Van Morrison (George Ivan Morrison, OBE, born 31 August 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter with a reputation for being at once stubborn, idiosyncratic, and sublime. His live performances at their best are seen as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are acclaimed as among the greatest ever made.
Known as "Van the Man" by his fans, Morrison started his professional career when, as a young teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments, including the guitar, harmonica, keyboards, and saxophone, in a range of Irish showbands who covered the popular hits of the day, before rising to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the gritty Northern Irish R&B band Them with whom he recorded the garage band classic, "Gloria". His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. After Berns' death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him several sessions.