8 rock stars who rocked into the 80s

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8 rock stars who rocked into the 80s

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Many of the world’s most famous rock and pop music stars – the symbols of youth in their prime – have now reached the Big 8.Oh!

Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson just turned 80 on Monday June 20th. Paul McCartney, the perennial teen heartthrob, celebrated his 80th birthday last Saturday.

Many legends who left us too young would of course have been on the threshold of 80. Guitar god Jimi Hendrix and exceptional singer Janis Joplin tragically died within a few weeks in the fall of 1970. Hendrix would be 80 in November, Joplin 80 in January. Mama Cass, who died in 1974, would have been 80 by now.

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Here’s a look at eight pop and rock legends who recently turned 80 – and who are still influencing pop culture in one way or another.

Chubby Checker, 80 (born 3 October 1941)

Checker broke his way into the American pop culture consciousness with his infectious dance-party hit “The Twist.” It topped the charts in 1960 and again in 1962.

A slightly modified version called “Let’s Twist Again” was a big hit in 1961. They are still among the greatest classics in pop music history. “The Twist” was named the biggest chart hit of all time by Billboard in 2018.

Checker still performs across the nation, driving his souped-up bus called The Checkerlicious Express.

Bob Dylan, 81 (born May 24, 1941)

Times began to change for Dylan with the release of his hit album The Freewheelin’ Dob Dylan on May 27, 1963, just three days after his 22nd birthday.

His “Rough and Rowdy Ways” tour is currently rolling through California and other western states. The tour will continue through 2024, according to BobDylan.com.

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Dylan’s music was featured on the recent Broadway hit “Girl from the North Country,” which was shut down earlier this year due to COVID restrictions.

Paul McCartney, 80 (born June 18, 1942)

Still leading a band on the run, McCartney wrapped up his American “Got Back” tour last week in front of 60,000 gleeful fans at MetLife Stadium in NJ, who serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” two days early.

During the tour, he honored his late Beatles bandmates John Lennon, who would be 81, and George Harrison, who would be celebrating his 80th birthday in February.

McCartney is still a global star today, nearly 60 years after Beatlemania transformed pop culture. McCartney has just announced the release of a box set of his solo albums, spanning his post-Beatles career from the 1970s to the present.

Paul McCartney performs during his "get back" Tour on Thursday June 16, 2022 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ

Paul McCartney performs live during his “Got Back” Tour on Thursday June 16, 2022 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ
(Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP)

Smokey Robinson, 82 (born February 19, 1940)

Go-Gos are still bouncing to Smokey’s gentle tunes—nearly 70 years after Smokey Robinson and the Miracles began performing together and 35 years after he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He’s one of the most influential musicians in history, both as a songwriter and as an executive at Motown Records in his glory days.

Robinson is still on the road today, performing in concert halls across the United States and Canada.

Ringo Starr, 81 (born July 7, 1940)

“It don’t come easy” for rock stars in their 80s. Ringo and His All Starr Band last week announced a revamped 12-date North American tour that had to be postponed due to coronavirus-related issues.

The tour is scheduled to begin September 5 in Tanglewood, Massachusetts. According to RingoStarr.com, it ends in Mexico City in October.

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Ringo’s All Starr Band lives up to the bill. They include American singer/songwriter Edgar Winter and Australian hitmaker Colin Hay of Men at Work.

Recording artist Ringo Starr performs with Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in support of his new album "give more love" on October 20, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Recording artist Ringo Starr performs with Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in support of his new album Give More Love October 20, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Denise Trucello/WireImage)

Tina Turner, 82 (born November 26, 1939)

Turner was a hot commodity in the 1960s and 1980s — and still is she 80s, though she claims she’s retired.

She is still present. The music world went wild days ago when it learned that Miles Davis had recorded an instrumental version of What’s Love Got to Do With It in 1985. The song was a smash hit for Turner the year before, winning three Grammy Awards including Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

The dancing diva is also being celebrated on Broadway today with Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, which is set to end its COVID-paused run in August.

Dionne Warwick, 81 (born December 12, 1940)

Warwick’s voice accompanies us, it seems, forever and ever. From 1962 to 1998, she placed 56 songs on the Billboard charts, making her one of the most successful singers of all time.

Her hits include classics like 1967’s “I Say A Little Prayer” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” which she recorded in 1985 with Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder. It won a Grammy for Song of the Year in 1986.

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Warwick is performing on her “She’s Back: One Last Time” tour in the UK today.

Dionne Warwick, who's been selling hits since the 1960s, is still on the road today.

Dionne Warwick, who’s been selling hits since the 1960s, is still on the road today.
(Reuters)

Brian Wilson, 80 (born June 20, 1942)

Blending sweet surf tones with delicious harmonies, Wilson’s bright, sunny music will forever capture Southern California’s glory days.

Wilson turned 80 on Monday but is still getting around, ’round, ’round.

He tours America with 1970s hitmakers Chicago, including his birthday stop in Kansas City.

“To me you are the only real pop genius in the world and I love you very much,” said Elton John from Denmark.

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It was a video card of 80th birthday greetings from some of the world’s biggest celebrities.

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