Aahliyah. Aahliyah Houghton (1979-2001). This singer had recorded three albums; the self-titled "Aahliyah" issued just one month before she died in a plane crash in the Bahamas. In 2002 she received 2 posthumous American Music Awards.
Amadeus. Middle name of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. See "Mozart."
Anastacia. (1973-). Chicago born and New York raised singer, whose first album is entitled "Not that Kind."
Angus. Angus Young, a guitarist for the heavy metal Australian band "AC/DC."
Aretha. Aretha Franklin (1941-). The "Queen of Soul" started singing in her father’s church. She is most recognized for her hit "R-E-S-P-E-C-T."
Arlo. Arlo Guthrie (1947-). Folk singer and composer; Arlo is known for his song "Alice’s Restaurant."
Axl. Axl Rose. Bill Bailey (1962-). Lead singer for the heavy metal "do it to excess," rock group "Guns ‘n Roses."
B.B. King. Riley B. "BB" King (1925-). B.B. is known as "King of the Blues." With albums, awards, and nightclubs, B.B. is a crowd pleaser.
Bach. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750). German organist and composer of instrumental and vocal music.
Beastie Boy. Rap group known for excess. Led by the singer Adam Yauch, who helped coin the 1980’s youth call "You gotta fight for the right to party."
Beethoven. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). German composer, although deaf, composed the world’s greatest symphonies.
Bee Gee. A Bee Gee is a Gibb brother in the "Bee Gees." Most recognized for their double album "Saturday Night Fever."
Beyoncé. (1981-). Beyoncé Knowles, formerly of Destiny’s Child is riding high on the success of her first album, Grammy winning, "Dangerously in Love" (2003).
Blackstreet. Highly regarded young, urban R&B band. First hit single "Before I Let You Go" (1994).
Blondie. This punk-rock group was formed by bleached blonde Deborah Harry and Chris Stein. "Heart of Glass" (1980).
Bo Diddley. Elias McDaniel. As a rhythm and blues artist, his first single "Bo Diddley" was a hit in 1955.
Bon Jovi. Jon Bon Jovi. Born John Bongiovi (1962-). As the leader of a pop-metal band, his music addresses middle-class teen sensibilities. Hits include "Living on a Prayer" and "It’s My Life."
Bone Thugs and Harmony. Grammy Award Winning Quartet from Cleveland, OH whose M-O is "Reality Rap."
Bono. Bono Hewson (1960-). Vocalist for Irish rock band "U2." Bono is also instrumental in bringing attention to world debt.
The Boss. Nickname for Bruce Springsteen. See "Bruce."
Bowie. Born David Jones (1947-). David Bowie is most known for his flamboyant characterizations as well as his unabashed rock-n-roll such as "Ch-ch-ch-changes."
Brahms. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). German composer of many songs and arrangements of German folk songs like Brahms’ "Lullaby."
Bruce. Bruce Springsteen (1949-). Jersey rocker best known for his blue collar rock-n-roll. He and "The E Street Band" tear up the stage with their 4 hour, high voltage, live shows with crowd-pleasers such as "Born to Run" and "Rosalita."
Buster Poindexter. David Johansen (1950-). Lead singer for the glam-rock band "The New York Dolls." He later became Buster Poindexter, the lounge singer with the hit "Hot Hot Hot."
Carnie. Carnie Wilson (1969-). Vocalist with pop music group "Wilson Phillips" is the daughter of "Beach Boys" Brian Wilson.
Chaka. Chaka Khan, lead singer for soul/funk band "Rufus." Hits include "Tell Me Something Good" and "You’ve Got the Love."
Charo. (1942-). Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza. Blonde, Spanish spitfire, Charo is the "Cuchi Cuchi" girl. Although known for her sexy flamboyance and comedy, she is a gifted classical guitarist and singer.
Chopin. Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). Polish composer, who lived most of his life in Paris.
Chynna. Chynna Phillips (1968-). Vocalist with pop music group "Wilson Phillips," is the daughter of former members of "Mamas and Papas" John and Michelle Phillips.
