Lick It Up: 118 Rock Star Postage Stamps
Snail mail may eventually go the way of the dinosaur, but the U.S. Postal Service is using celebrity likenesses to attract customers — including their Music Icon stamp series, honoring popular musical artists like John Lennon, Janis Joplin and Elvis Presley.
The U.S. joins a whole host of nations commemorating musicians on postage stamps. Great Britain, Canada and the Republics of Chad, Tanzania and Djibouti are but a few of the global entities whose envelopes and postcards are adorned by such musicians as Rush, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa and Bob Marley.
The U. S. program launched in 2013, with a stamp featuring Lydia Mendoza, one of the first stars of Tejano music. Johnny Cash and Ray Charles followed. "Recognizing the significance of American music in popular culture around the globe," the program aims to show diversity of musical stars from different eras and genres. These stamps even emulate 45 record sleeves, with a sliver of the record peeking out on top.
The postal service has been honoring musicians long before it launched the Music Icon series. From 1993 to 1999, artists were commemorated with the Legends of American Music series, which featured the likes of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and the Carter Family. In 1969, the U.S. Postal Service first put musicians on stamps, with the Father of Blues, W.C. Handy, serving as the inaugural artist and singer. Actress Fanny Brice was the first female musician to receive the stamp treatment in 1991.
Check out a gallery of familiar famous faces from around the world below.