Pianists are not exactly the type to take the stage and drive the attention of an audience to them, but some celebrities have managed to get out of that shadowed corner throughout the years. Playing the keyboard or the piano is not just a means to add a specific type of sound to a musical composition. The role of a pianist is much more complex, such as injecting cohesion in a piece. If you’re interested in music, you might consider buying a used piano to get started.
With no further ado, here are some essential names who have rocked the world and shaped the face of music as we know it through their talent and ability to strike not only the keys on their instrument but the chords of the hearts of those who listen to their creations.
1. Jerry Lee Lewis
Without putting names on this list in a particular order, we can’t go wrong with starting it with Jerry Lee Lewis. The definition of enthusiasm when in front of his favorite musical instrument, Jerry Lee Lewis, fully deserved his nickname “The Killer” since he played as if he wanted to vanquish the entire universe in his path.
2. Ray Charles
He was the rock pianist who managed to create his own style by boiling down different genres such as country, gospel, and blues into something unique that would continue to shape the way music sounds today. His nickname? The Genius, which must be the most appropriate since there are no other words that could describe him.
3. Little Richard
An absolute beast in front of a keyboard, Little Richard proved, at his own pace and in his own time, that being maniacal and out of the ordinary could be qualities and not disadvantages that would put an accomplished musician aside.
4. Ray Manzarek
Ray Manzarek was not by far as controversial and flamboyant as the group’s leader, Jim Morrison, was. However, The Doors could have never accomplished any of the success it enjoyed at the end of the sixties if it hadn’t been for the soothing, rich, and versatile sounds that came from Ray’s keyboard.
5. Stevie Wonder
If there has ever been a pianist in complete cohesion with his musical instrument, that must be Stevie Wonder. His first appearance in front of an audience and at a television show was at the age of 13. Although blind, the little genius of the keys proved to the world that the love for music could conquer all. And even if he might not have had a toddler grand piano to play on while he was little, from the first moment he touched the keys, he knew there would be nothing else he would rather do.
6. Billy Joel
Many people believe that Billy Joel is Bruce Springsteen with a piano instead of a guitar. Starting his career as a famous musician with a piece named “The Piano Man”, he showed to the world that a real musician can have as humble an appearance as possible and still move everyone’s heart.
7. Elton John
If anyone ever tells you that your fingers are too stubby to play the piano, just take a look at Elton John. Even he often says that he was born with sausage fingers, but that was clearly no obstacle for him, as he went on and created many famous rock piano pieces. Well known for his charitable work, as well, Elton John is equally a performer and a multi-dimensional personality.
8. Richard Wright
Pink Floyd wouldn’t be the great name it is today with its quiet keyboardist, Richard Wright. Most of the time, he preferred a background position, but some songs benefit from his vocal performance, as well, such as “Wearing The Inside Out”.
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