Certain musicians are blessed with the ability to hear, see, feel, or taste music, a variant of the neurological condition known as synesthesia.

While you don't need to have synesthesia in order to be a great musician, there seems to be a significant correlation between musicians capable of creating exceptionally impactful tunes and those who perceive sound in color. Here are some of the most noteworthy musicians with synesthesia:

Frank Ocean

Anyone who's heard Frank Ocean's Blonde knows that the album exists in more than one dimension, and this isn't an accident. Ocean sees colors associated with his music, and his album Channel Orange was inspired by the color he saw when he first fell in love (which was, obviously, orange).

Pink Matter www.youtube.com


Lorde

Extra Minutes | How Lorde sees sound as colour www.youtube.com

Lorde has described synesthesia as a driving force behind all her music, and like Ocean, she has sound-to-color synesthesia, which means all music has a color in her mind. "If a song's colors are too oppressive or ugly, sometimes I won't want to work on it," she once told MTV. "When we first started 'Tennis Court' we just had that pad playing the chords, and it was the worst textured tan colour, like really dated, and it made me feel sick, and then we figured out that prechorus and I started the lyric, and the song changed to all these incredible greens overnight!"

Lorde - Green Light www.youtube.com

Stevie Wonder

Even though he's blind, the musical legend and innovator Stevie Wonder can see the colors of his music in his head, which might explain why his music sounds so vast and rich.

Stevie Wonder - Moon Blue www.youtube.com

Billy Joel

The "Piano Man" singer can see the colors of the music that he plays, and it sounds like his perception is influenced by tempo and mood. "When I think of different types of melodies which are slower or softer, I think in terms of blues or greens," he said. "When I [see] a particularly vivid color, it is usually a strong melodic, strong rhythmic pattern which emerges at the same time," he said. "When I think of these songs, I think of vivid reds, oranges, and golds."

Billy Joel - Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (Official Audio) www.youtube.com


Kanye West

The brilliant musician and recently born-again Christian once said that all his music has a visual component. "Everything I sonically make is a painting," he said. "I see it. I see the importance and the value of everyone being able to experience a more beautiful life."

Kanye West - All Of The Lights ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi www.youtube.com

For West, visuals need to be compatible with the colors he hears in his head. "I see music in color and shapes and all and it's very important for me when I'm performing or doing a video that the visuals match up with the music – the colors, y'know," he said. "A lot of times it's a lonely piano [that] can look like a black and white visual to fit that emotion, even though pianos are blue to me and bass and snares are white; bass lines are like dark brown, dark purple."

No Church In The Wild www.youtube.com


Pharrell Williams

The "Happy" singer (a yellow song if there ever was one) has been open about his synesthesia, and he has a very in-depth way of perceiving musical color. "There are seven basic colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet," he said. And those also correspond with musical notes…White, believe it or not, which gives you an octave is the blending of all the colors…" So that means chords would be blends of different shades, and harmonies would likely involve the blending of compatible colors. For Pharrell, synesthesia is instrumental to his creative process and to his worldview at large. "It's my only reference for understanding," he said. "I don't think I would have what some people would call talent and what I would call a gift. The ability to see and feel [this way] was a gift given to me that I did not have to have. And if it was taken from me suddenly I'm not sure that I could make music. I wouldn't be able to keep up with it. I wouldn't have a measure to understand."

Pharrell Williams - Happy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

Duke Ellington

For the jazz great, individual notes also have different colors—but their exact shades depend on who's playing them, not the note itself. "I hear a note by one of the fellows in the band and it's one color. I hear the same note played by someone else and it's a different color," he said. In addition to associating music with colors, he also sees sound as texture. "When I hear sustained musical tones, I see just about the same colors that you do, but I see them in textures," he added. "If Harry Carney is playing, D is dark blue burlap. If Johnny Hodges is playing, G becomes light blue satin."

Duke Ellington - Blue Feeling www.youtube.com

Tori Amos

From the sound of things, Tori Amos experiences music in a very dreamlike and psychedelic way. The singer-songwriter and piano prodigy has said that songwriting feels like chasing after light. "The song appears as light filament once I've cracked it. As long as I've been doing this, which is more than 35 years, I've never seen a duplicated song structure. I've never seen the same light creature in my life. Obviously, similar chord progressions follow similar light patterns…try to imagine the best kaleidoscope ever."

16 Shades of Blue www.youtube.com


Dev Hynes

After hearing Blood Orange's saturated, vivid sonic craftsmanship, it's not hard to believe that its creator is synesthetic. However, for Dev Hynes, synesthesia isn't a walk in the park. "Imagine color streamers just bouncing around," he explained. "It's hard for me to focus at times because there's a lot of things floating around, pulling me away. Situations can become very overbearing and overwhelming."

