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Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (/biːˈjɒnseɪ/; born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child and rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw Beyoncé's theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and the release of her debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003), which established her as a solo artist worldwide, earned five Grammy Awards and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy". Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B'Day (2006), which contained the top-ten hits "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". Beyoncé also continued her acting career, with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the introduction of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album 4 (2011) was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed fifth album, Beyoncé (2013), was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. With the release of the widely acclaimed Lemonade (2016), Beyoncé became the first artist to have their first six studio albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Throughout her career, she has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She has won 22 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award's history. She is the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized her as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s (decade). In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s (decade) and awarded her their Millennium Award in 2011. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time's 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes listed her as the most powerful female in entertainment of 2015, and in 2016 she occupied the sixth place for Person of the Year. Early life Beyoncé Giselle Knowles was born in Houston, Texas, to Celestine "Tina" Knowles (née Beyincé), a hairdresser and salon owner, and Mathew Knowles, a Xerox sales manager. Beyoncé's name is a tribute to her mother's maiden name. Beyoncé's younger sister Solange is also a singer and a former member of Destiny's Child. Solange and Beyoncé are the first sisters to have both had No. 1 albums. Mathew is African American, while Tina is of Louisiana Creole descent (African, Native American, and French). Through her mother, Beyoncé is a descendant of Acadian leader Joseph Broussard. Beyoncé attended St. Mary's Montessori School in Houston, where she enrolled in dance classes. Her singing talent was discovered when dance instructor Darlette Johnson began humming a song and she finished it, able to hit the high-pitched notes. Beyoncé's interest in music and performing continued after winning a school talent show at age seven, singing John Lennon's "Imagine" to beat 15/16-year-olds. In fall of 1990, Beyoncé enrolled in Parker Elementary School, a music magnet school in Houston, where she would perform with the school's choir. She also attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and later Alief Elsik High School. Beyoncé was also a member of the choir at St. John's United Methodist Church as a soloist for two years. When Beyoncé was eight, she and childhood friend Kelly Rowland met LaTavia Roberson while in an audition for an all-girl entertainment group. They were placed into a group with three other girls as Girl's Tyme, and rapped and danced on the talent show circuit in Houston. After seeing the group, R&B producer Arne Frager brought them to his Northern California studio and placed them in Star Search, the largest talent show on national TV at the time. Girl's Tyme failed to win, and Beyoncé later said the song they performed was not good. In 1995 Beyoncé's father resigned from his job to manage the group. The move reduced Beyoncé's family's income by half, and her parents were forced to move into separated apartments. Mathew cut the original line-up to four and the group continued performing as an opening act for other established R&B girl groups. The girls auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records, moving to Atlanta Records briefly to work on their first recording, only to be cut by the company. This put further strain on the family, and Beyoncé's parents separated. On October 5, 1995, Dwayne Wiggins's Grass Roots Entertainment signed the group. In 1996, the girls began recording their debut album under an agreement with Sony Music, the Knowles family reunited, and shortly after, the group got a contract with Columbia Records. Career 1997–2002: Destiny's Child Main article: Destiny's Child The group changed their name to Destiny's Child in 1996, based upon a passage in the Book of Isaiah. In 1997, Destiny's Child released their major label debut song "Killing Time" on the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black. The following year, the group released their self-titled debut album, scoring their first major hit "No, No, No". The album established the group as a viable act in the music industry, with moderate sales and winning the group three Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards for Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year, Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist, and Best R&B/Soul Single for "No, No, No". The group released their Multi-Platinum second album The Writing's on the Wall in 1999. The record features some of the group's most widely known songs such as "Bills, Bills, Bills", the group's first number-one single, "Jumpin' Jumpin'" and "Say My Name", which became their most successful song at the time, and would remain one of their signature songs. "Say My Name" won the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and the Best R&B Song at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards. The Writing's on the Wall sold more than eight million copies worldwide. During this time, Beyoncé recorded a duet with Marc Nelson, an original member of Boyz II Men, on the song "After All Is Said and Done" for the soundtrack to the 1999 film, The Best Man. LeToya Luckett and Roberson became unhappy with Mathew's managing of the band and eventually were replaced by Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams. Beyoncé experienced depression following the split with Luckett and Roberson after being publicly blamed by the media, critics, and blogs for its cause. Her long-standing boyfriend left her at this time. The depression was so severe it lasted for a couple of years, during which she occasionally kept herself in her bedroom for days and refused to eat anything. Beyoncé stated that she struggled to speak about her depression because Destiny's Child had just won their first Grammy Award and she feared no one would take her seriously. Beyoncé would later speak of her mother as the person who helped her fight it. Franklin was dismissed, leaving just Beyoncé, Rowland, and Williams. The remaining band members recorded "Independent Women Part I", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2000 film Charlie's Angels. It became their best-charting single, topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for eleven consecutive weeks. In early 2001, while Destiny's Child was completing their third album, Beyoncé landed a major role in the MTV made-for-television film, Carmen: A Hip Hopera, starring alongside American actor Mekhi Phifer. Set in Philadelphia, the film is a modern interpretation of the 19th-century opera Carmen by French composer Georges Bizet. When the third album Survivor was released in May 2001, Luckett and Roberson filed a lawsuit claiming that the songs were aimed at them. The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 663,000 copies sold. The album spawned other number-one hits, "Bootylicious" and the title track, "Survivor", the latter of which earned the group a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. After releasing their holiday album 8 Days of Christmas in October 2001, the group announced a hiatus to further pursue solo careers. In July 2002, Beyoncé continued her acting career playing Foxxy Cleopatra alongside Mike Myers in the comedy film Austin Powers in Goldmember, which spent its first weekend atop the US box office and grossed $73 million. Beyoncé released "Work It Out" as the lead single from its soundtrack album which entered the top ten in the UK, Norway, and Belgium. In 2003, Beyoncé starred opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr., in the musical comedy The Fighting Temptations as Lilly, a single mother with whom Gooding's character falls in love. The film received mixed reviews from critics but grossed $30 million in the U.S. Beyoncé released "Fighting Temptation" as the lead single from the film's soundtrack album, with Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, and Free which was also used to promote the film. Another of Beyoncé's contributions to the soundtrack, "Summertime", fared better on the US charts. 2003–2007: Dangerously in Love and B'Day A woman, flanked by two male dancers, holds a microphone in one hand as she dances Beyoncé performing "Baby Boy", which spent nine consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart Beyoncé's first solo recording was a feature on Jay Z's "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" that was released in October 2002, peaking at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her first solo album Dangerously in Love was released on June 24, 2003, after Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland had released their solo efforts. The album sold 317,000 copies in its first week, debuted atop the Billboard 200, and has since sold 11 million copies worldwide. The album's lead single, "Crazy in Love", featuring Jay Z, became Beyoncé's first number-one single as a solo artist in the US. The single "Baby Boy" also reached number one, and singles, "Me, Myself and I" and "Naughty Girl", both reached the top-five. The album earned Beyoncé a then record-tying five awards at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards; Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Dangerously in Love 2", Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Crazy in Love", and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "The Closer I Get to You" with Luther Vandross. A woman stands with a microphone Beyoncé performing "Listen" from the motion picture Dreamgirls during The Beyoncé Experience tour. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Deena Jones in the film. In November 2003, she embarked on the Dangerously in Love Tour in Europe and later toured alongside Missy Elliott and Alicia Keys for the Verizon Ladies First Tour in North America. On February 1, 2004, Beyoncé performed the American national anthem at Super Bowl XXXVIII, at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. After the release of Dangerously in Love, Beyoncé had planned to produce a follow-up album using several of the left-over tracks. However, this was put on hold so she could concentrate on recording Destiny Fulfilled, the final studio album by Destiny's Child. Released on November 15, 2004, in the US and peaking at number two on the Billboard 200, Destiny Fulfilled included the singles "Lose My Breath" and "Soldier", which reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Destiny's Child embarked on a worldwide concert tour, Destiny Fulfilled... and Lovin' It and during the last stop of their European tour, in Barcelona on June 11, 2005, Rowland announced that Destiny's Child would disband following the North American leg of the tour. The group released their first compilation album Number 1's on October 25, 2005, in the US and accepted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2006. Beyoncé's second solo album B'Day was released on September 4, 2006, in the US, to coincide with her twenty-fifth birthday. It sold 541,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop the Billboard 200, becoming Beyoncé's second consecutive number-one album in the United States. The album's lead single "Déjà Vu", featuring Jay Z, reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The second international single "Irreplaceable" was a commercial success worldwide, reaching number one in Australia, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. B'Day also produced three other singles; "Ring the Alarm", "Get Me Bodied", and "Green Light" (released in the United Kingdom only). Her first acting role of 2006 was in the comedy film The Pink Panther starring opposite Steve Martin, grossing $158.8 million at the box office worldwide. Her second film Dreamgirls, the film version of the 1981 Broadway musical loosely based on The Supremes, received acclaim from critics and grossed $154 million internationally. In it, she starred opposite Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy playing a pop singer based on Diana Ross. To promote the film, Beyoncé released "Listen" as the lead single from the soundtrack album. In April 2007, Beyoncé embarked on The Beyoncé Experience, her first worldwide concert tour, visiting 97 venues and grossed over $24 million.[note 1] Beyoncé conducted pre-concert food donation drives during six major stops in conjunction with her pastor at St. John's and America's Second Harvest. At the same time, B'Day was re-released with five additional songs, including her duet with Shakira "Beautiful Liar". 2008–2010: Marriage, I Am... Sasha Fierce, and films A woman stands looking out to a crowd Beyoncé performing "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" during the I Am... World Tour. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, earned the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and spawned the Internet's first major dance craze. On April 4, 2008, Beyoncé married Jay Z. She publicly revealed their marriage in a video montage at the listening party for her third studio album, I Am... Sasha Fierce, in Manhattan's Sony Club on October 22, 2008. I Am... Sasha Fierce was released on November 18, 2008, in the United States. The album formally introduces Beyoncé's alter ego Sasha Fierce, conceived during the making of her 2003 single "Crazy in Love". It was met with generally mediocre reviews from critics, but sold 482,000 copies in its first week, debuting atop the Billboard 200, and giving Beyoncé her third consecutive number-one album in the US. The album featured the number-one song "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and the top-five songs "If I Were a Boy" and "Halo". Achieving the accomplishment of becoming her longest-running Hot 100 single in her career, "Halo"'s success in the US helped Beyoncé attain more top-ten singles on the list than any other woman during the 2000s. It also included the successful "Sweet Dreams", and singles "Diva", "Ego", "Broken-Hearted Girl" and "Video Phone". The music video for "Single Ladies" has been parodied and imitated around the world, spawning the "first major dance craze" of the Internet age according to the Toronto Star. The video has won several awards, including Best Video at the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards, the 2009 Scottish MOBO Awards, and the 2009 BET Awards. At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, the video was nominated for nine awards, ultimately winning three including Video of the Year. Its failure to win the Best Female Video category, which went to American country pop singer Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me", led to Kanye West interrupting the ceremony and Beyoncé improvising a re-presentation of Swift's award during her own acceptance speech. In March 2009, Beyoncé embarked on the I Am... World Tour, her second headlining worldwide concert tour, consisting of 108 shows, grossing $119.5 million. Beyoncé further expanded her acting career, starring as blues singer Etta James in the 2008 musical biopic Cadillac Records. Her performance in the film received praise from critics, and she garnered several nominations for her portrayal of James, including a Satellite Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress. Beyoncé donated her entire salary from the film to Phoenix House, an organization of rehabilitation centers for heroin addicts around the country. On January 20, 2009, Beyoncé performed James' "At Last" at the First Couple's first inaugural ball. Beyoncé starred opposite Ali Larter and Idris Elba in the thriller, Obsessed. She played Sharon Charles, a mother and wife who learns of a woman's obsessive behavior over her husband. Although the film received negative reviews from critics, the movie did well at the US box office, grossing $68 million—$60 million more than Cadillac Records—on a budget of $20 million. The fight scene finale between Sharon and the character played by Ali Larter also won the 2010 MTV Movie Award for Best Fight. At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, Beyoncé received ten nominations, including Album of the Year for I Am... Sasha Fierce, Record of the Year for "Halo", and Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", among others. She tied with Lauryn Hill for most Grammy nominations in a single year by a female artist. Knowles went on to win six of those nominations, breaking a record she previously tied in 2004 for the most Grammy awards won in a single night by a female artist with six. In 2010, Beyoncé was featured on Lady Gaga's single "Telephone" and appeared in its music video. The song topped the US Pop Songs chart, becoming the sixth number-one for both Beyoncé and Gaga, tying them with Mariah Carey for most number-ones since the Nielsen Top 40 airplay chart launched in 1992. "Telephone" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Beyoncé announced a hiatus from her music career in January 2010, heeding her mother's advice, "to live life, to be inspired by things again". During the break she and her father parted ways as business partners. Beyoncé's musical break lasted nine months and saw her visit multiple European cities, the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian pyramids, Australia, English music festivals and various museums and ballet performances. 2011–2015: 4 and Beyoncé The upper body of a woman is shown as she sings into a microphone Beyoncé's sound became mellower with 2011's 4 which focused on traditional R&B styles. She performed the album during her 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé residency show in August 2011 On June 26, 2011, she became the first solo female artist to headline the main Pyramid stage at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival in over twenty years. Her fourth studio album 4 was released two days later in the US. 4 sold 310,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, giving Beyoncé her fourth consecutive number-one album in the US. The album was preceded by two of its singles "Run the World (Girls)" and "Best Thing I Never Had". The fourth single "Love on Top" spent seven consecutive weeks at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, while peaking at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest peak from the album. 4 also produced four other singles; "Party", "Countdown", "I Care" and "End of Time". "Eat, Play, Love", a cover story written by Beyoncé for Essence that detailed her 2010 career break, won her a writing award from the New York Association of Black Journalists. In late 2011, she took the stage at New York's Roseland Ballroom for four nights of special performances: the 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé concerts saw the performance of her 4 album to a standing room only. On August 1, 2011, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having shipped 1 million copies to retail stores. By December 2015, it reached sales of 1.5 million copies in the US. On January 7, 2012, Beyoncé gave birth to her first child, a daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Five months later, she performed for four nights at Revel Atlantic City's Ovation Hall to celebrate the resort's opening, her first performances since giving birth to Blue Ivy. In January 2013, Destiny's Child released Love Songs, a compilation album of the romance-themed songs from their previous albums and a newly recorded track, "Nuclear". Beyoncé performed the American national anthem singing along with a pre-recorded track at President Obama's second inauguration in Washington, D.C. The following month, Beyoncé performed at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The performance stands as the second most tweeted about moment in history at 268,000 tweets per minute. At the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, Beyoncé won for Best Traditional R&B Performance for "Love on Top". Her feature-length documentary film, Life Is But a Dream, first aired on HBO on February 16, 2013. Beyoncé performing during The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in 2013. The tour is one of the highest grossing tours of the decade. Beyoncé embarked on The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour on April 15 in Belgrade, Serbia; the tour included 132 dates that ran through to March 2014. It became the most successful tour of her career and one of the most successful tours of all time. In May, Beyoncé's cover of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" with André 3000 on The Great Gatsby soundtrack was released. Beyoncé voiced Queen Tara in the 3D CGI animated film, Epic, released by 20th Century Fox on May 24, and recorded an original song for the film, "Rise Up", co-written with Sia. On December 13, 2013, Beyoncé unexpectedly released her eponymous fifth studio album on the iTunes Store without any prior announcement or promotion. The album debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, giving Beyoncé her fifth consecutive number-one album in the US. This made her the first woman in the chart's history to have her first five studio albums debut at number one. Beyoncé received critical acclaim and commercial success, selling one million digital copies worldwide in six days; Musically an electro-R&B album, it concerns darker themes previously unexplored in her work, such as "bulimia, postnatal depression [and] the fears and insecurities of marriage and motherhood". The single "Drunk in Love", featuring Jay Z, peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In April 2014, after much speculation, Beyoncé and Jay Z officially announced their On the Run Tour. It served as the couple's first co-headlining stadium tour together. On August 24, 2014, she received the Video Vanguard Award at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. Knowles also won home three competitive awards: Best Video with a Social Message and Best Cinematography for "Pretty Hurts", as well as best collaboration for "Drunk in Love". In November, Forbes reported that Beyoncé was the top-earning woman in music for the second year in a row—earning $115 million in the year, more than double her earnings in 2013. Beyoncé was reissued with new material in three forms: as an extended play, a box set, as well as a full platinum edition. