From Beethoven to Beyonce: 16 Facts About Music Legends

Musicians are entertainers, and their private lives are often as exciting as their content. Many enjoy a colorful lifestyle and have no issues if the public knows about it.

Artists have stirred rumors throughout history, leaving the media desperate to find the truth.

This list only deals with facts, but each entry, from Beethoven to Beyonce, may offer new insight into your favorite artists.

1. Ludwig van Beethoven

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Beethoven’s exact date of birth is unknown. The only fact that history knows for sure is that he was baptized on December 17, 1770.

Around the time of his birth, infant mortality was so high that parents didn’t waste time getting their children baptized. It’s assumed that the composer was born on December 15 or 16, but it’s not certain.

2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Mozart was a colorful character who loved to play pranks on people. He once produced a piece of music that was intentionally written so that instruments would play it out of tune.

The Austrian composer was a child prodigy who learned songs by age four. Seven years later, at the age of 11, Mozart wrote his first opera, Apollo et Hyacinthus.

3. David Bowie

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David Bowie was born David Robert Jones in London in January 1947. He began recording in 1962 under his birth name before adopting his professional alias.

He changed his last name to Bowie because he didn’t want to be confused with Davy Jones, another English musician. Jones was a member of The Monkees, whose TV show premiered in the United States in 1966.

4. Mick Jagger

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The Rolling Stones’ lead singer, Mick Jagger, sang backing vocals on Carly Simon’s 1972 single “You’re So Vain.” That may not sound too interesting until you learn that Jagger may have been one of the people implicated in the song’s subject matter.

It’s a song about a self-absorbed lover, and Simon has only revealed the name Warren Beatty. While she’s denied it’s about Mick Jagger, rumors persist that it was based partly on her impressions of the singer.

5. Diana Ross

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In 1976, Billboard Magazine named Diana Ross the Female Entertainer of the Century. The award seemed premature, given that the century had another 24 years to run, but Billboard’s decision proved correct.

It’s among a host of awards claimed by Diana Ross, including two Grammy’s Lifetime Achievements, one as a solo artist and the other with The Supremes.

6. Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney
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Member of the Beatles and a hugely successful solo artist, Paul McCartney, was on a plane traveling into New York when he witnessed part of the 9/11 attacks.

McCartney was so affected by what he saw that day he later gave a charity concert for victims of the attacks, and the New York Police Department made him an honorary detective in return.

7. Freddie Mercury

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Queen’s iconic lead singer had an unlikely connection to the sports world. Mercury once revealed that he was a talented boxer as a child and also a good hockey player.

It’s also claimed that he once rescued Billie Jean King, although the story is less dramatic. He led the tennis star to the safety of the dance floor after a fight broke out in a Brooklyn nightclub.

8. Axl Rose

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The lead singer of Guns N’ Roses has sometimes been controversial. His immense talent, however, is unquestionable, and his vocal range spans four octaves.

A little-known fact is that Axl also collects rare memorabilia. His personal hoard includes a variety of medieval weapons, and he even owns a dinosaur skull.

9. Sting

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Former frontman of The Police and an acclaimed solo artist. Sting is a big chess fan. He plays regularly and has a giant chessboard in the grounds of his villa in Tuscany.

Sting took his interest a stage further when he and four band members took on World Champion Gary Kasparov in New York’s Times Square. Kasparov beat them all comfortably, but Sting held out the longest, finally succumbing to defeat after 45 moves.

10. Hayley Williams

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Hayley Williams, the lead singer of the band Paramore, has been called several nicknames in the past. The most notable is Spongebob, which was used when she had a gap between her two front teeth.

Following the release of the band’s 2017 album After Laughter, Williams celebrated with a tattoo of a gap-toothed smile on her left wrist.

11. Lady Gaga

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We all know Lady Gaga is an accomplished actress. Who could forget her stunning portrayal of Ally in the 2018 release of A Star is Born?

It’s not as widely known that her acting career began much earlier. Lady Gaga’s first credited acting role came in an episode of The Sopranos when she was 15. She is named Stefani Germanotta, and she plays “Girl at Swimming Pool #2.”

12. Prince

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There is some debate over Prince’s favorite color. Most assume it was purple due to his vivid clothing and the song “Purple Rain.”

Some members of the family maintain this is true, but his sister Tyka Nelson has a different view, suggesting that Prince’s favorite color was, in fact, orange. Nelson claims that his iconic orange cloud guitar reveals the truth.

13. Rivers Cuomo

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Weezer’s lead singer provides a host of fascinating facts. Rivers Cuomo once had a medical procedure to address an issue where one of his legs was longer than the other. An X-ray of his left leg subsequently appeared on the cover of the band’s “Good Life” single.

Cuomo is also a big soccer fan, and he organized Weezer’s 2002 Tour around the World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

14. Ed Sheeran

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Most Ed Sheeran fans know that their hero loves LEGOs, but they may not know how deep his obsession runs. The singer revealed on The Graham Norton Show that he celebrated his early success by treating himself to a Death Star LEGO kit.

Sheeran also said he took a LEGO kit with him on a date because he couldn’t wait to build it!

15. Taylor Swift

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Music is in Taylor Swift’s blood. Her grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, was a part of the ABC Radio Network show Music With the Girls. Finlay was a talented opera singer and entered the series after winning a talent contest.

Later, Finlay’s vocals were used as a backing for Taylor Swift’s song “Marjorie” from her 2020 album Evermore.

16. Beyonce Knowles

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It may surprise everyone except her dedicated fans that Beyonce suffers from stage fright. She developed an alter ego known as “Sasha Fierce” to combat the condition.

The name appears prominently on her 2008 solo album, I Am… Sacha Fierce. The singer explained that her alter ego is sensual and aggressive — qualities Beyonce may lack in real life.

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