Marilyn (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marilyn in München.jpg
Marilyn in Munich, January 1984
Background information
Birth name Peter Antony Robinson
Born (1962-11-03) November 3, 1962 (age 51)
Kingston, Jamaica
Origin London, United Kingdom
Genres New wave, pop, dance
Occupations Singer, songwriter, entertainer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1983–85, 1989, 2000–03
Labels Phonogram (1983–1985)
Interbeat (1989)
Desilu Records (2000)

Peter Robinson (born Kingston, Jamaica, 3 November 1962[1]), better known as Marilyn, is a British pop singer who was known for his highly androgynous appearance. He was one of the leading lights during the 1980s New Romantic era.[2]


Marilyn was one of the original Blitz Kids during the New Romantic era and was close friends with Boy George and Steve Strange. In 1979, he appeared in the documentary Steppin' Out directed by Lyndall Hobbs. The short documentary film explored the fashionable nightclubs and the trendy pop culture scenes that were famous in London in the late 70's.[3] He then teamed up with songwriter and pop entrepreneur Paul Caplin[4], who managed him.[5] Following an appearance in the video for the Eurythmics hit single, 'Who's that Girl?'[6], Marilyn was signed to Phonogram Records.[7]

Marilyn met with chart success in the UK in 1983 with his hit song "Calling Your Name",[8] [9] and in 1984 with "Cry and Be Free" and "You Don't Love Me". Marilyn also had major success in Japan where his single 'Calling Your Name' reached number 1 in the charts.[10] Calling Your Name reached number 3 in Australia. During Marilyn’s 1984 Australian tour to promote the single he was accidently punched in the face by an over-zealous fan' at the now-defunct Albury Hotel. [11] On 4 March 1984, Marilyn performed at the Children’s Royal Variety Performance held at Her Majesty's Theatre, London in the presence of HRH The Princess Anne. He sang You Don't Love Me. Other music acts on the bill included Bucks Fizz, Musical Youth and Donny Osmond. [12] He modelled for Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood [13] [14]and was photographed by many photographers including Andy Warhol, [15] Herb Schulz,[16] Derek Ridgers,[17][Mike Owen,[18] Brian Aris,[19] Johnny Rosza [20] and Paul Hartnett.[21][22] Several photographs of Marilyn are housed in London's National Portrait Gallery.[23] Marilyn released his debut album, Despite Straight Lines in 1985, which failed to chart.

He became known to U.S. audiences when he sang on the Band Aid single and appeared in the video for, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"[24] [25] [26] Following this, his record company dispatched him to Detroit, Michigan, to work with producer Don Was. In America he cut his famous long blonde hair short and ceased to wear make-up, abandoning the image that had brought him his initial success. Despite his change of image, ‘Baby You Left Me’ (one of two tracks he recorded with Don Was}, failed to re-ignite his career.[27] [28] [29] [30] He briefly collaborated with Diana Ross [31] as his manager but plans to launch his career in the USA were not successful.[32]

In 2000, Marilyn briefly relaunched his career, however, without commercial success. On 2 September 2001, he performed a live PA at the Sound on Sunday club night in Leicester Square, London. It was his first performance in 14 years.[33]

Marilyn has been portrayed in several productions including the stage musical 'Taboo'[34] and the television film 'Worried About The Boy' where his character was played by the actor Freddie Fox.[35][36]


In 2003, Marilyn appeared (as himself) on the Channel 4 television show The Salon, a reality show based at a hairdressing salon where members of the public and several celebrities went for haircuts and beauty treatments.[37] Marilyn also appeared in the TV documentary '25 Years of Smash Hits' that traced the influence of UK pop music.[38]


In 2006, Marilyn appeared on the Channel 4 TV documentary 'Whatever Happened to the Gender Benders?' [39]


On 16 May 2013, Marilyn appeared on Birmingham's Switch Radio where he gave a 30-minute interview.[40] On 1 June 2013, Marilyn appeared on Kev Gurney's Club Tropicana radio show on Bolton 96.5 radio where he gave a 20-minute interview in which he speaks candidly about his life. During the interview he reveals that he has been back in the recording studio and is currently working on 4 new tracks with a new production team. He also hints that there is the possibility of live dates in the future.[41]


Exhibitions that have included material relating to Marilyn:

Nicola Tyson’s 2013 Bowie Nights at Billy's Club, London, 1978 Exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ Gallery, London W1 - 25 January – 23 February 2013 [42] [43] [44]


Books that have included references to Marilyn:

We Can Be Heroes: Punks, Poseurs, Peacocks and People of a Particular Persuasion by Graham Smith, published by Unbound - 20 November 2012. [45] [46][47]


In February/March 2014, Dr Louise Chambers, lecturer at Goldsmiths College, New Cross, presented a series of lectures titled, ‘Oh, You Pretty Things: Queering Pop Music in the 70s & 80s’ as part of a History Project for the National Archives. During the lecture she talks about the influence the New Romantic era had on pop music and especially the effect Boy George’s and Marilyn’s first individual appearances on television had on society. [48]



Year Album details
1985 Despite Straight Lines
2008 Despite Straight Lines: The Very Best of Marilyn[49]
  • Release date: 17 November 2008
  • Label: Cherry Pop


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1983 "Calling Your Name" 4 10 17 Despite Straight Lines
1984 "Cry and Be Free" 31
"You Don't Love Me" 40 26 18 16
1985 "Baby U Left Me (In the Cold)" 70
"Pray for That Sunshine"
2002 "Sooner or Later" single only
"Spirit in the Sky"
2003 "Hold On Tight"


  1. ^ "Marilyn Biography". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  2. ^ Cool in the 80s -
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Marilyn performing 'You Don't Love Me' at the Children's Variety Performance, 1984
  13. ^≤/ref≥ In 1985
  14. ^
  15. ^ Photograph of Marilyn and Boy George, New York, 1985 -
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Photograph of Marilyn and Madonna 1985 Band Aid -
  26. ^ Photograph of Marilyn and Madonna 1985 -
  27. ^
  28. ^ Photograph of Marilyn arriving at the New York Premiere of 'Marilyn' the stage show - Opening Night Performance of 'Marilyn' - February 20, 1985 -
  29. ^ Marilyn A.K.A. Peter Robinson during Birthday Party for Darren McGavin - May 6, 1985 at Regine's in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage) -
  30. ^ Marilyn A.K.A. Peter Robinson during Boy George Sighting at Limelight in New York City - Febuary 20, 1985 at The Limelight in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage) -
  31. ^
  32. ^ Photograph of Diana Ross and Marilyn -
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^➤-a-taste-of-the-80s-blitz-kids-—-this-photo-book-captures-their-unseen-glory/
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^ "Chart Stats - Marilyn". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  51. ^ "Discografie Marilyn". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  52. ^ "Search the charts". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  53. ^ "Discografie Marilyn". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  54. ^ "Discography Marilyn". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  55. ^ "Certified Awards". Retrieved 2013-11-26. 

External links