Jump to content

Shaun Ryder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shaun Ryder
Ryder performing with Happy Mondays at Coachella in 2007
Ryder performing with Happy Mondays at Coachella in 2007
Background information
Birth nameShaun William George Ryder
Also known asX
Born (1962-08-23) 23 August 1962 (age 61)
Little Hulton, Greater Manchester, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • television personality
  • author
  • Vocals
  • saxophone
  • guitar
  • piano
  • bass
  • tambourine
Years active1980–present
Member of

Shaun William George Ryder (born 23 August 1962) is an English singer, songwriter and poet.[1] As lead singer of Happy Mondays, he was a leading figure in the Madchester cultural scene during the late 1980s and early 1990s.[2] In 1993, he formed Black Grape with former Happy Mondays dancer Bez. He was the runner-up on the tenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.[3] Ryder collaborated with Gorillaz on "Dare", which peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart in September 2005, becoming the band's only UK number one single. Ryder is known for his distinctive sprechgesang and lyricism.

Early life[edit]

Shaun William George Ryder was born on 23 August 1962[4] in Little Hulton, Lancashire,[5] the son of nurse Linda[6][7] and postman Derek (who would later become Happy Mondays's tour manager).[8] By the age of 13, he had left school to work on a building site.[9]

Musical career[edit]

Happy Mondays[edit]

Happy Mondays' first release was the "Forty Five EP", often called the "Delightful EP" after its first track. It was released on Factory Records in September 1985.[10] Their first album, Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out), was released in 1987 and was produced by John Cale. This was followed by two further albums: Bummed, in 1988, produced by Martin Hannett, and Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, in 1990, produced by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne. The latter, recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, went platinum in the UK, selling more than 350,000 copies. Singles "Step On" and "Kinky Afro" from this album both reached number 5 in the UK singles chart.[11]

By the late 1980s, the Happy Mondays were an important part of the Manchester music scene and personified rave culture. Numerous world tours meant the band had international success as well as massive success in their home country. The line-up of the band during this first and most important ten-year phase never changed, and the six original members Shaun Ryder, Paul Ryder, Gary Whelan, Paul Davis, Mark Day, and Mark "Bez" Berry remained a tight unit until the first incarnation came to an end in 1994.[12] The band headlined the Friday night at Glastonbury Festival 1990.[11] In November of that year, Paul McCartney commented in NME: "I saw the Happy Mondays on TV, and they reminded me of the Beatles in their 'Strawberry Fields' phase."[13]

Musically, the band fused indie pop guitars with a rhythmic style that owed much to house music, Krautrock, funk, and northern soul.[14] Much of their music was remixed by popular DJs, emphasising the dance influences even further. In style and dress, they crossed hippy fashion and ideals with 1970s glamour. Sartorially and musically, the band helped to encourage the psychedelic revival associated with acid house.[citation needed]

Ryder's early years as a singer for Happy Mondays were depicted in the 2002 British biographical comedy drama film 24 Hour Party People, a semi-fictional account of Factory Records and the Manchester music scene of the 1980s and early 1990s. In the film, Ryder is portrayed by Danny Cunningham.[15]

Ryder has taken part in two reformations of Happy Mondays (1999–2000 and 2004–present).[16] He also released a solo studio album, Amateur Night in the Big Top, in 2003.[17]

In 2000, following the Big Day Out Festival in Australia with Happy Mondays, Ryder stayed on in Perth, Western Australia with Pete Carroll, who had a record label called Offworld Sounds. While in Perth he recorded Amateur Night in the Big Top, an album of punk electronica with Carroll, Shane Norton, Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire and Lucky Oceans from American country band Asleep at the Wheel.[18] Uncut called it, "exhilarating stuff. Another wildly implausible Ryder comeback" while Ministry of Sound said it was "A remarkable album. The most vitriolic lyrics this side of [Bob] Dylan's 'Ballad of a Thin Man' and Sex Pistols 'EMI'". The album was recorded quickly during a few late night sessions in Carroll's garage studio during an extremely hot Perth summer. The album was subsequently released on Offworld Sounds.

