Rob Halford began singing as a teenager and worked first as a theatrical lighting engineer. In 1973 he joined Judas Priest, and with him on board, their first album was released in 1974. The following years, the band built a worldwide loyal cult and Rob had become one of the best singers in all of hard rock, able to effortlessly alternate between a throaty growl and a falsetto.
The band had countless international gold- and platinum-selling hits making Priest one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '70s and the one that spearheaded the New Wave of British Heavy Metal late in the decade.
Rob is considered one of the most consistently powerful singers in rock possessing a wide vocal range and is particularly known for his trademark high-pitched operatic soaring screams. His vocal range currently spans nearly four octaves.
In addition to his work with Judas Priest he has been involved with several side projects including Fight 2wo and Halford. He is credited as the first openly gay heavy metal musician having come out in 1998.
Cirque du Soleil is an entertainment empire based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada located in Saint-Michel, and founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier.
Initially named Les Échassiers they toured Quebec in 1980 as a performing troupe and encountered financial hardship that was relieved by a government grant in 1983 as part of 450th celebrations of Jacques Cartier's discovery of Canada. Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil was a success in 1984 and after securing a second year of funding Laliberté hired Guy Caron from the National Circus School to recreate it as a "proper circus". No ring and no animals helped make Cirque du Soleil the modern circus ("Cirque Nouveau" / New Circus) that it is today. Each show is a synthesis of circus styles from around the world and has its own central theme and storyline which brings the audience into the performance by having no curtains, continuous live music and performers change the props. After critical and financial successes (Los Angeles Arts Festival) and failures in the late 1980s, Nouvelle Expérience was created with the direction of Franco Dragone that not only made Cirque profitable by 1990 but allowed it to create new shows.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s Cirque expanded rapidly and went from one show with 73 employees in 1984 to currently 3,500 employees from over 40 countries doing fifteen shows touring every continent and has an estimated annual revenue exceeding US$600 million. The multiple permanent Las Vegas shows alone play to more than 9,000 people a night - 5% of the city's visitors - adding to the 70+ million people who have experienced Cirque. In 2000, Laliberté bought out Gauthier and with 95% ownership has continued to expand the brand.
Several more shows are in development around the world, along with a television deal, women's clothing line and perhaps in other mediums such as spas, restaurants and nightclubs. Cirque du Soleil also produces a small number of private and corporate events each year (past clients have been the royal family of Dubai and the 2007 Super Bowl).
Cirque's creations have been awarded numerous prizes and distinctions, including Bambi, Rose d'Or, three Gemini Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2004, Interbrand's poll of brand names with the highest global impact ranked Cirque du Soleil as number 22.
Brian Turner CBE (born in 1946) is said to be one of Britain’s most well-known chefs having trained at Simpson’s in the Strand, The Savoy, The Beau Rivage in Lausanne and Claridge’s.
In 1971 he opened the kitchens of The Capital Hotel with Richard Shepherd where they won a then rare Michelin star. In 1986 he opened his own restaurant Turner’s in Walton Street, Chelsea. After fifteen years of success he opened restaurants in Birmingham and Slough and in 2003 at The Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair. Now he only has Turner’s in Butlins, Bognor Regis.
Turner is the President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts which he has combined with a successful career as a TV personality. Having been on the first ever Ready Steady Cook Show Turner served 14 years on the very successful programme as well as many appearances on This Morning, Saturday Kitchen, Daily Cooks Challenge and many others over the years.
In June 2002 in the Queen’s birthday honours list Turner was awarded a CBE for his services to tourism and training in the catering industry. Since then Turner has been made an Honorary Professor of The University of West London, a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute as well as receiving Honorary Doctorates of Science at Leeds Metropolitan and Sheffield Hallam Universities for his service to catering. Most recently Turner has received an Honorary Apprenticeship Award which he feels complements his work with the Adopt a School scheme and the Future chef competition which both encourage young people to come into the catering industry.
Brian plays an active role in campaigns to encourage British people to get back into the kitchen and enjoy cooking even more.