Tessa Niles

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Tessa Niles (née Webb) (born ca 1961) is an English singer, best known as a backing singer for a wide variety of artists. She began her professional singing career in 1979.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Kent, Niles began her professional singing career, as both a lead and a backing vocalist, in 1979. Throughout her career, Niles has worked with many artists including ABC, Eric Clapton, Kiri Te Kanawa, The Rolling Stones, Annie Lennox, Tears For Fears, Duran Duran, Kylie Minogue, David Bowie, The Police, Take That, Grace Jones, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Morrissey–Mullen, Snowy White, Tom Jones, Marillion, Fish, Pet Shop Boys, Buddy Guy, B*Witched, Victoria Beckham, Nick Carter, Cliff Richard, Mike + The Mechanics, Zucchero, Status Quo, Robbie Williams, Gary Numan, Wham!, Dusty Springfield, The The, Jimmy Nail, Cher, Cabaret Voltaire and John Denver.

In the mid-1980s, Niles was featured the lead vocalist (along with Clive Griffin) for the jazz ensemble Bandzilla, which was led by her then husband Richard Niles. The band toured and were featured as the resident house band on the Channel 4 television show Don't Miss Wax in 1987. In 1991, the band released their debut album, Blue Movies, again featuring Niles as lead vocalist.

Niles has also voiced and sung on various television commercials for products including Barbie, Levi's, Cadillac, Diet Pepsi, Delta Air Lines, Aquafresh, KFC and DHL.

Her association with Eric Clapton began with his 1986 album August. She toured with him from 1988 to 1992, again in October 1997, and again on his 1999 tour of Japan. She sang backing vocals during the George Harrison/Eric Clapton tour of Japan in 1991 and his Unplugged concert in 1992. Niles also appeared at Clapton's Crossroads Benefit Concert on 30 June 1999 and The Concert For George on 29 November 2002.

Niles performed vocals during one version of the song "All I Want For Christmas Is You" for the 2003 film Love Actually.

Niles also performed at Live Aid at Wembley in 1985, where she provided backing vocals for David Bowie (who introduced her as "Theresa" in the prelude to "Heroes").

Personal life[edit]

She is the former wife of musician Richard Niles. In 1998 Niles gave birth to twins

Career highlights[edit]

