||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2009)|
|Birth name||Mark Anthony Patrick Owen|
27 January 1972 |
Oldham, Lancashire, England
|Genres||Pop, pop rock, rock, soft rock, electronic|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, piano, mellotron, koto, percussion|
|Labels||Sony BMG (1990–97)
Mercury Records (2012–present)
|Associated acts||Take That, Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams|
Mark Anthony Patrick Owen (born 27 January 1972), is an English singer-songwriter. He is a member of pop band Take That. As a solo artist, Owen had sold over 400,000 records worldwide and 45 million with Take That.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Take That
- 3 Solo career
- 4 Solo numbers in Take That
- 5 Personal life
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Owen was born in Oldham, Lancashire, England. He lived in a small council house with his mother Mary, his father Keith, brother Daniel and sister Tracy in Oldham, Lancashire. His father was a decorator, later getting a job at a police station. His mother was a supervisor in a bakery in Oldham. Owen was educated at the Holy Rosary Primary and St Augustine’s Catholic School in Oldham. Owen’s first ambition was to be a professional footballer; he starred in school plays but showed no interest in music at school, preferring football. He played for Chadderton F.C. for a brief period. He also had trials for Manchester United, Huddersfield Town and Rochdale A.F.C, but damaged his groin and was unable to pursue a career in the sport. During the Take That “quiet” years, Owen spent some time back in Lancashire and was often spotted at musical events put on and performed by local boarding school, “Casterton School”. He used the school gymnasium on Tuesday evenings for football practice with mates.
1989–1996: Early Success
After selecting Gary Barlow as the group's lead singer in 1989, Nigel Martin-Smith introduced Owen, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and finally Robbie Williams to the fold. The group were signed to RCA records, and after a number of top 40 hits, eventually secured their first number one with Barlow's "Pray". Previous hits included "A Million Love Songs", "It Only Takes a Minute" and "Could It Be Magic".
The band's debut album Take That & Party was released on 17 August 1992. It reached number two on the UK Album Chart. The following year saw the release of their second album, Everything Changes. It went straight in at number one on the UK Albums Chart and spawned four number-one singles, as well as "Why Can't I Wake Up with You" and "Love Ain't Here Anymore" hitting number two and three respectively. Owen sang lead vocals on "Babe", which was released in December 1993. Their third album Nobody Else went straight to number 1 and was to be their last studio album of the 90s. The album had three number-one singles, including "Back for Good" which peaked at number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was brought forward an unprecedented six weeks before its official release such was the demand for the single. Owen also sang lead vocals on "The Day After Tomorrow" from the album. A Greatest Hits collection followed again reaching number one. The album featured the band's eighth number-one single "How Deep Is Your Love". This was to be the first single released by Take That as a four piece (without Williams) and it was their last single until they reformed in 2005.
Although Owen's vocal contributions were limited in Take That's original run, he was arguably the most popular member of the group, on account of his boyish good looks and sweet demeanour, regularly earning awards such as Smash Hit's "Most Fanciable Male in the World" and "Best Haircut".
Owen returned to the limelight in the TV documentary, Take That: For the Record in 2005. Following this success and renewed interest, Take That experienced a career renaissance in 2005 when the post-Williams line-up reformed for a sell-out stadium tour. The band released their comeback single "Patience" which went to number 1 for four weeks while also topping the charts across Europe. Patience was also voted The Record of the Year in 2006 and won a Brit for single of the year. This was followed with "Shine" which featured Owen on lead vocals and became the band's tenth number-one single. Take That's first album of new material in over ten years, Beautiful World, was released on 24 November 2006. The album peaked at number 1 in the UK Album Chart selling over 2.8 million copies in the UK alone to date. It was re-released as a tour edition with hit single "Rule the World" in 2007 and peaked again at number 1.
In 2008, the band were nominated for four BRIT Awards (Best British Group, Best British Album, Best British Single and Best British Live Act). They won Best British Single and Best British Live Act. Take That released the single "Greatest Day" which went straight to number 1 and became their eleventh number 1 single in the UK. The week after they released their second album since their reunion in 2006, The Circus which was the most preordered album of all time. The Circus album was also a success for Take That going straight to the top of the UK album chart and selling over 2.2 million copies across the country, going multi platinum within four days of its release. In June and July, Take That performed the record breaking tour Take That Present: The Circus Live throughout the United Kingdom which sold over one million tickets in five hours.
It was announced that the group was in the process of writing Take That's sixth studio album, set for release in late 2010. The album, Progress, was the first to feature the original line-up since their 1995 album, Nobody Else. The band also announced a stadium tour entitled Progress Live which took place in 2011. The tickets for the tour went on sale on 29 October 2010. Due to unprecedented high public demand for tickets, ticketmaster websites across the UK and Ireland crashed and all initial tour dates sold out in under 15 minutes. It was reported that a record breaking one million tickets were snapped up on the first day of sale, resulting in Take That smashing the previous box office record of tickets sold which was set in 2008 by Take That Present: The Circus Live. Due to unprecedented demand Take That added more dates to their tour, finishing in the UK with a record breaking 8 consecutive nights at Wembley Stadium after which the tour will then commence throughout Europe with an estimated 1.75 million people expected to attend the shows.
The lead single from Progress was announced as "The Flood". The single debuted at number 2, selling over 500,000 copies since release. On the first day of the release of Progress, the album sold over 235,000 copies across the UK, making it the fastest selling record of the century. On 21 November 2010, Progress debuted at number one in the United Kingdom, becoming the band's seventh number-one album. By the end of its first week on sale the album sold over 520,000, making it the second fastest-selling album of all-time in UK chart history. To date Progress has sold 2.8 million copies in the UK and has achieved similar chart success across Europe. In June 2011, Take That released their first extended play collection entitled Progressed which returned the band to number 1 in the UK on its first week of release as well as charting across Europe.
