Plant performing live at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, 2010
Robert Anthony Plant
20 August 1948
|Residence||Shatterford, Worcestershire, England|
|Origin||Halesowen, Staffordshire, England|
Robert Anthony Plant CBE (born 20 August 1948) is an English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Plant is regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in the history of rock music.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. Along with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the band's heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal. Their style drew from a wide variety of influences, including blues, psychedelia and folk music.
Plant enjoyed great success with Led Zeppelin throughout the 1970s and developed a compelling image as the charismatic rock-and-roll front man, similar to contemporaries such as Roger Daltrey of the Who, Freddie Mercury of Queen, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and Jim Morrison of the Doors.With his mane of long blond hair and powerful, bare-chested appearance, Plant helped to create the "god of rock and roll" or "rock god" archetype. Although Led Zeppelin dissolved in 1980, Plant occasionally collaborated with Jimmy Page on various projects through this period, including forming a short-lived all-star group with Page and Jeff Beck in 1984, called the Honeydrippers. They released an album called The Honeydrippers: Volume One , and the band had a No. 3 hit with a remake of the Phil Phillips' tune "Sea of Love", plus a follow-up hit with a cover of Roy Brown's "Rockin' at Midnight".
The term charisma has two senses:
Roger Harry Daltrey is an English singer and actor. Daltrey is a founder member and lead singer of the rock band the Who. He is famed for his powerful voice and energetic stage presence. In 2010, he was ranked number 61 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest singers of all time.
The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide.
A powerful and wide vocal range (particularly evident in his high-pitched vocals) has given him a successful singing career spanning over 50 years. In 2008, Rolling Stone editors ranked him number 15 on their list of the 100 best singers of all time.In 2011, Rolling Stone readers ranked Plant the greatest of all lead singers. In 2006, magazine Hit Parader named Plant the "Greatest Metal Vocalist of All Time". In 2009, Plant was voted "the greatest voice in rock" in a poll conducted by Planet Rock .
Vocal range is the measure of the breadth of pitches that a human voice can phonate. Its most common application is within the context of singing, where it is used as a defining characteristic for classifying singing voices into groups known as voice types. It is also a topic of study within linguistics, phonetics, and speech and language pathology, particularly in relation to the study of tonal languages and certain types of vocal disorders, although it has little practical application in terms of speech.
Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.
Hit Parader was an American music magazine that operated between 1942 and 2008. A monthly publication, it was a general popular music title until the 1980s, when its focus turned to the genres of hard rock and heavy metal. The magazine reached its peak during the 1980s as heavy metal music achieved high levels of popularity and commercial success.
Robert Anthony Plant was born on 20 August 1948, in the Black Country town of West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, to Robert C. Plant, a qualified civil engineer who worked in the Royal Air Force during World War II,and Annie Celia Plant (née Cain), a Romanichal woman. He grew up in Kidderminster, Worcestershire. Plant gained an interest in singing and rock and roll music at an early age.
The Black Country is an area of the West Midlands, England, west of Birmingham and commonly refers to a region covering most of the four Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. During the Industrial Revolution, it became one of the most industrialised parts of the UK with coal mines, coking, iron foundries, glass factories, brickworks and steel mills producing a high level of air pollution.
West Bromwich, sometimes mentioned only as Bromwich, is a large market town and is one of the six amalgamated towns in the borough of Sandwell, West Midlands, England. Historically part of Staffordshire, it is 6.4 miles (10.3 km) northwest of Birmingham. West Bromwich has a population of almost 78,000 in 2018.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.
When I was a kid I used to hide behind the curtains at home at Christmas and I used to try and be Elvis. There was a certain ambience between the curtains and the French windows, there was a certain sound there for a ten-year-old. That was all the ambience I got at ten years old ... I think! And I always wanted to be a curtain, a bit similar to that.
Elvis Aaron Presley, also known mononymously as Elvis, was an American singer, musician, and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".
He left King Edward VI Grammar School for Boys in Stourbridge in his mid-teens and developed a strong passion for the blues, mainly through his admiration for Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson and early rendition of songs in this genre.
King Edward VI College is a highly recognised selective state sixth form college, located in Stourbridge, England, in the West Midlands area.
Stourbridge is a market town in the West Midlands county of England. Situated on the River Stour, it was the centre of British glass making during the Industrial Revolution. The 2011 UK census recorded the town's population as 63,298.
Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds, fifths or sevenths flattened in pitch are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.
I suppose I was quite interested in my stamp collection and Romano-British history. I was a little grammar school boy and I could hear this kind of calling through the airwaves.
He abandoned training as a chartered accountant after only two weeks to attend college in an effort to gain more GCE passes and to become part of the English Midlands blues scene."I left home at 16", he said, "and I started my real education musically, moving from group to group, furthering my knowledge of the blues and of other music which had weight and was worth listening to".
