"Weird Al" Yankovic
Few would have guessed that “Weird Al” Yankovic, who as a shy, accordion-playing teenager got his start sending in homemade tapes to the Dr. Demento Radio Show, would go on to become the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history with over 12 million album sales. Now entering his fourth career decade, he has won 3 Grammys (with 14 nominations) and countless awards and accolades for Weird Al classics like “Eat It,” “Like a Surgeon,” “Fat,” “Smells Like Nirvana,” “Amish Paradise,” and “The Saga Begins.” His most recent album Alpocalypse was released on June 21, 2011, charting at #9 Billboard – the highest debut of his storied career. The first single from the album was the Lady Gaga parody “Perform This Way.” Alpocalypse was nominated for two Grammy Awards, for Best Comedy Album and Best Short Form Video for the “Perform This Way” Music Video.
In addition to his recordings and world-famous music videos, Yankovic is also well-known for his cult-hit feature film UHF (1989), his late ‘90s CBS Saturday morning series The Weird Al Show and the numerous AL-TV specials that he’s made for MTV and VH1 over the years. His previous album Straight Outta Lynwood (2006) spawned the Billboard Top 10 single “White & Nerdy,” the video for which spent two months at #1 on iTunes and garnered over 150 million hits on the Internet.
Since then, he released his greatest hits package The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic (Legacy), wrote, starred in and directed the themed attraction Al’s Brain: A 3-D Journey through the Human Brain (featuring cameos by everybody from Fabio to Paul McCartney) and attracted over 2.5 million followers on Twitter. And with the recent release of his children’s book When I Grow Up (HarperCollins), Al now adds “New York Times Bestselling Author” to his resume. An app version of the book for the iPhone and iPad, which recently won a Webby Award, is also available.
In October of 2011, in tandem with the release of Alpocalypse, Comedy Central aired the prime time concert special “Weird Al” Yankovic Live: The Alpocalypse Tour filmed at Toronto’s venerable Massey Hall and released the unabridged version of the concert released on DVD and Blu-Ray. Last year, The Nerdist Channel debuted Face 2 Face with “Weird Al” Yankovic, a web series where Al “interviews” some of the biggest stars in show business including Harrison Ford, Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Morgan Freeman, and many others. On October 1, Abrams released Weird Al: The Book, an illustrated coffee table book on Al’s life and career, and a follow-up to his HarperCollins children’s book is scheduled for June, 2013.
Weird Al, along with his same band of three decades, has performed over 1,000 career concerts and continues to tour with his rock and comedy multimedia show throughout the world.
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