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An inspiring story of one man’s rise from poverty and oppression to success and fame in the international world of opera...
It is a difficult undertaking for any human to escape the cycle of poverty, but to do so from one of the world’s most complex political systems, with a brutal history of segregation and deprivation, is nothing short of a miracle. Yet Musa Ngqungwana’s story doesn’t end there. Not only did he manage to extricate himself from his impoverished past, but he found his way to the great opera houses of the world, attaining immense success in an affluent art form that bears no resemblance to his upbringing or culture. Musa’s life and career are proof that any human can overcome the devastating effects of discrimination and poverty.
Odyssey Of An African Opera Singer chronicles Musa’s journey from the townships of South Africa to the world stage. It is a story of hope, showing how humans, no matter their situation, have the opportunity to claim their gifts, develop them and use them to help others in need. A captivating story that will inspire anyone who has ever had a dream...
Born To Kwaito considers the meaning of kwaito music now. ‘Now’ not only as in ‘after 1994’ or the Truth Commission but as a place in the psyche of black people in post-apartheid South Africa.
This collection of essays tackles the changing meaning of the genre after its decline and its ever-contested relevance. Through rigorous historical analysis as well as threads of narrative journalism Born To Kwaito interrogates issues of artistic autonomy, the politics of language in the music, and whether the music is part of a strand within the larger feminist movement in South Africa. Candid and insightful interviews from the genre’s foremost innovators and torchbearers, such as Mandla Spikiri, Arthur Mafokate, Robbie Malinga and Lance Stehr, provide unique historical context to kwaito music’s greatest highs, most captivating hits and most devastating lows. Born To Kwaito offers up a history of the genre from below by having conversations not only with musicians but with fans, engineers, photographers and filmmakers who bore witness to a revolution.
Living in a place between criticism and biography, Born To Kwaito merges academic theories and rigorous journalism to offer a new understanding into how the genre influenced other art forms such as fashion, TV and film. The book also reflects on how some of the music’s best hits have found new life through the mouths of local hip-hop’s current kingmakers and opened kwaito up to a new generation.
The book does not pretend to be an exhaustive history of the genre but rather a present-active analysis of that history as it settles and finds its meaning.
Skollie, saint, scholar, hippest of hippies, imperfect musician with a perfect imagination, Syd Kitchen was, like all great artists, born to enrich his art and not himself.
Plagued by drugs, alcohol and depression, too much of an outlaw to be embraced by record companies, he frequently sold his furniture to cover production costs of his albums, seduced fans at concerts and music festivals worldwide with his dazzling ‘Afro-Saxon’ mix of folk, jazz, blues and rock interspersed with marvellously irreverent banter, and finally became the subject of several compelling documentaries, one of which - Fool in a Bubble - premiered in New York in 2010.
With a career spanning over 40 years, Marah Louw is counted among South Africa’s musical and entertainment industry royalty and has a powerful and memorable story to tell. This book is the reader’s front-row ticket to the joys, sadness, triumphs and setbacks that have been part of this legend’s life. Even though she is a celebrity, her story aims to show that stars, no matter how bright, are human too. It also delves into her family secrets and her search for truth.
As one of South Africa’s most iconic entertainers, Marah has had an illustrious career. She performed at the Mandela Concert at London’s Wembley Stadium and she sang at the Newsmaker of the Year Awards, presented to Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, and in honour of the late Chris Hani. She appeared with Nelson Mandela during his visit to Glasgow in 1993 and sang at George Square and The Royal Concert Hall. In 1994, she sang at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela and the Freedom Day Celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
In 2001, Marah produced the successful musical concert Surf, which featured top South African artists including Hugh Masekela. Marah translated the music of The Lion King into Zulu for the Walt Disney Corporation and performed the theme song Circle of Life in Zulu. She was also an Idols judge from 2003 until 2010.
