Ian Gillan (born 19 August 1945) is an English singer and songwriter. He originally found commercial success as the lead singer and lyricist for Deep Purple.
Initially influenced by Elvis Presley, Gillan started and fronted several local bands in the mid-sixties, and eventually joined Episode Six when their original singer left. He first found widespread commercial success after joining Deep Purple in 1969. After an almost non-stop workload, during which time he recorded six albums in four years, and problematic relationships with other band members, particularly guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, Gillan resigned from the band in June 1973, having given a lengthy notice period to their managers.
After a short time away from the music business, he resumed his music career with solo bands the Ian Gillan Band and Gillan, before a year-long stint as the vocalist for Black Sabbath. He rejoined a reformed Deep Purple in 1984, but was fired in 1989. He rejoined the band for a second time in 1992 for their twenty-fifth anniversary, and following the recruitment of guitarist Steve Morse in 1994, has helped transform the group into a regular touring outfit, which he has fronted ever since.
In addition to his main work—performing with Deep Purple and other bands during the 1970s and 1980s—he sang the role of Jesus in the original recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, performed in the charity supergroup Rock Aid Armenia, and engaged in a number of business investments and ventures, including a hotel, a motorcycle manufacturer, and music recording facilities at Kingsway Studios. More recently, he has performed solo concerts concurrently with his latter career in Deep Purple, and his work and affinity with Armenia, combined with his continued friendship with Tony Iommi since his brief time in Black Sabbath, has led him to form the supergroup WhoCares with Iommi. His solo career outside of Deep Purple was given a comprehensive overview with the Gillan’s Inn box set in 2006.
Deep Purple are a British rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as progressive rock band, the band’s sound shifted to hard rock in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-Seventies”. They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band” for a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, including 17.5 million certified units in the US.
The band has gone through many line-up changes and an eight-year hiatus (1976–1984). The 1968–1976 line-ups are commonly labelled Mark I, II, III and IV. Their second and most commercially successful line-up featured Ian Gillan (vocals), Jon Lord (organ), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums), and Ritchie Blackmore (guitar). This line-up was active from 1969 to 1973, and was revived from 1984 to 1989, and again from 1992 to 1993. The band achieved more modest success in the intervening periods between 1968 and 1969 with the line-up including Rod Evans (vocals) and Nick Simper (bass, backing vocals), between 1974 and 1976 (Tommy Bolin replacing Blackmore in 1975) with the line-up including David Coverdale (vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass, vocals), and between 1989 and 1992 with the line-up including Joe Lynn Turner (vocals). The band’s line-up (currently featuring Ian Gillan, and guitarist Steve Morse from 1994) has been much more stable in recent years, although organist Jon Lord’s retirement from the band in 2002 (being succeeded by Don Airey) left Ian Paice as the only original Deep Purple member still in the band.
Deep Purple were ranked number 22 on VH1’s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme and a British radio station Planet Rock poll ranked them 5th among the “most influential bands ever”. At the 2011 Classic Rock Awards in London, they received the Innovator Award. In October 2012, Deep Purple were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Source: Wikipedia)
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