This began his project to translate the work of legendary singer/songwriter Jacques Brel, into English. He became an icon across college campuses for his ability to capture in verse the feelings of anxiety, love, confusion, and hope that were common during the Vietnam era. His public readings had the drawing power of a rock concert. McKuen’s commercial success was unparalleled in the field of modern poetry. His poetic works have been translated into a dozen languages and sold over 65 million copies. Throughout his career he continued to enjoy sell-out concerts around the world and appeared regularly at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. As a songwriter, he contributed to the sale of over 100 million records.
His material has been recorded by such artists as Love's Been Good To Me (1969), Waylon Jennings, The London Philharmonic, Greta Keller, Perry Como, and Madonna. Perhaps his most well-known song is Jean (1969). McKuen proved to be a prolific songwriter, penning over 1,500 songs. He collaborated with a variety of internationally renowned composers, including Henry Mancini and John Williams, and a highly successful series of albums with Anita Kerr. His symphonies, concertos, and other classical works have been performed by orchestras around the globe.
His suite for narrator and orchestra, "The City", was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. His work as a composer in the film industry garnered him two Academy Award nominations. Throughout his multi-award-winning career, McKuen paired his artistic endeavors with a spirit for social reform. Before a tour of South Africa in the 1970s, McKuen demanded “mixed seating” among white and black concert-goers, opening the doors for successful tours by a variety of African-American performers, including Sammy Davis, Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald.
He also spearheaded efforts to raise AIDS awareness and fund charities for children and senior citizens. His humanitarian efforts twice won him the prestigious Freedoms Foundation Award. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more