Simon Webbe

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Simon Webbe
Simon Webbe 2011 cropped.jpg
Webbe in 2011
Background information
Birth nameSimon Solomon Webbe
Born (1978-03-30) 30 March 1978 (age 40)
Origin Moss Side, Manchester, England [1]
Genres Pop, R&B, soul
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, actor, rapper, music manager
Years active2000–present
Labels Innocent Records (2005–08)
Associated acts Blue, VS

Simon Solomon Webbe (born 30 March 1978) is an English singer-songwriter, actor, rapper and music manager. He is best known as a member of the British boy band Blue, forming in 2000 before splitting in 2005 and reforming in 2009, selling over 15 million records. Webbe released two solo studio albums in 2005 and 2006, sold over 700,000 records worldwide and had five UK Top 40 singles.

A boy band is loosely defined as a vocal group consisting of young male singers, usually in their teenage years or in their twenties at the time of formation, singing love songs marketed towards young women. Being vocal groups, most boy band members do not play musical instruments, either in recording sessions or on stage, making the term something of a misnomer. However, exceptions do exist. Many boy bands dance as well as sing, usually giving highly choreographed performances.

Blue (English band) English boy band

Blue are an English boy band consisting of members Antony Costa, Duncan James, Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe. The band originally formed in 2000 and has released three studio albums, All Rise (2001), One Love (2002) and Guilty (2003) that all peaked at number one in the United Kingdom alongside releasing 16 singles, over a four-year period. The group also worked alongside artists such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Lil' Kim. In late 2004, the group announced a hiatus and released their first compilation album, Best of Blue, on 15 November 2004.

Contents

History

Webbe was born on 30 March 1978. His parents are of Saint Kitts and Nevis descent.

Saint Kitts and Nevis country in Central America and Caribbean

Saint Kitts and Nevis, also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in both area and population. The country is a Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as queen and head of state.

2001–05: Early career and Blue

Blue performing on tour in 2005 Blue 4.jpg
Blue performing on tour in 2005

The band released their debut single "All Rise" in May 2001 and it reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart. Blue's second single was released in August with the chart-topping "Too Close", a cover version of Next's US number 1 hit produced by Ray Ruffin. Their second number one came in November with "If You Come Back" also produced by Ray Ruffin and co-written by Nicole Anderson aka Nicole Formescu, Lee Brennon, Ian Hope and Ray Ruffin off the album All Rise , which was released in time for Christmas and reached number one, eventually selling in excess of about 1.8 million albums sold in the UK. Blue reached number six in March 2002 with their fourth single, "Fly By II" – a remix of album track "Fly By", which also went to number 30 in Portugal.

All Rise (song) English pop song by Blue

"All Rise" is a song by English boy band Blue. It was released in 21 May 2001 as the lead single from their debut album of the same name. The song instantly became a hit worldwide and helped the group break the charts in Europe and Oceania. It peaked at number 4 in the UK, number 3 in Australia, number one in New Zealand, and number 15 in Ireland. The song has received a Gold certification for sales of over 400,000 copies in the UK and also went Gold in New Zealand. In Australia, the song received a Platinum certification for sales exceeding 70,000 copies.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

If You Come Back 2001 single by Blue

"If You Come Back" is a song by English boy band Blue, released as the third single from their debut studio album All Rise (2001). It sold over 1 million singles worldwide. It was written by Ray Ruffin, Nicole Formescu, Ian Hope, and Lee Brennan of boy band 911. The song has received a silver sales status certification for sales of over 200,000 copies in the UK.

Their second studio album One Love was released in 2002. The album entered at UK number 1, where it stayed for one week. Three singles were released from the album: "One Love" (UK number 3), "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" featuring Elton John (UK number 1), and "U Make Me Wanna" (UK number 4). The group also performed the song "Flexin'" at the 2003 MTV Asia Awards with the Philippines' singer Kyla.

<i>One Love</i> (Blue album) 2002 studio album by Blue

One Love is the second studio album by English boy band Blue, released on 4 November 2002 in the United Kingdom and on 21 October 2003 in the United States. The album peaked at number one on the UK Albums Chart, where it stayed for one week. On 20 December 2003 it was certified 4× Platinum in the UK. Collectively, the album and singles have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.

One Love (Blue song) song by Blue

"One Love" is a song recorded by English boy band Blue. Co-written by the band, it was released in the United Kingdom on 21 October 2002 as the lead single of their second studio album, One Love (2002).

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word 1976 song by Elton John

"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It was recorded by Elton John and released in 1976, both as a single and as part of the Blue Moves album. It was John's second single released by The Rocket Record Company. The song is a mournful ballad about a romantic relationship which is falling apart. The song is in the key of G melodic minor and G harmonic minor.

