Martin Lee (singer)

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For other people named Martin Lee, see Martin Lee (disambiguation).
Martin Lee
Martin Lee -BOM.jpg
Martin Lee
Background information
Birth name Martin Barnes
Born (1949-11-26) 26 November 1949 (age 65)
London, United Kingdom
Genres Pop music
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1973–present
Labels Pye Records

Martin Lee (born 26 November 1949) is a singer-songwriter, best known as a member of the British pop group Brotherhood of Man.[1]

Early career[edit]

Lee was born Martin Barnes in Purley (then in Surrey, but now in London), but spent five years of his youth in Australia. As a teenager he had a great interest in music and after learning to play guitar he formed his first band.[2] In the early 1970s he came to the attention of songwriter and publisher Tony Hiller, while he was working as lead singer with the Johnny Howard Band. Hiller signed him up to his company, Tony Hiller Music initially as a writer.[3] On discovering that he could sing as well, he asked him to be part of the group he managed, Brotherhood of Man. The group had recently disbanded and Hiller was keen to put a new line-up together. Along with Lee Sheriden and Nicky Stevens and later Sandra Stevens, the new line-up was born. Lee had already released a solo single by this time, a song called "Cry José", but it failed to gain much interest.[4] Working alongside Hiller and Sheriden, he began composing new songs for the group during 1972. The following year they released their first single and the year after, their first hit. Lee quickly emerged as the lead singer of the group, taking the lead on many of their songs, including that first hit "Lady".[5]

Eurovision win[edit]

In 1975, Brotherhood of Man scored their first European No.1 with the song "Kiss Me Kiss Your Baby", again with a Martin Lee lead vocal. Later that year, the writing team set about composing a song they would enter for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The song they came up with was "Save Your Kisses for Me" and featured Lee on lead vocals. The song went on to win the Eurovision and made No.1 in several countries including the UK, where it became a million seller. Lee received three Ivor Novello Awards for this composition.[6]

The group continued this run of success over the next three years with two more UK No.1 hits "Angelo" and "Figaro" - both co-written by Lee.[7][8]

Lee still performs with Brotherhood of Man today as they regularly tour the UK and appear on television throughout Europe.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Not long after she joined the group, Sandra Stevens began a relationship with Lee, and they were living together by the time of their Eurovision win. In August 1979 they married and are still together today.[10] They live in Surrey.

References[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Netherlands Teach-In
with "Ding-A-Dong"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
1976
(as par of Brotherhood of Man)
Succeeded by
France Marie Myriam
with "L'oiseau et l'enfant"
Preceded by
The Shadows
with "Let Me Be the One"
UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
1976
(as par of Brotherhood of Man)
Succeeded by
Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran
with "Rock Bottom"