Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans five decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, and boa constrictors, Cooper has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavy metal, and garage rock to create a theatrical brand of rock music that would come to be known as shock rock. In 1969, right at the height of psychedelia, Cooper launched his successful stage career: “We were into fun, sex, death and money when everybody was into peace and love. We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation.”
Alice Cooper was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and drummer Neal Smith. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with 1971's monster hit "I'm Eighteen" from the album Love it to Death, which was followed by the even bigger single "School's Out" in 1972. The band reached their commercial peak with the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies.
Furnier's solo career as Alice Cooper, adopting the band's name as his own name, began with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. In 2008 he released Along Came a Spider, his 18th solo album. Expanding from his original Detroit garage rock and glam rock roots, over the years Cooper has experimented with many different musical styles, including conceptual rock, art rock, hard rock, new wave, pop rock, experimental rock and industrial rock. In recent times he has returned more to his garage rock roots.
Alice Cooper is known for his social and witty persona offstage, The Rolling Stone Album Guide going so far as to refer to him as the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer". He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and is seen as being the person who "first introduced horror imagery to rock'n'roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock shows Nights with Alice Cooper.