Andy Bell (singer)
Andy Bell of Erasure performed at Delamere Forest, UK on 1 July 2011
|Birth name||Andrew Ivan Bell|
|Born||25 April 1964|
|Origin||Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England|
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, remixer, DJ|
In 1985, he was working in a meat packing plant, when he responded to a newspaper advert that was looking for a singer. He was picked by Vince Clarke and together they formed the group Erasure. The pair has sold over 20 million albums worldwide.
Apart from his work with Erasure, he has taken part in numerous charity recordings. These included Ferry Aid's cover of "Let It Be" (1987); a cover of Cole Porter's "Too Darn Hot", that was included in 1990s Red Hot + Blue album to raise funds for AIDS and HIV research; re-making Lene Lovich's "Rage" alongside her to be included in PETA's album (1991) in favour of a wildlife campaign; and performing twice on Big Spender's Red Hot and Dance events to support various AIDS projects (in both December 1994 and November 2004). Bell also performed on the True Colors Tour 2008.
July 2005 brought the announcement of Bell's first solo album. He signed a worldwide solo recording contract with Sanctuary Records, and announced details of his debut album, which was released on 3 October 2005 and entitled Electric Blue. The album featured fourteen tracks, including three duets, with Claudia Brücken of Propaganda and Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters.
The first single, "Crazy", released on 26 September 2005, included club remixes from his Erasure partner Vince Clarke, plus Cicada, MHC and King Roc. Electric Blue was co-written and recorded throughout 2004 and 2005 with Manhattan Clique (Philip Larsen and Chris Smith) who have worked with Erasure, Moby, The B-52's, Stereophonics and Goldfrapp.
Bell released his second solo album, Non-Stop, on 7 June 2010. It was co-written and co-produced by Bell and Pascal Gabriel, who previously remixed "It Doesn't Have to Be" for Erasure. It also features a collaboration with Perry Farrell.
Using the pseudonym Mimó, Bell released two Pascal Gabriel-produced singles on Mute Records: "Running Out" (2009) and "Will You Be There?" (2010) prior to his second solo album. The name, used as a "tribute to good friend Tomeau Mimó”, was not used on any subsequent solo releases, as a legal block was issued against Bell by another artist already using the Mimó name. Both songs will appear on Non-Stop. Both of these singles have since been re-branded as Andy Bell.
He is openly gay and was a longtime partner of Paul M. Hickey. Bell told Melody Maker in 1986, "I don't want to go out of my way to talk about it but I'm not going to pretend I'm not [gay]. I won't portray a heterosexual in videos and we're consciously doing lyrics that could apply to either sex". He told Barry Walters of Seventeen, "I want to be known as a good performer but it's important to me to take a stance. If you're doing music, you should use it for something and have substance. Being gay and open about it is my substance".
On 17 December 2004, he publicly announced that he is HIV-positive and has been aware of this since 1998. In a 2007 interview, Bell remarked that a complacency exists among gay men about HIV, specifying that:
There are definitely HIV-positive people who meet other HIV-positive men, and like still having unprotected sex. I think it must be quite hard for young gay men because there is so much for them now to do – there are so many saunas and stuff like that for them to go to, and it's so easy to get it."
He has also practised reiki since the early 2000s. He has suffered from avascular necrosis (which has no relationship to his HIV diagnosis) and has had both hips replaced. Bell has stated that this keeps him from "pogoing around" compared to previous performances.
Hickey died on 11 April 2012 at the age of 62.
- 2005: Electric Blue (SANCD382) No. 119 UK, No. 12 US Top Electronic Albums
- 2010: Non-Stop No. 134 UK, No. 12 UK Dance Album Chart
- 2005: "Crazy" No. 35 UK, No. 3 US Hot Dance Club Play
- 2006: "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" No. 96 UK
- 2009: "Running Out" (as Mimó)
- 2010: "Will You Be There?" (as Mimó) No. 27 US Hot Dance Club Play
- 2010: "Call on Me"
- 2010: "Non-Stop"
- 2008: Yazoo – "Nobody's Diary (Andy Bell & Jc Remix)"
- "Andy Bell Official Website". Andy Bell. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "MiMÃ³ – Running Out". Mute.com. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "MiMÃ³ – Will You Be There?". Mute.com. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "(Erasure) Official Website". Andy Bell. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "Erasure (Andy Bell & Vince Clarke) The Official Website". Erasureinfo.com. Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- Harrington, Richard (29 April 2005). "Erasure's Edge: Still Sharp". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 December 2010. "One of the first openly gay pop stars, Bell used to cover Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" sporting bell-bottom cowboy chaps with the backsides cut out, long before Prince or Christina Aguilera struck that ex-pose... Spain (where Bell lives with his partner of 20 years, Paul Hickey)"
- www.answers.com Erasure (accessed 1/29/2013)
- Vineyard, Jennifer (14 December 2004). "Erasure Singer Andy Bell Says He's HIV-Positive". MTV. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- Pool, Hannah (26 July 2007). "Question time: Erasure singer Andy Bell". The Guardian (London).
- "Sometimes - A Life of Love, Loss & Erasure". Paulhickey.com. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
- Chart Log UK – Weekly Updates Sales 2010
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 52. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.