Mark Ronson

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Mark Ronson
Mark Ronson on Coke & Olympics, 2012.jpg
Ronson performing in 2012
Born Mark Daniel Ronson
(1975-09-04) 4 September 1975 (age 39)
St John's Wood, London, England
Other names DJ Ronson
Occupation
  • Musician
  • DJ
  • producer
  • songwriter
  • singer
  • guitarist
Spouse(s) Joséphine de La Baume (m. 2011)
Relatives Charlotte Ronson (sister)
Samantha Ronson (sister)
Musical career
Genres
Years active 1993–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website markronson.co.uk

Mark Daniel Ronson (born 4 September 1975) is an English musician, DJ, singer, and record producer.

While his debut album Here Comes the Fuzz failed to make an impact on the charts, his second album, Version, reached number two in the UK Album chart, and included three UK top 10 singles.[2] This success won him a Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist in 2008.[3] His third studio album, Record Collection, was released on 27 September 2010, peaking at number two in the UK.

In 2014, Ronson achieved his first UK and US number one single with "Uptown Funk", which featured vocals from Bruno Mars. In 2015 the song won Ronson the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. His fourth studio album, Uptown Special, was released in January 2015, and became his first UK number one album.

Ronson has also produced multi-platform, Grammy-winning albums for artists such as Amy Winehouse and Adele.

Early life[edit]

Ronson was born at the Wellington Hospital, St John's Wood, the son of Anne Dexter and Laurence Ronson, a real estate mogul and music manager.[4] His parents are both Ashkenazi Jews (his ancestors were Jewish immigrants from Austria, Russia, and Lithuania); Ronson was brought up in Masorti Judaism and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.[5][6] Ronson's family name was originally Aaronson, but his grandfather Henry changed it to Ronson.[7] Ronson is the nephew of property tycoon Gerald Ronson. Through his mother, he is related to British Conservative politicians Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Leon Brittan,[8] as well as Odeon Cinemas founder Oscar Deutsch.[9][10]

After his parents divorced, his mother married Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones,[11] which contributed to a childhood surrounded by music.[12] Ronson has twin sisters who are two years younger than him, Charlotte Ronson, a fashion designer, and Samantha Ronson, a singer and DJ. Ronson also has five younger half-siblings. Alexander and Annabelle, from his mother's remarriage to Mick Jones as well as Henrietta, David, and Joshua, from his father's remarriage to model Michele First.

At the age of eight Ronson, along with his mother, step-father and twin sisters, moved to New York City. Living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan he counted Sean Lennon, son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, amongst his childhood friends.[13] Ronson attended high school at the private Collegiate School in Manhattan before attending Vassar College and then New York University (NYU).[14]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, he began dating Quincy Jones's daughter, actress-singer Rashida Jones.[15] They became engaged in March 2003, with Ronson proposing by creating a crossword puzzle with the message "Will you marry me".[16] Their relationship ended approximately one year later.[17][18]

Ronson married French actress and singer Joséphine de La Baume, who had previously appeared in the music video for "The Bike Song". They married in Aix-en-Provence, in the South of France, on 5 September 2011.[19][20]

In 2009 he participated in PETA's "Please Don't Wear Any Fur" campaign.[21] In 2009 Ronson was voted the most stylish man in the UK by GQ magazine.[22] In 2015 he was named one of the magazine's 50 best dressed British men.[23]

In 2011, a portrait of Ronson was painted by British artist Joe Simpson; the painting was exhibited around the UK, including a solo exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall in London.[24] Ronson spends his time between London and New York. Since childhood, he has been a fan of English Premier League football club Chelsea F.C., and has also been a fan of the New York Knicks basketball team.[25][26]

Career[edit]

While attending New York University (NYU), Ronson became a regular at downtown hip hop spots and made his name as a DJ on the New York club scene in 1993, charging $50 per job. He soon became known for his diverse, genre-spanning selection. Influenced by funk, the hip hop scene of New York and the more rock influence of the UK (all of which he incorporated in his sets) he attracted a wider audience. He was soon a popular and sought after DJ in New York City, frequently booked for high profile events and private parties. In 1999, Ronson was featured in an ad wearing Tommy Hilfiger denim in the recording studio for an ad campaign for the company.[27]

2001–05: Here Comes the Fuzz and initial producing[edit]

Mark made the leap from DJ to producer after Nikka Costa's manager heard one of his sets and introduced the musicians. Ronson produced Costa's song "Everybody Got Their Something", and Ronson soon signed a record contract with Elektra Records. He had already produced tracks for Hilfiger ads and, in 2001, used the connection to have Costa's single "Like a Feather" used in an commercial.[28]

