Robbie Williams

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Robbie Williams
Williams filmin the muisic video for "Candy" at Old Spitalfields Market in August 2012
Background information
Birth nameRobert Peter Williams
Born (1974-02-13) 13 Februar 1974 (age 50)
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Ingland, Unitit Kinrick
GenresPop rock, soft rock, dance, Britpop (early solo work)
ThriftSangster-sangwriter, muisicker, record producer, actor
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass guitar, synthesiser, drums, piano, violin, harmonica, marimba
Years active1990–present
LabelsIsland, Universal (2011–present)
Virgin (2009–2010)
Chrysalis (1996–2008)
Associate actsTake That, Gary Barlow, Avicii

Robert Peter "Robbie" Williams[1] (born 13 Februar 1974) is a Inglis sangster-sangwriter, an occasional actor. He is a member o the pop group Take That, but haes foond greater commercial success as a solo airtist.

Williams rose tae fame in the baund's first run in the early- tae mid-1990s. Efter mony disagreements wi the management an group members, Williams left the group in 1995 tae launch a hugely successfu solo career, which saw his first seiven albums each reach nummer ane in the UK. Williams released seiven nummer-ane singles an foond seemilar success athort Europe an aw.[2] On 15 Julie 2010, it wis annooncit he haed rejoined Take That. The group's subsequent album became the seicont fastest-sellin album in UK chairt history[3] an the fastest-sellin record o the century sae far.[4] He continues tae perform baith as a member o Take That an as a solo airtist.

Williams haes sauld ower 70 million records warldwide, which ranks him amang the best-sellin muisic airtists warldwide.[5] He is the best-sellin Breetish solo airtist in the Unitit Kinrick an the best sellin nan-Latino airtist in Laitin Americae. Sax o his albums are amang the tap 100 biggest-sellin albums in the United Kingdom, an in 2006 he entered the Guinness Book of World Records for sellin 1.6 million tickets o his Close Encounters Tour in a single day.[6] He haes been honoured wi seiventeen BRIT Awards an aw—mair nor ony ither airtist—an aicht ECHO Awards. In 2004, he wis inductit intae the UK Music Hall of Fame efter bein votit as the "Greatest Artist of the 1990s." Williams is marriet tae actress Ayda Field. He haes a net worth o £105.2 million.[7]

Early life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Williams wis born 'Robert Peter Williams in Stoke-on-Trent on 13 Februar 1974. His parents Peter an Janet Williams (née Farrell) ran a pub cried the Reid Lion in the toun o Burslem, afore his faither became the licensee at the Port Vale F.C. Social Club – this led tae Williams' lifelang affinity for the team.[8] His maternal grandfaither wis Erse, frae Kilkenny.[9]

Williams attendit Mill Hill Primary School in Stoke-on-Trent[10] then St Margaret Ward Roman Catholic School in Tunstall,[11] an attendit dance schuil UKDDF in Tunstall an aw. He pairticipatit in several schuil plays, an his biggest role wis that o the Artful Dodger in a production o Oliver!.

Take That[eedit | eedit soorce]

Solo career[eedit | eedit soorce]

1996–98: Life Thru a Lens an I've Been Expecting You[eedit | eedit soorce]

Efter leavin Take That, Williams launched his solo career stairtin aff in 1996 bi coverin George Michael's "Freedom", the single reached nummer twa in the UK Singles Chart.[12]

Recordins for Williams's first album began at Lunnon's Maison Rouge studios in Mairch 1996. Shortly efter his introduction tae Guy Chambers, Williams released "Old Before I Die" which wad be the first single taken frae his debut album. The single reached nummer twa on the UK Charts;[12] housomeivver, it wis lairgely ignored on internaitional chairts.

His debut album, Life Thru a Lens, wis released in September 1997. The album launched wi his first live solo gig at the Élysée Montmartre theatre in Paris, Fraunce. The album debuted at nummer eleiven o the UK Album Charts.

