Burt Bacharach (1926 – )

Many who hum his hits have no idea that a great McGill grad is behind the catchy refrains, and yet there are very few stars in the musical realm who can boast as wide-ranging, influential, and long-lived a career as Burt Bacharach.

A composer, pianist and prolific producer of popular music, Bacharach is considered one of the most important musical personalities of the 20th Century. Since his graduation from McGill (DipAMus’48) - where he says he wrote his first song - he has embarked on an unparalleled six-decade career, and has garnered accolades and top 40 hits both in the U.S. and the U.K, working with greats through the decades such as Marlene Dietrich, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright, and hip-hop producer Dr. Dre.

As well as global recognition for classics such as What the World Needs Now and I Say a Little Prayer for You, Bacharach has had cameo roles in Hollywood movies, performed on countless television specials, scored Oscar-winning films, and has been cited as a major influence by artists of every style, from British rock band Oasis to American favourites The Beach Boys.

He has been honored with three academy awards, two golden globes, a BAFTA, an Emmy, a Grammy, and countless other wins and nominations for his legendary work and landmark career.