(October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)
Born John Winston Ono Lennon in Liverpool, England, was an English singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles and, with Paul McCartney, formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, his writing, on film, and in interviews, and became controversial through his work as a peace activist. He moved to New York City in 1971, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon's administration to deport him, while his songs were adapted as anthems by the anti-war movement. Disengaging himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to his family, Lennon reemerged in 1980 with a comeback album, Double Fantasy, but was murdered three weeks after its release.
(October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990)
Stephen Ray "Stevie" Vaughan, born in Dallas, Texas, was a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Vaughan has won several Grammy awards during his lifetime and posthumously including 'Best Rock Instrumental Performance' and 'Best Contemporary Blues Album'. Eighteen albums of Vaughan's work have been released.
Vaughan was inspired to play guitar by his older brother, Jimmie Vaughan, and was influenced by such players as Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy. After a few years as a sideman in and around Austin, Vaughan formed the band Double Trouble, with whom he made four successful studio albums and established a reputation as one of the foremost blues guitarists in the world. He was noted for using the Fender Stratocaster, with several guitars being made in tribute to Vaughan, including a Signature Stratocaster and a replica of his famous Strat named "Lenny". In 1986, after years of substance abuse from alcohol and cocaine, he spent a month in drug rehabilitation, and remained clean and sober for the final four years of his life, until his death in 1990 in a helicopter crash.
Born Ernest Evans on October 3, 1941 in Spring Gulley, South Carolina, is a singer-songwriter. He also popularized the dance style Twist, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist". In September 2008, "The Twist" topped Billboard's list of the most popular singles to have appeared in the Hot 100 since its debut in 1958.
Yo-Yo Ma born October 7, 1955 in Paris, France, is an cellist, virtuoso, orchestral composer and winner of multiple Grammy Awards. He is one of the most famous cellists of the modern age. His mother, Marina Lu, was a singer, and his father, Hiao-Tsiun Ma, was a violinist and professor of music. His family moved to New York when he was five years old.
Ma studied at the Juilliard School of Music with Leonard Rose and briefly attended Columbia University before ultimately enrolling at Harvard University. Prior to entering Harvard, Ma played in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra under the direction of nonagenarian cellist and conductor Pablo Casals. Ma would ultimately spend four summers at the Marlboro Music Festival after meeting and falling in love with Mount Holyoke College sophomore and festival administrator Jill Hornor his first summer there in 1972.
Ma was named Peace Ambassador by United Nations then Secretary-General Kofi Annan in January 2006. On November 3, 2009, President Obama appointed Ma to serve on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Born October 7, 1951 in Seymore, Indiana, John Cougar Mellencamp is a rock singer-songwriter, musician, painter and occasional actor known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock that eschews synthesizers and other artificial sounds in favor of organic instrumentation. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States. In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number-one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Toni Michelle Braxton born October 7, 1967 in Severn, Maryland, is an R&B singer-songwriter. Braxton has won six Grammy Awards in her career and has sold 40 million records worldwide. She has a contralto vocal range. Braxton topped the Billboard 200 with her 1993 self-titled debut album and continued that streak with her second studio album Secrets, which spawned the number-one hits "You're Makin' Me High" and "Un-Break My Heart".
Thomas Edward "Thom" Yorke, born October 7, 1968 is an English musician who is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead. He mainly plays guitar and piano, but he has also played drums and bass guitar (notably during the Kid A and Amnesiac sessions). In July 2006, he released his debut solo album, The Eraser.