Williams released what wad be the fowert single taken frae his album. "Angels" became Williams' best-seller in the Unitit Kinrick.[13] The sang, apairt frae becomin a hit aroond Europe an Laitin Americae, caused sales o his album tae skyrocket. The album remained inside the Breetish tap ten for forty weeks an spent 218 weeks thare awthegither, makkin it the 58t best sellin album in UK history wi sales o ower 2.4 million.[14] The album eventually managit tae sell ower three million copies in Europe.[15]

Williams an Chambers stairtit writin the seicont album in Jamaica in early 1998. The first single, "Millennium", became Williams' first solo nummer ane single in the Unitit Kinrick.[16] It became a tap twinty hit in mony European kintras, Laitin Americae an Australie an aw.[17]

When the album I've Been Expecting You wis released in late October 1998, it debuted at nummer ane in the UK Albums Chart.[16] The album receivit mair attention ootside the Unitit Kinrick, leavin its merk in the European an Laitin American mercats wi hits sic as "No Regrets", a collaboration wi The Pet Shop Boys' sangster Neil Tennant an The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon.

A cover o a track frae World Party's album, Egyptology, became Williams' seicont nummer ane hit in the UK.[16] Williams finished the year with a European Tour late in 1999.

The album I've Been Expecting You sauld awmaist 3 million copies in the UK an wis certifee'd 10x Platinum bi the BPI.[18] In Europe, the album sauld ower 4 million copies.[19]

1999–2001: Sing When You're Winning an Swing When You're Winning[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 1999, Williams wis signed tae Capitol Records in the Unitit States, a pairt o EMI. He embarkit on a US promotional tour an released his first U.S. an Canadian single, "Millennium". The album The Ego Has Landed wis released in Julie 1999 in the Unitit States an Canadae.

In the middle o promotion an the tours in 1999, Williams began wirk on his third studio album. This time he haed feenally foond his inner confidence.[20]

The first single taken frae the album wis "Rock DJ", a sang inspired bi Williams's UNICEF mentor, the late Ian Dury. The video showed Williams in a attempt tae get noticit bi a group o females, first strippin an then tearin chunks o skin an muscle frae his bouk, an caused controversy in the Unitit Kinrick an mony ither kintras. The video wis editit bi Top of the Pops for its graphic content an mony ither channels follaeed suit.[21] The sang became a instant hit, reachin nummer ane in the UK (becomin his third nummer ane single as a solo airtist) an New Zealand. The sang went on tae win "Best Song of 2000" at the MTV Europe Music Awards, "Best Single of the Year" at the BRIT Awards an a MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects.

When the album, Sing When You're Winning wis released in August 2000, it toppit the chairts in mony different kintras.[22] In the UK the album wis certifee'd 2x Platinum on its first week o release.[23]

Efter the success o his third album, Williams wantit tae take anither muisical direction. He teuk twa weeks aff frae his tour tae record what wad be his fowert studio album, a big baund album.[24] Born frae his lifelang luve for Frank Sinatra – combined wi the success o the track "Have You Met Miss Jones?" that he recordit for the film Bridget Jones' Diary in early 2001 – the album wis recordit at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.

Williams teuk the chance tae duet wi his lang-time friend Jonathan Wilkes, Little Voice starn Jane Horrocks, Saturday Night Live starn Jon Lovitz, Rupert Everett an actress Nicole Kidman. The first single released frae the album wis a duet wi Kidman, on "Somethin' Stupid". Oreeginally a hit for Frank an Nancy Sinatra, the sang became Williams' fift nummer ane hit in the UK.[25] It eventually went on tae acome ane o the biggest hits o 2001.[26]

"Beyond the Sea" wis featurt ower the credits o the film Finding Nemo in 2003 an wis released on the film's soondtrack CD an aw.

