July is a big month for birthdays when it comes to some of our favorite musicians! In honor of these stars who are blowing out candles this month, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at them at the beginning of their careers and checking in to see where they are now. First up? A singer who conquered multiple genres — Linda Ronstadt! Linda got her start in music early. She was part of a folk trio with siblings Peter and Gretchen by the age of 14, and by 18 had formed the Stone Poneys with two pals, Bobby Kimmel and Kenny Edwards, releasing albums in 1967 and 1968. By 1969 she'd gone solo, releasing her debut solo studio album, "Hand Sown … Home Grown," that same year. She turns 73 on July 15, 2019 — keep reading to see what she's doing today…
RELATED: '70s rock bands: Where are they now?
Linda Ronstadt retired from music in 2011 as a Parkinson's disease diagnosis left her unable to sing. In 2018, she stepped out for a tour of talks, "A Conversation With Linda," where she discussed her career, played recordings and videos and answered questions from audience members in lieu of singing. In February 2019, she made another rare appearance to honor Dolly Parton at the MusiCares Person of the Year gala, presenting the country music star with a trophy alongside Emmylou Harris. Though Linda can no longer perform, she did release "Linda Ronstadt: Live in Hollywood" that same month — her first live album, which was recorded during a 1980 HBO television special.
RELATED: Stars turning 80 in 2019
The one and only Mick Jagger turns 76 on July 26, 2019. The Rolling Stones rocker formed the group in the early '60s — and they went on to become one of the biggest bands of all time. So what is Mick up to today?
Mick Jagger will be celebrating the big 7-6 on the road during the North American leg of the Rolling Stones' "No Filter" tour, which ends in August 2019. It was briefly postponed after Mick learned he needed a heart valve procedure in April 2019, but now that that's been done, he's back and better than ever.
J.Lo is turning 50! Jennifer Lopez celebrates the big 5-0 on July 24, 2019. She started her career as a backup dancer for New Kids on the Block and Janet Jackson before appearing as a Fly Girl on "In Living Color," then moved to acting before releasing her debut single, "If You Had My Love," in 1999. So how will she be ringing in this big birthday?
Jennifer Lopez will be celebrating her 50th on tour! The star is on her "It's My Party" tour, which started in June 2019 and runs through August. She released her latest single, "Medicine," in April 2019 and has a jam-packed schedule for the rest of the year. Her flick "Hustlers" with Constance Wu and Cardi B hits theaters in September, and she reportedly has a romantic comedy entitled "Marry Me" in the works.
Saul Hudson turns 54 on July 23. If that name doesn't ring a bell, chances are you know him best by his stage name — Slash! He joined his first band in 1981 but four years later he was asked by Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin to join a new band they were calling Guns N' Roses.
After leaving Guns N' Roses in 1996 to form Velvet Revolver, Slash went back to the group that made him famous in 2016 to headline Coachella that year. He and fellow member Duff McKagan announced that a new album was in the works in February 2019. Apart from Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver, the guitarist has also released four solo albums, most recently 2018's "Living the Dream."
Born Melissa Arnette Elliott, the star the world knows as Missy Elliott celebrated her 48th birthday on July 1, 2019. She first popped up on the music scene in 1989 in a short-lived girl group called Sista, which was produced by her friend and neighbor Timbaland. She switched gears and stayed behind the scenes as a songwriting and production team with Timbaland, crafting tunes for groups like 702 and SWV and then Aaliyah. But Missy stepped out of the shadows in 1996 when she was featured on the P. Diddy (aka Sean "Puffy" Combs) track "The Things That You Do." That led to Missy signing as a solo artist and to the release of her Grammy-nominated debut album, 1997's "Supa Dupa Fly," which launched her career. Lets see what she's up to these days…
Missy Elliott is still making history. In 2019, she became the first female hip-hop artist (and third rapper ever) to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. To celebrate the honor, newcomer Lizzo and veteran rapper Da Brat performed to honor Missy while close pal Queen Latifah presented her with the honor. Former first lady Michelle Obama also taped a video tribute to Missy. Fans were elated to learn in April 2019 that Missy was working on her first album in over a decade (she teased footage of a reunion with longtime pal Timbaland). There's no word on when that new music will be released, but it seems Missy will be spending her next year blessing us all with new tunes.
Steven Demetre Georgiou, who you might know as Cat Stevens or Yusuf Islam, celebrates 71 years around the sun on July 21, 2019. He had a modest start playing songs in London coffee houses and pubs before he was discovered at 18. He put out his first singles, "I Love My Dog" and "Matthew and Son," in 1961.
