Tony Hadley performing in June 2014. Photograph by Andrew D. Hurley
|Birth name||Anthony Patrick Hadley|
2 June 1960 |
Islington, London, England
|Genres||Pop, pop rock, blue-eyed soul, sophisti-pop, jazz, swing, new wave, funk, synthpop|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, actor, radio presenter|
|Instruments||Vocals, synthesizer, drums|
|Associated acts||Spandau Ballet, "Reborn in the USA", "Chicago", Virgin Radio|
Anthony Patrick "Tony" Hadley (born 2 June 1960) is an English pop singer-songwriter, occasional stage actor and radio presenter who first rose to fame in the 1980s as the lead vocalist of the New Romantic band Spandau Ballet. Hadley is recognisable for his suave image, as well as his powerful blue-eyed soul voice, which has been described by AllMusic as a "dramatic warble". He has also been characterised as a "top crooner" by the BBC. Hadley is known for his right-wing political views, being described by journalist Andrew Pierce as "the Tories' biggest celebrity backer".
Anthony Patrick Hadley, the eldest of three children (he has a sister, Lee, and a brother, Steve) was born at Royal Free Hospital in the Hampstead area of Inner London. His father worked as an electrical engineer for the Daily Mail. His mother worked for the local health authority.
As a member of Spandau Ballet, Hadley went on to enjoy international success in the 1980s, including hits such as "True", "Gold" and "Through the Barricades", as well as appearing at Live Aid in 1985. The group disbanded in 1989, after their final studio album, Heart Like a Sky, failed to live up to the critical and commercial success of their earlier albums, such as True and Parade. Heart Like a Sky was not released in the United States.
In April 1999, Hadley along with fellow band members Steve Norman and John Keeble failed in their attempt to sue Gary Kemp for a share of his royalties, as the band's principal songwriter. However, in recent years Norman is again on good terms with Gary and his brother, Martin Kemp, who used to play bass guitar in the band. In early 2009, newspaper reports claimed that Spandau Ballet was set to reform later that year. On 25 March 2009 it was confirmed that the band had reformed and were embarking on a tour of the UK and Ireland in October 2009.
After Spandau Ballet disbanded, Hadley pursued a solo career, signing to EMI and recording his first album, The State of Play, in 1992. After leaving EMI, Hadley formed his own record company, SlipStream Records, and his first release was to be the single "Build Me Up", from the film "When Saturday Comes". Shortly after that, in December 1996, Hadley embarked on an orchestral tour of Europe, along with Joe Cocker, Paul Michiels, Dani Klein and Guo Yue, playing to 500,000 concertgoers in six weeks.
On his return from that tour, Hadley signed a joint deal with PolyGram TV, and released his next eponymous solo album, Tony Hadley, in 1997, which included covers and songs that were chosen to match his voice. The album also featured some of his own self-penned songs, such as "She", which he wrote for daughter Toni.
In 1996, he performed in a BBC Radio 2 live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar, playing the title role opposite Roger Daltrey's Judas.
To plug the gap between studio albums, Hadley also released Obsession (later re-released as Obsession Live), a live album recorded, in just one night, in 2001, at the club Ronnie Scott's, in Birmingham.
He also collaborated, in the past and present, with various dance acts and DJs, such as Tin Tin Out, Eddie Lock, Marc et Claude, Regi Penxten (Milk Inc.) and the Disco Bros, and played alongside people such as Alice Cooper, Paul Young, Jon Anderson, and Brian May. Hadley's permanent band line up nowadays features John Keeble (drums), Phil Taylor (keyboards), Phil Williams (bass guitar), Richie Barrett (guitar), and Dawn Joseph on backing vocals. His early band, with whom he realised his debut album, included instead, besides himself and Keeble, Spandau Ballet's regular keyboard player, Toby Chapman, Jerry Stevenson (guitar), and Kevin Miller (bass guitar).
Hadley was also the subject of some newfound respect in the 2000s, rooted in an "ironic" appreciation for his old group Spandau Ballet; John Darnielle of the indie folk rock group The Mountain Goats wrote about his admiration for Hadley's vocal strengths. In 2000, his solo greatest hits album was issued, entitled Debut, made up of some early solo songs.