Clarence. Clarence Clemons (1942-). Super saxophonist with Bruce Springsteen’s "E Street Band" and his solo band "The Red Band Rockers."
Devo. Short for Devo-lution. Most famous for their frenetic hit "Whip It" (1980).
Destiny’s Child. Female R&B group, whose members include, Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Their breakout album "The Writing’s on the Wall" sold 10 million copies worldwide.
Dido. Dido Armstrong (1971- ). English pop star whose hit "Here with Me" is off of her breakout album, now platinum "No Angel" (1999). See also "Mythology."
Dion. Dion Dimucci (1939-). "Dion and the Belmonts" established themselves with their first single "I Wonder Why" (1958). Later, "Abraham, Martin and John" became a classic.
Dizzy. John Birks "Dizzy Gillespie" (1917-1993). Jazz trumpeter and bandleader, who with Charlie Parker pioneered Be-Bop.
Doc. Carl Hilding "Doc" Severinson (1927-). Trumpet player; for 20 years, the band leader for "The Tonight Show."
Dolly. Dolly Parton (1946-). This irrepressible country-western singer is known for her flamboyant style, supple voice and prolific songwriting skills. Best known for "9-5" and "Islands in the Stream" with Kenny Rogers.
Donovan. Donovan Leitch (1946-). This English Bob Dylan is most famous for hits "Mellow Yellow" and "Sunshine Superman."
Doobie. A doobie is an unrelated member of the rock band "Doobie Brothers." Hits include "China Grove" and "Rocking Down the Highway."
Dr. Dre. Andre Young (1965-). Gansta rap pioneer, with breakout album "The Chronic."
Dweezil. Eldest son of pop/rock musician Frank Zappa, Dweezil is a guitarist and rock singer.
Dylan. Robert Allen Zimmerman (1941-). This folk singer/poet is often recognized as an early influence to many musicians. Hits include "Blowin’ in the Wind" and "Hurricane."
Eartha Kitt. Eartha Mae Kitt (1928-). Dancer/actress was a soloist with the "Katherine Dunham Dance Group" (1948).
Elfman. Danny Elfman is a member of the band "Oingo Boingo" and composer of scores for the films "Batman" and "Dick Tracy."
Eminem. Marshall Mathers III (1972-). Controversial rapper/actor, whose alter ego, Slim Shady is revered by youth, reviled by parents. Debuted in film "8 Mile" (2002).
Englebert. Arnold Gerry Dorsey (1936). Englebert’s hits include "Release Me" and "After the Lovin’."
Eubie. James Hubert "Eubie" Blake. (1883-1983). Noted for his ragtime, stride piano.
Fabian. Fabiano Forte (1943-). Singer whose hits include "Lillie Lou" and "Turn Me Loose."
Faith Hill. Audrey Faith Perry (1967-). Country music singer.
A triple Grammy winner in 2001 for the album and single "Breathe."
Fatboy Slim. Norman Cook (1963-). Raucous blend of house, acid, funk, hip-hop, electro, and techno has added to his already formidable reputation as one of the foremost all-around producers on the U.K. club scene.
Felix Cavaliere. (1944-). Lead Singer of the rock group "The Little Rascals." Best known for their hit "Good Lovin" (1965).
Freddie Mercury. (1946-1991). Androgynous vocalist of British rock band "Queen." Best known for his vocal theatrics on the hit "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Fresh Prince. "Will" Willard Smith (1969-). Singer/actor was half of the rap duo "D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince." First rap group to ever win a Grammy in the rap category.
Fugees. Rap crossover band. Two members of the group, Wyclef Jean and his cousin Pras, born in Haiti, prompted the name, Fugee that is short for "refugee".
Garth. Troyal Garth Brooks (1962-). An award winning country music vocalist, he is the biggest selling solo artist of all time, selling over 100 million albums.
