Hadley performing in June 2014
|Birth name||Anthony Patrick Hadley|
|Born||2 June 1960|
Islington, London, England
Anthony Patrick Hadley (born 2 June 1960) is an English singer-songwriter, occasional stage actor and radio presenter. He rose to fame in the 1980s as the lead singer of the new wave band Spandau Ballet before launching a solo career following the group's split in 1990. Hadley is recognisable for his suave image, as well as his powerful blue-eyed soul voice, which has been described by AllMusic as a "dramatic warble". He has also been characterised as a "top crooner" by the BBC.
Anthony Patrick Hadley was born the eldest of three children at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, North London. He has a sister, Lee, and a brother, Steve. His father, Patrick Hadley, worked as an electrical engineer for the Daily Mail, and his mother, Josephine, worked for the local health authority. Hadley attended Dame Alice Owen's Grammar School in England.
Spandau Ballet was formed in 1976 as The Cut, with Gary Kemp, Steve Norman, John Keeble, Michael Ellison and Tony Hadley, all of whom were students at the same grammar school. As a member of Spandau Ballet, Hadley went on to enjoy international success in the 1980s, including hits such as "True", "Gold" and "Through the Barricades", as well as appearing at Live Aid in 1985. Spandau Ballet disbanded in 1989 after their final studio album, Heart Like a Sky, failed to live up to the critical and commercial success of their earlier albums, such as True and Parade. Heart Like a Sky was not released in the United States.
In April 1999, Hadley, along with fellow band members Steve Norman and John Keeble, failed in their attempt to sue Gary Kemp, the band's principal songwriter, for a share of his royalties. However, in recent years Norman is again on good terms with Gary and his brother, Martin Kemp, who at one time played bass guitar in the band. In early 2009, newspaper reports claimed that Spandau Ballet was set to reform later that year. On 25 March 2009, it was confirmed that the band had reformed and were embarking on a tour of the UK and Ireland in October 2009.
Spandau Ballet song "True" was sampled by the American Hip Hop Music Act P.M. Dawn in their song "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" released in their first album Of The Heart, Of The Soul and Of The Cross: The Utopian Experience released in 1991. Hadley also featured a cameo in the music video. "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" achieved immediate commercial success. The single hit #1 the week of November 30, 1991, and holds the distinction of being the first #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart following the introduction of Nielsen SoundScan to the chart. The song also reached #3 in the United Kingdom.
After Spandau Ballet disbanded, Hadley pursued a solo career, signing to EMI and recording his first album, The State of Play, in 1992. After leaving EMI, Hadley formed his own record company, SlipStream Records, and his first release was the single "Build Me Up", from the film When Saturday Comes. Shortly after that, in December 1996, Hadley embarked on an orchestral tour of Europe, along with Joe Cocker, Paul Michiels, Dani Klein and Guo Yue, playing to 500,000 concertgoers in six weeks.
On his return from that tour, Hadley signed a joint deal with PolyGram TV, and released his next eponymous solo album, Tony Hadley, in 1997, which included covers and songs that were chosen to match his voice. The album also featured some of his own self-penned songs, such as "She", which he wrote for daughter Toni.
To plug the gap between studio albums, Hadley also released Obsession (later re-released as Obsession Live), a live album recorded in just one night in 2001 at the club Ronnie Scott's in Birmingham.
He also collaborated, in the past and present, with various dance acts and DJs, such as Tin Tin Out, Eddie Lock, Marc et Claude, Regi Penxten (Milk Inc.) and the Disco Bros, and played alongside people such as Alice Cooper, Paul Young, Jon Anderson, and Brian May. In 1999 Alan Parsons chose him as lead singer for the track "Out of the Blue" on the album The Time Machine. Hadley's usual band line up features John Keeble (drums), Phil Taylor (keyboards), Phil Williams (bass guitar), Richie Barrett (guitar), and Dawn Joseph on backing vocals. His early band, with whom he realised his debut album, included instead, besides himself and Keeble, Spandau Ballet's regular keyboard player, Toby Chapman, Jerry Stevenson (guitar) and Kevin Miller (bass guitar).
Hadley was the subject of some newfound respect in the 2000s, rooted in an "ironic" appreciation for Spandau Ballet; John Darnielle of the indie folk rock group The Mountain Goats wrote about his admiration for Hadley's vocal strengths.
