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White Lion Biography

Home > Music > W > White Lion > Biography

Birth Place: New York City, New York, United States
Years Active: 1983-1991, 1999-present
Genres: Glam Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

White Lion is a rock band that was formed in New York City in 1983 and by Danish vocalist Mike Tramp and American guitarist Vito Bratta. White Lion's beginnings can be traced back to Tramp's move from Denmark to New York in 1983 and his meeting guitarist Vito. The duo recruited drummer Nicki Capozzi and bassist Felix Robinson and began to play locally in and around New York City until they were discovered by an Elektra Records rep in 1984 and recorded their debut album “Fight to Survive.”

Elektra was unhappy with album and after refusing to release it, terminated the band's contract. This prompted Capozzi and Robinson to leave the band and they were replaced by former Anthrax drummer Greg D'Angelo, and bassist Dave Spitz, who left after a short stint to join Black Sabbath with James LoMenzo then stepping in. “Fight to Survive” was picked up by RCA records and released in 1984 with the new band line-up.

1987 marked another label change with the band signing with Atlantic Records and releasing their album, “Pride,” later that same year. The band then toured extensively, while their video for the single “Wait” received heavy airplay on MTV, helping to propel the band's popularity. However, it was the band's third single, a power ballad, “When the Children Cry,” that elevated the band's status to rock stars overnight, with the song peaking at #3 on Billboard's Pop and Rock Singles charts.

In 1989 the band's third album was issued, “Big Game,” peaking at # 19 on Billboard's Rock Albums chart. White Lion then embarked on more touring for the next two years while working on their fourth studio album, 1991’s “Mane Attraction.” Due to the change in the musical climate at the time and the explosion of grunge music, the album failed to chart.

D'Angelo and LoMenzo left the band shortly after the album's release, with bassist Tommy Caradonna and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso taking their place, however, Tramp and Bratta realized that there was no longer a market for the kind of music they were playing and dismantled the band in 1991.

Tramp attempted to resurrect the band in 1999 with a new line-up and released, “Remembering White Lion.” After almost ten years of legal battles over the rights to the name of the band, Tramp was finally allowed to perform, and release material under the name, White Lion.

“Return of the Pride” was released in 2008 and Tramp's incarnation of the band subsequently embarked on a world tour. 2009 saw Tramp release a solo album, “Mike Tramp & The Rock 'N' Roll Circuz,” with all supporting musicians on the album being Danish and based in Copenhagen. In 2011 Tramp's second solo album, “Stand Your Ground,” was released.