The B-52s (styled as '''The B-52's''' prior to 2008) are an American new wave band, formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Fred Schneider (vocals, percussion, keyboards), Kate Pierson (organ, bass, vocals), Cindy Wilson (vocals, bongos, tambourine, guitar), Ricky Wilson (guitars), and Keith Strickland (drums, guitars, synthesizers, various instruments). Following Ricky Wilson's death in 1985, Strickland switched full-time to guitar. The band subsequently added various musicians for their live shows. This included Sara Lee or Tracy Wormworth (bass), Zachary Alford or Sterling Campbell (drums, percussion) and Pat Irwin or Paul Gordon (keyboards & guitars).
Rooted in new wave and 1960s rock and roll, the group later covered many genres ranging from post-punk to pop rock. The "guy vs. gals" vocals of Schneider, Pierson, and Wilson, sometimes used in call and response style ("Strobe Light," "Private Idaho", and "Good Stuff"), are a trademark.