Rosenberg performing in Southampton, Hampshire, England in January 2013
|Birth name||Michael David Rosenberg|
17 May 1984 |
Brighton and Hove, England
|Genres||Folk rock, indie folk|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, musician|
|Years active||2003–2009: with the band Passenger
2009–present: solo singer-songwriter Passenger
Black Crow (2012–Present)
|Associated acts||Passenger, Ed Sheeran|
Michael David Rosenberg (born 17 May 1984), better known by his stage name Passenger, is an English folk-rock singer-songwriter. Previously the main vocalist and songwriter of Passenger, Rosenberg opted to keep the band's name for his solo work after the band dissolved in 2009. His most successful single, "Let Her Go", has topped the charts in many countries. In 2014 the song was nominated for the Brit Award for British Single of the Year, and he received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Most Performed Work.
Rosenberg was born on 17 May 1984 in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, England to an English mother and an American father, Gerard Rosenberg, originally from Vineland, New Jersey. His father's family is Jewish. Rosenberg learned classical guitar at a young age, and around 14–15 started to write songs. He did not apply himself at school in Brighton, spending his time on music. Rosenberg left school at the age of 16 to pursue a career in the music industry and spent the next few years as a busker in England and Australia. Rosenberg still lives in Brighton.
Rosenberg’s father (a film production worker) introduced him to ex-Faithless member Jamie Catto in 2001, leading to a two-song spot at the Free Burma Campaign benefit gig at the Royal Court in London in 2002. On the night, Rosenberg met his future writing partner Andrew Phillips and established contact with the IE Music label. Back in Brighton, Phillips and Rosenberg pooled their musical influences (from Simon And Garfunkel to DJ Shadow), and started to write songs at Phillips’ in-house studio in Hove. During 2003 they formed the Mike Rosenberg Band, engaging Marcus O’Dair (bass), Alon Cohen (drums) and Richard Brinklow (keyboards) through connections within the Brighton music scene.
Rosenberg did his first performance when he was 16. He founded Passenger with Andrew Phillips in 2003 in Brighton and Hove. The five-person band's debut and only album, Wicked Man's Rest, was released in 2007, on Chalkmark. Rosenberg wrote the majority of the album's tracks, with the exception of "Four Horses", which was written by Phillips. The band broke up in 2009.
2009–10: Solo career and Wide Eyes Blind Love
After the break-up of Passenger, Rosenberg kept the stage-name Passenger and took to busking for a solo music career. He first took his act in October 2009 to Australia, where he supported acts such as Lior and Sydneysiders Elana Stone and Brian Campeau, and then played One Movement, a major music industry-focus festival in Perth. This earned him a big following in Australia and he was selling out 500-seater venues across Australia. His debut solo album, Wide Eyes Blind Love, was released in 2009. He also played various shows in the United Kingdom during this time, including a support slot for Turin Brakes' tenth anniversary show at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London.
2010–11: Flight of the Crow
The follow-up album, Flight of the Crow, was recorded in Australia and saw him joined in the studio by various Australian independent musical talents including Lior, Kate Miller-Heidke, Boy & Bear, Josh Pyke and Katie Noonan, in addition to a fans-only limited release Divers and Submarines.
2011–13: All The Little Lights
On his next album, recorded at Sydney's Linear Recording, Roesenberg was joined once again by a core Australian band that included Boy & Bear drummer Tim Hart, jazz bassist Cameron Undy, and keyboards player Stu Hunter, from Katie Noonan & The Captains. During the summer and autumn of 2012, Rosenberg toured the UK, opening for Jools Holland and good friend Ed Sheeran, the latter of whom he had known since he was about 15 while living in Cambridge. He also joined Australian acts the John Butler Trio, and Josh Pyke with a co-headlined UK tour. He also opened for Ed Sheeran's 2012 North American tour and also in Paris. All The Little Lights was released in summer of 2012 in North America on Nettwerk Records. He also opened for Ed Sheeran on his four out of five sell out dates in Ireland in January 2013 and in Australia and New Zealand in early 2013, and supported Sheeran in his Brighton dates and in Reading  Rosenberg performed "All the Little Lights" at the Children in Need Rocks concert at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, broadcast on BBC One on 14 November.
On 26 March 2014 Passenger announced details of his fifth studio album. He released Whispers on 9 June 2014. Talking to Digital Spy about the album he said, "This is easily the most 'up' album I've ever made, it's quite cinematic. There are lots of big stories and big ideas. There are also some sombre moments about loneliness and death but hey, it wouldn't be a Passenger album without those." He released "Hearts on Fire" as the lead single from the album on 14 April 2014.
Awards and nominations
- Independent Music Awards 2013: "Let Her Go" – Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song
- Galgalatz Israeli annual International song chart – "Let Her Go" – Best song of 2013.
- Brit Awards 2014: "Let Her Go" – British Single of the Year (Nominated)
- Ivor Novello Awards 2014: "Let Her Go" – PRS for Music Most Performed Work.
- All the Little Lights Tour (2012–13)
- Whispers Tour (2014)
- Studio albums
- Wide Eyes Blind Love (2009)
- Divers & Submarines (2010)
- Flight of the Crow (2010)
- All the Little Lights (2012)
- Whispers (2014)
- Pakinkis, Mike (22 May 2014). "Ivor Novello Awards 2014: All the winners". Music Week (London, England: Intent Media). Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "Passenger, a.k.a. Mike Rosenberg, grateful for Ed Sheeran’s support". thestar.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Twitter / passengermusic: Thank you all so much for my birthday messages xxx im having a lovely day thanks!! Manchester – you were". Twitter. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- "Brits Are Here". Philly.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Passenger’s Mike Rosenberg tackles dark subjects with a light touch". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- [dead link]
- Doyle, Patrick. "Q&A: Passenger." Rolling Stone; 13 February 2014: 26. ProQuest. Web. 16 April 2014
- ""Passenger, a.k.a. Mike Rosenberg, grateful for Ed Sheeran’s support"". thestar.com. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "An evening of music and comedy for Burma". Burma Campaign UK. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- "Passenger". Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th ed. 2014.
- Aston, Martin. "Passenger. Wicked Man's Rest", The Times, p. 24. (15 September 2007)
- . "Double date – troubadour brings travelling tales to city", Bath Chronicle, p. 46. (18 August 2011)
- "Passenger – About". Facebook. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- "Vancouver Weekly: Interview by Maria Perez with Passenger (Mike Roesenberg)". Vancouver Weekly. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "All The Little Lights North America Release Date".
- "Ed Sheeran – UK (Belfast) and Ireland (Dublin) Tour Diary".
- "10/19/12". Ents24. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Line up". Children in Need Rocks. BBC. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Passenger announces new album Whispers – Music News -". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "12th Annual Independent Music Awards Winners Announced". Independentmusicawards.com. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "- גלגלצ -". Glgltz.co.il. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- ""Passenger"". Brits.co.uk. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
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