Gershwin. George Gershwin (1898-1937). American composer who combined elements of classical music with elements of popular music from "Rhapsody in Blue" to "Porgy and Bess."
Hammer. M.C. Hammer. Stanley Kirk Burrell (1963-). First rap artist to achieve crossover popularity with his frenetic hit "You Can’t Touch This."
Heavy D. Dwight Meyers. (1967-). Jamaican born, but raised in the Bronx, this rhythm and blues rapper with 3 platinum records is "Livin’ Large" as a singer and actor.
Holly. Charles Harden "Buddy" Holley (1936-1959). With the band "The Crickets" who recorded the hits "Maybe Baby" and "Peggy Sue."
Ice Cube. O’Shea Jackson (1969-). This rapper/actor is a former member and songwriter for rap group N.W.A. Went on to star in ground breaking film "Boyz in the Hood" (1991).
Ice T. Tracy Morrow (1959-). Rap artist/actor. Raps about inner city street life. He’s also been successful in film and on T.V.
Ike. Ike Turner (1931-). See "Tina Turner."
J.LO. Jennifer Lopez (1970-). Singer, dancer, actress. This Bronx beauty has the distinction of having the first #1 album and movie in the same week.
J.T. James Taylor (1948-). This Grammy winner is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. As a soft rock balladeer, his hits include "Fire and Rain" and "Sweet Baby James."
Jagger. Mick Jagger (1941-). The lead singer of the most enduring rock-n-roll band "The Rolling Stones," whose hits include "Satisfaction" and "Brown Sugar."
Jazzy Jeff. D.J. Jazzy Jeff. Jeffrey Townes (1965-). See "Fresh Prince."
Jewel. Jewel Kilcher (1974-). Angelic voiced singer from Alaska with breakout album "Pieces of You" (1995).
Joplin. Janis Joplin (1943-1970). In 1966, she became lead vocalist with the band, Big Brother and the Holding Company; Kosmic Blues Band (1968-1970), & The Full Tilt Boogie Band. This bluesy-rocker is best known for her hits "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Cry Baby."
Joplin. Scott Joplin 1868-1917). The "King of Ragtime" is best known for this work "The Maple Leaf Rag."
K.D. Katherine Dawn "k.d." Lang (1961-). Originally a country music singer, her release in 1992 of "Ingénue" reflected a new direction for this Grammy award-winning singer.
Kool Moe Dee. Mohandas Dewese (1963-). In 1989, his gold album "Knowledge is King" affirmed hip-hop’s prominence into the mainstream, as he performed at the Grammy Awards, becoming the first rapper to do so.
L.L. Cool J. James Todd (Ladies Love Cool James) Smith (1968-). Rap artist/actor/writer who had his first single "I Can’t Live Without My Radio" (1985) at just 18 years old. He had his own T.V. sitcom "In the House" and starred in films like "Rollerball" (2002).
Liberace. Wladziu Valentino Liberace (1919-1987). Flamboyant pianist and entertainer, who lived an ostentatious lifestyle.
Lionel. Lionel Hampton (1908-). Started out as a drummer, became proficient as a jazz vibraphonist, and formed his first big band in 1932.
Lollapalooza. Heavy metal rock extravaganza tour.
Macy Gray. (1970-). Grammy award winner was born Natalie McIntyre. Macy’s voice has been compared to Billie Holiday and Tina Turner. Her breakout album "On How Life Is" (1999) includes the hits "I Try" and "Caligula."
Madonna. Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (1958-). Singer/actress, famous for reinventing her image and for her provocative style. Her hits include "Material Girl," "Ray of Light" and "Music."
Mama Cass. Cass Elliott (1943-1974). Mama Cass provided vocals in the folk rock group "The Mamas and the Papas" with their first recording in 1966 "California Dreamin’."
Mariah. Mariah Carey (1970-). Grammy award winning pop vocalist with an 8-octave vocal range. Her 1990 debut album featured her hit single "Vision of Love." Other hits include "Butterfly" and "Emotions."