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), in the last 19 days of 2013, the album sold 2.3 million units worldwide, becoming the tenth best-selling album of 2013. The album also went on to become the twentieth best-selling album of 2014. As of November 2014, Beyoncé has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and has generated over 1 billion streams, as of March 2015. At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in February 2015, Beyoncé was nominated for six awards, ultimately winning three: Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song for "Drunk in Love", and Best Surround Sound Album for Beyoncé. She was nominated for Album of the Year, but the award went to Beck for his album Morning Phase. 2016–present: Lemonade Beyoncé performing during The Formation World Tour in 2016 On February 6, 2016, Beyoncé released "Formation" and its accompanying music video exclusively on the music streaming platform Tidal; the song was made available to download for free. She performed "Formation" live for the first time during the NFL Super Bowl 50 halftime show. The appearance was considered controversial as it appeared to reference the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party and the NFL forbids political statements in its performances. Immediately following the performance, Beyoncé announced The Formation World Tour, which highlighted stops in both North America, and Europe. It ended on October 7, with Beyoncé bringing out her husband Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Serena Williams for the last show. The tour went on to win "Tour of the Year" at the 44th American Music Awards. On April 16, 2016, Beyoncé released a teaser clip for a project called Lemonade. It turned out to be a one-hour film which aired on HBO exactly a week later; a corresponding album with the same title was released on the same day exclusively on Tidal. Lemonade debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making Beyoncé the first act in Billboard history to have their first six studio albums debut atop the chart; she broke a record previously tied with DMX in 2013. With all 12 tracks of Lemonade debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Beyoncé also became the first female act to chart 12 or more songs at the same time. Additionally, Lemonade was streamed 115 million times through Tidal, setting a record for the most-streamed album in a single week by a female artist in history. As of November 2016, it has sold 1.5 million copies in the US. Lemonade became her most critically acclaimed work to date, receiving universal acclaim according to Metacritic, a website collecting reviews from professional music critics. Several music publications included the album among the best of 2016, including Rolling Stone, which listed Lemonade at number one. The album's visuals were nominated in 11 categories at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, the most ever received by Beyoncé in a single year, and went on to win 8 awards, including Video of the Year for "Formation". The eight wins made Beyoncé the most awarded artist in the history of the VMAs (24), surpassing Madonna (20). At the 59th Grammy Awards, Lemonade led with nine nominations including Album of the Year, and Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Formation" and ultimately won two, Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lemonade and Best Music Video for "Formation". Adele, upon winning her Grammy for Album of the Year, broke the award in half, stating that Lemonade was monumental and more deserving. Beyoncé occupied the sixth place for Time magazine's 2016 Person of the Year. In January 2017, it was announced that Beyoncé would headline the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. This would make Beyoncé only the second female headliner of the festival since it was founded in 1999. It was later announced on February 23, 2017 that Beyoncé would no longer be able to perform at the festival due to doctor's concerns regarding her pregnancy. The festival owners announced that she will instead headline the 2018 festival. Upon the announcement of Beyoncé's departure from the festival lineup, ticket prices dropped by 12%. Artistry Voice and songwriting With "Single Ladies", clearly I'd just gotten married, and people want to get married every day—then there was the whole Justin Timberlake thing [recreating the video] on "Saturday Night Live", and it was also the year YouTube blew up. With 'Irreplaceable,' the aggressive lyrics, the acoustic guitar, and the 808 drum machine—those things don't typically go together, and it sounded fresh. 'Crazy in Love' was another one of those classic moments in pop culture that none of us expected. I asked Jay to get on the song the night before I had to turn my album in – thank God he did. It still never gets old, no matter how many times I sing it. — Beyoncé Jody Rosen highlights her tone and timbre as particularly distinctive, describing her voice as "one of the most compelling instruments in popular music". Her vocal abilities mean she is identified as the centerpiece of Destiny's Child. Jon Pareles of The New York Times commented that her voice is "velvety yet tart, with an insistent flutter and reserves of soul belting". Rosen notes that the hip hop era highly influenced Beyoncé's unique rhythmic vocal style, but also finds her quite traditionalist in her use of balladry, gospel and falsetto. Other critics praise her range and power, with Chris Richards of The Washington Post saying she was "capable of punctuating any beat with goose-bump-inducing whispers or full-bore diva-roars." Beyoncé's music is generally R&B, but she also incorporates pop, soul and funk into her songs. 4 demonstrated Beyoncé's exploration of 1990s-style R&B, as well as further use of soul and hip hop than compared to previous releases. While she almost exclusively releases English songs, Beyoncé recorded several Spanish songs for Irreemplazable (re-recordings of songs from B'Day for a Spanish-language audience), and the re-release of B'Day. To record these, Beyoncé was coached phonetically by American record producer Rudy Perez. She has received co-writing credits for most of the songs recorded with Destiny's Child and her solo efforts. Her early songs were personally driven and female-empowerment themed compositions like "Independent Women" and "Survivor", but after the start of her relationship with Jay Z, she transitioned to more man-tending anthems such as "Cater 2 U". Beyoncé has also received co-producing credits for most of the records in which she has been involved, especially during her solo efforts. However, she does not formulate beats herself, but typically comes up with melodies and ideas during production, sharing them with producers. In 2001, she became the first black woman and second female lyricist to win the Pop Songwriter of the Year award at the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Pop Music Awards. Beyoncé was the third woman to have writing credits on three number one songs ("Irreplaceable", "Grillz" and "Check on It") in the same year, after Carole King in 1971 and Mariah Carey in 1991. She is tied with American lyricist Diane Warren at third with nine song-writing credits on number-one singles. (The latter wrote her 9/11-motivated song "I Was Here" for 4.) In May 2011, Billboard magazine listed Beyoncé at number 17 on their list of the "Top 20 Hot 100 Songwriters", for having co-written eight singles that hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She was one of only three women on that list, along with Alicia Keys and Taylor Swift. Influences Beyoncé names Michael Jackson as her major musical influence. Aged five, Beyoncé attended her first ever concert where Jackson performed and she claims to have realized her purpose. When she presented him with a tribute award at the World Music Awards in 2006, Beyoncé said, "if it wasn't for Michael Jackson, I would never ever have performed." She admires Diana Ross as an "all-around entertainer" and Whitney Houston, who she said "inspired me to get up there and do what she did." She credits Mariah Carey's singing and her song "Vision of Love" as influencing her to begin practicing vocal runs as a child. Her other musical influences include Aaliyah, Prince, Lauryn Hill, Sade Adu, Donna Summer, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Anita Baker and Rachelle Ferrell. The feminism and female empowerment themes on Beyoncé's second solo album B'Day were inspired by her role in Dreamgirls and by singer Josephine Baker. Beyoncé paid homage to Baker by performing "Déjà Vu" at the 2006 Fashion Rocks concert wearing Baker's trademark mini-hula skirt embellished with fake bananas. Beyoncé's third solo album I Am... Sasha Fierce was inspired by Jay Z and especially by Etta James, whose "boldness" inspired Beyoncé to explore other musical genres and styles. Her fourth solo album, 4, was inspired by Fela Kuti, 1990s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie, The Jackson 5, New Edition, Adele, Florence and the Machine, and Prince. Beyoncé has stated that she is personally inspired by US First Lady Michelle Obama, saying "She proves you can do it all" and she has described Oprah Winfrey as "the definition of inspiration and a strong woman". She has also discussed how Jay Z is a continuing inspiration to her, both with what she describes as his lyrical genius and in the obstacles he has overcome in his life. Beyoncé has expressed admiration for the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, posting in a letter "what I find in the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, I search for in every day in music... he is lyrical and raw". In February 2013, Beyoncé said that Madonna inspired her to take control of her own career. She commented: "I think about Madonna and how she took all of the great things she achieved and started the label and developed other artists. But there are not enough of those women.". Stage and alter ego A woman in a yellow dress, flanked by three female dancers, salutes to the crowd Beyoncé performing "Run the World (Girls)" on the 2011 Good Morning America Summer Concert Series In 2006, Beyoncé introduced her all-female tour band Suga Mama (also the name of a song in B'Day) which includes bassists, drummers, guitarists, horn players, keyboardists and percussionists. Her background singers, The Mamas, consist of Montina Cooper-Donnell, Crystal Collins and Tiffany Moniqué Riddick. They made their debut appearance at the 2006 BET Awards and re-appeared in the music videos for "Irreplaceable" and "Green Light". The band have supported Beyoncé in most subsequent live performances, including her 2007 concert tour The Beyoncé Experience, 2009–2010 I Am... World Tour, 2013–2014 The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour and 2016 The Formation World Tour. Beyoncé has received praise for her stage presence and voice during live performances. Jarett Wieselman of the New York Post placed her at number one on her list of the Five Best Singer/Dancers. According to Barbara Ellen of The Guardian Beyoncé is the most in-charge female artist she's seen onstage, while Alice Jones of The Independent wrote she "takes her role as entertainer so seriously she's almost too good." The ex-President of Def Jam L.A. Reid has described Beyoncé as the greatest entertainer alive. Jim Farber of the Daily News and Stephanie Classen of Star Phoenix both praised her strong voice and her stage presence. Described as being "sexy, seductive and provocative" when performing on stage, Beyoncé has said that she originally created the alter ego "Sasha Fierce" to keep that stage persona separate from who she really is. She described Sasha as being "too aggressive, too strong, too sassy [and] too sexy", stating, "I'm not like her in real life at all." Sasha was conceived during the making of "Crazy in Love", and Beyoncé introduced her with the release of her 2008 album I Am... Sasha Fierce. In February 2010, she announced in an interview with Allure magazine that she was comfortable enough with herself to no longer need Sasha Fierce. However, Beyoncé announced in May 2012 that she would bring her back for her Revel Presents: Beyoncé Live shows later that month. Public image A woman waves to the crowd on a red-carpet Beyoncé at the premiere for her 2006 film, Dreamgirls Beyoncé has been described as having a wide-ranging sex appeal, with music journalist Touré writing that since the release of Dangerously in Love, she has "become a crossover sex symbol". Offstage Beyoncé says that while she likes to dress sexily, her onstage dress "is absolutely for the stage." Due to her curves and the term's catchiness, in the 2000s (decade), the media often used the term "Bootylicious" (a portmanteau of the words booty and delicious) to describe Beyoncé, the term popularized by Destiny's Child's single of the same name. In 2006, it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. External image Knowles' Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover from February 15, 2007 In September 2010, Beyoncé made her runway modelling debut at Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2011 fashion show. She was named "World's Most Beautiful Woman" by People and the "Hottest Female Singer of All Time" by Complex in 2012. In January 2013, GQ placed her on its cover, featuring her atop its "100 Sexiest Women of the 21st Century" list. VH1 listed her at number 1 on its 100 Sexiest Artists list. Several wax figures of Beyoncé are found at Madame Tussauds Wax Museums in major cities around the world, including New York, Washington, D.C., Amsterdam, Bangkok, Hollywood and Sydney. According to Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, Beyoncé uses different fashion styles to work with her music while performing. Her mother co-wrote a book, published in 2002, titled Destiny's Style an account of how fashion affected the trio's success. The B'Day Anthology Video Album showed many instances of fashion-oriented footage, depicting classic to contemporary wardrobe styles. In 2007, Beyoncé was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, becoming the second African American woman after Tyra Banks, and People magazine recognized Beyoncé as the best-dressed celebrity. The BeyHive is the name given to Beyoncé's fan base. Fans were previously titled "The Beyontourage", (a portmanteau of Beyoncé and entourage). The name Bey Hive derives from the word beehive, purposely misspelled to resemble her first name, and was penned by fans after petitions on the online social networking service Twitter and online news reports during competitions. In 2006, the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), criticized Beyoncé for wearing and using fur in her clothing line House of Deréon. In 2011, she appeared on the cover of French fashion magazine L'Officiel, in blackface and tribal makeup that drew criticism from the media. A statement released from a spokesperson for the magazine said that Beyoncé's look was "far from the glamorous Sasha Fierce" and that it was "a return to her African roots". Beyoncé's lighter skin color and costuming has drawn criticism from some in the African-American community. Emmett Price, a professor of music at Northeastern University, wrote in 2007, that he thinks race plays a role in many of these criticisms, saying white celebrities who dress similarly do not attract as many comments. In 2008, L'Oréal was accused of whitening her skin in their Feria hair color advertisements, responding that "it is categorically untrue", and in 2013, Beyoncé herself criticized H&M for their proposed "retouching" of promotional images of her, and according to Vogue requested that only "natural pictures be used". Personal life A woman stands next to a man who is performing using a microphone Beyoncé performing on the I Am... Tour with Jay Z, whom she married in 2008 Marriage and children Beyoncé started a relationship with Jay Z after their collaboration on "'03 Bonnie & Clyde", which appeared on his seventh album The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse (2002). Beyoncé appeared as Jay Z's girlfriend in the music video for the song, fuelling speculation about their relationship. On April 4, 2008, Beyoncé and Jay Z married without publicity. As of April 2014, the couple had sold a combined 300 million records together. They are known for their private relationship, although they have appeared to become more relaxed in recent years. Beyoncé suffered a miscarriage around 2010 or 2011, describing it as "the saddest thing" she had ever endured. She returned to the studio and wrote music in order to cope with the loss. In April 2011, Beyoncé and Jay Z traveled to Paris in order to shoot the album cover for 4, and unexpectedly became pregnant in Paris. In August, the couple attended the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, at which Beyoncé performed "Love on Top" and ended the performance by revealing she was pregnant. Her appearance helped that year's MTV Video Music Awards become the most-watched broadcast in MTV history, pulling in 12.4 million viewers; the announcement was listed in Guinness World Records for "most tweets per second recorded for a single event" on Twitter, receiving 8,868 tweets per second and "Beyonce pregnant" was the most Googled term the week of August 29, 2011. On January 7, 2012, Beyoncé gave birth to a daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. On February 1, 2017, she revealed on her Instagram account that she is expecting twins. Her announcement gained 6,335,571 "likes" within eight hours, breaking the world record for the most liked image on the website. Activism Beyoncé performed "America the Beautiful" at the 2009 presidential inauguration, as well as "At Last" during the first inaugural dance at the Neighborhood Ball two days later. They held a fundraiser at Jay Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan for Obama's 2012 presidential campaign which raised $4 million. In the 2012 Presidential election, Beyoncé voted for Obama. She performed the American national anthem at his second inauguration. The Washington Post reported in May 2015, that Beyoncé attended a major celebrity fundraiser for 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. In 2013, Beyoncé stated in an interview with Vogue that she considered herself to be "a modern-day feminist". She would later align herself more publicly with the movement, sampling "We should all be feminists", a speech delivered by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at a TEDx talk in April 2013, in her song "Flawless", released later that year. She has also contributed to the Ban Bossy campaign, which uses television and social media to encourage leadership in girls. Following Beyoncé's public identification as a feminist, the sexualized nature of her performances and the fact that she championed her marriage was questioned. Beyoncé publicly endorsed same sex marriage on March 26, 2013, after the Supreme Court debate on California's Proposition 8. The singer has also condemned police brutality against black Americans. Beyoncé and Jay Z attended a rally in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The film for her sixth album Lemonade included the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, holding pictures of their murdered sons in the video for "Freedom". In a 2016 interview with Elle, she responded to the controversy surrounding her song "Formation" which was perceived to be critical of the police. She clarified, "I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me". In February, Beyoncé spoke out against the withdrawal of protections for transgender students in public schools by Donald Trump's Presidential administration. Posting a link to the 100 Days of Kindness campaign on her Facebook page, Beyoncé voiced her support for transgender youth and joined a roster of celebrities who spoke out against Trump's decision. Wealth Forbes magazine began reporting on Beyoncé's earnings in 2008, calculating that the $80 million earned between June 2007 to June 2008, for her music, tour, films and clothing line made her the world's best-paid music personality at the time, above Madonna and Celine Dion. They placed her fourth on the Celebrity 100 list in 2009 and ninth on the "Most Powerful Women in the World" list in 2010. The following year, Forbes placed her eighth on the "Best-Paid Celebrities Under 30" list, having earned $35 million in the past year for her clothing line and endorsement deals. In 2012, Forbes placed Beyoncé at number 16 on the Celebrity 100 list, twelve places lower than three years ago yet still having earned $40 million in the past year for her album 4, clothing line and endorsement deals. In the same year, Beyoncé and Jay Z placed at number one on the "World's Highest-Paid Celebrity Couples", for collectively earning $78 million. The couple made it into the previous year's Guinness World Records as the "highest-earning power couple" for collectively earning $122 million in 2009. For the years 2009 to 2011, Beyoncé earned an average of $70 million per year, and earned $40 million in 2012. In 2013, Beyoncé's endorsements of Pepsi and H&M made her and Jay Z the world's first billion dollar couple in the music industry. That year, Beyoncé was published as the fourth most-powerful celebrity in the Forbes rankings. MTV estimated that by the end of 2014, Beyoncé would become the highest-paid black musician in history; she proceeded to do so in April 2014. In June 2014, Beyoncé ranked at #1 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, earning an estimated $115 million throughout June 2013 – June 2014. This in turn was the first time she had topped the Celebrity 100 list as well as being her highest yearly earnings to date. In 2016, Beyoncé ranked at #34 on the Celebrity 100 list with earnings of $54 million. Herself and Jay Z also topped the highest paid celebrity couple list, with combined earnings of $107.5 million. As of March 2017, Forbes calculated her net worth to be $290 million. Legacy A woman is shown leaning back and singing into a microphone, surrounded by smoke Beyoncé performing during her I Am... Tour in 2009 In The New Yorker, music