Iggy Pop Biography

Drummer, Guitarist, Singer (1947–)
Considered by many to be one of the pioneers of punk music, Iggy Pop is known for his wild stage antics and the hit song "Real Wild Child."


Considered by many to be one of the pioneers of punk and metal rock music, Iggy Pop is known for his wild stage antics and as the front man for the band the Stooges, a group that had a major influence on the punk scene of the 1970s. Pop eventually found commercial success with the help of his friend and musician David Bowie. Pop's hit song "Real Wild Child" is an enduring metal rock classic.


Singer, musician, songwriter. Born James Osterberg on April 21, 1947, in Muskegon, Michigan. Considered by many to be one of the pioneers of punk music, he adored rock and roll growing up. He formed his first band in the early 1960s and went through several groups and musical styles before forming the Psychedelic Stooges in 1967 (later known as the Stooges). Their music was experimental and had an aggressive quality to it.

While not wildly successful in the commercial sense, the Stooges had an influence on later punk and grunge recording artists and the punk music scene of the late 1970s and 1980s. Osterberg became the band's lead singer and soon renamed himself Iggy Pop. During live performances, Pop engaged in outrageous behavior, often appearing shirtless covered in blood and had been known to cut himself in front of audiences and jump into the crowd from the stage.

The band released its first self-titled album in 1969. The band's second album was Fun House (1970). While both of these albums are thought to be punk classics today, they weren't selling at time and the band was dropped by its record label. To make matters worse, Pop and some of the other members of the group were having problems with drugs. The band basically fell apart.

With the help of David Bowie, Pop rebuilt the Stooges, now called Iggy & the Stooges. Bowie acted as a producer on the group's third album Raw Power (1973). While the album received positive reviews, it wasn't enough to keep the band together, which broke up again. Pop went on to tour with Bowie several times during the 1970s and released several solo albums, including The Idiot (1977) and Lust for Life (1977), which Bowie helped to write and produce.

With his 1986 album Blah Blah Blah, Pop had his first real taste of mainstream success with the song "Real Wild Child." He went on to dabble in hard rock with the heavy metal album Instinct (1988). But it was his next album, Brick by Brick (1990), that proved to be a commercial breakthrough for Pop. He scored his biggest hit to date with the song "Candy." It reached the top 30 of Billboard's pop charts in 1991 after making to the top 5 of the modern rock lists the year before.

Since then, Pop has continued recording music and performing live. His 2003 album Skull Ring featured appearances by Stooges members Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton on four songs. Pop even did a short tour that year as part of a Stooges' reunion. He also released Penetration and A Million in Prizes: The Anthology in 2005. An album of new songs, Where the Faces Shine, was released in 2006.

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