WHO IS HE: Joe Holiday is a magician who takes a family-friendly approach to magic and entertainment. The Atlantic City native has performed around the world on cruise ships, at amusement parks and corporate events and has even performed for the U.S. military in China, South Korea and Japan.
ZZ Top is throwing a party this weekend at Revel and you’re invited. “The idea is simple –– come on out and let’s get down,” says frontman and guitarist Billy Gibbons, who performs with the band 9 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Ovation Hall.
When Rush toured in 2010 and 2011, the band billed it as the “Time Machine” tour. In addition to playing the band’s 1981 hit album “Moving Pictures” in its entirety, Rush played other songs from its 38-year back catalog, and also debuted two songs that were earmarked for its next album – in a sense taking fans both back in time, while giving them a look into the future.
WHO ARE THEY: The Whispers were formed in the mid-1960s, but it wasn’t until the ‘70s and ‘80s that they began scoring hit singles. Their two biggest chart successes were the 1980 track “And the Beat Goes on” and the 1985 Top 10 hit “Rock Steady.” In 2003, The Whispers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and in 2008 they won the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award.
WHO IS SHE: Comic veteran Joan Rivers has enjoyed a diverse and immensely successful career which has spanned four decades. “The Queen of the one-liners,” as she is sometimes referred, has won a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Talk Show Host, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording in 1985. She also was nominated for a Tony Award in 1994 for her lead role in “Sally Marr … and Her Escorts.” The Brooklyn, N.Y., native also is famous for her runway interviews and commentaries at major award ceremonies.
WHO ARE THEY: Charlie Wilson was the lead singer of the legendary R&B group The Gap Band. Over the course of the band’s history, it managed to score two gold and three platinum albums. The Gap Band scored No. 1 R&B hits with “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me),” “Early in the Morning,” “Outstanding” and “Addicted to Your Love.” Wilson’s most recent solo album, “Uncle Charlie,” was a smash, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200. The singer was nominated for two Grammy Awards for the album and was named Billboard Magazine’s 2009 Top Urban Adult Contemporary Artist.
WHO ARE THEY: Christian rocker band Relient K hails from Canton, Ohio, and has released numerous full-length albums and EPs since its formation in 1998. The band’s 2004 album, “Mmhmm,” reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200 and the 2007 follow-up “Five Score and Seven Years Ago” did even better, debuting at No. 6 and selling 60,000 copies in its first week.
WHO IS HE: Anthony Jeselnik is a stand-up comedian and writer who became familiar to many through his participation in Comedy Central roasts. In 2009, Jeselnik worked as a writer for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and a year later he released his debut comedy album, “Shakespeare.” In 2013, Jeselnik hosted his own series, “The Jeselnik Offensive” on Comedy Central. He also released a second comedy album, “Caligula.”
WHO IS HE: Showbiz veteran Sal Richards was once called “one of the funniest guys in show biz” by the N.Y. Daily News. The Brooklyn native also was voted as the “Entertainment Industry’s Funniest Comic” by the New York Friars Club. Richards has been a mainstay in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City for years and also has appeared in several movies including “Out for Justice” and “Rounders.” His television credits include “The Sopranos,” “Law & Order: CI” and “Bachelor Life.”
Soundgarden may have come out of Seattle in the early ’90s, but it's never been part of the grunge movement –– then or now — says bass player Ben Shepherd.
Il Divo is breathing a collective sigh of relief. After not touring the U.S. for several years, the pop-classical vocal quartet wasn't sure what kind of reception it would get from its American fans.
WHO IS SHE: Comedian Wanda Sykes began her stand-up career in 1987 by entering a Washington D.C. talent competition. In 1992, she quit her day job and moved to New York to pursue comedy full-time. She got her big break opening for Chris Rock at Caroline’s Comedy Club and in 1997 she was hired as a writer for “The Chris Rock Show.” In 2003, Sykes landed her own show on Fox called “Wanda at Large,” however it proved to be short-lived. The comedian also starred in her own Comedy Central special that same year and wrote a book titled “Yeah, I Said It,” which was released in 2004. Sykes landed a role on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” in 2006 and provided voiceovers in the films “Over the Hedge,” “Barnyard” and “Brother Bear 2.”