Blood Orange - Dark & Handsome | A COLORS SHOW www.youtube.com


Charli XCX

Synesthesia helps Charli XCX curate and shape her songs, and apparently, the pop queen favors sweeter, brighter colors. "I see music in colors. I love music that's black, pink, purple or red - but I hate music that's green, yellow or brown," she said.

Charli XCX - Silver Cross [Official Audio] www.youtube.com


Mary J. Blige

"I have that condition, synesthesia. I see music in colors. That's how my synesthesia plays out," singer, rapper, actress, and legend Mary J. Blige explained succinctly.

Mary J. Blige - Be Without You (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com


Marina Diamandis

The former star of Marina and the Diamonds (who now goes by only Marina) apparently can see sound as color, but she also associates certain colors with days of the week. Her synesthesia also sometimes causes her to associate music with scents. "Mine usually only expresses itself in color association but I do smell strange scents out of the blue for no reason," she's said.

MARINA - Orange Trees [Official Music Video] www.youtube.com


Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell

In Billie Eilish's technicolor universe, every sense bleeds into everything else, and things like numbers and days of the week have their own color palettes. "I think visually first with everything I do, and also I have synesthesia, so everything that I make I'm already thinking of what color it is, and what texture it is, and what day of the week it is, and what number it is, and what shape," she said in a YouTube Music video. "We both have it [she and brother, Finneas O'Connell], so we think about everything this way."

Billie Eilish - Ocean Eyes (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

Alessia Cara

Alessia Cara thought that synesthesia was just something everybody had, until she realized not everyone could see sounds. "I didn't know that synesthesia was something that was, I guess, only a thing for some people," she said. "I thought that everybody kind of experienced it. So for me, it was just a natural pairing to my music. Everything audible was visual to me, and it still is. And so I think when I write, it's kind of cool to listen back and say, 'Well, this song feels kind of purple' — if a certain drum sound sounds purple and the song feels purple, then I know that they kind of match. It just really helps me figure out the whole package of a song." And like Kanye West, her synesthesia influences her visual content. "Even with videos — it helps me figure out what I want to do music video-wise," she added. "So it's definitely a strong aspect of my writing."

Alessia Cara - Ready (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com


Franz Liszt

Synesthesia isn't reserved for 20th and 21st century legends. Many classical musicians possessed synesthetic abilities, such as the composer Franz Liszt, who apparently used to ask orchestra members to make their tone qualities "bluer" and would say things like, "That is a deep violet, please, depend on it! Not so rose!" While orchestra members thought he was joking, they soon realized that the musician could actually see colors in the music he created.

Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream www.youtube.com

Alexa Ray Joel, the daughter of musician Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley recently debuted a stunning new look, leading to speculation that she's undergone plastic surgery.

However, in a recent interview with Good Morning America, the 28-year-old singer denies that's the case, save for her 2010 rhinoplasty—insisting, “I don’t even dye my hair.”

The brunette beauty blames weak research for reports to the contrary.

“It was interesting because they were comparing pictures of me from when I was 16 to 18, to recent pictures of me now and I’m 28 years old,” she explained. “So of course I look different.”

As far as collapsing at New York City’s Carlyle Hotel in April, she explains, “I had been working a few weeks straight, and I was tired. And it just happened, you know, it happens to the best of us. I wanted to end with a bang, but it wasn’t quite the bang I intended but a little bit of drama on stage. It was just a case of sheer exhaustion.”

Supermodel MILF Brinkley has her daughter's back, telling Anderson Cooper that she hasn’t undergone more than a “little tweak of her nose," adding, “she’s totally natural, look at her.”

In 2009 the celeb-u-spawn made headlines when she was hospitalized after an overdose of sleeping pills, and again in 2011 when she admitted that an ex boyfriend infected her with the human papillomavirus.

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Alexa Ray Joel sent the plastic surgery rumor mill into overdrive when she stepped out Tuesday sporting a drastically different look.

As previously reported, the 28-year-old daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley took to her Facebook page Wednesday to deny going under the knife recently—insisting the only procedure she has undergone was a nose job back in 2010.

“On a personal (and slightly ridiculous note): I would just like to add that all of the continuously circulating rumors that I have had extensive ‘face-work’ and undergone breast-augmentation surgery is simply and entirely 100% false,” she wrote.

“The only thing I have ever had done is my nose, which I have always been completely candid, honest, and open about- and I can swear on my Beloved Gypsy-Stella The Cat that this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God! (But hey, there could be worse rumors circulating, so, I’ll take it).