In 2004, Happy Mondays reunited to play a comeback gig called "Get Loaded in the Park" on Clapham Common, with only original members. Two years later they released the single "Playground Superstar", featured in the football film Goal, which was released after Bez had won Celebrity Big Brother.[19] In 2007 Happy Mondays released the studio album, Uncle Dysfunktional.[20] In 2009 he made a cameo appearance as himself in Channel 4 drama Shameless.[21]

Black Grape[edit]

In 1993 Ryder launched his new project, Black Grape.[22] Its first release, It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah (1995), topped the British album chart for a week.[23] However, the follow-up studio album, Stupid Stupid Stupid, did not achieve the same critical nor commercial success, and the group broke-up in 1998.[24] The group reformed briefly in 2010,[16] and released a single in 2015, and in August 2017, released Pop Voodoo, their first studio album since 1997.[25][26]

Other work[edit]

Ryder collaborated with Intastella in 1993 on the track "Can You Fly Like You Mean It?"[27] and in 1997, Ryder featured on the Agent Provocateur studio album Where the Wild Things Are on track 'Agent Dan'.[28]

He appeared on British tenor Russell Watson's 2001 debut studio album The Voice, lending his vocals to a cover version of the Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé song "Barcelona".[29]

In 2004, Ryder had a voice acting role in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in which he played Maccer, a washed-up, masturbation-addicted musician who was planning a major comeback tour.[30]

Ryder appeared in Peter Kay's "Is This the Way to Amarillo?" charity music video in 2005. Also in 2005, he collaborated with Gorillaz on "Dare", a song on their studio album Demon Days.[31] Chris Evans stated at the Brit Awards 2006 that the song was originally called "It's There", but was changed as Ryder's thick Mancunian accent made him pronounce the word "there" as "dare".[citation needed]

In 2021, he released his second solo studio album Visits from Future Technology.

In 2023, Ryder collaborated with the Lottery Winners on the track "Money" from their studio album Anxiety Replacement Therapy. This track was released as a single on 16 February 2023.

Other work[edit]


Ryder wrote a column for the Daily Sport, in which he commented on current events and celebrities.[32] The column was ghostwritten with journalist John Warburton, who would write a book about the Happy Mondays reunion in the late 1990s, and co-credited it to Ryder. He said he "didn't really have anything to do with it at all," explaining that Warburton had approached him to write a biography. Ryder said he was not interested in the idea at the time, but allowed him to accompany the band on tour and document the proceedings.[33][34]

In 2011, Ryder published his autobiography, Twisting My Melon: The Autobiography.[35][36] It was optioned by Granada Television and writer Danny Brocklehurst enlisted to write the screenplay.


In 2004 he was the subject of Richard Macer's BBC3 documentary Shaun Ryder: The Ecstasy and the Agony.[37] In 2006, he appeared in Shameless (series 6 episode 3) as himself.[38]

Ryder was a contestant on the tenth series of ITV's reality game show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2010, where he finished second behind Stacey Solomon.[3] In January 2011 Ryder appeared on the first series of the ITV programme That Sunday Night Show,[39] and again on the second series in September 2011.[40] He collaborated with fellow I'm a Celebrity contestant Stacey Solomon at the 2011 National Television Awards.[41]

In 2013, Ryder hosted the television show Shaun Ryder on UFOs on The History Channel UK.[42] He has a lifelong interest in UFOs and claims that he has personally encountered space aliens,[42] stating that he saw a UFO for the first time in 1978.[9]

In 2016, he appeared on Would I Lie to You?, being asked if he had trained his cat to wink.[43]

In 2017 Ryder appeared on Celebrity Juice as a member of Fearne Cotton's team.[38] The next year he starred in ITV's 100 years younger in 21 days and appeared on Celebrity Mastermind, with the specialist subject of Manchester.

In 2019, Ryder was interviewed on Sam Delaney's News Thing.[38][44] In August 2020, Ryder appeared in BBC Two comedy Mandy created by Diane Morgan in which he portrayed a fictional version of himself.

