Music Style: Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

Posted Feb 18, 2013
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  1. John Mayer
    #1

    John Mayer

    827,719 views

    John Clayton Mayer (/ˈm.ər/; born October 16, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter and producer. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and raised in nearby Fairfield. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, but disenrolled and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997 with Clay Cook. Together, they formed a short-lived, two-man band called Lo-Fi Masters. After their split, Mayer continued to play local clubs—refining his skills and gaining a following. After his appearance at the 2001 South by Southwest Festival, he was signed to Aware Records, and then Columbia Records, which released his first EP, Inside Wants Out. His following two full-length albums—Room for Squares (2001) and Heavier Things (2003)—did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the single "Your Body Is a Wonderland".


  2. Jason Mraz
    #2

    Jason Mraz

    262,226 views

    Jason Thomas Mraz (/məˈræz/; born June 23, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter who first came to prominence in the San Diego coffeehouse scene in 2000. In 2002, he released his debut studio album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which contained the hit single "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)". With the release of his second album, Mr. A-Z, in 2005, Mraz achieved major commercial success. The album peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 100,000 copies in the US. In 2008, Mraz released his third studio album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and was an international commercial success primarily due to the hit "I'm Yours". The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his first top ten single, and spent a then-record 76 weeks on the Hot 100. His fourth album, Love Is a Four Letter Word, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, his highest-charting album to date.


  3. Sheryl Crow
    #3

    Sheryl Crow

    261,539 views

    Sheryl Suzanne Crow (born February 11, 1962) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. Her music incorporates elements of pop, rock, folk, country and blues. She has released eight studio albums, two compilations, a live album and has contributed to a number of film soundtracks. She has sold more than 17 million albums in the U.S. and over 50 million albums worldwide. Crow has garnered nine Grammy Awards (out of 32 nominations) from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.


  4. Nelly Furtado
    #4

    Nelly Furtado

    185,120 views

    Nelly Kim Furtado, ComIH (born December 2, 1978) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She has sold 20 million albums worldwide and more than 20 million singles, bringing her total sales to over 40 million records around the world. Furtado first gained fame with her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, which spawned two successful singles, "I'm Like a Bird" and "Turn Off the Light". "I'm Like A Bird" won a 2001 Juno Award for Single of the Year and a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2003, Furtado released Folklore, which produced three international singles: "Powerless (Say What You Want)", "Try", and "Força".


  5. Norah Jones
    #5

    Norah Jones

    156,051 views

    Geetali Norah Jones Shankar (born March 30, 1979), widely known as Norah Jones, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actress. She is a daughter of an American, Sue Jones, and Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar. She is Anoushka Shankar's half-sister.


  6. Don Henley
    #6

    Don Henley

    155,815 views

    Donald Hugh "Don" Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and drummer, best known as a founding member of the Eagles before launching a successful solo career. Henley was the drummer and co-lead vocalist for the Eagles from 1971–1980, when the band broke up, and from 1994–present, when they reunited. Henley sang the lead vocals on Eagles hits such as "Witchy Woman", "Desperado", "Best of My Love", "One of These Nights", "Hotel California", "Life in the Fast Lane", and "The Long Run".


  7. Gavin DeGraw
    #7

    Gavin DeGraw

    140,584 views

    Gavin Shane DeGraw (born February 4, 1977) is an American musician and singer-songwriter. He rose to fame with the single "I Don't Want to Be" from his debut album Chariot which became the theme song for the television drama series One Tree Hill. Other singles from the album included notably "Chariot" and "Follow Through". His second self-titled album was released in 2008 and included the top-twenty single "In Love with a Girl".


  8. James Blunt
    #8

    James Blunt

    129,145 views

    James Hillier Blount (born 22 February 1974), better known by his stage name James Blunt, is an English singer-songwriter. He had signed with EMI before securing a recording contract with Atlantic Records and Custard Records.


  9. Sting
    #9

    Sting

    133,282 views

    Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE (born 2 October 1951), known professionally by his stage name Sting, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor, and philanthropist. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band the Police from 1977 to 1983, before launching a solo career.


  10. Bonnie Raitt
    #10

    Bonnie Raitt

    113,770 views

    Bonnie Lynn Raitt (born November 8, 1949) is an American blues singer, songwriter and slide guitar player. During the 1970s, Raitt released a series of roots-influenced albums which incorporated elements of blues, rock, folk and country. In 1989 after several years of critical acclaim but little commercial success she had a major return to form with the release of her album Nick of Time. The following two albums Luck of the Draw (1991) and Longing in Their Hearts (1994) were also multi-million sellers generating several hit singles, including "Something to Talk About", "Love Sneakin' Up on You", and the ballad "I Can't Make You Love Me" (with Bruce Hornsby on piano). Raitt has received 10 Grammy Awards. She is listed as number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 89 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.


  11. Melissa Etheridge
    #11

    Melissa Etheridge

    107,805 views

    Melissa Lou Etheridge (born May 29, 1961) is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Her self-titled debut album Melissa Etheridge was released in 1988 and became an underground hit. The album peaked at #22 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single, "Bring Me Some Water", garnered Etheridge her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. In 1993, Etheridge won her first Grammy award for her single "Ain't It Heavy" from her third album, Never Enough. Later that year, she released what would become her mainstream breakthrough album, Yes I Am. The album featured three Top 40 hits, including "I'm the Only One" (No. 8) and "Come to My Window" (No. 25), the latter which scored Etheridge her second Grammy award. Yes I Am peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, and spent 138 weeks on the chart, earning a RIAA certification of 6x Platinum, her largest to date.