Ronson's debut album, Here Comes the Fuzz, was released in 2003. Despite poor initial sales it was well received by critics. As well as writing the songs on the album, Ronson created the beats, played guitar, keyboards, and bass. The album featured performances from artists from diverse genres, including Mos Def, Jack White, Sean Paul, Nikka Costa, Nappy Roots and Rivers Cuomo.[29] The best known song from the album, "Ooh Wee", samples "Sunny" by Boney M and features Nate Dogg, Ghostface Killah, Trife Da God, and Saigon. It was featured that year in the movie Honey and its soundtrack. The song was later used in the movies Hitch and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.[29] Two weeks after releasing Here Comes the Fuzz, Elektra Records dropped him.[30] Ronson has since produced multiple songs on the albums of singers Lamya,[31] Macy Gray,[32] Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, and Robbie Williams.

In 2004, Ronson formed his own record label, Allido Records, a subsidiary of Sony BMG's J Records, along with his longtime manager Rich Kleiman. The first artist he signed to Allido was rapper Saigon, who later left to sign with Just Blaze's Fort Knox Entertainment. He has signed Rhymefest, most well known for winning the Grammy for co-writing Kanye West's "Jesus Walks".

2006–09: Version[edit]

Ronson in 2007

On 2 April 2007 Ronson released a cover of The Smiths' track "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" under the title "Stop Me" on, featuring singer Daniel Merriweather. It reached number 2 in the UK singles charts, giving Ronson his biggest hit single until 2014's Uptown Funk. Ronson remixed the Bob Dylan song "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" in promotion for the three disc Bob Dylan set titled Dylan released October 2007. Ronson has also produced Candie Payne's "One More Chance (Ronson mix)" in 2007.

"Version" was well received by critics particularly in the UK and US. In May 2007 it was awarded the title Album of the Month by the British dance music magazine, Mixmag. On 23 June, Ronson made the cover of the Guardian newspaper's Guide magazine, alongside singer Lily Allen.

In June 2007, Ronson signed DC hip hop artist Wale to Allido Records. In late 2007, he focused on production, working with Daniel Merriweather on his debut album, and recording again with Amy Winehouse and Robbie Williams.[33]

On 24 October 2007 Ronson performed a one-off set at The Roundhouse in Camden, London as part of the BBC Electric Proms 2007. The performance featured the BBC Concert Orchestra and included special guests Terry Hall, Sean Lennon, Tim Burgess, Alex Greenwald, Ricky Wilson, Charlie Waller, Adele and Kyle Falconer.[34]

In December 2007 Ronson received his first Grammy Award nomination, for 'Producer of the Year, Non Classical'. Ronson's work with Amy Winehouse also received substantial accolades, gaining 6 nominations. Winehouse's "'Back to Black album, mostly produced by Ronson, was nominated for 'Album of the Year' and 'Best Pop Vocal Album'. Her song "Rehab" received nods for 'Best Female Pop Vocal Performance', 'Song of the Year' and 'Record of the Year'. Ronson would go on to win three Grammys: 'Producer of the Year' as well as 'Best Pop Vocal Album' and 'Record of the Year' (the latter two of which he shared with Amy Winehouse) in early February 2008.[35]

Ronson is credited as producer on a mixtape album called Man in the Mirror, released in January 2008 by the rapper Rhymefest which is a tribute to the pop star Michael Jackson. The album features Rhymefest appearing to speak to Michael Jackson using archive audio from interviews with the pop star. The same month Ronson received three nominations for the Brit Awards, including 'Best Male Solo Artist', 'Best Album' (Version) and 'Song of the Year' ("Valerie"). Ronson won his first Brit for 'Best Male Solo Artist' in mid February 2008 over favourite Mika. He also performed a medley of "God Put a Smile upon Your Face" with Adele, "Stop Me" with Daniel Merriweather and "Valerie" with Amy Winehouse.

The performance allowed for a large boost in sales in the iTunes UK Top 100. "Valerie" would jump almost 30 spots in the days after the event, while "Just", "Stop Me" and "Oh My God" all appeared in the chart as well. That same week, Ronson appeared twice in the UK Top 40, with "Valerie" rebounding to number 13 and "Just" at number 31, his fourth Top 40 hit from "Version". The Brits performance also allowed for "Version" to climb 18 spots to number 4.