Plant's early blues influences included Johnson, Bukka White, Skip James, Jerry Miller, and Sleepy John Estes. Plant had various jobs while pursuing his music career, one of which was working for the major British construction company Wimpey in Birmingham in 1967 laying tarmac on roads. He also worked at Woolworth's in Halesowen town for a short period of time. He cut three obscure singles on CBS Recordsand sang with a variety of bands, including the Crawling King Snakes, which brought him into contact with drummer John Bonham. They both went on to play in the Band of Joy, merging blues with newer psychedelic trends.
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In 1968, guitarist Jimmy Page was in search of a lead singer for his new band and met Plant after being turned down by his first choice, Terry Reid, who referred him to a show at a teacher training college in Birmingham (where Plant was singing in a band named Hobbstweedle).In front of Page, Plant sang Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love", leading Page to the end of his search. As recalled by Plant and Page:
Plant: I was appearing at this college when Peter and Jimmy turned up and asked me if I'd like to join the Yardbirds. I knew the Yardbirds had done a lot of work in America – which to me meant audiences who would want to know what I might have to offer – so naturally I was very interested.
Page: When I auditioned him and heard him sing, I immediately thought there must be something wrong with him personality-wise or that he had to be impossible to work with, because I just could not understand why, after he told me he'd been singing for a few years already, he hadn't become a big name yet. So I had him down to my place for a little while, just to sort of check him out, and we got along great. No problems. [ full citation needed ]
With a shared passion for music, Plant and Page immediately developed a strong relationship, and began their writing collaboration with reworkings of earlier blues songs. Plant received no songwriting credits on the band's first album, allegedly because he was still under contract to CBS Records at the time.[ citation needed ] Plant brought along John Bonham as drummer, and they were joined by John Paul Jones, who had previously worked with Page as a studio musician.[ citation needed ] Jones called Page on the phone before they checked out Plant, and Page hired Jones immediately.[ citation needed ]
Initially dubbed the "New Yardbirds" in 1968, the band soon came to be known as Led Zeppelin. The band's eponymous debut album hit the charts in 1969 and is widely credited as a catalyst for the heavy metal genre. Plant has commented that it is unfair for people to think of Zeppelin as heavy metal, as almost a third of their music was acoustic. [ full citation needed ]
In 1969, Led Zeppelin I was released. This was the bands' first album. Plant stated that "During Led Zeppelin I, as far as I was concerned I thought that I was going to [leave the band] anyway. ... I was quite nervous and didn't get into enjoying it until II."Released only a few months later was the band's second album, Led Zeppelin II, which many referred to as a piece-together album. The group worked on this album while on the road, so many of the songs were recorded at separate times rather than in one sitting. This album sparked much controversy due to the fact that some songs on the album, "The Lemon Song" and "Whole Lotta Love", showed similarities to songs previously written by other artists. This created legal trouble for the band over whether or not they plagiarized these songs. During Led Zeppelin III, which was released in 1970, Page and Plant's relationship began to grow stronger. The two got to know each other on a more personal level through writing the songs on this album, forming a close connection. The songs for this album were mostly created in a Welsh cottage, and Welsh culture was reflected in many of the songs on this album. This album sold one of the lowest numbers of copies out of all the band's albums. This was surprising to the band, but many critics argued that the songs on the album were too soft, too aggressive, or for "druggies". Led Zeppelin IV, released in 1971, was similar to Led Zeppelin III in the mythic storytelling sense. This album included one of the band's best known songs and greatest hit, "Stairway to Heaven". Led Zeppelin IV was a huge hit and sold 37 million copies throughout the world, making it the band's best selling album. Led Zeppelin belonged to Atlantic Records and contributed to one-fourth of the profits for that record company. The band also created their own record label, Swan Song, in 1974-1975.
In 1975, Plant and his wife Maureen (now divorced) were seriously injured in a car crash in Rhodes, Greece.This significantly affected the production of Led Zeppelin's seventh album Presence for a few months while he recovered, and forced the band to cancel the remaining tour dates for the year.
In July 1977, his son Karac died at the age of five while Plant was engaged on Led Zeppelin's concert tour of the United States. It was a devastating loss for the family. Plant retreated to his home in the Midlands and for months afterwards he questioned his future. [ citation needed ] The song "I Believe" on Plant's solo album Fate of Nations is another tribute to his late son.[ citation needed ]Karac's death later inspired him to write several songs in tribute: "All My Love" featured on Led Zeppelin's final studio album, 1979's In Through the Out Door , while "Blue Train" featured on Page and Plant's second and final (studio) album, 1998's Walking into Clarksdale .
