Western Artists That Are Very Much Appreciated in Asia

Natasha Bedingfield

Natasha Bedingfield is a songwriter and pop singer that was born in London, England on November 26,1981. She has three siblings; brothers Daniel and Joshua, and younger sister Nikola. Her interest in music was encouraged by her parents and she took guitar and piano lessons when she was younger. When Natasha Bedingfield was a teenager, she and her siblings, Daniel and Nikola, formed the dance/electronic group, The DNA Algorithm. The DNA Algorithm performed at several Christian music festivals before disbanding. Natasha Bedingfield then attended a year at the University of Greenwich, where she studied psychology.

After a year of studying psychology, she left the university to concentrate on singing and songwriting. She began to record demos in the garages of friends who had recording studios. She eventually took these demos to record companies. In 2003, she signed a recording contract with BMG UK & Ireland in 2003. Her debut album, Unwritten, was released in the UK on September 6, 2004, where it debuted at number one, and in the U.S. on August 2, 2005, where it debuted at number twenty-six. It spawned the singles, “Single”, “These Words”, “Unwritten”, “I Bruise Easily” and “The One That Got Away”. Natasha Bedingfield has since released two more albums, “N.B.” in 2007 and “Pocketful of Sunshine ” in 2008.

Toby Keith

Toby Keith is the stage name of Toby Keith Covel. He was born on July 8, 1961 in Clinton, Oklahoma. Toby Keith graduated from Moore High School and, in 1979, went to work as a derrick hand in the booming oil fields of Oklahoma. He worked his way up to become an operation manager. At the age of 20, he formed the Easy Money band where he and his friends Scott Webb and Danny Smith and few other members played at local bars as he continued to work in the oil industry. At times, he would have to leave in the middle of a concert if he was paged to work in the oil field. In 1982, the oil industry in Oklahoma began a rapid decline and Keith soon found himself unemployed.

He then returned to focus once again on music. In 1984, Easy Money began playing the honky tonk circuit in Oklahoma and Texas. The band cut a single titled Blue Moon and the song received some airplay on local radio stations in Oklahoma. Toby Keith released his self titled debut album through Polygram Records in 1993. The album has sold more than one million copies in the United States. Toby Keith has since released nine more studio albums. He has also charted more than forty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including eighteen Number One hits and seventeen additional Top Ten hits.

George Strait

George Strait was born in Poteet, Texas on May 18, 1952. George Strait began playing with a rock band in Pearsall High School but his preference turned to country music. While stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii as a part of the 25th Infantry division (light), he began performing with an Army-sponsored band, Rambling Country, which played off-base under the name Santee. On October 6, 1972, while still in Hawaii, George and Norma welcomed their first child, Jenifer. George Strait was honorably discharged from the army in 1975. He chose to return to Southwest Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas. He graduated in 1979 with a degree in agriculture.

While attending college, Strait joined the Ace in the Hole Band, who had been advertising for a new lead singer. Beginning October 14, 1975, the band started playing at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, a local honky-tonk bar. In 1981, he released his debut album, Strait Country. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA and it includes the singles “Unwound”, “Down and Out”, and “If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger (There’s One Coming Home)”. George Straight has since released 24 studio albums, 2 live albums, 8 compilation albums and 5 Christmas albums. He has also issued 88 singles since 1981, with 44 reaching Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Santana

Santana was formed in 1966 in San Francisco. The band is known for helping make Latin rock famous in the rest of the world. The first members were Carlos Santana on lead guitar, Tom Fraser on rhythm guitar, Mike Carabello on percussion, Rod Harper on drums & percussion, Gus Rodriguez on bass guitar and Gregg Rolie on lead vocals & keyboards. In the following years the members of the group changed frequently for a number of reasons, and from 1971 to 1972 there was a brief separation between the group and Carlos Santana. In 1969, they released their self titled debut. The album was destined to be a major release, given a headstart by the band’s seminal performance at the Woodstock Festival in August the previous month.

The single “Evil Ways”, taken from the album, was a Top 10 hit. The album was the first of Santana’s two self-titled albums, the other being their third album in 1971. Santana has since released thirty more studio albums. In 1998, the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Carlos Santana, Jose Chepito Areas, David Brown, Mike Carabello, Gregg Rolie and Michael Shrieve being honored.

Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams was born on February 13,1974 in Stoke-on-Trent, England. His career started as a dancer and singer of the pop band Take That in 1990, which he left in 1995 to launch his solo career. After leaving Take That, Robbie Williams launched his solo career starting things off in 1996 by covering George Michael’s “Freedom”, the single reached number-two in the UK Singles Chart, twenty-six places higher than George Michael’s original. In 1997 Robbie Williams released his debut album, Life thru a Lens. The album peaked at the top of the charts in the U.K. and has since gone platinum eight times over.

Robbie Williams has since released six more albums with sales well over fifty-five million units. He has been the recipient of many awards, including ten BRIT and six ECHO awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, after being voted as the Greatest artist of the 1990s. Robbie Williams entered in The Guinness Book of World Records when he announced his World Tour for 2006, selling 1.6 million tickets in one single day. He appears in the list of the all-time Top 100 biggest selling albums in the United Kingdom six times.

Fantasia

Fantasia is the stage name of Fantasia Monique Barrino. She was born on June 30, 1984 in High Point, North Carolina. She attended Andrews High School in High Point. After she was raped by a classmate, she was left feeling harassed and embarrassed and dropped out of high school. She later became pregnant at age sixteen and on August 8, 2000, she gave birth to her daughter, Zion Quari Barrino. She broke up with Zion’s father because he was physically abusive towards her. Fantasia then briefly moved to neighboring Greensboro, North Carolina before trying out for the American Idol Auditions in Atlanta. She won American Idol on May 26, 2004.

Later that year she would release her debut album, Free Yourself. It sold almost a quarter million copies it’s first week and reaching number eight on the United States Billboard 200 chart. Free Yourself has been nominated for more than twenty awards, four of which were Grammy Awards. Free Yourself, since its debut, has sold over 1.8 million copies in the U.S and is certified platinum. She then released her second studio album, Fantasia in 2006. Fantasia entered the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at number nineteen and has been certified gold.

Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams was born on November 5, 1959 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In 1978, at the age of 18, Adams sent a few demo recordings to A&M Records in Toronto, who later signed him. His self-titled debut album was released in February 1980. It spawned two singles, ”Hidin’ From Love” and ”Give Me Your Love”. In 1981 Bryan Adams released his second album, You Want It You Got It. The album was well received but his big breakthough album wouldn’t be released until 1983. That album was entitled Cuts Like a Knife. The album peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 and it spawned three hit singles, “Straight from the Heart”, “This Time” and “Cuts Like a Knife”.

Bryan Adams has since released 8 studio albums, 3 live albums and 3 compilation albums. has been nominated for several Grammy Awards; and was first nominated at the 28th Grammy Awards for Reckless and “It’s Only Love” and won the Grammy and in 1992 won the award for “Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media”. In April 2006, Bryan Adams was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame at Canada’s Juno Awards. He was nominated for his fifth Golden Globe in 2007 for songwriting on the film Bobby which was sung by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige, and has been nominated three times for Academy Awards for writing music in film.