Weird Al Yankovic

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"Weird Al" Yankovic
Background information
Birth name Alfred Matthew Yankovic
Also known as "Weird Al" Yankovic
Born October 23, 1959 (1959-10-23) (age 54)
Downey, California, U.S.
Origin Lynwood, California, U.S.
Genres Parody, comedy, polka
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, parodist, record producer, satirist, music video director, film producer, actor
Instruments Vocals, accordion, keyboards, theremin
Years active 1976–present
Labels RCA, Capitol, Placebo, TK, Scotti Brothers, Volcano
Associated acts Dr. Demento
Website weirdal.com

Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic (born October 23, 1959) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, parodist, record producer, satirist, music video director, movie producer, actor, and author. He is known mainly for his parodies of popular songs. He has also starred in a movie called UHF (1989). Yankovic had a children's program for a short time. It was named The Weird Al Show. He has made parodies of songs such as "American Pie" (his ever popular "The Saga Begins"), "Ridin'" ("White and Nerdy"), "Bad" ("Fat"), "Like a Virgin" ("Like a Surgeon") and "Gangster's Paradise" ("Amish Paradise").

He also has a band to help him perform his songs. His band members are: Jim West (guitar), Steve Jay (bass), Rubén Valtierra (piano), and Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz (drums).

Yankovic has also written a children's book titled When I Grow Up.[1]

Early life[change | edit source]

Alfred was born in Downey, California. He was raised in the town of Lynwood, California. He is the only child of Nick Louis Yankovic (June 4, 1917 – April 9, 2004)[2] and Mary Elizabeth Yankovic (nee Vivalda; February 7, 1923 – April 9, 2004).[2] His father was born in Kansas City, Kansas, of Yugoslavian[2][3] ancestry, and began living in California after serving during World War II;[4][5] he believed "the key to success" was "doing for a living whatever makes you happy" and often reminded his son of this philosophy.[4] Nick Yankovic married Mary Elizabeth Vivalda in 1949. Mary, who was of Italian and English descent, and had come to California from Kentucky, gave birth to Alfred ten years later.[4]

References[change | edit source]

  1. "What happened when Weird Al grew up - CNN". cnn.com. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-01/living/weird.al.book_1_weird-al-yankovic-career-advice-harper-collins?_s=PM:LIVING. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 ""Weird Al" Yankovic: Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on November 9, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061109100833/http://www.weirdal.com/faq.htm. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
    Al's grandparents on his father's side were Yugoslavian.
  3. Conrad, Harold (August 1985). Guccione, Jr., Bob. ed. "The Glamorous Life Of Al Yankovic". SPIN (SPIN Media LLC) 1 (4): 48. – 50. ISSN 0886-3032. http://books.google.com/?id=TZaFMCee5HQC&pg=PA48. Retrieved 8 January 2014. "It is of no minor coincidence that his parents are of Yugoslavian lineage and it so happens that Frankie Yankovic (no relation), known as the polka king and one of the best accordionists in the country, also happens to be a Yugoslav. A little chauvinism here.".
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Demento, Dr. (September 27, 1994). Liner notes, Permanent Record. Scotti Bros.. ASIN B00000I029. http://php.indiana.edu/~jbmorris/FAQ/al.booklet.
  5. "Autopsy confirms Yankovic parents died from carbon monoxide poisoning". San Diego Union Tribune. April 12, 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/query?id=1238721718415022. Retrieved January 8, 2014.