Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell, July 8, 1970) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, known by his simple stage name of Beck.
With his pop collage of musical styles, oblique, ironic lyrics, and post-modern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being amongst the most idiosyncratic artists of 1990s alternative rock.
Beck rose to underground popularity with his earliest works, which combined social criticism (as in "MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack" and "Deep Fried Love") with musical and lyrical experimentalism. He first came to wider public attention with his breakthrough single "Loser", a hit in 1994, which some described as a novelty song. However, Beck was not easily categorized into a single genre. Some likened his absurdist, free-flowing lyrical style and the lo-fi folk songs of his early career to Bob Dylan, while the Beastie Boys were notable templates for his embrace of hip hop influences, and his later eclecticism sparked comparisons to Prince. In several albums beginning in the late 1990s, Beck developed a slower, more melancholy sound, merging his trademark style with psychedelic rock, electronic, Brazilian Tropicalia, and the music of English folk icon Nick Drake and French avant pop star Serge Gainsbourg. He has also cited The Cars, Mantronix, Gary Wilson, Pussy Galore, Willie Dixon, Bill Broonzy, and Sonic Youth as among his influences. To most listeners, Odelay (1996) and Sea Change (2002), two of Beck`s most popular and acclaimed recordings, represented polar opposites in style. Odelay was awarded the title Album of the Year by Rolling Stone in the USA and by NME and Mojo in the UK. It was also nominated for the award of Best Album at the Grammys.