Marley, Bob. Robert Nesta Marley (1945-1981). Bob Marley and the Wailers are known worldwide for their special brand of reggae. Remembered for hits like "No Woman No Cry" and "Zimbabwe," Bob Marley’s death in 1981 has not stopped the love and recognition from his fans.
Melba. Melba Moore (1947-). Songstress has appeared in the musical "Hair" and won a Tony award for "Purlie."
Metallica. Heavy metal rock band. They won their fifth Grammy in 2001 for their album "Whiskey in the Jar."
Miles. Miles Davis (1926-1991). One of the great jazz musicians, he played the trumpet and collaborated with other jazz greats.
Moby. Richard Melville Hall (1965-). Moby is a relative of the famous whale story author. He is eclectic in his musical style, as evident in the album "Play" (1999).
Moon Unit. (1967-). Daughter of pop/rock musician Frank Zappa. Hit single was "Valley Girl."
Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Austrian composer. Child prodigy who, through the years, wrote at least 600 compositions.
Muddy Waters. McKinley Morgan Field (1915-1983). As one of the great blues singers, he influenced many soul and rock musicians.
Nelly. Nelly Furtado (1978-). Portuguese-Canadian singer-songwriter whose debut album "Whoa Nelly!" Spawned the hits "Turn Off the Light" and "I’m Like a Bird," for which she won the 2002 Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Nelson. Eric "Rick" Hilliard Nelson (1940-1985). Worked with his T.V. family "Ozzie and Harriet." Hits include "I’m Walkin’" (1957) and "Garden Party" (1972). Twin sons, Gunner & Matthew have their own rock band "Nelson."
Pavarotti. Luciano Pavarotti (1935-). Italian tenor has sung opera on the world’s great stages.
P-Diddy. See "Puffy Daddy."
Peabo. Robert Peabo Bryson (1951-). Rhythm and blues singer, recorded top 40 hit with Roberta Flack "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" (1983).
Peaches and Herb. Francine Hurd (1947-). Herb Feemster (1942-). A singing duo with the R&B hit "Reunited" (1978).
Petula. Petula Clark (1932-). Pop vocalist of the 60’s. Her big hit was "Downtown" (1964).
Phoebe. Phoebe Snow (1952-). Her unique style combines blues, jazz and folk. Most known for her single "Poetry Man."
Poco. Group formed in 1968 by Richie Furay (from "Buffalo Springfield") and Jim Messina (later "Loggins and Messina").
Porter. Cole Porter (1892-1964). Composer of popular music. Wrote musicals and is known for such Frank Sinatra classics as "I Get a Kick Out of You" and "I’ve Got You Under My Skin."
Posh. Victoria "Posh Spice" Adams Beckham (1974). See "Spice Girls."
Prince. Prince Rogers Nelson (1958-). The "Purple One" is a critically acclaimed musician, singer and songwriter. He reached superstar status with the release of "Purple Rain" (1984).
Puccini. Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924). Italian composer whose works include "Madame Butterfly" and "La Boheme."
Puff Daddy. Sean "Puffy" Combs (1970-). Rapper/producer created a multi-million dollar industry around Bad Boy Entertainment. The biggest hip-hop impresario of the mid-’90s has also branched out in fashion merchandising and acting.
Queen Latifah. Dana Owens (1970-). A socially conscious female rapper, actress and talk show host.
Rascal. See "Felix Cavalieri."
Reba. Reba McEntire (1954-). Country music vocalist and Grammy winner, now star of her own T.V. show "Reba" (2001-2007).
Ringo. Richard Starkey (1948-). Drummer of the rock group "The Beatles." Had solo hit "You’re Sixteen" and travels with his "All Star Band."
Roxette. Name of the Swedish rock duo (Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle) with the hit song "Almost Unreal" from the film "Super Mario Brothers."
Rufus. See "Chaka Kahn."
Salt-n-Pepa. A female rap group with the 1987 gold hit "Push It." Trio includes Cheryl James, Sandy Denton and Dee Roper.
