Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic (born October 23, 1959 in Downey, California) is an American singer-songwriter, music producer, actor, comedian, satirist, accordian player and kazooist. Yankovic is known in particular for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and that often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts. Since his first-aired song parody in 1976, he has sold more than 12 million albums—more than any other comedy act in history—recorded more than 150 parody and original songs, and has performed more than 1,000 live shows.His works have earned him three Grammy Awards among nine nominations, four gold records, and six platinum records in the United States. Yankovic's first top ten Billboard album (Straight Outta Lynwood) and single ("White & Nerdy") were both released in 2006, nearly three decades into his career.
In addition to recording his albums, Yankovic has written and starred in his own film, UHF, and his own television show, The Weird Al Show, and directed music videos for himself and other artists including Ben Folds, Hanson, the Black Crowes and The Presidents of the United States of America. He has also made guest appearances on many television shows, in addition to starring in his own Al TV specials.
Though parodies earned him his fame, Yankovic has recorded a greater number of humorous songs with original tunes. Some of these pieces are pastiches (or style parodies), where he chooses a band's entire body of work to emulate rather than any single hit, although Yankovic has many completely original pieces. Most of his albums include a medley which juxtaposes the choruses of various songs in a polka style to accordion music.
Due to his popularity, he has been credited with several songs that are not actually his. A full list of every song he has ever actually done, including the live-only songs, can be found at the Al Songs website. Similarly, a comprehensive list of songs incorrectly credited to him can be found at The Not Al Page.
In 2006, Al recorded the song "You're Pitiful". However, while James Blunt gave his blessing for the parody of his song, "You're Beautiful", Blunt's label Atlantic Records was opposed to it. Though parodies are protected legally, the issue had become "more of a political matter than a legal matter", according to Al, so he decided to not put the song on his next album. Instead, he offered it as a free download from his site.
His latest album, "Straight Outta Lynwood", was released September 26th, 2006. Its first released single, "Don't Download This Song", was made available as a free download on August 21, 2006. The animated video for the track and a link to downloadable MP3 is available at dontdownloadthissong.com. Among other tracks, the album includes parodies of Green Day, Usher, R. Kelly, and Chamillionaire. Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty" is parodied as "White and Nerdy", the second released single from the new album. This single has thus far climbed as far as #9 on the Billboard Singles chart, eclipsing "Eat It" as Al's highest charting single (which went as high as #12).
Official Website: http://www.weirdal.com
Jon ''Bermuda'' Schwartz
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