critic Jody Rosen described Beyoncé as "the most important and compelling popular musician of the twenty-first century..... the result, the logical end point, of a century-plus of pop." When The Guardian named her Artist of the Decade, Llewyn-Smith wrote, "Why Beyoncé? [...] Because she made not one but two of the decade's greatest singles, with Crazy in Love and Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), not to mention her hits with Destiny's Child; and this was the decade when singles – particularly R&B singles – regained their status as pop's favourite medium. [...] [She] and not any superannuated rock star was arguably the greatest live performer of the past 10 years." In 2013, Beyoncé made the Time 100 list, with Baz Luhrmann writing "no one has that voice, no one moves the way she moves, no one can hold an audience the way she does... When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it's an event, and it's broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-apparent diva of the USA — the reigning national voice." In 2014, Beyoncé was listed again on the Time 100 and also featured on the cover of the issue. Beyoncé's work has influenced numerous artists including Adele, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Sam Smith, Nicole Scherzinger, Jessica Sanchez, Cheryl, JoJo, Meghan Trainor, Grimes, Rita Ora, Zendaya, Alexis Jordan, Bridgit Mendler, and Azealia Banks. American indie rock band White Rabbits also cited her an inspiration for their third album Milk Famous (2012), friend Gwyneth Paltrow studied Beyoncé at her live concerts while learning to become a musical performer for the 2010 film Country Strong. Her debut single, "Crazy in Love" was named VH1's "Greatest Song of the 2000s", NME's "Best Track of the 00s" and "Pop Song of the Century", considered by Rolling Stone to be one of the 500 greatest songs of all time, earned two Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling singles of all time at around 8 million copies. The music video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", which achieved fame for its intricate choreography and its deployment of jazz hands, was credited by the Toronto Star as having started the "first major dance craze of both the new millennium and the Internet", triggering a number of parodies of the dance choreography and a legion of amateur imitators on YouTube. In 2013, Drake released a single titled "Girls Love Beyoncé", which featured an interpolation from Destiny Child's "Say My Name" and discussed his relationship with women. In January 2012, research scientist Bryan Lessard named Scaptia beyonceae, a species of horse fly found in Northern Queensland, Australia after Beyoncé due to the fly's unique golden hairs on its abdomen. In July 2014, a Beyoncé exhibit was introduced into the "Legends of Rock" section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The black leotard from the "Single Ladies" video and her outfit from the Super Bowl half time performance are among several pieces housed at the museum. Architects credit Beyoncé's look in her "Ghost" music video as the inspiration of the design of the Premier Tower under construction in Australia. Honors and awards Other ventures Endorsements Beyoncé has worked with Pepsi since 2002, and in 2004 appeared in a Gladiator-themed commercial with Britney Spears, Pink, and Enrique Iglesias. In 2012, Beyoncé signed a $50 million deal to endorse Pepsi. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPINET) wrote Beyoncé an open letter asking her to reconsider the deal because of the unhealthiness of the product and to donate the proceeds to a medical organisation. Nevertheless, NetBase found that Beyoncé's campaign was the most talked about endorsement in April 2013, with a 70 per cent positive audience response to the commercial and print ads. Beyoncé has worked with Tommy Hilfiger for the fragrances True Star (singing a cover version of "Wishing on a Star") and True Star Gold; she also promoted Emporio Armani's Diamonds fragrance in 2007. Beyoncé launched her first official fragrance, Heat, in 2010. The commercial, which featured the 1956 song "Fever", was shown after the water shed in the United Kingdom as it begins with an image of Beyoncé appearing to lie naked in a room. In February 2011, Beyoncé launched her second fragrance, Heat Rush. Beyoncé's third fragrance, Pulse, was launched in September 2011. In 2013, The Mrs. Carter Show Limited Edition version of Heat was released. The six editions of Heat are the world's best-selling celebrity fragrance line, with sales of over $400 million. The release of a video-game Starpower: Beyoncé was cancelled after Beyoncé pulled out of a $100 million with GateFive who alleged the cancellation meant the sacking of 70 staff and millions of pounds lost in development. It was settled out of court by her lawyers in June 2013 who said that they had cancelled because GateFive had lost its financial backers. Beyoncé also has had deals with American Express, Nintendo DS and L'Oréal since the age of 18. In March 2015, Beyoncé became a co-owner, with other artists, of the music streaming service Tidal. The service specializes in lossless audio and high definition music videos. Beyoncé's husband Jay Z acquired the parent company of Tidal, Aspiro, in the first quarter of 2015. Including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, sixteen artist stakeholders (such as Kanye West, Rihanna, Madonna, Chris Martin, Nicki Minaj and more) co-own Tidal, with the majority owning a 3% equity stake. The idea of having an all artist owned streaming service was created by those involved to adapt to the increased demand for streaming within the current music industry. Fashion lines Beyoncé and her mother introduced House of Deréon, a contemporary women's fashion line, in 2005. The concept is inspired by three generations of women in their family, with the name paying tribute to Beyoncé's grandmother, Agnèz Deréon, a respected seamstress. According to Tina, the overall style of the line best reflects her and Beyoncé's taste and style. Beyoncé and her mother founded their family's company Beyond Productions, which provides the licensing and brand management for House of Deréon, and its junior collection, Deréon. House of Deréon pieces were exhibited in Destiny's Child's shows and tours, during their Destiny Fulfilled era. The collection features sportswear, denim offerings with fur, outerwear and accessories that include handbags and footwear, and are available at department and specialty stores across the US and Canada. In 2005, Beyoncé teamed up with House of Brands, a shoe company, to produce a range of footwear for House of Deréon. In January 2008, Starwave Mobile launched Beyoncé Fashion Diva, a "high-style" mobile game with a social networking component, featuring the House of Deréon collection. In July 2009, Beyoncé and her mother launched a new junior apparel label, Sasha Fierce for Deréon, for back-to-school selling. The collection included sportswear, outerwear, handbags, footwear, eyewear, lingerie and jewelry. It was available at department stores including Macy's and Dillard's, and specialty stores Jimmy Jazz and Against All Odds. On May 27, 2010, Beyoncé teamed up with clothing store C&A to launch Deréon by Beyoncé at their stores in Brazil. The collection included tailored blazers with padded shoulders, little black dresses, embroidered tops and shirts and bandage dresses. In October 2014, Beyoncé signed a deal to launch an activewear line of clothing with British fashion retailer Topshop. The 50–50 venture is called Ivy Park and was launched in April 2016. The brand's name is a nod to Beyoncé's daughter Blue Ivy and her favourite number four (IV in roman numerals), and also references the park where she used to run in Texas. Philanthropy A woman is surrounded by several others, all behind a piece of white tape Beyoncé (center) and her mother, Tina, (left) at the opening of the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center on March 5, 2010 After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Beyoncé and Rowland founded the Survivor Foundation to provide transitional housing for victims in the Houston area, to which Beyoncé contributed an initial $250,000. The foundation has since expanded to work with other charities in the city, and also provided relief following Hurricane Ike three years later. Beyoncé participated in George Clooney and Wyclef Jean's Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief telethon and was named the official face of the limited edition CFDA "Fashion For Haiti" T-shirt, made by Theory which raised a total of $1 million. On March 5, 2010, Beyoncé and her mother Tina opened the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center at the Brooklyn Phoenix House, offering a seven-month cosmetology training course for men and women. In April 2011, Beyoncé joined forces with US First Lady Michelle Obama and the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, to help boost the latter's campaign against child obesity by reworking her single "Get Me Bodied". Following the death of Osama bin Laden, Beyoncé released her cover of the Lee Greenwood song "God Bless the USA", as a charity single to help raise funds for the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund. In December, Beyoncé along with a variety of other celebrities teamed up and produced a video campaign for "Demand A Plan", a bipartisan effort by a group of 950 US mayors and others designed to influence the federal government into rethinking its gun control laws, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Beyoncé became an ambassador for the 2012 World Humanitarian Day campaign donating her song "I Was Here" and its music video, shot in the UN, to the campaign. In 2013, it was announced that Beyoncé would work with Salma Hayek and Frida Giannini on a Gucci "Chime for Change" campaign that aims to spread female empowerment. The campaign, which aired on February 28, was set to her new music. A concert for the cause took place on June 1, 2013 in London and included other acts like Ellie Goulding, Florence and the Machine, and Rita Ora. In advance of the concert, she appeared in a campaign video released on May 15, 2013, where she, along with Cameron Diaz, John Legend and Kylie Minogue, described inspiration from their mothers, while a number of other artists celebrated personal inspiration from other women, leading to a call for submission of photos of women of viewers' inspiration from which a selection was shown at the concert. Beyoncé said about her mother Tina Knowles that her gift was "finding the best qualities in every human being." With help of the crowdfunding platform Catapult, visitors of the concert could choose between several projects promoting education of women and girls. Beyoncé is also taking part in "Miss a Meal", a food-donation campaign, and supporting Goodwill charity through online charity auctions at Charitybuzz that support job creation throughout Europe and the U.S. In December 2016, Beyoncé was named the Most Charitable Celebrity of the year.[
Open main menu Search Wikipedia Edit this pageWatch this pageRead in another language Robin (comics) Identity used by several DC Comics characters For the British children's magazine, see Robin (magazine). "The Boy Wonder" redirects here. For other uses, see Boy Wonder (disambiguation). Robin Robin (Dick Grayson - New 52 version).jpg Dick Grayson as Robin in Nightwing vol. 3, #0 (November 2012); art by Eddy Barrows Publisher DC Comics First appearance Detective Comics #38 (April 1940) Created by Bill Finger Bob Kane Jerry Robinson Characters List Dick Grayson Jason Todd Tim Drake Stephanie Brown Damian Wayne Robin Cover of Robin vol. 2, #1 (November 1993) featuring the Tim Drake version of the character; art by Tom Grummett and Scott Hanna Series publication information Publisher DC Comics Schedule List (vol 1, Robin II, vol 2): Monthly (Robin III: Cry of the Huntress): Bi-Weekly Format List (vol 1, Robin II, Robin III: Cry of the Huntress): Limited series (vol 2) Ongoing series Genre Superhero Publication date List (vol. 1) January 1991 – May 1991 (Robin II) October 1991 – December 1991 (Robin III: Cry of the Huntress) December 1992 – March 1993 (vol. 2) November 1993 – April 2009 Number of issues List (vol 1): 5 (Robin II): 4 (Robin III: Cry of the Huntress): 6 (vol 2): 185 (including issues numbered 0 and 1000000), 7 Annuals Main character(s) List (vol 1, Robin II) Tim Drake (Robin III: Cry of the Huntress) Tim Drake, Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) (vol 2) Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown Creative team Writer(s) List (vol. 1, Robin II, Robin III, vol. 2) Chuck Dixon (vol. 2) Chuck Dixon Jon Lewis Bill Willingham Adam Beechen Fabian Nicieza Penciller(s) List (vol. 1, Robin II, Robin III) Tom Lyle (vol. 2) Tom Grummett Phil Jimenez Mike Wieringo Staz Johnson Pete Woods Damion Scott Scott McDaniel Freddie Williams II Inker(s) List (vol. 1, Robin II, Robin III) Bob Smith (vol. 2) Scott Hanna Stan Woch Bob Smith Colorist(s) List (vol. 1, Robin II, Robin III) Adrienne Roy (vol. 2) Adrienne Roy Guy Major Robin is the name of several fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was originally created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Jerry Robinson, to serve as a junior counterpart to superhero Batman. The team of Batman and Robin is commonly referred to as the Dynamic Duo or the Caped Crusaders. The character's first incarnation, Dick Grayson, debuted in Detective Comics #38 (April 1940). Conceived as a vehicle to attract young readership, Robin garnered overwhelmingly positive critical reception, doubling the sales of the Batman related comic books. The early adventures of Robin included Star Spangled Comics #65–130 (1947–1952), which was the character's first solo feature. Robin made regular appearances in Batman related comic books and other DC Comics publications from 1940 through the early 1980s until the character set aside the Robin identity and became the independent superhero Nightwing. The character's second incarnation Jason Todd debuted in Batman #357 (1983). This Robin made regular appearances in Batman related comic books until 1988, when the character was murdered by the Joker in the storyline "A Death in the Family" (1989). Jason would later find himself alive after a reality changing incident, eventually becoming the Red Hood. The premiere Robin limited series was published in 1991 which featured the character's third incarnation Tim Drake training to earn the role of Batman's vigilante partner. Following two successful sequels, the monthly Robin ongoing series began in 1993 and ended in early 2009, which also helped his transition from sidekick to a superhero in his own right. In 2004 storylines, established DC Comics character Stephanie Brown became the fourth Robin for a short duration before the role reverted to Tim Drake. Damian Wayne succeeds Drake as Robin in the 2009 story arc "Battle for the Cowl". Following the 2011 continuity reboot "the New 52", Tim Drake was revised as having assumed the title Red Robin, and Jason Todd, operating as the Red Hood, was slowly repairing his relationship with Batman. Dick Grayson resumed his role as Nightwing and Stephanie Brown was introduced anew as Spoiler once again in the pages of Batman Eternal (2014). The 2016 DC Rebirth continuity relaunch starts off with Damian Wayne as Robin, Tim Drake as Red Robin, Jason Todd as Red Hood, and Dick Grayson as Nightwing. Robins have also been featured throughout stories set in parallel worlds, owing to DC Comics' longstanding "Multiverse" concept. For example, in the original Earth-Two, Dick Grayson never adopted the name Nightwing, and continues operating as Robin into adulthood. In the New 52's "Earth-2" continuity, Robin is Helena Wayne, daughter of Batman and Catwoman, who was stranded on the Earth of the main continuity and takes the name Huntress. Fictional character biography About a year after Batman's debut, Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger introduced Robin the Boy Wonder in Detective Comics #38 (1940). The name "Robin the Boy Wonder" and the medieval look of the original costume were inspired by The Adventures of Robin Hood. Robinson noted he "came up with Robin Hood because The Adventures of Robin Hood were boyhood favorites of mine. I had been given a Robin Hood book illustrated by N. C. Wyeth ... and that's what I quickly sketched out when I suggested the name Robin Hood, which they seemed to like, and then showed them the costume. And if you look at it, it's Wyeth's costume, from my memory, because I didn't have the book to look at." (Some later accounts of Robin's origin have stated that the name comes from the American robin bird, not from Robin Hood, Frank Miller's All Star Batman and Robin being a notable exception. Sometimes both sources are credited, as in Len Wein's The Untold Legend of the Batman.) Although Robin is best known as Batman's sidekick, the Robins have also been members of the superhero group the Teen Titans - with the original Robin, Dick Grayson, as a founding member and the group's leader and with Tim Drake as the team leader as of 2012. In Batman stories the character of Robin was intended to be the Batman's Watson: Bill Finger, writer for many early Batman adventures, wrote: "Robin was an outgrowth of a conversation I had with Bob. As I said, Batman was a combination of Douglas Fairbanks and Sherlock Holmes. Holmes had his Watson. The thing that bothered me was that Batman didn't have anyone to talk to, and it got a little tiresome always having him thinking. I found that as I went along Batman needed a Watson to talk to. That's how Robin came to be. Bob called me over and said he was going to put a boy in the strip to identify with Batman. I thought it was a great idea." The following fictional characters have assumed the Robin role at various times in the main DC Comics Universe continuity: Dick Grayson Dick Grayson as Robin in Batman #682 (January 2009); art by Lee Garbett Main article: Dick Grayson In the comics, Dick Grayson was an 8-year-old acrobat and the youngest of a family act called the "Flying Graysons". A gangster named Boss Zucco, loosely based on actor Edward G. Robinson's Little Caesar character, had been extorting money from the circus and killed Grayson's parents, John and Mary, by sabotaging their trapeze equipment as a warning against defiance. Batman investigated the crime and, as his alter ego billionaire Bruce Wayne, had Dick put under his custody as a legal ward. Together they investigated Zucco and collected the evidence needed to bring him to justice. From his debut appearance in 1940 through 1969, Robin was known as the Boy Wonder. Batman creates a costume for Dick, consisting of a red tunic, yellow cape, green gloves, green boots, green spandex briefs, and a utility belt. As he grew older, graduated from high school, and enrolled in Hudson University, Robin continued his career as the Teen Wonder, from 1970 into the early 1980s. The character was rediscovered by a new generation of fans during the 1980s because of the success of The New Teen Titans, in which he left Batman's shadow entirely to assume the identity of Nightwing. He aids Batman throughout the later storyline regarding the several conflicts with Jason Todd until he makes his final return as the "Red Hood". Grayson temporarily took over as Batman (while Wayne was traveling through time), using the aid of Damian Wayne, making his newish appearance as "Robin", to defeat and imprison Todd. With Bruce Wayne's return, Grayson went back to being Nightwing. Jason Todd Main article: Jason Todd Cover of Batman #428 (December 1988) from the storyline A Death in the Family; art by Mike Mignola DC was initially hesitant to turn Grayson into Nightwing and to replace him with a new Robin. To minimize the change, they made the new Robin, Jason Peter Todd, who first appeared in Batman #357 (1983), similar to a young Grayson. Like Dick Grayson, Jason Todd was the son of circus acrobats murdered by a criminal (this time the Batman adversary Killer Croc), and then adopted by Bruce Wayne. In this incarnation, he was originally red-haired and unfailingly cheerful, and wore his circus costume to fight crime until Dick Grayson presented him with a Robin suit of his own. At that point, he dyed his hair black. After the mini-series Crisis on Infinite Earths, much of the DC Comics continuity was redone. Dick Grayson's origin, years with Batman, and growth into Nightwing remained mostly unchanged; but Todd's character was completely revised. He was now a black-haired street orphan who first encountered Batman when he attempted to steal tires from the Batmobile. Batman saw to it that he was placed in a school for troubled youths. Weeks later, after Dick Grayson became Nightwing and Todd proved his crime-fighting worth by helping Batman catch a gang of robbers, Batman offered Todd the position as Robin. Believing that readers never truly bonded with Todd, DC Comics made the controversial decision in 1988 to poll readers using a 1-900 number as to whether or not Todd should be killed. The event received more attention in the mainstream media than any other comic book event before it. Readers voted "yes" by a small margin (5,343 to 5,271) and Todd was subsequently murdered by the Joker in the storyline, A Death in the Family, in which the psychopath beat the youngster severely with a crowbar, and left him to die in a warehouse rigged with a bomb. Jason Todd later returned as the new Red Hood (the original alias of the Joker) when he was brought back to life due to reality being altered. After the continuity changes following the New 52 DC Comics relaunch, Jason becomes a leader of the Outlaws, a superhero team that includes Starfire and Arsenal. Tim Drake Main article: Tim Drake Tim Drake in Supergirl vol. 5, #2 (Nov. 2005); art by Ian Churchill DC Comics was left uncertain about readers' decision to kill Jason Todd, wondering if readers preferred Batman as a lone vigilante, disliked Todd specifically, or just wanted to see if DC would actually kill the character. In addition, the 1989 Batman film did not feature Robin, giving DC a reason to keep him out of the comic book series for marketing purposes. Regardless, Batman editor Denny O'Neil introduced a new Robin. The third Robin, Timothy Drake, first appeared in a flashback in Batman #436 (1989). Drake was a young boy who had followed the adventures of Batman and Robin ever since witnessing the murder of the Flying Graysons. This served to connect Drake to Grayson, establishing a link that DC hoped would help readers accept this new Robin. Drake surmised their secret identities with his amateur but instinctive detective skills and followed their careers closely. Tim has stated on numerous occasions that he wishes to become "The World's Greatest Detective", a title currently belonging to the Dark Knight. Batman himself stated that one day Drake will surpass him as a detective. Despite his combat skills not being the match of Grayson's (although there are some similarities, in that they are far superior to Todd's when he was Robin), his detective skills more than make up for this. In addition, Batman supplied him with a new armored costume. Tim Drake's first Robin costume had a red torso, yellow stitching and belt, black boots, and green short sleeves, gloves, pants, and domino mask. He wore a cape that was black on the outside and yellow on the inside. This costume had an armored tunic and gorget, an emergency "R" shuriken on his chest in addition to the traditional batarangs, and a collapsible bo staff as his primary weapon, which Tim Drake continues to use as the superhero Red Robin. Tim Drake was introduced as a happy medium between the first two Robins in that, from the readers' point of view, he is neither overly well behaved like Dick Grayson nor overly impudent like Jason Todd. Tim Drake is the first Robin to have his own comic book series, where he fought crime on his own. Tim Drake, as Robin, co-founded the superhero team Young Justice in the absence of the Teen Titans of Dick Grayson's generation, but would then later re-form the Teen Titans after Young Justice disbanded following a massive sidekick crossover during which Donna Troy was killed. Tim served as leader of this version of the Titans until 2009, at which point he quit due to the events of Batman R.I.P. Following Infinite Crisis and 52, Tim Drake modified his costume to favor a mostly red and black color scheme in tribute to his best friend, Superboy (Kon-El), who died fighting Earth-Prime Superboy. This Robin costume had a red torso, long sleeves, and pants. It also included black gloves and boots, yellow stitching and belt, and a black and yellow cape. Tim Drake continued the motif of a red and black costume when he assumed the role of Red Robin before and during the events of the New 52. Tim Drake assumes the identity of Red Robin after Batman's disappearance following the events of Final Crisis and Battle For The Cowl and Damian Wayne becoming Grayson's Robin. Following 2011's continuity changes resulting from the New 52 DC Comics relaunch, history was altered such that Tim Drake never took up the Robin mantle after Jason Todd's death, feeling that it would be inappropriate. Instead, he served as Batman's sidekick under the name of Red Robin. Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown on the cover of Batgirl #53 (August 2004); art by James Jean Main article: Stephanie Brown (comics) Stephanie Brown, Tim Drake's girlfriend and the costumed adventurer previously known as the Spoiler, volunteered for the role of Robin upon Tim's resignation. Batman fired the Girl Wonder for not obeying his orders to the letter on two separate occasions. Stephanie then stole one of Batman's incomplete plans to control Gotham crime and executed it. Trying to prove her worthiness, Brown inadvertently set off a gang war on the streets of Gotham. While trying to help end the war, Brown was captured and tortured by the lunatic crime boss Black Mask. She managed to escape but apparently died shortly afterwards due to the severity of her injuries. Tim Drake keeps a memorial for her in his cave hideout underneath Titans Tower in San Francisco. She appeared alive and stalking Tim, after his return from traveling around the globe with his mentor. It turned out that Dr. Leslie Thompkins had faked Stephanie's death in an effort to protect her. For years she operated on and off as the Spoiler, but was then recruited as Barbara Gordon's replacement as Batgirl. She had her own series as well as making appearances throughout various Batman and Batman spin-off series. Her time as Spoiler, Robin, and Batgirl was retconned to have never occurred after the Flashpoint event, with her being reintroduced having just become Spoiler in Batman Eternal. Damian Wayne Main article: Damian Wayne Damian Wayne was the child of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, thus the grandson of the immortal Ra's al Ghul. Batman was unaware of his son's existence for years until Talia left Damian in his care. Damian was violent and lacking in discipline and morality, and was trained by the League of Assassins. Learning to kill at a young age, Damian's murderous behavior created a troubled relationship with his father, who vowed never to take a life. Damian Wayne in Batman and Robin vol. 2, #5 (March 2012); art by Patrick Gleason Originally conceived to become a host for his maternal grandfather's soul as well as a pawn against the Dark Knight, Batman saved his child from this fate which forced Ra's to inhabit his own son's body, and Damian was affectionate to his father. After Batman's apparent death during Final Crisis, Talia left her son under Dick Grayson and Alfred Pennyworth's care and Damian was deeply affected by his father's absence. In the first issue of "Battle for the Cowl", Damian was driving the Batmobile and was attacked by Poison Ivy and Killer Croc. Damian was rescued by Nightwing who then tries to escape but was shot down by Black Mask's men. Nightwing tried to fight the thugs, but the thugs were shot by Jason Todd. After a fight between Nightwing and Todd, Todd eventually shot Damian in the chest. In the final issue of the series, Alfred made Damian into Robin. Damian's first task as Robin was to rescue Tim. After "Battle for the Cowl", Grayson adopted the mantle of Batman, and instead of having Tim (who he viewed as an equal, rather than a protégé) remain as Robin, he gave the role to Damian, who he felt needed the training that his father would have given him. Following Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne and Flashpoint events, Bruce Wayne returned to his role as Batman while Dick resumed as Nightwing. As of the "New 52", Damian continued to work with his father, but temporarily gave up being Robin (as his mother put a price on his head), and went under the identity of Red Bird. Damian met his end at the hands of Heretic, an aged-clone of Damian working for Leviathan, bravely giving up his life. Despite his status as deceased, Damian starred in his own mini-series, Damian: Son of Batman, written and drawn by Andy Kubert, set in a future where Damian is on the path to become Batman after his father fell victim to a trap set by the Joker. Batman eventually started a difficult quest to resurrect him, returning Damian to life with Darkseid's Chaos Shard. Other versions Robin monthlies Reception According to Entertainment Weekly in 2008, Robin is one of the "greatest sidekicks". Portrayals See also: Robin in other media Robin (Dick Grayson) was portrayed by Douglas Croft and Johnny Duncan, respectively, in the 1943 and 1949 fifteen chapter Batman serials. Burt Ward played him in the 1966–1968 Batman television series and the related 1966 film. In the live-action movies Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, he was played by Chris O'Donnell. Michael Cera voiced the character in The Lego Batman Movie. The Dick Grayson version of Robin also appears in Batman: The Animated Series, voiced by Loren Lester. Grayson is replaced by Tim Drake, played by Mathew Valencia, in the subsequent series The New Batman Adventures. The animated series Teen Titans features Robin (voiced by Scott Menville) as the leader of a team of young heroes; it is hinted in several episodes that this Robin is Dick Grayson. In the season two episode "Fractured", a version of Bat-Mite is introduced who claims to be Robin's "DNA buddy" (genetic twin). Bat-Mite gives his name as Nosyarg Kcid ("Dick Grayson" spelled backwards). In another episode, Raven reads Robin's mind and sees a man and a woman falling from a trapeze (an event known only to have happened to Grayson and not to any other Robin). In another episode, Starfire travels to the future and discovers that Robin has taken the identity of Nightwing. Menville reprises his role as Robin in Teen Titans Go!. Robin is also seen in the 1987 Zeller's commercial, which features the infamous catchphrase, "Well said, Robin!". Robin is voiced by Jesse McCartney in Young Justice. Robin is portrayed by Nick Lang in Holy Musical B@man!. His portrayal is based mainly on Burt Ward's Dick Grayson.
In those days it was like, one artist and he had his name over it [the comic strip] — the policy of DC in the comic books was, if you can't write it, obtain other writers, but their names would never appear on the comic book in the finished version. So Bill never asked me for it [the byline] and I never volunteered — I guess my ego at that time. And I felt badly, really, when he [Finger] died. In September 2015, DC Entertainment revealed that Finger would be receiving credit for his role in Batman's creation on the 2016 superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the second season of Gotham after a deal was worked out between the Finger family and DC. Finger received credit as a creator of Batman for the first time in a comic in October 2015 with Batman and Robin Eternal #3 and Batman: Arkham Knight Genesis #3. The updated acknowledgement for the character appeared as "Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger". Early years Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939); cover art by Bob Kane. The first Batman story, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate", was published in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Finger said, "Batman was originally written in the style of the pulps", and this influence was evident with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals. Batman proved a hit character, and he received his own solo title in 1940, while continuing to star in Detective Comics. By that time, Detective Comics was the top-selling and most influential publisher in the industry; Batman and the company's other major hero, Superman, were the cornerstones of the company's success. The two characters were featured side-by-side as the stars of World's Finest Comics, which was originally titled World's Best Comics when it debuted in fall 1940. Creators including Jerry Robinson and Dick Sprang also worked on the strips during this period. Over the course of the first few Batman strips elements were added to the character and the artistic depiction of Batman evolved. Kane noted that within six issues he drew the character's jawline more pronounced, and lengthened the ears on the costume. "About a year later he was almost the full figure, my mature Batman", Kane said. Batman's characteristic utility belt was introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), followed by the boomerang-like batarang and the first bat-themed vehicle, the Batplane, in #31 (Sept. 1939). The character's origin was revealed in #33 (Nov. 1939), unfolding in a two-page story that establishes the brooding persona of Batman, a character driven by the death of his parents. Written by Finger, it depicts a young Bruce Wayne witnessing his parents' murder at the hands of a mugger. Days later, at their grave, the child vows that "by the spirits of my parents [I will] avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals". The early, pulp-inflected portrayal of Batman started to soften in Detective Comics #38 (April 1940) with the introduction of Robin, Batman's junior counterpart. Robin was introduced, based on Finger's suggestion, because Batman needed a "Watson" with whom Batman could talk. Sales nearly doubled, despite Kane's preference for a solo Batman, and it sparked a proliferation of "kid sidekicks". The first issue of the solo spin-off series Batman was notable not only for introducing two of his most persistent enemies, the Joker and Catwoman, but for a story in which Batman shoots some monstrous giants to death. That story prompted editor Whitney Ellsworth to decree that the character could no longer kill or use a gun. By 1942, the writers and artists behind the Batman comics had established most of the basic elements of the Batman mythos. In the years following World War II, DC Comics "adopted a postwar editorial direction that increasingly de-emphasized social commentary in favor of lighthearted juvenile fantasy". The impact of this editorial approach was evident in Batman comics of the postwar period; removed from the "bleak and menacing world" of the strips of the early 1940s, Batman was instead portrayed as a respectable citizen and paternal figure that inhabited a "bright and colorful" environment. Silver and Bronze Age 1950s and early 1960s Batman was one of the few superhero characters to be continuously published as interest in the genre waned during the 1950s. In the story "The Mightiest Team in the World" in Superman #76 (June 1952), Batman teams up with Superman for the first time and the pair discovers each other's secret identity. Following the success of this story, World's Finest Comics was revamped so it featured stories starring both heroes together, instead of the separate Batman and Superman features that had been running before. The team-up of the characters was "a financial success in an era when those were few and far between"; this series of stories ran until the book's cancellation in 1986. Batman comics were among those criticized when the comic book industry came under scrutiny with the publication of psychologist Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent in 1954. Wertham's thesis was that children imitated crimes committed in comic books, and that these works corrupted the morals of the youth. Wertham criticized Batman comics for their supposed homosexual overtones and argued that Batman and Robin were portrayed as lovers. Wertham's criticisms raised a public outcry during the 1950s, eventually leading to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority, a code that is no longer in use by the comic book industry. The tendency towards a "sunnier Batman" in the postwar years intensified after the introduction of the Comics Code. Scholars have suggested that the characters of Batwoman (in 1956) and the pre-Barbara Gordon Bat-Girl (in 1961) were introduced in part to refute the allegation that Batman and Robin were gay, and the stories took on a campier, lighter feel. In the late 1950s, Batman stories gradually became more science fiction-oriented, an attempt at mimicking the success of other DC characters that had dabbled in the genre. New characters such as Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite were introduced. Batman's adventures often involved odd transformations or bizarre space aliens. In 1960, Batman debuted as a member of the Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb. 1960), and went on to appear in several Justice League comic series starting later that same year. "New Look" Batman and camp By 1964, sales of Batman titles had fallen drastically. Bob Kane noted that, as a result, DC was "planning to kill Batman off altogether". In response to this, editor Julius Schwartz was assigned to the Batman titles. He presided over drastic changes, beginning with 1964's Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), which was cover-billed as the "New Look". Schwartz introduced changes designed to make Batman more contemporary, and to return him to more detective-oriented stories. He brought in artist Carmine Infantino to help overhaul the character. The Batmobile was redesigned, and Batman's costume was modified to incorporate a yellow ellipse behind the bat-insignia. The space aliens, time travel, and characters of the 1950s such as Batwoman, Ace, and Bat-Mite were retired. Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred was killed off (though his death was quickly reversed) while a new female relative for the Wayne family, Aunt Harriet, came to live with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. The debut of the Batman television series in 1966 had a profound influence on the character. The success of the series increased sales throughout the comic book industry, and Batman reached a circulation of close to 900,000 copies. Elements such as the character of Batgirl and the show's campy nature were introduced into the comics; the series also initiated the return of Alfred. Although both the comics and TV show were successful for a time, the camp approach eventually wore thin and the show was canceled in 1968. In the aftermath, the Batman comics themselves lost popularity once again. As Julius Schwartz noted, "When the television show was a success, I was asked to be campy, and of course when the show faded, so did the comic books." Starting in 1969, writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams made a deliberate effort to distance Batman from the campy portrayal of the 1960s TV series and to return the character to his roots as a "grim avenger of the night". O'Neil said his idea was "simply to take it back to where it started. I went to the DC library and read some of the early stories. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after." O'Neil and Adams first collaborated on the story "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" (Detective Comics #395, January 1970). Few stories were true collaborations between O'Neil, Adams, Schwartz, and inker Dick Giordano, and in actuality these men were mixed and matched with various other creators during the 1970s; nevertheless the influence of their work was "tremendous". Giordano said: "We went back to a grimmer, darker Batman, and I think that's why these stories did so well ..." While the work of O'Neil and Adams was popular with fans, the acclaim did little to improve declining sales; the same held true with a similarly acclaimed run by writer Steve Englehart and penciler Marshall Rogers in Detective Comics #471–476 (August 1977 – April 1978), which went on to influence the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1992. Regardless, circulation continued to drop through the 1970s and 1980s, hitting an all-time low in 1985. Modern Age The Dark Knight Returns See also: Alternative versions of Batman Frank Miller's limited series The Dark Knight Returns (February–June 1986) returned the character to his darker roots, both in atmosphere and tone. The comic book, which tells the story of a 55-year-old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated the character. The Dark Knight Returns was a financial success and has since become one of the medium's most noted touchstones. The series also sparked a major resurgence in the character's popularity. That year Dennis O'Neil took over as editor of the Batman titles and set the template for the portrayal of Batman following DC's status quo-altering miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. O'Neil operated under the assumption that he was hired to revamp the character and as a result tried to instill a different tone in the books than had gone before. One outcome of this new approach was the "Year One" storyline in Batman #404–407 (February–May 1987), in which Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli redefined the character's origins. Writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland continued this dark trend with 1988's 48-page one-shot Batman: The Killing Joke, in which the Joker, attempting to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, cripples Gordon's daughter Barbara, and then kidnaps and tortures the commissioner, physically and psychologically. The Batman comics garnered major attention in 1988 when DC Comics created a 900 number for readers to call to vote on whether Jason Todd, the second Robin, lived or died. Voters decided in favor of Jason's death by a narrow margin of 28 votes (see Batman: A Death in the Family). Knightfall The 1993 "Knightfall" story arc introduced a new villain, Bane, who critically injures Batman after pushing him to the limits of his endurance. Jean-Paul Valley, known as Azrael, is called upon to wear the Batsuit during Bruce Wayne's convalescence. Writers Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, and Alan Grant worked on the Batman titles during "Knightfall", and would also contribute to other Batman crossovers throughout the 1990s. 