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Steve Winwood

As a solo artist, Steve Winwood is primarily associated with the highly polished blue-eyed soul-pop that made him a star in the '80s. Yet his turn as a slick, upscale mainstay of adult contemporary radio was simply the latest phase of a long and varied career, one that's seen the former teenage R&B shouter move through jazz, psychedelia, blues-rock, and progressive rock. Possessed of a powerful, utterly distinctive voice, Winwood was also an excellent keyboardist who remained an in-demand session musician for most of his career, even while busy with high-profile projects. That background wasn't necessarily apparent on his solo records, which established a viable commercial formula that was tremendously effective as long as it was executed with commitment.

Stephen Lawrence Winwood was born May 12, 1948, in the Handsworth area of Birmingham, England. First interested in swing and Dixieland jazz, he began playing drums, guitar, and piano as a child, and first performed with his father and older brother Muff in the Ron Atkinson Band at the age of eight. During the early '60s, Muff led a locally popular group called the Muff Woody Jazz Band, and allowed young Steve to join; eventually they began to add R&B numbers to their repertoire, and in 1963 the brothers chose to pursue that music full-time, joining guitarist Spencer Davis to form the Spencer Davis Group. Although he was only 15, Steve's vocals were astoundingly soulful and mature, and his skills at the piano were also advanced beyond his years. Within a year, he'd played with numerous American blues legends both in concert and in the studio; in 1965, he also recorded the solo single "Incense" as the Anglos, crediting himself as Stevie Anglo. Meanwhile, the Spencer Davis Group released a handful of classic R&B-styled singles, including "Keep on Running," "I'm a Man," and the monumental "Gimme Some Lovin'," which stood with any of the gritty hardcore soul music coming out of the American South.


Winwood was a key member of The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go. He also had a successful solo career with hits including "Valerie", "Back in the High Life Again" and two US Billboard Hot 100 number ones; "Higher Love" and "Roll With It". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.

In 2005 Winwood was honoured as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards for his "enduring influence on generations of music makers." In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Winwood #33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Winwood has won two Grammy Awards.

Stephen Lawrence Winwood was born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England. His father, Lawrence, a foundryman by trade, was a semi-professional musician, playing mainly the saxophone and clarinet. Young Winwood became interested in swing and Dixieland jazz as a boy and started playing drums, guitar and piano. He first performed with his father and older brother, Muff, in the Ron Atkinson Band at the age of eight. Winwood was a choirboy at St John's Church, Perry Barr, and later admitted to having "sneaked a few plays" of the organ there. While he was still young the family moved from Handsworth to the semi-rural suburb of Kingstanding at the northern edge of the city.

His deep singing voice is frequently mistaken to be that of a black musician.
Stephen Lawrence "Steve" Winwood (born 12 May 1948 in Handsworth, Birmingham) is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
He formed Blind Faith in 1969 with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech.

 

70's Rock

Arc Of A Diver

80's Hits

Higher Love

Holiday

Christmas Is Now Drawing Near

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