. Goode is the only rock-and-roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record.
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