Nicky Stevens

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Nicky Stevens
Nicky Stevens.jpg
Nicky Stevens in 1991
Background information
Birth name Helen Thomas
Born (1951-12-03) 3 December 1951 (age 62)
Carmarthen, Wales
Genres Pop music
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1967–present
Labels Pye, EMI, Dawn, Warwick

Nicky Stevens (born Helen Thomas in Carmarthen, Wales, 3 December 1951)[1] is a singer, famous as a member of pop group Brotherhood of Man. She is the only Welsh person to have won the Eurovision Song Contest.

Early career[edit]

Nicky Stevens began singing at an early age. At the age of four she was singing in a chapel in Carmarthen, and following lessons eventually joined the Hywel Girls Choir. She also studied classical music as a singer and pianist.[2] At the age of 15 she toured the Continent as a singer, performing in night clubs. Following this she went on to tour South Africa as well as clubs around the UK. She also held a residency in Swansea's Townsman nightclub.[1][3] One of her early appointments was as a supporting act to Little and Large in 1970. Stevens worked mainly performing popular songs and found it a struggle at first to adapt her vocals from her classical roots. During this period she also took on a job as a telephone operator. This lasted for nine months and is the only job she has ever had outside the entertainment business.[4]

Brotherhood of Man[edit]

In 1972, while working as a session singer, Stevens came to the attention of Tony Hiller, who was looking to recruit new members for his group Brotherhood of Man. Hiller was manager and songwriter for the group, but they had recently disbanded and keen to keep the name alive, which was still in demand for television work, he recruited Stevens alongside Martin Lee and Lee Sheriden. In 1973, signed to Deram Records, they released their first single, "Happy Ever After".

Later in the year another female singer was added to the group, Sandra Stevens (no relation) and as a four-piece, Brotherhood of Man went on to enjoy great success around the world. Scoring their first hit in 1974 and first No.1 the year after, the group entered and won the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Save Your Kisses for Me".[5][6][7] To date, she is the only Welsh person to win Eurovision. For the next three years, the group regularly hit the chart and scored two more No.1 singles in the UK, "Angelo" and "Figaro".[8][9]

In addition to singing, Stevens is an amateur pianist, and performed the piano accompaniment to an otherwise a cappella recording of "Send in the Clowns" in 1978, which was featured on the band's Twenty Greatest album.

In 1988, while still with the group, Stevens recorded some songs with Dutch singer Albert West. In the early 1990s she also recorded some songs with British rock band Aslan1 as the lead singer.

Stevens still performs with Brotherhood of Man today in its original line-up, taking in UK tours and television appearances throughout Europe.[10] In November 2013, Stevens was the subject of a documentary Time of Your Life on ITV Wales talking about her career and early life growing up in a musical environment in Camarthen.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In June 1976 Stevens married the group's guitarist, Alan Johnson.[12] They have since divorced.[13] In the 1990s, Stevens lived in Sturminster Marshall, but as of 2011 lives in Corfe Mullen, both in Dorset.[2]

1 Not to be confused with the Irish rock band of the same name.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Wales' only Eurovision winner still believes in the Brotherhood of Man". Wales Online. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b This is Dorset, 28 October 2011
  3. ^ Look-In 1977 No.34 (page 15). "1977 feature in Look-in Magazine". Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  4. ^ Brotherhood of Man – BBC Breakfast News interview, 24 May 2008
  5. ^ Radio538, Netherlands. "Dutch charts – "Lady", 1974". Retrieved 2 December 2008. 
  6. ^ Brotherhood of Man Dutch website. "Brotherhood of Man World Chart history". Retrieved 26 September 2008. 
  7. ^ The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. O'Connor, John Kennedy. Carlton Books 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  8. ^ Chartstats. ""Angelo" at No.1". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2008. 
  9. ^ Chartstats. ""Figaro" at No.1". Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2008. 
  10. ^ Official website. "Concert details". Retrieved 15 August 2008. 
  11. ^ ITV Wales – Time of Your Life, 13 November 2013
  12. ^ Look-In 1977 No.34 (page 18). "1977 Brotherhood of Man feature". Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  13. ^ Metro. "Lee Sheriden interview". Retrieved 16 December 2008. 
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"