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Peter Cetera Biography

Home > Music > C > Cetera, Peter > Biography

Birth Name: Peter Paul Cetera
Born: 1944/09/13
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Years Active: 1966–present
Genres: Rock, Adult Contemporary

Peter Paul Cetera was born September 13, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois and is a singer, songwriter, bassist, and music producer who rose to fame as a member of the internationally successful rock band, Chicago.

Cetera's passion for music began when his parents brought him an accordion at the age of 11, which lead to his interest in learning how to play the guitar. By the time he was 15, Cetera had formed a band called The Rebel Rockers and began playing small local venues. Once out of high school, Cetera started playing with local bands in the Chicago area, including the popular rock band The Exceptions which toured the Midwest in the mid-1960s, and released two albums.

1967 saw Cetera part ways with The Exceptions to join The Big Thing, who quickly changed their name to The Chicago Transit Authority (and eventually shortened it to Chicago after complaints by the actual CTA), releasing their debut album, “The Chicago Transit Authority,” in 1969. The band’s second effort, “Chicago,” catapulted them to international success. The album spurred the hits, “25 or 6 to 4” and “Where Do We Go From Here?”

As the 1970s progressed, Cetera penned the Chicago hits, “Wishing You Were Here” (peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart), “Happy Man,” and the 1976 international hit, “If You Leave Me Now.” As the 1970s came to an end and the musical climate began to change, Chicago's popularity began to dwindle.

1981 marked the advent of Cetera’s solo career with the release of his debut solo album, “Peter Cetera,” via Warner Bros. Records. 1982 saw Chicago land another hit with their comeback album, “Chicago 16,” which peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The album spawned the #1 hit single, “Hard to Say I'm Sorry,” as well as “Love Me Tomorrow” which peaked at #22, and “What You're Missing.”

1984 marked a successful year for Chicago with the release of “Chicago 17,” producing four Top 20 hit singles, “Stay the Night,” “Hard Habit to Break,” “You're the Inspiration,” and “Along Comes a Woman.”

Cetera parted ways with Chicago in 1985 to concentrate on his solo career. His first single post Chicago, “Glory of Love,” (the theme to the movie “The Karate Kid, Part II”) peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986, and was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy Award. Cetera’s album that same year, “Solitude/Solitaire” was equally successful, and produced the #1 duet with Amy Grant, “The Next Time I Fall,” which garnered the duo a Grammy Award nomination.

Cetera followed up with his third solo album, “One More Story” in 1988 featuring the singles, “One Good Woman” and “Save Me.” 1989 marked another duet, this time with Cher on, “After All,” which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

By 1995, Cetera had signed with River North Records and released his debut for the label, “One Clear Voice,” which he supported with a national tour. As the 2000s emerged, Cetera performed a number of limited shows, such as his collaboration with the Chicago Pops Orchestra for the PBS music show, “Soundstage.”