Chesney Hawkes

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Chesney Hawkes
A white man in his mid-thirties stands on a stage. He is reasonably tall, and has light brown hair with blonde highlights. He is holding a microphone in front of his mouth, and has a guitar in his hand. He is wearing jeans and a red top.
Chesney Hawkes in 2004
Background information
Birth nameChesney Lee Hawkes
Born (1971-09-22) 22 September 1971 (age 50)
Windsor, Berkshire, England
OriginWindsor, Berkshire, England
GenresPop rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician, actor
Instrumentsvocals, guitar, keyboard, piano, percussion
Years active1990–present
Labels Edit this at Wikidata

Chesney Lee Hawkes (born 22 September 1971) is an English pop singer, songwriter, and occasional actor. He started his career at the age of 19 when he appeared in the film Buddy's Song, which featured his best-known single "The One and Only", which topped the UK Singles Chart for five weeks and reached the Top 10 in the United States. Follow-up single "I'm a Man Not a Boy" peaked at 27 in the UK, with subsequent singles including "What's Wrong With This Picture?", "Stay Away Baby Jane" (a collaboration with Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne) and "Another Fine Mess" also charting in the top 100.

Aside from music, he appeared on Channel 4's The Games in 2005, winning a Bronze Medal. Hawkes appeared on the shows Hit Me Baby One More Time, Let's Dance For Comic Relief, and Sing If You Can. Hawkes also appeared in the musical Can't Smile Without You, as the role of Tony Lowiman.

Life and career[edit]

Hawkes was born in Windsor, Berkshire. He was named after the singer and comedian Chesney Allen. His father is the singer Len 'Chip' Hawkes, formerly with the 1960s band The Tremeloes.[1] His mother is former actress/game-show hostess Carol Dilworth, who appeared in an episode of the 1960s version of Randall and Hopkirk called "For The Girl Who Has Everything", as well as the 1969 horror film The Haunted House of Horror. Keely Hawkes, his sister, was the lead singer of 1990s band Transister, and is currently a songwriter based in Los Angeles. He attended Charters School in Sunningdale.

Hawkes's career began at 19, when he appeared as the title character in the film Buddy's Song. In March 1991, he released from the film's soundtrack his biggest single "The One and Only", on which his younger brother Jodie was the drummer. Written by Nik Kershaw, the song was later featured in the opening credits of Doc Hollywood (1991), starring Michael J. Fox; in the 2009 movie Moon, as the song Sam Rockwell wakes up to every morning; and again in the 2011 film Source Code (also directed by Moon director Duncan Jones) as the mobile phone ringtone of Michelle Monaghan's character. The single spent five weeks at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart. He has released eight singles including "I'm a Man Not a Boy" and "Another Fine Mess".

In 1993, his single "What's Wrong With This Picture?" reached number 63 in the UK, and his 2002 collaboration with Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, "Stay Away Baby Jane", reached number 74 in the UK Singles Chart.[2]

Hawkes returned to the media's attention with his involvement in Channel 4's The Games in March 2005, in which he won a Bronze Medal. He also took part in the ITV programme Hit Me Baby One More Time in April that year. He released a single called "Another Fine Mess" in May 2005, it reached number 48.[2] The following album of the same title featured fifteen songs written by Hawkes.[3]

Hawkes was involved in a project called the Lexus Symphony Orchestra, a corporate promotion designed to showcase the quality of Lexus' in-car audio systems. Hawkes composed two original pieces of music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra for these events held at Castle Howard and Crystal Palace, in August 2007.

Hawkes at the University of Exeter Summer Ball, 2008

Hawkes appeared in a musical, Can't Smile Without You (featuring songs of Barry Manilow). In the show, Hawkes plays the part of Tony Lowiman who falls in love with a girl called Mandy when he visits New York. Things take a turn for the worse when Tony is brutally attacked one night outside a club. The musical includes over 40 Barry Manilow songs. National tour started at the Liverpool Empire Theatre on 15 September 2008, prior to performances in the West End.[4]

Hawkes appeared briefly in a cherry picker on Celebrity Big Brother (shown on 8 January 2009) on Channel 4. "The One and Only" was used as a cue to have contestants worship at a Chesney Hawkes shrine.