  12. Sinéad O'Connor
    #12

    Sinéad O'Connor

    111,695 views

    Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor (/ʃɪˈnd ˈkɒnər/; born 8 December 1966) is an Irish singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra. O’Connor achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a new arrangement of Prince’s song "Nothing Compares 2 U".


  13. Tracy Chapman
    #13

    Tracy Chapman

    116,195 views

    Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, known for her hits "Fast Car" and "Give Me One Reason", along with other singles "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", "Baby Can I Hold You", "Crossroads", "New Beginning" and "Telling Stories". She is a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist.


  14. Jewel Kilcher
    #14

    Jewel Kilcher

    90,807 views

    Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, and author/poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2008, has sold over 27 million albums worldwide.


  15. Dido
    #15

    Dido

    74,816 views

    Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong, known as Dido (/ˈdd/, born 25 December 1971), is a British singer and songwriter. Dido attained international success with her debut album No Angel (1999). It sold over 21 million copies worldwide, and won several awards, including the MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act, two NRJ Awards for Best New Act and Best Album, and two Brit Awards for Best British Female and Best Album. Her next album, Life for Rent (2003), continued her success with the hit singles "White Flag" and "Life for Rent".


  16. Fiona Apple
    #16

    Fiona Apple

    73,728 views

    Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart (born September 13, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and record producer. Classically trained on piano as a child, Apple began composing her own songs when she was eight years old. Her debut album, Tidal, written when Apple was seventeen, was released in 1996 and received a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance (with an additional six nominations) for the single "Criminal". She followed with When the Pawn... (1999), produced by Jon Brion, which was also critically and commercially successful and went certified platinum.


  17. Sarah McLachlan
    #17

    Sarah McLachlan

    75,849 views

    Sarah Ann McLachlan, OC, OBC (born January 28, 1968) is a Canadian musician, singer, songwriter, and pianist. Known for her emotional ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range, as of 2009, she has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. McLachlan's best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won two Grammy Awards (out of four nominations) and four Juno Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians on a scale that had never been attempted before. The Lilith Fair concert tours took place from 1997 to 1999, and resumed in the summer of 2010. On May 6, 2014, she released her first album of original music in four years, titled Shine On.


  18. Tori Amos
    #18

    Tori Amos

    73,866 views

    Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos; born 1963) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and composer. She is a classically trained musician and has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. She has received eight Grammy nominations.


  19. Jeff Buckley
    #19

    Jeff Buckley

    71,649 views

    Jeffrey Scott "Jeff" Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), raised as Scott "Scottie" Moorhead, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. After a decade as a session guitarist in Los Angeles, Buckley amassed a following in the early 1990s by playing cover songs at venues in Manhattan's East Village, such as Sin-é, gradually focusing more on his own material. After rebuffing much interest from record labels and his father's manager Herb Cohen, he signed with Columbia, recruited a band, and recorded what would be his only studio album, Grace, in 1994. Rolling Stone considers him one of the greatest singers of all time.


  20. Ryan Adams
    #20

    Ryan Adams

    78,007 views

    David Ryan Adams (born November 5, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, producer, poet and painter. He is best known for his prolific solo career, and as a former member of alternative country band Whiskeytown, with whom he recorded three studio albums.


  21. Lyle Lovett
    #21

    Lyle Lovett

    69,256 views

    Lyle Pearce Lovett (born November 1, 1957) is an American country singer-songwriter and actor. Active since 1980, he has recorded thirteen albums and released 25 singles to date, including his highest entry, the number 10 chart hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, "Cowboy Man". Lovett has won four Grammy Awards, including Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Album. It's Not Big It's Large was released in 2007, where it debuted and peaked at number 2 on the Top Country Albums chart. A new studio album, Natural Forces, was released on October 20, 2009 by Lost Highway Records. The last studio album on his Curb Records contract, Release Me, was released in February 2012.


  22. k.d. lang
    #22

    k.d. lang

    55,520 views

    Kathryn Dawn Lang, OC (born November 2, 1961), known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress.


  23. Wyclef Jean
    #23

    Wyclef Jean

    51,742 views

    Wyclef Jeanelle Jean (/ˈwklɪf ˈʒɒn/; born October 17, 1969) is a Haitian rapper, musician and actor. At the age of nine, Jean moved to the United States with his family and has spent much of his life there. He first achieved fame as a member of the acclaimed New Jersey hip hop group the Fugees. Jean won three Grammy Awards for his musical work.


  24. Charlotte Gainsbourg
    #24

    Charlotte Gainsbourg

    39,388 views

    Charlotte Lucy Gainsbourg (born 21 July 1971) is an British-French actress and singer. She is the daughter of English actress Jane Birkin and French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. After making her musical debut with her father on the song "Lemon Incest" at the age of twelve, she released an album with her father at the age of fifteen. More than twenty years passed before she released three albums as an adult (5:55, IRM and Stage Whisper) to commercial and critical success. Gainsbourg has also appeared in many films, including several directed by Lars von Trier, and has received both a César Award and the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award.


  25. Damien Rice
    #25

    Damien Rice

    49,161 views

    Damien Rice (born 7 December 1973) is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician and record producer who plays piano, guitar, percussion and clarinet.


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