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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

October 2 - Russell Simmons, record executive

Cofounder of the hip-hop record label Def Jam Recordings, Simmons signed talent including the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Jay Z, and Kanye West. He also created clothing lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and Tantris, giving Simmons a net worth of about $340 million back in 2011. 

Simmons has been a vegan for about 20 years and has spent the last five years residing in Bali, a “yoga and vegan Disneyland,” according to him. Simmons has written several books about entrepreneurship and living a healthy lifestyle, including Success Through Stillness and The Happy Vegan. Simmons also coproduced The Nutty Professor starring Eddie Murphy, and co-founded RushCard, a prepaid debit card, in 2003.

Along with his brothers, Simmons created the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation which helps about 3,000 underserved youth annually and maintains a pair of galleries to show their work and that of other emerging artists. Simmons is a strong social activist and is a senior advisor for vegan, meatless burger brand Everything Legendary that closed a $6 million series A round earlier this year.

Image Source: Wikipedia

October 7 - Jayne Torvill, ice dancer

Calling Jayne Torvill an ice dancer is like calling Michael Jordan a basketball player. Along with partner Christopher Dean, Torvill transcended the sport when the pair won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics performing to Ravel’s Bolero. They got 12 perfect 6.0 marks, one of five times when all the judges gave them the top score for artistic impression. 

Torvill fell in love with skating at age eight, and six years later she and then-partner Michael Hutchinson were the British National Pairs Champion. She teamed up with Dean in 1975 and the two took fifth place in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. At that, the two gave up their day jobs, she as an insurance clerk and Dean as a policeman, to skate full time.

The pair turned professional after their Olympic triumph and weren’t allowed to compete in the Olympics again. However, the International Skating Committee eased the rules for eligibility in 1993 and Torvill and Dean were once again on the program for the 1994 Olympics, a full decade after their big win. In an extremely physically demanding sport that favors young bodies, the pair managed to bring home a bronze medal. 

Torvill took a break from skating from 1998 to 2005, then began starring with Dean in the show Dancing on Ice. In 2014 the pair returned to Sarajevo for the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Olympics and danced their winning routine (with modifications!) in front of an adoring crowd.

Image Source: Wikipedia

October 21 - Steve Lukather, rock singer

Apart from being lead guitarist for the band Toto, Steve Lukather is one of the most prolific session guitarists of all time. He has played with musicians ranging from Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, and Warren Zevon to contributing on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. You can hear Lukather’s work on more than 1,500 albums across 36 years. Part of his talent is being able to record tracks quickly, often in one take and with little sound processing. 

But fans may know Lukather best for his long tenure with Toto. He met David Paich and brothers Jeff, Steve, and Mike Porcaro in high school; all would become members of the band. Jeff Porcaro, who began playing drums for the band Steely Dan in 1973, helped Lukather to find session work. In 1976, the band Toto was formed. 

Lukather would serve as the band’s lead guitarist the entire time it was in existence, while other members came and went. Three of his five Grammy Awards came via the band, two for his work as an artist and one as a producer. If you want to catch Lukather live, check when side band Nerve Bundle will be playing at The Baked Potato in Studio City, CA. Just don’t expect to hear any Toto hits: no “Africa,” “Rosanna” or “Hold the Line.”


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