Annie Haslam

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Annie Haslam
Singer with eyes closed, arms stretched forward slightly, palms down, appears to be floating on the music as she sings.
Annie Haslam with Renaissance headlining North East Art Rock Festival (NEARfest) on June 23, 2012
Background information
Birth name Anne Haslam
Born (1947-06-08) 8 June 1947 (age 67)
Origin Bolton, Lancashire, England
Genres Progressive rock, Pop, Folk, Classical
Occupations Singer, painter, songwriter, arranger
Years active 1971—present
Labels White Dove
Sire Records
Warner Bros. Records
Epic Records
Virgin Records (Japan)
Voiceprint Records
Transatlantic Records
Associated acts Renaissance, Nevada
Website AnnieHaslam.com

Annie Haslam (born 8 June 1947, Bolton, Lancashire, England) is an English progressive rock vocalist, songwriter, and painter. She is best known as the lead singer of progressive rock band Renaissance since 1971, and for her long and diverse solo singing career. She has a five-octave vocal range.[1] Starting in 2002, Haslam has developed a parallel career as a visual artist, producing paintings on canvas, painted musical instruments, and giclées.

Early History[edit]

Originally a fashion student in Cornwall, she worked for a dress designer in London, and then began studying under opera singer Sybil Knight in 1970.[2]

Career with Renaissance[edit]

In February 1971, she became the new lead singer of Renaissance, after answering an advertisement in the British periodical Melody Maker, and auditioning for the band in Surrey.[3] Charles Snider stated "Annie Haslam's voice, soaring high along with the melody, is the big news. Far more West End than Carnaby Street, it would come to define the band."[4]

With Renaissance, Haslam was lead vocalist on seven studio albums during their classic period (1972–1979), four studio albums from 1981–present,[5] and a number of live albums. For more information go to Renaissance Discography.

Solo career[edit]

In 1977, she began her solo career with her album Annie in Wonderland, produced by Roy Wood who played most of the musical instruments, and who also duetted with her on one track, and also performed on the Intergalactic Touring Band album. Haslam and Wood were engaged to be married for four years, which she later described as "four of the funniest years of my life".[6] She has since released eight studio albums, three of which were released through her own record label, White Dove. She has also collaborated with Steve Howe on a number of projects.

Surviving breast cancer[edit]

In 1993 Haslam was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she survived and which became the inspiration for her 1994 album, Blessing in Disguise.[7]

Her 2006 Live Studio Concert, was also released as her first solo DVD. Haslam released an EP called Night and Day, her first solo recording for some years, with Welsh rock band Magenta in 2006.[8]

Visual arts[edit]

"Haslam as few among us, is blessed to channel her muse in a variety of ways"[9] wrote Melinda Rizzo in Fine Art Magazine. One of these is visual arts:

  • her paintings have been used as cover art on albums such as her own One Enchanted Evening,[10] Renaissance's Symphony of Light, and I and Thou's Speak
  • she has helped others to design her on-stage clothing[2]
  • she has painted musical instruments including guitars, and violins[9]
  • she has created giclées of many of her paintings
  • in 1975 she artistically hand-lettered the lyrics to "Mother Russia" for a British tour program.[11]

Festive season concert[edit]

Starting in 1999, Haslam has performed a Christmas show called In the Spirit of the Holidays each year, originally at the Upper Tinicum Lutheran Church, and then at the larger Sellersville Theatre in Sellersville, Pennsylvania since 2006. The Christmas show has been held every year except 2012, due to the passing of her friend, and colleague Michael Dunford in November of that year. Haslam stated that "there was just too much sadness at the time"[12] Included in the program are secular, and religious Christmas carols, as well as her own compositions, and a few Renaissance favourites.

Haslam currently resides in Central Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Solo discography[edit]

  • 1977: Annie in Wonderland
  • 1985: Still Life
  • 1989: Annie Haslam
  • 1994: Blessing in Disguise
  • 1995: Supper's Ready: (Genesis tribute Album) (guest vocalist)
  • 1995: Tales From Yesterday (Yes tribute Album) (guest vocalist)
  • 1998: Live Under Brazilian Skies
  • 1999: The Dawn of Ananda
  • 1999: Portraits of Bob Dylan by Steve Howe (album) (guest vocalist)
  • 2000: It Snows in Heaven Too
  • 2002: One Enchanted Evening
  • 2005: Icon by John Wetton & Geoff Downes (album) (guest vocalist)
  • 2006: Miles of Music by Bob Miles (guest vocalist)
  • 2006: Live Studio Concert
  • 2006: Night and Day EP with Magenta written for Haslam by Rob Reed and Christina Booth
  • 2007: Woman Transcending
  • 2012: Songs of the Century: (Supertramp tribute Album) (guest vocalist)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Snider, Charles (2007). The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock (1st ed.). Chicago: Strawberry Bricks. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-615-17566-9
  2. ^ a b Romano, Will (2010). Mountains come out of the sky: an illustrated history of prog rock (1st Ed.). Montclair, NJ: Blackbeat Books. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-87930-991-6
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME's Rock 'n' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 223. ISBN 978-0600576020. 
  4. ^ Snider, Charles (2007). The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock (1st ed.). Chicago: Strawberry Bricks. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-615-17566-9
  5. ^ Allmusic Renaissance discography. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Annie Haslam Interview by Martin Kinch". cherryblossomclinic.110mb.com. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  7. ^ Allmusic Biography of Annie Haslam by Jason Ankeny
  8. ^ Allmusic Night and Day listing Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b Rizzo, Melinda "Annie Haslam: Renaissance woman. The Sound and Colors of Love, Light and Peace" Fine Art Magazine Spring, 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  10. ^ One Enchanted Evening (album notes). Annie Haslam. Voiceprint. 6 June 2005 [First released 2003]. ASIN B0009GUT8I. 
  11. ^ Elliott, Russell W. "The History Of Renaissance". www.nlightsweb.com. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Baron, John "Annie Haslam ‘In the Spirit of the Holidays’ at Sellersville Theater", Bucks Local News. Retrieved 18 May 2014.

External links[edit]