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Randy Travis, Billy Joel, Pam Grier and other stars celebrate big ones this month
by Susan Wloszczyna, AARP, May 1, 2019|Comments: 0
PHOTO BY: Erika Goldring/Getty Images
May 4: Randy Travis, 60
En español | EThis country music legend has sold more than 25 million records and won seven Grammy awards since arriving on the scene in 1978 — starting with his first big hit, “Diggin’ Up Bones.” He switched to Christian music in 2000, but his life really took a turn after he suffered a massive stroke in 2013 that limited his vocal ability. Travis reveals more of his highs and lows in his new memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life.
This piano man — a six-time Grammy winner who has sold more than 150 million records — will play his 69th consecutive show at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 25. It's part of deal he made with the venue in 2013, when he became its first-ever music residency, performing one show a month (including on his birthday this month).
PHOTO BY: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
May 11: Martha Quinn, 60
The most popular and perkiest personality on the music video channel that launched in 1981 was Quinn, who spent a decade as an MTV VJ throughout the 1980s. In 2005, she hosted a one-hour weekly ‘80s show on Sirius Satellite Radio, and stayed on when Sirius merged with XM on the renamed ‘80s on 8 channel, until 2016. She has said that whenever she hears the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” the first video to air on MTV, “I get goose bumps. I practically want to cry."
PHOTO BY: Ian Lawrence/GC Images
May 12: Ving Rhames, 60
This tough-guy actor is best known as computer hacker Luther Stickell in the Mission: Impossible franchise, the only cast member besides Tom Cruise to be in all six films. But most moviegoers were introduced to Rhames in the guise of crime boss Marsellus Wallace in 1994's Pulp Fiction. Rhames is a softy at heart, as he proved in 1998 when he gave the Golden Globe he won for his role as boxing promoter Don King to fellow nominee Jack Lemmon.
PHOTO BY: Dia Dipasupil/WireImage
May 13: Harvey Keitel, 80
Keitel has played a fair share of violent criminals in films and is a favorite of directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. He has also been lucky enough to be in six films that were up for an Academy Award for best picture: Taxi Driver, Bugsy (which earned him a supporting Oscar nod), The Piano, Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and The Grand Budapest Hotel. He has claimed the bad guys he plays “aren't nasty, they are troubled.” He has a role in Scorsese's The Irishman, which will stream on Netflix later this year.
PHOTO BY: Cindy Ord/ Getty Images
May 15: Emmitt Smith, 50
The National Football League's all-time leading rusher would gain 18,355 yards during his 15 seasons as a pro gridiron star in the 1990s and 2000s. He participated in three Super Bowl wins with the Dallas Cowboys — as part of the “Triplets,” alongside quarterback Troy Aikman and wide receiver Michael Irvin — before heading to the Arizona Cardinals in 2003. More recently, he won the third season of Dancing With the Stars (2006) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
This front man for the English cult rock band the Smiths in the ‘80s, known for his penchant for songs that express loneliness and longing, is considered an influential indie rock and Brit-pop figure. This month Morrissey will perform a seven-date Broadway run that sold out within an hour. He's also set to kick off a 14-date U.S. tour this fall to promote California Son, an album covering ‘60s and ‘70s pop hits.
PHOTO BY: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images
May 25: Anne Heche, 50
Heche got her start in a dual role, playing twins, on the soap opera Another World in 1987, at age 19, and soon after became a hot film actress, appearing in Donnie Brasco, Volcano, Wag the Dogand Six Days, Seven Nights. She found herself under a bright spotlight after she and Ellen DeGeneres announced their relationship in 1997. (They broke up a few years later.) Heche, author of the 2001 memoir Call Me Crazy, now costars with Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson in the new civil-rights-themed film The Best of Enemies.
PHOTO BY: Jack Taylor/Getty Images
May 25: Ian McKellen, 80
You would think a celebrated British performer who has conquered Shakespeare and vanquished evil in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth would enter his ninth decade by taking a break. Instead, McKellen — who was the only actor to be nominated for an Oscar in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for his role as Gandalf the wizard — would take a break. Instead, he is in the midst an 80-stage tour in the U.K., in honor of his birthday, that will continue through September. He will next be seen as Gus in the film version of Cats, which opens in December.
PHOTO BY: Robert Marquardt/Getty Images
May 26: Pam Grier, 70
Grier became the queen of early-1970s blaxploitation B movies such as Foxy Brown and Sheba, Baby. Quentin Tarantino, who put her front and center in his 1997 crime film Jackie Brown, has said she was likely cinema's first female action star. Grier went mainstream in the 1980s, as Steven Seagal's detective partner in Above the Law and in a recurring role on TV's Miami Vice. Her latest film, Poms, about a senior-citizen cheerleading squad, opens May 10.
PHOTO BY: From left: Myrna M. Suarez/Getty Images; Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images; Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images