A DVD cried Robbie Williams Live at the Albert Hall wis released in Dizember o that year. Sae far, it haes acome ane o the best sellin muisic DVDs in Europe, bein certifee'd 6x Platinum in the Unitit Kinrick[27] an 2x Platinum in Germany.[28]

2002–05: Escapology an Intensive Care[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 2002, Williams signed a record-breakin £80 million contract wi EMI.[29] The contract includit a nummer o provisos, includin the label cedin greater creative control tae the airtist an a commitment tae breakin Williams intae the US mercat. Sae far it is the biggest muisic deal in Breetish history. The deal wis brokered bi Ingenious Media, a leadin UK corporate finance advisory business.[30]

Williams began wirkin on what wad be his fift studio album, spendin a year in the recordin studio. The album heraldit a new era for Williams. He haed taken a mair active role in the makkin o this album, giein an indication o his growin confidence in the studio. "One Fine Day", "Nan's Song", an "Come Undone" wur the first sangs that Williams wrote athoot the input o Guy Chambers. Maist o the sangs wur recordit in Los Angeles.[30]

The album's first single, "Feel", written bi Williams an Chambers, wis recordit as a demo. When thay stairtit wirkin on the album an wur tryin tae re-record the vocals, Williams felt unsatisfee'd wi it, sae he decidit tae include the demo version an then release it as the first single.[31] When the single wis released in late 2002, it became Williams' biggest internaitional hit, goin nummer ane in kintras lik The Netherlands an Italy, as well as reachin the tap ten in amaist ivery single European kintra.[32]

When Williams' fift studio album Escapology wis released in late 2002, it hit nummer ane in at least 10 kintras aroond the warld. In the Unitit States, housomeivver, it failed tae mak sic an impact. Escapology sauld amaist 2 million copies bi the end o 2003 in the Unitit Kinrick.[33]

In October 2003, he released his first live album, Live at Knebworth.

In October 2004, he released Greatest Hits, a retrospective o his career, an an aw, tae reveal the new tracks he haed been wirkin on wi the then-new collaborator, Stephen Duffy.[34] "Radio", the compilation's first single, debuted at nummer ane in the UK Singles Chart[16] (becomin Williams' saxt nummer-ane hit). When the compilation wis later released it debuted at nummer ane in the UK[16] an wis the best sellin album o the year in the UK[35] and Europe.[36]

8 years efter the release o "Angels", in Februar 2005, the Breetish public votit it as the "Best Single of the Past Twenty-Five Years" at the 2005 BRIT Awards.[37]

Efter tourin Laitin Americae in late 2004 for the promotion Greatest Hits, Williams stairtit wirkin on his saxt studio album. Recordit at his hoose in the Hollywood Hills, the album wis co-written bi Stephen Duffy ower the course o 24 month.[38] The album Intensive Care wis launched in Berlin on 9 October. It became a smash hit aroond the warld.

In November 2005, Williams teuk hame the MTV Europe Music Award for 'Best Male', but an aw, entered in The Guinness Book of World Records when he annooncit his World Tour for 2006, sellin 1.6 million tickets in ane single day.[39] But efter the success, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange, an Howard Donald haed gree'd tae reunite in Notting Hill, wast Lunnon, for a preview screenin o a documentar aboot Take That. The documentar screened on ITV1 on 16 November 2005. Unfortunately, accordin tae a soorce quotit bi The Sunday Mirror, "Robbie annooncit he wisna comin. The rest o the baund wur guttit but felt the show haed tae go on."[40]

Williams kickit aff his Close Encounters World Tour in Sooth Africae in Apryle 2006, when he feenished his European leg o the tour. 2.5 million fowk haed seen the show,[41] an efter tourin Laitin Americae an Australie the nummers went up tae 3 million.

