Celine Dion

Rising from humble beginnings in the small town of Charlemagne, Quebec, Celine Dion became one of the biggest international stars in pop music history, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide. The youngest in Adhemar and Therese Dion's family of 14 children, Dion grew up in an environment full of the inherent chaos and material austerity that comes with such a large working-class family.

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MARIAH CAREY

The best-selling female performer of the 1990s, Mariah Carey rose to superstardom on the strength of her stunning five-octave voice; an elastic talent who moved easily from glossy ballads to hip-hop-inspired dance-pop, she earned frequent comparison to rivals Whitney Houston and Celine Dion, but did them both one better by composing all of her own material. Born in Long Island, NY, on March 27, 1970, Carey moved to New York City at the age of 17 -- just one day after graduating high school -- to pursue a music career; there she befriended keyboardist Ben Margulies, with whom she began writing songs. Her big break came as a backing vocalist on a studio session with dance-pop singer Brenda K. Starr, who handed Carey's demo tape to Columbia Records head Tommy Mottola at a party. According to legend, Mottola listened to the tape in his limo while driving home that same evening, and was so immediately struck by Carey's talent that he doubled back to the party to track her down.

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The Chemical Brothers

The act with the first arena-sized sound in the electronica movement, the Chemical Brothers united such varying influences as Public Enemy, Cabaret Voltaire, and My Bloody Valentine to create a dance-rock-rap fusion which rivalled the best old-school DJs on their own terms -- keeping a crowd of people on the floor by working through any number of groove-oriented styles featuring unmissable samples, from familiar guitar riffs to vocal tags to various sound effects.

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Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé Knowles is one of the many impressionable artists of the new millennium, but an individual in her own right. She's praised for her wildly inventive presentations in music and film, and respected for her down-to-earth persona. With her grace, beauty, charm, and gift for entertaining, Knowles has become a star and an American icon.

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Avril Ramona Lavigne

Avril Ramona Lavigne (born September 27, 1984) is a Canadian pop punk singer/songwriter and actress who is well known for her "skater punk" persona. Her two albums to date, Let Go (2002) and Under My Skin (2004), have topped the charts in numerous countries.

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Kelly Clarkson

Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas on April 24, 1982. She is the third and youngest child of Jeanne Ann Taylor, a first grade English teacher of Greek descent, and Stephen Michael Clarkson, a former engineer of Welsh extraction. Clarkson's siblings include her older brother Jason, and her older sister Alyssa. When Clarkson was six years old, her parents separated after seventeen years of marriage; her brother went to live with her father, her sister went to live with an aunt, and Clarkson remained with her mother. Following the separation, Clarkson frequently moved around Texas while their mother managed several occupations in order to support the family. Being six-years-old at the time, Clarkson did not understand why her family had been constantly moving and said that children usually do not comprehend the process of divorce. Eventually, the family settled in Burleson, Texas and Clarkson's mother subsequently remarried to Jimmy Taylor.

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