Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier 04.02.1948)
Alice Cooper is an American rock star, famous for his theatricality and use of shock tactics on stage.
Alice Cooper: Net Worth
In 2013, Celebrity Net Worth claimed that Alice Cooper had a net worth of 40 million USD.
Alice Cooper: Childhood
Alice Cooper was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Ella Mae and Ether Moroni Furnier. He studied at Washington Elementary School and then Nankin Mills Jr. High (now Lutheran High School Westland). Due to suffering from various childhood illnesses, Cooper's family moved with him to Phoenix, Arizona where he studied at Cortez High School before Glendale Community College.
Alice Cooper: Career
In 1964, at the age of 16, Cooper and some friends entered a talent competition as The Earwigs. None of them were able to play any musical instruments so they mimed along to a Beatles track and won the contest. Due to their love of the stage, they went to a local pawn shop, bought instruments and formed The Spiders. The band originally performed cover songs around Phoenix, with a giant black spider's web behind them on stage.
They released their first original single in 1966, called 'Don't Blow Your Mind'. In 1968, they decided that they needed to adopt a gimmick in order to be noticed over other bands. They decided to try to utilise the full potential of the stage and take on a new name - they apparently used an Ouija board to come up with the comparatively wholesome Alice Cooper. Soon, Furnier chose to use the name for himself instead of just the band.
He modelled his look on villainous female characters from various films that the band enjoyed. They thought that this villainous, cross dressing persona would cause controversy and subsequent recognition. The band played a gig in the Cheetah Club in Venice, California, and after ten minutes the entire venue was empty. A music manager approached them, thinking that their special brand of theatricality could be turned for his own gain, signed them a record deal with Frank Zappa, as Zappa was looking for interesting and unusual bands at the time.
The band gained critical acclaim for their 'shock rock' style accidentally, as one early performance saw a chicken walk onto the stage. Cooper, not knowing what to do, chose to throw the chicken at the audience, thinking it would fly away. Instead, it fell into the front row - occupied by disabled viewers in wheelchairs - who reportedly proceeded to tear it to pieces. Zappa asked Cooper the next day about rumours of biting off the chicken's head and drinking it's blood. When Cooper denied the allegations, Zappa told him to lie to the press and claim that he did, in fact, do it.
Due to the failure of their first two albums, the band chose to move from California to Detroit until 1972. In 1980, their third and final album from Zappa's Straight Records was released to far more success. Their contract was subsequently bought by Warner Bros. and the album was rereleased, reaching a higher level of success. Their 1971 tour featured stage fights, gothic torture and Alice Cooper's staged execution by electric chair, all while the band wore colour-contrasting glam-rock outfits.
In 1974, the band went on hiatus, following a gruelling schedule of touring and recording that caused members to disagree and fight with each other. By 1975, Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Copper in order to escape legal reprisals when he began a solo career. The solo project was so successful, that Cooper officially left the band and went on to be a solo artist from then onwards. He toured until 1976, when he took a break due to his ever growing alcoholism.
He returned in 1978 and began releasing albums to moderate success while steadily trying to discover a new sound. In 1983, he released DaDa - the final album on his Warner Bros. contract, before being once again hospitalised for alcoholism. The album was poorly received and his contract was not renewed. In 1986, he returned to the music industry after a brief fling with film and television, with the album Constrictor. This album spawn his tour, The Nightmare Returns, which was received as his best tour yet. Cooper continued to tour through the 1990s and 2000s, while also releasing albums.
Alice Cooper: Personal Life
Cooper continues to pay a yearly royalty to his original band mates for the use of his name, as it was originally created and used by all of them. In 2004, he wrote an issue of the Simpsons comic based on the Tree House of Horror series.
In 1976, Cooper married ballerina instructor and choreographer Sheryl Goddard. She filed for divorce in 1983, but the couple reconciled in 1984. The couple have three children.