She had a lead role on the SABC2 television soap opera Muvhango and has acted in numerous musicals, stage plays and feature films. She is currently acting in the Mzansi Magic telenovela The Queen.
In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.
He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.
Born To Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.
Madame Jenkins couldn't carry a tune in a bucket: despite that, in 1944 at the age of 76, she played Carnegie Hall to a capacity audience and had celebrity fans by the score. Her infamous 1940s recordings are still highly-prized today. In his well-researched and thoroughly entertaining biography, Darryl W. Bullock tells of Florence Foster Jenkins meteoric rise to success and the man who stood beside her, through every sharp note.
Florence was ridiculed for her poor control of timing, pitch, and tone, and terrible pronunciation of foreign lyrics, but the sheer entertainment value of her caterwauling packed out theatres around the United States, with the 'singer' firmly convinced of her own talent, partly thanks to the devoted attention from her husband and manager St Clair Bayfield. Her story is one of triumph in the face of adversity, of courage, conviction and of the belief that with dedication and commitment a true artist can achieve anything.
Now a major Hollywood movie starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, the genius of Florence Foster Jenkins is about to be discovered by a whole new audience.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is the long-awaited memoir from Elvis Costello, one of rock and roll's most iconic stars.
Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance band vocalist. Costello went into the family business and had taken the popular music world by storm before he was twenty-four. Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing and extensive songbooks of the day. His performances have taken him from a cardboard guitar in his front room to fronting a rock and roll band on your television screen and performing in the world's greatest concert halls in a wild variety of company.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink describes how Costello's career has somehow endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom. This memoir, written with the same inimitable touch as his lyrics, and including dozens of images from his personal archive, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic, idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man.
Phil Collins gained fame as both the drummer and lead singer for Genesis and continues to enjoy worldwide success today.
He’s one of only three recording artists who have sold over 100 million albums both as solo artists and separately as principal members of a band - the other two being Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Revered as a drummer, he’s the only performer of distinction to have appeared at both the UK and US original Live Aid concerts, the creator of numerous worldwide hits, and is an Oscar winner for the song ‘You'll Be in My Heart', from the Disney film Tarzan.
Phil Collins' life has also been rich with experience outside of music, starting with his career as a child actor, appearing aged 13 as the Artful Dodger in the stage production of Oliver! through Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Miami Vice and The Band Played On.
In his memoir Phil talks honestly about his three failed marriages, his alcoholism and his ill health but also describes the highs and lows of his career, and what it is like to work with other rock legends from Eric Clapton to Robert Plant.
"People may say that I couldn't sing. But no one can say that I didn't sing."
Despite lacking pitch, rhythm or tone, Florence Foster Jenkins became one of America's best-known sopranos, celebrated for her unique recordings and her sell-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Born in 1868 to wealthy Pennsylvanian parents, Florence was a talented young pianist but her life was thrown into turmoil when she eloped with Frank Jenkins, a man twice her age. The marriage proved a disaster and, in order to survive, Florence was forced to abandon her dreams of a musical career and teach the piano. Then her father died in 1909 and, newly installed in New York, she used a considerable inheritance to fund her passion. She set up a prestigious amateur music club and began staging operas. Aided by her English common-law husband, St Clair Bayfield, she worked tirelessly to support the city's musical life. Many young singers owed their start to Florence, but she too yearned to perform and began giving regular recitals that quickly attracted a cult following. And yet nothing could prepare the world for the astonishing climax of her career when, at the age of seventy-six, she performed at the most hallowed concert hall in America.
In Florence Foster Jenkins, Jasper Rees tells her extraordinary story, which inspired the film starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, and directed by Stephen Frears. This remarkable book also includes Nicholas Martin's funny, moving and inspirational screenplay.