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Plant did not begin writing song lyrics with Led Zeppelin until the making of Led Zeppelin II , in 1969. According to Jimmy Page:
The most important thing about Led Zeppelin II is that up to that point I'd contributed lyrics. Robert hadn't written before, and it took a lot of ribbing to get him into writing, which was funny. And then, on the second LP, he wrote the words of Thank You. He said, "I'd like to have a crack at this and write it for my wife."
Plant's lyrics with Led Zeppelin were often mystical, philosophical and spiritual, alluding to events in classical and Norse mythology, such as "Immigrant Song", which refers to Valhalla and Viking conquests.However, the song "No Quarter" is often misunderstood to refer to the god Thor; the song actually refers to Mount Thor (which is named after the god). Another example is "The Rain Song".
Plant was also influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien,whose book series inspired lyrics in some early Led Zeppelin songs. Most notably "The Battle of Evermore", "Misty Mountain Hop","No Quarter", "Ramble On" and "Over the Hills and Far Away" contain verses referencing Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit . Conversely, Plant sometimes used more straightforward blues-based lyrics dealing primarily with sexual innuendo, as in "The Lemon Song", "Trampled Under Foot", and "Black Dog".
Welsh mythology also forms a basis of Plant's interest in mystical lyrics. He grew up close to the Welsh border and would often take summer trips to Snowdonia. Plant bought a Welsh sheep farm in 1973, and began taking Welsh lessons and looking into the mythology of the land (such as Black Book of Carmarthen, Book of Taliesin, etc.) Plant's first son, Karac, was named after the Welsh warrior Caratacus. The song "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" is named after the 18th century Welsh cottage Bron-Yr-Aur owned by a friend of his father; it later inspired the song "Bron-Yr-Aur".The songs "Misty Mountain Hop", "That's the Way", and early dabblings in what would become "Stairway to Heaven" were written in Wales and lyrically reflect Plant's mystical view of the land. Critic Steve Turner suggests that Plant's early and continued experiences in Wales served as the foundation for his broader interest in the mythologies he revisits in his lyrics (including those myth systems of Tolkien and the Norse).
Page's passion for diverse musical experiences influenced Plant to explore Africa, specifically Marrakesh in Morocco where he encountered Umm Kulthum.
I was intrigued by the scales, initially, and obviously the vocal work. The way she sang, the way she could hold a note, you could feel the tension, you could tell that everybody, the whole orchestra, would hold a note until she wanted to change.
That musical inspiration eventually culminated in "Kashmir". Both he and Jimmy Page revisited these influences during their reunion album No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded in 1994.In his solo career, Plant tapped into these influences many times, most notably in the 2002 album, Dreamland .
Arguably one of Plant's most significant achievements with Led Zeppelin was his contribution to the track "Stairway to Heaven", an epic rock ballad featured on Led Zeppelin IV that drew influence from folk, blues, Celtic traditional music and hard rock among other genres.Most of the lyrics of the song were written spontaneously by Plant in 1970 at Headley Grange. While never released as a single, the song has topped polls as the greatest song of all time.
Plant is also recognised for his lyrical improvisation in Led Zeppelin's live performances, often singing verses previously unheard on studio recordings. One of the most famous Led Zeppelin musical devices involves Plant's vocal mimicking of bandmate Jimmy Page's guitar effects. This can be heard in the songs "How Many More Times", "Dazed and Confused", "The Lemon Song", "You Shook Me", "Nobody's Fault but Mine" and "Sick Again".
He is also known for his light-hearted, humorous and unusual on-stage banter. Plant often discusses the origin and background of the songs during his shows, and sometimes provides social comment as well. He frequently talks about American blues musicians as his inspiration, mentioning artists like Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, Blind Willie Johnson and Willie Dixon at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the 2007 Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert with Led Zeppelin.
Plant enjoyed great success with Led Zeppelin throughout the 1970s and developed a compelling image as the charismatic rock-and-roll front man, similar to his contemporaries, The Who singer Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and Jim Morrison of the Doors.With his mane of long blond hair and powerful, bare-chested appearance, Plant helped to create the "god of rock and roll" or "rock god" archetype. On stage, Plant was particularly active in live performances, often dancing, jumping, skipping, snapping his fingers, clapping, making emphatic gestures to emphasise a lyric or cymbal crash, throwing back his head, or placing his hands on his hips. As the 1970s progressed he, along with the other members of Led Zeppelin, became increasingly flamboyant on-stage, and wore more elaborate, colourful clothing and jewellery.
According to Classic Rock magazine, "once he had a couple of US tours under his belt, 'Percy' Plant swiftly developed a staggering degree of bravado and swagger that irrefutably enhanced Led Zeppelin's rapidly burgeoning appeal."In 1994, during his "Unledded" tour with Jimmy Page, Plant himself reflected tongue-in-cheek upon his Led Zeppelin showmanship:
I can't take my whole persona as a singer back then very seriously. It's not some great work of beauty and love to be a rock-and-roll singer. So I got a few moves from Elvis and one or two from Sonny Boy Williamson II and Howlin' Wolf and threw them all together.
