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Robbie Williams Biography

Home > Music > W > Williams, Robbie > Biography

Birth Name: Robert Peter Williams
Born: 1974/02/13
Birth Place: Stoke-on-Trent, England
Years Active: 1990–present
Genres: Pop Rock, Adult Contemporary, Britpop, Soft Rock, Dance-pop, Swing Revival, Dance-Rock, Traditional Pop

Robbie Williams was born on February 13, 1974 in Stoke-on-Trent, England and is a singer and actor. Williams rose to fame in the early 1990s as a member of the all-male pop group, Take That. Williams left the group in 1995 to launch a very successful solo career, and was inducted into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Williams has sold over 70 million records worldwide, and is the best-selling British solo artist in the U.K. Williams has also been awarded seventeen BRIT Awards. In 2010, Williams announced he had rejoined Take That, and the group released a new album later that year. The album, “Progress” went on to become highly successful.

Williams was interested in the arts from an early age, taking dance classes and participating in the school play every year. When Williams was sixteen years old he joined the now world-famous, Take That, becoming the youngest member of the boy-band. Five years later Williams' drug abuse was so severe that he near overdosed before a scheduled performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards. As a result, the remaining band members asked him to leave the band if couldn't get a handle on his drug use. Williams choose to leave the group and bounced back by launching his solo career a year later in 1996. His debut album, “Life Thru a Lens,” arrived in 1997, and debuted at #11 on the U.K. Album chart. The album spawned the international hit single, “Angels,” and suddenly Williams' popularity skyrocketed. The album remained in the Top 10 of the U.K. Album chart for 40 weeks and sold 2.4 million in sales.

Williams second effort, “I've Been Expecting You” showed up in 1998 and debuted at #1 on the U.K. Albums chart; Williams was on his way to becoming a superstar. He signed with Capitol Records in 1999 and embarked upon a tour of the United States. Williams' third studio album, “Sing When You're Winning” arrived in 2000. While at the height of his success and three #1 hit singles in the U.K., Williams wanted to move into a different musical direction with his next project. A huge Frank Sinatra fan, Williams wanted to record a big band album. The album, “Swing When You're Winning” featured duets with Jonathan Wilkes, Jane Horrocks, Jon Lovitz, Rupert Everett and Nicole Kidman. The first single released from the album was his duet with Kidman, “Somethin' Stupid.” The song became Williams' fifth #1 hit in the U.K. chart.

2002 saw the release of Williams' fifth studio album, “Escapology,” which peaked at #1 in ten countries, however, the album made a less impressive impact on American audiences. Williams’ focus at this point was on breaking through to the American markets. Williams continued to release album after album, collaborating with artists such as the Pet Shop Boys, William Orbit, Soul Mekanik, Joey Negro, Mark Ronson, Chris Grierson, and The Orr Boys, in addition to touring extensively over the next few years. 2010 marked 20 years of making music for Williams, he released his second greatest hits album, “In and Out of Consciousness: The Greatest Hits 1990–2010” to mark the celebration. 2011 saw a number of changes for Williams: Working on his ninth solo album, launching the radio show, Radio Rudebox, and signing with Universal Music after parting ways with EMI.