Brad Roberts

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Brad Roberts
Roberts following a Crash Test Dummies show in 2010
Roberts following a Crash Test Dummies show in 2010
Background information
Birth nameBradley Kenneth Roberts
Born (1964-01-10) January 10, 1964 (age 60)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Occupation(s)Singer, musician
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar
Years active1989–present
LabelsArista, ViK. Recordings, Cha-Ching, Deep Fried

Bradley Kenneth Roberts (born January 10, 1964)[1] is the lead singer and guitarist for the Canadian folk-rock band Crash Test Dummies and the only constant member since its inception. He sings in the bass-baritone range.[2][3] The band is best known internationally for their 1993 album God Shuffled His Feet and single "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" and best known in Canada for the 1991 single "Superman's Song".[4][5]


Early beginnings[edit]

His studied English Literature and Philosophy, receiving a bachelor's degree with honours from University of Winnipeg in 1986. As a musician, he is largely self taught.

Roberts began performing with Paul James and Curtis Riddell at the Blue Note Cafe in Winnipeg. Curtis, without consulting Brad, advertised them under the moniker Bad Brad Roberts and the St. James Rhythm Pigs. The band dropped this name quickly at Brad's insistence, and after Curtis left, they evolved into The Crash Test Dummies. While studying at university and working as a bartender at The Spectrum Cabaret, Roberts began writing his own songs and introducing them to the band. After attending a songwriters' workshop with Lyle Lovett at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, he wrote "Superman's Song".

Record deal and debut album[edit]

Demos of Roberts's songs found themselves in the hands of various music company execs across Canada, and the quirky bar band that had just begun to write original material found itself with record deal options which led The Crash Test Dummies into a rushed, but nevertheless well-received debut album, The Ghosts That Haunt Me. The album introduced the band to the rest of the Canadian provinces, selling over 400,000 copies in Canada alone and also garnering a 1991 Juno Award for Group of the Year.

Second album and international success[edit]

With more time and finances, Roberts set about writing the band's second album, God Shuffled His Feet. This to date is the band's best selling and most popular album, bringing an international audience and selling over six million copies. The Crash Test Dummies were nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1994. The group was nominated for eleven other Junos from 1992 to 2000.

Third album: A Worm's Life[edit]

A Worm's Life was released in 1996, selling over one million copies and showcasing a harder-edged sound as the band continued to evolve, producing this album on their own.

Fourth album: Give Yourself a Hand[edit]

1999 introduced a mix of electronic funk and spontaneous wordplay with Give Yourself a Hand. Roberts met Greg Wells at a songwriters' workshop and invited him to co-write and assist in recording this album inspired by influences and flavours of Roberts' new home in Harlem, New York.

Car accident and independent release[edit]

On September 28, 2000, Roberts was severely injured when he crashed his car on a dirt road in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia; he was charged with drug possession when marijuana was discovered on his person by the RCMP.[6] While recuperating, he began to jam with locals (The Great Wind Jammers from Argyle, Yarmouth County), subsequently producing his next album, I Don't Care That You Don't Mind, from the sessions — the first album released by the band, independent of a major record label.

Sixth album: Puss 'n' Boots[edit]

Puss 'n' Boots was released in October 2003 with a European and additional American version.

Further releases[edit]

A Crash Test Dummies album, Oooh La La!, was released in 2010. This was followed with the solo release on an album of Mantras, entitled Rajanaka: Mantra, in 2011.

Musical influences[edit]

His influences as a musician are primarily rooted in late-'60s, '70s and '80s British music, from the albums Let It Bleed by The Rolling Stones, Abbey Road by The Beatles, Diamond Dogs by David Bowie and Oranges & Lemons by XTC, which was introduced to him by his friend on his car stereo in the late '80s.[7]

At age 12 he bought his first record, Dressed to Kill by Kiss, and was inspired by guitarist Ace Frehley. He took guitar lessons for four years from that point.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He has honour degrees in English and philosophy.[9]


Crash Test Dummies[edit]






  1. ^ Rose, Mike (January 10, 2023). "Today's famous birthdays list for January 10, 2023 includes celebrities Rod Stewart, Sarah Shahi". Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  2. ^ "Where Are They Now? 1994's Biggest Pop Acts Pictures – Crash Test Dummies". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "Crash Test Dummies MMM MMM MMM MMM (Official Music Video)". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  4. ^ Larry LeBlanc (December 24, 1994). "A Breakthrough Year for Canadian Acts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 53–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ "Crash Test Dummies God Shuffled His Feet: Archived 2017-06-11 at the Wayback Machine. Drowned in Sound, by Colin Weston January 7th, 2001
  6. ^ Brad Roberts charged for drug possession[usurped] CANOE - JAM!
  7. ^ "Brad Roberts Interview". 2008. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  8. ^ "Interview with singer/songwriter, Brad Roberts". Muse Muse. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  9. ^ "CRASH TEST SMARTIES | Maclean's | MARCH 27, 1995".

External links[edit]