One of the oddest awards he received was the Rock Scene Magazine "Chest O Rama". Readers of the magazine had to decide who had the best chest in rock and Plant was the winner. When they contacted him about it, he replied: "I'm really greatly honoured although it's hard for me to be eloquent on the subject of my chest."
After Led Zeppelin disbanded in December 1980 (following the death of drummer John Bonham), Plant briefly considered abandoning music to pursue a career as a teacher in the Rudolf Steiner education system, going so far as to be accepted for teacher-training. He nevertheless embarked on a successful solo career, helped by encouragement from Genesis drummer Phil Collins, who would go on to play with him.Plant's solo career began with the album Pictures at Eleven in 1982, followed by 1983's The Principle of Moments . Popular tracks from this period include "Big Log" (a Top 20 hit in 1983), "In the Mood" (1983), "Little by Little" (from 1985's Shaken 'n' Stirred ), "Far Post" (originally only on the B-side of "Burning Down One Side" but popularised by airplay on album-oriented rock stations), "Tall Cool One" (a No. 25 hit off 1988's Now and Zen ) and later "I Believe" (from 1993's Fate of Nations ). This last track, like Led Zeppelin's "All My Love", was written for and dedicated to his late son, Karac. Whilst Plant avoided performing Led Zeppelin songs through much of this period (although he would occasionally improvise his unique Zeppelin screams into his set), his tours in 1983 (with Phil Collins on drums) and in 1985 were very successful, often performing to sold-out arena-sized venues. In 1986 Plant performed at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert with other famous Midlands musicians.
Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, Plant co-wrote three solo albums with keyboardist/songwriter Phil Johnstone. These were: Now and Zen in 1988, Manic Nirvana in 1990, and the 1993 Fate of Nations (which features Moya Brennan of Clannad and former Cutting Crew guitarist Kevin Scott MacMichael). Songs from this third album, plus a smattering of Led Zeppelin classics, made up the set-list for Plant's acclaimed sunset performance on the Main Stage at Glastonbury Festival, in 1993.It was Johnstone who talked Plant into playing Led Zeppelin songs in his live shows, something Plant had always previously resisted, not wanting to be forever known as "the former Led Zeppelin vocalist".
Although Led Zeppelin split in 1980, Plant occasionally collaborated with Jimmy Page on various projects through this period, including forming a short-lived all-star group with Page and Jeff Beck in 1984, called the Honeydrippers. They released an album called The Honeydrippers: Volume One , and the band had a No. 3 hit with a remake of the Phil Phillips' tune "Sea of Love", plus a follow-up hit with a cover of Roy Brown's "Rockin' at Midnight". The pair again worked together in the studio on the 1988 Page solo effort Outrider , and in the same year Page contributed to Plant's album Now and Zen. Also, on 15 May 1988 Plant appeared with Page as a member of Led Zeppelin, at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert (where he also performed in his own right as a solo artist). Plant's live collaborations with other well-known musicians continued when he took to the stage with Queen at Wembley Stadium, for 1992's "The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert" for AIDS Awareness; where he sang Queen's "Innuendo" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" and "Thank You".
Page and Plant became a full-fledged performing act from 1994 through 1998, releasing the No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded album in 1994 and following with an enormously successful tour in 1995, including a return to the Glastonbury limelight. Fourteen years of speculation from their fans and occasional sniping between the two former members ended when they reconvened their former musical partnership to produce No Quarter. Having long resisted offers from MTV to reform to do an Unplugged show, they finally accepted as part of a deal that also allowed them to visit Morocco to record new material. The album combines the results of both of these projects. The Led Zeppelin material features new arrangements and new instrumentation, including strings, Egyptian musicians and the vocals of British-Asian star Najma Akhtar.
Page and Plant recorded their only post-Zeppelin album of original material on the 1998 album Walking into Clarksdale , an effort that was unsuccessful commercially, leading Plant to return to his solo career. A song from this album, "Please Read the Letter", was re-recorded by Plant with Alison Krauss, and was featured on their 2007 album which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Starting in mid-1999, Plant performed until the end of 2000 at several small venues with his folk-rock band, named Priory of Brion. This band consisted of the original Band of Joy guitarist Kevyn Gammond alongside Andy Edwards (drums) Paul Timothy (keyboards) and Paul Wetton (bass). The Priory of Brion played around one hundred concerts across Europe at various small clubs and festivals. The band performed cover versions of songs that had influenced Robert in his formative years. Many of these cover versions would crop up later on his 'Dreamland' album.
In 1999, Plant contributed to the tribute album for Moby Grape co-founder Skip Spence, who was terminally ill. The album, More Oar: A Tribute to the Skip Spence Album (Birdman, 1999), with the album title referring to Spence's only solo album, Oar (Columbia, 1969), contained Plant's version of Spence's "Little Hands". Plant had been an admirer of Spence and Moby Grape since the release of Moby Grape's eponymous 1967 debut album.
