Gary Barlow Biography
Born in Frodsham, Cheshire, on 20th January 1971, Gary credits his his parents for getting him involved in the music business. At the age of 10 they gave him a choice of either a BMX bike or a keyboard for Christmas - Gary chose the keyboard.
He began working as a musician at the age of 11, doing the rounds of Working Men's Clubs, evenutally winning a talent competition at the Connah's Quay Labour Club in North Wales which led to him being offered a regular Saturday night gig.
At the age of 15, Gary entered a national BBC Pebble Mill competition called 'A Song For Christmas'. He wrote a ballad named 'Let's Pray For Christmas' which his music teacher entered for the competition. Pebble Mill invited him down to London's West Heath Studios to record his song, he achieved 2nd prize.
In 1990, together with Mark Owen, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Robbie Williams, Take That was born! Take That were Britain's top boyband for 6 years, before splitting at the height of their fame in April 1996.
During his career with Take That, Gary gained much public and music business respect for his songwriting, being awarded no less than 4 Ivor Novello Awards, which included the Songwriter of The Year Award in 1993. 6 of the 8 Number 1 hits Take That had were written by Gary.
In April 1996 Gary finally went solo. His first solo single "Forever Love" (written by Gary) debuted in June 1996 and went to Number 1 in the UK Charts. His second single 'Love Won't Wait' (written by Madonna) was released in May 1997 and also topped the charts.
In June 1997 the long awaited solo album 'Open Road' was released and went straight to Number 1 in the album charts. This was quickly followed up by the release of 'So Help Me Girl' (Number 11) in July 1997 and 'Open Road' (Number 7) in November 1997.
Gary's first ever single to be released in the States as a solo artist was 'So Help Me Girl' which reached 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart and an amazing Number 1 on both the Billboard Adult Contemporary and Radio & Record Play (R&R) charts!
February 1998 saw Gary's first solo European Tour, which was completely sold out at every venue and in March 1998 Gary did his first solo tour of the UK, also a sell-out. The tour was hailed as a great success, ending in a performance at the Albert Hall. March 1998 saw the release of his first solo video, 'Open Book' - a compilation of his singles videos and a personal interview.
Gary then took a year out, before going back into the recording studios to begin work on his second album. In June 1999 he came back with the release of the very upbeat 'Stronger', which reached Number 15 on the UK Charts. This was followed up in September 1999 with 'For
All That You Want', which reached Number 24 - despite no airplay on major radio stations and little promotion.
In October 1999, the long-awaited '12 Months 11 Days' album was released with very little promotion, no airplay on major radio stations and very little outlet distribution. Again, despite this, it reached Number 35 in the album charts. This was followed up with a very successful UK tour in December 1999.
Gary once again decided to take time out and on 12 January 2000 he married his long-time girlfriend Dawn Andrews on the Carribean island of Nevis. On 16 August 2000 Gary became a dad for the first time when Dawn gave birth to Daniel, weighing in at a very healthy 9lbs
February 2001 saw Gary leave the UK for a 12 month songwriting project in the USA - taking in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York. Dawn and baby Daniel went with him. Gary is currently signed to SONY with a publishing deal.
For a more detailed biography, please visit the GB FANS Gary Barlow Website.