Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier, February 4, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years. With a raspy voice and a stage show that features numerous props and stage illusions, including pyrotechnics, guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, reptiles, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers to be "The Godfather of Shock Rock". He has drawn equally from horror films, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre and theatrical brand of rock designed to shock audiences.
Originating in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1964, "Alice Cooper" was originally a band with roots extending back to a band called The Earwigs 1964, consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, and Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar and background vocals. By 1966, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar joined the three and Neal Smith was added on drums in 1967. The five named the band 'Alice Cooper' and released their debut album in 1969 with limited chart success. The band reached their commercial peak in 1973 with their sixth studio album, Billion Dollar Babies. They broke up in 1975 and Furnier adopted the band's name as both his legal name and his stage name, beginning his solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare.
Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, glam metal, and industrial rock. He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and has been described as the artist who "first introduced horror imagery to rock and roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". He is also known for his wit offstage, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide calling him the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, and, since 2004, a radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper.