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Monday, 27 January 2014
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRO-BRITISH " SIMON WEBBE " A SINGER WITH THE BOY GROUP " BLUE " BUT ALSO A TOP HIT SOLO SINGER : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY was born March 30, 1979, in the Manchester working-class neighborhood of Moss Side. Though he dabbled with music in his early years, he was also an excellent amateur soccer player, and had intended to pursue athletics as a career before a serious injury in his early teens. Webbe was challenged by a series of troubled relationships during his teen years (some of which would be explored in later lyrics), one of which made him a father by the age of 17. Webbe channeled frustration into self-improvement, and modeling engagements paved the path for his musical career. Webbe was selected to join British boy band Blue, making him a multi-million record selling artist by his early twenties. Though successful, Blue's time line was limited, leaving Webbe to chart his own course by 2005. In August of that year, Webbe's urban folk-tinged single "Lay Your Hands" hit the airwaves and reached number four on the U.K. singles charts. The song "No Worries" followed, also reaching number four, priming the market for the release of Webbe's solo debut, Sanctuary. The record's alternative, rootsy style surprised and charmed audiences. Though it debuted at number 28, the record quickly climbed to number seven. The much anticipated follow-up release, Grace, was met with success in November of 2006, and peaked at number 11. With a strong fan base throughout Europe and Asia and a busy touring schedule, Webbe has an international reputation that continues to flourish.
Simon Solomon Webbe (born 30 March 1978) is an English singer-songwriter, actor and music manager. He is best known as a member of the British boy band Blue, forming in 2000 before splitting in 2005 and reforming in 2009, selling over 15 million records. Webbe released two solo studio albums in 2005 and 2006, sold over 700,000 records worldwide and had five UK Top 40 singles.
The band released their debut single "All Rise" in May 2001 and it reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart. Blue's second single was released in August with the chart-topping "Too Close", a cover version of Next's US number 1 hit produced by Ray Ruffin. Their second number one came in November with "If You Come Back" also produced by Ray Ruffin and co-written by Nicole Anderson aka Nicole Formescu, Lee Brennon, Ian Hope and Ray Ruffin off the album All Rise, which was released in time for Christmas and reached number one, eventually selling in excess of about 1.8 million albums sold in the UK. Blue reached number six in March 2002 with their fourth single, "Fly By II" — a remix of album track "Fly By", which also went to number 30 in Portugal.
Their second studio album One Love was released in 2002. The album entered at UK number 1, where it stayed for one week. Three singles were released from the album: "One Love" (UK number 3), "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" featuring Elton John (UK number 1), and "U Make Me Wanna" (UK number 4). The group also performed the song "Flexin'" at the 2003 MTV Asia Awards with the Philippines' singer Kyla.
Guilty (the album and the single [UK number 2]) was released in late 2003. The next singles were "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" (sung with Stevie Wonder and Angie Stone) (UK number 11), "Breathe Easy" (UK number 4), and "Bubblin'" (UK number 9). The album Guilty sold more than 1 million albums in the UK.
The band decided to split after Elton John suggested that their popularity was decreasing and that they should concentrate on their solo careers. Best of Blue greatest hits compilation was released in 2004, which contained all-time hits including new tracks such as Curtain Falls, "Get Down on It" and "Only Words I Know". The album was No.2 on charts in Portugal with a double platinum certification.
Webbe launched his post-Blue career on 22 August 2005 with his first solo single "Lay Your Hands" which peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. His follow up single "No Worries" reached No.4 in the UK, making him the only Blue member to have multiple Top 10 singles. After the release of two singles, Webbe released his debut solo album Sanctuary which debuted at number 28 on the UK Albums Chart. Despite its relatively low debut it eventually reached number 7 on the chart and has now gone double platinum. The third single from Sanctuary, "After All This Time" was released in February 2006, but it failed to do as well as his previous releases and peaked at number 16.
On 30 October 2006, came the first single from Webbe's new album "Coming Around Again". When released it reached number 12 in the UK Singles Chart. His second album Grace was released on 13 November 2006, and peaked at number 11 in the UK Albums Chart. The second single "My Soul Pleads for You" was released on 19 February 2007, and reached 45 on the singles chart. On 21 May 2007, Webbe launched his first tour to support his second album Grace. The tour consisted of 18 dates through May and June, starting in Cambridge and culminating in London. In early June, it was announced that Webbe would be releasing the title track from his second studio album with the theme song from the upcoming film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The single was a double A-side release of "Grace"/"Ride the Storm". It reached number 36 in the UK. In Europe, "Seventeen" was released instead of "Grace".
During his 2007 UK Tour, Webbe previewed some songs from his third studio album, including "Run", which he claimed had been announced as the first single. He also claimed that 'Run' could possibly be the title of the album. It is thought that the album was postponed from its 2009 release date due to the reunion of Blue, and that it will be released at some point in the future.
Since entering the music industry Webbe has extended his range of business ventures. His two most notable companies are Love 4 Music and Love 4 PR, both of which he co-runs with Jade Reuben. He managed the group VS who supported Blue on their tour. They were also signed to Innocent Records, the same label as Blue, and released three singles, "Love You Like Mad" (#7), "Call U Sexy" (#11) and "Make It Hot" (#29), plus an album, All Kinds of Trouble. The band has since broken up and member Marvin Humes is now part of boyband JLS. He also managed American/British girlband, L.A.D.E. whose video for their unreleased single "Shake It Off" featured Webbe and Blue bandmate Duncan James. In return the girls appeared in Blue's single "Bubblin'". Their current professional music status is unknown. Also in 2004, he was voted Company magazine's 62nd Sexiest Man Alive and appeared as a striker on Sky One's, The Match. In 2007 he released a series of educational DVDs for children entitled Simon's Web. The six volumes endeavoured to teach children about the internet, its history and uses. In 2008, he starred in British reality television show, I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!. On 28 April 2009, Blue announced that they had reformed and will return to the stage with a new album coming soon. Webbe featured on Ras Kwame's Spit TV rapping with fellow Manchester hip-hop artists Lyrican and Hood man.
From 31 May to 28 August 2010, Webbe played the role of Curtis Shank in Sister Act the musical at the London Palladium. During his run, Webbe starred alongside Sheila Hancock and Whoopi Goldberg.
Webbe was a guest on Big Brother 11 in August 2010, singing a new track to the housemates.
Webbe along with the other members of Blue represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Germany. The group finished 11th in the competition.
On 23 November 2011, it was announced that Webbe would be taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. Webbe was the first celebrity to compete (dancing the Cha Cha Chato "Merry Christmas Everybody") – supported in the audience by fellow Blue bandmates Duncan James and Anthony Costa. His celebrity partner was Katya Virshilas. The judges placed Webbe in joint third – with a score of 36 out of 40. The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special was broadcast on BBC One on 25 December 2011.
On 24 October 2013, Webbe announced he declared himself bankrupt.
In 2004 he co-starred in the romantic-comedy The Truth About Love, directed by John Hay. The film also featured Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dougray Scott and Jimi Mistry. His second acting project was a 2006 British gangster movie, Rollin' with the Nines. The film co-starred Vas Black wood, Billy Murray, Robbie Gee and was directed by Julian Gilbey.
He has a daughter, Alanah, born in 1997, with ex-girlfriend Nicola Jones, a shop assistant from Solihull. She is the inspiration for his 2007 single "Grace". He is reportedly a cousin of the former Sugababes singer, Keisha Buchanan. His brother Duane Bryan was a contestant on the 2012 series of The Apprentice.