Satchmo. Louis Armstrong (1900-1971). The great jazz trumpeter and entertainer.
Saxon. A heavy metal band from the United Kingdom.
Schubert. Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828). Austrian composer known for his lieder compositions (over 600 songs).
Shaggy. Orville Richard Burrell (1968-). His worldwide hit, a cover of "Oh Carolina" put New York Reggae on the map. He describes his style of music as "dog-a-muffin" which are elements of jazz and raggamuffin.
Sheena. Shirley Orr Easton (1959-). Scottish singer’s first single was "Morning Train" (1980). Recorded the theme from the 1981 James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only."
Sisqo. Mark Andrews (1978-). Colorful Baltimore rapper/actor, famous for the hit "The Thong Song."
Slash. Saul Hudson (1965-). Lead guitarist for the heavy metal band Guns n’ Roses.
Slick. Grace Slick (1943-). Vocalist with the San Francisco/
Haight Ashbury based 60’s rock group Jefferson Airplane and later Starship.
Smokey. William "Smokey" Robinson (1940-). Grammy winning singer was with "Smokey Robinson and the Miracles" from 1957 to 1972. Hits include "Tracks of My Tears" and "Tears of a Clown."
Spice Girl. The Spice Girls, an English girl group, expressed their "Girl Power" philosophy. Their first single in 1996 was "Wannabe."
Spinner. The Spinners were a Detroit R&B group with their hit songs "I’ll be Around" and "Could it be I’m Fallin’ in Love?"
Spirit. Rock group formed in 1965 in Los Angeles. Best known single "Stuck in the Middle With You."
Squeeze. London-based band, which came to prominence in the late 1970’s, during the New Wave movement.
Squier. Rocker Billy Squier’s most notable work is "All Night Long" (1984).
Sting. Gordon Matthew Sumner (1951-). Bass guitar player and vocalist for the reggae-influenced rock group "The Police." Sting went on to a successful solo career whose hits include "If You Love Somebody Set The Free" and "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You".
Strauss. Johann, father (1804-1849) and son (1825-1899). Violinist, conductor and composer of waltzes.
Stravinsky. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). Composer of ballets "The Fire Bird" and "Petrushka."
Stray Cats. Rockabilly band playing 50’s style rock with the hit "Rock This Town."
Survivor. Rock band with the hit single "Eye of the Tiger" in 1982.
Thelonious Sphere Monk. (1917-1982). Jazz musician; he helped to birth "Bebop." He played with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra in 1940’s, but by the ‘50’s he was recognized for his own contributions to jazz.
Tina. Annie Mae "Tina" Bullock (1939-). Married Ike Turner and formed "The Ike and Tina Turner Revue." Hits include "Proud Mary" and solo hit "What’s Love Got to do With It?"
Tito. Tito Puente. (1923-2000). Grammy award winning Latin jazz musician has recorded over 100 albums.
U2. Irish rock band whose lyrics are of a socially and politically conscious nature. Hits include "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" and "In The Name of Love."
Vanilla Ice. Robert Van Winkle (1968-). Miami rapper whose first single was "Ice Ice Baby."
Waylon. Waylon Arnold Jennings (1937-2002). "Outlaw" country rock musician, composer and actor. Teamed up with Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson 1985 to form the supergroup "The Highwaymen."
Weezer. Post-grunge alternative rock band, whose music is infused with a quirky sense of humor and endearing awkwardness that made songs like "Undone (The Sweater Song)" and "Buddy Holly" (1994, 1995), hits.
Willie. Willie Nelson (1933-). Legendary country rock musician who is best known for the hit single "On the Road Again" and the album "The Redheaded Stranger."
Woodstock. (1969). Outdoor music festival. Featured top artists like: Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez. Thirty years later another festival was organized, which included Metallica Counting Crows and Jewel, among others.
Xavier. Xavier Cugat (1900-1990). As a bandleader in New York City, he was known as the "Rumba King."