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline served as the precursor to 1999's "No Man's Land", a year-long storyline that ran through all the Batman-related titles dealing with the effects of an earthquake-ravaged Gotham City. At the conclusion of "No Man's Land", O'Neil stepped down as editor and was replaced by Bob Schreck. Another writer who rose to prominence on the Batman comic series, was Jeph Loeb. Along with longtime collaborator Tim Sale, they wrote two miniseries ("The Long Halloween" and "Dark Victory") that pit an early in his career version of Batman against his entire rogues gallery (most notably Two-Face, whose origin was re-envisioned by Loeb) while dealing with various mysteries involving serial killers Holiday and the Hangman. In 2003, Loeb teamed with artist Jim Lee to work on another mystery arc: "Batman: Hush" for the main Batman book. The twelve–issue storyline has Batman and Catwoman teaming up against Batman's entire rogues gallery, including an apparently resurrected Jason Todd, while seeking to find the identity of the mysterious supervillain Hush. While the character of Hush failed to catch on with readers, the arc was a sales success for DC. As the storyline was Jim Lee's first regular comic book work in nearly a decade, the series became #1 on the Diamond Comic Distributors sales chart for the first time since Batman #500 (October 1993) and Jason Todd's appearance laid the groundwork for writer Judd Winick's subsequent run as writer on Batman, with another multi-issue epic, "Under the Hood", which ran from Batman #637–650. All-Star Batman and Robin See also: All Star DC Comics In 2005, DC launched All-Star Batman and Robin, a stand-alone comic series set outside the existing DC Universe. Written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee, the series was a commercial success for DC Comics though widely panned by critics for its writing and strong depictions of violence. Starting in 2006, Grant Morrison and Paul Dini were the regular writers of Batman and Detective Comics, with Morrison reincorporating controversial elements of Batman lore. Most notably of these elements were the science fiction themed storylines of the 1950s Batman comics, which Morrison revised as hallucinations Batman suffered under the influence of various mind-bending gases and extensive sensory deprivation training. Morrison's run climaxed with "Batman R.I.P.", which brought Batman up against the villainous "Black Glove" organization, which sought to drive Batman into madness. "Batman R.I.P." segued into Final Crisis (also written by Morrison), which saw the apparent death of Batman at the hands of Darkseid. In the 2009 miniseries Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Wayne's former protégé Dick Grayson becomes the new Batman, and Wayne's son Damian becomes the new Robin. In June 2009, Judd Winick returned to writing Batman, while Grant Morrison was given his own series, titled Batman and Robin. In 2010, the storyline Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne saw Bruce travel through history, eventually returning to the present day. Although he reclaimed the mantle of Batman, he also allowed Grayson to continue being Batman as well. Bruce decided to take his war on crime globally, which is the central focus of Batman Incorporated. DC Comics would later announce that Grayson would be the main character in Batman, Detective Comics, and Batman and Robin, while Wayne would be the main character in Batman Incorporated. Also, Bruce appeared in another ongoing series, Batman: The Dark Knight. The New 52 See also: The New 52 In September 2011, DC Comics' entire line of superhero comic books, including its Batman franchise, were canceled and relaunched with new #1 issues as part of the New 52 reboot. Bruce Wayne is the only character to be identified as Batman and is featured in Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, and Batman: The Dark Knight. Dick Grayson returns to the mantle of Nightwing and appears in his own ongoing series. While many characters have their histories significantly altered to attract new readers, Batman's history remains mostly intact. Batman Incorporated was relaunched in 2012–2013 to complete the "Leviathan" storyline. Since the beginning of the New 52, Scott Snyder has been the writer of the flagship Batman title. His first major story arc was "Night of the Owls", where Batman confronts the Court of Owls, a secret society that has controlled Gotham for centuries. The second story arc was "Death of the Family", where the Joker returns to Gotham and simultaneously attacks each member of the Batman family. The third story arc was "Batman: Zero Year", which redefined Batman's origin in The New 52. It followed Batman #0, published in June 2012, which explored the character's early years. The final storyline before the Convergence (2015) event was Endgame, depicting the supposed final battle between Batman and the Joker when he unleashes the deadly Endgame virus onto Gotham City. The storyline ends with Batman and the Joker's supposed deaths. Starting with Batman vol. 2, #41, Commissioner James Gordon takes over Bruce's mantle as a new, state-sanctioned, mecha-Batman, debuting in the Free Comic Book Day special comic Divergence. However, Bruce Wayne is soon revealed to be alive, albeit now suffering almost total amnesia of his life as Batman and only remembering his life as Bruce Wayne through what he has learned from Alfred. Bruce Wayne finds happiness and proposes to his girlfriend, Julie, but Mr. Bloom heavily injures Jim Gordon and takes control of Gotham City and threatens to destroy the city by energizing a particle reactor to create a "strange star" to swallow the city. Bruce Wayne discovers the truth that he was Batman and after talking to a stranger who smiles a lot (it is heavily implied that this is the amnesic Joker) he forces Alfred to implant his memories as Batman, but at the cost of his memories as the reborn Bruce Wayne. He returns and helps Jim Gordon defeat Mr. Bloom and shut down the reactor. Gordon gets his job back as the commissioner, and the government Batman project is shuttered. In 2015, DC Comics released The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, the sequel to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again. DC Rebirth See also: DC Rebirth In June 2016, the DC Rebirth event relaunched DC Comics' entire line of comic book titles. Batman was rebooted with a one-shot issue and began shipping twice-monthly, starting with Batman vol. 3, #1 (June 2016). The series was written by Tom King, and artwork was provided by David Finch and Mikel Janín. The Batman series introduced two vigilantes, Gotham and Gotham Girl. Detective Comics resumed its original numbering system starting with June 2016's #934, and the New 52 volume 2 of the series was added into volume 1. Writer James Tynion IV and artists Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez worked on Detective Comics #934, and the series initially featured a team consisting of Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Clayface, led by Batman and Batwoman. Characterization Bruce Wayne Concept art of Bruce Wayne from DC Rebirth (2016); art by Mikel Janín Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American industrialist. As a child, Bruce witnessed the murder of his parents, Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne, which ultimately led him to craft the Batman persona and seek vengeance against criminals. He resides just outside of Gotham City in his personal residence, Wayne Manor. Wayne averts suspicion by acting the part of a superficial playboy idly living off his family's fortune, which was amassed through real estate before the city became a bustling metropolis, and the profits of Wayne Enterprises, his inherited conglomerate. He supports philanthropic causes through his nonprofit Wayne Foundation, but is more widely known as a celebrity socialite. In public, he frequently appears in the company of high-status women, which encourages tabloid gossip. Although Bruce Wayne leads an active romantic life, his vigilante activities as Batman account for most of his time. Modern stories tend to portray the extravagant, playboy image of Bruce Wayne as a facade (in counterpoint to the post-Crisis Superman, whose Clark Kent persona is the true identity, while the Superman persona is the facade). In Batman Unmasked, a television documentary about the psychology of the character, behavioral scientist Benjamin Karney notes that Batman's personality is driven by Bruce Wayne's inherent humanity; that "Batman, for all its benefits and for all of the time Bruce Wayne devotes to it, is ultimately a tool for Bruce Wayne's efforts to make the world better". Writers of Batman and Superman stories have often compared and contrasted the two. Interpretations vary depending on the writer, the story, and the timing. Grant Morrison notes that both heroes "believe in the same kind of things" despite the day/night contrast their heroic roles display. He notes an equally stark contrast in their real identities. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent belong to different social classes: "Bruce has a butler, Clark has a boss." T. James Musler's book Unleashing the Superhero in Us All explores the extent to which Bruce Wayne's vast personal wealth is important in his life story, and the crucial role it plays in his crusade against crime. Will Brooker notes in his book Batman Unmasked that "the confirmation of the Batman's identity lies with the young audience ... he doesn't have to be Bruce Wayne; he just needs the suit and gadgets, the abilities, and most importantly the morality, the humanity. There's just a sense about him: 'they trust him ... and they're never wrong." During the character's creation, the name "Bruce Wayne" was chosen for certain connotations. According to co-creator Bill Finger, "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne." Personality Batman's primary character traits can be summarized as "wealth; physical prowess; deductive abilities and obsession". The details and tone of Batman comic books have varied over the years due to different creative teams. Dennis O'Neil noted that character consistency was not a major concern during early editorial regimes: "Julie Schwartz did a Batman in Batman and Detective and Murray Boltinoff did a Batman in the Brave and the Bold and apart from the costume they bore very little resemblance to each other. Julie and Murray did not want to coordinate their efforts, nor were they asked to do so. Continuity was not important in those days." The driving force behind Bruce Wayne's character is his parents' murder and their absence. Bob Kane and Bill Finger discussed Batman's background and decided that "there's nothing more traumatic than having your parents murdered before your eyes". Despite his trauma, he sets his mind on studying to become a scientist and to train his body into physical perfection to fight crime in Gotham City as Batman, an inspired idea from Wayne's insight into the criminal mind. Another of Batman's characterizations is that of a vigilante; in order to stop evil that started with the death of his parents, he must sometimes break the law himself. Although manifested differently by being re-told by different artists, it is nevertheless that the details and the prime components of Batman's origin have never varied at all in the comic books, the "reiteration of the basic origin events holds together otherwise divergent expressions". The origin is the source of the character's traits and attributes, which play out in many of the character's adventures. Batman is often treated as a vigilante by other characters in his stories. Frank Miller views the character as "a dionysian figure, a force for anarchy that imposes an individual order". Dressed as a bat, Batman deliberately cultivates a frightening persona in order to aid him in crime-fighting, a fear that originates from the criminals' own guilty conscience. Miller is often credited with reintroducing anti-heroic traits into Batman's characterization, such as his brooding personality, willingness to use violence and torture, and increasingly alienated behavior. Batman's original character was changed in the 1950s when the now-defunct comic book codes went into effect, and DC editor Whitney Ellsworth reinvented Batman as having a stringent moral code which never allowed him to kill. Miller's Batman was closer to the original, Golden Age version, who was willing to kill criminals if necessary. Others Main article: Alternative versions of Batman On two occasions former Robin Dick Grayson has served as Batman. He served briefly while Wayne recovered from spinal injuries caused by Bane in the 1993 Knightfall storyline. He assumed the mantle again in a 2009 comic book while Wayne was believed dead, and served as a second Batman even after Wayne returned in 2010. As part of DC's 2011 continuity relaunch, Grayson returned to being Nightwing following the Flashpoint crossover event. In an interview with IGN, Morrison detailed that having Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin represented a "reverse" of the normal dynamic between Batman and Robin, with, "a more light-hearted and spontaneous Batman and a scowling, badass Robin". Morrison explained his intentions for the new characterization of Batman: "Dick Grayson is kind of this consummate superhero. The guy has been Batman's partner since he was a kid, he's led the Teen Titans, and he's trained with everybody in the DC Universe. So he's a very different kind of Batman. He's a lot easier; He's a lot looser and more relaxed." Over the years, there have been numerous others to assume the name of Batman, or to officially take over for Bruce during his leaves of absence. Jean Paul Valley, also known as Azrael, assumed the cowl after the events of the Knightfall saga. James Gordon, donned a mech-suit after the events of Batman: Endgame, and served as Batman in 2015 and 2016. Additionally, members of the group Batman, Incorporated, Bruce Wayne's experiment at franchising his brand of vigilantism, have at times stood in as the official Batman in cities around the world. Various others have also taken up the role of Batman in stories set in alternative universes and possible futures, including, among them, various former proteges of Bruce Wayne. Abilities Skills and training Batman has no inherent superhuman powers; he relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess". Batman's inexhaustible wealth gives him access to advanced technologies, and as a proficient scientist, he is able to use and modify these technologies to his advantage. In the stories, Batman is regarded as one of the world's greatest detectives, if not the world's greatest crime solver. Batman has been repeatedly described as having a genius-level intellect, being one of the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe, and having peak human physical conditioning. As a polymath, his knowledge and expertise in countless disciplines is nearly unparalleled by any other character in the DC Universe. He has traveled the world acquiring the skills needed to aid in his crusade against crime. In the Superman: Doomed story arc, Superman considers Batman to be one of the most brilliant minds on the planet. Batman has trained extensively in various martial arts, mastering over 127 different types, making him one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the DC Universe. Superman describes Batman as "the most dangerous man on Earth", able to defeat an entire team of superpowered extraterrestrials by himself in order to rescue his imprisoned teammates in Grant Morrison's first storyline in JLA. Batman has the ability to function under great physical pain and to withstand telepathy and mind control. He is a master of disguise, multilingual, and an expert in espionage, often gathering information under the identity of Matches Malone, a notorious gangster. He is a master of stealth and escapology, which allows him to appear and disappear at will and to break free of nearly inescapable deathtraps with little to no harm. Batman is an expert in interrogation techniques and often uses extreme methods to extract information from suspects, such as hanging a person over the edge of a building. His intimidating and frightening appearance alone is often all that is needed in getting information from suspects. Despite having the potential to harm his enemies, Batman's most defining characteristic is his strong commitment to justice and his reluctance to take a life. This unyielding moral rectitude has earned him the respect of several heroes in the DC Universe, most notably that of Superman and Wonder Woman. Among physical and other crime fighting related training, he is also proficient at other types of skills. Some of these include being a licensed pilot (in order to operate the Batplane), as well as being able to operate other types of machinery. In some publications, he underwent some magician training. Technology Personal armor Main article: Batsuit Batman's body armored costume incorporates the imagery of a bat in order to frighten criminals. The details of the Batman costume change repeatedly through various decades, stories, media and artists' interpretations, but the most distinctive elements remain consistent: a scallop-hem cape; a cowl covering most of the face; a pair of bat-like ears; a stylized bat emblem on the chest; and the ever-present utility belt. Finger and Kane originally conceptualized Batman as having a black cape and cowl and grey suit, but conventions in coloring called for black to be highlighted with blue. Hence, the costume's colors have appeared in the comics as dark blue and grey; as well as black and grey. In the Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns films, Batman has been depicted as completely black with a bat in the middle surrounded by a yellow background. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy depicted Batman wearing high-tech gear painted completely black with a black bat in the middle. Ben Affleck's Batman in the DC Extended Universe films wears a suit more faithful to the comic books versions, in which the suit is grey in color with a black cowl, cape, and bat symbol. Batman's batsuit aids in his combat against enemies, having the properties of both Kevlar and Nomex. It protects him from gunfire and other significant impacts. His gloves typically feature three scallops that protrude from long, gauntlet-like cuffs, although in his earliest appearances he wore short, plain gloves without the scallops. The overall look of the character, particularly the length of the cowl's ears and of the cape, varies greatly depending on the artist. Dennis O'Neil said, "We now say that Batman has two hundred suits hanging in the Batcave so they don't have to look the same ... Everybody loves to draw Batman, and everybody wants to put their own spin on it." Batmobile Main article: Batmobile The 1966 television Batmobile, built by George Barris from a Lincoln Futura concept car Batman's primary vehicle is the Batmobile, which is usually depicted as an imposing black car, often with tailfins that suggest a bat's wings. Batman also has an aircraft called the Batplane (later called the "Batwing"), along with various other means of transportation. In proper practice, the "bat" prefix (as in Batmobile or batarang) is rarely used by Batman himself when referring to his equipment, particularly after some portrayals (primarily the 1960s Batman live-action television show and the Super Friends animated series) stretched the practice to campy proportions. For example, the 1960s television show depicted a Batboat, Bat-Sub, and Batcycle, among other bat-themed vehicles. The 1960s television series Batman has an arsenal that includes such "bat-" names as the bat-computer, bat-scanner, bat-radar, bat-cuffs, bat-pontoons, bat-drinking water dispenser, bat-camera with polarized bat-filter, bat-shark repellent bat-spray, and bat-rope. The storyline "A Death in the Family" suggests that given Batman's grim nature, he is unlikely to have adopted the "bat" prefix on his own. In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman tells Carrie Kelley that the original Robin came up with the name "Batmobile" when he was young, since that is what a kid would call Batman's vehicle. The Batmobile was redesigned in 2011 when DC Comics relaunched its entire line of comic books, with the batmobile being given heavier armor and new aesthetics. Utility belt Main article: Batman's utility belt Batman keeps most of his field equipment in his utility belt. Over the years it has shown to contain an assortment of crime-fighting tools, weapons, and investigative and technological instruments. Different versions of the belt have these items stored in compartments, often as pouches or hard cylinders attached evenly around it. Batman is often depicted as carrying a projectile which shoots a retractable grappling hook attached to a cable. This allows him to attach to distant objects, be propelled into the air, and thus swing from the rooftops of Gotham City. An exception to the range of Batman's equipment are guns, which he refuses to use on principle, since a gun was used in his parents' murder. Bat-Signal Main article: Bat-Signal When Batman is needed, the Gotham City police activate a searchlight with a bat-shaped insignia over the lens called the Bat-Signal, which shines into the night sky, creating a bat-symbol on a passing cloud which can be seen from any point in Gotham. The origin of the signal varies, depending on the continuity and medium. In various incarnations, most notably the 1960s Batman TV series, Commissioner Gordon also has a dedicated phone line, dubbed the Bat-Phone, connected to a bright red telephone (in the TV series) which sits on a wooden base and has a transparent cake cover on top. The line connects directly to Batman's residence, Wayne Manor, specifically both to a similar phone sitting on the desk in Bruce Wayne's study and the extension phone in the Batcave. Batcave Main article: Batcave The Batcave is Batman's secret headquarters, consisting of a series of subterranean caves beneath his mansion, Wayne Manor. It serves as his command center for both local and global surveillance, as well as housing his vehicles and equipment for his war on crime. It also is a storeroom for Batman's memorabilia. In both the comic Batman: Shadow of the Bat (issue #45) and the 2005 film Batman Begins, the cave is said to have been part of the Underground Railroad. Other equipment Batman uses a large arsenal of specialized, high-tech vehicles and gadgets in his war against crime, the designs of which usually share a bat motif. Batman historian Les Daniels credits Gardner Fox with creating the concept of Batman's arsenal with the introduction of the utility belt in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939) and the first bat-themed weapons the batarang and the "Batgyro" in Detective Comics #31 and #32 (September; October 1939). Supporting characters Main article: List of Batman supporting characters Batman's interactions with both villains and cohorts have, over time, developed a strong supporting cast of characters. Adversaries Batman surrounded by his enemies; art by Alex Ross Main article: List of Batman Family adversaries Batman faces a variety of foes ranging from common criminals to outlandish supervillains. Many of them mirror aspects of the Batman's character and development, often having tragic origin stories that lead them to a life of crime. These foes are commonly referred to as Batman's "rogues gallery". Batman's "most implacable foe" is the Joker, a homicidal maniac with a clown-like appearance. The Joker is considered by critics to be his perfect adversary, since he is the antithesis of Batman in personality and appearance; the Joker has a maniacal demeanor with a colorful appearance, while Batman has a serious and resolute demeanor with a dark appearance. As a "personification of the irrational", the Joker represents "everything Batman [opposes]". Other long time recurring foes that are part of Batman's rogues gallery include Catwoman (a cat burglar antiheroine who is an occasional ally and romantic interest), the Penguin, Ra's al Ghul, Two-Face, the Riddler, the Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Bane, Clayface, and Killer Croc among others. Allies Alfred Batman's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, first appeared in Batman #16 (1943). He serves as Bruce Wayne's loyal father figure and is one of the few persons to know his secret identity. Alfred raised Bruce after his parents' death and knows him on a very personal level. He is sometimes portrayed as a sidekick to Batman and the only other resident of Wayne Manor aside from Bruce. The character "[lends] a homely touch to Batman's environs and [is] ever ready to provide a steadying and reassuring hand" to the hero and his