Artist of the Half Term
At Bournes Green, we believe that all genres of music should be celebrated, and successful artists should be recognised for their contribution to music. From January 2023, each half-term, we will celebrate and learn about different musicians from around the world. The children will hear the artist's music as they come into and leave assembly. In addition, we share information about the artist on the main screen.
Autumn Term 1 2023 - Whitney Houston
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born on 9th August 1963 and was part of a famous musical family which included Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick and Darlene Love.
By the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. Houston spent some of her teenage years touring clubs where her mother Cissy was performing; occasionally she joined her on stage to perform with her. In 1977, aged 14, she became a backup singer for Michael Zager’s Band; a year later she sang background vocals on Chaka Khan's hit single “I’m Every Woman”.
In 2009, The Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 180–200 million records sold worldwide.
Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits and her 1985 debut album "Whitney Houston" became the best-selling debut album by a woman in history.
Houston's first acting role was as the star of the film The Bodyguard; one particular track, "I will always love you", became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. Houston continued to star in several successful films throughout the 1990's.
Sadly, in February 2012, Houston tragically died aged 49.
Summer Term 2 2023 - The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960 and consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
The Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool but quickly gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first hit, “Love Me Do", in late 1962. Their enormous popularity was named “Beatlemania” and the group were given the nickname the "Fab Four“.
From 1965 on, the Beatles produced what many critics consider their finest material, including the hugely popular Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club (1967), The Beatles (1968) and Abbey Road (1969).
After their breakup, in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers. Sadly, John Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and George Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still make music and appear in concerts.
Records show that the Beatles are the best-selling bands in the United States, with 177 million record sales. They have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act.
Summer Term 1 2023 - Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris was born in Michigan, USA, in 1950, the third of six children to Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway. He was born six weeks premature, which, along with a problem with the hospital incubator, resulted in a condition which caused the retinas to detach from the eye; this meant he became blind.
Wonder began playing instruments at an early age, including the piano, harmonica, drums and bass. He formed a singing partnership with a friend; calling themselves Stevie and John, they played on street corners, and occasionally at parties and dances. In 1961, when aged 11, Wonder was signed by the famous record label, Motown. Before signing, producer Clarence Paul gave him the name Little Stevie Wonder.
Among Wonder's works are singles such as “Superstition", “Sir Duke", “You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”. He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder has sold over 100 million albums and singles, making him one of the top 60 best-selling
Wonder has been married twice: to Motown singer/songwriter Syreeta Wright from 1970 until 1972. Wonder later married fashion designed Kai Morris in 2001 although separated in 2009. He has seven children.
Spring Term 2 2023 - Elton John
Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25th March 1947, the eldest child of Stanley and only child of Sheila Dwight. He was raised in Pinner, Middlesex in a small council house and attended Pinner Wood Junior School, Reddiford School and Pinner County Grammar School. He left school at 17 to pursue a career in the music industry.
Elton is a hugely successful singer, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since 1967 and have collaborated on over 30 albums.
In his six-decade career, Elton has sold over 300 million records. He has more than fifty top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums. His single “Candle in the Wind" sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single of all time. He has received many awards for his music (Grammy Awards, Brit Awards, an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Tony Award).
In 1998, Elton received a knighthood from the Queen Elizabeth for "services to music and charitable services".
Over the last 30 years, Elton John has raised over $200,000,000 for different charities. He is especially famous for hosting the annual Academy Award Party, which is a party for rich and famous people after the Oscar ceremony.
Spring Term 1 2023 - Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert Sinatra was born on 12th December 1915. He was an American singer and film actor. Sinatra found huge success as a solo artist from the early to mid-1940s after being signed by
Columbia Records in 1943. He released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946. His professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, but it was reborn in 1953 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film From Here to Eternity.
By 1961, Sinatra had created his own record label, (Reprise Records) and was singing all over the world. He was a founding member of the ’Rat Pack’ and spent lots of time with famous celebrities and politicians (other famous actors in the Rat Pack included Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior).
With sales of his music dwindling and after appearing in several poorly received films, Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971. Two years later, however, he came out of retirement and in 1973 recorded several very successful albums.
Sinatra is one of the most famous artists of all time, selling over 50,000,000 records!
Frank Sinatra died on 14th May 1998 as one of the world’s most famous singers.