In 2014, Cat Stevens released the album "Tell 'Em I'm Gone" and headed out on the road for the first time since 1978. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since then, he's released his 15th studio album, 2017's "The Laughing Apple," which earned him his very first Grammy nomination. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2019.
It's hard to believe Toby Keith got his career started by busking on Music Row in Nashville in the early '90s. The country superstar, who turns 58 on July 8, 2019, released his debut single, "Should've Been a Cowboy," in 1993, which kicked off a legendary career.
Toby Keith will spend his birthday on the road! He's currently out on the "That's Country Bro!" tour, which started in May 2019 and wraps up in August in Laughlin, Nevada. Aside from music — he's put out 19 studio albums to date — Keith also owns the franchise Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, which has numerous locations all over America.
Happy birthday, 50 Cent! The music star-turned-TV producer (real name: Curtis Jackson), who rose to fame in his late 20s, turned 44 on July 6, 2019. He was discovered by Eminem and his song "Wanksta" was featured on the soundtrack to Eminem's hit movie "8 Mile" in 2002. Fiddy's debut album, "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," was released in 2003.
50 Cent has created an empire for himself after finding fame as a rapper in the early '00s. Aside from putting out music over the last 16 years, he's also ventured into liquor, mobile apps, the beverage industry and much more including film and TV production — he executive produces the hit Starz drama "Power," which debuts its sixth and final season in August 2019. He's also gotten involved in the boxing industry, becoming a licensed boxing promoter in 2012. In 2007, he was named the second wealthiest rapper in the game (only behind JAY-Z) but these days, Fiddy has a more modest net worth of $30 million due in part to a 2017 bankruptcy filing. He also still picks up the microphone every now and again — he performed at the Masters of Ceremony in Brooklyn in June 2019 alongside other hip-hop heavyweights Snoop Dogg, DMX and T.I.
Debbie Harry turned 74 on July 1, 2019. The superstar, who was born Angela Tremble, got her first break back in the late '60s singing backup for the folk group the Wind in the Willows. She followed that up by joining a band called the Stilettos, where she met guitarist boyfriend Chris Stein. Chris and Debbie eventually left the band and launched a group called Angel and the Snake in 1974… later retitled Blondie, and the rest is history. So what's Debbie up to today?
Debbie Harry had a unique career as the frontwoman of a mega-successful band who later continued to find fame as a solo artist before returning to her Blondie roots. She's busy touring during the summer of 2019 and gearing up to release her much-anticipated memoir, "Face It," in October. Over the last decade, Debbie's also made music with other stars, collaborating with Fall Out Boy, Nick Cave and Future Islands. She even made an appearance at Coachella in 2014, joining Arcade Fire on stage for the Blondie hit "Heart of Glass." In May 2019, Debbie joined Chris Stein and Clem Burke of Blondie to perform at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards, where they were honored with the ASCAP Golden Note Award.
DeAndre Cortez Way, also known as Soulja Boy, was born on July 28, 1990. He'll be marking his 29th birthday in 2019. The rapper got his start at 15, posting songs on SoundClick before recording his first independent album, "Unsigned & Still Major: Da Album Before da Album," in 2007. It featured "Crank That," his breakthrough hit.
Soulja Boy will be spending his birthday in jail this year. In April 2019, he was sentenced to 240 days behind bars stemming from a probation violation related to his 2014 arrest on charges of carrying a loaded gun in public. He got credit for 40 days he previously served in 2019 then violated probation in February when police raided his home over a claim he'd kidnapped and assaulted an ex-girlfriend (they found ammunition in his home). He last released music in October 2016 — a joint mixtape with Bow Wow called "Ignorant S—."
You might know Ringo Starr from a little band called The Beatles. The music legend turns 79 on July 7, 2019. He first got his start in a group called the Eddie Miles Band before joining Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He then replaced drummer Pete Best when he joined up with the Beatles in 1962.
Ringo Starr left the Beatles in 1970 and shortly thereafter launched his solo career, which now boasts 19 solo albums (the most recent, "Give More Love," was released in 2017). These days, he's still performing despite nearing his 80s. He's currently on a summer hiatus from his 30th anniversary "All Starr Band" tour, which picks back up in Canada in August 2019. On his 79th birthday, Ringo hosted his annual Peace & Love Birthday Celebration in Los Angeles, where he performed alongside other stars. Ringo received a very special honor in 2018 — a knighthood. That same year, it was revealed that he's the richest drummer in the world (he has an estimated net worth of $350 million!).
