Legendary Music Artists Who Changed the Course of History

several guitars beside of side table

Kate Bush inspired numerous female musicians with her charismatic Celtic goddess persona and pioneered progressive art-pop.

No artist had more of an impactful effect on music than David Bowie, the art-rock chameleon. From Ziggy Stardust to his iconic persona of Thin White Duke, his genius transcended genres while inspiring fashion, theatre and performance art alike.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson rose from humble origins as the eighth of nine children to become an international pop icon. Both his parents were musicians who sang and played guitar for local R&B bands; thus Jackson was exposed to music at an early age.

Michael Jackson signed with Motown producer Berry Gordy and soon found himself part of the Jackson 5, producing chart-topping hits like “Got to Be There” and “ABC.” When the group disbanded in 1969, Michael prepared himself to step out onto his own as a solo superstar, recording Off the Wall (1979). It spawned many hit singles such as “She’s Out of My Life” and “Rock With You”, taking advantage of disco dance fads at that time.

In 1983, Michael Jackson released the groundbreaking album Thriller which sold an astounding 40 million copies worldwide in just two years and became one of the best-selling albums ever. Additionally, its iconic music video for the title track directed by John Landis featured child star Macaulay Culkin; critics noted its graphic sexual content as well as Jackson’s odd behavior on camera, such as making sexual gestures and vandalizing cars and buildings while filming it.

In the late 1980s, reports surfaced regarding Michael’s health and personal life. Rumors began that he used Dilaudid for pain management as well as using an oxygen tank for survival purposes; these accusations were all denied and steps taken to improve his health including moving into a new house and cutting sugar out of his diet.

Ragtime composer Scott Joplin died suddenly at 27 from syphilis, leading to a brief decline in interest for his compositions. But Joshua Rifkin released an album of Joplin’s works and it was rediscover by new generations of listeners; today his music serves as the basis of jazz, blues, rock and country genres.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan transformed rock and roll, not only musically but culturally as well. His political songs proved they could still appeal to mass audiences while remaining engaging to listeners of all stripes. Beyond musical achievements, Dylan served as a cornerstone and guide of counterculture during the 60s.

Dylan began his career as a folk artist, becoming immersed in the Greenwich Village folk scene. His first self-titled album featured both traditional folk songs and covers; by the time of its release (Bringing It All Back Home), Dylan had already established himself as an influential artist with an ever-expanding fan base.

By 1965, Dylan had expanded his musical palette by including electric instruments in his songs. No longer just a folk singer – now Dylan was a rockstar complete with band and stage presence.

At this time, Dylan was deeply engaged with both the Civil Rights and antiwar movements. His protest songs served to bring awareness to these issues; one such tune was The Times They Are A-Changin’ which spoke of shifting times and need to stand up for what is right; its lyrics inspired many people to become activists themselves.

After the success of Bringing It All Back Home, Dylan’s music evolved rapidly. His lyrics became increasingly political while blues and R&B influences began appearing in his recordings. By the time Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde were released he had established himself as an iconic leader of an entirely new generation of musicians.

After the release of these albums, Dylan became a household name and one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He received numerous accolades, such as winning a Grammy award for Time Out of Mind in 1997; receiving a Kennedy Center Honor; being awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom; and in 2016 receiving Nobel Prize for Literature (“for creating new poetic expressions within American song tradition”). Dylan remains one of the world’s premier songwriters today.

The Beatles

The Beatles, comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are widely considered one of the most influential bands in modern music history to whom you can listen while playing slots as per recommendations on Yoakim Bridge. Widely beloved worldwide and contributing significantly to 1960s counterculture movement; their music continues to influence musicians today and still holds their place as one of the most successful bands ever having sold over one billion records worldwide!

In 1957, The Beatles first began performing in local Liverpool clubs. Influenced by American rock and roll and skiffle, they started writing original material and also incorporating classical influences into their songs.

Their popularity skyrocketed when they made their public debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1963. Over 70 million viewers watched and Beatlemania spread around the globe; fans would come out in droves wherever the band performed.

Although inexperienced, The Beatles produced hit after hit. Their music transcended race, age and class divisions to bring joy to millions around the world.

After an intense period of recording, filming, and touring, The Beatles parted ways in 1970. Each member pursued solo careers; Lennon was murdered in 1980 while Harrison succumbed to cancer later that same year; McCartney and Starr continue making music today.

In the early 1960s, The Beatles played an integral part of Britain’s invasion of America through music. Their hits like I Want to Hold Your Hand and Come Together topped charts across America and inspired other bands to adopt their sound, with many bands replicating them over time. Their style continues to influence other bands today and their songs can still be heard regularly on radio stations worldwide; many musicians still perform them live too – With Yesterday being recorded by more artists than any other song this has become history’s best-selling single single! They influenced culture in many ways from music to fashion to global representation – and remain an important part of American popular culture today.

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong had an extraordinary five-decade musical career encompassing both instrumental and vocal music, creating a style of playing jazz that continues to influence musicians today. Additionally, he pioneered civil rights activism and is widely considered to have been one of the greatest American musicians of the 20th century. His life and music serve as testaments to America’s rich heritage.

Born and raised by his grandmother after his father abandoned the family, Armstrong began playing cornet at an early age and quickly earned fame throughout New Orleans for his daring musical performances. While still young he worked as street performer and then band member until 1912 when he fired his stepfather and entered Colored Waif’s Home for Boys for musical instruction; once released he joined King Oliver’s band where he would record music until 1914 when he began recording albums under that name.

In 1925, Louis Armstrong moved to New York in order to play with Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra and started recording under his own name under a unique vocal style that bridged traditional jazz with popular music – an accomplishment which marked a great leap forward for African-American musicians in jazz music history.

Armstrong revolutionized singing with his unconventional approach – becoming one of the world’s most influential singers ever. His signature loose, free, informal, virile and swinging style had an enormous influence on Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra among many others. Additionally he appeared in many films while also spreading jazz all around the globe as an ambassador of goodwill for America.

By the 1950s, Armstrong had broken through numerous barriers for African Americans and was an international star. So beloved was he that warring factions in Democratic Republic of the Congo temporarily stopped fighting so they could attend his concerts. Armstrong also wrote two autobiographies, over ten magazine articles and numerous books – among them Satchmo: My Life Story.

Armstrong continued touring and recording throughout Europe and Africa during this period; even appearing on CBS television show called The Storyteller. This period earned Armstrong the moniker “Ambassador Satchmo”, with audiences enjoying his show.