Chris De Burgh
By the late 80s, it had taken Chris DeBurgh more than a decade to become the "overnight success" so many mistakenly believed him to be.
To those unfamiliar with his steady, determined rise to the top, he appeared to have arrived suddenly - out of nowhere - clutching major, world-wide hits with The Lady In Red and its accompanying album, Into The Light. The reality is not so fanciful. In a music industry which so often reacts to fashionable flavour and superficial appeal, Chris remains unique; he is an island of inspiration nestling amid an ocean of popularity. He is proof positive that while trends come and go on freak tides, true talent will weather the passing storms to eventually win through.
Born in Argentina on October 15, 1948, Chris is the son of British parents. His childhood was rich in travel and experience; his father's career moved the family to Malta, Nigeria, Zaire and finally to Ireland. It was on the Emerald Isle - where Chris still lives, with his wife Diane and their three young children, Rosanna, Hubie, and Michael - that he found his musical feet. In the grand setting of the 12th Century castle which his parents converted into a hotel, he learned to play the guitar - and he had performed literally hundreds of concerts there to audiences of enthralled guests before even seriously considering a career as a musician.
Instead, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and gained a degree in French and English. On graduating, and realising that he had to get a job, Chris began singing to earn a living. His early stage platforms included a hamburger restaurant and a hair dresser's shop, before he finally ended up singing with a band in a small concert hall. Encouraged by the possibilities, he headed for London in search of a recording contract and, after two years of dead-ends, secured a publishing deal which eventually led him to sign with A&M Records in 1974.
His first international break-through came during 1975 in the unlikeliest of territories, Brazil - where Chris' debut single, 'Flying', remained at No. 1 for 17 weeks. The North American market demanded its own specially-compiled 'greatest hits' compilation during the mid-80s, and Chris remains a sell-out concert draw in Canada to this day. His hugely popular live favourite, the anthemic rock single 'High On Emotion', reached No.1 in ten European countries. His classic single 'The Lady In Red' reached Number 1 in the UK and 24 other territories, Number 2 in the US - and has amassed worldwide sales of eight million.
Chris's immense popularity in Germany resulted in him being the only international artist to be invited to perform at the historic public celebrations marking the re-unification of East and West in 1990. He was presented with the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy International Award in 1999 to honour his achievements as both a musician and a fund-raiser.
Countless tours of the world have seen Chris perform in concert more than 3000 times; a remarkable rate equivalent to one show every three-and-a-half days since 1975. During 28 years as a major label recording artist, Chris has been presented with in excess of 200 gold and platinum sales awards. Royalty and world leaders alike have joined his army of fans, from the late Princess of Wales to Boris Yeltsin and Helmut Kohl.
Chris is an avid sports fan - from rugby and Formula 1 Grand Prix to golf and football. He regularly visits Anfield to watch his favourite soccer team, Liverpool FC.
'The Lady In Red' has won six annual ASCAP (Association of Composers & Publishers) Awards, presented to acknowledge the record as one of the Top 20 most played songs in America during a 12-month period. During October, 2000, Chris was invited to New York to receive a rare honour from the American-Irish Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his significant contribution to that community.
Chris has repeatedly traversed the globe with sell-out tours, covering almost every influential record-buying country and continent of the world; America, Japan, UK, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Far East.
The 11 new tracks featured on 'Timing Is Everything' bring his total of self-written, recorded and released original songs to 165, spread across 16 studio albums. International album sales recently passed the 45 million mark. That, in essence, is the secret of the Chris de Burgh magic which touches so many millions.