WHO ARE THEY: Toto Cutugno is an Italian singer who was born in Tuscany and began his career as a drummer. With his band, Albatros, he placed third in the Sanremo Music Festival in 1976 and was on his way. Cutugno wound up appearing at the festival 13 times. In 1990, he won the Eurovision Song Contest with his ballad, “Insieme: 1992.” Cutugno’s best-known hit song is “L’Italiano (Lasciatemi Cantare).”
WHO IS HE: R&B singer Avant released his debut album “My Thoughts” in May 2000. His first hit was “Separated” which reached No. 5 on the Billboard R&B charts. Avant’s sophomore effort, “Ecstasy,” was released in 2002 and featured the production work of Steve Huff who also worked on “My Thoughts.” The albums “Private Room” and “Director” followed in the next few years and each contained its share of R&B hits with “Director” reaching as high as No. 4 on the Billboard 200. A self-titled album was released in 2008 and “The Letter” came out in 2010.
WHO ARE THEY: Shinedown is a melodic hard rock band in the vein of Creed and Nickelback, hailing from Jacksonville, Fla. Its platinum-selling debut album “Leave a Whisper” was released in 2003 and featured the single “Fly From the Inside.” In 2004, the band opened for Van Halen. The band’s sophomore album “Us and Them” was released in 2005. The first single from the album, “Save Me,” became the theme song for “WWE No Mercy.” “Amaryllis” was released in 2012.
Furthur guitarist John Kadlecik is still pinching himself. Four years after being asked to join the jam band co-founded by the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, Kadlecik still can’t quite believe he gets to share the stage with these iconic musicians every night.
Rihanna, as usual, is generating headlines as much for her off-stage activities as her music.
WHO IS SHE: Pat Benatar was discovered at the Catch a Rising Star club in New York City in the late 1970s and released her debut album “In the Heat of the Night” in 1979. The album contained the radio hits “Heartbreaker” and “I Need a Lover.” Benatar’s backing band was led by guitarist Neil Giraldo, who she later married. Her sophomore release “Crimes of Passion” went double platinum and made her an arena headliner. It featured the hits “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Treat Me Right” and “You Better Run.” Benatar was featured heavily on MTV in its early days, which helped her career immensely. Other hits during the ’80s included “Love is a Battlefield,” “Shadows of the Night,” “We Belong,” “Fire and Ice,” “Promises in the Dark” and “Invincible.”
WHO IS SHE: Sarah Silverman is a comedian, actress and writer who is known for her work on “Saturday Night Live” as well as “The Sarah Silverman Program.” In the mid-1990s, Silverman was a featured performer on “Mr. Show” and also appeared on an episode of “Seinfeld.” She appeared in films such as “Something About Mary,” “School of Rock,” “Heartbreakers” and “Rent” and in 2005 released the concert film “Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic.”
WHO IS SHE: Sara Evans left her farm home in Missouri in 1991, heading to Nashville in hopes of pursuing her dream of becoming a country singer. By 1997, Evans had released “Three Chords and the Truth” for RCA Records and was well on her way. “No Place that Far” followed in 1998 and took a more contemporary approach. Evans’ third album, “Born to Fly,” reached the top 10 of Billboard’s Country Charts and the title track proved to be a major hit. “Restless,” which was released in 2003, featured the hit songs “Suds in the Bucket” and “Perfect.”
WHO IS HE: Romeo Santos began his career as the lead singer of Aventura, a Bachata group that experienced success with hit songs on the Latin charts and in Europe. Aventura made a splash in Italy in 2002 with the song “Obsesion” topping the charts for an amazing 16 weeks straight. In 2011, Santos struck out on his own with his debut solo album “Formula, Vol. 1.” It contained the single “You,” which reached the top spot on the Hot Latin Songs and Tropical Songs charts. The Bronx native followed it up with “Promise,” a song which was another No. 1 hit. The album received a Grammy Award nomination in the category of “Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album.” In 2012, Santos released the live album “The King Stays King: Sold Out at Madison Square Garden.”
