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Robbie Williams

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Robbie Williams performs
Handout/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Born:

 

February 13, 1974 - Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK.

 

Quote From Robbie Williams:

 

"Funniest bloke in the pub; ceaseless attention seeker; smokes too much; fit; super-bright but shockingly failed by the education system; naturally compulsive; and very, very good at appearing as if he lives in some sort of outer-sexual hinterland where anyone is game, so long as they adore him." - Describing himself to the Observer October, 2005.

 

Early Life:

 

Robbie Williams' parents divorced when he was 3, and he was raised by his mother along with his sister. With a reputation as a class clown, he failed high school and went to work as a salesman. His mother saw an advertisement for auditions for a boy band. She signed him up for the audition thinking he was talented at singing and acting. Robbie Williams was signed to the boy band Take That in 1990.

 

Key Solo Albums:

 

  • 1997 - Life Thru a Lens
  • 1998 - I've Been Expecting You
  • 2000 - Sing When You're Winning
  • 2005 - Intensive Care

 

Member Of Take That:

 

Take That were formed in 1990 in Manchester, UK as a response to the success of American boy band New Kids On the Block. They hit the British charts before their debut album Take That and Party was launched in 1992. It included the top 10 hits "It Only Takes a Minute" and "Could It Be Magic." The band first hit #1 in 1993 and racked up 7 #1 hits before Robbie Williams left in 1995 due to disagreements with the rest of the band.

 

Trivia Fact About Robbie Williams:

 

Robbie Williams' performances for 375,000 fans over 3 nights at Knebworth Park in August 2003 is considered by many to be the largest UK rock concert ever.

 

Early Solo Career:

 

Robbie Williams' solo career began in rough fashion. He fought legal battles to extricate himself from a contract with Take That's record label. Drugs and alcohol claimed a major role in his life, and he gained over 40 lbs. His first single, a remake of George Michael's "Freedom '90" hit #2 on the UK pop chart, but Robbie Williams was soon in drug rehab at the Clouds House Drink and Drugs Rehabilitation Clinic.

 

Solo Success:

 

After leaving the drug rehabilitation clinic, Robbie Williams' career shot sharply upward. His second single "Old Before I Die", released in 1997, reached #2 as well. It was followed by his first album Life Thru a Lens which hit #1 on the UK album chart. All of his subsequent studio albums have followed that pattern. His next single "Angels" topped the pop singles chart and became Williams' biggest hit ever. British pop fans voted it the top UK single of the past 25 years in 2005.

 

World Pop Star and the Future:

 

In subsequent years Robbie Williams has become one of the world's biggest pop stars. However, he has failed to replicate that success in the U.S. He has never had a top 40 pop hit in the U.S., and Escapology, his biggest hit album in the U.S., only reached #43.

In the UK, Williams' statistics are staggering. Since 1996 he has released 7 #1 hit albums and 22 top 10 hits singles. He has experienced similar success across Europe and in Australia. Robbie Williams is widely recognized as one of the world's top pop stars.

Robbie Williams ended collaboration with his long-time songwriting partner Guy Chambers afer his 2002 album Escapology. His 2005 album Intensive Care was composed of songs co-written by Stephen Duffy who was once a member of Duran Duran. Many music writers speculated that the break with Chambers would spell the beginning of the end for Robbie Williams, but his hit singles continued to flow.

Robbie Williams' seventh solo album Rudebox was released in late 2006. It received mixed reviews from the music press and became the lowest selling album of his solo career. Rudebox was certified only double platinum for sales. For his next album Reality Killed the Video Star, Robbie Williams began writing songs with Guy Chambers again. The first single released in September 2009 is "Bodies."

 

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