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Iggy Pop is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and actor. He is best known as the vocalist of influential proto- punk band The Stooges. He began his solo career in 1977 and he is also well known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics. Iggy portrayed Curve in the 1996 film The Crow: City of Angels.

Early Life

Iggy was born as James Newhall Osterberg Junior in Muskegon Michigan on April 21, 1947 to Luella Christensen and James Newhall Osterberg Senior. Iggy was raised in a trailer park in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He attended University of Michigan but dropped out.

Career

He began his music career as a drummer in various high school bands in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was briefly a member of The Iguanas in 1965. After dropping out of college, Iggy moved to Chicago where he played drums in blues clubs. While in Chicago Iggy formed The Psychedelic Stooges composed of himself on vocals, Ron Ashton on guitar, Scott Ashton on drums and Dave Alexander on base. Their first show was at a Halloween party in a house in Detroit Michigan.

The Psychedelic Stooges signed to Elektra Records in 1968. Before the release of their first album The Psychedelic Stooges shorten their name to The Stooges. Their first album, self-entitled The Stooges along with its follow up album Fun House both sold poorly. Fun House however was ranked number 191on Rolling Stones 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003. When the new members started to join, the group disbanded because of Iggy’s worsening heroin addiction.

After a year of playing in small nightclubs, in 1972, Iggy struck up a friendship with David Bowie who decided to produce an album with him in England. James Williamson signed on to be the guitarist and they began to search for a rhythm section but neither Iggy or James were satisfied with any musician in England so they decided to reunite The Stooges. Their recording sessions produced the album Raw Power. The Stooges’ last show ended in a fight between the band and a group of bikers in 1974.

In 1977, Iggy signed with RCA Records, producing the albums The Idiot and Lust for Life. These two albums were Iggy’s most acclaimed albums as a solo artist featuring one of his best known songs “The Passengers”. Iggy would continue with RCA Records until 1979. Iggy moved to Arista Records and released New Values in 1979 which was moderately successful.

In the 1980s, Iggy’s album Zombie Birdhouse on Chris Stein’s Animal label was no more successful than his work at Arista  Records. 

In the 1990s, Iggy recorded Brick by Brick which featured the top 40 US hit “Candy”. Iggy also appeared in the Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete & Pete as James Mecklenberg. Iggy also made appearances in the movies The Crow: City of Angels, The Rugrats Movie, Snow Day, and Cigarettes

Iggy has been featured in a few television series including Tales From The Crypt, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Personal Life

Iggy has been married three times. His first marriage was too Wendy Weissberg for several weeks in 1968 before the marriage was annulled. His second marriage was in 1984 to Suchi Asano until their divorce in 1999. He’s currently married to his longtime partner Nina Alu who he married in 2008. In between marriages, Iggy dated Paulette Benson and they have one son Eric born in 1970. Iggy currently resides in Miami, Florida.

Trivia

  • Iggy took is name from the name of his first band The Iguanas
  • Iggy was the inspiration for two characters from the original The Crow comic book, Eric and Funboy. Eric Draven’s torso was modeled after Iggy, and Funboy’s overall look and attitude were also modeled after Iggy
  • Iggy was supposed to play Funboy in the original 1994 film The Crow, but he had to decline due to scheduling conflicts. Due to this he agreed to be in the second film
  • Iggy plays a left handed guitar
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