Keith Emerson

Throughout his career with the Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and as a solo artist, Keith Emerson proved himself perhaps the greatest, most technically accomplished keyboardist in rock history. For all his reputation as an innovator and master of classically influenced rock, Emerson began his career playing R&B; the Nice got their first big break backing soul singer P.P. Arnold in 1967. Independently of Arnold, the Nice carved out a niche in the fledgling prog rock movement, with Emerson's classical flourishes and flamboyant showmanship (flinging knives at his keyboard, etc.) leading the way. After the Nice's dissolution, Emerson fleshed out his musical ideas to their fullest with Emerson, Lake & Palmer, which debuted in 1970 and had a series of highly successful albums throughout the decade.