Around this time, Ronson received his first number one on an international chart (Dutch Top 40) for "Valerie", which has spent four consecutive weeks at the top of the chart. He collaborated with Kaiser Chiefs on their third album.[36]

Ronson toured the album "Version" extensively through both the UK and Europe during 2008. Notable sold out performances at The Hammersmith Apollo and Brixton Academy. Ronson is known to champion new upcoming artists on the road with him, such as Sam Sparro and Julian Perretta. Ronson's string backing was provided by the all-female string quartet Demon Strings. In May 2008, Ronson played at the largest private party in the world, the Trinity Ball in Trinity College Dublin. On 2 July 2008 in Paris, Mark Ronson performed live with Duran Duran for an invited audience. They played new arrangements by Ronson of some Duran Duran songs, along with tracks from the band's new album, Red Carpet Massacre. Ronson & the Version Players also performed songs from his album Version. Simon LeBon sang. As of March 2009 Ronson was working with the group on their 13th album.[37] The Album, titled All You Need Is Now, was released digitally exclusively via Apple's iTunes on 21 December 2010, while the physical CD was released in March 2011 with additional tracks. In 2013-14 Ronson was once again in the studio producing Duran Duran's 14th album, making it the first time the band have worked with the same producer on consecutive albums since Colin Thurston produced their first two albums in the 1980s.

2010–12: Record Collection[edit]

Ronson in 2012

in Spring of 2010 Ronson confirmed the name of his new album Record Collection, and said that he hoped to have it out by September 2010. Additionally, Ronson announced the name of his new band, "The Business Intl.'", which is the alias adopted by Ronson on the third studio album. The first single "Bang Bang Bang". which featured rapper Q-Tip and singer MNDR[38] was released on 12 July 2010, where it peaked at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart, giving Ronson his fourth Top 10 hit. The single also saw success on the Irish Singles Chart, where it peaked at number 18. The second single from the album, "The Bike Song", was 19 September 2010[39] and features Kyle Falconer from The View and Spank Rock. The album was released on 27 September 2010. This is the first Ronson albums on which he features as a singer.[40]

Although Ronson had never met Michael Jackson he was given the vocal track to a song titled "Lovely Way", sung by Michael Jackson in 2010, to produce for Jackson's posthumous album Michael. He submitted the track, but it did not make the track listing for Michael. Ronson said about the rumours surrounding the vocals on the track (due to the controversy surrounding the Cascio tracks on that same album), "It was definitely him singing. I was given a vocal track to work with but I never actually met Michael. [...] It's in the vein of Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' and John Lennon's 'Imagine'."[41]

He provided the score for the 2011 film Arthur. Ronson was one of the artists featured in the 2012 documentary Re:GENERATION Music Project. His song "A La Modeliste" features Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Trombone Shorty, members of The Dap-Kings, and Zigaboo Modeliste.[42]

2013–present: Uptown Special[edit]

On 30 October 2014 Ronson announced, via Twitter, a new single from his upcoming album, to be released on 10 November 2014. The single, "Uptown Funk" features Bruno Mars vocals.[43] On 22 November 2014, Ronson and Mars appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live performing "Uptown Funk" and "Feel Right" (featuring Mystikal). "Uptown Funk" reached number one in the UK and US singles charts, and also became the all-time most streamed track in a single week in the UK, having been streamed a record 2.49 million times in a week.[44] In February 2015 the song won Ronson the Brit Award for British Single of the Year.[45]

Videos[edit]

Ronson created a video, along with Directors Gary Breslin and Jordan Galland: Circuit Breaker, which is an homage to video game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.[46]

In 2001, Ronson appeared in the Aaliyah music video "More Than A Woman" as a DJ.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

Production discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

Awards[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2008 Himself Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Won
"Rehab" with Amy Winehouse Record of the Year Won
Back to Black with Amy Winehouse Best Pop Vocal Album Won
Album of the Year Nominated
2013 "Locked Out of Heaven" with Bruno Mars Record of the Year Nominated

Brit Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2008 Himself Best British Male Solo Artist Won
"Valerie" (feat. Amy Winehouse) Best Single Nominated
Version Best Album Nominated
Back to Black Nominated
2015 "Uptown Funk" (feat. Bruno Mars) Best Single Won
British Video Nominated

Other awards[edit]

