John Prine was an American music legend, with a career spanning four decades. Worth $10 million at the time of his tragic death, in April 2020, John Prine certainly had a succesful and lucrative music career that inspired countless artists. Early in life, Prine worked as a mailman, and wrote many of his future classics while delivering mail in Chicago. He was drafted in late 1960 and served in Vietnam and Germany, an experience that inspired him to write one of his best songs, ‘Sam Stone’.
After Paul Anka and Kris Kristofferson saw him perform in 1971, Kris helped him close a recording deal with Atlantic Records, and Anka became his manager. Prine played progressive bluegrass, country folk, and Americana, and was admired by many prominent musicians, among them Bob Dylan. John Prine released over 20 albums during his career and received numerous accolades, including two Grammys, two AMAs and a Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy in 2020.
George Ivan "Van" Morrison, singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and record producer who conquered our ears and hearth all the way from Northern Ireland. His mother was a musician and dancer and his father was an avid music lover, known for having one of the largest music collections in their province. Exposing young Van to various artists from different genres like Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson, Charlie Parke, and Jimmie Rodgers.
Even before Van Morrison began writing songs he made a pretty penny as a singer thanks to his melodic voice. Soon he realized that he wanted to not just cover the lyrics of others, but feel the words from his heart, and thus became one of our generation’s most celebrated songwriters.
This English singer, songwriter, guitarist, and astrophysicist is best known as one of the members of the legendary rock band, Queen. He formed the band Smile in 1968 which lasted for two years. In 1970, he and a former Smile drummer, Roger Taylor joined Freddie Mercury and John Deacon to form Queen. He wrote and co wrote the majority of Queen's hit singles such as "We Will Rock You", "Under Pressure", and "The Show Must Go On".
May has enjoyed international acclaim, he was ranked at No. 26 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time", in 2001, he, as the other members of Queen, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005 May was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by the late Queen Elizabeth II herself for "services to the music industry and for charity work", and in 2018 the band received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in the category of "the most distinctive recordings in music history". May has an estimated net worth of $175 million, making him the wealthiest band member. Interesting to know, besides his musical career, May also has a PhD in astrophysics.
March 30th, 2020 was a sad date for the world, and will forever be remembered as the day we lost Bill Withers, an inimitable music icon. This singer/songwriter inspired countless musicians, writing timeless songs like 'Lean On Me', 'Lovely Day', 'Ain't No Sunshine', and many others. With a long career that started back in the '70s, Withers became one of the fathers of Soul, R&B and funk music, spreading happiness with his cheerful, upbeat songs.
After an incredibly successful career, during which he earned an impressive $40 million, Withers received many accolades. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, and won three Grammys during his career. His music will forever be remembered, and his beautiful songs are still being heard until this day.
The main songwriter for the Who, Pete Townshend, has written over 100 songs for The Who's 11 albums, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. He also penned popular rock radio staples like Who's Next, and so many more, that appeared as stand alone singles, compilations and bonus tracks.
Also, Pete has written more than 100 songs for his own solo albums, as well as commercial jingles and T.V. theme songs. Although he was known mainly as a guitarist, he also plays many other instruments, such as keyboards, banjo, accordion, ukulele, mandolin, violin, and drums. He plays these on his own albums, Who albums, and also as a guest contributor to other artists' recordings. He has no formal training and is said to be self-taught on all of the instruments he plays!