FRANK ZAPPA Biography - Musicians


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Name: Frank Vincent Zappa                                                           
Born: December 21, 1940 Baltimore, Maryland                                         
Died: December 4, 1993 Los Angeles, California                                       
Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 - December 4, 1993) was an American           
composer, musician, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years,     
Zappa established himself as a prolific and highly distinctive composer,             
electric guitar player and band leader. He worked in various different musical       
genres and wrote music for rock bands, jazz ensembles, synthesizers and symphony     
orchestra, as well as musique concrète works constructed from pre-recorded,         
synthesized or sampled sources. In addition to his music recordings, he created     
feature-length and short films, music videos, and album covers.                     
Although he only occasionally achieved major commercial success, he maintained a     
highly productive career that encompassed composing, recording, touring,             
producing and merchandising his own and others' music. Zappa self-produced           
almost every one of the more than sixty albums he released with the Mothers of       
Invention or as a solo artist. He received multiple Grammy nominations and won       
for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1988 for the album Jazz from Hell.         
Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and     
received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. In 2005, his 1968 album       
with the Mothers of Invention, We're Only in It for the Money, was inducted into     
the United States National Recording Preservation Board's National Recording         
Registry. The same year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #71 on its list of       
the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2007, his birthtown Baltimore               
declared August 9 official "Frank Zappa Day" in his honor.                           
Politically, Zappa was a self-proclaimed "practical conservative", an avowed         
supporter of capitalism and independent business. He was also a strident             
critic of mainstream education and organized religion. Zappa was a forthright       
and passionate advocate for freedom of speech and the abolition of censorship,       
and his work embodied his skeptical view of established political processes and     
structures. Although many assumed that he used drugs like many musicians of         
the time, Zappa strongly opposed recreational drug use. Zappa was married to         
Kathryn J. "Kay" Sherman (1960-1964; no children), and then in 1967 to Adelaide     
Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death in December 1993 of             
prostate cancer. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan     
and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Gail Zappa handles the businesses of her late           
husband under the company name the Zappa Family Trust.