Striplv Magazine - The Sexiest Magazine on the Planet, Issue 0417

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Page 38 of 79

George Michael (June 25, 1953 – December 25, 2016): A singer, songwriter, record producer and philanthropist, Michael burst onto the scene and rose to fame as a member of the ‘80s pop duo Wham! He was best known for such hit singles such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas” and albums like Faith and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. As a charismatic and often controversial artist, Michael blended danceable pop with progressive social observations that engrained him forever in pop culture. Before his death, he had sold more than 115 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. In 1998 Michael came out as gay and remained active as an LGBT rights advocate, raising funds and awareness to combat HIV/AIDS. Found dead in bed at his Oxfordshire, England home, a coroner’s report attributed his death to natural causes. Tommy Ramone (January 29, 1949 – July 11, 2014): Credited with writing “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” for the influential punk rock band the Ramones with bassist Dee Dee Ramone (Doug Colvin), guitarist Tommy Erdelyi was supposed to be the band’s manager, but when drummer Joey Ramone (Jeff Hyman) couldn’t keep up with their increasingly fast tempos, Joey became the lead singer and as they say, the rest is history. While guitarist Johnny Ramone (John Cummings) rounded out the group, Tommy remained as the band’s drummer for four years, playing on and co-producing their first three albums, Ramones, Leave Home and Rocket to Russia, as well as the live album, It’s Alive. It was said of the Ramones during their 2002 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “the Ramones revitalized rock and roll at one of its lowest ebbs, infusing it with punk energy, brash attitude, and a loud, fast new sound.” Before his death, Tommy was the last surviving original member. He died at his home in Ridgewood, Queens, New York following unsuccessful treatment for bile duct cancer. Gary Richrath (October 18, 1949 – September 13, 2015): As the lead guitarist and songwriter for the band R.E.O. Speedwagon from 1970 to 1989, Richrath is best known for writing, performing and singing on some of the band’s early hits, including “Golden Country,” “(Only A) Summer Love,” “Only the Strong Survive” and “Take It On the Run” among others. In 1977, he and the other band members took over their production, which resulted in the band’s first platinum album. Leon Russell (April 2, 1942 – November 13, 2016): As an acclaimed session pianist before finding fame in the ‘70s, Russell was involved with a myriad of best-selling pop music artists spanning his 60-year career. His distinctive look and stage presence earned him the nickname, “The Master of Time and Space.” He wrote in various genres included pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel and surf. He was awarded six gold records. His collaborations are considered some of the most successful in music history, and as a touring musician, he has performed with hundreds of notable acts. Russell recorded 33 albums and more than 400 songs. He wrote “Delta Lady” for Joe Cocker, and in 1970 he organized and performed on Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. Russell’s most famous, if not prolific song might be “A Song for You,” as it has been recorded by more than 200 artists. His song “This Masquerade” has been recorded by more than 75 artists. Russell produced and played in recording sessions for Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Ike & Tina Turner and many others. He wrote and recorded the hits “Tight Rope” and “Lady Blue” and he performed at the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden in 1971 along with Dylan and Eric Clapton. In 2011, Russell was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He died in his sleep at his Mt. Juliet, Tennessee home four months after suffering a heart attack. Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014): A folk singer and social activist, Seeger was a national fixture on nationwide radio in the ‘40s. In the early ‘50s, he had a run of hit records as a member of the Weavers including their recording of Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene,” which stood at #1 for 13 weeks in 1950. When members of the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy era Red Scare, Seeger fell into obscurity but re-emerged on the public scene in the ‘60s as a prominent protester in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and environmental causes. A prolific songwriter, some of his best-known songs include: “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)” with Lee Hays of the Weavers, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” with Joe Hickerson and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” with lyrics adapted from Ecclesiastes, which have been recorded by many artists, most notably the Byrds. Seeger was one of the folk singers responsible for popularizing the spiritual “We Shall Overcome” that became the recognized anthem of the ‘60s Civil Rights Movement. In 1972 Seeger was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 1996 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Percy Sledge (November 25, 1940 – April 14, 2015): A rhythm and blues, soul and gospel singer, Sledge is perhaps best known for the iconic song “When a Man Loves a Woman” from 1966. It was awarded a million-selling, Gold-certified disc from the Recording Industry Association of America. Sledge achieved his greatest success in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s with a string of emotional soul songs. In his later years, Sledge received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award. In 2005 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sledge died of liver cancer at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Robert Stigwood (April 16, 1934 – January 4, 2016): One of the entertainment industry’s most powerful tycoons, Stigwood was an Australian-born British-resident who became a fruitful music entrepreneur, film producer, and impresario. He was best known for managing the band Cream (Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, and Eric Clapton) and turning the Bee Gees into international stars. During his career, Stigwood backed theatrical productions like Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita and film productions including the adaptation of the Who’s Tommy and the tremendously successful film version of Grease as well as Saturday Night Fever.

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