Wilco is an American alternative rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. The band was formed in 1994 by the remaining members of alternative country group Uncle Tupelo following singer Jay Farrar's departure. Wilco's lineup changed frequently during its first decade, with only singer Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt remaining from the original incarnation. Since early 2004, the lineup has been unchanged, consisting of Tweedy, Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, keyboard player Mikael Jorgensen, and drummer Glenn Kotche. Wilco has released nine studio albums, a live double album, and four collaborations: three with Billy Bragg and one with The Minus 5.
Wilco's music has been inspired by a wide variety of artists and styles, including Bill Fay, The Beatles and Television, and has in turn influenced music by a number of modern alternative rock acts. The band continued in the alternative country of Uncle Tupelo on its debut album A.M. (1995), but has since introduced more experimental aspects to their music, including elements of alternative rock and classic pop. Wilco's musical style has evolved from a 1990s country rock sound to a current "eclectic indie rock collective that touches on many eras and genres."
Wilco garnered media attention for its fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002), and the controversy surrounding it. After the recording sessions were complete, Reprise Records rejected the album and dismissed Wilco from the label. As part of a buy-out deal, Reprise gave Wilco the rights to the album for free. After streaming Foxtrot on its website, Wilco sold the album to Nonesuch Records in 2002. Both record labels are subsidiaries of Warner Music Group, leading one critic to say the album showed "how screwed up the music business is in the early twenty-first century." Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is Wilco's most successful release to date, selling over 670,000 copies. Wilco won two Grammy Awards for their fifth studio album, 2004's A Ghost Is Born, including Best Alternative Music Album. Wilco's most recent studio album, Star Wars, was released on July 16, 2015.
Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell; July 8, 1970), known by the stage name Beck, is an American singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He rose to fame in the early 1990s with his lo-fi, sonically experimental style, and he became well known for creating musical collages of a wide range of styles. His later recordings encompass folk, funk, soul, hip hop, alternative rock, country and psychedelia. He has released 12 studio albums, as well as several non-album singles and a book of sheet music.
Born in Los Angeles in 1970, Beck discovered hip hop and folk music in his teens and began to perform locally at coffeehouses and clubs. He moved to New York City in 1989 and became involved in the city's small but intense anti-folk movement. After returning to his hometown in the early 1990s, he cut his breakthrough single "Loser", which became a worldwide hit in 1994. His 1996 album Odelay produced hit singles, topped critic polls and won several awards. He released the stripped-down Mutations in 1998, and the funk-infused Midnite Vultures in 1999. The downcast, acoustic Sea Change (2002) showcased a more serious Beck, and 2005's Guero returned to sample-based production. The Information (2006) was inspired by electro-funk and hip hop, and Modern Guilt (2008), likewise, by 1960s music. In February 2014, Beck released the album Morning Phase. It won Album of the Year at the 57th Grammy Awards on February 8, 2015.
With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being among the most creative and idiosyncratic musicians of 1990s and 2000s alternative rock. Two of Beck's most popular and acclaimed recordings are Odelay and Sea Change, both of which were ranked on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The four-time platinum artist has collaborated with several artists and has made several contributions to soundtracks. Beck is married to actress Marissa Ribisi, and is a Scientologist.