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Dionne Warwick Biography

East Orange native, Marie Dionne Warwick, was born in the late 1940’s and began her illustrious career singing gospel music at her local church.  Despite humble beginnings, Warwick embarked on a career with on a string of chart topping hits staring in 1962 with "Don't Make Me Over," which made her a household name.

Her career was jump started when Burt Bacharach heard her singing alongside the Drifters. She subsequently agreed to sing for a set of demos Bacharach was recording. He played his demo for Scepter Records president Florence Greenberg, and although she was not interested in Bacharach’s songs, she was taken by the beautiful voice belting them out. This began Dionne’s relationship with the label, where for 12 years she made countless, classic hits.
 
All in all, Warwick and Bacharach collaborated on over 30 hit singles, including 12 straight Top 100 singles during a three-year period beginning in 1963. Her 1968 single, "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" made her only the second African American to earn the prestigious Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Female Vocal Performance, the first being the legendary Ella Fitzgerald.

Outside of her successful recording career, Warwick has become a leading advocate for prevention and treatment of the AIDS Virus. In 1985, she gathered longtime friends Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Elton John to record "That’s What Friends Are For," a colossal hit that donated it’s proceeds to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Besides generating millions of dollars for the cause, Warwick has also dedicated countless hours to a wide range of other humanitarian efforts. She served as US Ambassador for Health, and subsequently as Global Ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Dionne’s multiple platinum albums, sold out concert tours, and numerous awards, her indelible musical status only begins to do justice to the music icon’s unique and creative force. She helped launch the Soul Train Awards, starred in the TV hit Dionne and Friends, and has designed numerous hotels and estates around the world as co-founder of and designer for the Warwick Design Group.

Today, Dionne Warwick remains a driving force and inspirational figure in the entertainment industry.  Despite all her accomplishments, Warwick remains as driven as ever, noting... “I still want the Tony, Oscar, and Emmy!”
 
 
Kenny Rogers Biography

Having spent over 100 weeks atop the charts, Kenny Rogers is one of the true icons in the world of music. His career began in the 1950s as a member of the doo-wop group The Scholars. More then a decade later in 1967, Kenny Rogers and three other members of the group The New Christy Minstrels, left the group to form The First Edition.  Success came quickly to them, chalking up a string of hit songs such as "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)." 
    
Despite the vision most people hold of Rogers today, he began his career with long brown hair, an earring, signature pink sunglasses, and a smooth vocal style that lent itself well to the times. But in 1971, Rogers’ hair grayed, he rapidly gained weight, and he developed the raspy voice that helped him better relate to a larger number of fans on both the pop and country charts with songs such as The Gambler and Lucille.

Like many stars of the time, Rogers also garnered success at the box office in films such as Six Pack. A man of many interests, Kenny opened a restaurant chain, Kenny Rogers Roasters, became a published photographer, and founded a real estate company. Rogers married five times and has 5 children which include twins born when Rogers was 65 years old.

In the 21st Century, discontent to rest on the laurels of a record-breaking career, Kenny climbed to #1 the country charts again with "Buy Me A Rose." Showing no sign of slowing down, with more then 25 #1 hits and more then 60 top 40 singles, Kenny Roger’s diverse and illustrious career is still going strong, much to the surprise and delight of his fans around the globe.
 
 
Sonny & Cher Biography
        
Salvatore Bono & Cherilyn Sarkisian La Pierre were one of the 1960’s most memorable Pop duos thanks to a string a hit singles and a hokey, wisecracking persona that captivated audiences through the mid 1970s.
 
Before meeting his counterpart in 1964, Sonny had already found success in the music industry, penning hit songs like "Koko Joe" and "She Said Yeah."  Bono became the protégé of legendary producer Phil Spector, and while working a session for his mentor, Sonny met the young singer, who would not only help propel him to the heights of international stardom, but become the love of his life.
   
Bono attempted to record Cher singing on numerous occasions, but Spector saw little in Cher and the attempts proved frivolous. However, after a chance studio experiment, having Sonny sing alongside Cher produced spectacular results, the couple formed, Caesar & Cleo. Soon after, Bono wrote the classic "I Got You, Babe" and within the year, the two dropped their moniker and became known as Sonny & Cher.
 
A string of hits followed, but audiences fell in love with their playful relationship and stylish dress as much as their music. By the fall of 1965, Sonny & Cher had six top 40 hits and hordes of adoring fans. But success left as quickly as it had come. As the psychedelic 1960s set in, the witty and playful antics couldn’t keep up with the new culture, and despite 1967’s "The Beat Goes On," and Cher’s solo "You Better Sit Down Kids," the couple was left behind.
 
After a string of unsuccessful movie attempts, and now in debt to the IRS, the faded Pop stars hit the local lounge and club scenes. Although their music never truly caught the mainstream’s attention again, the couple’s folksy, banter-filled shtick resonated with audiences of the times, especially with Cher as a liberated, blunt, and wise-mouthed woman. Soon the two were performing their routine in Las Vegas, and shortly thereafter on the CBS television network in “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.”
 
Despite their newfound success, problems behind the scenes were affecting the couple. In 1974, they separated, prematurely ending the hit show. Now divorced, their battles and disagreements became fodder for tabloid journalists, ironically propelling Cher to a higher level of stardom. But the demands of a solo career proved to be too difficult for Cher, and in time, she reached out to Sonny to rejoin her on TV. Sonny did return, forming “The Sonny & Cher Show.” 
 
By 1979, the separation had become a finalized divorce, and a variety of relationships with rockers such as Gene Simmons and Gregg Allman kept Cher in the headlines. However, the 1980s were kind to both Sonny and Cher individually. After a break out performance on Broadway, Cher went on to appear in numerous films and won an Oscar for her role in Moonstruck.  She reinvented herself with the times again, first catching the end of Disco, then as a leather-bound rock singer, and finally again in the 1990’s as a mature Pop singer.
 
Sonny started the decade playing roles on film and in television series such as Fantasy Island and Airplane II. After a frustrating attempt at opening a restaurant in Palm Springs, he successfully ran for Mayor of the California town, spearheading a new pro-business government and founding the Palm Springs Film Festival. After an earlier unsuccessful run for Senate, in 1994, California elected Bono to the US House of Representatives; a position he maintained until a tragic skiing accident prematurely took his life in 1998.
 
Despite her continued success and their rocky relationship, a distraught Cher delivered the eulogy at her late, former husbands funeral, reunited the infamous couple one final time in the eyes of the adoring public.
 
 
Tom Jones Biography
 
Known in his hometown of South Wales, U.K., as “Jones the Voice,” in 1964 Tom Jones moved to London and signed a recording contract with Decca, where he released “Chills & Fever.”  The single flopped, but Decca went ahead and released a follow-up effort “It’s Not Unusual.” By year’s end, the song had not only reached #1 in the UK, but was a Top Ten hit on the America charts as well. Tom continued his success with a string of international hits, including "Delilah" and "What’s New Pussycat," as well as staring in the This Is Tom Jones television series. In addition to having sold over 30 million records by 1971, Tom’s real fame and distinction came from his electrifying stage presence that has captivated audiences around the globe throughout his entire career.