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Robert Plant is a British rock singer and songwriter best known as the vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.
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Robert Plant is a British rock singer and songwriter best known as the vocalist and lyricist for the band Led Zeppelin. Inspired at a young age by Elvis Presley, Plant left school to begin his musical career. He performed with a number of groups before he was discovered by Jimmy Page, who was in search of a lead singer for a new band he was forming,
called the New Yardbirds. The group eventually became Led Zeppelin. Plant launched his solo career in 1982, reuniting with the band for occasional benefits.
Robert Anthony Plant was born on August 20, 1948 in Bromwich, Staffordshire, England. Robert Plant became interested in singing at a young age and found inspiration in the likes of Elvis Presley.
In 1966, Plant left school to began his musical career. He performed with a number of groups around this time, showing his talent for handling blues music. With drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham, Plant formed Band of Joy. He also recorded a few R&B singles for CBS records on his own, but they failed to attract much interest. In 1968, Plant was recruited by guitarist Jimmy Page for the New Yardbirds, and he, in turn, recommended Bonham to Page. The fourth member of the group was bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones.
After a short tour as the New Yardbirds, the band quickly renamed themselves Led Zeppelin. They landed a spot as the opening act for the American rock group Vanilla Fudge during their U.S. tour. The band then released their first album, Led Zeppelin I in 1969, which earned mixed reviews. While critics may have disliked the group, Led Zeppelin won over fans with Plant's raw, powerful vocals and Page's masterful guitar work. They produced a sound with an engaging mix of hard rock and heavy metal, while drawing inspiration from other types of music.
Their second album, Led Zeppelin II (1969), featured "Whole Lotta Love," "Ramble On," and "Heartbreaker." "Whole Lotta Love" reached the No. 4 spot on the pop charts, and the album reached the top of the charts by year's end. Behind the scenes, Plant wrote most of the group's lyrics.
In 1970, Led Zeppelin released the more folk-influenced Led Zeppelin III, featuring the hit single, "Immigrant Song." Rock critic Lester Bangs praised the song for "its bulldozer rhythms and Bobby Plant's double-tracked wordless vocal croonings echoing behind the main vocal like some cannibal chorus wailing in the infernal light of a savage fertility rite." The group's fourth album was untitled, featuring only a set of runic symbols on its cover. Some view it as their best work, and it features the legendary "Stairway to Heaven," one of the most requested rock songs of all time. The 8-minute song drew inspiration from Celtic mythology, and its musical and lyrical complexity have helped its longevity. As Plant later explained, "If 'Stairway to Heaven' had just been about cruising around in a convertible, it wouldn't have endured in a meaningful way."
With 1973's Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin continued to experience great commercial success.
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