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Blake Biography

Home > Music > B > Blake > Biography

Birth Place: England
Years Active: 2007-present
Genres: Classical, Crossover

Blake are a classical vocal quartet. They are widely known as the group who formed on Facebook.

They released their debut album "Blake" in November 2007, which won the Album of the Year Award at the Classical BRIT Awards in 2008. The album contains covers of popular classical songs and themes from the movies, to create a more commercial classical-pop crossover sound.

They sang for Shirley Bassey at her 70th birthday party, and performed in front of 80,000 football fans at Wembley Stadium. In the summer of 2007 their version of the ‘Swing Low’ was chosen as the Official Anthem of the England rugby team for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. They sang at the opening of the 2008 Melbourne Cup in Australia and supported Katherine Jenkins on her UK tour. During Children in Need 2007, over £1,000,000 was raised while Blake were performing God Only Knows.

Blake's second album, "And So It Goes", was released in September 2008. This contains more arrangements of pop music than the debut album, as well as a negro-spiritual and the Intermezzo from ''Cavelleria Rusticana''.

In February 2009, baritone Dominic Tighe announced that he was leaving the group, shortly before their maiden tour, to return to his acting career. The group continued with their use of social networking websites, by advertising for a new member on Twitter. After two weeks, and 55,000 subscribing to their "tweets", Humphrey Berney (better known as "Barney") joined the group. The quartet's good looks are an important part of their appeal. Founder member Jules Knight said, "We had a few people who looked like Paul Potts, one or two who were 75 and even had a few girls, but Barney is great and things are working well".

The quartet, comprising Ollie Baines, Humphrey Berney, Jules Knight and Stephen Bowman, undertook their first full UK-tour, supported by Natasha Marsh in Spring 2009, and their third studio album, ''Together'', was released on 12 October 2009 on their own label, "Blake Records".

Though many of their live performances have been at sporting events - most notably singing the anthem for the Rugby world cup in 2007, multiple appearances at Twickenham and Wembley Stadia and the opening of Wimbledon Centre Court in 2009 - Blake have made a name for themselves by regularly singing for charity; particularly for cancer charities such as Marie Curie, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation; and Forces Charities such as Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion and the Army Benevolent Fund. Blake released the song ''Beautiful Earth'' as the WWF's anthem for Earth Hour 2010.