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Dee Snider is best known as the lead singer of glam metal band Twisted Sister.
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Born in Astoria, Queens, Dee Snider showed a talent for music early on. After trying out several rock bands, he had his big break when he joined Twisted Sister in 1976. As the lead singer, Snider brought a glam rock style to the band. Twisted Sister had hits in the early '80s with songs like "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." Snider has also been a television personality, hosting Heavy Metal Mania on MTV in the '80s,
and later with his wife and family on reality show Growing Up Twisted on A&E.
Born Daniel Snider on March 15, 1955, to a working-class family in Astoria, Queens, New York. He grew up in Baldwin, New York, and had an early love of performance; as a child he sang in a church choir, several school choruses and the Baldwin High School Concert Choir. Snider showed great promise as a singer, and while in high school he was selected for the All State Chorus.
Snider graduated from Baldwin High School in 1973. After earning his degree, Snider formed and left several rock bands, meeting with minor success. His big break, however, came in early 1976 when he joined the group, Twisted Sister, which was founded in 1972 by guitarist Jay French. By late 1975, the group had found a stable instrumental line-up through French's high school friend, guitarist Eddie "Fingers" Ojeda; bassist Kenneth Harrison Neil; and drummer Kevin John Grace. The group, however, was missing a lead vocalist. Snider stepped into the role with a glam-rock style reminiscent of New York Dolls, and quickly became the group's lyricist and lead singer.
The group released their first studio album, Under the Blade, in September 1982 to limited success. The next year, they released You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll, which was met with positive reviews. Their third album, Stay Hungry, released in 1984, would be the record that would put the group on the map in the U.S., with singles such as "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock."
In 1985, Dee Snider made his small-screen debut as the host of the MTV show, Heavy Metal Mania. The show featured news, interviews, and a variety of information about the burgeoning heavy metal scene. That same year Snider, along with musicians John Denver and Frank Zappa, became the voice of censorship opposition. Snider, Denver and Zappa all testified in a Senate hearing held by the Parents Music Resource Center, in which the group helped introduce warnings to advise consumers of explicit content in albums.
Twisted Sister broke up in 1987. After the split, Snider entered a period of clinical depression, eventually also sinking into debt. He attempted new musical projects with the formation of the group Desperado, with former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr, ex-Gillan guitarist Bernie Torme, and bassist Marc Russel.
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