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Suggs
Suggs
Name Graham McPhearson
Birth Date 13/02/1961
Birth Place Hastings
Instruments Vocals, Piano, Percussion
Active 1978-
Spouse Bette Bright
Children Viva and Scarlet


Suggs is best known as the vocalist of the 2 Tone ska/pop band, Madness.

Solo careerEdit

After Madness' reformation for Madstock in 1992 and 1994, Suggs went to work on his first solo album with the production help of acclaimed reggae producers Sly and Robbie. In 1995 The Lone Ranger was released on Warner Records and peaked on the U.K album charts at #14. The first single to be released was a cover of The Beatles song "I'm Only Sleeping"made into the U.K top ten at #8. The video for which featured appearances from fellow Madness bandmates Mike Barson and Chas Smash. This was followed by Camden Town, a homage to his favourite part of London reaching #14 in the U.K. In December of that year, Suggs released The Christmas E.P. featuring his song The Tune (co-written by Barson) plus covers of Sleigh Ride and Supergrass' Alright. In 1996 the third single from the album, a version of the Simon and Garfunkel classic Cecilia became his most successful, entering the U.K charts at #4 and selling in excess of 500,000 copies. The final single released was No More Alcohol charting at #24.

In 1997, Suggs recorded the song Blue Day for Chelsea F.C. with Chelsea players. It was the official song for the team for the FA Cup, which Chelsea eventually won. The song reached #22 in the UK charts.

In 1998 Suggs released his second solo album on Warner. The Three Pyramids Club. The first and only single to be released was I Am charting at #38 which also featured on the soundtrack to The Avengers. Also on the album is a collaboration with ragga artist General Levy on the track Girl. Rico Rodriguez also contributed his trombone skills to the album.

After his brief but successful solo career, Suggs returned to work with Madness on their first original album in 14 years. The susbequent Wonderful was released in 1999. This was followed by The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1, released in 2005. Madness are currently working on a new original album due for release in early 2008.

Suggs - The Platinum Collection was released on July 30, 2007 on Warner records featuring a selection of his best tracks from his two solo albums also with Blue Day and a remixed version of Cecilia.

[edit] Musical collaborations

Suggs worked with Morrissey in the late eighties and sang backing vocals on the track Picadilly Palare in 1990. He managed the 1990s band The Farm, as well as producing most of their first album Spartacus which reached #1 in the UK charts and spawned the international hit All Together Now.

He has collaborated with Jools Holland twice on his Small World Big Band and Friends albums — first in 2001 with the song Oranges and Lemons Again, and again on 2003's Jack O the Green. He also performed with Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra in 2003 for a television special where he performed the songs Madness, and Enjoy Yourself with veteran ska singer Prince Buster, who is one of Madness' great influences.

In July 2005, shortly after the terrorist attacks in London, Suggs and Chas Smash performed the Bob Marley song So Much Trouble in the World with Billy Bragg at a concert in London's Brockwell Park in aid of the victims. Both Suggs and Smash appeared in the video for the Bob Marley song "One Love".

Also in 2005, Suggs collaborated with electronic group Audio Bullys on the track "This Road" from their Top 40 album Generation. In 2006, Suggs performed the Madness classic My Girl with The Ordinary Boys at the Brixton Academy — which was released as a B-side on their UK #6 hit single "Nine2five".

ActingEdit

Suggs has acted in films such as The Tall Guy and Don't Go Breaking My Heart (1998). He starred in the Channel 4 drama The Final Frame (1990), in which he played a pop star named East. He also played a pop star (called Jason Woods) in the 1990 Press Gang episode Friends Like These. He played the part of Joe's dad in the stage musical Our House, featuring the songs of Madness, for a limited period in London's West End in 2003. Suggs is set to star in the forthcoming romantic drama The Edge of Love starring Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller, playing the part of Al Bowlly. The film is due for release in 2008.

RadioEdit

Suggs was a principal and original DJ on the BBC radio station BBC 6 Music when it launched in March 2002. He also worked with the late Bob Monkhouse on the BBC Radio 4 musical sitcom I think I've got a Problem, which also starred comedian Phil Cornwell.

