Jim Kerr

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Jim Kerr
Simple Minds - 2018173230404 2018-06-22 Rock the Ring - 1D X MK II - 2793 - AK8I5209.jpg
Kerr performing with Simple Minds at Rock the Ring 2018
James Kerr

(1959-07-09) 9 July 1959 (age 63)
Toryglen, Glasgow, Scotland
OccupationSinger, songwriter
Years active1977–present
Musical career
GenresRock, folk, punk rock, post-punk, new wave, pop rock, alternative rock
Member ofSimple Minds

James Kerr (born 9 July 1959) is a Scottish singer and the lead singer of the rock band Simple Minds, becoming best known internationally for "Don't You (Forget About Me)" (1985), which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Other commercially successful singles include "Glittering Prize" (1982), "Someone Somewhere in Summertime" (1982), "Waterfront" (1983) and "Alive and Kicking" (1985), as well as the UK number one single "Belfast Child" (1989).

As their lead singer, Simple Minds have achieved five[1] UK Albums chart number one albums, Sparkle in the Rain (1984), Once Upon a Time (1985), Live in the City of Light (1987), Street Fighting Years (1989) and Glittering Prize 81/92 (1992); they have sold more than 60 million albums.[2] They were the most commercially successful Scottish band of the 1980s.[3] Simple Minds have also achieved considerable chart success in the United States, Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy and New Zealand.[1]

He released his first solo album, Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr, on 27 May 2010. Kerr's voice has been described as "David Bowie's rich baritone melded with Bryan Ferry's velvety croon".[4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Toryglen, Glasgow, into a family of Irish Scots ancestry,[5] Kerr attended Holyrood Secondary School there. He had a stammer during childhood and in his early teens.[6]

Simple Minds (1977–present)[edit]

In 1977, he was one of the founding members of the 6-piece punk rock band Johnny and the Self Abusers. Calling himself Pripton Weird, he played keyboards and shared vocals with John Milarky. Allan McNeill was also involved with the band, and went on to be the manager of the pop band Hue and Cry. The band lasted 8 months, during which time Kerr emerged as one of the main songwriters. In November 1977, they changed their name to Simple Minds, quickly reduced to 4 members, then increased to 5, then 6, then back to 5 before a period of stability ensued.[7]

He continues to record and tour with Simple Minds, who released their latest album Walk Between Worlds in spring 2018. Kerr currently lives in Taormina, Sicily, where he runs a hotel, Villa Angela.[8]

Three UK club dates in the spring of 2010 featured both new material and Simple Minds' back catalogue and a full European tour followed.[9]

Solo work (2010–2012)[edit]

"Shadowland" was released as the first single from the album. The album version of the song was made available to listen as an audio stream on 13 March 2010. A new remix, more suitable for radio airplay, was done by Cenzo Townshend whom Jim Kerr chose because of Townshend's previous work with Simple Minds' latest album Graffiti Soul.[10] A promotional single with the new radio mixes of the song was shipped to radio stations on 4 April 2010.[11][12]
"Shadowland" was originally meant to be released as a commercial physical release, but it was eventually only released as a download single on 9 May 2010. The three tracks on the download single were the same three tracks previously available on the "Shadowland" radio promo single.[10]

The album version of "Refugee" was premiered on Billy Sloan's show on 7 March 2010. A week later, the full album version of "Refugee" was made available as a download from the initial www.lostboyaka.com website.[13] On 13 April 2010 "Refugee" was released as the lead track of the Welcome Gift 1 free download twin pack which was released as part of the main website launch of www.lostboyaka.com.[14] In addition to the previously released album version of "Refugee", the free download twin pack included the track "What Goes On" (Scary Monsters Mix), which was exclusive to this release. The package also included the artwork and a text file requesting that the tracks not be uploaded to any other site.[14] "She Fell in Love With Silence" was released as a single on 15 August 2010. The single was released in both digital and physical formats.[15][16]

Jim Kerr released his first solo album Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr on 17 May 2010 under the name "Lostboy! AKA". Explaining the project name and ethos, he commented "I didn’t want to start a new band. I like my band (laughs)...and I didn’t want a point blank Jim Kerr solo album either."[17][18]

