Happy birthday, Iggy Pop!
The music legend was born James Newell Osterberg Jr. on April 21, 1947 — 75 years ago today. In fronting the seminal proto-punk band The Stooges, Pop became known as the Godfather of Punk.
Pop formed The Stooges in the late ’60s in his home state of Michigan alongside bassist Dave Alexander, guitarist Ron Asheton and Ron’s brother, drummer Scott Asheton. The band, which became known for their raucous live shows, released two albums, 1969’s The Stooges and 1970’s Fun House, before they broke up amid heavy drug use.
Soon thereafter, a revamped Stooges lineup, featuring new guitarist James Williamson and Ron on bass in place of Alexander, came together to record a new album produced by David Bowie, resulting in 1973’s Raw Power. Like the previous two Stooges records, Raw Power was not a commercial success, but ended up being hugely influential on the soon-arriving punk explosion of the ’70s.
Pop’s relationship with Bowie continued as they moved to Berlin in an effort to get sober after years of drug abuse. While there, they wrote and recorded Pop’s debut solo albums: 1977’s The Idiot and Lust for Life. Iggy has released a steady stream of solo albums since then. In 1990, Pop found commercial success with “Candy,” a duet with The B-52s‘ Kate Pierson that reached the Billboard Hot 100’s top 30, while the 1996 film Trainspotting brought new popularity to the song “Lust for Life.”
In 2003, Pop and The Stooges reunited, and released a new album, The Weirdness, in 2007. Following Ron Asheton’s death in 2009, The Stooges were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, and Williamson rejoined for one final album, 2013’s Ready to Die. Scott Asheton died in 2014.
Pop’s solo career continues to be prolific, and he’s collaborated with artists including Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme and buzzy Italian rockers Måneskin.
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