In 2001, Plant appeared on Afro Celt Sound System's album Volume 3: Further in Time . The song "Life Begin Again" features a duet with Welsh folksinger Julie Murphy, emphasising Plant's recurring interest in Welsh culture (Murphy would also tour in support of Plant).
In 2002, with his then newly formed band Strange Sensation, Plant released a widely acclaimed collection of mostly blues and folk remakes, Dreamland . Contrasting with this lush collection of often relatively obscure remakes, the second album with Strange Sensation, Mighty ReArranger (2005), contains new, original songs. Both have received some of the most favourable reviews of Plant's solo career and four Grammy nominations, two in 2003 and two in 2006.
As a former member of Led Zeppelin, along with Page and John Paul Jones, Plant received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and the Polar Music Prize in 2006.
From 2001 to 2007, Plant actively toured the US and Europe with Strange Sensation. His sets typically included recent, but not only, solo material and plenty of Led Zeppelin favourites, often with new and expanded arrangements. A DVD titled Soundstage: Robert Plant and Strange Sensation, featuring his Soundstage performance (filmed at the Soundstage studios in Chicago on 16 September 2005), was released in October 2006.
With Strange Sensation's Justin Adams he appeared at the 2003 Festival au Desert held in Essakane in the North of Mali,captured in a French-language documentary film entitled Le Festival au Désert (2004).
On 23 June 2006, Plant was the headliner (backed by Ian Hunter's band) at the Benefit For Arthur Lee concert at New York's Beacon Theatre, a show which raised money for Lee's medical expenses from his bout with leukaemia. Plant and band performed thirteen songs – five by Arthur Lee & Love, five Led Zeppelin songs and three others, including a duet with Ian Hunter. At the show, Plant told the audience of his great admiration for Arthur Lee dating back to the mid-'60s. Lee died of his illness six weeks after the concert.
An expansive box set of his solo work, Nine Lives , was released in November 2006, which expanded all of his albums with various b-sides, demos, and live cuts. It was accompanied by a DVD. All his solo works were re-released with these extra tracks individually.
In 2007, Plant contributed two tracks to the Fats Domino tribute album Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino , "It Keeps Rainin'" with the Lil' Band o' Gold and "Valley of Tears" with the Soweto Gospel Choir.
From 2007 to 2008, Plant recorded and performed with bluegrass star Alison Krauss. A duet album, Raising Sand , was released on 23 October 2007 on Rounder Records. The album, recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles and produced by T-Bone Burnett, includes performances of lesser-known material from R&B, blues, folk and country songwriters including Mel Tillis, Townes Van Zandt, Gene Clark, Tom Waits, Doc Watson, Little Milton and the Everly Brothers. The song "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" from Raising Sand won a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2008. Raising Sand also won Album of the Year at the 51st Grammy Awards.The album has been successful critically and commercially, and was certified platinum on 4 March 2008.
Plant and Krauss began an extended tour of the US and Europe in April 2008, playing music from Raising Sand and other American roots music as well as reworked Led Zeppelin tunes. The album was nominated for the Mercury Prize in July 2008.Also in 2008, Plant performed with bluegrass musicians at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. He appeared as a surprise guest during Fairport Convention's set at the 2008 Cropredy Festival, performing Led Zeppelin's "The Battle of Evermore" with Kristina Donahue as a tribute to Sandy Denny.
On 8 February 2009, Plant and Krauss won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Pop Collaboration with Vocals, Country Collaboration with Vocals, and Contemporary Folk/Americana Album.
In July 2010, Robert Plant embarked on a twelve-date summer tour in the United States with a new group called Band of Joy (reprising the name of his very first band in the 1960s). The group includes singer Patty Griffin, singer-guitarist Buddy Miller, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Darrell Scott, bassist-vocalist Byron House, and drummer-percussionist-vocalist Marco Giovino.
After a one-off show in the United States on 12 September 2010 at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, another eleven-date autumn tour in Europe was announced to last from October to November 2010.North America tour dates were announced 16 November 2010, with the first show being 18 January 2011 in Asheville, North Carolina.
A new studio album called Band of Joy was released on 13 September 2010 on the Rounder Records label.The album was nominated for Best Americana Album in the 2011 Grammy Awards, and Plant's performance of "Silver Rider" on the album (a cover from the Low album The Great Destroyer ) was nominated for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.
The band played their final scheduled show together at the Big Chill Festival at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire on 7 August 2011. The show ended with Plant bidding his bandmates "a fond farewell".
On 30 September 2011, Plant and Band of Joy played in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, as part of the 11th Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival.