In 2003, Hadley was the winner of the ITV reality television series Reborn in the USA, appearing alongside other singers, such as Elkie Brooks, Peter Cox from Go West and Leee John from Imagination. Capitalizing on his victory of the American reality show, his Debut compilation was re-issued, and his second collection True Ballads was also released in the same year, including some of his solo tracks, most of the cover songs already contained in his second studio album, and historical hits from the Spandau Ballet period.
Hadley has continued with a busy performing schedule and also toured with both Cox and Martin Fry from the band ABC. He released a jazz-swing album in 2006, titled Passing Strangers, and traveled on a "by request" tour from March to May 2006. This was followed by a big band tour later the same year.
In January 2007, Hadley performed in the West End musical Chicago as crooked lawyer Billy Flynn, at the Cambridge Theatre. Hadley took over from ex-Emmerdale actor Ian Kelsey, and featured from 29 January to 14 April 2007. He said: "Three months was long enough, I didn't want to out-stay my welcome. I got a phone call offering me the part. I went to see the show, which I thought was great. While I was in it, I got great reviews. Chicago tied in with my swing album, Passing Strangers, so the whole thing worked well."
Hadley performed a set with other 1980s acts at Retro Fest on 1 September 2007 at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland. This appearance included a rendition of "Addicted to Love", with Fry and Cox.
In February 2008, Hadley took part in the Italian Sanremo Festival, where he duetted in both English and Italian with contestant Paolo Meneguzzi on Meneguzzi's song, "Grande" ("Big"), during the third day of the contest (where all contestants re-interpreted their songs with guest artists). On 22 February 2008, he performed as an interval act at the semi-final of Dora 2008, the selection of the Croatian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Hadley has revealed that his solo career has been more financially rewarding than his period at the top of the charts with Spandau Ballet. He said that 2008 was his best-ever earning year, having performed in over 220 shows.
In 2013, Hadley and his 1980s chart peers Kim Wilde, Bananarama and Go West set a new world record for Comic Relief when they performed the highest ever gig, singing on a Boeing 767 aeroplane at 43,000 ft (13,000 m).
In 2014, Hadley took part in the prime-time RAI TV show La Pista as team leader of the Tacco 10 female dance troupe. Over the course of the competition, Hadley performed both Spandau Ballet's "Gold", as well as "Rio", originally a hit for rival band Duran Duran. Other well known singer-contestants that took part in the weekly show included Amii Stewart and Sabrina Salerno.
On 3 July 2017, Tony Hadley announced on Twitter that due to circumstances beyond his control, he was no longer a member of Spandau Ballet.
Hadley worked as a radio presenter with Virgin Radio, taking over the Friday Night Virgin Party Classics show from Suggs (of the band Madness) in August 2007. In January 2008, he was given the Saturday Night Virgin Party Classics show as well. He left both shows in September 2008. In 2015 he was listed as a presenter for Absolute Radio.
Hadley also appeared in the British short movie Shoot The DJ, in which he plays Eddie Richards. The film also featured Hadley's daughter, Toni. Hadley's song "After All This Time" was used as the theme song for the popular BBC series Down to Earth, which ran from 2000 until 2005.
Hadley took part in the 2015 series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, beginning on 10 November 2015. He was eliminated on 4 December, finishing in sixth place.
Hadley is the father of six children: Grace,Ruby,Toni and Mackenzie with his first wife, Leonie Lawson, then Zara (born 21 December 2006) and Genevieve (born 6 February 2012) with Alison Evers, whom he married in July 2009 at Cliveden House. Hadley split from Leonie in 2003, after 20 years of marriage. Hadley lives in Buckinghamshire with wife Alison and his youngest two children, Zara and Genevieve.
Hadley stated on the television show Loose Women (22 February 2007) that he is 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) and 17 1⁄2 stone (111 kilograms). He is proud of his work ethic, which he claims was instilled into him from a young age by his parents, and he says he has never claimed benefits.