Guilty (the album and the single [UK number 2]) was released in late 2003. The next singles were "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" (sung with Stevie Wonder and Angie Stone) (UK number 11), "Breathe Easy" (UK number 4), and "Bubblin'" (UK number 9). The album Guilty sold more than one million copies in the UK.

<i>Guilty</i> (Blue album) 2003 studio album by Blue

Guilty is the third studio album by English boy band Blue. It was released on 3 November 2003 in the United Kingdom and on 25 November in the United States. It debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart after its release, and it was certified 2x Platinum in December 2003.

Stevie Wonder American musician

Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

Angie Stone American singer and actress

Angie Stone is an American recording artist, producer, and actress. She rose to fame in the late 1970s as member of the hip hop trio The Sequence. Soon after, Stone began working with futuristic rap group Mantronix and singer Lenny Kravitz. In the early 1990s, she became a member of the R&B trio Vertical Hold.

The band decided to split after Elton John suggested that their popularity was decreasing and that they should concentrate on their solo careers. Best of Blue greatest hits compilation was released in 2004, which contained all-time hits including new tracks such as Curtain Falls, "Get Down on It" and "Only Words I Know". The album was No.2 on charts in Portugal with a double platinum certification.

Elton John English rock singer-songwriter, composer and pianist

Sir Elton Hercules John is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums. John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive number-one albums in the United States, 58 Billboard Top 40 singles, 27 Top 10 singles, four which reached number two and nine which reached number one. His tribute single "Candle in the Wind 1997", rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts. He has also composed music, produced records, and has occasionally acted in films.

<i>Best of Blue</i> 2004 compilation album by Blue

Best of Blue is the first greatest hits compilation album released by English boy band Blue. The album was released in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2004, by Innocent Records. It was due to be supported by a European tour of the same name, but this was cancelled in February 2005.

Curtain Falls single

"Curtain Falls" is a song by English boy band Blue. It was released on 8 November 2004 as the first single from their first greatest hits album, Best of Blue (2004). The song was co-written by the band and Stargate, and produced by Stargate and reached number one in Italy. In France, the song was re-recorded in French and re-titled "Quand Le Rideau Tombe", and thus, this version was released as a single there. The background music is almost identical to that of Coolio's 1995 hit, "Gangsta's Paradise", as they both share usage of a sample of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise".

2005–06: Sanctuary

Webbe launched his post-Blue career on 22 August 2005 with his first solo single "Lay Your Hands" which peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. His follow-up single "No Worries" reached No.4 in the UK, making him the only Blue member to have multiple Top 10 singles. After the release of two singles, Webbe released his debut solo album Sanctuary which debuted at number 28 on the UK Albums Chart. Despite its relatively low debut it eventually reached number 7 on the chart and has now gone double platinum. The third single from Sanctuary, "After All This Time" was released in February 2006, but it failed to do as well as his previous releases and peaked at number 16.

2006–07: Grace and "Run"

On 30 October 2006, came the first single from Webbe's new album "Coming Around Again". When released it reached number 12 in the UK Singles Chart. His second album Grace was released on 13 November 2006, and peaked at number 11 in the UK Albums Chart. The second single "My Soul Pleads for You" was released on 19 February 2007, and reached 45 on the singles chart. On 21 May 2007, Webbe launched his first tour to support his second album Grace. The tour consisted of 18 dates through May and June, starting in Cambridge and culminating in London. In early June, it was announced that Webbe would be releasing the title track from his second studio album with the theme song from the upcoming film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer . The single was a double A-side release of "Grace"/"Ride the Storm". It reached number 36 in the UK. In Europe, "Seventeen" was released instead of "Grace".

During his 2007 UK Tour, Webbe previewed some songs from his third studio album, including "Run", which he claimed had been announced as the first single. He also claimed that 'Run' could possibly be the title of the album. It is thought that the album was postponed from its 2009 release date due to the reunion of Blue, and that it will be released at some point in the future[ citation needed ].

2008–2016: Blue reunion, Eurovision Song Contest and Television

Since entering the music industry Webbe has extended his range of business ventures. His two most notable companies are Love 4 Music and Love 4 PR, both of which he co-runs with Jade Reuben. He managed the group VS who supported Blue on their tour. They were also signed to Innocent Records, the same label as Blue, and released three singles, "Love You Like Mad" (#7), "Call U Sexy" (#11) and "Make It Hot" (#29), plus an album, All Kinds of Trouble. The band has since broken up and member Marvin Humes went on to be part of boyband JLS. He also managed North London rapper MR BLARNY who was the only other act (after VS) to sign to Webbe's LOVE 4 Music label. Later Webbe managed American/British girlband L.A.D.E., whose video for their unreleased single "Shake It Off" featured Webbe and Blue bandmate Duncan James. In return the girls appeared in Blue's single "Bubblin'" with MR BLARNY also featuring on the remixes. The British rapper is still recording music releasing "YOUR BEST TIME" in 2013 (featuring LOLA) while the current professional music status of the girls is unknown. Also in 2004, Webbe was voted Company magazine's 62nd Sexiest Man Alive and appeared as a striker on Sky 1's The Match .