Date Album Artist Contribution
1981 Chasanova Chas Jankel Backing vocals
1981 Questionnaire Chas Jankel Backing vocals
1982 The Lexicon of Love ABC Additional vocals
1983 It's About Time Morrissey–Mullen Author, vocals
1984 Private Dancer Tina Turner Backing vocals
1984 Berserker Gary Numan Backing vocals
1984 Intolerance Tik & Tok Backing vocals
1985 Famous People Bill Sharpe Lead and backing vocals
1985 The Explorers The Explorers Backing vocals
1985 Heaven Knows Jaki Graham Backing vocals
1985 Looking At You Chaz Jankel Backing vocals
1985 Out Of The Darkest Night Barbara Pennington Backing vocals
1985 Paul Hardcastle Paul Hardcastle Backing vocals
1985 Slave to the Rhythm Grace Jones Backing vocals
1985 The Fury Gary Numan Backing vocals
1986 August Eric Clapton Backing vocals
1986 Baby the Stars Shine Bright Everything But The Girl Backing vocals
1986 Break Every Rule Tina Turner Backing vocals
1986 Breaking Away Jaki Graham Backing vocals
1986 Count Three & Pray Berlin Backing vocals
1986 Dancing in My Sleep Dave Adams Backing vocals
1986 Infected The The Backing vocals
1986 Loz Netto Loz Netto Backing vocals
1986 Notorious Duran Duran Backing vocals
1986 Salamandra Miguel Bosé Backing vocals
1986 Strange Charm Gary Numan Backing vocals
1987 Alphabet City ABC Backing vocals
1987 American English Wax Backing vocals
1987 Clutching at Straws Marillion Backing vocals
1987 First (The Sound Of Music) Then Jerico Backing vocals
1987 Fortune and Men's Eyes Jennifer Hall Backing vocals
1987 Living in a Box Living in a Box Backing vocals
1987 Saint Julian Julian Cope Backing vocals
1987 She Loves Me Not Alan Rankine Backing vocals
1987 Pop Goes the World Men Without Hats Backing vocals
1987 Walk on Fire Silent Running Backing vocals
1988 Big Thing Duran Duran Backing vocals
1988 Fur Jane Wiedlin Backing vocals
1988 Introspective Pet Shop Boys Backing vocals
1988 Metal Rhythm Gary Numan Backing vocals
1988 Roll With It Steve Winwood Backing vocals
1988 Wild Wild West The Escape Club Backing vocals
1988 Step By Step Clive Griffin Backing vocals
1988 The Corporate World Gail Ann Dorsey Backing vocals
1989 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe Backing vocals
1989 Automatic Sharpe + Numan Backing vocals
1989 Foreign Affair Tina Turner Backing vocals
1989 Gatecrashing Living In A Box Backing vocals
1989 Results Liza Minnelli Backing vocals
1989 Steel Wheels The Rolling Stones Backing vocals
1989 The Seeds of Love Tears for Fears Backing vocals
1989 The Golden Mile Workshy Backing vocals
1989 Journeyman Eric Clapton Backing vocals
1989 Passion Shirley Lewis Author
1990 1234 Propaganda Backing vocals
1990 Circle of One Oleta Adams Backing vocals
1990 Everybody Knows Sonia Evans Backing vocals
1990 In ogni senso Eros Ramazzotti Backing vocals
1990 Liberty Duran Duran Backing vocals
1990 Reputation Dusty Springfield Backing vocals
1990 Son of Albert Andrew Ridgeley Backing vocals
1990 Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors Fish Backing vocals
1991 24 Nights Eric Clapton Backing vocals
1991 Blue Movies Bandzilla Lead vocals (with Clive Griffin)
1991 Outland Gary Numan Backing vocals
1991 Changing Faces Bros Backing vocals
1991 Flashpoint The Rolling Stones Backing vocals
1991 Live in Japan George Harrison Backing vocals
1992 All the Fool's in Town(Un-released Album) Sweet Addiction Backing vocals
1992 Unplugged Eric Clapton Backing vocals
1992 And Still I Rise Alison Limerick Backing vocals
1992 Dream Juice Efua Backing vocals
1992 In the Running Howard Jones Backing vocals
1992 Miserere Zucchero Backing vocals
1992 The Curse of the Higsons The Higsons Backing vocals
1993 Breakaway Kim Appleby Backing vocals
1993 Clive Griffin Clive Griffin Backing vocals
1993 The Wedding Album Duran Duran Backing vocals
1993 Beverley Craven Kim Appleby Backing vocals
1993 Very Pet Shop Boys Backing vocals
1993 Painted Desert Serenade Joshua Kadison Backing vocals
1994 Dog Man Star Suede Backing vocals
1994 Sean Maguire Sean Maguire Backing vocals
1994 The Lead and How to Swing It Tom Jones Backing vocals
1995 Arabesque Mike Batt Backing vocals
1995 Big River Jimmy Nail Backing vocals
1995 Hold On Jaki Graham Backing vocals
1995 Live! The Police Backing vocals
1995 Nobody Else Take That Backing vocals
1995 Thank You Duran Duran Backing vocals
1996 Don't Stop Status Quo Backing vocals
1996 The View from the Hill Justin Hayward Backing vocals
1996 Wildest Dreams Tina Turner Backing vocals
1997 Across from Midnight Joe Cocker Backing vocals
1997 Salvation Alphaville Backing vocals
1998 11 Maneras De Ponerse Un Sombrero Miguel Bosé Backing vocals
1998 Eden Sarah Brightman Backing vocals
1998 Marshall & Alexander Marshall & Alexander Backing vocals
1998 Awake and Breathe B*Witched Backing vocals
1999 Nightlife Pet Shop Boys Backing vocals
1999 Prince's Trust Rock Gala Various (Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Eric Clapton) Backing vocals
2000 Here and Now Worlds Apart Backing vocals
2000 Sing When You're Winning Robbie Williams Backing vocals
2001 Closer to Heaven Pet Shop Boys & Jonathan Harvey Backing vocals
2001 White Lilies Island Natalie Imbruglia Backing vocals
2002 Escapology Robbie Williams Backing vocals
2003 What My Heart Wants to Say Gareth Gates Backing vocals
2003 Live at KnebworthLive Summer 2003 Robbie Williams Backing vocals
2003 Pop Art Pet Shop Boys Backing vocals
2003 Seven Years - Ten Weeks David Sneddon Backing vocals
2003 Seal IV Seal Backing vocals
2004 Allow Us to Be Frank Westlife Backing vocals
2004 Astronaut Duran Duran Backing vocals
2004 A Concert For The Prince's TrustLive At Wembley Arena London 2004 Various (Trevor Horn) Backing vocals

References[edit]