It’s widely known that some of the best things come in twos. While one member might get more of the spotlight, that's no discredit to the group's other half. In honor of Ryan Lewis’s birthday today, we’re looking at some of music’s top Right-Hand Men:
1. Ryan Lewis of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Half of the musical genius behind the 2012 album “The Heist,” Spokane native Ryan Lewis met rapper Macklemore through MySpace back in 2006. Four years later they collaborated on their “Vs. Redux EP,” releasing it independently and relying on fan buzz to get the project off the ground. Lewis’s addictive, original sound took the summer hit “Thrift Shop” to no. 1, selling more than 6 million copies. He worked his magic again when “Can’t Hold Us” dominated Billboard’s Hot 100, launching the duo into superstardom and earning the group a slew of Grammys this year.
2. DJ Jazzy Jeff of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
Heralded as the pioneer of sampling and the “transformer scratch,” DJ Jazzy Jeff has been spinning records since the tender age of 10. After meeting at a house party in 1985, Jazzy teamed up with Will Smith and the two clicked instantly.They created the smash hit “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” and the iconic teen anthem won them the first ever Grammy for Best Rap Performance. Not only that, but the performer popped up a number of times on Smith’s “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in the ‘90s. These days, Jazzy Jeff runshis musical production company, A Touch Of Jazz, and looks for new talent through a partnership with DreamWorks studios.
3. Nick Noonan of Karmin
Nick Noonan, the male half of the pop duo Karmin, broke free of his Maine roots and became “YouTube famous,” collecting over a million subscribers with his fiancée, charismatic frontwoman Amy Heidemann. Discovered among the hundreds of thousands of YouTube covers, Karmin’s rendition of “Look At Me Now” was one of the most watched YouTube videos of 2011 and managed to catch the eyes of several music execs. In 2011, the couple released a small collection of original songs and their single “Brokenhearted” spent 22 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100.Their next original album, “Pulses,” is also expected to be a smash hit and will feature more of Noonan’s vocals.
4. Big Boi of Outkast
Meshing the different musical styles of singer Andre 3000 and rapper Big Boi, the Atlanta-based OutKast has been churning out hits since the early ‘90s, but it was the 2003 dance anthem “Hey Ya” that took the group to the next level. While thefirst single was fronted by Andre the double album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” also touted Big Boi’s “The Way You Move” and laid the groundwork for him to venture into the limelight. After pursuing different solo projects for nearly eight years, with Andre taking on acting roles like the forthcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic, OutKast will be reuniting on the Coachella main stage in April of 2014.
5. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo & Thomas Bangalter, Daft Punk
Including his Grammy-winning pair might be considered cheating, since the audience can’t distinguish between the two, but with or without those trademark helmets, Daft Punk definitely counts as a great pop duo. Tapping into techno long before it was mainstream and adapting their name from a scathing review, Daft Punk released their first album “Homework in 1997.” After releasing 2013’s song of summer, “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk is keeping everyone on the edge of their seats, waiting for what they might turn out next.