Alice Cooper (the musician Vincent Damon Furnier)
Legal name: Alice Cooper, Vincent Damon Furnier
Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and occasional actor whose career spans five decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by fans and peers alike to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock"; he has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a theatrical and macabre brand of rock designed to shock people.
Originating in Phoenix in the late 1960s after he moved from Detroit, Alice Cooper was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and drummer Neal Smith. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit "I'm Eighteen" from the album Love It to Death, which was followed by the even bigger single "School's Out" in 1972. The band reached their commercial peak with the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies.
Furnier adopted the band's name as his own name in the 1970s and began a solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. In 2011 he released Welcome 2 My Nightmare, his 19th album as a solo artist, and his 26th album in total. Expanding from his Detroit rock roots, in his career Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, pop rock, experimental rock and industrial rock.
Alice Cooper is known for his social and witty persona offstage, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide calling him the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer". He is credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and has been described as the artist who "first introduced horror imagery to rock'n'roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper.
In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.