It was first reported that Robert Plant's new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, would be debuting at 2012's WOMAD festival in Wiltshire, England. An intimate warm up gig was then announced in Gloucester on 8 May 2012 to a crowd of 400. Although it was initially reported that there were 10 members of the band, along with Plant the band consists of former Strange Sensation members, Cast guitarist Liam "Skin" Tyson, Justin Adams, Billy Fuller and John Baggott along with Dave Smith and Juldeh Camara. Patty Griffin was the special guest on the first few shows prior to her new album release and subsequent tour.
On 13 July 2012, the band released a download live album called Sensational Space Shifters (Live in London July '12) . This album featured a mix of Strange Sensation and Led Zeppelin reinterpretations as well as covers and a spot by Patty Griffin.In addition to Womad and the Gloucester show, the Sensational Space Shifters were scheduled for the free Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival's 25th anniversary in Clarksdale, Mississippi on 10–12 August 2012.
On 23 June 2014, Robert Plant announced8 September 2014 release of Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar , his tenth solo album and the first studio one with his band the Sensational Space Shifters. On 28 June 2014, Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters played at the 2014 Glastonbury Extravaganza. The band featured West African musician Juldeh Camara, guitarists Skin Tyson and Justin Adams, drummer Dave Smith, Massive Attack keyboardist John Baggott, and bassist Billy Fuller. On 7 August 2014, Plant announced an autumn 2014 7-date North American tour from 25 September (in Port Chester, NY) to 7 October 2014 (in Los Angeles, CA).
To celebrate Record Store Day 2015 (Saturday 18 April), Plant released a special 10-inch live EP titled More Roar, which collects three performances from his recent world tour to support his last solo album. Available at participating outlets on 18 April, the release was limited to 10,000 copies and includes live versions of "Turn It Up" and "Arbaden" on side A, with a medley of "Poor Howard" and "Whole Lotta Love" on side B.During a concert at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on 19 September 2015, Plant hinted at plans for a new album with the Sensational Space Shifters, stating, "We'll go make another record and then we'll come see you guys even more."
On 19 September 2016, Robert Plant confirmed that he would join in October 2016 artists such as Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, The Milk Carton Kids for select dateson the Lampedusa Concerts for Refugees tour. This tour across 11 North American cities (6–21 October 2016) was intending to raise awareness of the unprecedented worldwide refugee crisis and funds to support educational programs for refugees around the world. The concerts were intimate evenings of acoustic performances. About his participation in the shows, Plant stated that "as with all the other members of this tour, [he would] be performing two or three songs a night and no more."
On 18 August 2017, Plant announced the release on 13 October 2017 of his new solo album Carry Fire .In 2018, Plant received the AMA Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Americana Honors & Awards. Plant is scheduled to headline the Sunday night of Iceland's Secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavík on 23 June 2019. In 2019 Plant formed a low key acoustic band called Saving Grace and performed support slots for Fairport Convention and Seth Lakeman
Plant performed with living members of Led Zeppelin both on 13 July 1985 for Live Aid (with Phil Collins and Tony Thompson on drums) and on 15 May 1988 for Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary. At the 1988 reunion, Jason Bonham, the son of Led Zeppelin's late drummer John Bonham, played drums. Both sets featured only a few songs, performed with minimal rehearsal. Plant was unhappy with both performances, saying that "it was like sleeping with your ex-wife but not making love." At the 1990 Silver Clef Award Winners Concert at Knebworth, Plant was joined by Jimmy Page. Some of their set was released on the subsequent live album and video. In 1995, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Plant performed at the induction show with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Jason Bonham, Neil Young, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, performing spirited versions of "Bring It On Home", "Honeybee" and "When the Levee Breaks".
After years of reunion rumours, Led Zeppelin performed a full two-hour set on 10 December 2007 at the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert, with Jason again filling in on drums. Despite enormous public demand, Plant declined a $200 million offer to tour with Led Zeppelin after the 2007 show. In interviews following the 2007 show, Plant left the door open to possible future performances with Led Zeppelin, saying that he enjoyed the reunion and felt that the show was strong musically. Although Page and Jones have expressed the strong desire to tour as Led Zeppelin, Plant has consistently opposed a full tour and has responded negatively to questions about another reunion. In a January 2008 interview, he stated that he does not want to "tour like a bunch of bored old men following the Rolling Stones around." In a statement on his web site in late 2008, Plant stated, "I will not be touring with Led Zeppelin or anyone else for the next two years. Anyone buying Led Zeppelin tickets will be buying bogus tickets."
In February 2013, Plant hinted that he was open to a Led Zeppelin reunion in 2014, stating that he was not the reason for Led Zeppelin's dormancy for the Capricorns (Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones) "are quite contained in their own worlds and leave it to [him]", adding that he was "not the bad guy" and that he had "got nothing to do in 2014".
