Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Robert Peter Williams (born February 13, 1974 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) is a British pop singer. Originally a member of boy band Take That, he was fired from the group in 1995 and launched a solo career, following a highly publicized battle with drug and alcohol addiction during which he put on nearly 40 pounds (18 kg) and was often seen in public poorly dressed, dirty and unshaven.
Before his rising as a superstar, Robbie used to hang in 1996 with the Gallagher brothers - Noel and Liam of the famous Britpop stars Oasis. Robbie expected to get some Noel-written songs so he could start a career. After few months with cocaine-fueled parties, the loud-mouthed brothers showed him the door.
In 1996 he released his first solo single "Freedom", a cover of the 1990 George Michael hit. Though this was a success it was not until the release of the single "Angels" that his solo career took off in Europe. Although it reached number one in many countries, it only managed to get to number four in the official UK singles chart in December 1997 – he would have to wait until September 19, 1998 for his first number one with "Millennium", which also charted in the USA. The song was built around a sample from the theme to the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice", and the accompanying video featured numerous 007 references.
Williams quickly became a major celebrity in the UK with numerous top ten singles. In 1999 he collaberated with singer Tom Jones for a track on the album Reload. He had a minor hit in the United States in 2000 with the song "Rock DJ", but never achieved the level of success there as he did in the UK. The video featured Williams in a roller disco as he stripped nude and then proceeded to strip off his own flesh, muscle tissue and organs until he was a dancing skeleton. It is said that the frontal nudity was edited out in the US while the gore was left in, whereas the opposite was true for the UK. The video's ending was cut by many TV stations around the world and the whole video was forbidden in some countries (VH1 Europe even made their own video out of recording studio footage). Williams has built quite a reputation for appearing nude (or nearly nude) in photographs, videos and live performances.
His global success was cemented after a duet cover version of the Frank and Nancy Sinatra song "Somethin' Stupid" with Australian actress Nicole Kidman, who was fresh off of her Oscar-nomnated performance in Moulin Rouge. In 2002 he released an album called Swing When You're Winning in which his image was tamed down and he sang jazz, blues and pop standards from the fifties. Williams' cover of the Bobby Darin classic "Beyond the Sea" was included in the Finding Nemo soundtrack.
In 2002 he stopped working with his long-term writing partner Guy Chambers. However, they reunited six months later to work on the next album, Escapology, which was released in late 2002. The first single from it, "Feel," was a European hit. The video for the next "Escapology" single, "Come Undone," was censored by MTV Networks Europe for depicting a debauched (but fully-clothed) Williams having a three-way with two women sex. The video also showed unsettling images of insects and reptiles.
in 2002, the UK public voted Williams to be on the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons.
An official biography by Chris Heath "Feel", published in 2004, chronicled events that led up to to the Live Summer Tour 2003, during which Williams performed live to more than a million people over three days in August at Knebworth Park in Hertfordshire; while 3.5 million more watched live on television and on the Internet. Leading up to Knebworth, in December 2003, Williams toured Australia and New Zealand with Duran Duran.
The Chris Heath biography, an instant bestseller, reveals why Williams severed all professional ties with with his long-time songwriter partner, Guy Chambers. The end of that partnership led to much speculation that Williams career was finished without Chambers. But Williams proved the naysayers wrong.
Armed with a new songwriting partner, Stephen Duffy, Williams penned several new songs, including "Radio." In its first week of release, selling just over 40,000 copies, the single "Radio" went straight to number one. Another Duffy-Williams collaboration, "Misunderstood" appeared on the soundtrack of the "Bridget Jones Diary" sequel, "The Edge of Reason." and hit the charts at number eight. The "Greatest Hits" album, released on 18th October, 2004, became one of the UK's biggest selling albums of all times. And in February 2005, Williams received the British music industry's award for the best song of the past quarter century, "Angels," the song Williams credits with giving him a career.
Williams is single and lives in Los Angeles, California. Speculation about his sexuality and romantic life is rampant in the British media. Williams seems to encourage an image as a womanizer and there are numerous widely-circulated Internet accounts allegedly written by Williams's female sexual partners (e.g. ), extolling his considerable prowess as a lover. A regular feature of his live performances is full-on french kisses with female fans plucked from the audience.
Bearing in mind the persistent rumours about his sexuality and the appearance of so many column inches devoted to Williams's real or imagined romantic conquests, whether gay or straight, it is interesting to note that these accounts typically coincide with the release of a latest album, single, or live performance. Coincidental or not, much of what is written is utterly made up and probably attributable to a phalanx of publicity agents hired to get Williams's name in the papers when he is trying to market something to the public.
- Life Thru a Lens (1997); #1 UK
- I've Been Expecting You (1998 (UK) / 2002 (US)); #1 UK
- The Ego Has Landed (1999); #63 US (North America only release)
- Sing When You're Winning (2000); #1 UK, #110 US
- Swing When You're Winning (2001); #1 UK
- Escapology (2002); #1 UK, #43 US
- Robbie Williams – Live At Knebworth (2003); #2 UK
- Greatest Hits (2004); #1 UK
UK hit singles
- Aug 1996 "Freedom" #2
- Apr 1997 "Old Before I Die" #2
- Jul 1997 "Lazy Days" #8
- Sep 1997 "South of the Border" #14
- Dec 1997 "Angels " #4
- Mar 1998 "Let Me Entertain You " #3
- Sep 1998 "Millennium" #1
- Dec 1998 "No Regrets/Antmusic" #4
- Mar 1999 "Strong " #4
- Nov 1999 "She's The One/It's Only Us" #1
- Aug 2000 "Rock DJ" #1
- Oct 2000 "Kids" (with Kylie Minogue) #2
- Dec 2000 "Supreme" #4
- Apr 2001 "Let Love Be Your Energy" #10
- Jul 2001 "Eternity/Road to Mandalay" #1
- Dec 2001 "Somethin' Stupid" (with Nicole Kidman) #1
- Apr 2002 "My Culture" (1 Giant Leap feat. Maxi Jazz & Robbie Williams) #9
- Dec 2002 "Feel" #4
- Apr 2003 "Come Undone" #4
- Aug 2003 "Something Beautiful" #3
- Nov 2003 "Sexed Up" #10
- Oct 2004 "Radio" #1
- Dec 2004 "Misunderstood" #8
The highest position in the US charts was #41 for "Angels".
- Official site
- Un-Official site by fans
- Robbie Williams www.robbiewilliams.pl
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