In January 2011, Hawkes performed at the live finale of Louie Spence's Showbusiness.[5]

During February and March 2011, he took part in the BBC series Let's Dance For Comic Relief.[6] He now performs a mixture of his own material and covers at University Freshers week. In May that year, Hawkes took part in the ITV series Sing If You Can.[7] In September, he appeared as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. On 24 December 2011, he appeared on the ITV programme Text Santa with Ant & Dec.

Hawkes was due to take part on ITV's skating programme Dancing on Ice in 2012 but after fracturing his ankle, he had to pull out. He was replaced by Chico Slimani. In May, he played at Lakefest festival.[8] In December, he appeared as an accident-prone version of himself in the ITV comedy drama Panto!.

In 2015, Hawkes competed in Celebrity MasterChef on BBC One. He was eliminated in the first of the semi-finals of the show.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne is a fan, and Hawkes performed as a surprise at his 60th birthday party in 2009.[10]

Hawkes lived in Chertsey, Surrey[11] with his American wife Kristina and their three children.[12] He now lives in Los Angeles.

Hawkes is an honorary member of the JCR of St Hugh's College, Oxford.[13]

Hawkes is a supporter of West Ham United F.C.[14]



  • Buddy's Song/The One and Only (US title) (1991) No. 18 UK[2]
  • Get the Picture (1993 – Europe only)
  • The Very Best of (2005 – UK only)
  • Another Fine Mess (2008)
  • Me My Mouse & I (2009)
  • Real Life Love (2012)[15]


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
1991 "The One and Only" 1 3 9 3 8 1 4 2 5 10 61[18] 37[19] Buddy's Song/
The One and Only (US title)
"I'm a Man Not a Boy" 27 25 20 44 28 32
"Secrets of the Heart" 57 68
1993 "What's Wrong with This Picture?" 63 71 29 Get the Picture
"Missing You Already" (NED only)
1994 "Black or White People" (NED only)
2002 "Stay Away Baby Jane" 74 Another Fine Mess
2005 "Another Fine Mess" 48
"—" denotes the single failed to chart or was not released.



  1. ^ "One-Hit Wonders at the BBC". 1. 17 April 2015. BBC Four.
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 246. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ "Chesney Hawkes official website". Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Bill Kenwright Ltd Presents Can't Smile Without You". "Bill Kenwright Ltd". 29 August 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Live at The Showbusiness Finale -". 1 April 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Chesney Hawkes, Lulu for 'Let's Dance' – TV News". Digital Spy. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  7. ^ "On tonight's Sing If You Can: Chesney Hawkes, Martin Bayfield, Tricia Penrose, Craig Doyle, Roxanne Pallett & Leanne Jones". 14 May 2011. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Lakefest 2012: Line-up 2012". 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Celebrity MasterChef 2015 Chesney Hawkes leaves the kitchen and feels gutted".
  10. ^ Roberts, David (9 February 2009). "Bannatyne tells birthday guests: I will never retire". The Northern Echo.
  11. ^ "The one and only Chesney Hawkes on music, celebrity and life in Chertsey". SurreyLife. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  12. ^ "What I know about women: Chesney Hawkes". The Scotsman. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  14. ^ "The Six Factor - Singer, songwriter and actor Chesney Hawkes". West Ham United F.C. 3 July 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  15. ^ "96.4 Eagle Radio Celebrity Interviews". 96.4 Eagle Radio. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Official Charts Company: Chesney Hawkes". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  17. ^ "Chesney Hawkes – US HOT 100". Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  18. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - October 5, 1991" (PDF).
  19. ^ "RPM Top 40AC - September 21, 1991" (PDF).

External links[edit]