Howard Donald

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Howard Donald
Howard Donald Cropped.jpg
Donald performing at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena in November 2007.
Background information
Birth name Howard Paul Donald
Also known as DJ HD
Born (1968-04-28) 28 April 1968 (age 46)
Droylsden, Lancashire, England, UK
Genres Pop, soul, dance-pop, pop rock, blue-eyed soul, country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist, dancer, DJ, record producer
Instruments Vocals, Turntables, sampler, drum machine, drums, piano, trumpet
Years active 1990–present
Labels Various
Associated acts Take That

Howard Paul Donald (born 28 April 1968[1]), is an English singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist, dancer, DJ and house producer. He is a member of English pop-group Take That and a judge on the German reality talent show Got to Dance.

Take That[edit]

Nigel Martin-Smith hired Donald, along with Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Mark Owen, and Robbie Williams to form a British boyband, Take That.[1] The band enjoyed seven years of success until Robbie Williams left in 1995, leaving them to carry on as a quartet.

When Take That split in February 1996, Donald went solo and recorded a single "Speak without Words" that is still unreleased to-date. When his solo career failed to take off, he returned to DJing.[1] He has a fan base in Europe. He is one of the founders of the relatively unknown DJ band Sonic Fly along with his friends King Brain and Bart Van Der Zwaan.

Donald shocked band mates with his confession in the documentary, Take That for the Record of being unstable enough to have the intention of committing suicide by drowning himself in the River Thames when the band announced their split in 1996.

In 2005 Take That reformed for what was intended to be "one last tour" in the summer of 2006, following the release of their Greatest Hits album.

In late 2006 Take That reunited and released their first studio album since 1995, Beautiful World and from it they recorded two number ones in "Patience" and "Shine". Beautiful World featured Donald on lead vocals on two tracks; "Beautiful World" and "Mancunian Way". The song "Mancunian Way" is a tribute to the band's hometown Manchester.

On Take That album The Circus, Donald sings lead on two tracks, "What is Love" and "Here". He also has a partial lead solo with Jason Orange on "How Did It Come To This", and also sings lead with the rest of the band on the album's opening track, "The Garden".

On the latest Take That LP called Progress Howard Donald sings lead vocals on a track called Affirmation. He also plays drums on several songs on Progress album and has mixed a B-side track for the second single "Kidz" called "Revenge of The Kidz".

Solo numbers in Take That[edit]

  • "If This is Love"
  • "Never Forget"
  • "Beautiful World"
  • "Mancunian Way"
  • "What is Love"
  • "Here"
  • "Affirmation"
  • "Aliens"

DJ HD[edit]

During the ten-year gap between the Take That split and reunion, Donald began working as a DJ under the name DJ HD. He continues his work as a DJ when not on tour with the band, and has a small fan base in Germany. Donald specialized in Chicago House. A single was released by DJ HD, but never available to buy, called Going Home.

Got to Dance[edit]

Donald is one of the judges on a dancing show Got to Dance in Germany.[2]

Health problems[edit]

During the Beautiful World Tour in 2007, Donald suffered a collapsed lung after performing a series of gymnastic stunts on stage, and was kept on a hospital ward for the two days, while the rest of the band performed as a threesome.[3][4] However, Donald recovered quickly enough to reunite with the band in the final leg of the tour.

Personal life[edit]

Donald was educated at Moorside Primary School and Littlemoss High School.

He is father of two daughters, Grace (born June 1999) and Lola (born February 2005), from two separate relationships. His elder daughter Grace was born to Victoria Piddington, while he had his younger daughter from his relationship with Marie-Christine Musswessels, they split in late 2009.[5]

In April 2010, Donald was granted a super-injunction against former girlfriend, musician Adakini Ntuli, with whom he had been in an on/off relationship from 2000 to 2008. (See Ntuli v Donald) After Ntuli engaged publicist Max Clifford and began negotiations with the News of the World, Donald obtained the super-injunction. The non-publicity side of the injunction was lifted in November 2010, in what was seen by legal commentators as a precedent in future judgements on the issuing of super-injunctions.[6]

In 2007, he sparked controversy when he expressed his view that cannabis should be legalised, saying, "If more people went out stoned than drunk I think there would be less fighting, less trouble, and less violence."[7] He also admitted to having "dabbled with ecstasy" in the past.[7]

In June 2012, it was revealed that along with Take That band-mates Gary Barlow and Mark Owen, Donald had invested £26 million in music industry investment schemes. The news attracted controversy when it was understood that the schemes could serve as tax shelters for high net worth people. Lawyers responded to the claims, stating the band members 'paid significant tax, and that they believed the schemes were not for tax avoidance purposes but were legitimate commercial enterprises.' [8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Howard Donald", Southern Daily Echo, 20 June 2007, retrieved 5 February 2010
  2. ^ "Take That star Howard Donald becomes a judge on Got To Dance Germany | Got To Dance". Telly Mix. 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  3. ^ Mewton, Victoria & White, Richard (2007) "Take That star's hospital agony", The Sun, 27 October 2007, retrieved 5 February 2010
  4. ^ Taylor, C. (2007) "Take That's Howard Donald Hospitalised With 'Collapsed Lung'", Gigwise.com, 27 October 2007, retrieved 5 February 2010
  5. ^ "Howard Donald To Wed?", FemaleFirst, 26 May 2007, retrieved 5 February 2010
  6. ^ "Take That star Howard Donald's legal fight to silence ex revealed as super-injunction lifted". Daily Mail. UK. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Howard Donald's cannabis campaign", Boston Globe, November 23, 2007, retrieved 5 February 2010
  8. ^ Updated, Last (21 June 2012). "Gary Barlow's OBE is no problem despite tax avoidance claims, says Downing Street". The Telegraph (UK).