In 2023, he appeared in I'm a Celebrity... South Africa,[45] but was one of the first celebrities to be sent home after losing a trial in a double eviction on Saturday April 29, 2023.[46]

Personal life[edit]

Ryder has six children by four women, including a daughter, Coco, with Oriole, daughter of the singer Donovan.[47] For some time, he was addicted to heroin, saying he overcame it by taking up cycling.[9]

Ryder contested contracts he drew up with his Black Grape management team, compiled in 1993. Following his dismissal of the company, they sued him for £160,000. The income from his £30,000 a year Daily Sport column went solely to cover his costs. His appearance on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (2010) and a £130,000 book deal financed Ryder out of the contract.[48]

Ryder was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia later in life, saying in the 60s and 70s there was "no such thing as learning difficulties".[49] "When I was at school they didn't know about ADHD, there were just four sets, one being the brightest and four being crowd control"... so "for the first 40-something years of my life I didn't know I had it [ADHD]".[50]

In 2021 he took part in Channel 4's Stand Up and Deliver; mentored by Jason Manford, he developed his own stand-up set. Manford explained in an interview “Shaun's got severe ADHD, so remembering things, collecting information and taking on new thoughts, it's been a real challenge."[50]

Ryder took part in Channel 4's Fame in the Family; where Ryder discovered three long lost relatives, Tracey and James had the most direct blood connection, both second cousins.[51]


Solo studio albums


  • Shaun William Ryder XXX: 30 Years of Bellyaching (2010)