If it feels like ages since you’ve seen comedian/actor Paul Reiser among the headliners in Atlantic City, you’re right.
WHO IS SHE: Comedian Kathy Griffin became known for her role as Vickie Groener alongside Brooke Shields on NBC’s “Suddenly Susan” in the late 1990s. Prior to this, the Chicago native had guest starring roles on “ER,” “Seinfeld” and “Mad About You.” In the past several years, Griffin has appeared on several reality-based programs, including “Celebrity Mole,” “Average Joe” and “Kathy’s So-Called Reality.” In 2005, she released a stand-up comedy DVD titled “Allegedly.” For several years, she starred in her own reality show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” on the Bravo network. In 2011, she starred on Broadway in “Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony.”
WHO ARE THEY: The Gipsy Kings emerged from France with its self-titled album of flamenco music in 1988 and was a huge success right away. The album was a Top 10 hit in more than a dozen countries worldwide and established the group as a powerhouse in Latin and world music. The Gipsy Kings followed up its success with more hit albums including “Mosaique,” “Allegria,” “Este Mundo” and “Love & Liberte.” The 1993 film “Fearless” featured the group’s song “Sin Ella,” and in 1995 “The Best of the Gipsy Kings” provided new fans with a glimpse into what has made the group so successful. “The Best of the Gipsy Kings” also featured the hit song “A tu Vera.”
WHO ARE THEY: The Mavericks is a country band from Miami that was founded in the late 1980s and stayed together until 2003 before breaking up. During that time period, the band released six albums and had 14 singles place on the Billboard country charts. Its biggest hit was “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.” In 1995, the band took home a Grammy award for “Best Country Performance By a Duo Or Group with Vocal.” The Mavericks reunited in 2012 and released the album “In Time” in February 2013.
WHO IS HE: Few personify the term “living legend” greater than Smokey Robinson. As a singer, writer, producer and music executive, Robinson had more to do with the early success of Motown than any other performer. His sweet falsetto coupled with romantic lyrics and perfectly crafted pop tunes enabled Robinson to score constant top 10 pop hits throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. First with The Miracles and later as a solo artist, Robinson’s hits included “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Tears of a Clown,” “Ooh Baby, Baby” and “Cruisin’.” The Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer also wrote monster hits for The Temptations including “My Girl,” and the No. 1 single “My Guy” for Mary Wells.
WHO IS SHE: Kathleen Madigan is a stand-up comedienne whose material includes topics such as immigration, drugs and life in small-town America. She has made numerous television appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” Currently, Madigan hosts her own show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
WHO ARE THEY: Badfish is a three-piece tribute to Sublime, the innovative rock/pop/groove band whose career was cut short tragically with the death of lead singer Brad Nowell in 1996. The band incorporates the spirit of Sublime into an authentic tribute that has proven to be quite successful. Badfish maintains a rigorous touring schedule and has a dedicated following of fans who offer much support.
WHO ARE THEY: Post-grunge rock band Three Days Grace is a Canadian quartet that released its self-titled debut album in 2003. The album reached the top 10 on the Canadian charts. It featured the hit single “I Hate Everything About You” and “Just Like You.” In March 2006, the band released the single “Animal I Have Become,” which reached No. 1 on the U.S. Mainstream rock chart. The album “One-X” reached platinum sales status and contained the hits “Pain” and “Never Too Late.” 2009’s “Life Starts Now” debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and contained the single “Break.” The album “Transit of Venus” was released in October 2012.
WHO ARE THEY: In 1968, The Temptations faced the difficult task of replacing its popular, charismatic lead singer, David Ruffin. Thankfully for the group, it found a more-than-able replacement in singer Dennis Edwards. With Edwards at the helm, the group won its first Grammy award and scored the hit singles “Papa was a Rolling Stone,” “Memories,” “Ball of Confusion,” “Can’t Get Next to You” and “Cloud Nine.” Edwards was inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the Temptations in 1989. In addition to Edwards, the Temptations Revue features singers David Sea, Mike Patillo, Bernard Gibson and Chris Arnold.