In a spring 2014 interview with the BBC about the then forthcoming reissue of Led Zeppelin's first three albums, Page said he was sure fans would be keen on another reunion show, but Plant later replied that "the chances of it happening [were] zero". Page then told The New York Times that he was "fed up" with Plant's refusal to play, stating: "I was told last year that Plant said he is doing nothing in 2014, and what do the other two guys think? Well, he knows what the other guys think. Everyone would love to play more concerts for the band. He's just playing games, and I'm fed up with it, to be honest with you. I don't sing, so I can't do much about it", adding: "I definitely want to play live. Because, you know, I've still got a twinkle in my eye. I can still play. So, yeah, I'll just get myself into musical shape, just concentrating on the guitar."
On 30 July 2014, NME revealed that Plant was "slightly disappointed and baffled" by Page in an ongoing Led Zeppelin dispute during which Page declared he was "fed up" with Plant delaying Led Zeppelin reunion plans. Instead, Plant offered Led Zeppelin's guitarist to write acoustically with him as he is interested in working with Page again but only in an unplugged way.Page responded:
He would have no intention whatsoever of doing it ... I've had enough of all this stuff, to be honest: 'Robert says this, Robert says that.' ... The only reality of it is that we did one concert. No matter how you dress it up, look at the situation. That's it.
Plant married Maureen Wilson on 9 November 1968. The couple had three children: daughter Carmen Jane (1968), (who later married Charlie Jones, Plant's bass player for solo tours); and sons Karac Pendragon (1972–1977), and Logan Romero (1979). The couple divorced in August 1983.
In 1977, during Led Zeppelin's US tour, his five-year-old son Karac died.The song "All My Love", co-written by Jones, is a tribute to him.
Plant is interested in Welsh history. He donated money to the creation of a bronze statue of the Welsh prince, Owain Glyndŵr, at Pennal Church, near Machynlleth, in Wales, unveiled in September 2004. He is also believed to have contributed funds to a slate carving of Glyndŵr's coat of arms at the Celtica museum in Machynlleth. Plant is part of a Glyndŵr network, and attends meetings about him in Wales.
In the New Year Honours List 2009, Plant was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire "for services to music"and on 10 July 2009 invested by the Prince of Wales.
On 14 August 2009, football club Wolverhampton Wanderers announced that Plant was to become the club's third Vice-President. Plant officially received the honour before kick-off at the club's first match of the season against West Ham United. – I was hooked from that moment."Plant was five years old when he first visited Molineux Stadium. He recalled in an interview with his local paper, the Express & Star , in August 2010: "I was five when my dad took me down for the first time and Billy Wright waved at me. Honest, he did. And that was it
In late 2010, BBC Two aired a documentary titled Robert Plant: By Myself. It features Robert Plant discussing his journey with Led Zeppelin and various projects since.
In a July 2012 interview with the Independent newspaper, Plant stated he "eloped and ran off to Texas" with Band of Joy co-vocalist, American singer Patty Griffin. Plant's UK-based manager told E! News later that the rocker was apparently being cheeky when he used the word "eloped" to describe his home life, for "Robert has not married Patty Griffin," instead "He was just referring to the fact that he's been residing in Texas" with her. According to a July 2012 Ultimate Classic Rock article, Plant and Griffin had been dating for over a year, spending half of their time together in Austin, Texas.On 23 August 2014, The Independent, a UK publication, indicated Plant had broken up with Patty Griffin: ""Patty and I tried a sort of zig-zag across the Atlantic," Plant told the publication, "but she didn't share my penchant for cider and she used to marvel at the Black Country character I became after four pints of Thatchers. My feelings are very much ones of sadness and regret."
In early 2013, Plant contributed to a community buyout scheme to save Bath music venue, the Bell Inn.
He currently resides at Shatterford, near Bewdley in the Wyre Forest District of Worcestershire.
Plant has influenced the style of many of his contemporaries, including Geddy Lee, Ann Wilson,Sammy Hagar, and later rock vocalists such as Jeff Buckley and Jack White who imitated his performing style. Freddie Mercury of Queen, and Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses were influenced by Plant. Encyclopædia Britannica notes "Exaggerating the vocal style and expressive palette of blues singers such as Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, (Robert) Plant created the sound that has defined much hard rock and heavy metal singing: a high range, an abundance of distortion, loud volume and emotional excess". Plant received the Knebworth Silver Clef Award in 1990.
In 2006, hard rock/heavy metal magazine Hit Parader named Plant No. 1 on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All-Time, a list which included Rob Halford of Judas Priest (#2), Steven Tyler (#3), Freddie Mercury (#6), Geddy Lee (#13) and Paul Stanley (#18), all of whom were influenced by Plant. 's list of "The 50 Greatest Rock Frontmen of All Time".In 2008, Rolling Stone named Plant the 15th greatest singer of all time on their list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2009, he was voted the "greatest voice in rock" in a poll conducted by Planet Rock . He was included in the Q magazine's 2009 list of "Artists of the Century" and was ranked at number 8 in their list of "100 Greatest Singers" in 2007. In 2009, Plant also won the Outstanding Contribution to Music prize at the Q Awards. He was placed at no. 3 on SPIN
On 20 September 2010, National Public Radio (NPR) named Plant as one of the "50 Great Voices" in the world.
