One of the most eclectic artists to emerge from the American punk scene of the 1970s, David Byrne was the vocalist and chief songwriter for the band Talking Heads, which blended artistic, abstract sensibilities with a dizzying array of musical influences to become one of the most popular bands of the 1980s before Byrne left the group for a solo career in 1991. He captured critical and listener attention with the nervous energy and displaced emotion in songs like "Life During Wartime, "Burning Down the House," "Psycho Killer" and "Girlfriend is Better," which he underscored with his powerhouse vocals and kinetic stage presence. Talking Heads broke onto the Billboard charts with 1980's "Once in a Lifetime," which preceded a handful of Top 40 singles before the band's acrimonious split at the dawn of the new decade. In the years that followed, Byrne pursued a sonically adventurous solo career that veered from records that explored international rhythms to soundtrack work, including the Oscar-winning score for "The Last Emperor" (1987) and his own record label, Luaka Bop, which brought many Third World artists to Western audiences. Throughout it all, Byrne remained one of popular music's most independent-minded figures, parlaying his own individual fascinations into a career that drew considerable respect from both the critical and listener communities.