In 2003, Hadley was the winner of the ITV reality television series, Reborn in the USA, appearing alongside other singers, such as Elkie Brooks, Peter Cox from Go West and Leee John from Imagination. Capitalizing on his victory of the American reality show, his Debut compilation was re-issued, and his second collection was also released in the same year, True Ballads, including some of his solo tracks, most of the cover songs which were already contained in his second studio album, and historical hits from the Spandau Ballet period.
Hadley has continued with a busy performing schedule, and also toured with both Peter Cox from Go West and Martin Fry from the band ABC. He released a jazz-swing album (music) 2006, entitled Passing Strangers, and travelled on a "by request" tour from March to May 2006. This was followed by a big band tour in late the same year.
In January 2007, Hadley performed in the West End musical Chicago as crooked lawyer Billy Flynn, at the Cambridge Theatre. Hadley took over from ex-Emmerdale actor Ian Kelsey, and featured from 29 January to 14 April 2007. He said: "Three months was long enough, I didn't want to out-stay my welcome. I got a phone call offering me the part. I went to see the show, which I thought was great. While I was in it, I got great reviews. Chicago tied in with my swing album, Passing Strangers, so the whole thing worked well."
Hadley performed a set with other 1980s acts, at Retro Fest, on 1 September 2007, at Culzean Castle, in Ayrshire, Scotland. This appearance included a rendition of "Addicted to Love", with Martin Fry of ABC and Peter Cox of Go West.
In February 2008, he took part in the Italian Sanremo Festival, where he duetted in both English and Italian with contestant Paolo Meneguzzi on Meneguzzi's song, "Grande" ('Big'), during the third day of the contest (where all contestants re-interpreted their songs with guest artists). On 22 February 2008, he performed as an interval act at the semi-final of Dora 2008, the selection of the Croatian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Hadley has revealed that his solo career has been more financially rewarding than his period at the top of the charts with Spandau Ballet. He said that 2008 was his best-ever earning year, having performed in over 220 shows.
In 2013, Hadley and his 1980s chart peers Kim Wilde, Bananarama and Go West set a new world record for Comic Relief when they performed the highest ever gig, singing on a Boeing 767 aeroplane at 43,000 ft (13,000m).
In 2014 he took part in the prime-time Rai TV show La Pista as teamleader of the Tacco 10 female dance troupe. Over the course of the competition Hadley performed both Spandau Ballet's "Gold", as well as "Rio", originally a hit for rival band Duran Duran. Other well known singer-contestants taking part in the weekly show included Amii Stewart and Sabrina Salerno.
Hadley worked as a radio presenter with Virgin Radio, taking over the "Friday Night Virgin Party Classics" show from Suggs (of the band Madness), in August 2007. In January 2008, he was given the Saturday Night Virgin Party Classics show as well. He left both shows in September 2008.
Hadley's song "After All This Time" was used as the theme song for the popular BBC series Down To Earth, which ran from 2000-2005.
Hadley is the father of five children: Thomas, Toni, and Mackenzie by his first wife, Leonie Lawson, then Zara (born 21 December 2006) and Genevieve (born 6 February 2012) by Alison Evers, whom he married in July 2009 at Cliveden House Hadley split from Leonie in 2003, after twenty years of marriage.
Hadley lives in Buckinghamshire with wife Alison and his youngest two children, Zara and Genevieve.
Hadley stated on the television show Loose Women (22 February 2007) that he is 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) and 17 1⁄2 stone (111 kilograms).
Hadley is a supporter of the Conservative Party and an admirer of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Journalist Andrew Pierce, in a 2014 piece for the Daily Mail, described Hadley as "the Tories' biggest celebrity backer". He has attended the party's annual conference and was once reported to be interested in standing as an MP. The New Statesman has described Hadley as one of the few openly right-wing rock stars.
Hadley said in 2007:
“The fabric of society is torn. I walked through Blackpool and there were gangs walking the back streets and 16-year-old pregnant women everywhere. What we need is for David Cameron to be like Thatcher, to say, "Enough is enough, things have gone too far". Five-year mandatory sentences for carrying a knife and 10 years for carrying a gun. We will build however many prisons we need.”