sidekick. "Batman family" The term "Batman family" is the informal name for a group of characters closely allied with Batman, generally masked vigilantes who either have been trained by Batman or operate in Gotham City with his tacit approval. They include: Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, who has fought crime under the vigilante identity of Batgirl and, during a period in which she was confined to a wheelchair due to a gunshot wound inflicted by the Joker, the computer hacker Oracle; Helena Bertinelli, the sole surviving member of a mob family turned vigilante, who has worked with Batman on occasion, primarily as the Huntress and as Batgirl for a brief stint; Cassandra Cain, the daughter of professional assassins David Cain, and Lady Shiva, who succeeded Bertinelli as Batgirl. Civilians Lucius Fox, a technology specialist and Bruce Wayne's business manager who is well aware of his employer's clandestine vigilante activities; Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a family friend who like Alfred became a surrogate parental figure to Bruce Wayne after the deaths of his parents, and is also aware of his secret identity; Vicki Vale, an investigative journalist who often reports on Batman's activities for the Gotham Gazette; Ace the Bat-Hound, Batman's canine partner who was predominantly active in the 1950s and 1960s; and Bat-Mite, an extra-dimensional imp predominately active in the 1960s who idolizes Batman. GCPD Main article: Gotham City Police Department As Batman's ally in the Gotham City police, Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon debuted along with Batman in Detective Comics #27 and has been a consistent presence ever since. As a crime-fighting everyman, he shares the Batman's goals while offering, much as the character of Watson does in Sherlock Holmes stories, a normal person's perspective on the work of Batman's extraordinary genius. Justice League Main article: Justice League Batman is at times a member of superhero teams such as the Justice League of America and the Outsiders. Batman has often been paired in adventures with his Justice League teammate Superman, notably as the co-stars of World's Finest and Superman/Batman series. In pre-Crisis continuity, the two are depicted as close friends; however, in current continuity, they have a mutually respectful but uneasy relationship, with an emphasis on their differing views on crime-fighting and justice. In Superman/Batman #3 (December 2003), Superman observes, "Sometimes, I admit, I think of Bruce as a man in a costume. Then, with some gadget from his utility belt, he reminds me that he has an extraordinarily inventive mind. And how lucky I am to be able to call on him." Robin Main article: Robin (comics) Batman and Robin; art by Jack Burnley Robin, Batman's vigilante partner, has been a widely recognized supporting character for many years. Bill Finger stated that he wanted to include Robin because "Batman didn't have anyone to talk to, and it got a little tiresome always having him thinking." The first Robin, Dick Grayson, was introduced in 1940. In the 1970s he finally grew up, went off to college and became the hero Nightwing. A second Robin, Jason Todd, appeared in the 1980s. In the stories he was eventually badly beaten and then killed in an explosion set by the Joker, but was later revived. He used the Joker's old persona, the Red Hood, and became an antihero vigilante with no qualms about using firearms or deadly force. Carrie Kelly, the first female Robin to appear in Batman stories, was the final Robin in the continuity of Frank Miller's graphic novels The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again, fighting alongside an aging Batman in stories set out of the mainstream continuity. The third Robin in mainstream comics is Tim Drake, who first appeared in 1989. He went on to star in his own comic series, and currently goes by Red Robin, a variation on the traditional Robin persona. In the first decade of the new millennium, Stephanie Brown served as the fourth in-universe Robin between stints as her self-made vigilante identity The Spoiler, and later as Batgirl. After Stephanie Brown's apparent death, Drake resumed the role of Robin for a time. The role eventually passed to Damian Wayne, the ten-year-old son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, in the late 2000s. Damian's tenure as du jour Robin ended when the character was killed off in the pages of Batman Incorporated in 2013. Batman's next young sidekick is Harper Row, a streetwise young woman who avoids the name Robin but followed the ornithological theme nonetheless; she debuted the codename and identity of Bluebird in 2014. Unlike the Robins, Bluebird is willing and permitted to use a gun, albeit non-lethal; her weapon of choice is a modified rifle that fires taser rounds. In 2015, a new series titled We Are Robin will focus on a group of teenagers using the Robin persona to fight crime in Gotham City. Wayne family Helena Wayne is the biological daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle of an alternate universe established in the early 1960s (Multiverse) where the Golden Age stories took place. Damian Wayne is the biological son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, and thus the grandson of Batman villain Ra's al Ghul. Terry McGinnis is the biological son of Bruce Wayne in the DC animated universe, and has taken over the roll as Batman when Bruce has become too elderly to do it. Romantic interests Writers have varied in the approach over the years to the "playboy" aspect of Bruce Wayne's persona. Some writers show his playboy reputation as a manufactured illusion to support his mission as Batman, while others have depicted Bruce Wayne as genuinely enjoying the benefits of being "Gotham's most eligible bachelor". Bruce Wayne has been portrayed as being romantically involved with many women throughout his various incarnations. The most significant relationships occurred with Selina Kyle and Talia al Ghul, as both women gave birth to his biological offsprings, Helena Wayne and Damian Wayne, respectively. Some of Batman's romantic interests have been women with a respected status in society, such as Julie Madison, Vicki Vale, and Silver St. Cloud. Batman has also been romantically involved with allies, such as Batwoman (Kathy Kane), Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Sasha Bordeaux, and Wonder Woman, and with villainesses, such as Catwoman, Jezebel Jet, and Talia al Ghul. Catwoman Catwoman is Batman's most enduring romance; art by Adam Hughes. Main article: Catwoman While most of Batman's romantic relationships tend to be short, Catwoman has been his most enduring romance throughout the years. The attraction between Batman and Catwoman is present in nearly every version and medium in which the characters appear. Although Catwoman is typically portrayed as a supervillain, Batman and Catwoman have worked together in achieving common goals and are usually depicted as having a romantic connection. In an early 1980s storyline, Selina and Bruce develop a relationship, in which the closing panel of the final story shows her referring to Batman as "Bruce". However, a change in the editorial team brought a swift end to that storyline and, apparently, all that transpired during the story arc. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle (out of costume) develop a relationship during The Long Halloween. The story shows Selina saving Bruce from Poison Ivy. However, the relationship ends when Bruce rejects her advances twice; once as Bruce and once as Batman. In Batman: Dark Victory, he stands her up on two holidays, causing her to leave him for good and to leave Gotham City for a while. When the two meet at an opera many years later, during the events of the twelve-issue story arc called "Hush", Bruce comments that the two no longer have a relationship as Bruce and Selina. However, "Hush" sees Batman and Catwoman allied against the entire rogues gallery and rekindling their romantic relationship. In "'Hush", Batman reveals his true identity to Catwoman. The Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world, partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Catwoman, Selina Kyle (as shown in Superman Family #211). They have a daughter named Helena Wayne, who becomes the Huntress. Along with Dick Grayson, the Earth-Two Robin, the Huntress takes the role as Gotham's protector once Bruce Wayne retires to become police commissioner, a position he occupies until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman. Batman and Catwoman are shown having a sexual encounter on a rooftop in Catwoman #1 (2011); the same issue implies that the two have had an ongoing sexual relationship
Gladys Maria Knight (born May 28, 1944), known as the "Empress of Soul", is an American singer–songwriter and actress. A seven-time Grammy Award-winner, Knight is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, for both the Motown and Buddah Records labels, with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, which also included her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest, Early life Edit Knight was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of Merald Woodlow Knight, Sr., a postal worker and Sarah Elizabeth (née Woods). She first achieved minor fame by winning Ted Mack's The Original Amateur Hour TV show contest at the age of seven in 1952. The following year, she, her brother Merald, sister Brenda, and cousins William and Elenor Guest formed a musical group called the Pips (named after another cousin, James "Pip" Woods). By the end of the decade, the act had begun to tour, and had replaced Brenda Knight and Eleanor Guest with Gladys Knight's cousin Edward Patten and friend Langston George. In 1961 the group recorded "Every Beat Of My Heart" on the tiny Atlanta Huntom label, which was picked up by Vee Jay. At the same time, the group signed with Bobby Robinson's Fury label. Both labels issued different versions of the song, with the Vee Jay/Huntom version outselling the Fury remake. With the success of their follow-up, "Letter Full Of Tears", Fury released their first album. They stayed with Fury through 1962, although the hits dried up. They signed with Larry Maxwell's Maxx label in 1964 and released several modest hits produced by Van McCoy, including the original version of "Giving Up" and "Lovers Always Forgive". Success with the Pips Solo music career Edit While still with the Pips, Gladys joined with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John on the 1986 AIDS benefit single, "That's What Friends Are For", a triple #1 mega-hit, which won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. In 1989 she recorded the title track "License to Kill" for the James Bond movie Licence to Kill, a Top 10 hit in the UK and Germany. Gladys released her third and most successful solo LP, Good Woman, on MCA in 1991. It hit #1 on the R&B album chart and featured the #2 R&B hit "Men". It also reached #45 on the main Billboard album chart – her all-time highest showing. The album also featured "Superwoman", written by Babyface and featuring Dionne Warwick and Patti LaBelle. The track was also nominated for a Grammy Award. Knight and LaBelle would collaborate the same year on "I Don't Do Duets", a duet with Patti LaBelle from LaBelle's album Burnin'. Her fourth solo LP, Just for You, went Gold and was nominated for the 1995 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. In 1992 Vernon Ray Blue II, choir master of the year asked Gladys to record his first single "He Lifted Me" Knight created and now directs the Mormon-themed choir Saints Unified Voices. SUV has released a Grammy Award-winning CD titled One Voice, and occasionally performs at LDS church firesides. In April 2004, Knight performed during the VH1's benefit concert Divas Live 2004 alongside Ashanti, Cyndi Lauper, Jessica Simpson, Joss Stone and Patti LaBelle, in support of the Save the Music Foundation. In 2005 a duet between Knight and the late Ray Charles of "You Were There" was released on Charles' duets album Genius & Friends. In 2008 a duet between Knight and Johnny Mathis was released on Mathis' album A Night to Remember. In the spring of 2008, Knight appeared alongside Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle and Diana Ross at the 'Divas with Heart' concert in aid of cardiac research, at New York's Radio City Hall. In 2008 Gladys, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr. and Ben Stiller performed on American Idol to raise money for charity. In March 2010, Randy Jackson mentioned on a new episode of the same show that he is back in the studio with Gladys Knight working on a new album. In 2009 Knight sang "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" and "The Lord's Prayer" at the funeral service for Michael Jackson. In December 2010, Knight released the single "Settle". In September 2011, a new, updated recording of Tom Jones' 1970 classic I (Who Have Nothing) was released on iTunes and Amazon. In 2013 Knight recorded the Lenny Kravitz written and produced song "You And I Ain't Nothin' No More" for the soundtrack from Lee Daniels' motion picture The Butler. The song was added to the movie's soundtrack of older songs by various artists so that the producers had a song to compete in the Best Song from a Motion Picture category at the Academy Awards. Where My Heart Belongs (2014) marked her 30th top 40 R&B album, including work by Gladys Knight & the Pips. In a 2014, interview she expressed a hope that women would "Stand Up" and stop selling sex in the music/entertainment industry. She commented that the growing trend saddened her heart and that she had been taught to dress respectfully for her audiences . . . "not take it off, put it on." Knight is ranked number eighteen on VH1 network's list of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock. UK Farewell Tour Edit In October 2009, Knight started her farewell tour of the United Kingdom which featured Tito Jackson as her supporting act and special appearances by Dionne Warwick. The UK Farewell Tour featured higher production value than previous "Gladys Knight, a mic and a light" appearances by Gladys in the UK. A glossy program was available and the show featured pre-produced animation on large on-stage screens. The tour was promoted by an appearance on the TV program Later... with Jools Holland where Knight performed "If I Were Your Woman" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night". At select performances on the UK Farewell Tour recordings of the concerts were made available for sale on USB flash drives. Acting Edit Film Edit In 1976 Knight made her acting debut as the lead in the film Pipe Dreams for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress. In 2003, she had a short role in the hit movie Hollywood Homicide, which starred Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. In 2009, Knight was featured in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself, the film version of a play he had dramatized, and performed her song "The Need To Be" from the 1974 album I Feel a Song. Television Edit Knight guest-starred on several television series throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with roles on Benson, The Jeffersons, A Different World, Living Single, The Jamie Foxx Show, and New York Undercover. In 1985, she co-starred on the CBS sitcom Charlie & Co. alongside comedian Flip Wilson, which lasted for one season. In April 2009, she made a special guest appearance, and performed a song, on Tyler Perry's House Of Payne. Knight has also made a number of television cameo appearances, including Las Vegas and 30 Rock. In 2012, she began a recurring role in the syndicated sitcom The First Family. In 2012 Knight competed on the fourteenth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Tristan MacManus. They were eliminated on April 24 after losing a "dance duel" to Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan and partner Chelsie Hightower, ironically on the show's "Motown Week." Gladys Knight & Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles Edit Knight and Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles in Atlanta. Knight's son Shanga owns a chain of chicken and waffles restaurants based in Atlanta, bearing her name. Gladys Knight & Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles currently have three locations in the Atlanta area. One location was featured on the Travel Channel original series Man v. Food. On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, authorities in Georgia raided two of the restaurants and its headquarters. WSB-TV reported that Shanga is at the center of an investigation involving unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. Georgia Department of Revenue Special Investigations Chief Jeff Mitchell told the station that the investigation solely involved Hankerson and not Knight. “Shanga's accused of stealing over $650,000 in both sales and withholding tax,” Josh Waites, a special investigator, told WSB-TV. “(With) penalties and interest, it’s up to over $1 million owed.” Personal life Edit Knight has been married four times and has three children. In 1960, she married her high school sweetheart, James Newman. They had one son, James "Jimmy" Newman (1962–1999). She retired from the road to raise their child while the Pips toured on their own. In 1963, after having her only daughter, Kenya, Knight returned to recording with the Pips in order to support her family. In the early 1960s, Gladys, James, and the Pips moved to Detroit, Michigan. Knight and her family lived on Sherbourne in Sherwood Forest, an upscale neighborhood on Detroit's West Side. She also resided on LaSalle for a time. Her children attended Gesu Catholic Grade School. James and Knight divorced in 1973. In 1974, Knight married producer and Blackground Records founder Barry Hankerson, who is the uncle of the late R&B singer Aaliyah, in Detroit. Around 1977, they relocated to Atlanta. (The Pips, however, remained in Detroit.) The couple had one son, Shanga Hankerson, and divorced in 1981. Knight married motivational speaker Les Brown in 1995, but they separated and divorced in 1997. Previously a Baptist, in 1997 she was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, following her son and daughter. She had occasionally teased LDS Church president, the late Gordon B. Hinckley, that his flock needs to inject some "pep" into their music. Knight married her husband, William McDowell, in 2001. They have sixteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Legacy Edit In 1996 Gladys Knight & the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. One year before, Knight had received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2007, Knight received the Society of Singers ELLA Award at which time she was declared the "Empress of Soul". She is listed on Rolling Stone's list of the Greatest Singers of All Time
EditWatch this pageRead in another language Erykah Badu American R&B singer In this multi-word name, the family name is Abi Wright, not Wright. Erykah Badu Erykah Badu in Nation19 Magazine.jpg Badu in November 2011 Born Erica Abi Wright February 26, 1971 (age 46) Dallas, Texas, U.S. Occupation Musician singer-songwriter activist record producer disc jockey doulah actress Years active 1994–present Children 3 Musical career Genres Neo soul R&B funk soul psychedelic soul hip hop electronic jazz Instruments Vocals keyboards guitar drums theremin drum machine Labels Kedar Universal Motown Control Freaq Associated acts Soulquarians Common D'Angelo The Roots J Dilla OutKast André 3000 Madlib Flying Lotus Thundercat Jay Electronica D.R.A.M. Website Erykah-Badu.com Erica "Erykah" Abi Wright (born February 26, 1971), better known as Erykah Badu (/ˈɛrᵻkə bɑːˈduː/), is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, disc jockey, activist, and actress. Badu's career began after opening a show for D'Angelo in 1994 in her hometown; record label executive Kedar Massenburg was highly impressed with her performance and signed her to Kedar Entertainment. Her first album, Baduizm, was released on February 11, 1997. It spawned three singles: "On & On", "Next Lifetime" and "Otherside of the Game". The album was certified triple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Badu's first live album, Live, was released on November 18, 1997 and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA. Badu's second studio album, Mama's Gun, was released on October 31, 2000. It spawned three singles: "Bag Lady", which became her first top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #6, "Didn't Cha Know?" and "Cleva". The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Badu's third album, Worldwide Underground, was released on September 16, 2003. It generated three singles: "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)", "Danger" and "Back in the Day (Puff)" with 'Love' becoming her second song to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA. Badu's fourth album, New Amerykah Part One, was released on February 26, 2008. It spawned two singles: "Honey" and "Soldier". New Amerykah Part Two was released in 2010 and fared well both critically and commercially. It contained the album's lead single "Window Seat", which led to controversy. Influenced by R&B, 1970s soul, and 1980s hip hop, Badu became associated with the neo soul subgenre in the 1990s along with artists like D'Angelo. Her work has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. Early in her career, Badu was recognizable for her eccentric style, which often included wearing very large and colorful headwraps. She was a core member of the Soulquarians. As an actress, she has played a wide range of supporting roles in movies including Blues Brothers 2000, The Cider House Rules and House of D. She also speaks at length in the documentaries Before the Music Dies and The Black Power Mixtapes. Early life Edit Erykah Badu was born Erica Abi Wright in Dallas, Texas on February 26, 1971. Her mother raised her, her brother Eevin, and her sister Nayrok alone after their father, William Wright Jr., deserted the family early in their lives. To provide for her family, the children's paternal grandmother often helped to look after them while Badu's mother, Kolleen Maria Wright (née Gipson), worked as an actress in theatrical productions. Influenced by her mother, Badu had her first taste of show business at the age of four, singing and dancing with her mother at the Dallas Theater Center. By the age of 14, Badu was free-styling for a local radio station alongside such talent as Roy Hargrove. In her youth, she had decided to change the spelling of her first