Lil' Kim blows out 44 candles on July 11, 2019. The rapper, who rose to fame in the late '90s, started out in a group called Junior M.A.F.I.A. before launching her solo career with "Hard Core" in 1996 and scoring what was at that point in time the highest debut for a female rap album — No. 11 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Get ready for new Lil' Kim music soon! Her fifth studio album, "9" — which comes 14 years after her last — is expected to drop in 2019. Earlier in the year, Kim took the stage at the 2019 BET Awards, joining Mary J. Blige and Method Mad for a medley of Mary's biggest hits.
Birthday boy Luke Bryan started out as a songwriter. He wrote tunes for Travis Tritt and Billy Currington before putting out his debut single, "All My Friends Say," in 2006. He turns 43 on July 17, 2019.
Want to see Luke Bryan in 2019 and 2020? He's coming to a city near you! His "Sunset Repeat" tour runs through October 2019 before taking a break and picking back up again in Mexico in January 2020. His most recent single, "Knockin' Boots," was released in March 2019. When he's not selling out stadiums, you can catch Luke on TV as a judge on "American Idol" alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.
Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana marks his 72nd birthday on July 20, 2019. The 10-time Grammy winner got his start in Tijuana, Mexico, playing in local bands before moving to San Francisco and performing as a street musician. That's where he met David Brown, Marcus Malone and Gregg Rolie and formed the Santana Blues Band in 1966.
Carlos Santana has yet to put down his guitar, and 2019 marked some big milestones for the musician. He commemorated the 20-year anniversary of his biggest album (1999's "Supernatural" ) and the 50th anniversary of one of his most iconic performances (Woodstock in 1969). He's also on the road through November 2019 for his "Supernatural Now" tour. In 2018, Carlos shared his insane guitar skills with the online education series MasterClass, in which he teaches people how to play via online tutorials.
Fleetwood Mac keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, born Christine Anne Perfect, was born on July 12, 1943. She will celebrate her 76th birthday in 2019. She was in a band called Chicken Shack prior to joining Fleetwood Mac but made a swap after marrying the band's bassist, John McVie, in 1970. What's she up to today?
Christine McVie reunited with Fleetwood Mac in 2013, joining the group to play their song "Don't Stop" in London that September. That appearance delighted fans and led her to rejoin the band officially in January 2014. She toured with the group in 2017 and is on the road again for a 2019 concert trek.
George Clinton celebrates his 78th birthday on July 22, 2019. The funk music pioneer started out as a staff songwriter for Motown and in the '60s also performed as a member of The Parliaments, a group that was later known as Parliament and Funkadelic.
George Clinton retired from touring in May 2019, the same month he received an amazing honor — George and Parliament-Funkadelic were given a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy. Though he's no longer going out on the road with P-Funk, he's still making music. On a Reddit AMA thread in 2018, he shared that he has a P-Funk All Stars album, a solo album and another Parliament and Funkadelic album in the works.
Martina McBride will blow out her birthday candles on July 29, 2019. She'll turn 53. The country music singer released her debut album, "The Time Has Come," in 1992 but prior to that, she was actually in a rock band. She switched to country when she moved to Nashville with her husband.
Martina McBride's most recent release? A Christmas album! She dropped "It's the Holiday Season" in October 2018, the same month she published her second cookbook, "Martina's Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life." She's wrapping up a summer 2019 tour in Canada in August. If she's not stopping in your town, you can catch her on the Food Network hosting "Martina's Table."
Rufus Wainwright turns 46 on July 23, 2019. The singer-songwriter's parents were musicians, and his younger sister is singer Martha Wainwright, so it's clear music is in his blood. He got his start on the Montreal, Canada, club circuit before getting signed and moving to New York City in 1996. His first studio album, the self-titled "Rufus Wainwright," was released in 1998.
Rufus Wainwright heads out on tour in August 2019 for the "Oh Solo Wainwright: An Evening with Rufus Wainwright" concert trek. He's also written two operas and has dabbled in acting over the years with roles in the films "The Aviator" and "Heights."
The late Chris Cornell was best known for his work with the Seattle band Soundgarden and, later, his time as a solo artist. The grunge scene pioneer was born on July 20, 1964, and would have celebrated his 55th birthday in 2019.
Chris Cornell passed away in May 2017 in a Detroit hotel room after performing with Soundgarden. His death at 52 was ruled a suicide by hanging.
The late singer Dobie Gray, who was born on July 26, 1940, had one of the biggest hits of 1973 — "Drift Away." He would have turned 79 in 2019.
Dobie Gray passed away in December 2011 after suffering complications from cancer surgery. He was 71. His song "Drift Away" had a big moment again in 2003 when he covered it as a duet with Uncle Kracker and it became a hit single.