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Iggy Pop

punk rock punk rock classic rock proto-punk

    Iggy Pop (born James Newell Osterberg, Jr.; April 21, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Though widely known as an innovator and "godfather" of , Pop's music has encompassed a number of styles over the years, including pop, hard rock, jazz and blues. Pop became known as 'Iggy' in high school, during which time he served as drummer for local blues band The Iguanas. He is vocalist of influential proto-punk band The Stooges (Pop and the other surviving members of the group reunited in 2003), having become known, since the late 1960s, for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics.

    Though his popularity has fluctuated through the years, many of Pop's songs have become well-known, including "Lust for Life", "The Passenger", "Real Wild Child", "Candy" (a duet with Kate Pierson of The B-52's), "China Girl", "Nightclubbing", "Search and Destroy" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog".

    In 2010, The Stooges were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Pop was the lead singer of The Stooges, a late 1960s/early 1970s band that featured brothers Ron and Scott Asheton and Dave Alexander and was highly influential in the development of hard rock. The debut album was produced by the Velvet Underground's John Cale. The band's "I Wanna Be Your Dog" is a garage punk standard.

    Raw Power was first released in1973, perhaps the first record that could truly be called punk. It was the confluence of The Stooges ages, hormones, creativity, ability, experience, tastes, lack of supervision, contempt for authority and ambition that has made Raw Power one of the most influential albums of all time.

    The Stooges were infamous for performances in which Pop leapt off the stage (hence, the "stage dive"), smeared raw meat or peanut butter over his chest and cut himself with broken bottles. A glimpse of the vibrating intensity of Iggy live can be seen in the Ramones movie "End of the Century." Guitarist James Williamson became a key collaborator, a partnership documented on the 1978 album Kill City.

    In 25 years as a solo artist, Pop's best-known songs have included the thumping Lust for Life, to be heard on the soundtrack of the find-a-vein, shoot-it-up movie Trainspotting, I'm Bored and The Passenger (the latter based on a poem written by Jim Morrison). David Bowie played a key role in reinvigorating Pop's post-Stooges career and was a collaborator on the albums Lust for Life and The Idiot. Iggy may be under-rated as a songwriter. Bowie and Tina Turner covered his "Tonight". Bowie also put out his own version of "China Girl," while Grace Jones covered the icey "Nightclubbing".


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