Musical Instrument: Songwriter

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  1. Dolly Parton

    Dolly Parton


    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, author, business woman, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. Her career began as a child performer on the radio, then recording a few singles from the age of 13. Relocating to Nashville at age 18 in 1964, her first commercial successes were as a songwriter (her songs during this period were covered by numerous artists,including Bill Phillips and Kitty Wells). She rose to prominence in 1967 as a featured performer on singer Porter Wagoner's weekly syndicated TV program; their first duet single, a cover of Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind", was a top-ten hit on the country singles chart and led to several successful albums before they ended their partnership in 1974. Moving towards mainstream pop music, her 1977 single "Here You Come Again" was a success on both the country and pop charts. A string of pop-country hits followed into the mid-1980s, the most successful being her 1981 hit "9 to 5" (from the film of the same name) and her 1983 duet with Kenny Rogers "Islands in the Stream", both of which topped the U.S. pop and country singles charts. A pair of albums recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris were among her later successes. In the late 1990s, she returned to classic country/bluegrass with a series of acclaimed recordings. Non-musical ventures include Dollywood, a theme park in Pigeon Forge in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and her efforts on behalf of childhood literacy, particularly her Imagination Library, as well as Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede and Pirates Voyage.

  2. Keri Hilson

    Keri Hilson


    Keri Lynn Hilson (born December 5, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and record producer. She was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia, and spent most of her youth working with producer Anthony Dent, as a songwriter and background vocalist for several R&B and hip hop artists. By the age of 14, Hilson had secured a record deal with the girl group D'Signe, who later disbanded. She attended Oxford College of Emory University and Emory University in Atlanta, while she continued writing songs for artists, including Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige, with the production and songwriting team, The Clutch. In 2006, Hilson signed with American rapper and producer Timbaland's record label, Mosley Music. Her breakthrough came the following year after appearing on Timbaland's single "The Way I Are", which topped charts around the world.

  3. Neil Diamond

    Neil Diamond


    Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter with a career that began in the 1960s. Diamond has sold over 125 million records worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time. He is the third most successful adult contemporary artist on the Billboard charts behind Elton John and one-time duet partner Barbra Streisand. His songs have been covered internationally by many performers from various musical genres.

  4. Sheryl Crow

    Sheryl Crow


    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. Additionally, Crow has garnered nine Grammy Awards (out of 32 nominations) from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

  5. Jimi Hendrix

    Jimi Hendrix


    James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".

  6. Johnny Cash

    Johnny Cash


    J.R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

  7. Merle Haggard

    Merle Haggard


    Merle Ronald Haggard (born April 6, 1937) is an American country and Western song writer, singer, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville Sound recordings of the same era.

  8. Willie Nelson

    Willie Nelson


    Willie Hugh Nelson (wɪli nɛlsən; born April 29, 1933) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, guitarist, author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.

  9. Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan


    Bob Dylan (ˈdɪlən; born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when his songs chronicled social unrest, although Dylan repudiated suggestions from journalists that he was a spokesman for his generation. Nevertheless, early songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" became anthems for the American civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the American folk music revival, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" altered the range of popular music in 1965. His mid-1960s recordings, backed by rock musicians, reached the top end of the United States music charts while also attracting denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.

  10. LL Cool J

    LL Cool J


    James Todd Smith (born January 14, 1968), better known as LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love Cool James), is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. He is known for pioneering hip-hop tracks such as "I Can't Live Without My Radio", "I'm Bad", "The Boomin' System", "Rock The Bells", and "Mama Said Knock You Out" as well as romantic ballads such as "Doin' It", "I Need Love", "Around the Way Girl", and "Hey Lover".

  11. Cat Stevens

    Cat Stevens


    Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou; ), commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, and education philanthropist. His 1967 debut album reached the top 10 in the UK, and the album's title song "Matthew and Son" charted at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. His albums Tea for the Tillerman (1970) and Teaser and the Firecat (1971) were both certified triple platinum in the US by the RIAA.

  12. James Blunt

    James Blunt


    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.