R&B star Alicia Keys is constantly updating her brand, but the essence remains the same — a talented singer-songwriter who is still learning to adapt her intimate style to the big stage.
WHO IS SHE: Although she had been making albums for five years, it wasn't until 1998 with her fifth album, "When I Look Into Your Eyes," that Diana Krall's career really began to take off. The Canadian wound up taking home a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, while "When I Look Into Your Eyes" became the first jazz album to be nominated for Album of the Year in 25 years. 2001's "The Look of Love" topped the Billboard charts and went quintuple platinum in Canada. Over the course of her career, Krall has sold more than 6 million albums in the U.S. and more than 15 million worldwide. She also has had eight albums debut at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.
WHO IS HE: Vyacheslav Butusov is a Russian singer who became well known as the frontman of the rock band Nautilus Pompilius. The group’s debut album “Pereyezd” was released in 1982, but it was the album’s “Nevidimka” and “Razluka” which really caught the attention of the public. In 2001, Butusov formed the U-piter Band, and since 2007 he has occasionally worked as a solo artist as well.
WHO IS HE: Through his work with both The Drifters and as a solo artist, Ben E. King proved to be one of the most influential R&B singers of all time. As a member of The Drifters, King sang lead on hits such as “There Goes my Baby,” “Dance with Me,” “This Magic Moment,” “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “I Count the Tears.” King departed for a solo career in 1960 and scored a hit with “Spanish Harlem” the following year. His biggest hit and signature song however, was “Stand by Me” which topped the R&B charts and reached the top five on the pop charts. Other hits included “Amor,” “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) and “I (Who Have Nothing).”
Martin Short sees his act as a freewheeling party with him as a special guest star, joined by Ed Grimsley, Jiminy Glick and Irving Cohen and a “cast” of his own offbeat characters.
WHO IS HE: Johnny Mathis has sustained one of the longest-running and most successful careers of any male singer in the adult contemporary genre. The singer tailored his musical approach by concentrating on romantic renditions of pop and jazz standards. He was initially successful on the singles charts during the late 1950s, but soon switched his focus to albums, a dozen of which reached gold or platinum status. By the 1970s, Mathis began incorporating soft rock into his repertoire and managed to score the No. 1 single “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” in 1978.
WHO IS HE: Brian Regan is a stand-up comedian who released his first CD, "Brian Regan Live," in 1997. He has had two hour-long Comedy Central specials, both of which have been released on DVD. Regan first appeared on "The Late Show With David Letterman" back in 1995 and has appeared on the show more than 20 times since. Constantly on tour, Regan has performed in more than 80 cities each year since 2005.
WHO ARE THEY: Sunidhi Chauhan is a playback singer from India whose songs have been featured in numerous Bollywood films. Chauhan sang the hit song “Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi” in the film “Mast,” which served as her breakthrough. She has won three Filmfare Awards, having been nominated for 12 over the years.
WHO ARE THEY: After appearing on recordings by MC Hammer, Messy Marv and Tony! Toni! Tone!, Keyshia Cole released her debut solo album, "The Way It Is," in 2005. The album featured a collaboration with Kanye West on the single "I Changed My Mind" and other collaborations with DaRon, Chink Santana and E-Poppi. Cole worked with Eve on a song for the "Barbershop 2" soundtrack called "Never." The album, "Just Like You," was released in 2007 and included the singles "Last Night," "I Remember," "Shoulda Let You Go" and "Heaven Sent." In December 2008, "A Different Me" was released and was certified platinum. Cole also starred in her own reality show on BET called "Keyshia Cole: The Way it Is." The album "Woman to Woman" was released in 2012.