  • Vodafone Live Music Awards – Best Live Male – Winner 2008
  • Glamour Women of the Year – Men of the Year – Winner 2008
  • MOBO Awards 2010 Best Video – Bang Bang Bang (feat. Q-Tip & MNDR), Best Song – Bang Bang Bang (feat. Q-Tip & MNDR)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mark Ronson | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. 4 September 1975. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "UK Charts - Mark Ronson". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 December 2014
  3. ^ "Mark Ronson". Brits.co.uk. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Mark, Charlotte, and Samantha Ronson, Ann Dexter-Jones, The Royal Tenenbaums - Harper's BAZAAR Magazine". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Guilt & Pleasure". Guiltandpleasure.com. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Mark Ronson interview". DailyJews. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Joseph, Claudia (20 January 2008). "The truth about the svengali seen paying a late-night visit to troubled Amy Winehouse's hotel". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "The man Amy and Lily go to when they want a hit". The Times (London). 27 January 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Sansom, Ian (26 June 2010). "Great dynasties of the world: The Dexter-Joneses". The Guardian (London). 
  10. ^ Ravi Somaiya (12 August 2007). "Mark Ronson: The Forrest Gump of hip-hop?". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Mick Jones of Foreigner: Songwriter Interviews". Songfacts.com. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Petridis, Alexis (6 October 2007). "Cover boy". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  13. ^ Byrne, Suzy (6 February 2014). "Foreigner's Mick Jones Reminisces About Opening for the Beatles". Music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Caramanica, Jon. (22 April 2007) How Mark Ronson Went From D.J. to White-Soul Producer. New York Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  15. ^ (13 May 2002), "rashida jones". People. 57 (18):140
  16. ^ Abel, Olivia (17 March 2003), "Passages". People. 59 (10):81
  17. ^ "Rashida Jones: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  18. ^ Abel, Olivia (2003-03-17). "Passages". People. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  19. ^ "Mark Ronson marries Josephine de la Baume in Provence". The Telegraph. 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  20. ^ "And the groom wore candy stripes! Mark Ronson marries his French bride Josephine de la Baume in romantic Provence". Daily Mail. 2011-09-05. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  21. ^ "PETA's Blog | PETA". Blog.peta.org. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Ronson Tops Fashion List". Contactmusic.com. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 Jan 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  24. ^ NME "Musician Portraits - Joe Simpson's paintings of rock stars" "2011"
  25. ^ "Mark Ronson's Premier League predictions". BBC. Retrieved 29 January 2015
  26. ^ "Mark Ronson - my die hard passion for the New York Knicks". Purple Revolver. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  27. ^ Cardona, Mercedes M. (8 February 1999), "Hilfiger's new apparel lines getting individual ad efforts". Advertising Age. 70 (6):24
  28. ^ Hall, Rashaun (5 May 2001), "Virgin's Nikka Costa Goes Beyond Family Ties". Billboard. 113 (18):14
  29. ^ a b Swanson, David (24 July 2003) "Mark Ronson". Rolling Stone. (927):27
  30. ^ "Mark Ronson Shows Off His 'Record Collection' on New Album". Billboard. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  31. ^ Paoletta, Michael (13 July 2002), "J Records' Lamya Experiences 'Learning' Curve With Debut Album". Billboard. 114 (28):21
  32. ^ M. P.; Paoletta, Michael (2 August 2003), "The Trouble With Being Myself". Billboard. 115 (31):35
  33. ^ [1][dead link]
  34. ^ "Electric Proms 2007 - Mark Ronson and special guests with the BBC Concert Orchestra". BBC. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  35. ^ [2][dead link]
  36. ^ "Mark Ronson: 'New Kaiser Chiefs album echoes debut'". NME. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008. 
  37. ^ "Entertainment | Duran Duran recording with Ronson". BBC News. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  38. ^ Zane Lowe. "Zane Lowe's Hottest Records blog: Hottests Record: Mark Ronson and The Business Intl' - 'Bang Bang Bang'". BBC. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  39. ^ "The Bike Song: Mark Ronson: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  40. ^ "Interview with Mark Ronson". Lifelounge. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  41. ^ "Mark Ronson's Michael Jackson track 'definitely' features King of Pop's vocals". NME. 6 November 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  42. ^ "Re:GENERATION Music Project". regenerationmusicproject.com. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  43. ^ Robbie Daw (30 October 2014). "Mark Ronson Announces "Uptown Funk" Single, Featuring Bruno Mars". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  44. ^ Wright, Callum (28 December 2014). "Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk breaks all-time streaming record!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  45. ^ "Brit Awards 2015: Winners list". BBC. Retrieved 26 February 2015
  46. ^ Transmissions, Souterrain. (15 May 2010) Mark Ronson's Circuit Breaker (Homage to Zelda) – Video Download on Vimeo. Vimeo.com. Retrieved 3 August 2011.

External links[edit]