Best Known For
Fred Schneider is best known as the lead singer of rock band The B-52s. He's known for his style of reciting poetry over music, called sprechgesang.
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In 1979, the band signed with Warner Bros. Records and released their self-titled debut album, which sold 500,000 copies behind the party rock hits "Rock Lobster" and "52 Girls." Their 1980 follow-up, Wild Planet, proved to be another commercial success and critical darling, powered by singles such as "Private Idaho," Give Me Back My Man" and "Strobe Light." Two further hit albums, Mesopotamia (1982) and Whammy! (1983),
established The B-52's as one of the favorite bands of the early MTV era.
In 1985, at the peak of their success, The B-52's suffered a tragic loss when guitarist Ricky Wilson died of AIDS. Persevering in the aftermath of Wilson's loss, The B-52's released the album they had record shortly before his death, Bouncing Off the Satellites, in 1996, scoring big hits with the songs "Summer of Love" and "Wig."
In addition to his long tenure with The B-52's, Schneider has enjoyed a successful solo career as both a musician and an actor. He has released three solo albums, Fred Schneider & the Shake Society (1984), Fred Schneider (1991) and Just Fred (1996). In 2010, Schneider formed a synthetic pop band called The Superions, releasing two albums that same year: The Superions and Destination: Christmas! Schneider has also worked sporadically as an actor in films such as The Flintstones (1994) and The Rugrats Movie (1998).
Schneider, who is gay, has never married and does not have children.
After three decades as a rock star, Schneider remains busier than ever while recording and performing with both of his bands. As he willingly admits, part of his continued motivation to make music after all these years is financial. "I'm not wealthy. We only started making money after Cosmic Thing," Schneider said in a recent interview. "I live pretty modestly. I'm not broke, but I can't retire." However, with a slew of timeless rock hits on his resume, Schneider's reputation is secure, and he often confronts his status as living legend in interesting ways. "I've actually gone to hotels and there'll be a wedding band doing 'Love Shack,' he said. "And I look in, and the bride and the groom...everyone's dancing. It's sort of weird."
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