UCLA’s greatest hits

Catherine Le
Catherine Le

Entering a competitive industry such as the music business is no easy task, so it’s inspiring to know that some notable UCLA alumni have gone on to pursue successful music careers. From the emerging 10-man indie band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, to past Spring Sing winner and soulful songwriter Sara Bareilles, to pop sensation Maroon 5, members from each group have created catchy, inspiring and recognizable music for the world to enjoy and still managed to obtain a UCLA degree. Here are a few notable contributors to some of the popular musical acts many of us know and love.

Sara Bareilles, singer and songwriter

Before Sara Bareilles graduated in 2002 from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies, she began her singing career as part of UCLA’s Awaken A Cappella group. Her first solo performance occurred at the annual Spring Sing concert in 2001. She went on to win Spring Sing in 2002 and 2003. In 2005, she signed a deal with Epic Records. In 2007, Bareilles released her debut album “Little Voice,” which became a Billboard Top 10 seller with the help of her hit “Love Song.” “Love Song” reached No. 4 on the Billboard singles chart and went on to receive a Song of the Year nomination at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. Her latest album, “Kaleidoscope Heart” was released Sept. 7.

Jim Morrison, lead singer and songwriter, and Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and songwriter of The Doors

Originally meeting as students of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison reconnected shortly after graduating in 1965. Together with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger, The Doors was formed and released its first, self-titled album in 1967. While “Break On Through,” was their breakthrough song, “Light My Fire,” was the song that brought The Doors fame and fortune, as it became the No. 1 song in July 1967. Their follow-up album “Strange Days” and a notorious appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” proved that The Doors was a phenomenon, thanks to Morrison’s powerful lyricism and undeniable stage presence. While The Doors released two other albums in the late ’60s, the band’s success was short-lived after the untimely death of Morrison in 1971.

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