The B-52s (styled as The B-52's until 2008) is an American new wave band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1976. The original lineup consisted of Fred Schneider (vocals, percussion), Kate Pierson (vocals, keyboards, synth bass), Cindy Wilson (vocals, percussion), Ricky Wilson (guitar), and Keith Strickland (drums, guitar, keyboards). Ricky Wilson died of AIDS-related illness in 1985, and Strickland switched from drums to lead guitar. The band also added various members for albums and live performances.
The group evoked a "thrift shop aesthetic", in Bernard Gendron's words, by drawing from 1950s and 1960s pop sources, trash culture, and rock and roll. Schneider, Pierson, and Wilson sometimes use call-and-response-style vocals (Schneider's often humorous sprechgesang contrasting with Wilson's and Pierson's melodic harmonies), and their guitar- and keyboard-driven instrumentation is their trademark sound, which was also set apart from their contemporaries by the unusual guitar tunings Ricky Wilson used on their earlier albums. The band has had many hits, including "Rock Lobster", "Planet Claire", "Party Out of Bounds", "Private Idaho", "Whammy Kiss", "Summer of Love", "Wig", "Love Shack", "Roam" and "(Meet) The Flintstones".
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