Birthplace: Kalamata, Greece
For someone who can neither write nor read music, Yanni has done pretty well as a musician. The pianist, known for his soothing, New Age compositions, has sold over 10 million albums through nine recordings dating back to 1988 when he began his solo career. His worldwide appeal is reflected in concert sites that include the Acropolis, the Taj Mahal, and Beijing's Forbidden City. Yanni also composed music used in the 1996 summer Olympic Games and his compositions have been used as the themes for several other sporting events.