In 2007, he released a series of educational DVDs for children entitled Simon's Web. The six volumes endeavoured to teach children about the internet, its history and uses. In 2008, he participated in British reality television show, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Which he finished in fifth place. On 28 April 2009, Blue announced that they had reformed and will return to the stage with a new album coming soon. Webbe featured on Ras Kwame's Spit TV rapping with fellow Manchester hip-hop artists Lyrican and Hoodman.

From 31 May to 28 August 2010, Webbe played the role of Curtis Shank in Sister Act the musical at the London Palladium. During his run, Webbe starred alongside Sheila Hancock and Whoopi Goldberg. [2]

Webbe was a guest on Big Brother 11 in August 2010, singing a new track to the housemates. [3]

Blue represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Germany. The group finished 11th in the competition. [4]

On 23 November 2011, [5] it was announced that Webbe would be taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special . Webbe was the first celebrity to compete (dancing the Cha Cha Cha to "Merry Christmas Everybody") – supported in the audience by fellow Blue bandmates Duncan James and Antony Costa. His celebrity partner was Katya Virshilas. The judges placed Webbe in joint third – with a score of 36 out of 40. The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special was broadcast on BBC One on 25 December 2011. [6]

On 21 August 2014, Webbe was confirmed on ITV's Good Morning Britain as a contestant on the upcoming twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing . [7] He was partnered with professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff for the series and the pair were declared runners-up on 20 December.

In August 2015, he appeared in George Stiles and Anthony Drewe's family musical The 3 Little Pigs at the Palace Theatre, London. He played the Big Bad Wolf.

2017–present: Smile

On 28 July 2017, Webbe announced the release of his third studio album Smile due for release on 13 October 2017. [8]

Film career

In 2004 he co-starred in the romantic-comedy The Truth About Love , directed by John Hay. The film also featured Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dougray Scott and Jimi Mistry. His second acting project was a 2006 British gangster movie, Rollin' with the Nines . The film co-starred Vas Blackwood, Billy Murray, Robbie Gee and was directed by Julian Gilbey.

Personal life

Webbe has a daughter, Alanah (born 1996), with ex-girlfriend Nicola Jones, a shop assistant from Solihull. She is the inspiration for his 2007 single "Grace". He is reportedly a cousin of the former Sugababes singer, Keisha Buchanan. [9] His brother Duane Bryan was a contestant on the 2012 series of The Apprentice . [10] He is related to Labour Party politician Claudia Webbe. [11]

In July 2017, he got engaged to girlfriend Ayshen Kemal whilst on holiday with his daughter Alanah in Jamaica. His 2017 album Smile is inspired by his fiancé, to whom he proposed on Valentine's Day 2017. [12]

Discography

Studio albums

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References

  1. Ancestry.co.uk Entry in Birth Index for England & Wales
  2. "Sister Act Confirms Closure for 1 Jan, Webbe Joins – Sister Act at London Palladium – London". Whatsonstage.com. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  3. "Simon Webbe performs 'Perfect Day' show". Digital Spy.
  4. mirror Administrator. "Eurovision: Blue and Jedward lose out to Azerbaijan duo". mirror.
  5. "Strictly Come Dancing 2011: Su Pollard, Barry McGuigan, Charlie Brooks, Simon Webbe and Debra Stephenson to star in Christmas special". Daily Mirror. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  6. "Simon Webbe determined to win Strictly special". The List. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  7. "Blue singer Simon Webbe confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2014". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  8. "Simon Webbe returns to music with new album "Smile"". Entertainment Focus. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  9. Simon Webbe: I'm A Celebrity Top 10 facts. Mirror.co.uk (11 November 2008). Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  10. McKeegan, Alice (13 March 2012). "Revealed: The Apprentice 2012 contestant Duane Bryan is have-a-go hero (and brother of Blue singer Simon Webbe)". Manchester Evening News.
  11. Gelder, Sam (10 May 2018). "Claudia Webbe: Islington transport chief announces bid to be Labour candidate for Lewisham East by-election". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  12. "'I didn't want to grow up to be that guy': Blue's Simon Webbe says his mother's rocky relationship with his father taught him to respect women (and his fiancé inspired his first album in TEN years)". Daily Mail. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.