2006–09: Rudebox an Reality Killed the Video Star[eedit | eedit soorce]

Williams released his hintle anticipatit dance/electro album, Rudebox, on 23 October 2006. It featurt collaborations wi the Pet Shop Boys, William Orbit, Soul Mekanik, Joey Negro, Mark Ronson, Chris Grierson, an The Orr Boys. It receivit mixed reviews: Allmusic gae it a fower starn ratin, the NME 8 oot o 10, an Music Week an MOJO wur equally positive,[42] but it receivit hintle weaker reviews frae some o the Breetish press. The album sauld 2x Platinum in Europe wi sales o ower 2 million makkin it the fastest platinum-sellin album o 2006.[43] The album feenished at nummer aichteen in the leet o 2006's best sellin albums warldwide. Neil Tennant claimit the album haed sauld 4.5 million copies bi early 2007.[44] Tae promote his album, Williams commissioned a series o short films.[45] Goodbye to the Normals wis directit bi Jim Field Smith an featurs "Burslem Normals" bi Robbie Williams.

The first single titled "Rudebox" wis premiered on radio bi Scott Mills on his series on BBC Radio 1. The event caused some controversy, as the record label's embargo date wis broken, awtho Williams hissel later backit the presenter for doin sae. Mair controversy follaeed due tae the first single's radical chynge o direction when compared tae his aulder releases. Breetish newspaper The Sun namit the sang "The Worst Song Ever".[46] Housomeivver, Victoria Newton statit that thare wur sure-fire hits on the album.[47]

Rumours o a new studio album co-written wi Guy Chambers surfacit in early 2007, alang wi kent commitments required bi Williams tae his EMI contract. Breetish sangster-sangwriter Laura Critchley commentit that she haed sung vocals for three sangs, an said that it wad no be released till 2009.[48]

In Februar 2009, it wis confirmit that Williams haed written material wi Guy Chambers an Mark Ronson. A spokesman said that Williams wis plannin tae begin the recordin sessions in Mairch an that the new album wad be released in late 2009. This will probably be the last Williams album released bi EMI.[49] On his offeecial wabsteid, Williams confirmit that he wis wirkin wi producer Trevor Horn on his new album, which wad eventually be titled Reality Killed the Video Star,[50] a reference tae the sang "Video Killed the Radio Star" bi Horn's umwhile baund The Buggles. The album wis released on 9 November 2009 in the Unitit Kinrick.[51]

On 11 October 2009, he published a 12-track compilation album, titled Songbook, as a free CD for the newspaper The Mail on Sunday. The CD is a ane-aff album o some o his biggest hits – includin several rare live performances.[52] That same fore-nicht, Williams made his "comeback" on The X Factor results show, performin his new single "Bodies" for the first time live.[53]

On 20 October 2009, Williams opened the BBC Electric Proms at the Lunnon RoundHouse.[54] It wis his first live concert for 3 years[55] and wis broadcast across 200 cinemas warldwide.[56] Accompaniet bi a strin section, horn section, full baund an producer Trevor Horn, Williams performit several new tracks frae Reality Killed the Video Star an aulder tracks.

Reality Killed the Video Star wis previewed in the UK on the Spotify muisic streamin service on 6 November 2009, an offeecial released on 9 November.[57] In a heich profile chairt battle, Williams' album wis pittit against X Factor 2008 runners-up JLS who released thair debut album the same day. JLS beat Williams tae the nummer ane spot bi 1500 sales. The album wis released in the Unitit States an aw (Williams' first album tae be released thare syne 2002's Escapology).

In late November 2009, Williams traveled tae Australie tae perform at the ARIA Music Awards o 2009.

