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Vidal Sassoon Dies At 84, Official Streaming Chart Launched

10 May

Vidal Sassoon – the man whose hairstyles helped define the 60’s has died in Los Angeles at the age of 84.

He bought architectural and geometric styling to the world of hair at a time when most women were spending hours under dryers with rollers in the hair. Sassoon always believed that the only important thing about a woman’s hairstyle is the quality of the cut.

Born in London in 1928 to a poor Jewish family he was raised solely by his mother from the age of 3 after his womanising father left home although he did spend some time in a Jewish orphanage. He did have thoughts of becoming a professional footballer but as Sassoon later said like most mothers his got her own way and he became a hairdresser instead.

After training in Mayfair Sassoon soon felt that he wanted to change things in the world of hairdressing and set about created his signature styling, which concentrated on cut and shape. He introduced a number of iconic styles including the geometric cut and the 5-point cut and one of his most famous clients provided the name for another cut that was synonymous with the time. Fashion designer Mary Quant, responsible for that other 60’s style statement the miniskirt, said of Sassoon’s geometric cut that he provided the perfect styling to finish her look.

If a celebrity wanted her hair cut by the best in the 1960’s then Sassoon was the only man to go to. Film director Roman Polanski famously paid him $5k and flew him to the US to cut Mia Farrow’s hair for “Rosemary’s Baby.” He also got a free advert in the movie when Farrow’s character Rosemary Woodhouse says of her hair “It’s Vidal Sassoon. It’s very in.”

Sassoon was a highly successful businessman, making the most of his name by creating a line of salons and also launching his own range of hair products which were advertised by him using the slogan “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”

He moved to the US in the 70’s after looking for somebody to help him with his hair products and after falling in love with California made the country his home.

He was a noted philanthropist with many interests including the performing arts as well as establishing his own research centre to inform the world about anti-semitism.

He was a handsome and charismatic man and was married 4 times, being survived by his last wife Ronnie who he married in 1992. He had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2009.

Official Streaming Chart – from this Monday the UK is to get its first official chart showing which artists have had their music streamed the most on services such as Spotify, Napster, Zune and Deezer.

The first info released shows that Ed Sheeran in the artist whose music is most streamed on these services. The new chart does have a different make-up to the download chart with a number of acts doing better in the streaming chart than in the download chart. Other successful streaming acts include Lana Del Rey and David Guetta.

The most streamed track so far is Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra. Other often streamed tracks include Jessie J’s Domino.

The new chart recognises the significance of audio streaming to UK audiences and is expected to be followed soon by another chart showing video streaming data.

Ed Sheeran was clearly delighted to be on top of the new chart format saying:  “Amazing to hear that I am the most streamed act of 2012. Streaming services and online in general have always been an important way for me to get music out to my fans. A new Official Streaming Chart that recognises another way of enjoying music can only be a good thing.”

To give you some idea of the size of the market there were over 2.6 billion audio streams in the UK last year. This compares to 26 m album downloads and 177m single track downloads over the same timeframe.

The new streaming chart can be viewed each week online at www.officialcharts.com and will also be published in Music Week.

 
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