After years of rumours, Adele's long-awaited third album 25 was finally announced in late 2015, and with it came claims that she was to single-handedly 'save the music industry'. Such is the influence of Adele - a young mother from Tottenham with the most powerful voice in the world. Adele's breathtaking songs have seen her top the charts around the planet, collect millions of admirers and win dozens of top awards. But who is she? Her commendable desire to protect her family and friends from the harsh glare of the media's spotlight has meant that she has become one of the most private superstars on the planet.
Adele: The Biography traces her story from a humble childhood in London through to the phenomenal success of her first two albums, 19 and 21 and the making of her most recent work, 25. Along the way, this unique book uncovers how her troubled private life influenced her heartbreaking tracks and how she gamely overcame a string of obstacles that threatened to derail her career. You will discover the fascinating truth behind all the highs and the lows experienced by this fun, formidable woman, whose songs have become national anthems for the heartbroken.
In this fully updated edition of his internationally-bestselling biography, Chas Newkey-Burden reveals the woman behind the music.
She's adored by millions of fans, writes and performs songs that move and inspire, but Beyonce is truly known by very few. Now highly-acclaimed biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli reveals the woman behind the star.
He takes us from a childhood spent performing in talent shows to finding worldwide fame with her band Destiny's Child, managed by her father Matthew. Beyonce's first solo album, Dangerously in Love, went straight to number one and she has to date released a total of five albums which have sold 75 million copies. Beyonce prefers to keep her personal life with husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy carefully under lock and key. She may be a top performer, fashion idol and business mogul in her own right, but fame has come at personal sacrifice and with private heartbreak. Baed on exhaustive research, including exclusive interviews with those how have played pivotal roles in her life and career, the book reveals the hard-earned lessons 'Queen Bey' has learned about love, life, loyalty and family.
Insightful and entertaining, this is the first authoritative biography of the most famous woman in the world today and a must-have for the 'Bey Hive'.
On 11 January 2016, the world was stunned to wake up to the news that David Bowie had died the day before. A genuine icon, he left behind a body of work among the most important in music history. But only a lucky few were privileged to know the man behind that mystique, and know him well. Sean Mayes was one of them.
In 1978, Sean toured the world with David Bowie, in what was one of the most important periods in the artist's history. Travelling first class and performing each night with one of the world's greatest rock stars at the height of his fame was an amazing experience - fortunately, Sean had the foresight to document it. Here, in complete book form, Sean's tour diary is presented; a blow by blow record of how it felt to be part of a real rock circus.
Providing page after page of fascinating insight into life on the road with Bowie, Sean's account is a unique travelogue, a must for any Bowie fan or, indeed, anyone interested in life on a sell-out world tour.
Nirvana's rebellious and fresh sound transformed the rock scene of the early 1990s and inspired an entire generation musically. This songbook collects some of their greatest anthems in full guitar tablature with lyrics.
Born in 1948 into a family of ministers in Kingston, Jamaica, the statuesque and strikingly beautiful Grace Jones lived with her family in Syracuse, NY, before launching a career as a model in New York City. Gaining fame as the cover girl for such publications as Vogue and Elle, Jones's flamboyant look proved to be a hit on the New York City nightclub circuit and she became a darling of the disco scene, which led to a recording contract and a substantial following among gay men. With her sexually charged, outrageous live shows, Grace soon earned the title of 'Queen of the Gay Discos.' When she moved to Paris in 1970, the French fashion scene embraced her unusual, androgynous looks and, in addition to cover work, she dominated the runways of designers like Yves St. Laurent and befriended the likes of Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld.
While there, she shared an apartment with Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange and became artist Jean-Paul Goude's muse - he also fathered her son Paulo. (Grace was married twice - to a producer and a bodyguard - and she dated Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren for four years.) But with the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Grace Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work, putting her 21/2 octave voice to good use. She is as known for her unique look as she is for her music and has influenced the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Annie Lennox.
In the book, Grace takes us on a journey from her religious upbringing in Jamaica to her heyday in Paris and New York in the 70s and 80s, all the way to present-day London, where she is working on a new album.
