Howard first came into the public eye in the 1980s when he joined the pop/rockbandT'Pau, fronted by the singer Carol Decker. Howard joined after their debut album Bridge of Spies was released and original lead guitarist, Taj Wyzgowski, had departed. Howard added a more heavy rock style of guitar work which was first featured on the re-recording of one of the tracks from Bridge of Spies, "China in Your Hand". This subsequently stayed at number one in the UK single charts for five weeks and was the band's biggest hit. He remained lead guitarist on the group's next two albums, Rage and The Promise, but has not been involved with the more recent incarnations of the band.
His post-T'Pau work includes the 2004 album, Volume One, which was written and recorded in two weeks at Rogue Studios, co written by David Domminney (guitar/vocals), Andres Luengo (drums) and Russell Kennedy (bass) also featured guest vocals from Ian Gillan, Danny Bowes and Toby Jepson.
Dean is currently performing in classic rock band Air Race. Dean has two children: Ricky 'Ginger' Howard and Ronnie Howard.