Billy Nicholls

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Billy Nicholls
Birth name William Nicholls Jr
Born (1949-02-15) 15 February 1949 (age 66)
White City, London
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, record producer and musical director
Years active Late 1960s – present
Labels Southwest Records
Associated acts Small Faces, Faces, The Who, The Rolling Stones

William Morris "Billy" Nicholls Jr (born 15 February 1949, White City, Hammersmith, London) into a musical family. His father: Billy Nicholls (Senior) played double bass and sang in Big Bands like The Squadronairs. Billy's career as singer, songwriter, record producer and musical director, first gained fame in the 1960s while still a teenager with his Pet Sounds-influenced album, Would You Believe, originally released on Immediate Records.[1]

Nicholls' compositions have been covered by many artists; his first success came in 1977 when Leo Sayer covered "I Can't Stop Loving You (Though I Try)"; it rose to No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart. Nicholls wrote several of the tracks for the film, McVicar, starring Roger Daltrey, including "Without Your Love" which was a success in the United States.

An American southern rock group, Outlaws recorded "I Can't Stop Loving You" on their 1980 release, Ghost Riders. More recently, Phil Collins also recorded "I Can't Stop Loving You" and it proved to be a success as a U.S. single, appearing on several of his albums, and was performed on his last world tour.

A longtime acquaintance and occasional collaborator with Pete Townshend, Nicholls toured with The Who in 1989 and 1996-1997, serving as backup singer and music director; he also provided backing vocals for the band's version of "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" that appeared on the tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.

In 2003, Nicholls received an ASCAP award for "Can't Stop Loving You". Keith Urban recorded the same song on his album.

In 2009 a promo copy of Would You Believe was sold on eBay for £7,312.[2]

Nicholls set up Southwest Records in 1998 and has released seven albums featuring his own work. He has contributed backing vocals for many friends and artists over the years, including uncredited backing vocals on The Nice's 1967 debut single "Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack".

He is the father of musician: Morgan Nicholls, singer songwriter: Amy Fay Nicholls and film-maker: Will Nicholls


  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Biography: Billy Nicholls". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Tom Horan. "Britain's rarest record – yours for £200,000 | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 

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