John Legend is the stage name of John Stephens. He was born on December 28, 1978 in Springfield, Ohio. He is the son of a seamstress and a factory worker who spent two years in the National Guard. Legend has three siblings: an older brother, Ronald Stephens II; a younger brother, Vaughn Anthony; and a younger sister, Missy Stephens. He is the son of a seamstress and a factory worker who spent two years in the National Guard. Legend has three siblings: an older brother, Ronald Stephens II; a younger brother, Vaughn Anthony; and a younger sister, Missy Stephens. In late 2004, John Legend released his debut album, Get Lifted. It was released through the GOOD Music label on December 28, 2004. The album sold over three million units worldwide, with a total of 1.8 million copies in the U.S., where it was certified platinum. The album won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, and earned Legend another two awards for Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the hit single “Ordinary People”. In 2006 John Legend released his second album, Once Again. Singles from the album include “Save Room”, “Heaven”, “P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care)”, “Stereo”, “Another Again”, “Slow Dance”, “Show Me” and “Each Day Gets Better”. Once Again has since sold over one million copies. His latest album, Evolver, was released in 2008. The album debuted at number 4 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
Toni Braxton is an American R&B singer that was born on October 7, 1967 in Severn, Maryland. Toni Braxton’s first performing experience was singing in her church choir. She then attended Bowie State University to obtain a teaching degree but decided to sing professionally after she was discovered by William E. Pettaway Jr. who heard her singing to herself while pumping gas. On July 13, 1993, LaFace Records released Braxton’s self-titled debut album, Toni Braxton. It spent two non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200 and has sold over eight million copies in the U.S. alone. In 1996, Braxton released her second and most successful album, Secrets. The album was nominated for Best Pop Album at the 1997 Grammy Awards and has sold eight million copies in the U.S. In 1998, Toni Braxton filed for Chapter 7 protection from a reported $3.9 million debt. All of her personal household possessions were tagged and marked for sale to pay off her creditors, including her prestigious awards. Despite this personal setback Toni Braxton would go on to release four more albums, starting with the highly success “The Heat” in 2000. “The Heat” opened at number two on the Billboard 200 selling 199,000 units its first week. To date, the album has been certified double platinum and has sold over two million copies in the U.S. and six million copies worldwide.
Martina McBride was born on July 29, 1966 in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. She was raised in nearby Sharon, Kansas, a small town that consisted of about 200 people. Her father, who was a farmer and cabinetry shop owner. He exposed Martina McBride to country music at a very young age. Around age 8 or 9, Martina McBride began singing with a band her father fronted called, “The Schiffters.” As she grew older her role in the band progressively increased, from simply singing, to also playing keyboard with them. Martina McBride released her debut studio album through the RCA label in 1992, titled, The Time Has Come. The album rose to the #49 position on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. It includes the singles “The Time Has Come”, “Cheap Whiskey”, and “That’s Me”, all of which charted on the Billboard country charts. Then in 1993, she released her sophomore album, The Way That I Am. This was her breakthrough album, producing her first Top 5 hit in “My Baby Loves Me”. She then went to release nine more albums. Seven of her studio albums and two of her compilations have received an RIAA certification of “Gold,” or higher. Worldwide, she has sold over 16 million albums.
Sugababes is an English pop group formed in London, England in 1998 by Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena and Siobhan Donaghy. Their debut single, “Overload”, made the top ten on the UK Singles Chart and was nominated for a BRIT Award for Best Single, climbing to number three and number two in Germany and New Zealand, respectively. In 2000, Sugababes released their debut album, One Touch. Despite peaking at number 26 on the UK Album Charts and being certified Gold by the BPI, the sales of One Touch did not meet London Records’ expectations, and the group eventually got dropped in fall 2001, making it their only release with the label. So, in 2002 they signed with Island Records and released their sophomore album, Angels with Dirty Faces. The album peaked domestically at #2 on the UK Albums Chart and has since been certified 3x Platinum by the BPI, and is the group’s highest selling album to date. Sugababes then released their third album, Three in 2003. It spawned four singles that charted in various parts of the world; “Hole in the Head”, “Whatever Makes You Happy”, “Sometimes” and “Maya”. Sugababes has since released four more albums including “Taller in More Ways” in 2005 and “Catfights and Spotlights” in 2008.
Trace Adkins was born on January 13, 1962 in Springhill, Louisiana, the son of Peggy and Aaron Adkins. In high school, he joined a gospel music group called the New Commitments. Trace Adkins then moved on to playing in honky tonk bars around Nashville, Tennessee in the early 1990s. An executive of Capitol Records spotted Trace Adkins playing at a honky tonk, and soon signed him to the label. His first single, “There’s a Girl in Texas”, was released in 1996, reaching the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. It was followed by the release of his debut album, Dreamin’ Out Loud, later that year. The album produced several hit singles, including his first Top 5 single, “Every Light in the House”, his first Number One in “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing”, and another Top 5 hit in “I Left Something Turned on at Home”. Trace Adkins has since released seven more studio albums, three compilation albums and twenty-seven Top 40 singles. Of his eight studio albums, six have been certified by the RIAA. His first Greatest Hits package, Greatest Hits Collection, Vol. 1, is certified platinum, and the second, American Man: Greatest Hits Volume II is certified gold.
Phil Collins was born on January 30,1951 in Chiswick, London. His professional training began at fourteen when he entered Barbara Speake Stage School. He began a career as a child actor and model, and won his first major role as The Artful Dodger in the London production of Oliver!. He was an extra in The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night – one of hundreds of screaming teenagers during the TV concert sequence and seen fleetingly in a close-up. He was also in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 1970, Collins answered a Melody Maker classified Ad for a drummer. Genesis placed the ad after having already lost three drummers over two albums. The audition occurred at the home of Peter Gabriel’s parents. Phil Collins won the audition. Nursery Cryme was released a year later. Genesis went on to make several more albums and Phil Collins started a parallel career as a solo artist in the early 1980’s. In February of 1981, Phil Collins released his debut solo album, Face Value. The album spawned a number of singles which include “I Missed Again” and “In The Air Tonight”. Phil Collins has since gone on to release six more studio albums., three compilation albums and fifty-seven singles. He has sold over one hundred and thirty-six albums to date.