The amazing story of the American musician who was famous in South Africa and Australia, but unknown anywhere else... until the Oscar-winning documentary.
Like many South Africans in the seventies and eighties, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom were obsessed with the music of Rodriguez, but the man himself was a mystery. Only his name was known, and the fact that he had killed himself on stage. After years of searching in a pre-internet age, the two men found the singer living in seclusion in Detroit. Remarkably, the blue-collar worker had no idea that he had been famous for over twenty-five years in this remote pariah of the world. In 2006, Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul set out to find ‘the best story on earth’ and stumbled on this remarkable tale in the Guardian newspaper. He tracked down Segerman and Strydom, and so began his four-year-long quest to make the Oscar-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man.
Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez outlines three separate journeys and the obstacles and triumphs that each presented: Rodriguez’s struggle to make a life from music; the odyssey of two fans to find out what had happened to their hero; and Bendjelloul’s pursuit to bring the story to celluloid.
The book is packed with information not included in the film, about Rodriguez’s background, relationships and political activities, his tours to Australia, and the recognition that has finally come to him after the film’s success.
Across six decades, Sir Tom Jones has maintained a vital career in a risky, unstable business notorious for the short lives of its artists. With a drive that comes from nothing but the love for what he does, he breaks through and then wrestles with the vagaries of the music industry, the nature of success and its inevitable consequences.
Having recorded an expansive body of work and performed with fellow artists from across the spectrum and across every popular music genre, from rock, pop and dance to country, blues and soul, the one constant throughout has been his unique musical gifts and unmistakable voice. But how did a boy from a Welsh coal-mining family attain success across the globe? And how has he survived the twists and turns of fame and fortune to not only stay exciting, but actually become more credible and interesting with age?
In this, his first and only autobiography, Tom revisits his past and tells the tale of his journey from wartime Pontypridd to LA and beyond. He reveals the stories behind the ups and downs of his fascinating and remarkable life, from the early heydays to the subsequent fallow years to his later period of artistic renaissance. Raw, honest, funny and powerful, this is a memoir like no other from one of the world's greatest ever singing talents.
They say there are no second acts in American lives, and third acts are almost unheard of. That's part of what makes Brian Wilson's story so astonishing.
As co-founder member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life's most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like 'In My Room', 'God Only Knows' and 'Good Vibrations' forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and - finally - thriving. Now, for the first time, he weighs in on the sources of his creative inspiration and on his struggles, the exhilarating highs and the debilitating lows.
I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy and completedSmile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective and forgiveness. Whether he's talking about his childhood, his bandmates, or his own inner demons, Wilson's story, told in his own voice and in his own way, unforgettably illuminates the man behind the music, working through the turbulence and discord to achieve, at last, a new harmony.
Madonna: singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, not to mention one of the most renowned cultural icons of the last three decades.
Since her first, eponymous album, over thirty years ago Madonna has sold a remarkable 300 million records worldwide, making her the top-selling female recording artist of all time. Madonna is famous for continuously reinventing both her music and her image. By pushing the boundaries of mainstream popular music with both her lyrical content and the imagery in her music videos she achieved extraordinary popularity.
Michelle Morgan offers a richly illustrated, comprehensive account of the artist's phenomenally successful career shedding new light on her videos, books, tours, fashion, charity work and every other aspect of her life.
In Die Ou Met Die Snor By Die Bar vertel die superster-rapper Jack Parow van sy lewe en al sy wilde, mal avonture.
Die storie begin agter die Boereworsgordyn en maak draaie in plekke soos Onrusrivier, The Lollipop Lounge in Randburg, Mitchells Plain, BelgiŽ, Nederland, Londen, Los Angeles, Hollywood en Moskou.