In 2006, Hadley became a co-owner of the Red Rat Craft Brewery, where he issued Hadley's Golden Ale, Hadley's Crazy Dog Stout. The business closed in 2013, but Hadley went on to issue a golden lager in association with The Great Yorkshire Brewery. Hadley has since become co-owner of the 99p Chicken Nugget chain of takeaways with London-based style icon AJ Clarke. Clarke approached Hadley following his well documented brawl with a street food vendor over their misleading advertising of nugget prices and availability. Clarke and Hadley started the business in early 2018 and its success is large in part to their ‘low cost, high quality meat’, offering 14 chicken nuggets for 99p. Stylish Clarke claims to put ‘the flair into food fayre’, whilst Hadley claims to ‘just love nuggets’.
Hadley is a supporter of the Conservative Party and an admirer of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Journalist Andrew Pierce, in a 2014 piece for the Daily Mail, described Hadley as "the Tories' biggest celebrity backer". He has attended the party's annual conference and was once reported to be interested in standing as an MP. The New Statesman has described Hadley as one of the few openly right-wing rock stars.
- Sep 21, 1992 – The State of Play
- Sep 8, 1997 – Tony Hadley (cover album, also including some self-penned songs)
- Oct 2, 2006 – Passing Strangers (jazz/swing album)
- Nov 27, 2015 – The Christmas Album
- Jun 8, 2018 – Talking to the Moon
- Feb 28, 2000 – Obsession
- Feb 18, 2002 – Obsession Live (re-issue)
- Jun 9, 2003 - Reborn
- May 3, 2004 - Tony Hadley vs. Peter Cox & Go West
- Feb 21, 2005 - Tony Hadley vs. Martin Fry & ABC
- Jun 4, 2007 - The Kings of Swing (Tony Hadley & Tony Bennett)
- Oct 5, 2009 - An Evening of Gold (Hadley, Norman & Keeble)
- Sep 16, 2013 – Live from Metropolis Studios (CD+DVD)
- Aug 14, 2000 – Debut (with early solo tracks, as performed live on German TV in 1992)
- May 13, 2002 - Tony Hadley (re-issue)
- Apr 28, 2003 - The State of Play (re-issue)
- Apr 28, 2003 – True Ballads (including solo tracks, cover songs, and Spandau Ballet's classic hits) – UK number 31
- Sep 7, 2009 - The State of Play... Plus
|Release Date||Song||Peak chart positions||Album|
|Feb 24, 1992||"Lost in Your Love"||42||The State of Play|
|Aug 17, 1992||"For Your Blue Eyes Only"||67|
|Jan 4, 1993||"The Game of Love"||72|
|Sep, 1993||"Absolution"||-||Non-album Single|
|Mar 11, 1996||"Build Me Up"||89|
|Apr 28, 1997||"Dance with Me"
(Tin Tin Out feat. Tony Hadley)
|Nov 10, 1997||"First of May"||-||Tony Hadley|
|Feb 16, 1998||"Dance with Me"||-|
|Apr, 1998||"Save a Prayer"||-|
|Nov, 2000||"Will U Take Me"||-||Non-album Single|
|Sep 17, 2001||Tony Hadley EP:"Get So Lonely" / "Beautiful Girl"
"Follow Me" / "Have I the Right"
|Apr 1, 2002||"Feel You"
(Marc et Claude feat. Tony Hadley)
|-||You Own the Sound|
|May, 2002||"Sweet Surrender"||-||Non-album Single|
|Nov, 2006||"The Mood I'm In"||-||Passing Strangers|
|Jan, 2007||"Wives & Lovers"||-|
|Apr, 2007||"The Good Life"||-|
|Jan 28, 2011||"Goodbye Malinconia"
(Caparezza feat. Tony Hadley)
|-||Il sogno eretico|
|Jul 21, 2014||"Gold"
(GBX vs. Johnny F feat. Tony Hadley)
|Aug 14, 2014||"Take Back Everything"||89||Talking to the Moon|
|Nov 3, 2014||"Happy Birthday JC" (Tree of Hope feat.
Tony Hadley, Paul Young & Aspire Arts Academ)
|Nov 18, 2016||"Through the Barricades"
(Funky Voices with Tony Hadley)
|May 1, 2018||"Tonight Belongs to Us"||-||Talking to the Moon|
|Jul 27, 2018||"Take Back Everything" (re-issue)||-|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart or was not issued in that region.|
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- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 239. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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