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Overview for Bryan Ferry
Bryan Ferry

Bryan Ferry


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 26, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Washington, England, GB Profession: Music ...


An icon of the glitter-rock era, Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry was renowned as much for his voice as for his matinee-idol image. A County Durham native from working-class roots, he studied art at the University of Newcastle and met his future bandmates after a move to London. He also studied with renowned visual artist Richard Hamilton, who he would cite as an influence for decades afterward. Formed in 1970, Roxy Music made a unique mix of romance and cool irony, richly layered arrangements and pre-punk intensity. As the main writer and frontman Ferry was largely responsible for their direction, particularly after cofounder Brian Eno left after two albums. (He and Ferry reportedly didn't get along.) The 1972 debut single "Virginia Plain" began a long run for the band on the U.K. charts, though their U.S. breakthrough would have to wait until "Love is the Drug" in 1975-- by which time Ferry was having a high-profile romance (his girlfriend Jerry Hall, their cover model for Siren, later left him for Mick Jagger), and the band was about to split. Ferry began making solo albums during the peak of Roxy Music's U.K. success; 1973's These Foolish Things and 1974's Another Time, Another Place were both devoted to pop standards, often with tongue in cheek; the latter had Lesley Gore's girl-group weeper "It's My Party" without a change of lyric. However Ferry's music would take a stronger romantic turn during the '80s, both solo and with a reformed Roxy Music. The band's final album, 1982's Avalon, featured a lush, textured and mostly slow-paced sound that would remain Ferry's trademark for the duration; each of his albums since then was impeccably produced and years in the making. 1985's "Slave to Love," which he performed at Live Aid, became his biggest solo hit. He continued to make interpretive albums, returning to the American songbook on As Time Goes By (1999) and doing an album-length Dylan tribute on 2007's Dylanesque; his original albums (including 2014's Avonmore) continued the lush sound of Avalon. He also recorded a pair of retro-styled, largely-instrumental albums as the Bryan Ferry Orchestra. Ferry's personal life saw its share of drama. In 2000 he was aboard the hijacked British Airways flight that made the sharpest descent any plane has survived. In 2012 Ferry married Amanda Sheppard who was 35 years his junior and his son's ex-girlfriend; they separated eighteen months later because she wanted children and he didn't. Ferry also raised eyebrows with his politics, notably in 2007 when he expressed interest in Nazi German art and film; and in 2009 when he expressed support of Conservative Party leader David Cameron. Both of these minor controversies left him characteristically unruffled.

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