Duran Duran, Fleetwood Mac, Joss Stone, The Offspring, Sara Bareilles, The Pussycat Dolls

Duran Duran

John Taylor and Nick Rhodes formed Duran Duran in Birmingham, UK in 1978, naming the band after the villain “Dr. Durand Durand”, played by Milo O’Shea in Roger Vadim’s science-fiction film, Barbarella. The band’s first album, Duran Duran, was released on the EMI label in 1981. The first single, “Planet Earth”, reached the United Kingdom’s Top 20 at Number 12. A follow-up, “Careless Memories,” stalled at Number 37. However, it was their third single, “Girls On Film”, that attracted the most attention. The song went to Number 5 in the UK. In May of 1982, they released their second album, Rio, which scored four UK Top Twenty singles with “My Own Way”, “Hungry Like The Wolf”, “Save A Prayer”, and the title song “Rio”. A headlining tour of Australia, Japan, and the U.S. was followed by a stint supporting Blondie during that band’s final American tour. In 1983, Duran Duran released their third album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Duran Duran has since gone on to release ten more albums. They have placed 14 in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100 and have sold more than 70 million records.

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac are a British/American rock band formed in 1967. It’s members consisted of Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Lindsey Buckingham. Fleetwood Mac’s first album, “Fleetwood Mac”, was a no-frills blues album and was released on the Blue Horizon label in February 1968. The album was hugely successful in the UK, hitting no.4, though it did not have any singles on it. The band soon released two singles “Black Magic Woman” (later a big hit for Santana) and “Need Your Love So Bad”. The band’s second album, “Mr. Wonderful”, was released in August 1968. Like the first it was an all-blues album, but this time they made a few changes. The album was recorded live in the studio with miked amplifiers and PA system, rather than plugged into the board. This method provided the ideal environment for producing this style of music, and gave it an authentically vintage sound. Fleetwood Mac has since released fifteen studio albums and three live albums. In late 2008, Fleetwood Mac announced that the band would tour in 2009, beginning in March. As per the 2003-2004 tour, Christine McVie will not be featured in the lineup.

Joss Stone

Joss Stone is the stage name of Jocelyn Eve Stoker. She was born on April 11, 1987 in Dover, Kent, and spent her teenage years in Ashill, a small village in Devon. She is the third of four children born to Richard and Wendy Stoker. In 2001, at the age of fourteen, Stone auditioned for the BBC Television talent show Star for a Night in London singing Franklin’s 1968 Goffin-King hit “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and Whitney Houston’s 1998 “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay”. After passing her audition, she sang Donna Summer’s 1979 “On the Radio” for the broadcast, and eventually won the contest. Her debut album, The Soul Sessions was released on November 24, 2003. As the highest debut of the week, The Soul Sessions entered the UK Albums Chart at number forty-seven the week of January 17, 2004, and reached its peak position of number four three weeks later. It spent twelve non-consecutive weeks in the top ten and seventy weeks altogether in the top seventy-five, including three re-entries in 2005. In 2004, Joss Stone released her second studio album, Mind, Body & Soul. In 2007, she released her third studio album Introducing Joss Stone. While not as commercially successful as Stone’s previous albums in her native UK, Introducing Joss Stone debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 selling 118,000 units in its opening week.

The Offspring

The Offspring is an American pop punk band formed in Huntington Beach, California in 1984. After recording a demo in 1988, The Offspring signed a record deal with a small-time label, Nemesis Records. Then in March 1985, the band teamed up with producer Thom Wilson (of Dead Kennedys, Social Distortion and The Vandals fame) to record their first album, titled The Offspring. In1991, The Offspring teamed up with Wilson again to produce the Baghdad 7″ EP. This EP was instrumental to the band’s signing with Epitaph Records. Wilson had been trying to get The Offspring to switch to Epitaph, a label run by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Gurewitz felt that The Offspring was just not quite pronounced enough for his label, but Baghdad convinced him to give the band a shot. In 1992, Wilson and The Offspring returned to the studio to record their second album Ignition, which was released in October of that year. The album exceeded all of the label’s and band’s expectations. The band went on tour for the next two years with other punk bands such as Pennywise, and ska punk bands like No Doubt and Voodoo Glow Skulls. The band released what would become their biggest selling CD, titled Smash in 1994. Fueled by the hit singles “Come Out and Play,” “Self Esteem,” and “Gotta Get Away,” this album set the all-time record for most units sold by an independent label band at 16 million records. Smash has continued to sell consistently well in the fifteen years since its release, and has also been certified 6x Platinum in the United States. The Offspring has since released five more albums and have enjoyed records sales of over 50 million albums worldwide.

Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles was born on December 7, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from college in 2002, Sarah Bareilles performed at local bars and clubs, building a following, before performing in larger venues. She issued two demos of mostly live tracks in 2003: The First One in April and The Summer Sessions in October. In 2004, she appeared as a singer in a bar in the indie film Girl Play, performing the song “Undertow”. In January 2004, Bareilles released her first studio album, Careful Confessions. She signed a contract with Epic Records’ A&R executive Pete Giberga on April 15, 2005. The remainder of the year and early 2006 were spent writing and reworking songs for her upcoming album. Her song, “Gravity,” appears briefly in the 2006 independent film Loving Annabelle. She also toured as the opening act in 2006 for Marc Broussard’s “Carencro” tour. In June 2007, iTunes featured Bareilles’ single “Love Song” as the free single of the week. The following month, her major-label debut Little Voice shot to #1 on the list of most downloaded albums of the music store in its first week of release, and debuted at number forty-five on the Billboard 200 chart. After being featured on a Rhapsody commercial in 2007, “Love Song” began climbing the pop charts, jumping from seventy-three to sixteen in one week. As of December 27, 2007, “Love Song” has entered the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sarah Bareilles’ single, “Love Song” was certified 2x platinum in April 2008.

The Pussycat Dolls

The Pussycat Dolls are an American girl group and dance ensemble founded by choreographer Robin Antin in 1995 in Los Angeles, California. After attracting national attention, Antin eventually negotiated a record deal with Interscope Records in 2003, and the troupe was re-cast as a music group, comprising lead singer Nicole Scherzinger alongside Melody Thornton, Jessica Sutta, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt and Carmit Bachar. On September 13, 2005, The Pussycat Dolls released their debut album, PCD. The album was a commercial success, and has gone on to sell over seven million units worldwide, spawning seven singles. The album ended 2006 as the twenty-eighth best-selling album in the United Kingdom, with sales of 536,340 copies, in 2006 and 574,000 in 2005, for combined sales of over 1.1 million in the UK and as the sixteenth best selling album in the Netherlands. The album has sold in excess of seven million copies worldwide. On September 23, 2008, ThePussycat Dolls released their sophomore album, Doll Domination. The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, with 79,000 in first week sales. Internationally, The Dolls re-released the album from April 14, 2009 featuring several new tracks including remixes of “Hush Hush”, “Painted Windows”, “Top of the World” and worldwide smash-hit “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)”.