Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison

Rock Singer

Roy Kelton Orbison was an American singer, songwriter, and musician known for his impassioned singing style, complex song structures, and dark, emotional ballads. His music was described by critics as operatic, earning him the nicknames "The Caruso of Rock" and "The Big O."

Full Name
Apr 23, 1936
Dec 6, 1988
Net Worth


Roy Kelton Orbison was born on April 23, 1936, in Vernon, Texas. He was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and musician who gained prominence in the early 1960s as a pioneer of rock and roll music. He had a unique vocal range that allowed him to sing high notes with powerful emotion that made his songs stand out from other singers of the time. His style combined elements of country, pop, gospel and rockabilly music. 

Orbison began singing at an early age and joined his first band at the age of fourteen. He wrote his first song at the age of fifteen and recorded his first single in 1956. In 1958, he signed with Monument Records and released several hits including “Only the Lonely” which went to number 1 on the U.S. charts. He also penned songs for other artists such as the Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley. In 1962, he released “Crying” which became his signature song and reached number 2 on both the U.S. singles chart and U.K. singles chart respectively. In 1964, he formed The Traveling Wilburys alongside George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne which released their debut album in 1988. 

Orbison died tragically in 1988 due to a massive heart attack at the age of 52 but left behind an expansive legacy that influenced many generations of musicians after him including Bruce Springsteen and U2 among others. In 1989, he was posthumously inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame respectively while three years later he received a star on Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1992

Life Timeline

<div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1936</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Roy Orbison is Born</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">On April 23, 1936, Roy Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1956</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Debut Album is Released</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Orbison releases his debut album "The Rockin' Side of Roy Orbison".</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1960</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">First Number One Hit</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Orbison reaches number one on the US singles chart with "Only the Lonely".</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1964</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Joins the 'Traveling Wilburys'</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Orbison joins George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty to form the supergroup known as the Traveling Wilburys.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1987</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Orbison is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1988</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Receives the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to music.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1989</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Final Album is Released</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Releases his final album "Mystery Girl" which includes the hit single "You Got It".</p></div>

Why We Love Them

<div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">A.</span> His Voice</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Roy Orbison had a unique and powerful voice that was unmistakable. His voice was so distinctive that it transcended genres and his songs are still beloved by generations of music fans today.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">B.</span> His Songwriting</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Roy Orbison was an incredibly gifted songwriter. He wrote some of the most beautiful love songs ever penned, including classics such as "Pretty Woman," "Only the Lonely," and "Crying." His songs continue to be covered by musicians from all genres.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">C.</span> His Impact on Music</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Roy Orbison made an incredible impact on popular music. His influence can be felt in the works of many modern artists, from Bruce Springsteen to Adele. He will forever remain in the hearts of music fans everywhere.</p></div>

Interesting Facts

<div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">1.</span> First Rock Star to Wear Sunglasses Indoors</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Roy Orbison was the first rock star to wear sunglasses indoors, a trend that has been widely adopted by other artists since.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">2.</span> An Influential Songwriter</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Roy Orbison's songs were recorded by many of the biggest names in music, including Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, and The Beatles.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">3.</span> Inducted into Three Halls of Fame</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Roy Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">4.</span> Multiple Grammy Award Winner</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Roy Orbison won two Grammy Awards for Best Vocal Performance in 1965 and 1967.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">5.</span> Wrote “Oh, Pretty Woman” in 30 Minutes</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Roy Orbison wrote his hit song "Oh, Pretty Woman" in just 30 minutes after being inspired by a woman he saw walking down the street.</p></div>


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