With the recent passing of Little Richard, another of the defining celebrities of the 1950s, this could appear that the majority of the era’s top pop singers had said their goodbyes. Thankfully, many of the decade’s biggest stars are all still alive and well. Here are 17 great instances of musicians that didn’t simply get their start in the 1950s, but also were among some of the decade’s biggest stars.
Bennett, Tony: Bennett’s first and best song, “Because of You,” was released in 1951. In the last ten years, Bennett has had two No. 1 albums upon that Billboard 200, Duets II in 2011 and Cheek to Cheek, a collaboration with Lady Gaga, in 2014.
Bennett has won 18 Grammy Awards, including a single of the year for “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” in 1962 and an album of the year for MTV Unplugged in 1994. In 2001, the Recording Academy honoured him with a lifetime achievement award, and in 2005, he was honoured with a Kennedy Center Honor. Bennett is 93 years old.
“Wonderful! Wonderful!” was the balladeer’s first success in 1957. “It’s Not for Me to Say,” “Chances Are,” and “The Twelfth of Never” were among his other great singles that year. With “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” a soulful collaboration with Deniece Williams, he topped the Hot 100 in 1978.
Johnny’s Greatest Hits in 1958 and Heavenly in 1959 were both No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200. Despite five nominations, Mathis has failed to win a Grammy in competition, however, the Recording Academy honoured him with a lifetime achievement award in 2003. Mathis is 84 years old.
In 1953, the musician and campaigner had his first success with “Gomen Nasai (Forgive Me).” In 1957, he had his biggest success with “Banana Boat (Day-O).” Belafonte’s album Belafonte debuted at No. 1 upon that Billboard 200 list in 1956. Calypso, his follow-up, made him the first artist to have two No.