Alice Cooper Biography

Alice Cooper

Shock rock pioneer whose on-stage antics caused outrage across the world. As he battled with drink and drugs, his career took a nose dive until 'Wayne's World'. We're not worthy!

Born Vincent Furnier, Cooper formed his group early and as a teenager he, along with Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway and John Spear, formed a garage rock band.

The group moved to LA and recruited a new member, Neal Smith. Calling themselves the Spiders, they were slammed by the critics as "the worst band in LA". Frank Zappa, however, liked their angry, upfront and dark music, and signed them up.

In 1969, they changed their name to Alice Cooper (the name of the witch doctor who spoke to Furnier via an ouija board) and released 'Pretties For You' and 'Easy Action'.

In 1971, they were signed by Warner Bros., and their next album, 'Love It to Death', launched them into the best selling charts.

Then followed a whole string of hit albums including 'Killer' (1972), 'School's Out'(1972), 'Billion Dollar Babies'(1973) and 'Muscle of Love'(1974).

Alice Cooper liked to tour, but caused controversy wherever they went. His theatrical antics such as the 'murder' of infant dolls with blood everywhere, and his extreme look, caused outrage, but created a huge fan base.

In 1974, Alice Cooper (Vincent Furnier) parted from Alice Cooper (the band). Furnier kept the name Alice Cooper and the band went on to record with the name 'Billion Dollar Babies'.

Cooper made another hit album in 1975, 'Welcome to My Nightmare', but he soon diversified and made a number of TV guest appearances in hit shows.

Cooper's music hit a downturn in the early 1980s, with albums such as 'Special Forces' and 'Zipper Catches Skin' flopping. However, by 1989, his new album, 'Trash', was a hit.

Recently he has been making appearances in films such as 'Wayne's World' (1992) and 'The Last Temptation’(1994), as well as producing albums which are relatively well received, although they haven't matched the popularity of his earlier work.

The first decade of the 21st century saw plenty of activity from the singer, with the release of heavy metal album 'Brutal Planet' in 2000. A world tour, which included Cooper's first concert in Russia, and a live DVD followed in 2001.

His next album 'DragonTown' explored his perspective on religion - Cooper is a born-again Christian – leading to critical success. This was followed in 2003 by 'The Eyes of Alice Cooper', which used a young group of musicians who updated Cooper's older sound. The resulting Bare Bones tour was a resounding success.

In 2003, Cooper was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On 26 January 2004, he started broadcasting his radio show 'Nights with Alice Cooper' on which the musician plays classic rock tracks and tells stories about his life. It is broadcast on nearly 100 radio stations in the US and Canada as well as around the world. He also received an honorary degree from Grand Canyon University the same year.

Cooper's 24th studio album 'Dirty Diamonds' was released in 2005 and became his highest-charting record since 'The Last Temptation’ in 1994. The tour launched in the US in August 2005.

In 2006, he was given the Living Legend award at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour event. In December that year, the original band reformed to play six songs at Cooper's annual charity event 'Christmas Pudding'.

He performed a duet with Marilyn Manson and scooped several more honours in 2007 before releasing 'Along Came a Spider' in 2008 with an accompanying tour complete with plenty of fake blood.

On 14 March 2011, Cooper and his former band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Rob Zombie. 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' was also released in 2011.

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