- 1992 – First studio album: The State of Play (debut album)
- 1997 – Second studio album: Tony Hadley (cover album, (also including some self-penned songs)) – UK number 45
- 2006 – Third studio album: Passing Strangers (jazz/swing album (music))
- 2000 – First live album: Obsession (subsequently re-issued as Obsession Live)
- 2000 – First greatest hits collection: Debut (with early solo tracks, as performed live on German TV in 1992)
- 2003 – Second greatest hits collection: True Ballads (including solo tracks, cover songs, and Spandau Ballet's classic hits) – UK number 31
- 1992 – "Lost in Your Love" / "Why Can't We Fall in Love" / "Theme No. 7" – UK number 42
- 1992 – "For Your Blue Eyes Only" / "Tonight" / "Close-up" – UK number 67
- 1992 – "The Game of Love" / "Fever" (acoustic version) / "On and On" – UK number 72
- 1993 – "Absolution" / "Through the Barricades" / "The Boys of Summer" / "Rock'n'Roll Suicide" UK number 86
- 1996 – "Build Me Up" / "One to One" / "Jealous Mind" / "Build Me Up" (instrumental) [soundtrack for the film When Saturday Comes]
- 1997 – "Dance with Me" (Tin Tin Out featuring Tony Hadley) – UK number 35
- 1998 – "First of May" (radio edit) / "The First Cut Is the Deepest" / "Love Affair" / "Maybe You and I" [withdrawn release]
- 1998 – "Save a Prayer" (radio edit) / "She" / "Have You Seen Her" / "Save a Prayer" (album version) [only released in Belgium in early April]
- 1998 – "Dance with Me" / "She" [only released in the Netherlands on 16 February]
- 1998 – "Dance with Me" (radio edit) [only released in Italy]
- 1999 – "Dance with Me" (radio edit mix) / (extended mix) / (angels of love break) [remix CD single only released in Italy]
- 2000 – "Will U Take Me" (single mix) / (Tony Hadley's a cappella) / (DJ Wout's level mix) [techno version only released in Benelux in November]
- 2000 – "Will U Take Me" (single mix) / (extended mix) / (DJ Wout's level mix) / (Tony Hadley's a cappella) [techno version only released in Spain in November]
- 2001 – "Tony Hadley EP": "Get So Lonely", "Beautiful Girl", "Follow Me", "Have I the Right" [released on 17 September]
- 2002 – "Sweet Surrender" (Milk Inc. radio remix) / (Mr. Sam remixes) [released in May]
- 2006 – "The Mood I'm In" [promo released in November]
- 2007 – "Wives & Lovers" [released in January]
- 2007 – "The Good Life" [released in April]
- 2011 – "Goodbye Malinconia" (ft. CapaRezza)
- "Tony Hadley biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "True". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- "Tony Hadley takes on Martin Fry in Bath!". BBC. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Pierce, Andrew (18 August 2014). "Is Elton coming out for Ukip?". Mail Online. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Webber, Richard (24 July 2011). "Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley: 'I earn more today than in the Eighties'". Telegraph Online (London, UK). Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Spandau Ballet in court over royalties BBC News, 27 January 1999, retrieved 10 May 2009
- Spandau court bid fails BBC News, 30 April 1999, retrieved 10 May 2009
- Spandau three drop royalties appeal BBC News, 15 October 1999, retrieved 10 May 2009
- Gordon Smart, Is it act II of Spandau Ballet?, The Sun, 5 January 2009, retrieved 16 March 2009
- Gordon Smart, Spandau are Nou Romantics, The Sun, 13 February 2009, retrieved 16 March 2009
- Spandau Ballet to re-form 30 years on with hopes of 'doing a Take That' Mail Online, 15 February 2009, retrieved 16 March 2009
- Tony Hadley signs to Chicago The Sun, 6 January 2007
- Dora semi-final esctoday.com, 22 February 2008
- "Kim Wilde and Tony Hadley set highest gig record". BBC News. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Tacco 10 meet Tony Hadley (in Italian) RAI TV, 28 March 2014, retrieved 27 April 2014
- This Morning – Tony Hadley[dead link] ITV.com, retrieved 10 May 2009
- Toni Hadley[dead link] StarNow, retrieved 10 May 2009
- Danny Scott (7 January 2007). "Tony Hadley, former lead singer of Spandau Ballet, and his daughter Toni". Times Online. News Corp. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- Pop star Tony Hadley marries Alison, confetti.co.uk, 5 August 2009; retrieved 7 August 2009
- UK Huntington's Disease Association
- "Tony Hadley wants a Tory seat". The First Post. 22 August 2008.
- Long, Pat (8 March 2012). "Why are there so few right-wing rock stars?". New Statesman. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "News – UK & World News – CELEBRITY X FACTOR". People.co.uk. 28 March 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 239. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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