He became a DJ on Virgin Radio with the show Virgin Party Classics, and was nominated for a Sony Award in 2005. In 2006, Virgin launched the Party Classics radio channel, available via digital television. The channel was hosted by Suggs, but was short-lived, being pulled just four months after it launched. He regularly features on Virgin Radio competitions where listeners can win the chance to meet him and have a drink with him. 2007 saw him presenting a new show on the station five days a week entitled Afternoon Tea with Suggs which ran every weekday afternoon between 14:00 - 16:00. On 3rd of December he quit Virgin and Neil Francis took over his weekday afternoon slot with immediate effect.

Whilst he was presenting his radio show, he constantly included his producer, Mark, in the show. It lasted 3 hours every weekday between 13:00 - 16:00.

TelevisionEdit

Suggs twice appeared with Madness on the British TV comedy show The Young Ones, firstly on the episode titled Boring. Here, Madness performed House of Fun' and when asked by Rick "Do any of you know Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard?" Suggs replies "You hum it, I'll smash your face in". On the second series, the band performed Our House on the penultimate episode Sick.

Suggs has hosted a celebrity karaoke game show on the UK TV channel Five called Night Fever, which was one of the channel's highest rated programmes. He was a team captain in the BBC music trivia game show A Question of Pop, hosted by Jamie Theakston, opposite Noddy Holder. Suggs is also a frequent guest on BBC2 show Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

He has hosted a series of hour-long programmes called Salvage Squad, in which a group of engineers restored rare old machinery. Some of the items restored included a steamroller, a ploughing engine called "Margaret", a Blackpool "Coronation" tram, a Scammell Mechanical Horse, a Revopak dustcart, various boats, World War II tanks, early C20 motor launches, railway locomotives and vintage cars.

In 2005 he filmed a series called Disappearing London for ITV , in which he investigates architectural and other curiosities that are vanishing. The series won 3 Royal Television Society awards with Suggs winning the award for 'Presenter of the Year'. A second series was filmed in 2006 for transmission in early 2007. In 2005 he filmed a similar one-off programme for the BBC entitled A Picture Of London by Suggs, which featured the newly penned song Cracks In the Pavement. Suggs has twice been a guest presenter on the BBC's long-running chart show Top Of The Pops; once in 1995 and again in 2005.

As of October 2006, Suggs was the main presenter of the BBC London series Inside Out, a weekly programme for Londoners looking at surprising stories in the capital. He was part of Declan Donnelly's Boy Band on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in October 2006, and performed It Only Takes a Minute by Take That.

In 2007, Suggs starred in a series of Birds Eye commercials which feature the Madness song Our House.

In December 2007, he narrated a one off documentary for the BBC on the famous london music venue The Hammersmith Palais which closed down mid 2007. The programme was broadcast on BBC Four on Christmas Eve 2007.

Personal lifeEdit

Suggs is married to singer Bette Bright, who was the vocalist of the 1970s British band Deaf School. They met through their connection with Clive Langer and married in 1981. Together they have two daughters, named Scarlet and Viva. He lives in North London with his family. Suggs is a patron of the charity Children in Need, and has frequently appeared on the annual television fundraiser; performing various Madness tracks with other celebrities. Suggs is a member of the Useless Information Society (founded 1995) a society of journalists, writers and entertainers which focuses around useless esoteric information and has released books such as the Book of Useless Information. Other members include Keith Waterhouse, Richard Littlejohn, Noel Botham, Ken Stott and Brian Hitchen.

Solo discographyEdit

AlbumsEdit


* The Lone Ranger UK # 14 (Oct 1995)
* The Three Pyramids Club UK # 82 (Aug 1998)

SinglesEdit

Year Single Chart Position 1995 I'm Only Sleeping/Off On Holiday UK No. 7

1995 Camden Town UK No. 14

1995 The Tune UK No. 33

1996 Cecilia UK No. 4

1996 No More Alcohol (new version of "Alcohol") UK No. 24

1997 Blue Day UK No. 22

1998 I Am UK No. 38

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