Robbie Williams (born Robert Peter Williams, 13.2.1974)
Robbie Williams is a British pop singer and songwriter. He rose to fame as a member of the boy band Take That and has experienced continued success with his solo career.
Robbie Williams: Childhood
Robbie Williams was raised in Stoke-on-Trent, by his mother Janet and his father Peter Williams. He also has a sister, Sally.
Robbie attended Mill Hill Primary School, followed by St. Margaret Ward's Roman Catholic School in Tunstall.
Robbie Williams: Music Career
Along with Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange and Howard Donald, Robbie Williams formed Take That in 1990. The band became hugely successful, with their debut album spawning four number one singles in the UK.
Robbie Williams quit the group in 1995. His increasing drug use had led to a near-overdose before performance at the MTV Europe Awards show. After leaving the band, Robbie Williams was frequently photographed out partying with members of Oasis, especially Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher. He even attended Glastonbury Festival with them that year.
Robbie William's first solo release was a cover of 'Freedom' by George Michael. It reached number two in the UK singles chart.
Williams was then introduced to Guy Chambers, with whom he would have a long-standing songwriting partnership. The debut single, Life Thru A Lens, was released in September 1997. The fourth single from the album, 'Angels' became his best-selling single in the UK and has been certified double platinum.
Robbie Williams' second solo album, I've Been Expecting You, was released the following year and was hugely successful. The first track, 'Millenium', was inspired by the work of John Barry (specifically his James Bond music). 'No Regrets' was a collaboration between Williams, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys and Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. The fourth single from the album was another cover: 'She's The One' originally featured on the World Party album Egyptology.
The Ego Has Landed was Williams's first album for Capitol Records and was released in July 1999 and saw his international profile increase considerably, especially in the USA and Canada.
The debut single taken from 2000's Sing When You're Winning was 'Rock DJ'. The song was reportedly inspired by the late Ian Dury. Its follow-up single, 'Kids' was a collaboration with Kylie Minogue.
Williams' next album was recorded during a two-week break from touring and was heavily inspired by his love of singers such as Frank Sinatra. The album was entitled Swing When You're Winning and the first track, 'Have You Met Miss Jones?' which was included on the soundtrack for the film adaptation of Bridget Jones' Diary.
Swing When You're Winning included a number of duets, with artists including Jane Horrocks, Jonathan Wilkes, Nicole Kidman and Rupert Everett.
Robbie Williams signed an £80 million recording contract with EMI in 2002. The contract was well-publicised, as it was one of the highest-value contracts ever signed in the music industry at that time. Williams began writing without the help of Guy Chambers and 'One Fine Day' and 'Nan's Song' were two of the tracks that first wrote on his own. His fifth solo album, Escapology, was released across the globe in 2002.
The track 'Something Beautiful' was originally intended for Tom Jones, but the track was reworked and included on Escapology. Shortly after its release, Williams played three live concerts at Knebworth House, which attracted a total of 375,000 fans.
In 2004, Robbie Williams started working with Stephen Duffy (also known as Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy). Some of his collaborations with Duffy were included on his 2004 Greatest Hits album. One of the tracks, 'Radio' went straight to number one upon its release in the UK.
Robbie Williams and Stephen Duffy continued to work together for Williams' next album, Intensive Care. The track 'Ghosts' was inspired by 'Louise' by the Human League.
In November 2005, a documentary about Take That was screen ed on ITV1. Robbie Williams decided not to attend the preview screening in Notting Hill West London. The rest of the band was reunited for the event.
Williams' next album was entitled Rudebox. The album ventured into dance and electronic territory, far more than his previous album and featured collaborations with William Orbit, Pet Shop Boys, Mark Ronson and Joey Negro. The album received mixed reviews.
The single 'Bongo Bong and Je Ne T'Aime Plus', a duet with Lily Allen, was released in Latin America in 2007.
2009 saw the release of a new album from Robbie Williams. Entitled Reality Killed The Video Star, the album features production work from Trevor Horn and the first track, 'Bodies', was debuted on Chris Moyles' BBC Radio 1 show.
Robbie Williams also stated in 2009 that he felt ready to re-join Take That.
Robbie Williams: Personal Life
Robbie Williams has had a number of friendships with high-profile celebrities and has stated that it was Elton John who first booked him into a clinic to deal with his drug addiction.
He has been romantically linked with Rachel Hunter and is now dating Ayda Field