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Keyboard virtuoso Derek Sherinian made a name for himself in the post-Dream Theater world of progressive metal both as a sideman and a solo artist in his own right. Sherinian grew up in California and studied at the Berklee School of Music, where he perfected his hard rock and fusion chops. He landed touring gigs with Alice Cooper and Kiss in the late '80s/early '90s, and became a full-time member of Dream Theater in September 1994. Sherinian was fired in January 1999, and shortly thereafter hooked up with the neo-prog outfit Platypus. Sherinian recorded his solo debut, Planet X, for release in 2000, and subsequently formed a band of the same name featuring drummer Virgil Donati and guitarist Tony MacAlpine. Sherinian issued his second solo album, Rhapsody in Black, in the spring of 2001. ~ Steve Huey