Christopher Anton Rea (born March 4, 1951) is an English rock and blues singer-songwriter and guitarist. Born and raised in Middlesbrough, he is of Italian and Irish descent. He is known for his distinctive, husky-gravel voice and slide guitar playing, and the Guinness Rockopedia described him as a “gravel-voiced guitar stalwart”.
British Hit Singles & Albums stated that Rea was “one of the most popular UK singer-songwriters of the late 1980s” and “already a major European star by the time he finally cracked the UK Top 10 with the release of the single ‘The Road to Hell (Part 2)'”, which was his 18th chart entry. Two of his studio albums, The Road to Hell and Auberge, topped the UK Albums Chart. Rea was nominated three times for the Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: in 1988, 1989 and 1990. His other hit songs include “I Can Hear Your Heartbeat”, “Stainsby Girls”, “Josephine”, “On the Beach”, “Let’s Dance”, “Driving Home for Christmas”, “Working on It”, “Tell Me There’s a Heaven”, “Auberge”, “Looking for the Summer”, “Winter Song”, “Nothing to Fear”, “Julia”, and “If You Were Me”, a duet with Elton John.
In the United States he is best known for the 1978 song “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)”, which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. This success earned him a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist in 1979. As of 2009, he had sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.