“Any visibly-positive alterations in terms of my public-image are an absolute and sole credit to my brilliant makeup-artist and stylist, @darlingcait … Who is a true beauty-wizard and visionary. (That, combined with the fact that I actually have a hearty dose of self-confidence now- which took me a little extra minute or so to find.) ; )

So… is her new appearance down to good make-up or great surgery? Popdust asked renown plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Tornambe to examine before and after photos of the musician and weigh in with his expert opinion.

Here’s what he says:

“In my opinion, Alexa Ray has undergone a magical transformation, and part of it was surgical and part of it involved other factors.

“Comparing these photos, I believe that she has undergone a very nice nose job that refines and narrows her nose and nasal tip. She also may have had either liposuction of the jowels and jaw region and, or, removal of the small fat pads of the cheeks. This technique sculpts the mid-face and makes the cheek bones appear more prominent.

“However, there is a possibility that she simply lost weight, and at age 28, weight loss can transform the face in a great way. She also appears to have had a breast augmentation, but she is wearing a bustier in the recent photos which can also lift the breasts upward in a an attractive fashion.

“She has beautiful lips, they are hers, no fillers, in my opinion. Her facial make-up is professional and impeccable, especially around her eyes. Finally, her eyebrows have been manicured beautifully to frame her eyes in a most pleasant fashion. I love her new look!”

Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley's daughter, Alexa Ray is denying that she has undergone any plastic surgery procedures.

As Popdust previously reported, the 28-year-old sparked surgery speculation after showcasing a dramatic new look Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old musician stunned the crowd when she performed at Cafe Carlyle on April 1, 2014 in New York City, flaunting her bodacious bod in a plum corset—but it was her drastically different face and noticeably larger breasts that sent the plastic surgery rumor mill into overdrive.

Alexa took to her Facebook page Wednesday to deny going under the knife recently—insisting the only procedure she has undergone was a nose job back in 2010.

“On a personal (and slightly ridiculous note): I would just like to add that all of the continuously circulating rumors that I have had extensive ‘face-work’ and undergone breast-augmentation surgery is simply and entirely 100% false.

“The only thing I have ever had done is my nose, which I have always been completely candid, honest, and open about- and I can swear on my Beloved Gypsy-Stella The Cat that this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God! (But hey, there could be worse rumors circulating, so, I’ll take it).

“Any visibly-positive alterations in terms of my public-image are an absolute and sole credit to my brilliant makeup-artist and stylist, @darlingcait … Who is a true beauty-wizard and visionary. (That, combined with the fact that I actually have a hearty dose of self-confidence now- which took me a little extra minute or so to find.) ; ) But hey, wouldn’t it be nice if the press could just focus on my music and stage-presence? Because, honestly, I would rather be judged, critiqued, and picked apart for my actual work. So, on that note… Please join me for an intimate evening of music, martinis, [and more!] at the Cafe Carlyle- get your tickets now- the shows are almost all sold-out!!!!!!”

Last December Alexa revealed that it wasn't always easy growing up in the shadow of her famous parents.

"It took me a minute - being the daughter of such iconic figures, it took some growing into," she told the Today show.

"You're exposed to the spotlight at such a young age and that, of course, can be challenging... But I made it through."

"It was definitely a struggle," Alexa confessed, adding that it was music that helped 'save' her.

"I was a late bloomer, and I was painfully shy. I don't know why I just decided to go into performing, because I am such an introvert at my core.

"[But] music has always been my solace and always been my … where I go to. It's pulled me through everything, saved me."

Slow down, you crazy child!

Billy Joel's 28-year-old daughter Alexa Ray—the inspiration for "Alexa," don'tcha know—has excellent genes. Talent from papa (just listen to her below!) and supermodel beauty from mama Christie Brinkley.

After moving to Hollywood, Alexa faced her share of bullying and ended up falling into the world of plastic surgery. Take a look at the picture below; left from six years ago and right from last night's "Alexa Ray Joel In Concert."

Do you love her new look? Or did you love her just the way she...was?

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Billy Joel, the undisputed "Piano Man" of classic pop-rock turns 64 today. In these 64 years, he's written some famously lovely songs ("She's Always a Woman," "And So It Goes") and romanced some famously lovely women (Elle Macpherson, Christie Brinkley), but what we're most fascinated with today is his aging process. Specifically that it's incredibly normal.

Let's take a look at his contemporaries. Bruce Springsteen has aged beautifully. Bob Dylan has aged poorly. Mick Jagger has aged weirdly. Meanwhile, Billy Joel has just kind of...aged. Take a peek:

 

Young Billy:

 

Middle Aged Billy:

 

Current Billy:

 

 

Has he aged poorly? No. Has he aged well? Not really. "Consistent" is an adjective you'd ascribe to both his music and his aging process. And that ain't a bad thing.

Happy Birthday Billy!