Everyone knows that Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder came from the Seattle, Washington area, but I bet you did not know that the American saxophonist, Kenny G also hails from the Pacific Northwest. You may be surprised to learn that Kenny G is one of the highest selling artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. While he mainly is known for his Soprano saxophone playing, he also plays both the alto and tenor sax as well. His fourth album, Duotones, is when the instrumental artist break through the mainstream, essentially single-handedly keeping his record label, Arista, afloat for many years. The legendary record executive, Clive Davis, was the one who discovered the artist. He has since collaborated with many famous musicians including Steve Miller, Weezer, Frank Sinatra, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin and Katy Perry, adding his particular flavor of smooth jazz to other artists' sounds.
Macklemore exploded onto the scene with his novelty song "Thrift Shop," which went to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. His second single, also made with collaborator Ryan Lewis and entitled "Can't Hold US," also went to No. 1. This Seattle native also swept the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in 2014 with seven nominations and four awards. That year he won Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Macklemore's sweeping of the Grammy Awards was controversial at the time amongst the hip hop community, with many feeling that he did not deserve so many awards in lieu of his competition. Still, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' debut album, The Heist, went to No. 2 on the Billboard charts, selling 78,000 albums in its first week, then went gone gold, having sold over 500,000 copies, and finally went platinum, having sold about 1,378,000 units since its release.
Sir-Mix-a-Lot is also a Seattle native. If you think you do not know Sir-Mix-a-Lot, you are wrong. You know this man. He is the rapper responsible for "Baby Got Back." This 1991 hit went No. 1 and double platinum in 1992. In 1993 it won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. Because of the song's explicit lyrics, subject matter and music video, MTV would only air the music video at night. However, that was not his first hit. No, his highness also went platinum in 19990 for his 1988 debut record, Swass. The last album he made was in 2003, entitled Daddy's Home. The world eagerly awaits Sir-Mix-a-Lot's triumphant return to popular culture--when will he make his comeback??
Yes, Bing Crosby, one of the most popular American entertainers of the 20th century also came from the Seattle area. With silky smooth bass-baritone voice, Crosby dominated the airwaves for much of the middle of the 1900's. He has over a half a billion records in circulation, making him one of the best-selling recording artists in history. In addition to his music, Bing Crosby was also a very popular movie star of his time, which increased his fame. In 1948 polls found that Bing Crosby was considered "most admired man alive" in America. He beat out both Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII for the honor. Bing's biggest hit was his version of Irving Berlin's iconic "White Christmas," from 1941. It stayed at No. 1 for 11 weeks. It remains the highest selling single of all time, with over 100 million copies floating around the world.