Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop is very likely the single most influential American rocker to emerge in the late '60s. As the manic frontman for The Stooges, he invented punk several years early and redefined the dynamic between a rock 'n' roller and the audience. He was born James Osterberg on April 21, 1947 in Muskegon, Michigan, and as a teen he lived in Ypsilanti and played drums in a number of Ann Arbor bands, most notably The Iguanas, with whom he made his first recordings in the mid '60s. After some time spent soaking up the blues scene in Chicago, he started The Stooges (initially The Psychedelic Stooges) in Detroit in 1967. Influenced by the onstage antics of The Doors' Jim Morrison, Iggy developed a manic, boundary-breaking performance style that involved everything from then-revolutionary stage diving to self-laceration. The Stooges' unprecedentedly forceful, minimalistic sound was as powerful as the hard rock bands of the era but more streamlined. The Stooges first three albums-their self-titled 1969 debut, 1970's Fun House, and 1973's David Bowie-produced Raw Power, would eventually become the building blocks of punk and much of what came after it. The Stooges split in '74, and the following year, Iggy cut Kill City with former bandmate James Williamson. By 1977, having moved to Berlin along with pal Bowie, Iggy scored a solo deal with RCA, and his first two solo albums, The Idiot and Lust For Life (both 1977) featured the production, composition, and playing of Bowie. These records laid the groundwork for everything from new wave to industrial and goth, reigniting Iggy's career with a vengeance. He put out a long string of solo albums for decades to come, and even scored a handful of Top 40 hits with 1986's "Cry For Love" and "Real Wild Child" and 1990's "Candy." In 2003 Iggy reunited The Stooges, with former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt replacing Dave Alexander, who died in 1975. They toured for the next several years, and released The Weirdness in 2077. Guitarist Ron Asheton died in 2009 and was replaced by James Williamson, and this lineup released Ready to Die in 2013. In 2016 Pop released his highest-charting album ever, hitting the top 20 with Post Pop Depression.