Kenny Chesney, Kid Rock, Young Jeezy, Gwen Stefani

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee at St. Mary’s Hospital on March 26, 1968. He was raised in Luttrell, Tennessee and attended Gibbs High School, where he was a receiver on the football team, and graduated in 1986. The following year, Kenny received his first guitar for Christmas, where he began teaching himself to play. He recorded his first album in 1989 at Classic Recording Studio in Bristol, Virginia. A thousand copies were produced and Chesney sold them at his gigs, using the money from album sales to help buy a new guitar. His first studio album was released in 1994 and entitled In My Wildest Dreams. This album produced two chart singles for Kenny Chesney in 1994 on the Billboard country charts: “Whatever It Takes” at number 59 and “The Tin Man” at number 70. Kenny Chesney has since released eleven more studio albums, one live album, two greatest hits albums and forty-two singles. Of his twelve studio albums, ten have been certified gold or higher by the RIAA. Kenny Chesney has also received six ACM (including four consecutive Entertainer of the Year Awards), as well as six Country Music Awards. He was awarded his 4th consecutive ACM Entertainer of the Year award on May 18, 2008.

Kid Rock

Kid Rock was born Robert James Ritchie on January 17, 1971 in Romeo, Michigan. At age eleven he joined a breakdance crew and started dancing for money. He saved up his money from these gigs to buy a cheap belt-driven turntable and then he taught himself how to work the tables. In high school, Robert Ritchie DJ’ed at parties for beer. He eventually joined Bo Wisdom of Groove Time Productions, in Mt. Clemens, Michigan to perform basement parties for thirty dollars a night. This is where he received the moniker Kid Rock by those in attendance. He would later meet and become friends with producer D-Nice of the hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions. When Kid Rock opened for Boogie Down Productions one night, D-Nice invited an A&R representative from Jive Records to see him perform. This meeting led to a demo deal, which developed into a full record contract. On December 11, 1990, he released his debut album Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast. The album only sold 100,000 copies and Jive Records dropped him from their lineup. Kid Rock made a couple of unsuccessful records before releasing his breakthrough album, Devil Without a Cause. The album would go on to sell eleven million copies. Kid Rock has since sold over twenty-one million records and his singles have charted on every major chart genre.

Young Jeezy

Young Jeezy was born October 12, 1977 in Columbia, South Carolina but was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2001 he released the independant album, Thuggin’ Under the Influence. It featured artists such as Freddy J.,Kinky B, Fidank, and Lil Jon, who also produced some of the tracks. He than released another independant album in 2003 entitled Come Shop Wit Me. Young Jeezy than ended up joining the band Boyz N Da Hood in 2004. They released their self titled debut in 2005 and it featured Easy E as a guest performer on the track “Gangstas”. In 2007 he released Young Jeezy Presents USDA: Cold Summer. It was a mix tape that featured U.S.D.A, a group that featured Young Jeezy, Slick Pulla, and Blood Raw. The lead single was “White Girl” and the second lead single is “Corporate Thuggin’. In 2008, he released The Recession. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 selling 260,000 copies in its first week of sales. The second week the album sold 90,000 copies more. As of May 2009, The Recession has sold nearly 620,000 copies in the US. and Over 400,000 copies worldwide. Young Jeezy has also appeared on numerous other rap and R&B singles such as “Say I” by Christina Millian, “I’m So Paid” by Akon, and “Love In This Club” by Usher.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani was born on October 3, 1969 in Fullerton, California. She joined the Ska band No Doubt and in 1992 they released their self titled debut album through Interscope Records. Despite strong tours, the album failed to perform as well as the record company expected it to, selling only 30,000 copies. The record company refused to fund the release of a single from it, so No Doubt released the album’s only single, “Trapped in a Box”, independently. Interscope refused to finance another album. Instead, the band independently produced its second album, The Beacon Street Collection, which performed much better than its debut, selling 100,000 copies and ensuring that Interscope financed and supported their third album, Tragic Kingdom. Tragic Kingdom was released in October 2005 and was the band’s breakthrough hit. it spawned seven singles, including “Just a Girl”, which charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart; and “Don’t Speak”, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay and peaked in the top five of many international charts. In 2004, Gwen Stefani took a hiatus from No Doubt and released her debut solo album entitled “Love. Angel. Music. Baby”. The album yielded six singles and had high sales, going multi-platinum in several countries, and selling seven million copies. It earned Stefani several Grammy Award nominations in 2005 and 2006. Gwen Stefani’s second solo album The Sweet Escape in 2006 yielded “Wind It Up”, a moderate worldwide success. Including her work with No Doubt, Gwen Stefani has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and won the World’s Best-Selling New Female Artist at the World Music Awards 2005.