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Steve Perry was the lead singer of pop rock band Journey from 1977 to 1986. He is known for having a wide vocal range, which can be heard on such popular hits as "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Oh Sherrie."
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Born in 1949, Steve Perry played in several bands before joining Journey in 1977. The band achieved tremendous pop rock success with its 1980 album Escape, which featured the now-classic "Don't Stop Believin'." As the group's lead singer, Perry became one of the era's most famous singers. He also had some hits on his own, including "Oh Sherrie." Perry left Journey in 1986, and except for a brief reunion, he remains a solo artist.
The son of Portuguese parents, Steve Perry grew up in California. He was around 10 years old when, during a car trip with his mother, he discovered his career path; after listening to Sam Cooke on the radio, the young Perry decided he wanted to be a singer.
While attending high school in Lemoore, California, Perry played drums in the marching band. He tried college for a while, performing in the choir, but eventually abandoned school for his musical dreams. Hoping to break into the business, he moved to Los Angeles for a time. There, he worked a number of jobs, including singing on commercials and serving as an engineer in a recording studio. All the while, Perry played with a number of different groups as a vocalist and drummer. He seemed to be on the edge of a breakthrough with the group Alien Project, when it suddenly disbanded—tragically, one of its members was killed in a car crash.
In 1977, Perry caught his big break, landing a gig as the vocalist for Journey, which began performing as a jazz rock group in the early 1970s, in San Francisco. With Perry on board, the band moved more toward mainstream rock, and began to see some chart success with the first album with Perry, 1978's Infinity. The band's ode to San Francisco, "Lights," became a minor hit as did "Wheel in the Sky" and "Anytime."
Journey broken into the Top 20 with "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" on their next album, Evolution (1979). Buoyed by such hits as "Open Arms," "Who's Crying Now" and "Don't Stop Believin'," Escape (1980) became the band's first No. 1 album, selling more than 7 million copies. While the band was hugely popular with music fans, many critics were less than kind.
By the early 1980s, Journey had emerged as one of rock's top acts. Perry proved that while he may have been short in stature, he possessed one of the era's biggest and most versatile voices. He was equally adept at ballads, such as "Open Arms," and at rock anthems, such as "Any Way You Want It." Behind the scenes, Perry helped write these songs and many of the band's other hits. He penned their most enduring song, "Don't Stop Believin'" with guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain.
Journey continued to be one of the era's top-selling acts, with 1983's Frontiers. The album featured such songs as "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" and "Faithfully." To support the recording, the band undertook an extensive world tour. Around that time, Journey also became the first band to license their music and likenesses for a video game.
With 1986's Raised on Radio, Journey enjoyed another wave of success.
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