Gift pictured at a Grammy rehearsal in 1990
|Born||Roland Lee Gift
28 May 1961
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
|Known for||Member of Fine Young Cannibals and Akrylykz|
Gift was born in Sparkhill in Birmingham to a white mother and a black father, and lived in the city until the age of 11. He then moved to Hull, where his mother, Pauline, ran several second-hand clothes shops. He was educated at Kelvin Hall School in Hull. He has three sisters, Helga, Ragna and Jay and one brother, Paul.
Akrylykz and Fine Young Cannibals
His first recording on which he played the saxophone was with Hull ska band Akrylykz, the second release on nearby York's Red Rhino Records. Although this record was unsuccessful, it did bring him to the attention of Andy Cox and David Steele of The Beat. The Akrylykz toured with The Beat, which led to them in around 1985 asking him to be the lead singer of their new band Fine Young Cannibals after their old band, The Beat, had broken up. He also was a guest artist on the Ska City Rollers' "Time Is Tight" single.
In 1990, he was named by People magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the world.
Gift has played again as a solo artist, an initial gig scheduled at the O2 Bubble (part of the British Music Experience) was cancelled. He did, however, appear at the Rewind Festival in Henley. On 13 February 2012, Gift appeared on BBC Radio Solent promoting the gigs and announced a potential new album in 2012. This will be a soundtrack to a film Gift is involved with. "The Prisoner" was played on the show and Roland said this would probably be included in the soundtrack.
He also appeared in Jools Holland's 20th annual 'Hootenanny' show, which aired overnight on BBC2 on 31 December 2012 / 1 January 2013, the last to be recorded at BBC Television Centre. Gift sang the Fine Young Cannibals hits 'Good Thing' and 'Suspicious Minds'.
Gift was a guest vocalist on Jools Holland's 2013 tour.
In 1987, Gift had his first screen role in the film Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. In 1990 he did his first stage work, playing Romeo in the Hull Truck Theatre's production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a production which had a brief run in the United States at the Staller Center for the Arts. He also appeared as a lounge singer (singing songs that were included in the Fine Young Cannibals album The Raw and the Cooked) in the film Tin Men, directed by Barry Levinson.
In December 1992, he began the first of five appearances as the evil Immortal Xavier St. Cloud in the television series Highlander: The Series, and appeared in an episode of the Yorkshire Television series Heartbeat. He has also appeared in the movie The Island of the Mapmaker's Wife (2001).
|Year||Information||UK Album Chart|
|Year||Single||UK Singles Chart||Album|
|2002||"It's Only Money"||
*(as Roland Lee Gift)
- Roland Gift at AllMusic
- Coleman, Andy (2002-03-15). "Good Thing, Where Have You Gone?: Interview - Roland Gift". Birmingham Evening Mail (Trinity Mirror Midlands). Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- "Roland Gift Biography". Musicianguide.com. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
- Robertson, Peter (2002-08-10). "Home truths: Roland Gift.". The Mirror (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- "(obituary) Tony Kostrzewa: Founder of Red Rhino Records". The Independent. 9 May 2008.
- "The Rebel Magazine: Q & A with Roland Gift". Therebelmagazine.blogspot.com. 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
- "Review/Theater; Pop Star as a Nontraditional Romeo". The New York Times. 1990-07-14. Retrieved 2012-12-09.