name from Erica to Erykah, as she believed her original name was a "slave name". The term "kah" signifies the inner self. She adopted the surname "Badu" because it is her favorite jazz scat sound; also, among the Akan people in Ghana, it is the term for the 10th-born child. Upon graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Badu went on to study theater at Grambling State University, a historically black university. To concentrate on music full-time, she left the university in 1993 before graduating, and took on several minimum-wage jobs to support herself. She taught drama and dance to children at the South Dallas Cultural Center. Working and touring with her cousin, Robert "Free" Bradford, she recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg. He set Badu up to record a duet with D'Angelo, "Your Precious Love", and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records. Career Edit Baduizm and Live (1997–99) Edit Baduizm, Badu's debut album, was released in early 1997. The album was met with critical and commercial success, debuting at number two on the Billboard charts and number one on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Baduizm's commercial and critical success helped establish Badu as one of the emerging neo soul genre's leading artists. Her particular style of singing drew many comparisons to Billie Holiday. Baduizm was certified three times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, Gold by the British Phonographic Industry and the Canadian Recording Industry Association. Erykah Badu FEP.jpg The album produced four singles, the lead single "On & On" was released in January 1996, and reached number twelve on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts and the UK Singles Charts, as well as making an appearance on the New Zealand charts. The album and lead single also gave Badu her first nomination and win at the Grammy Awards, where On & On won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and the album won Best R&B Album. Badu recorded her first live album, Live, while pregnant with Seven, and the release of the recording coincided with his birth. The album was released on November 18, 1997 and reached number four on the US Billboard 200 and number one on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album was certified two times platinum by RIAA for shipments of over two million copies. The album's lead single, "Tyrone", was released in October 1997 and became another R&B hit single. "Tyrone", lyrically, is a song chiding a selfish, cheap, and inattentive boyfriend. Badu also collaborated with the Roots (who had previously handled production duties on a number of tracks on Baduizm) on their breakthrough 1999 release, Things Fall Apart. She was featured on the song "You Got Me", by The Roots and American female rapper Eve, co-written by Jill Scott, the song peaked at 39 in the US and 31 in the UK. The song went on to win The Roots and Badu a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1999. Mama's Gun and Worldwide Underground (2000–06) Edit Badu backstage in Hamburg, Germany in 2002. After taking some time off to raise her child, Badu returned in 2000 with Mama's Gun. The album was characterized as more organic in sound than her previous studio album, and primarily produced by the Soulquarians and noted bassist Pino Palladino. A remix of one of the album's songs, "Bag Lady", was issued as the first single and topped the R&B charts for seven weeks. The album was well-received, with the lyrical content winning notices from many publications. Reviewers found some of her lyrics hard to decipher on her initial releases. Despite not charting as high as her first two albums, Mama's Gun was another platinum-selling success, and "Bag Lady" was nominated for a Grammy Award. By 2000, Badu was in a romantic relationship with fellow Soulquarian Common. The two released "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" as a collaboration on the Brown Sugar soundtrack. "Love of My Life" hit #9 on the pop charts, topped the R&B listings, and in 2003 Badu was awarded her fourth Grammy Award for it. In 2001 Badu embarked on the Mama's Gun World Tour. The tour started in North America on February 10 in Cleveland, Ohio at the Allen Theatre. Badu will perform two nights in Washington, D.C. and Chicago. The tour itinerary will continue with additional dates throughout the summer in Europe and the U.S. After the release of Mama's Gun and "Love of My Life", Badu suffered writer's block. On September 16, 2003, she released her third studio album Worldwide Underground, the album was more jam-oriented than any of her prior releases, and Badu said that the album was designed to as "one continuous groove." Upon release Worldwide Underground, the album was met with some criticism for its loose, unconventional structure and songwriting, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Commercially the album fared well and debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in the week of October 4, 2003, selling 143,561 copies in its first week. Ultimately spending 11 weeks on the Billboard 200, it also entered at number two on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and spent 30 weeks on the chart. By December 2003, the album had sold 394,000 copies domestically. On October 28, 2003, Worldwide Underground was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, following sales in excess of 500,000 copies in the United States. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold 609,000 copies in the United States. Its first single, "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)", peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The second single "Danger" reached number 82 on the Hot 100 and number 27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, while the third single "Back in the Day (Puff)" peaked at number 62 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Badu received four further Grammy nominations for the album. She also contributed to Zap Mama's album Ancestry in Progress (2004), adding her vocals to the track "Bandy Bandy." Badu embarked on the "Worldwide Underground Tour" in 2004. The U.S. trek kicked-off February 3, in New Orleans and ran through the winter and spring with supporting act Floetry joining the tour February 5 in Houston. The Roots made a special opening act appearance at the show of February 11 in Los Angeles. Badu resumed the tour during the fall with additional dates in America and Europe. Badu in 2005. In 2005, she was a judge for the 4th Annual Independent Music Awards, to support independent artists' careers. Badu founded the Sugar Water Festival, a music festival co-found by Badu, Queen Latifah and Jill Scott. The trek played to amphitheaters and arenas in the United States during the summer of 2005 and 2006. It began in 2005 as an event to bring awareness to health issues to African-American women. British duo Floetry opened shows during the 2005 run. The festival was relaunched briefly in 2006 with Kelis opening the show and comedian Mo'Nique hosting the festival. 2006 was the final year for the outing. The festival had plans to expand into Europe and Asia, however, this did not come to fruition. The Summer Tour was a concert tour in 2006 by Badu. The tour started on June 10, in Knoxville, TN, with three shows in the U.S. and resumed in July for several shows in Europe. Badu co-headlined with dates in August with Jill Scott and Queen Latifah at the "Sugar Water Festival". New Amerykah Part One (2007–09) Edit After receiving her first computer as a Christmas gift, Badu began communicating and receiving music from Questlove among others, including Q-Tip and J Dilla. Badu later began to use her laptop as a mini recording studio to construct various backing tracks for songs, which led to the album's primary recording sessions at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. In 2007 Badu was said to have three albums in the works for release during 2007 and 2008. "Honey", a new single produced by 9th Wonder, was leaked online in November 2007. The fourth studio album, titled New Amerykah Part One, was released by Universal Motown Records, in the United States on February 26, 2008, Badu's 37th birthday. It was released in European countries on February 29, in Australia and the United Kingdom on March 3, and in Japan on March 12. Both Japanese and Australian editions contain the bonus track "Real Thang". The album's digital release to the iTunes Store featured the song's "Tumbling Dice Remix" as a bonus track. New Amerykah Part One was also released as a double vinyl LP on March 11, and on USB stick format. The album's lead single, "Honey", was released on December 11, 2007. It reached number 88 on the US Billboard Hot 100, on which it spent three weeks. The song also charted at number 22 and spent 17 weeks on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Upon release New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) received universal acclaim from music critics. In the United States, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 125,000 copies in its first week. It was Badu's best opening week since her debut album Baduizm in 1997. It also entered at number two on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. According to Nielsen Soundscan, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) sold 359,000 copies in the United States by early 2010. Erykah Badu performed at the 10th annual Voodoo Experience in New Orleans the weekend before Halloween 2008. In the United Kingdom, the album charted at number 55 on the UK Albums Chart, on which it spent one week. In France, it debuted at number 49 and spent 11 weeks on the French Albums Chart. In Switzerland, it debuted at number 10 and spent six weeks on the Swiss Albums Top 100. In the Netherlands, the album entered at number 25 and spent seven weeks on the Mega Album Top 100. In Poland, it reached number nine and spent eight weeks on the Polish Albums Chart. The album's highest international charting was number five in Sweden, where it charted for seven weeks. During 2008 and 2009 Badu embarked on two world tours. The Vortex Tour (2008) was a tour in support of, New Amerykah Part One. The U.S. tour kicked off May 4, in Detroit, MI ending on June 15, in Albuquerque, N.M. The second leg of tour reached Europe on June 25, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Badu toured across Europe playing shows that included an itinerary for the month of July. Several more shows were added throughout August in the U.S.. The Jam Tour was a summer music concert tour in 2009. The tour started in March, Badu played dates across North America twice and Europe, which ended in Dallas, Texas on October 16. During the U.S. second leg, Badu was featured as a special guest co-headliner on hip-hop artist Mos Def's "Ecstatic Tour" on select September dates. New Amerykah Part Two and Window Seat controversy (2010–14) Edit Erykah Badu at Jazz Reggae Festival "New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)" Badu's fifth studio album was released March 30, 2010, on Universal Motown in the United States. It was released in Japan on April 14, 2010. Upon release the album was met with general acclaim from music critics. The album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 110,000 copies in its first week. It also entered at number two on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In the United Kingdom, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) debuted at number 56 on the UK Albums Chart and at number nine on the R&B Albums Chart. In Canada, the album debuted at number 36 on the Top 100 and at number five on the R&B Top 50 chart. New Amerykah Part Two achieved moderate chart success in international markets, peaking within the top-50 in several countries, including Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark. During March 2010, Badu promoted the album through television performances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Wendy Williams Show, Chelsea Lately, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Good Day New York. She also appeared on the April issue cover of EQ magazine and was featured in the April issues of Nylon and Playboy, while she is also scheduled to appear in upcoming issues of several publications, including Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York, Spin, Vibe, Paste, and People, among many other publications. Badu performed at a surprise midnight show on March 31, 2010 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. The internet-only promotional single "Jump up in the Air (Stay There)", featuring Lil Wayne and Bilal, was released on Badu's official website in January 2010. RC Williams, Badu's musical director, said that a music video for the track was shot in Dallas. The album's first official single, "Window Seat", was released by Badu through a downloadable link on her Twitter page. The song peaked at number 16 on Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album's second single, "Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY)", was released March 24, 2010 by Badu as a free download online. It spent three weeks on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at number 87. On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, Vimeo.com released a new video for "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long", directed by Flying Lotus. The video was tweeted by Badu herself and friend and associated music act Questlove from the Roots. On March 13, 2010, Badu filmed the video for her song "Window Seat", at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. She wrote on her Twitter feed that the video "was shot guerrilla style, no crew, 1 take, no closed set, no warning, 2 min., Downtown Dallas, then ran like hell." The team did not acquire permission or permits from the city. In the video, Badu shed her clothes as she walked along a Dallas sidewalk until she was nude at the site where Kennedy was shot. A shot rang out as the song ended, Badu's head jerked back, and she fell to the ground. Children with their families could be seen nearby as Badu stripped. When asked about stripping nude in the presence of minors, Badu said, "I didn't think about them until I saw them, and in my mind I tried to telepathically communicate my good intent to them. That's all I could do, and I hoped they wouldn't be traumatized." Erykah Badu, at Umbria Jazz in 2012. In response, Badu said on The Wanda Sykes Show on April 3, 2010, that it was not her intention to insult the memory of the late President John F. Kennedy (JFK): "My point was grossly misunderstood all over America. JFK is one of my heroes, one of the nation's heroes. John F. Kennedy was a revolutionary; he was not afraid to butt heads with America, and I was not afraid to show America my butt-naked truth." Coodie and Chike, directors of the "Window Seat" video, said they had bail money ready during filming, in case Badu was arrested. Badu said the video was a protest against "groupthink" and was inspired by Matt and Kim's music video "Lessons Learned." Badu has also said she has "no regrets". In 2011 Badu appeared on Flying Lotus' fourth album, Until the Quiet Comes. Badu appeared on the debut album by the supergroup Rocketjuice and The Moon, which was released in March 2012 and album Black Radio by Robert Glasper. In 2013, Badu appeared on "Treehome95" from Tyler, The Creator's second studio album, Wolf as well as appearing on the song "Heaven for the Sinner" from Bonobo's album, The North Borders. Badu featured on Janelle Monáe first single from her second studio album The Electric Lady, "Q.U.E.E.N.", the song, premiered on SoundCloud and made available for download purchase at the iTunes Store on April 23, 2013. The song peaked at 47 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. Mixtape and new album (2015) Edit In May 2013, Erykah Badu announced she is writing for her next project, but she is not placing a time constraint on it. In July 2014, Badu revealed she was still working on the album and had been recording in April in Africa where she was "laying down drum tracks". Badu continued to reveal that prior to her trip to Africa she has meetings with her record label to set a deadline for the album. Later that year Badu expanded on the album, stating she was working with producer Flying Lotus, who she met via MySpace years ago, they later met in L.A. at guitarist Steve Wilson's house. In 2015 Badu appeared on "Rememory" a song from Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's album Surf. In July 2015, Badu released a free mixtape of her favorite recordings, describing the set as “carefully and lovingly selected high frequency tones for the soul.” The mixtape features mostly-vintage funk, soul and jazz songs. On Thursday, March 26, 2015, Erykah Badu performed at The Bomb Factory in her hometown, Dallas, Texas, for the Deep Ellum venue's grand opening. The sold-out show also featured fellow Dallas native, singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe. In early October, Badu released a remix of Drake’s single “Hotline Bling”, and later released a mixtape entitled But You Caint Use My Phone on November 27, 2015, making it available for digital download and streaming exclusively through Apple Music. After one week of exclusive release on iTunes, But You Caint Use My Phone was released to other digital retailers and streaming services on December 4, 2015. The mixtape was released without the knowledge of her label Universal, due to Badu sending the record straight to iTunes. It also marked Badu's first release under her own record label, Control Freaq. But You Caint Use My Phone received generally positive reviews from music critics and debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200, selling 35,000 equivalent album units in its first week. Badu also hosted both the 2015 and 2016 Soul Train Music Awards. Badu held her annual "Still Boomin'" sold-out birthday bash concert at The Bomb Factory on Friday, February 26, 2016, marking her second performance at the venue since its grand opening eleven months prior. The event was hosted by comedian and close friend of Badu's, Dave Chappelle, and featured a surprise appearance from Outkast frontman, André 3000. Badu enlisted Dallas local hip hop acts -topic, Zach Witness, and Cameron McCloud as her supporting acts. Other ventures Musical style Edit Badu's work draws from R&B, 1970s soul, and 1980s hip hop, and became associated with the neo soul subgenre in the 1990s along with artists like D'Angelo. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. Badu's has been described as an experimental R&B singer, and her work explores contemporary forms of soul and hip hop. Mama's Gun is a neo soul album, that incorporates funk, soul, and jazz styles. The album has been viewed by critics as a female companion to neo soul artist D'Angelo's second album Voodoo (2000), which features a similar musical style and direction. Worldwide Underground followed in the same vein as Badu's previous efforts, the album was a neo-soul album prominently incorporating hip hop and funk elements, the album features an unconventional musical structure. New Amerykah Part One, music is dense, stylistic amalgam that primarily incorporates funk, soul, and hip hop genres, as well as jazz and electronica. In contrast to its predecessor New Amerykah Part One (2008), which was digitally produced and political in tone, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) incorporates sampling and live instrumentation. Erykah Badu 2008.07.14 001.jpg Lyrically Badu expresses a deeper message, as opposed to common R&B music. The majority of Badu's music is greatly influenced by her beliefs of the Nation of Gods and Earths and her exploration of her African heritage. The songs in Badu's album, "Baduizm" express her personal take on life. Her philosophy is influenced by African ideology, African-centered and Five Percent theologies and Southern African-American folk traditions. Mama's Gun has an confessional lyrical theme by Badu, which cover themes of insecurity, social issues and personal relationships. Worldwide Underground contains minimal songwriting concerning hip hop culture, love, ghetto life, and gang culture. New Amerykah Part One is an esoteric concept album with sociopolitical themes and mostly downbeat subject matter, featuring more impersonal topics and social commentary than on Badu's previous work. Its subject matter deals with social concerns and struggles within the African-American community, exploring topics such as institutional racism, religion, poverty, urban violence, the abuse of power, complacency, cultural identity, drug addiction, and nihilism. Badu has said that the album discusses "religion, [...] poor families, the undermining of the working class, the so-called minority.", Lyrically New Amerykah Part Two, contains more personal lyrics focus on themes of romance and relationships. Badu has described its sound as "very analog". During Badu's childhood and school years, she drew influences from a variety of hip-hop artists including Kool Herc, Red Alert, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinderella and Salt 'n' Pepa; expanding on this she noted the previous rappers as being "very inspiring to me, because they were the people who conducted feelings". Badu is inspired by "stimulating" experiences, she was also influenced greatly by her music teacher Ms. Goodman. Her teacher encouraged her to take up music. Badu also takes influence from her grandmother and her religious views which Erykah described as a lesson saying "When you do it, it gotta be real, or that's not it." Accolades Legacy Personal life Edit Badu has been a vegetarian for over 20 years, and became a vegan in 2006: "Vegan food is soul food in its truest form. Soul food means to feed the soul. And to me, your soul is your intent. If your intent is pure, you are pure." Badu splits her time between Dallas, Texas and Fort Greene, New York. In 1995, Badu became involved with rapper André 3000 of OutKast, with whom she had her first child, a son named Seven Sirius Benjamin, who was born on November 18, 1997. Their relationship ended sometime in 1999. Their relationship inspired André 3000 to write the song "Ms. Jackson". In 2000, Badu was in a romantic relationship with fellow Soulquarian Common; their relationship ended in 2002. On July 5, 2004, Badu gave birth to a daughter, Puma Sabti Curry; Puma's father is West Coast rapper The D.O.C., originally from Dallas. On February 1, 2009, Badu gave birth to her third child, a girl named Mars Merkaba Thedford, with her boyfriend of five years, rapper Jay Electronica.
