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Iggy Pop Biography


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Birth Name: James Newell Osterberg, Jr.
Born: 1947/04/21
Birth Place: Muskegon, Michigan, United States
Years Active: 1960–present
Genres: Protopunk, Punk Rock, Glam Rock, Garage Rock


Iggy Pop was born James Newell Osterberg, Jr. on April 21, 1947 in Muskegon, Michigan and is one of America's most well-known, and notorious, punk rock singers. Pop's music has encompassed a variation of musical styles over the years, including pop, punk-rock, jazz and blues. Coupled with his onstage antics, Pop became an icon in the music world. By the time Pop was in high school he was playing regularly as the drummer in the band, The Iguanas. Going on to form one of the most influential bands in music, The Stooges, Pop has also maintained a successful solo career despite his struggle with heroin addiction early in his career. Some of Pop's most famous songs include: “Lust for Life,” “The Passenger,” “Real Wild Child,” “Search and Destroy” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” 2010 saw, The Stooges, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As high school was drawing to a close, Pop became influenced by the blues band Prime Movers and moved to Chicago in an effort immerse himself into the blues community there. Pop picked up gigs playing drums in local blues clubs, before forming the Psychedelic Stooges and calling himself Iggy. The band consisted of Pop on vocals, Ron Asheton on guitar, Asheton's brother Scott on drums and Dave Alexander on bass.

In 1967 Pop became heavily inspired by the music of The Doors after seeing them live at University of Michigan and being enthralled by the stage antics and persona of Jim Morrison. 1968 saw The Stooges sign with Elektra Records. They then produced two albums, 1969’s “The Stooges” and 1970’s “Fun House.” However, both albums were unsuccessful and Elektra dropped the band. Shortly thereafter Pop's heroin addiction began to grow and the band dismantled.

1971 saw a meeting between Pop and David Bowie, who was interested in working with Pop. The duo collaborated on an album together, “Raw Power,” which reunited partial members of The Stooges with Bowie producing. Despite the new found interest in The Stooges, drugs still took center stage in Pop's life and his creative output was severely impacted for a number of years until he sought rehab.

1977 found Pop clean and sober, signed to RCA Records and working with Bowie once again on his solo albums, “The Idiot” and “Lust for Life.” By 1979, Pop had parted ways with RCA and signed with Arista Records to release “New Values” which featured ex-Stooges member, James Williamson. However, the short-lived reunion between the two musicians became antagonistic once again on Pop's next album, 1980’s “Soldier” leading to Pop firing Williamson.

Pop's second album at Arista, 1981’s “Party” was a commercial failure – like the first – and Pop was dropped from the label. His drug habit also made its presence known once again, which made Pop more erratic and musically unpredictable.

As the 1980s continued, Pop released three more studio album to moderate success, and landed a hit single in 1986 with “The Wild One” peaking in the Top 10 of the U.K. Singles chart. The album the single was featured on, “Blah Blah Blah” became Pop's highest-charting album in 10 years, peaking at #75 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

1990 marked Pop's collaboration with members of Guns N' Roses and The B-52's for the album, “Brick by Brick,” in addition to contributing to the Red Hot Organization's Aids benefit album, “Red Hot + Blue” with a duet with Deborah Harry, “Well Did You Evah!” As the 1990s progressed, Pop's music appeared in numerous film scores, which gained him a new legion of fans.1992 saw a collaboration with White Zombie. In 1996 Pop was catapulted into the mainstream spotlight once again and experienced a resurgence in his music due to the Danny Boyle film, “Trainspotting,” which featured Pop's “Lust for Life.”

As the 2000s emerged, Pop was collaborating once again on his 2003 album, “Skull Ring” with Sum 41, Green Day, Peaches, The Trolls and former Stooges bandmates Ron and Scott Asheton. In 2004, Pop reformed The Stooges with bassist Mike Watt, saxophonist Steve Mackay and the Asheton brothers. The band has been toured regularly since 2004.

2007 saw Iggy and The Stooges play the Glastonbury Festival in support of their new album, “The Weirdness.” 2009 was marked by tragedy for Pop, when his long-time friend and Stooges member Ron Asheton was found dead from an apparent heart attack. James Williamson rejoined the band after a 29 year absence taking Asheton's place. In 2010 The Stooges were finally inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Pop's 15th solo album, “Préliminaires,” was issued in 2009 and was a nod to the French author Michel Houellebecq. The album showcased a quiet jazz feel that hearkened back to the work of Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton. In 2012 Pop's 16th solo studio album, “Apres” arrived, followed by Iggy & The Stooges' fifth studio album, “Ready to Die” in 2013.