2010–13: In and Out of Consciousness, Take the Crown an Swings Both Ways[eedit | eedit soorce]

In October 2010, Williams released his seicont greatest hits album, In and Out of Consciousness: The Greatest Hits 1990–2010, tae celebrate 20 years as a performin airtist.[58] A single, "Shame", wis released an aw, which wis written an sung bi Williams an Barlow.[58]

On 21 October 2011 Williams annooncit that he haed signed wi Universal Music, follaein his depairtur frae his previous record label EMI in 2010. He said in a statement, "I'm really thrilled to be joining the Universal family at what I think is the most exciting time in my career."[59]

He wis the openin act at the Diamond Jubilee concert held ootside Buckingham Palace on 4 Juin 2012. Durin the end o August his offeecial wabsteid began a coontdoun tae the release o information regardin his latest solo material, wi a image o his face an his mind unveiled daily as the coontdoun expired.[60] Take the Crown debuted at nummer ane on the UK Albums Chart makkin it Williams' tent nummer ane album. It markit the seicont time that Williams haed a nummer ane single ("Candy") an album at the same time on the chairt. The first time wis in 2001 when "Somethin' Stupid" an Swing When You're Winning wur nummer ane on the singles an albums chairt respectively.[61]

The album's lead single, "Candy", premiered on 10 September 2012 an wis released on 11 September in maist kintras an 29 October in the UK.[62] In the UK, "Candy" became Williams' first nummer ane single syne "Radio" (2004) an his seivent solo nummer ane single. In its first week the sang haes sauld 137,000 copies becomin the fastest-sellin male airtist single o the year.[63]

On 26 November 2012, Williams annooncit a 17 date stadium tour o Europe.[64][65] Williams confirmit that the support act for the tour wad be Olly Murs an aw who duets wi him on "Kids" an aw.

Universal an EMI mergit in 2012, bringin Williams' Chrysalis/Virgin recordins full circle tae Universal.

In September 2013, Williams annooncit a follae up tae his 2001 swing album, titled Swings Both Ways for release in November. The album featurs covers an oreeginal sangs, whilst includin duet recordins wi Michael Bublé, Olly Murs, Rufus Wainright, Lily Allen an Kelly Clarkson an aw.[66] In November 2013 Williams made a cameo appearance in the video tae Murs's sang "Hand on Heart".

Personal life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Syne 2006, Williams haes spent maist o his time in Los Angeles, Californie.[67] Williams muivit back tae the UK in 2009 when he bocht an £8.5 million mansion in Compton Bassett, Wiltshire, nearbi tae close friend Jonathan Wilkes who lives in Swindon.

Halth issues[eedit | eedit soorce]

Williams haes reportedly battled mental illness, obesity, sel-esteem issues, alcoholism, an substance abuiss throuoot his life.[68][69] He haes discussed hou his friend Elton John beukit him intae a clinic tae cope wi his drog uise that emergit frae the depression he wis experiencin while still in Take That.[69] He entered a rehabilitation centre in Tucson for his addiction tae the prescription pills Xanax, Seroxat/Paxil, Vicodin, an the energy drink Lucozade in Februar 2007[70] In 2006, he appeared in the documentar Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive as someane who haes battled wi the illness for maist o his life.

Williams uised tae smoke up tae 60 cigarettes a day; he quit in 2009.

He revealed in 2011 he haed been battlin a lethargy caused bi a teep o hormone imbalance cried andropause for a nummer o years an thocht at first it wis a return o his depression.[71][72]

Interests[eedit | eedit soorce]

Williams haes a strang interest in UFOs an relatit paranormal phenomena, an haes pursued this interest durin his 2007–08 sabbatical.[73] His interest in the subject led tae him takkin pairt in a documentar for BBC Radio 4 wi Jon Ronson. The documentar follaeed thaim tae a UFO convention in Nevada durin which Williams connectit his interest in the paranormal wi the desire tae unnerstaund his bairnheid fears o his mithers interest in "the warld's meesteries, elves, demons, witchcraft".[74] Durin a interview wi Joss Stone on The Jeremy Kyle Show in 2008, Williams revealed that he haes seen UFOs three times.[75] Williams said his first UFO sichtin wis when he wis a bairn in Breetain while he spottit his seicont in Beverly Hills, an addit that the third sichtin wis juist efter he haed written a sang aboot alien contact.[75]

Relationships an faitherheid[eedit | eedit soorce]