Led Zeppelin is the debut album by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released on 12 January 1969 in the United States and on 31 March in the United Kingdom by Atlantic Records.
Led Zeppelin II is the second album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released on 22 October 1969 in the United States and on 31 October 1969 in the United Kingdom by Atlantic Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at several locations in both the United Kingdom and North America from January to August 1969. The album's production was credited to the band's lead guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Page, and it also served as Led Zeppelin's first album to use Eddie Kramer as engineer. It was entirely recorded using the core band members, including Page (guitar), Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham (drums).
Led Zeppelin III is the third studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in October 1970. It had a more eclectic style than prior albums, adding folk-style songs to their standard hard rock and blues rock repertoire.
The untitled fourth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV, was released on 8 November 1971 by Atlantic Records. It was produced by guitarist Jimmy Page and recorded between December 1970 and February 1971, mostly in the country house Headley Grange. The album contains one of the band's best known songs, "Stairway to Heaven".
Presence is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released by Swan Song Records on 31 March 1976. While the album was a commercial success, reaching the top of both the British and American album charts, and achieving a triple-platinum certification in the United States, it received mixed reviews from critics and was the lowest-selling studio album by the band while they were still active.
James Patrick Page is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.
"The Battle of Evermore" is a folk duet sung by Robert Plant and Sandy Denny, featured on Led Zeppelin's untitled 1971 album, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV. The song's instrumentation features acoustic guitar and mandolin playing.
"Stairway to Heaven" is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for the band's untitled fourth studio album. It is often referred to as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
"Dazed and Confused" is a song written by American singer-songwriter Jake Holmes in 1967. Performed in a folk rock-style, he recorded it for his debut album "The Above Ground Sound" of Jake Holmes. Although some concluded that it was about a bad acid trip, Holmes insists the lyrics refer to the effects of a girl's indecision on ending a relationship.
"Going to California" is a ballad written and performed by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released from the band's untitled fourth album in 1971.
"The Song Remains the Same" is a song by the English rock group Led Zeppelin. It is the opening track from their 1973 album, Houses of the Holy.
"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" is a folk song written by Anne Bredon in the late 1950s. Joan Baez recorded a solo version for her 1962 album Joan Baez in Concert and a variety of musicians subsequently adapted it to a variety of styles, including Led Zeppelin. Several songwriters have been credited on releases over the years, although Bredon usually receives a sole or partial credit on current releases.
"Living Loving Maid " is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin from their album Led Zeppelin II, released in 1969. It was also released as the B-side of the single "Whole Lotta Love". The song is about a groupie who stalked the band early in their career. A misprint by Atlantic Records resulted in the original UK pressings of Led Zeppelin II being titled "Livin' Lovin' Wreck ", with the "Wreck" corrected to "Maid" and the subtitle changed on the US and later releases.
The Firm were a British rock supergroup formed in 1984, featuring singer Paul Rodgers, guitarist Jimmy Page, drummer Chris Slade(Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Uriah Heep and AC/DC) and bass player Tony Franklin.
"Heartbreaker" is a song from English rock band Led Zeppelin's 1969 album, Led Zeppelin II. It was credited to all four members of the band, recorded at A&R Recording and Atlantic Studios in New York City during the band's second concert tour of North America, and engineered by Eddie Kramer.
"No Quarter" is a song by Led Zeppelin that appears on their 1973 album Houses of the Holy. It was written by John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. The song became a centerpiece at all Led Zeppelin concerts thereafter, until their final tour. It appears in both the film versions and both live album versions of The Song Remains the Same released in 1976 and expanded in 2007. It appeared once more in 1994 on Page and Plant's reunion album as the title track. It also appears on Led Zeppelin's 2012 live album Celebration Day, which documented their 2007 reunion performance at the O2 Arena in London. It was re-released in the deluxe edition of Houses of the Holy.
"Ramble On" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1969 album Led Zeppelin II. It was co-written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, and was recorded in 1969 at Juggy Sound Studio, New York City, during the band's second concert tour of North America. In 2010, the song was ranked number 440 on list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Led Zeppelin's 1972 Japanese Tour was the second and final concert tour of Japan by the English rock band. The tour commenced on 2 October and concluded on 10 October 1972.
"Over the Hills and Far Away" is the third track from English rock band Led Zeppelin's 1973 album Houses of the Holy. It was released as a single, with "Dancing Days" as the B-side, in the US.
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