Ian Brown (born 20.2.63)
Ian Brown is an English singer and musician, formerly of popular 'Madchester' indie band, the Stone Roses who had hits with Fools Gold and I Am the Resurrection. Brown has worked on solo material since 1996, producing five albums and twelve UK Top 40 singles including My Star, Golden Gaze, and F.E.A.R. This body of work, along with Brown's infamous swagger, charisma and 'King Monkey' cult status, continues to provide inspiration for a flock of indie bands, notably Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys. Brown acquired the Q Magazine Legend Award in 2007.
Ian George Brown was born on 20th February 1963 to Jean who worked in a paper factory, and George, a joiner. The family moved from Warrington to Timperley in Greater Manchester where Ian attended the Altrincham Grammar School For Boys. While there, Ian became friends with John Squire who lived nearby and with whom he shared a passion for music. The two boys started swapping records, from the Sex Pistols, Joy Division and The Clash to the Beach Boys and Northern Soul. At a party one night, Brown was lucky enough to meet one of his heroes, soul legend Geno Washington, who told Ian he had star quality.
Musical Career: Stone Roses
Ian started off playing bass guitar in John Squire's band, The Patrol, which became Garage Flower before adopting the name The Stone Roses. Ian became the band's main singer and developed a unique style, which is often criticised for being tuneless. However, Brown's lyrical input and bolshy attitude ensured he became an idol to many fans.
The classic Squire/Brown partnership would see The Stone Roses enjoy success throughout the late 1980s and early 90s, with their debut album, 1989's The Stone Roses, and 1994's Second Coming both going platinum. The band also performed some memorable concerts, including the huge Spike Island gig in 1990 where Brown instructed everyone to "turn on, tune in, don't drop out". Subsequently, the band did just that and dropped out of the public eye for five years, during which time rifts began to develop between Brown and Squire. Drug use was rife on their comeback tour, with Brown preferring cannabis to Squire's cocaine. Squire eventually left the band, leaving Brown to headline Reading Festival in 1996. The performance is legendary for Brown's disastrous fall from grace.
Musical Career: Solo
The Stone Roses officially folded in 1996 and from then on Brown has released solo material, often working with guitarist Aziz Ibrahim. Brown's first solo single, My Star, reached number five in the UK singles chart, followed by Can't See Me and Corpses in Their Mouths, all taken from 1998's Unfinished Monkey Business. That same year, Brown was sentenced to four months in Strangeways Prison after a vicious air rage incident.
Brown featured on UNKLE's 1999 single Be There, which reached number eight in the UK. Brown's second album, Golden Greats, produced three more successful singles: Love Like a Fountain, Golden Gaze, and Dolphins Were Monkeys.
In 2001 Music of the Spheres became Brown's highest charting solo album, going in at number three and producing the singles F.E.A.R and Whispers. Brown picked up the NME Best Solo Artist Award in 2002 and the Godlike Genius Award in 2006.
Brown's next studio albums, Solarized (2004) and The World Is Yours (2007) maintained this level of success, with Top 20 singles including Keep What Ya Got (featuring Noel Gallagher) and Illegal Attacks (featuring Sinead OConnor).
Ian Brown lives in London with his wife Fabiola Quiroz Brown and young son Emilio. Brown has two older sons, Frankie and Casey, from a previous relationship.
Brown continues to create music as a solo artist and is adamant that the Stone Roses will not reform.