  1. ^ Bilmes, Alex (28 March 2019). "Tony Wilson Was Right: Shaun Ryder Is A Poet". Esquire. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Madchester remembered: 'There was amazing creative energy in Manchester at the time' | Music | The Guardian". TheGuardian.com. 21 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b "'I'm A Celebrity' Faces Fix Claims From Former Contestant Shaun Ryder". huffingtonpost.co.uk. 2 December 2016.
  4. ^ Michael Sutton. "Shaun Ryder Biography". All Music Guide. Rogue Digital, LLC. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  5. ^ Little Hulton did not join Salford until 1974 before which it was part of Worsley UDC
  6. ^ "Oh, happy day: Shaun Ryder's redemption". independent. 24 July 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
  7. ^ "Shaun Ryder with his family – National Portrait Gallery". www.npg.org.uk. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
  8. ^ johnrobb (24 November 2018). "Derek Ryder (Shaun and Paul's father and Happy Mondays mainstay) RIP". Louder Than War. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
  9. ^ a b c Jonze, Tim (1 July 2017). "Shaun Ryder: 'It was cycling that got me off drugs'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  10. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 421–422. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  11. ^ a b Toiler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 471. CN 5585.
  12. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 479. CN 5585.
  13. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 478. CN 5585.
  14. ^ David Szatmary Rockin' In Time A Social History of Rock and Roll ISBN 978-0-205-93624-3
  15. ^ "Festival de Cannes: 24 Hour Party People". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
  16. ^ a b Clarke, Betty (5 April 2010). "Black Grape". theguardian.com.
  17. ^ "Shaun Ryder – Amateur Night in the Big Top Album Reviews, Songs & More". allmusic.com. 2003. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  18. ^ Ted Kessler (20 June 2003). "'I look all right, don't I?'" (News article). The Guardian home. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Interview: Shaun Ryder*2". City Life. expletive undeleted. November 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  20. ^ "Never Mind The Dysfunktional Uncle... Here's the Happy Mondays". The Salford Star. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  21. ^ "Shaun Ryder to make cameo appearance in 'Shameless' tonight (February 10)". NME. IPC MEDIA. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  22. ^ "Happy Mondays". The Guardian home. Guardian News and Media Limited. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Shaun Ryder". Star Pulse. Starpulse.com. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  24. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 137. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  25. ^ Trendell, Andrew (4 May 2017). "Black Grape announce first new album in 20 years with new track 'Everything You Know Is Wrong'". nme.com. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  26. ^ Shaw, Mathew (2 August 2017). "Black Grape – Pop Voodoo – album review". louderthanwar.com. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  27. ^ "Intastella – Drifter". discogs.com. 1993. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  28. ^ "Agent Provocateur – Where The Wild Things Are". discogs.com. 1997. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  29. ^ "HAPPY MONDAYS – celebrating the baggy kings of Madchester". Pride of Manchester. HotelsForEurope.com. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  30. ^ "Shaun Ryder". Artist. Last.fm Ltd. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  31. ^ Miranda Sawyer (25 February 2007). "It's great when you're straight" (News article). The Observer. 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  32. ^ "Shaun Ryder solo show, career spanning set for FAC 251" (News article). Clash Music News. Clashmusic.com. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  33. ^ Warburton; Ryder 2011, front cover
  34. ^ Ryder 2012, p. 368
  35. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (15 September 2011). "'Shaun Ryder in the Happy Mondays wasn't me. He was a caricature'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  36. ^ Steve Jelbert (18 September 2011). "Twisting My Melon: The Autobiography, By Shaun Ryder". The Independent. Archived from the original (Article (review)) on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  37. ^ Macer, Richard (14 February 2004). "Straight but not great". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  38. ^ a b c "Shaun Ryder – Actor". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  39. ^ "That Sunday Night Show, episodes guide (season 1)". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  40. ^ "That Sunday Night Show, episodes, season 2". The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  41. ^ "Stacey Solomon and Shaun Ryder to open NTAs". Bang Showbiz. The List Ltd. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  42. ^ a b Simon Hattenstone (1 November 2013). "Shaun Ryder on UFOs: 'It's not that I want to believe – it's impossible not to'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  43. ^ "Would I Lie to You? Series 10 Episode 7 of 9 – Has Shaun Ryder really taught his cat to wink?". 14 October 2016.
  44. ^ "Shaun Ryder: The Gallaghers would never touch Richard & Judy – News Thing". YouTube. 2019.
  45. ^ "I'm A Celebrity Unveils Line-Up For Upcoming All Stars Series In South Africa". HuffPost UK. 26 March 2023. Retrieved 26 March 2023.
  46. ^ "I'm A Celebrity South Africa viewers baffled as show taken off air after double eviction". msn.com. 30 April 2023.
  47. ^ "How Donovan and Coco, his granddaughter, caught their wind". 3 April 2017.
  48. ^ Kate Mossman (17 April 2019). ""I look like Uncle Fester": the second life of Shaun Ryder". Newstatesman.com. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  49. ^ Shaw, Karen (23 March 2020). "Exclusive interview with Shaun Ryder » Northern Life". Northern Life Magazine. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  50. ^ a b Begley, Katie (24 February 2021). "Jason Manford teaches Shaun Ryder to be stand-up comic – with fiery results". mirror. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  51. ^ Hyland, Ian (17 March 2022). "Shaun Ryder searching for Fame in the Family is top teatime TV and I am hooked » Daily Mirror". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  52. ^ "1995". Nme.com. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  53. ^ Sarah Anderson (29 November 2017). "23 glorious years of NME's Godlike Genius Award". Nme.com. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  54. ^ "Shaun Ryder winner of the John Peel Music Innovation Award for..." Gettyimages.dk. Retrieved 20 April 2019.


  • Middles, Mick (1997). Shaun Ryder – Happy Mondays, Black Grape & Other Traumas. Independent Music Press. ISBN 1-897783-11-6.
  • Verrico, Lisa (1998). High Life 'N' Low Down Dirty – The Thrills and Spills of Shaun Ryder. Ebury Press. ISBN 0-09-185419-9.
  • Middles, Mick (1998). Shaun Ryder... In His Own Words. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-6815-2.
  • Bez (1998). Freaky Dancin' – Me and the Mondays. Pan. ISBN 0-330-48197-5.
  • Haslam, Dave (1999). Manchester, England. 4th Estate. ISBN 1-84115-146-7.
  • Wilson, Tony (2002). 24 Hour Party People – What The Sleeve Notes Never Tell You. Channel 4 Books. ISBN 0-7522-2025-X.
  • Warburton, John & Ryder, Shaun (2003). Hallelujah!: The Extraordinary Story of Shaun Ryder and "Happy Mondays". Virgin Books. ISBN 1-4053-1031-6.
  • Ryder, Shaun (2011). Twisting my Melon- the Autobiography. FSC.

External links[edit]