  13. Kris Kristofferson

    Kris Kristofferson


    Kristoffer "Kris" Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and former soldier. He is known for writing and recording such hits as "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night". Kristofferson is the sole writer of most of his songs, and he has collaborated with various other figures of the Nashville scene such as Shel Silverstein. In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup, The Highwaymen. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is also known for his acting work, including starring roles in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and A Star Is Born, the latter for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

  14. Van Morrison

    Van Morrison


    George Ivan "Van" Morrison, OBE (born 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. Some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are critically acclaimed. He has received six Grammy Awards, the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

  15. Bruce Springsteen

    Bruce Springsteen


    Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and humanitarian. He is best known for his work with his E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss", Springsteen is widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, Americana working class, sometimes political sentiments centered on his native New Jersey and his lengthy and energetic stage performances, with concerts from the 1970s to the present decade running over three hours in length.

  16. Suzi Quatro

    Suzi Quatro


    Susan Kay "Suzi" Quatro (born 3 June 1950) is a British-based American singer-songwriter, bass guitar player, and actor. She was the first female bass player to become a major rock star breaking a barrier to women's participation in rock music.

  17. Neil Young

    Neil Young


    Neil Percival Young, OC OM (born November 12, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. He began performing in a group covering Shadows instrumentals in Canada in 1960, before moving to California in 1966, where he co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield together with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, and later joined Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. He released his first album in 1968 and has since forged a successful and acclaimed solo career, spanning over 45 years and 35 studio albums, with a continuous and uncompromising exploration of musical styles. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website describes Young as "one of rock and roll's greatest songwriters and performers". He was inducted into the Hall of Fame twice, first as a solo artist in 1995, and second as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.

  18. B.B. King

    B.B. King


    Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), known by his stage name B.B. King, was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

  19. Neil Sedaka

    Neil Sedaka


    Neil Sedaka (born March 13, 1939) is an American pop/rock singer, pianist, and composer. Since his music career began in 1957, he has sold millions of records as an artist and has written or co-written over 500 songs for himself and others, collaborating mostly with lyricists Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody.

  20. Daryl Hall

    Daryl Hall


    Daryl Franklin Hohl, professionally known as Daryl Hall (born October 11, 1946) is an American rock, R&B and soul singer, keyboardist, guitarist, songwriter and producer, best known as the co-founder and lead vocalist of Hall & Oates (with guitarist/songwriter John Oates).

  21. Marc Bolan

    Marc Bolan


    Marc Bolan (pron. BOE-lən; born Mark Feld; 30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977) was an English singer-songwriter, poet and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of glam rock group T. Rex.

  22. David Allan Coe

    David Allan Coe


    David Allan Coe (born September 6, 1939) is an American songwriter, outlaw country music singer, and guitarist who achieved popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. As a singer, his biggest hits were "Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile", "The Ride", "You Never Even Called Me by My Name", "She Used to Love Me a Lot", and "Longhaired Redneck". His best-known compositions are the No. 1 successes "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)" (which was covered by Tanya Tucker) and "Take This Job and Shove It" (which was later covered by Johnny Paycheck and inspired a hit movie; both Coe and Paycheck had minor parts in the film).

  23. Roger Miller

    Roger Miller


    Roger Dean Miller, Sr. (January 2, 1936 – October 25, 1992) was an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor, best known for his honky-tonk-influenced novelty songs. His most recognized tunes included the chart-topping country/pop hits "King of the Road", "Dang Me" and "England Swings", all from the mid-1960s Nashville sound era.

  24. Brian May

    Brian May


    Brian Harold May, CBE (born 19 July 1947) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and astrophysicist who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen. He uses a home-built electric guitar, called the Red Special. His compositions for the band include "We Will Rock You", "Tie Your Mother Down", "I Want It All", "Fat Bottomed Girls", "Flash", "Who Wants to Live Forever" and "The Show Must Go On".

  25. The Dream

    The Dream


    Terius Youngdell Nash (born September 20, 1977), better known by his stage name The-Dream, is an American R&B and pop record producer, singer, and songwriter. He has also co-written songs, including songs with Dear Jayne, "Me Against the Music" (2003) for Britney Spears, "Umbrella" (2007) for Rihanna, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (2008) for Beyoncé and "Baby" (2010) for Justin Bieber. He released five studio albums in 2007 to 2013, Love Hate (2007), Love vs. Money (2009), Love King (2010), Terius Nash: 1977 (2012) and IV Play (2013).

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