|Birth name||Michael James Hucknall|
8 June 1960 |
Denton, Lancashire, England
|Genres||Pop, R&B, soul|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, piano|
East West (1989–2000)
|Associated acts||The Frantic Elevators
Michael "Mick" Hucknall (born 8 June 1960) is an English singer and songwriter. Formerly the lead singer of the modestly successful punk rock band The Frantic Elevators, Hucknall achieved international fame in the 1980s as the lead singer and songwriter of the soul-influenced pop band Simply Red, with whom he enjoyed a 25-year career and eventually sold over 50 million albums. Hucknall is recognisable for his smooth, distinctive voice and wide vocal range, as well as his red curly hair. He has been described by critic Trevor J. Leeden as "one of the truly great blue-eyed soul singers."
Hucknall was born in Denton as an only child. His mother left him when he was three; the upheaval caused by this event inspired him to write "Holding Back the Years," which would become one of Simply Red's biggest and most well-known hits. He was raised by his father, Reginald (1935–2009), a barber in Stockport. He attended Audenshaw School. It would not be until the mid-1990s that he would finally reconnect with his mother, Maureen, who was by then living in Dallas. As of a 2008 interview, he had only seen her on two occasions since she first abandoned the family.
Hucknall was among the people present at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester in June 1976 where the Sex Pistols were playing. His interest in the music scene led to the launch of his career in the late 1970s, when he was part of the formation of the band Frantic Elevators.
The Frantic Elevators released four singles, including a version of "Holding Back the Years", which he later recorded with Simply Red.
As lead singer and core member of Simply Red, he has become the identifiable face of the band. His face and long curly red hair were featured prominently on album artwork and in videos.
Hucknall is also one of the founders and financial backers of the successful reggae label Blood and Fire. He also manages the record label simplyred.com.
On 19 May 2008 Hucknall released his first solo album Tribute to Bobby, a tribute to the blues musician Bobby "Blue" Bland. "Poverty", the first single from the album, was released on 19 May, with the second, "Farther Up the Road" scheduled for release on 14 July.
In October 2009, Mick appeared at a charity performance as vocalist for a re-formed version of Faces, replacing Rod Stewart. In May 2010, it was announced that the new Faces line-up with Mick as frontman would be performing festival shows in 2010, followed by a world tour in 2011.
In October 2012, he released American Soul, a collection of his favourite music re-recorded with his vocals. During a series of interviews promoting the American Soul album, Hucknall revealed that he has also been working on an album of original material, to be released after American Soul has reached the end of its life cycle.
Politics and philanthropy
Hucknall is active in politics and is a prominent celebrity supporter of the UK Labour Party. In 1997, he declared his support for the Labour Party at that year's general election – which it won by a landslide under the leadership of Tony Blair to return to government after 18 years in opposition. In 1998 Hucknall was named in a list of those who donated more than 5,000 pounds to the party. In 2003, Hucknall backed Tony Blair's stance on Operation Iraqi Freedom, claiming he had "more respect for Blair than ever" and pointed out that British critics of the war were lucky to be living in a country where they could express their opinions. However, he claimed in 2008 that his conscience prevented him from donating to the party again because of the war, although he would still vote for them.
Simply Red were touring Australia in February 2009 and were due to do a concert in the Yarra Valley, on the weekend of the Black Saturday bushfires, which devastated a large area of the state of Victoria. Because of the bushfires, the concert had to be cancelled. Mick Hucknall and the band donated generously to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
Hucknall and his partner, Gabriella Wesberry, had a daughter, Romy True Hucknall, in June 2007. Hucknall and Wesberry married on 25 May 2010, at the 16th-century Forter Castle in Glenisla, Perthshire, Scotland. He spends a considerable amount of time in Ireland, where he purchased the Glenmore Estate near the village of Cloghan, County Donegal, with bandmate Chris De Margary. Hucknall and De Margary are keen fishermen, and operate a fishing and hunting tourism business from the estate.
He co-owns Ask Property Development, a company that constructs city squares and public buildings.
He spends much time in Catania, Sicily, where he produces wines under the label "Il Cantante" (The Singer).
He has dated a handful of celebrities throughout his career. In 2010, Hucknall admitted that in his most successful years, between 1985 and 1987, he would have sex with about three women a day and described himself as a sex addict.
|2008||Tribute to Bobby
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2008||"Poverty"||—||Tribute to Bobby|
|"Farther Up the Road"||—|
|2011||"Happy This Christmas"||—||Non-album single|
|2012||"That's How Strong My Love Is"||118||American Soul|
In 1986, he provided backup vocals for the musical film Little Shop of Horrors.
|2002||"T-Bone Shuffle"||Jools Holland's Big Band Rhythm & Blues|
|2012||"One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)"||Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International|
|“||I think a lot of white bands miss the point of rock 'n' roll. But when you hear Public Enemy it suddenly comes back to life.||”|
- Leeden, Trevor J. "Mick Hucknall - American Soul". Rhythms. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Reginald Hucknall 1935–2009 R.I.P.". Mick Hucknall – Simply Red – Official Site. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
- Davies, Hugh (19 June 2001). "Simply Red star cleared after arrest for rape". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- Cassidy, Sarah (9 August 2008). "Traditional values pay off for school with best results". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- Ellen, Barbara (23 March 2003). "The mother of all bachelors". The Observer (London).
- 2008 Mick Hucknall Exclusive article
- "Pop group Simply Red to split up". BBC News. 24 October 2007.
- "BBC music review of Tribute to Bobby". 20 May 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
- "Hucknall named Faces new singer".
- Matthews, Jenny (21 April 2005). "Who's backing whom at the election?". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
- "'Luvvies' for Labour". BBC News. 30 August 1998. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- Hastings, Chris (20 April 2008). "Mick Hucknall has nothing to hide any more". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Richard Jinman, 5 July 2003, "Taking the Mick" , Sydney Morning Herald
- "Pope sends sympathies, aid flows for fire victims". ABC News. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "Mick Hucknall and Gabriella Westberry Are Having a Baby" Dot Spotter
- Culley, Maureen (29 May 2010). "Mick Hucknall marries in exclusive Scottish ceremony". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- "Mick Hucknall in dispute over rights on Donegal estate" (requires paid subscription to view the full article). The Irish Times. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- Rawlinson, Kevin (5 December 2009). "Something got him started: Hucknall takes neighbour to court". The Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- Boulos, Nick (20 December 2009). "Fame & Fortune: Mick Hucknall". The Sunday Times (UK). Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- "Mick's red is not so simple". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 April 2004. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
- "Mick Hucknall on wine, his women and songs". The Daily Mail Online. 19 April 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
- Addley, Esther; Fitzpatrick, Rob+ (3 December 2010). "Mick Hucknall apologies to thousands of women he slept with". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Mick Hucknall at acharts.us acharts.us
- Peak chart positions for singles in the United Kingdom:
- "That's How Strong My Love Is": Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: New Entries Update – 10.11.2012 (Week 44)". zobbel.de. Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Koda, Cub. Jools Holland's Big Band Rhythm & Blues - Jools Holland at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 457. CN 5585.