Ricky Wilson (singer)

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For the American musician of the same name, see Ricky Wilson (American musician).
Ricky Wilson
Kaiser Chiefs-Rock im Park 2014 by 2eight 3SC9054.jpg
Wilson performing with Kaiser Chiefs in 2014
Background information
Birth name Charles Richard Wilson
Born (1978-01-17) 17 January 1978 (age 38)
Keighley, West Yorkshire, England
  • Actor
  • musician
  • singer–songwriter
  • television personality
  • Vocals
  • harmonica
  • whistle
  • tambourine
  • ukulele
  • cowbell
  • piano
Years active 1999–present
Associated acts
Website twitter.com/rickontour

Charles Richard "Ricky" Wilson (born 17 January 1978) is an English singer-songwriter. He is known as the lead singer of Kaiser Chiefs, a five-piece band from Menston and Guiseley in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Their successful songs include "Ruby", "I Predict a Riot", "Never Miss a Beat", "Oh My God", "Everyday I Love You Less and Less", and "Coming Home".

Before the formation of the Kaiser Chiefs in 2003, Wilson was a member of the band Runston Parva (later known as Parva) which consisted of members of Kaiser Chiefs.

On 19 September 2013, Wilson was confirmed as a coach on The Voice UK. He was the winning coach for both the fourth and fifth series of the show, being the only coach to win two years consecutively. It was announced that the fifth series would be his last in late 2015.

Life and career[edit]

Wilson was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire to Glynne and TV producer, Geoff Wilson. [1] He attended Leeds Grammar School after Ghyll Royd primary school. He later attended Leeds Metropolitan University and completed his BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Arts and Design in 2000.[2] He then taught at Leeds College of Art for a year before the band's big break.[3]

During the early days of Kaiser Chiefs, Wilson was well known for wearing stripy blazers, waistcoats, turn-up jeans, and winkle picker shoes, a style that won him the Shockwaves NME Award For Best Dressed Person in 2006.[4] Lately, he has adopted a more casual dress code.

Wilson is well known for his energetic stage presence, climbing scaffolding, standing on the safety barrier, and at times crowd surfing. Of crowd surfing, Wilson says he likes to "get out and see the crowd, see what they smell like".[5] Such exploits have occasionally resulted in injury, such as torn ankle ligaments after jumping off stage during a concert in Portugal.[6]

In May 2006, Wilson was involved in a hit-and-run accident in his home town of Leeds. He was hit by the car while attempting to walk over a pedestrian crossing, suffering only bruising and a broken toe owing to a 'Ricky trademark jump' which resulted in him hitting the windscreen and being flipped over the top of the vehicle rather than trapped underneath.[7]

The Voice[edit]

On 19 September 2013, Wilson confirmed he would replace Danny O'Donoghue as a coach on the third series of The Voice UK alongside will.i.am, Tom Jones, and fellow new coach Kylie Minogue.[8][9] During the series, Katy B appeared as Wilson's team mentor.[10]

For the fourth series, Wilson appeared alongside Tom Jones, will.i.am and Rita Ora. He was named the winning coach during the 4 April 2015 live final when Stevie McCrorie won the public vote. The following year, he again appeared alongside will.i.am with new coaches, Boy George and Paloma Faith.[11] On 9 April 2016, he became winning coach for the second time when Kevin Simm won the fifth series. [12] The final pitted Team Ricky against Team Ricky with both of Wilson's acts knocking the other coaches out of the live final.[13] The win made him the Voice UK coach with the most wins.

He left the show prior to its move to ITV.[14]

Other works[edit]

Wilson has twice been a guest on the BBC Two television show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, firstly in 2005 as a panellist and then as a guest host in 2006. He also featured on the panel of the BBC Television comedy series, Shooting Stars, in 2009.

In 2008, he appeared in Peter Kay's talent show parody, Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice, in a duet with the show's protagonist, Geraldine McQueen.[15]

Wilson had a minor role in St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold, as the rock star boyfriend of Sarah Harding's character, Roxy.

Wilson stated on his Radio X show that he was cast to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 fronting a wizard band made up of actual musicians. When the band was replaced with CGI instruments, he was invited instead to appear in a background role as Dirk Cresswell in a scene at the Ministry of Magic.

Between November 2012 and January 2013, Wilson took on the role of the Artilleryman in the staged musical, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation.

Wilson and Kaiser Chiefs bassist Simon Rix wrote and performed the theme tune for Zig and Zag.[16]

In October 2015, Wilson became the host of Sky 1's music and comedy panel show Bring the Noise.[17]

Wilson joined new radio station Radio X in September 2015. He currently presents the Sunday morning show from 11am–2pm.[18]


  1. ^ "Do you want to wake up in rock star's bedroom?". yorkshirepost.co.uk. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Former Leeds Met student and Kaiser Chiefs frontman, Ricky Wilson, to be coach on BBC1's The Voice". Leedsmet.ac.uk. Retrieved 29 September 2014. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Q&A". theguardian.com. Retrieved 21 August 2005. 
  4. ^ "ShockWaves NME Awards 2006". Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Interview with Ricky Wilson, Kaiser Chiefs – Enjoyment (Universal Island, DVD Video, 2005)
  6. ^ "Kaiser Chiefs singer injures leg during gig". Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Kaiser Chiefs singer hit by car". Retrieved 23 May 2006. 
  8. ^ "'The Voice' UK: Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson confirmed as fourth coach". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kaiser Chiefs star Ricky Wilson joins The Voice". BBC News Online. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Wightman, Catriona (25 February 2014). "The Voice: Katy B, Tinie Tempah, more join as mentors – pictures". Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Paloma Faith and Boy George join The Voice, Sir Tom leaves". 14 Aug 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  12. ^ Mohan, Isabel (11 April 2016). "The Voice: why Kevin Simm deserved to win, plus 7 things we learned from the final". Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  13. ^ Travis, Ben (9 April 2016). "The Voice UK 2016: Former Liberty X star Kevin Simm beats Jolan, Lydia Lucy, and Cody Frost in the final". Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  14. ^ Daly, Emma (21 January 2016). "Ricky Wilson doesn't regret decision to leave The Voice: "It's only telly"". Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  15. ^ Ricky Wilson on Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor. YouTube. 12 Oct 2008. 
  16. ^ Zig and Zag theme by Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson and Simon Rix on CBBC. YouTube. 16 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Bring The Noise". Sky One. Sky UK. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  18. ^ "Ricky Wilson - Sundays 11am - 2pm". Retrieved 8 November 2016. 

External links[edit]