Syne Mey 2006, Williams haes been in a relationship wi the Turkis American actress Ayda Field.[76] Despite several break up stories in the press,[77][78][79] Williams an Field hae been spottit thegither mony times.[80][81][82] On 29 Januar 2008 thay wur pictured on vacation thegither at Mammoth Ski Resort in Californie, accompaniet bi Max Beesley.[83][84][85] She wis featurt in a UFO documentar that Williams did for BBC Radio 4 in Apryle[86] an teuk pairt in a field investigation he did in Trout Lake, Washington in August 2008.[87]

On 8 November 2008, Williams wis spottit with Field at fitbaa match at the Emirates Stadium hame o Arsenal, whaur he wis seen wi Gary Barlow an aw accompaniet bi his twa auldest childer, an Williams's langtime friend Jonathan Wilkes.[88] The couple haes been livin thegither in a mansion in Wiltshire syne the beginnin o 2009 accordin tae The Sun.[89] In October 2009, Field appeared in the video o Williams comeback single "Bodies". Williams haes been referrin tae Field as his "wife" in recent interviews.[90]

In November 2009, Williams annooncit tae Jonathan Ross that he wis 'in luve' wi Field.[91] On 26 November 2009, Williams proposed tae Ayda Field live on the Australie radio channel 2DayFM in an interview on The Kyle and Jackie O Show.[92] Housomeivver, it wis later revealed bi Williams' manager that it wis "done as a joke follaein suggestions it wis a stunt which wis set up prior tae the radio show." His spokesman confirmit: 'He did say it, but he did it in a jocular manner. Thay are no engagit.'[93] A few days later Williams hissel denied the engagement, uisin his offeecial blog tae say "Hey all. We are not engaged. Rob.".[94][95] On 7 August 2010, Williams an Field marriet at his hame in Los Angeles.[96]

In Mey 2012, Williams revealed that he an his pairtner wur expectin the birth o a dochter.[97] Theodora Rose wis born on 18 September 2012.[98][99][100] Robbie Williams is guid friends wi Darts Player Phil Taylor.

Walth[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 2009, the Sunday Times Rich List claimit he wis wirth ower £130 million.[101] In 2011 his walth wis estimatit at £90 million.[102]

Williams is a lifelang supporter o Port Vale, based in his hame toun o Stoke-on-Trent. In Februar 2006 he bocht £240,000 wirth o shares in the club, makkin him the majority sharehaulder.[103]

Charity[eedit | eedit soorce]

Williams wairmin up for the 2006 edeetion o Soccer Aid

Williams haes set up a charity in his hame toun o Stoke-on-Trent entitled Give It Sum, its goal bein tae "impruive local condeetions an strenthen commonty life bi giein money tae those who are disadvantagit."[68][104]

Williams, wi the help o friend Jonathan Wilkes, haes organisit charity fitbaa matches cried Soccer Aid tae raise money for UNICEF UK. A mixtur o celebrities an profeesional fitbaa players hae played Soccer Aid matches in 2006, 2008, 2010 an 2012 at Old Trafford in Manchester an Wembley Stadium in Lunnon.[105]

Williams haes been the Patron o the childer's charity the Donna Louise Trust, based in Stoke-on-Trent, syne 2002. The charity affers respite an palliative care tae terminally ill an life-limitit childer who are no expectit tae live past the age o 16.[106]

Awairds[eedit | eedit soorce]

Williams haes wan various awairds wi some o his mair recognisit accolades bein the BRIT awairds. He haes wan 17 BRIT awairds which include the BRITs he wan wi Take That an aw makkin him the maist successfu airtist in BRIT history. He haes wan 8 Echo Awards frae the German muisic industry an aw.[107][108]

Discografie[eedit | eedit soorce]

Studio albums

Tours[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

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Further readin[eedit | eedit soorce]

Chris Heath, Feel: Robbie Williams, 2004, Ebury. ISBN 978-0-09-189753-6.

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]