The first Lostboy! AKA 10-date (European) tour occurred from 18 to 31 May 2010. In August 2010, Lostboy! AKA embarked on a 12-date "Electroset Radio" tour for various European/UK radio stations but the band played only 4 dates (three in Germany and one in Spain). A third Lostboy AKA! tour, a new 25-date "Electroset" (European) one (featuring Simon Hayward and Sarah Brown) was scheduled from 18 October to 3 December 2010 but the band played only nine shows before the rest of the tour was cancelled after the performance on 13 November 2010 in Dublin, Ireland because of Jim's mother Irene who had become ill with a recurrence of cancer.[19] The second Lostboy! album, The Return Of The Lostboy!, was first mentioned by Jim Kerr in February 2010 during the post-production work on the first album. Jim Kerr wrote, demoed or recorded up to 25 songs for the new album. Its release was planned after Simple Minds' 2013 world tour but was indefinitely postponed.[20]

Other work[edit]

Kerr helped organise a 90th birthday party for Nelson Mandela at Hyde Park, London on 27 June 2008.[citation needed][21] The event came 20 years after Kerr and Simple Minds played a role (releasing the single Mandela Day amongst other activities) in the 70th birthday concert at Wembley Stadium, which was held to demand Mandela's release. Mandela attended the 2008 event in person.

Personal life[edit]

Kerr married Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of The Pretenders, in 1984 (divorced in 1990).[22] They had one daughter named Yasmin.[23] He subsequently married actress Patsy Kensit in 1992 (divorced in 1996) with whom he had a son named James (born September 1993).

Jim Kerr is a Celtic fan and an active supporter of the club.[24] In 1998 he was part of a consortium together with former player Kenny Dalglish, among others, that unsuccessfully tried to take over the club.[25]

Mark Kerr, the vocalist's brother, is also a musician, playing in groups such as the hard rock band Gun.[26]

Kerr lives in Taormina, Sicily, with his Japanese partner Yumi, where he owns the hotel Villa Angela. [27][28]


Solo albums[edit]

Solo singles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "History Of Simple Minds". Simpleminds.com. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  2. ^ ""When I say that there are a few songs about faith, I don't mean it in a religious sense..." hmv.com talks to Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr". HMV. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  3. ^ David Roberts, ed. (2006). British Hit Singles and Albums. Guinness World Records Limited. p. 500. ISBN 978-1904994107.
  4. ^ Sutton, Michael. "Jim Kerr". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Mcapozzolijr.com". Archived from the original on 27 November 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  6. ^ "February 26, 2016". Facebook.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Dream Giver Redux | welcome". Simpleminds.org. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  8. ^ Villa Angela: a dream come true Archived 26 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine (retrieved 10 November 2012)
  9. ^ "Lostboy! AKA: Simple Minds' Jim Kerr preps debut solo album, sets U.K. club dates". Slicing Up Eyeballs. 7 March 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  10. ^ a b "dream giver redux | discography | lostboy! aka jim kerr singles | shadowland". Simpleminds.org. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  11. ^ "dream giver redux | discography | lostboy! aka jim kerr singles | shadowland promotional issues". Simpleminds.org. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  12. ^ "italiancharts.com - Lostboy! A.K.A Jim Kerr - Shadowland". Italiancharts.com. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  13. ^ "dream giver redux | discography | lostboy! aka: downloads | refugee". Simpleminds.org. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  14. ^ a b "dream giver redux | discography | lostboy! aka jim kerr downloads | welcome gift 1". Simpleminds.org. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  15. ^ "dream giver redux | discography | lostboy! aka jim kerr singles | she fell in love with silence download". Simpleminds.org. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  16. ^ "dream giver redux | discography | lostboy! aka jim kerr singles | she fell in love with silence". Simpleminds.org. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  17. ^ Official Charts Archived 29 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine Five number one albums and number one single (retrieved 19 August 2007)
  18. ^ "pennyblackmusic.co.uk". pennyblackmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  19. ^ "Dream Giver Redux / Tours / Lostboy! AKA Electroset Tour". simpleminds.org. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  20. ^ "dream giver redux | discography | lostboy! aka jim kerr albums | the return of the lostboy!". Simpleminds.org. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  21. ^ "wnycstudios". 28 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Chrissie Hynde Marries Colombian Artist". Lewiston Morning Tribune. 18 July 1997. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  23. ^ "Homegrown Heroes". Cleveland.com. The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  24. ^ "Keep Celtic alive and kicking: Kerr". BBC News. 25 May 1998.
  25. ^ Business: The Company File Celtic bid withdrawn BBC News 22 December 1998
  26. ^ "Swagger - Gun | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  27. ^ "irishexaminer". 28 March 2022.
  28. ^ "hotelvillaangela". 28 March 2022.

External links[edit]