Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier, February 4, 1948) is an American rock singer whose career spans over 5 decades. With a raspy voice and a stage show that features numerous props and stage illusions, including pyrotechnics, guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, reptiles, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers to be “The Godfather of Shock Rock”. He has drawn equally from horror films, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock audiences.
Originating in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1964, “Alice Cooper” was originally a band with roots extending back to a band called The Earwigs, consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, and Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar and background vocals. By 1966, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar joined the three and Neal Smith was added on drums in 1967. The five named the band “Alice Cooper”, and Furnier eventually adopted it as his stage pseudonym. They released their 1969 debut album with limited chart success. Breaking out with the 1970 single “I’m Eighteen” and the third album Love It to Death,the band reached their commercial peak in 1973 with their sixth studio album, Billion Dollar Babies.After the band broke up, Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper and began a solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. Over his career, Cooper has sold well over 50 million records.
Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, glam metal, and industrial rock. He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and has been described as the artist who “first introduced horror imagery to rock and roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre”. He is also known for his wit offstage, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide calling him the world’s most “beloved heavy metal entertainer”. Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, and, since 2004, a radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper. (more)