Martin Fry

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Martin Fry
Martin Fry (ABC) - 13534363485.jpg
Fry performing in March 2014
Martin David Fry

(1958-03-09) 9 March 1958 (age 65)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
Years active1980–present
SpouseJulie Fry (m.1986)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
Member ofABC
Formerly ofVice Versa

Martin David Fry (born 9 March 1958)[4] is an English singer, songwriter, composer, musician, and record producer.

Fry's music career spans more than 40 years. He came to prominence in the early 1980s as co-founder and lead singer of the pop band ABC, which released six singles that entered the top 20 charts in the United Kingdom during the 1980s, including "Tears Are Not Enough", "Poison Arrow", "The Look of Love", "All of My Heart", "That Was Then but This Is Now" and "When Smokey Sings". He is the only member who has been with ABC throughout its entire history and is currently its only official member.

Early years[edit]

Martin David Fry was born on 9 March 1958 in Stretford, Lancashire (now part of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester) and grew up in nearby Bramhall, Stockport, alongside his younger brother Jamie, who later went on to join the indie rock band Earl Brutus.[5] Fry was editing a fanzine titled Modern Drugs in 1978, and first met future ABC band members Mark White and Stephen Singleton while interviewing them for an article in the fanzine. White and Singleton, then fronting an electronic band called Vice Versa, invited Fry to join their band to play additional keyboards.[6]


With Fry in place as lead singer and lyricist, Vice Versa changed their name to ABC and changed their sound to a contemporary pop style that at that time led them to be categorised with bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and the Human League.[6] Between 1982 and 1991, ABC recorded six studio albums (The Lexicon of Love, Beauty Stab, How to Be a ... Zillionaire!, Alphabet City, Up and Abracadabra) and released a greatest hits compilation album, Absolutely. During this time, the band went through numerous personnel changes, with Fry and Mark White being its only permanent members.

Following the Zillionaire album, ABC temporarily fell from prominence while Fry was being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma, an uncommon cancer.[7]

ABC disbanded in 1991, with White retiring from music to pursue an interest in Reiki therapy. Fry continued to work with EMI in the months thereafter but was axed from the label before his solo material could be released. Fry resurrected the ABC name in 1997 for the album Skyscraping, a homage to several of his musical heroes, including David Bowie, Roxy Music and the Sex Pistols.[8] The album was a collaboration with Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 and Honeyroot's Keith Lowndes.

The band has toured extensively and performed live at events such as the 2001 Night of the Proms, where Fry was supported by a 72-piece orchestra and 50-piece choir.[9] In 2008, Fry released a new ABC album titled Traffic.

In April 2009, Fry and original drummer David Palmer performed The Lexicon of Love album live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The band was accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Anne Dudley of Art of Noise fame, who arranged and played keyboards on the original record, conducted the Royal Albert Hall performance.[8]

Fry and Palmer (as ABC) toured the U.S. as part of the 2009 'Regeneration Tour',[10] which also featured Terri Nunn of Berlin, Wang Chung and the Cutting Crew.

In April 2016, a single with a music video, "Viva Love" was released as a teaser for The Lexicon of Love II album. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at No. 5, the band's highest chart position since 1982 and first top 10 entry since 1990.

Other work[edit]

Besides working with ABC, Fry has also recorded and toured with other artists.[11]

Fry (left) and Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley (right) performing live, 2005

Personal life[edit]

On 19 July 2012, Fry received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Sheffield for his contribution of more than 30 years to music. The following day, his daughter, Nancy received her degree from the Department of Sociological Studies from the same university.[13]

As of 2016, he has been married to his wife Julie for more than 30 years.[14]



Year Album
1982 The Lexicon of Love
1983 Beauty Stab
1985 How to Be a ... Zillionaire!
1987 Alphabet City
1989 Up
1991 Abracadabra
1997 Skyscraping
2008 Traffic
2016 The Lexicon of Love II


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "ABC – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Stylus Magazine".
  3. ^ "Alphabet City - ABC | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  4. ^ Paul Lester (15 November 2008). "Steel crazy: The Human League, ABC, Heaven 17". Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  5. ^ Frame, Pete. Pete Frame's Rockin' Around Britain: Rock'n'roll Landmarks of the UK and Ireland. Omnibus, 1999. ISBN 0-7119-6973-6, ISBN 978-0-7119-6973-5. BRAMHALL ABC's Martin Fry and his younger brother Jamie (currently in Earl Brutus) grew up in this leafy middle-class suburb.
  6. ^ a b Power, Ed (27 June 2013). "ABC's Martin Fry regrets not capitalising on early success". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  7. ^ Fulton, Rick (16 May 2014). "ABC star Martin Fry gets ready to rock on 80s revival circuit at Rewind Festival". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Lexicon of ABC". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  9. ^ "ABC". Archived from the original on 2 December 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Regeneration". Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  12. ^ "ABC's Fry Is Hugh Grant's New Vocal Coach". Billboard. 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  13. ^ University of Sheffield (6 July 2012). "ABC singer takes centre stage in honorary degree ceremonies". University of Sheffield.
  14. ^ "Radio Devon - Listen Live - BBC Sounds".

External links[edit]