Webbe in 2011
|Birth name||Simon Solomon Webbe|
|Born||30 March 1978|
|Origin||Moss Side, Manchester, England|
|Genres||Pop, R&B, soul, hip hop|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, rapper, actor, music manager|
|Labels||Innocent Records (2005–08)|
|Associated acts||Blue, VS|
Simon Solomon Webbe (born 30 March 1978) is a British singer-songwriter, rapper, actor and music manager. He is best known as a member of the boy band Blue, forming in 2000 before splitting in 2005 and reforming in 2009, selling over 15 million records. Webbe released three solo studio albums in 2005, 2006 and 2017 sold over 700,000 records worldwide and had five UK Top 40 singles.
Webbe was born on 30 March 1978. His parents are of Saint Kitts and Nevis descent.
2001–05: Early career and Blue
The band released their debut single "All Rise" in May 2001 and it reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart. Blue's second single was released in August with the chart-topping "Too Close", a cover version of Next's US number 1 hit produced by Ray Ruffin. Their second number one came in November with "If You Come Back" also produced by Ray Ruffin and co-written by Nicole Anderson aka Nicole Formescu, Lee Brennan, Ian Hope and Ray Ruffin off the album All Rise, which was released in time for Christmas and reached number one, eventually selling in excess of about 1.8 million albums sold in the UK. Blue reached number six in March 2002 with their fourth single, "Fly By II" – a remix of album track "Fly By", which also went to number 30 in Portugal.
Their second studio album One Love was released in 2002. The album entered at UK number 1, where it stayed for one week. Three singles were released from the album: "One Love" (UK number 3), "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" featuring Elton John (UK number 1), and "U Make Me Wanna" (UK number 4). The group also performed the song "Flexin'" at the 2003 MTV Asia Awards with the Philippines' singer Kyla.
Guilty (the album and the single [UK number 2]) was released in late 2003. The next singles were "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" (sung with Stevie Wonder and Angie Stone) (UK number 11), "Breathe Easy" (UK number 4), and "Bubblin'" (UK number 9). The album Guilty sold more than one million copies in the UK.
The band decided to split after Elton John suggested that their popularity was decreasing and that they should concentrate on their solo careers. Best of Blue greatest hits compilation was released in 2004, which contained all-time hits including new tracks such as Curtain Falls, "Get Down on It" and "Only Words I Know". The album was No.2 on charts in Portugal with a double platinum certification.
Webbe launched his post-Blue career on 22 August 2005 with his first solo single "Lay Your Hands" which peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. His follow-up single "No Worries" reached No.4 in the UK, making him the only Blue member to have multiple Top 10 singles. After the release of two singles, Webbe released his debut solo album Sanctuary which debuted at number 28 on the UK Albums Chart. Despite its relatively low debut it eventually reached number 7 on the chart and has now gone double platinum. The third single from Sanctuary, "After All This Time" was released in February 2006, but it failed to do as well as his previous releases and peaked at number 16.
2006–07: Grace and "Run"
On 30 October 2006, came the first single from Webbe's new album "Coming Around Again". When released it reached number 12 in the UK Singles Chart. His second album Grace was released on 13 November 2006, and peaked at number 11 in the UK Albums Chart. The second single "My Soul Pleads for You" was released on 19 February 2007, and reached 45 on the singles chart. On 21 May 2007, Webbe launched his first tour to support his second album Grace. The tour consisted of 18 dates through May and June, starting in Cambridge and culminating in London. In early June, it was announced that Webbe would be releasing the title track from his second studio album with the theme song from the upcoming film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The single was a double A-side release of "Grace"/"Ride the Storm". It reached number 36 in the UK. In Europe, "Seventeen" was released instead of "Grace".
During his 2007 UK Tour, Webbe previewed some songs from his third studio album, including "Run", which he claimed had been announced as the first single. He also claimed that 'Run' could possibly be the title of the album. It is thought that the album was postponed from its 2009 release date due to the reunion of Blue, and that it will be released at some point in the future.