Yanni. Yanni Chryssomalis. (1954-). A musician with perfect pitch, he was born in Kalamata, Greece and came to the US in 1972. Known for his musical extravaganzas at the Acropolis and Taj Mahal, he is the Greek God of New Age music.
Yoko. Yoko Ono. (1933-). A 1960’s avant-artist in New York. She met Beatle John Lennon at one of her art exhibits and married him in 1969.
Young MC. Marvin Young (1967-). Socially conscious rapper recorded the hit "Bust-A-Move" (1989).
Yo-Yo Ma. (1955-). Premiere classical cellist, who is also known for his performance on the sound track for the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000).
Zappa. Frank Zappa (1940-1993). Unconventional rocker with his band "Mothers of Invention" recorded cult hits like "Dental Floss."
Arrow. "Me and My Arrow," a song recorded by Harry Nilsson in 1971.
Auntie Grizelda. From a song recorded by The Monkees. (1967).
Cisco Kid. A song by the group "War" (1973).
Dog-a-muffin. See "Shaggy."
Figaro. A character in the opera "The Marriage of Figaro,"
Foxy Lady. A song on Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 debut album "Are You Experienced?"
Hound Dog. Number one hit for Elvis Presley in 1956.
Layla. Song by Eric Clapton and his group Derek and the Dominos.
Leroy Brown. "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown" (1973). This was the number one hit for Jim Croce.
Lola. Recorded by The Kinks in 1970; "Lola" was a cross dresser.
Mighty Quinn. "Quinn the Eskimo." A 1968 hit for Manfred Mann.
Mr. Bojangles. Both The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Sammy Davis Jr. recorded this ditty by Jerry Jeff Walker.
Patches. A smash hit single in 1962 by Dickey Lee.
Prudence. From the 1968 song "Dear Prudence" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Rhiannon. Stevie Nicks wrote and sang this Fleetwood Mac song (1975).
Rocket Man. Words and music are by Elton John and Bernie Taupin (1972).
Sandy. Annie’s faithful canine friend in the musical "Annie." Originally an Airedale.
Shilo. A Neil Diamond song. (1970).
Backbeat. The stressed second and fourth beat in 4/4 time. Used in Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll.
Bluegrass. An acoustic country music genre that uses five instruments: mandolin, guitar, banjo, string bass, and fiddle.
CD. A compact disk, which is a disk of digitally encoded sound recordings.
Calypso. This music originating in the West Indies, is written in 2/4 time. Lyrics are sung with long vowel sounds.
Chopsticks. (1877). A short composition for the piano, played with one finger of each hand.
Harmony. The relationship of notes in the chordal structure of a musical composition.
Hip Hop. Urban street culture which includes rap music, break dancing, body popping and scratch mixing by DJs.
Jazz. Form of music derived from African-American spirituals and blues that incorporate complex rhythms of instrumentation and improvisation.
Jingles. Short repetitious songs used as a marketing tool on T.V. and radio commercials.
Kazoo. A small tin musical toy, in which a sound is emitted by the vibration of a breath and voice.
Lullaby. A soothing, lulling bedtime composition.
Maestro. A leader of musical performers; conductor of an orchestra.
Oboe. A woodwind instrument with a double reed mouthpiece and a range of 3 octaves.
Piccolo. Flute-like instrument with a pitch that is one octave above a flute.
Rapper. A musician who engages in rap music. "Rap" is fast-talking rhymes, spoken over a rhythm track and part of the "hip hop" culture. It started to emerge as mainstream in 1979 with Sugarhill Gang’s "Rapper’s Delight."
Reggae. This is a sound, originating in Jamaica, in the 60’s. Desmond Dekker’s "Israelites" (1969) is an early example of Reggae. Most notable Reggae star is Bob Marley.
Slam. Slam dancing is slamming oneself against other dancers. It was associated with the "Punk Rock" movement.
Tempo. The rate of speed of a musical composition.
Zydeco. Originating in Louisiana, this music is a combination of Blues and Cajun music. Instruments are usually an accordion, fiddle and guitar.