WHO ARE THEY: Matt & Kim is an indie duo from Brooklyn, N.Y., comprised of Matt Johnson on vocals and keyboards and Kim Schifino on drums. The bands self-titled independent debut album was released in 2006 and was a modest affair. For its follow-up Grand, Matt & Kim signed on with the label FADER. A video for the track Lessons Learned featured the duo stripping naked in Times Square and became a viral hit, eventually winning the Breakthrough Video award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. The album "Sidewalks" was released in November 2010 and Matt & Kim headlined two separate U.S. tours in support of it, in addition to supporting Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance in fall 2011. In June 2012, the duo released Lightning, which included standout tracks such as "Let's Go," "It's Alright" and "Now."
WHO ARE THEY: Stone Sour is making its first appearance in Atlantic City in more than five years as the headliner of an alternative metal bill. The Des Moines, Iowa-based outfit will release “House of Gold & Bones, Pt. 2” (Roadrunner), the conclusion of a two-part concept album, on Tuesday, April 9. The first installment came out in 2012.
WHO IS HE: When he was just 12 years old, country singer Gary Allan was already hitting the bars on the southern California honky-tonk circuit with his father’s band. By 1996, Allan had his own band, a recording contract with Decca and a debut album release, “Used Heart for Sale.” In 2001, Allan scored his first No. 1 hit with “Man to Man” from the album “Alright Guy.” 2005’s “Tough All Over” was a Top 10 hit.
Jack Jones, the smooth crooner behind the iconic theme for TV’s “The Love Boat,” fittingly has romance in mind for his current set.
WHO ARE THEY: The sons of four legendary Greek singers — Yiannis Parios, Stratos Dionyssiou, Grigoris Bithikotsis and Stamatis Kokotas — have teamed up to pay tribute to their fathers as part of the Tribute to the Legends — Songs of our Fathers tour. The lineup consists of Dimitris Kokotas, Grigoris Bithikotsis, Haris Varthakouris and Stelios Dionyssiou.
WHO IS HE: Latin singer Victor Manuelle achieved a great deal of success and popularity in the mid-1990s and was one of the leading voices among his peers of New York-based salsa performers. Manuelle’s 1996 self-titled release and 1997’s “A Pesar de Todo” were huge and featured several No. 1 hits. Although born in New York, Manuelle spent most of his childhood in Puerto Rico. His singing career began when salsa legend Gilberto Santa Rosa invited him onstage during a performance at Manuelle’s high school graduation party. Santa Rosa was so impressed that he referred the young singer to Don Perignon, who hired him to sing backup. Manuelle’s debut album, “Justo a Tiempo,” was released in 1993.
WHO ARE THEY: Singer/songwriter Aaron Bruno formed the electronic rock group AWOLNATION in 2009 after success with other bands including Under the Influence of Giants. AWOLNATION’s debut album released the EP “Back from Earth” in 2010, which paved the way for the full-length debut “Megalithic Symphony,” which was released a year later in 2011. It included the hit song “Sail” as well as “Not Your Fault” and “Kill Your Heroes.” The album topped the Billboard Independent charts seven separate times in 2012 and has sold more than 330,000 copies. The band hit the road hard with more than 250 dates including performances at Coachella and The Voodoo Festival in New Orleans.
Magician Steve Wyrick has some grand illusions up his sleeve. In his signature stage move, he conjures a twin-engine Piper Cherokee 180 airplane seemingly out of the air.
Sully Erna is a rock star in transition. The lead singer of Godsmack is taking time off from the alt-metal band to focus on his writing and budding acting career.
If the image of actor-comedian Steve Martin playing the banjo makes you want to giggle, thats OK - just save your laughter for in-between songs.
WHO ARE THEY: The foundation of the heavy metal band Blue Oyster Cult was formed at Stony Brook College on Long Island by students and future rock critics Sandy Pearlman and Richard Meltzer. The group went through several name changes and a couple of aborted album attempts before settling on the name Blue Oyster Cult. The group’s debut album was released in 1972, but it wasn’t until their fourth release, “Agents of Fortune” in 1976, that Blue Oyster Cult truly broke through to the mainstream. The album contained the Top 40 single “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” which was featured in the film “Halloween.” Several gold albums were to follow.