Weird Al Yankovic
orn Alfred Matthew Yankovic (born October 23, 1959), "Weird Al" Yankovic is an American singer-songwriter, film and record producer, satirist, and author, known for humorous songs that satire popular culture and parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts, original songs that are style pastiches of the work of other acts, and polka medleys of several popular songs, featuring his favored instrument, the accordion (his father was a famed polka performer).
His career was launched with his first-aired song on Dr. Demento's comedy radio show in 1976 titled Belvedere Cruisin'; a song about his family's Plymouth Belvedere.
As of 2007, he has sold more than 12 million albums, recorded more than 150 parody and original songs and has performed more than one thousand live shows. His works have earned him four Grammy Awards and a further eleven nominations, four gold records and six platinum records in the United States. His first top ten Billboard album came nearly three decades into his career, titled Straight Outta Lynwood (named after one of the towns he moved to and grew up in) and single, White & Nerdy (both 2006). Mandatory Fun (2014) became his first number-one album on its debut week.
Yankovic's success comes in part from his unique ability to parody popular culture by use of music video, the song's original artist, and the original music videos themselves, scene-for-scene in some cases. He directed later videos himself as well as those for Ben Folds, Hanson, The Black Crowes and The Presidents of the United States of America. With the decline of music television and the rise of social media, Yankovic has since turned to YouTube and other video sites to publish his videos; his success on doing so has been so great that he has announced he will no longer release traditional recordings in favor of digital versions instead.
Yankovic has also wrote and starred in the film UHF (1989) and The Weird Al Show (1997). He has also made guest appearances and performed voice acting roles on many television shows and video web content, in addition to starring in Al TV specials on MTV. He has also written two children's books, When I Grow Up and My New Teacher and Me!
His discography includes:
"Weird Al" Yankovic (1983), "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D (1984), Dare to Be Stupid (1985), Polka Party! (1986), Even Worse (1988), UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff (1989), Off the Deep End (1992), Alapalooza (1993), Bad Hair Day (1996), Running with Scissors (1999), Poodle Hat (2003), Straight Outta Lynwood (2006), Alpocalypse (2011) and Mandatory Fun (2014).
Footnote: Love him or hate him, Yankovic has been awarded Grammys and hit records for his work. Furthermore, he asks permission from the artists whose music he plans to 'spoof' and, in some cases, has been told "no" and therefore did not record (or modified) the work.
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