2008–2016: Blue reunion, Eurovision Song Contest and Television
Since entering the music industry Webbe has extended his range of business ventures. His two most notable companies are Love 4 Music and Love 4 PR, both of which he co-runs with Jade Reuben. He managed the group VS who supported Blue on their tour. They were also signed to Innocent Records, the same label as Blue, and released three singles, "Love You Like Mad" (#7), "Call U Sexy" (#11) and "Make It Hot" (#29), plus an album, All Kinds of Trouble. The band has since broken up and member Marvin Humes went on to be part of boyband JLS. He also managed North London rapper MR BLARNY who was the only other act (after VS) to sign to Webbe's LOVE 4 Music label. Later Webbe managed American/British girlband L.A.D.E., whose video for their unreleased single "Shake It Off" featured Webbe and Blue bandmate Duncan James. In return the girls appeared in Blue's single "Bubblin'" with MR BLARNY also featuring on the remixes. The British rapper is still recording music releasing "YOUR BEST TIME" in 2013 (featuring LOLA) while the current professional music status of the girls is unknown. Also in 2004, Webbe was voted Company magazine's 62nd Sexiest Man Alive and appeared as a striker on Sky 1's The Match.
In 2007, he released a series of educational DVDs for children entitled Simon's Web. The six volumes endeavoured to teach children about the internet, its history and uses. In 2008, he participated in British reality television show, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Which he finished in fifth place. On 28 April 2009, Blue announced that they had reformed and will return to the stage with a new album coming soon. Webbe featured on Ras Kwame's Spit TV rapping with fellow Manchester hip-hop artists Lyrican and Hoodman.
On 23 November 2011, it was announced that Webbe would be taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. Webbe was the first celebrity to compete (dancing the Cha Cha Cha to "Merry Christmas Everybody") – supported in the audience by fellow Blue bandmates Duncan James and Antony Costa. His celebrity partner was Katya Virshilas. The judges placed Webbe in joint third – with a score of 36 out of 40. The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special was broadcast on BBC One on 25 December 2011.
On 21 August 2014, Webbe was confirmed on ITV's Good Morning Britain as a contestant on the upcoming twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing. He was partnered with professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff for the series and the pair were declared runners-up on 20 December.
On 28 July 2017, Webbe announced the release of his third studio album Smile due for release on 13 October 2017.
In 2004 he co-starred in the romantic-comedy The Truth About Love, directed by John Hay. The film also featured Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dougray Scott and Jimi Mistry. His second acting project was a 2006 British gangster movie, Rollin' with the Nines. The film co-starred Vas Blackwood, Billy Murray, Robbie Gee and was directed by Julian Gilbey.
Webbe has a daughter, Alanah (born 1996), with ex-girlfriend Nicola Jones, a shop assistant from Solihull. She is the inspiration for his 2007 single "Grace". He is reportedly a cousin of the former Sugababes singer, Keisha Buchanan. His brother Duane Bryan was a contestant on the 2012 series of The Apprentice. He is related to Labour Party politician Claudia Webbe.
- Ancestry.co.uk Entry in Birth Index for England & Wales
- "Sister Act Confirms Closure for 1 Jan, Webbe Joins – Sister Act at London Palladium – London". Whatsonstage.com. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "Simon Webbe performs 'Perfect Day' show". Digital Spy.
- mirror Administrator. "Eurovision: Blue and Jedward lose out to Azerbaijan duo". mirror.
- "Strictly Come Dancing 2011: Su Pollard, Barry McGuigan, Charlie Brooks, Simon Webbe and Debra Stephenson to star in Christmas special". Daily Mirror. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "Simon Webbe determined to win Strictly special". The List. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "Blue singer Simon Webbe confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2014". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Simon Webbe returns to music with new album "Smile"". Entertainment Focus. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
- Simon Webbe: I'm A Celebrity Top 10 facts. Mirror.co.uk (11 November 2008). Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- McKeegan, Alice (13 March 2012). "Revealed: The Apprentice 2012 contestant Duane Bryan is have-a-go hero (and brother of Blue singer Simon Webbe)". Manchester Evening News.
- Gelder, Sam (10 May 2018). "Claudia Webbe: Islington transport chief announces bid to be Labour candidate for Lewisham East by-election". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
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