Referencing prodigies of rock lyricism may not bring Elvis Costello to mind for some, but he does deserve consideration. Through the course of over four decades, the former computer programmer has established a career as a singer-songwriter to give Bob Dylan himself a reckoning. He was born Declan MacManus in London, England, on August 25, 1954. He took the moniker Elvis Costello in 1977, adopting the first name from Elvis Presley and the last part from the maiden name of his mother. Also in '77, Costello's debut album My Aim Is True was released, drawing connections to the new wave and punk movement as well as showing musical variance. That year, Costello's band The Attractions was assembled. The group released a number of albums, including This Year's Model, Armed Forces, and Trust. 1986's Blood and Chocolate produced memorable, literate gems such as "Tokyo Storm Warning" and "I Want You."
After the Attractions' final show in 1996, due to conflict between Costello and the band's bassist Bruce Thomas, two of the group's other members would become part of his new backing band, The Imposters. Costello has released over 30 albums.