Daar is sappige staaltjies oor wilde partytjies, warm bokkies, dodgy plekke, trance-paarties en avonture in jacuzzi’s, en hy lig ook die sluier oor sy ervarings met onder andere rofstoeiers, skoonheidskoninginne, polisiemanne, hipsters in nagklubs, ’n sanger wat hom wou bliksem, ooms wat hom van verhoŽ gegooi wil hÍ en ’n stewige tannie wat met ’n krieketkolf op hom afstorm.
Parow beantwoord ook taai vrae wat al deur mense aan hom gevra is, soos: Is dit waar wat hulle sÍ van ’n man met ’n lang pet? En: Hoe kry jy dit reg om jou snor so te hou dat girls dit onweerstaanbaar vind? Hy vertel die stories agter sy gewildste songs en draai nie doekies om oor wat hy van ’n klomp goed dink nie, soos die ‘ou’ Afrikaans en die ‘nuwe’ Afrikaans, die lewe in Suid-Afrika en wat dit regtig beteken om ’n rapper te wees. Die boek bevat ook die lirieke van baie van sy treffers en talle foto’s wat nog nooit voorheen gesien is nie.
Lady Gaga is a once-in-a-decade artist, and the rare instant celebrity whose appearance can become a cultural event. No other music star of the last decade combines the talents Lady Gaga possesses: she’s a genuine singer, composer, songwriter, designer, and performance artist, who uses technology and social media to shape her art and career. In the space of fifteen months, she has become a demographic-smashing pop icon with global reach and impact.
Not since Madonna’s breakout success in the mid-eighties has the world witnessed the advent of a pop-culture provocateur who mixes high-and-low culture, the avant-garde with the accessible, “downtown” authenticity with the sheen of glamorous artifice. She has quickly formed a symbiotic relationship with her rabid fan base who have taken to dressing as she does, imitating her hair and make-up in tribute. Gaga, too, is a cultural shape-shifter, allowing her fans to project their needs, wants, confusions, and desires onto her.
This is a must-read for Gaga fans, who, devoted as they are, know next to nothing about who she is and how she got that way, as well as for anyone who has heard Lady Gaga on television and the radio and is curious about America’s latest over-the-top cultural success story.
Mozart's music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this brilliant biography, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson draws upon his expert knowledge of the era and Mozart's own private letters to conjure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life and times in rich detail.
Johnson charts Mozart's life from age three through to his later years - when he penned "The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni." Along the way, Johnson challenges some of the popular myths that cloud Mozart's image: his allegedly tempestuous personal relationships and supposedly bitter rivalry with Salieri, as well as the notion that he was desperately impoverished when he died.
The result - a bold, invigorating portrait of one of the most popular and influential composers of all time - is a welcome addition to Johnson's extraordinary body of work and makes a perfect gift for classical music lovers and fans of biographies.
Michael Buble is the most successful male artist in the world at the moment. Born in British Columbia to a family of Italian fishermen, music is in the family blood and it was Michael's grandfather first introduced him to the kind of music he would later make his own - Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Dean Martin and Elvis. Since his debut in 2003, he has sold 25 million albums, won two Grammys and multiple Junos, reached the top 5 in countries around the world as well as numerous number 1s, his concerts have been sell outs and he has cultivated a huge and loyal fanbase. Michael Buble is a music phenomenon and this beautifully designed biography will celebrate his success. Packed with stunning photographs and lavishly designed spreads charting his story - both personal and professional - and his meteoric rise to stardom, this book is a must-have for the millions of Michael Buble fans around the world.
Rod: The Autobiography
Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend
Elvis: The King Of Rock 'n Roll
Ultimate Piano Solos presents over 50 best-selling piano solos collected together for the first time in one book. Suitable for the intermediate piano player, it includes must-have Classical pieces such as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, Satie's Gymnopedie No.1 and Faure's Pavane, alongside modern classics from La La Land, Twilight and Final Fantasy soundtracks and songs arranged for piano from the likes of The Piano Guys, Ed Sheeran, Joni Mitchell, Birdy and Louis Armstrong.
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