Robbie Williams

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About Robbie Williams

One of British pop’s reigning bad boys, Robbie Williams has cut a larger-than-life profile since he joined the mega-selling Take That in the early 1990s. Born in 1974 in Stoke-on-Trent, Williams tried out for Take That as a 16-year-old after his mother spotted an audition call in a local newspaper. The group went on to become the UK’s biggest boy band, although personality clashes led to Williams leaving in 1995. The following year, he released his first solo single, a swaggering cover of George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90,” and he followed that up in 1997 with Life Thru a Lens, which betrayed Britpop influences on tracks like the rock-tinged “Old Before I Die.” The sweeping ballad “Angels” redefined not just British pop but music around the globe; it went on to be covered by artists as varied as Beverley Knight and Josh Groban and became a singing-competition standard. In addition to his occasional reunions with Take That, Williams has played with pop styles over his career, saluting the Great American Songbook on 2001’s Swing When You're Winning and 2013’s Swings Both Ways, throwing back to the New Wave era on 2006’s Rudebox, and embracing his rock side on collaborations with Queen and The Killers.

Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England
February 13, 1974
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