1996-1997: Green Man
After Take That split, Owen became the first of the band's ex-members to release a solo record. He reached number three in the UK Singles Chart with his debut single, "Child". His second single, "Clementine", also went to number three. In 1997 his album Green Man was released, charting at a number 33. After another single, "I Am What I Am", charted at number 29, Owen was dropped by BMG Records in late 1997.
2002-2003: Celebrity Big Brother & In Your Own Time
Owen won the second series of Celebrity Big Brother in November 2002 with 77% of the public vote against television presenter Les Dennis. Owen broke down in tears, overwhelmed by the fans' support. After being invited to perform on stage with Robbie Williams at Knebworth, he returned to the spotlight and signed a deal with Island/Universal Records. In August 2003, Owen returned to the charts with the Top 5 hit, "Four Minute Warning", which remained in the Top 40 for eight weeks. His second album, In Your Own Time, was released in November 2003, entering the charts at number 59. After a second single, "Alone Without You", charted at number 26, Owen was dropped by Island/Universal Records.
2004-2006: How the Mighty Fall
In April 2004 he established his own record company, Sedna Records. One report around 2004 even alleged that Owen was looking for a day job, but he simply said "Doing it properly isn't cheap. These are my indulgences. I don't have a Ferrari, I have two albums." Mark released his first single "Makin' Out" which charted at #30 in the UK charts, making it his highest charted single released in an independent label. He released his third solo album, How the Mighty Fall in 18 April 2005, which was recorded at Sunset Studios, Los Angeles in 2004. It charted at #56 in the German charts. According to Mark, he said that this is more "his" album than the last couple because he has had full control over every aspect of the record and it is a true representation of where he is at in his life right now. On the strength of this release, he was picked up by Caroline Elleray (Coldplay, Keane), resulting in him signing his publishing deal to BMG Music Publishing. Mark released his second single "Believe in the Boogie", charting at #57 in the UK charts, making it his lowest charting single of his whole solo career. Although it didn't chart well, his second single has been added to the European soundtrack of the American film Mr. and Mrs. Smith starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. In February 2006 he released "Hail Mary" as a single from the album.
2012-present: The Art of Doing Nothing
In March 2012, according to a report by The Sun Mark was planning to relaunch his solo career. A source said: "Mark has already made serious headway. He has put together new material in the studio with top writers and is planning more sessions over the next few months. All the lads are behind him. Success in his own right and his own writing material have always been a massive motivation, so he's a happy man." NME announced in October 2012 that Owen had finished recording the album and planned to tour the following spring.
In March 2013, further details of the album emerged, including the album title, "The Art of Doing Nothing". The album was then mixed in New York at the Electric Lady Studios by Michael Brauer, Charlie Russell, Ben Mark and Jamie Norton. He confirmed the album would feature a collaboration with singer-songwriter Ren Harvieu, and production from Alt-J producer Charlie Russell. A source said: "Mark is really excited about the album - he sees it more as a collaborative work than a solo album, something he made with a collection of his friends. He's worked with some really interesting people on it including Ren Harvieu and Charlie Russell, the producer who has worked with Alt-J, as well as some brilliant illustrators, photographers and film makers. People will be surprised by the results - it's not what fans will expect." The album will be released on June 10, 2013.
On May 1, 2013, Owen uploaded new photographs and videos to his official website, including the deluxe album artwork, which depicts Mark in a white room, scribbling on the wall, whilst wearing a dapper hat. A tagline to accompany the artwork reads: "Every idea has a starting place. Nothing begins in an empty space." The two videos consist of a montage video, picturing the photo shoot that shot the album cover, and the second, which is a short interview with Owen, in which he discusses the album's contents and cover. Following the announcement of his fourth studio album, Owen also confirmed that he would tour the UK and Germany throughout June.
Solo numbers in Take That
- "The Day After Tomorrow"
- "The Day The Work Is Done"
- "Hold On"
- "How Can It Be?"
- "Hold Up a Light"
- "Love Love"
- "Stay Together" (B side track)
- "Throwing Stones" (B side track)
- "Up All Night"
- "We All Fall Down' (B side track)
- "What You Believe In"
- "What Do you Want from Me?"
- "Wonderful World"
Mark Owen has also featured vocals on "Never Forget", "The Garden", "Said It All", "Man" and "Aliens", amongst others, where his distinct voice can be recognised.
Owen lives in Wandsworth, London. In 2006, he became engaged to actress Emma Ferguson, with whom he had been in a relationship since 2004. On 8 November 2009, the pair married in Cawdor Church, Scotland. They have a son, Elwood Jack, born in 2006; a daughter, Willow Rose, born in 2008; and a second daughter, Fox India, born in 2012. He is a Patron for the charity Beyond Autism 
In June 2012, it was revealed that along with Take That band-mates Howard Donald and Gary Barlow, Mark Owen had invested £26 million in music industry investment schemes. The news attracted controversy when it was understood that the schemes could serve as tax shelters for high net worth people. Lawyers responded to the claims, stating the band members 'paid significant tax, and that they believed the schemes were not for tax avoidance purposes but were legitimate commercial enterprises.'
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- Nathan, Sara (12 March 2010). "Mark Owen checks into rehab for his drinking in attempt to save his marriage". The Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- "Take That star Mark Owen shows off his ring after fairytale wedding to Emma Ferguson". The Daily Mail (UK). 8 November 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- 8:42 am GMT 11 Mar 2010 (11 March 2010). "Take That's Mark Owen admits affairs". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "'I'm so deeply sorry': Take That star Mark Owen confesses to TEN affairs". Daily Mail. UK. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
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