May 12-May 12- Gabriel Byrne is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. People listed him as one of the “Sexiest Men Alive,” while Entertainment Weekly dubbed Byrne as one of the hottest celebrities over the age of 50. Before becoming an actor, Byrne worked as an archaeologist, cook and Spanish and history schoolteacher. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne’s screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. He has now starred in more than 35 feature films, including The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing, Stigmata, Spider and End of Days, in addition to writing two. Byrne’s producing credits include the Academy Award–nominated In the Name of the Father. He received much critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment from 2008-2010. In 2013, Byrne starred in Oscar-winning director Costa Gavras’ Le Capital. He was cultural ambassador for Ireland until he criticized the tourism initiative “The Gathering,” describing it as an attempt by Ireland’s politicians and media to fleece wealthy Americans. In addition to being a human rights activist, Byrne is actively involved in various charities. In 2004, he was appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador. Although the actor is noted as a fiercely private person, he released a documentary for the 20th Galway Film Fleadh in the summer of 2008 called Stories from Home, an intimate portrait about his life. Byrne married his long-term partner, Hannah Beth King, in August 2014.
April 12- Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins), musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist, has become one of the most creative and loved musical performers of the late 20th century. Wonder signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of 11 and was still performing in 2010. He has been blind since shortly after birth. Among Wonder’s works are the singles “Superstition,” “Sir Duke,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Albums include Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top 10 hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder has sold more than 100 million albums and singles, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, with Wonder at number five. He is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2014, Wonder announced plans to release two new albums, the first in eight years: When the World Began—a collaborative LP with legendary songwriter David Foster—and Ten Billion Hearts.
May 22 – Bernard “Bernie” Taupin an English lyricist, poet and singer, is best known for his long-term collaboration with Elton John, writing the lyrics for a majority of the star’s songs, making his lyrics some of the best known in pop-rock’s history. The pair have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. Taupin’s lyrics include the songs “Rocket Man,” “Levon,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Honky Cat,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “The Bitch is Back” and “Daniel.” Hits in the 1980s include “I’m Still Standing,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” and “Sad Songs.” In the 1990s, Taupin and John had more hits, including “The One,” “Club at the End of the Street” and “Believe.” In September 1997, Taupin rewrote the lyrics of “Candle in the Wind” for a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Taupin and John had their first Broadway musical in March 2006 with Lestat: The Musical. They also collaborated on five original songs for the Miramax movie Gnomeo and Juliet, released in February 2011. In addition to writing for Elton John, Taupin has also written lyrics for use by other composers. In 2009, he debuted his American Roots Radio with Bernie Taupin, a roots music show on satellite radio Sirius XM Radio. Since the 1980s, he has lived on a ranch north of Los Angeles.
May 23 – Linda Thompson, is an Emmy Award-winning American songwriter/lyricist and former actress and beauty pageant winner. She was Miss Tennessee Universe in 1972 when she met Elvis Presley and had a four-year relationship with him, which was portrayed in the 1981 television movie Elvis and the Beauty Queen. In 1977, Thompson became a regular on the TV series Hee Haw. She appeared as Linda Jenner in a workout video by then-husband and Olympics champion Bruce Jenner, four documentaries about Elvis Presley between 1997 and 2004 and in the short-lived Princes of Malibu, a reality show about then-husband David Foster’s efforts to improve her two sons and herself. She began her career as a lyricist with the Kenny Rogers’ single “Our Perfect Song.” Thompson collaborated with other composers, including on Josh Groban’s first hit record, “To Where You Are,” on the Celine Dion hit “Miracle,” on “Drowning” by the Backstreet Boys. She also worked with Foster on several compositions, including “I Have Nothing,” sung by Whitney Houston in the 1992 motion picture, The Bodyguard. For this, they were nominated both for the Academy Award for Best Song in 1993 and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television in 1994. Thompson and Foster received the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for “Aren’t They All Our Children” for the “The Concert for World Children’s Day.”