Open main menu Search Wikipedia EditWatch this pageRead in another language Outkast Hip hop duo This article is about the hip hop group. For the film, see Outkast (film). For other uses, see Outcast (disambiguation). OutKast 2014227235242 2014-08-15 Rock'n'Heim - Sven - 5D MK II - 250 - IMG 0063 mod.jpg OutKast performing in Germany, 2014 Background information Origin Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Genres Hip hop Years active 1991–2007 2014–present Labels LaFace Arista RCA Epic Associated acts CeeLo Green Dungeon Family Goodie Mob Organized Noize Erykah Badu George Clinton TLC Mr. DJ Killer Mike Sleepy Brown Raekwon UGK Janelle Monáe Website outkast.com Members André 3000 Big Boi Outkast (stylized as OutKast) is an American hip hop duo formed in 1991, in East Point, Atlanta, Georgia, composed of Atlanta-based rappers André "André 3000" Benjamin (formerly known as Dré) and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton. The duo achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success in the 1990s and early 2000s, helping to popularize Southern hip hop while developing distinctive personas and experimenting with diverse genres such as funk, psychedelia, techno, and gospel. Benjamin and Patton formed the group as high school students in 1991. OutKast released their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994, which gained popularity after the single "Player's Ball" reached number one on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. With successive releases including ATLiens (1996) and Aquemini (1998), the duo further developed their sound, experimenting with a variety of styles and achieving commercial success. In 2000, Outkast released the critically acclaimed Stankonia, which included the singles "Ms. Jackson" and "B.O.B." In 2003, the duo released the double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which featured the number one singles "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move." The album would eventually win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. Outkast next released the soundtrack for the 2006 musical film Idlewild, which they also starred in. In 2007, the duo went on hiatus and both members have since pursued solo careers. In 2014, Outkast reunited to celebrate their 20th anniversary by performing at more than 40 festivals worldwide in 2014, beginning at the Coachella Festival in April. The duo is one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time, having received six Grammy Awards. Between six studio albums and a greatest hits release, Outkast has sold over 25 million records. Meanwhile, they have garnered widespread critical acclaim, with publications such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media listing albums such as Aquemini and Stankonia among the best of their era. History Edit 1991–94: Formation and debut Edit André 3000 and Big Boi met as teenagers at Atlanta's Lenox Square shopping center (pictured). Benjamin and Patton met in 1991 at the Lenox Square shopping mall when they were both sixteen years old. The two lived in the East Point section of Atlanta and attended Tri-Cities High School, an arts based academy. During school, Benjamin and Patton participated in rap battles in the cafeteria. Benjamin's parents were divorced and he was living with his father. Meanwhile, Patton had to move with his four brothers and six sisters from Savannah to Atlanta. Benjamin and Patton eventually teamed up and were pursued by Organized Noize, a group of local producers who would later make hits for TLC. The duo initially wanted to be called "2 Shades Deep" or "The Misfits", but because those names were already taken they later decided to use "OutKast" based on finding "outcast" as synonym for "misfit" in a dictionary. OutKast, Organized Noize, and schoolmates Goodie Mob formed the nucleus of the Dungeon Family organization. OutKast signed to L.A. And Babyface imprint prior to graduation which would later become LaFace Records in 1992, becoming the label's first hip hop act and making their first appearance on the remix of labelmate TLC's "What About Your Friends". During the holiday season of 1993, they released their first single, "Player's Ball". The song's funky style, much of it accomplished with live instrumentation, was a hit with audiences. "Player's Ball" hit number-one on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. 'Player's Ball' also topped the R&B charts for six weeks. Their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, was issued on April 26, 1994. This initial effort is credited with laying the foundation for southern hip hop and is considered a classic by many. Every track on Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was produced by Organized Noize and featured other members of the Dungeon Family. Follow-up singles included the title track and "Git Up Git Out", a politically charged collaboration with Goodie Mob that was later sampled by Macy Gray for her 1999 hit "Do Something." On this early material, both André and Big Boi contrast lyrical content reflecting the lifestyles of pimps and gangsters with politically conscious material commenting on the status of African Americans in the South. OutKast won Best New Rap Group at the Source Awards in 1995. In the same year, the group contributed "Benz or a Beamer" to the popular New Jersey Drive soundtrack. 1996–99: Breakthrough – ATLiens & Aquemini Edit After Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was certified platinum, LaFace Records gave OutKast more creative control and advanced money for their 1996 follow-up album ATLiens. The duo took the opportunity to recreate their image. On a trip to Jamaica with producer Mr. DJ, the two decided to abandon their cornrow hairstyles in favor of a more natural aesthetic, vowing to stop combing their hair. Dungeon Family member Big Rube observed an increase in the duo's confidence after returning from their first tour, remarking, "They started understanding the power they had in their music. They started showing a swagger that certain artists have—the ones that are stars." The two also became more accustomed to playing live, particularly Big Boi, and André 3000 significantly changed his lifestyle, as he adopted a more eccentric fashion sense, became a vegetarian, and stopped smoking marijuana. The members also underwent changes in their personal lives; in 1995, Big Boi's girlfriend gave birth to their first child and André 3000 and Total's Keisha Spivey ended their two-year relationship. The double platinum album, ATLiens, was released on August 27, 1996. The album exhibited a notably more laid-back, spacey production sound, taking influence from dub and reggae. On ATLiens, André 3000 and Big Boi abandoned the "hard-partying playa characters" of their debut album in favor of more spacey, futuristic personas, and produced many of the songs on their own for the first time. Their tracks have an outer-space feeling to them- a feeling that, ironically, has warmed the community right up to them. Critics praised the group's maturing musical style on the record, which debuted at number two on the U.S. The album would climb to number three on Billboard's top R&B/Hip Hop chart.Billboard 200 chart and sold nearly 350,000 copies in its first two weeks of release. The single "Elevators (Me & You)" reached number 12 and spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. ATLiens further solidified OutKast as the flagship representatives of the 1st generation Dungeon Family and the Southern hip hop movement. The album helped the group earn more recognition among East Coast hip hop fans in the East and West coasts. For this album, OutKast joined with partner David "Mr. DJ" Sheats to form the Earthtone III production company, which allowed the group to produce some of their own tracks. "ATLiens" was the group's second Top 40 single (following "Player's Ball" from their first album), and reflected the beginning of André's increasingly sober lifestyle: "No drugs or alcohol/so I can get the signal clear," he rhymes about himself in the single "ATLiens". OutKast's third album Aquemini was released on September 29, 1998, It was also certified double platinum and reached the number-two position on the Billboard 200 album chart in the United States; its title was a combination of the zodiac signs of Big Boi (an Aquarius) and André (a Gemini). The album was widely praised as possibly the group's best material to date: when reviewed by popular hip-hop publication The Source, it received the much-coveted "5 Mics" (out of five) rating. Producing more material themselves, both Big Boi and André explored more eclectic subject matter, delving into sounds inspired by soul, trip hop, and electro music. The album featured production by Organized Noize and collaborations with Raekwon, Slick Rick, funk pioneer and musical forebear George Clinton, and Goodie Mob. Outkast forged the connections between Hip Hop and the black freedom struggle with their controversial song "Rosa Parks" featured on the album. 2000–01: Stankonia and Greatest Hits Edit "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)" 0:00 In 2009, "(Bombs Over Baghdad)" placed no. 1 on Pitchfork Media's list of 500 Top Tracks of the 2000s Problems playing this file? See media help. Originally titled 'Sandbox', the pair's fourth album, Stankonia was released in October 2000 to positive reviews. The album was seen as a change in the group's musical style, as it had a more commercial and mainstream appeal, compared to their previous three albums which were darker and deeper. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., and would eventually be certified quadruple-platinum. Stankonia's first single was "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)", a high-tempo-influenced record. The second single, "Ms. Jackson", combined a pop hook with lyrics about divorce and relationship breakups, particularly André's breakup with singer Erykah Badu; the titular "Ms. Jackson" character being a doppelgänger for Badu's mother. It was at this time that André changed his stage name to the current "André 3000," mostly to avoid being mixed up with Dr. Dre. The single became their first pop hit, landing the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the number-two position on the UK Singles Chart. The album's final single was the Organized Noize-produced "So Fresh, So Clean", featuring a credited guest appearance from regular guest vocalist and Organized Noize-member Sleepy Brown and garnered a remix featuring Snoop Dogg. All three singles' videos had heavy MTV2 airplay, and OutKast won two 2001 Grammy Awards, one for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Ms. Jackson", and another for Stankonia as Best Rap Album. Pitchfork named Stankonia the 4th greatest album released between 2000 and 2004 in its 2005 feature. Later on the webzine selected Stankonia as the 13th best album of the 2000s. And B.O.B. was chosen number one song of the decade by this same webzine. In December 2001, OutKast released a greatest hits album, Big Boi and Dre Present...OutKast, which also contained three new tracks. One of these new tracks was the single "The Whole World", which won a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Killer Mike also was featured on the song, gaining some exposure among areas outside of his native Atlanta. The other two new songs were called "Funkin' Around" and "Movin' Cool (The After Party)". 2002–04: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below Edit OutKast spent 2 years working on their 5th effort, before releasing a double album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, on September 23, 2003. It is essentially two solo albums, one by each member, packaged as a single release under the OutKast banner; the two members also appear and co produce on each other's discs for a few songs apiece. Big Boi's Speakerboxxx is largely a funk and Dirty South blended party record; André 3000's The Love Below features only brief instances of hip hop, presenting instead elements found in funk, jazz, rock, electronic music, and R&B. The album is also OutKast's biggest commercial success yet, having debuted on the Billboard 200 albums chart at number-one and stayed there for several weeks. The album eventually sold over five million copies, and, as double-album sales count double for Recording Industry Association of America certification, the album was certified diamond for 10 million units shipped in December 2004. Its latest certification, in May 2006, reaches 11 million copies in shipping. The first two singles from the album(s), which were released nearly simultaneously, were Big Boi's "The Way You Move" and Andre 3000's "Hey Ya!" The video's storyline has "The Love Below"—a fictional band with all members, through the use of special effects, played by André—performing in London. "Hey Ya!" was the number one song on the very final weekend of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. It was also number one a week later on the very first weekend of American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest. The singles spent ten weeks at number one on the Hot 100 singles chart, with "Hey Ya!" spending nine weeks and "The Way You Move" taking over for one week in February 2004. These singles were seen as a breakthrough for the hip-hop industry, being among the first hip-hop songs to be widely played on adult contemporary radio stations. OutKast's next official single was not released until the summer of 2004. "Roses", a track featuring both members from The Love Below half of the album, did not meet the level of success as either of its predecessors, but it became a modest-sized hit on urban radio and the American music video networks. The video for "Roses" is loosely based on the musicals West Side Story and Grease. It featured sparring 1950s' style gangs, one representing Speakerboxxx, and one representing The Love Below, parodying the widespread arguing among critics and fans as to which half of the album was better. The final singles were André 3000's "Prototype", which was paired with a science fiction-themed video about alien visitors, and Speakerboxxx's "Ghettomusick", which featured both members of OutKast and a sample from a song by Patti LaBelle, who also makes an appearance in the video. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below won the Grammy Award for the 2004 Album of the Year (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill won best album in 1999 but was predominantly an R&B album). OutKast was one of the headlining acts at the show, and gave two performances: Big Boi performed "The Way You Move" with the Outkast backing band during a medley with Earth Wind & Fire, George Clinton and Robert Randolph, while André 3000 performed "Hey Ya!" as the show closer after they had been presented with the Album Of The Year Award. Big Boi performing in 2006 in Atlanta. 2005–06: Idlewild Edit Members also began working on a joint film, Idlewild, directed by OutKast music video director Bryan Barber. Idlewild, a Prohibition-era musical film set to a blues-influenced hip-hop soundtrack, was released on August 25, 2006 by Universal Pictures. The Idlewild soundtrack was released August 22, 2006. In an interview for Billboard, Big Boi stated "This is an OutKast album. It isn't like a soundtrack where we go get this person or that person". Originally planned for early 2005, Idlewild's release date was pushed to December 2005, before being delayed into 2006. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 196,000 copies. It also entered at number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, at number one on the Top Rap Albums, and at number two on the Top Digital Albums chart. The album dropped to number seven on the Billboard 200, selling 78,000 copies in its second week. It spent nine weeks on the Billboard 200. In the United Kingdom, Idlewild debuted at number 16 on the UK Albums Chart. It fell to number 28 in its second week on the chart. While it charted within the top-twenty in several other countries, the album spent a minimal amount of weeks on most charts. On August 26, 2006, the album was certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, following shipments in excess of one million copies in the United States. It was certified gold in sales by the Canadian Recording Industry Association in November 2006. The first single of the album, "Mighty 'O'", features both André 3000 and Big Boi; the song takes its lyrical hook from the Cab Calloway song "Minnie the Moocher" ("Mighty-ighty-ighty O") and seems to be an example of the album's mix of hip hop and more traditional American jazz and blues. Next, similar to previous OutKast albums such as Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, two singles—one solely by Big Boi, the other solely by André 3000—were released simultaneously. The second single, almost exclusively featuring Big Boi, is the marching band–influenced "Morris Brown", featuring guest artists Sleepy Brown and Scar, both artists on Big Boi's Purple Ribbon label. The song's title is a reference to Atlanta's Morris Brown College, with the school's marching band providing the instrumentation. The third single, André 3000's "Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me)" delves into the blues genre, complete with a blues-style acoustic guitar riff and a harmonica element reminiscent of Aquemini single "Rosa Parks". In tune with the film, Idlewild reflects OutKast's original style tempered by 1930s influences. The fourth single, "Hollywood Divorce" was released in November 2006, and features verses from Lil' Wayne and Snoop Dogg and is produced by André 3000. 2007–13: Hiatus and solo work Edit In 2007 after the sixth album under the OutKast name, Idlewild, Big Boi announced plans to release a full-fledged solo album. While he had released a previous solo album in Speakerboxxx, it still was technically under the OutKast name. The album was to be titled Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. The album's first promotional single, "Royal Flush", was released in 2007, and featured Raekwon and André 3000. After many delays and setbacks, the album was finally released internationally on July 5, 2010. Guest artists include singer Janelle Monáe; Big Boi's own new group Vonnegutt; plus established rappers T.I. and B.o.B. Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty received general acclaim from most music critics, earning praise for its inventive sound, varied musical style, and Big Boi's lyricism. In a July 2010 interview for The Village Voice, Big Boi revealed that he is working on the follow-up album to Sir Lucious Left Foot, entitled Daddy Fat Sax: Soul Funk Crusader, stating that he is "maybe about six songs into it". He is "planning on doing a bunch of sax samples, tenor, soprano, and probably have at least a couple sax players come into the studio for the next record". André 3000 returned to rapping in 2007, after a hiatus from the genre, appearing on various remixes, including: "Walk It Out", "Throw Some D's", "You", Jay-Z's "30 Something", and original songs such as UGK's "International Players Anthem", Devin the Dude's "What A Job", Fonzworth Bentley's "Everybody", and with Big Boi "Royal Flush" and the leaked single "Lookin For Ya". He also appeared on John Legend's album, Evolver, on the track "Green Light", which was released on October 28, 2008. Prior to the release, Benjamin commented: "It's going to be a surprise for a lot of John Legend fans, because it is a lot more upbeat than John is—than people think John is. I was actually happy to hear it. This is a cool John Legend song." Benjamin has stated that he is making a solo rap album, and that the response to his remixes is part of the motivation for it. In September 2011 it was announced that OutKast was moved to Epic Records following restructuring within Sony Music Entertainment. Epic Records is headed by LA Reid who has worked with Outkast in the past. In 2012, Andre 3000 was cast to play Jimi Hendrix in a biopic film titled, Jimi: All Is By My Side, which was later released on September 26, 2014. 2014–present: Reunions Edit Outkast perform in New York City during their 2014 reunion Outkast headlining at Governors Ball Music Festival. In late 2013, it was reported that Outkast would reunite at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2014. This was later confirmed on January 8, 2014, when it was officially announced that the duo would headline the festival on April 11 and 18. It was later announced on January 13, 2014 that Outkast would be performing at more than 40 festivals around the world throughout the spring and summer of 2014 to celebrate their 20th anniversary, including one of the largest festivals in the UK, Bestival. Despite rumors, Big Boi has insisted that the duo are not currently working on a new album together. Outkast returned to Atlanta for their #ATLast homecoming shows over the weekend of September 26, 2014, selling out within minutes of tickets going on sale. The shows had a large variety of openers, ranging from R&B singer Janelle Monáe and rapper/rock artist Kid Cudi to rappers 2 Chainz, Future, Bun B, and Childish Gambino. Outkast's Dungeon Family associates Sleepy Brown and Big Gipp also appeared onstage with the duo, rapping and singing on their respective songs. At Atlanta's One MusicFest, the Dungeon Family, Goodie Mob, Organized Noise, Killer Mike, and Outkast appeared performing their rap hits. Musical style and influences Edit Outkast's musical style and lyrical content have evolved throughout the group's career. Rolling Stone described their music as "idiosyncratic" and "inspired by the Afrocentric psychedelics of George Clinton and Sly Stone." The band's debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik incorporates analog elements such as Southern-styled guitar licks, languid soul melodies, and mellow 1970s funk grooves. It also features digital hip hop production elements such as programmed snare beats, booty bass elements, ATLiens and Aquemini feature outer space-influenced production with echo and reverb effects. With Stankonia, OutKast became the first hip-hop act to openly acknowledge rave culture as an influence. Stankonia and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below would draw on sources such as psychedelia, gospel, funk, techno, soul, electro, and rock music. During the late 1990s, rappers tended to embrace slow, laid-back beats in their productions. On several tracks on Stankonia, the group employed faster, more chaotic tempos to reflect rave culture and the introduction of new drugs such as ecstasy into the hip-hop scene. One central motif of OutKast's songwriting is the duality of the two members and their differing personalities, with Big Boi as "the player" and Andre 3000 as "the poet". Big Boi generally covers the more conventional hip-hop topics such as his childhood in the South and attractive women, while Andre 3000 discusses more unorthodox themes. In contrast to much of hip hop music in the late 1990s, OutKast did not tone down its Southern regional qualities, like the harmonica break on "Rosa Parks" and distinctive Atlanta slang and diction throughout. The duo experimented with several delivery styles on the record, using "relaxed, hyper, distorted, speedy and conversational presentations." OutKast often discusses the status of women in the South, and contrasts with the misogynistic attitudes common in hip-hop music. In Slate, Alex Abramovich praised the duo for "[tending] to shy away from the misogyny and violence rap is so often (and not always unjustly) condemned for." In his book Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide, Oliver Wang writes that songs such as "Slum Beautiful" and "Toilet Tisha" "reimagine 'round the way girls, not only as just more than one-dimensional accessories, but as objects of affection with lives and concerns that are worth exploring." Collaborations and other work Edit During the recording of Stankonia OutKast and Mr. DJ began producing tracks for the artists on their Aquemini Records imprint through Columbia, including Slimm Cutta Calhoun and Killer Mike, who made his debut on Stankonia's "Snappin' & Trappin." In 2002, OutKast participated in the only Dungeon Family group album, Even in Darkness, along with Goodie Mob, Killer Mike, Sleepy Brown, Witchdoctor, and Backbone among others, and featuring Bubba Sparxxx, Shuga Luv and Mello. In 2002, the group and Killer Mike contributed the lead single "Land of a Million Drums" to the Scooby-Doo soundtrack. On February 27, 2011, it was announced that Big Boi is creating a joint album along with Killer Mike and fellow Atlanta rapper Pill. Later that day, Big Boi posted on his Twitter account that he was mixing Killer Mike's album entitled, PL3DGE. In 2010, Andre 3000 was featured on Ciara's remix for her hit single "Ride", from the album Basic Instinct. On January 14, 2011, a song with Ke$ha called "The Sleazy Remix" was leaked. On June 7, 2011, Beyoncé's song "Party" was leaked, it features Benjamin, it is his first collaboration with the singer. It is also featured on Beyoncé's fourth studio album entitled 4 released June 24, 2011. On August 24, 2011, Lil Wayne's album Tha Carter IV leaked, featuring a song entitled "Interlude" with Benjamin and fellow rapper Tech N9ne performing. Also in 2011 Andre featured on Chris Browns "Deuces" remix as well as on a Lloyd song, "Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)", with Lil Wayne. In 2012 Andre also appeared on Drake's second album Take Care, on the song "The Real Her" which also featured Lil Wayne. In 2012 Andre 3000 featured on Gorillaz "DoYaThing" with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. The song was released as a free download in February that year as part of a Converse promotion. Andre 3000 was featured on Frank Ocean's 2012 album Channel Orange on the song "Pink Matter". On January 11, 2013, Big Boi appeared on a remix of the song, adding a verse before Andre's. In response to the added verse, Andre issued a statement on January 15 insisting that the track did not constitute an OutKast reunion. Phantogram revealed in an interview with Variance Magazine in February 2014 that they plan to release an EP with Big Boi
Yea remember she had Treysongz chillin in a fckin college party in some lil ass town in Texas. And was at the cracker barrell the next day? Then she tried to say they was just friends and he was like she too annoying for me. I screamed! 😂😂
Where Odell go, ben go. She was hanging with them last year too. Her and Jena Frumes. Girls like Brittany and the rest of those IG girls, they only WANT attention. They tryna land a big fish. She literally did this exact same shit with Kaepernick