The B-52's originated as a New Wave rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, United States, in 1976. The band's name comes from a particular beehive hairdo resembling the nose cone of the airplane of the same name. During their early years, wigs of that style were often worn by the band's female singers Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson. The correct name for the band has long been "The B-52's", but in 2008 they dropped the apostrophe, with their official website and Funplex album and single covers reading "The B-52s". However, the file tags on the digital releases of both of these retain the apostrophe. Both spellings could now be considered correct.
The B-52's' sound is marked by the vocals--the female harmonies of Wilson and Pierson, and the generally spoken-word or sprechgesang male vocal counterpoint of Fred Schneider. The resulting unique "guy vs. gals" vocals, sometimes used in call and response style (as in their songs "Private Idaho" and "Good Stuff"), are a trademark of the band. Presenting as a positive, enthusiastic, slightly wacky party band, the B-52's have focused on songs telling tall tales ("Rock Lobster", "Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland"), glorifying wild youth ("Love Shack", "Deadbeat Club"), or celebrating wild romance ("Strobe Light", "Hot Pants Explosion"), all set to a danceable New Wave beat.