Gary Barlow Biography

Gary Barlow Biography on Monsters and Critics


"Gary Barlow" (born January 20, 1971 in Frodsham, Cheshire, England) is an English singer, pianist, songwriter, bandleader and producer. He is a member of the boy band Take That, and was one of the most successful songwriters of the 1990s, penning no fewer than 16 hit singles during the decade. Gary had 2 #1's and 5 Top 40 UK Singles. He is also a 4 time recipient of the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards.


At the age of 11 Gary was given the choice between a piano and a bike and as we know he chose the former which he still plays till this day.

Aged 15, Gary entered a BBC Pebble Mill at One competition called 'A Song For Christmas' with a song called 'Let's Pray For Christmas'. After getting through to the semifinals he was invited to London's West Heath Studios to record his song. This inspired Barlow to perform on the northern club circuit, singing cover versions and his own songs.

Aged 18 in 1990, he appointed Wigan show business agent Barry Woolley to be his manager and, after a change of stage name to Gary Barlow, recorded a single ('Love Is in the Air') under the stage name Kurtis Rush. After the single's commercial failure, Gary came under the influence of pop manager Nigel Martin-Smith and formed Take That, becoming the lead singer.

Woolley then sued Gary shortly after, and the case was settled days before it was due to enter high courts in 1995. More than 5 years later, the teen pop idol handed over an estimated half a million pounds (500,000) to Mr Woolley, to prevent the case going to court.

"Take That"

Barlow was generally recognised as the musical talent behind Take That. The five-piece band consisted of Barlow, Robbie Williams, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Howard Donald. This UK group were signed to RCA records and after a number of top 40 hits, eventually secured their first Number 1 with Barlow's 'Pray'. Previous hits included 'A Million Love Songs', 'It Only Takes A Minute' and 'Could It Be Magic'.

The band issued four albums between 1992 and 1996. The debut set was entitled "Take That ... and Party" in 1992 (see 1992 in music). The following year saw the release of "Everything Changes". Barlow received an Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song in 1994 for the song "Pray" included in the album. (... more) Their third outing, which was to be their last studio album, "Nobody Else," came in 1995 (see 1995 in music). A greatest hits collection followed.

Barlow was rumoured to be less happy when other band members sang the lead vocals on songs, yet there was no evidence to support this. For example the original lead for the song 'Relight My Fire' was meant to have been by Robbie Williams, however a warm up by Barlow of the song was chosen immediately as the recorded song. However, he remained the songwriter, and the hits kept on coming with the likes of 'Back For Good' (yet another No.1 in the UK and a Top 10 U.S. hit) and 'Everything Changes'. The song 'Back For Good' caused some controversy because rumours surfaced that Barry Gibb had in fact written the song but agreed to credit Barlow if he would arrange that Take That would cover a Bee Gees song ('How Deep is Your Love' was covered). In a 2001 interview, Robin Gibb stated that this information was false, Barry Gibb had not written the song and no such agreement was ever made.

Going solo

In 1996, Take That split up and Barlow went solo. His first release, the single 'Forever Love', was an immediate number one hit in the UK. His album, Open Road, also went to the top of the chart, as did his second solo single 'Love Won't Wait' written by Madonna and Shep Pettibone. The remix was produced by Junior Vasquez. The original demo remains one of many unreleased Madonna songs.

He also reached #3 in the United States adult contemporary music charts with 'So Help Me Girl', also a top 20 UK hit. Another single (the album's title cut), 'Open Road', reached #7 in the UK. He followed that up with his second album "Twelve Months, Eleven Days".

He was due to release the next single from his second album entitled 'Lie to Me' which was said to be the best song he had ever written but due to unforeseen circumstances the single was never released.

Barlow performed at the first two annual Capital FM-hosted Party in the Park events in London's Hyde Park in 1998 and 1999.


An unexpected backlash came in the very late 1990s, when the media (who had just been declaring him as the greatest songwriter of current times) turned their backs on Barlow. The press staged a battle between Barlow and his former bandmate, Robbie Williams after his single 'Angels' was a hit.

With little support from both the press and radio, Barlow was not in much of a position to compete. (Williams made fun of the missing success of the allegedly more talented Barlow in a hidden track at the end of his record "Escapology" in 2002, singing 'Where has Gary Barlow gone?').

Barlow quit his career as a singer, with his final single remaining unreleased, he returned to songwriting and producing, writing hits including single" 'Not Me, Not I" for Delta Goodrem. Barlow is company president of True North Music Company. He has also worked with Elton John, Donny Osmond and Christina Aguilera amongst others.

Re-formation of Take That

Following a successful TV documentary, Take That experienced a career renaissance in 2006 when the post-Williams line-up reformed for a sell-out stadium tour. They released a single ("Patience" - reached UK Number 1 position on 26 November and stayed there for 4 weeks). Patience was also voted The Record of the Year in 2006. They were knocked off the top spot in the Christmas week by "X Factor" winner Leona Lewis, who coincidentally performed a song (A Million Love Songs) with the group during the X Factor finale. They have released their first album of new material in over ten years. The album went in at Number 1 in the UK album charts. Most of the songs on their new album are joint band compositions co-written with other songwriters, unlike earlier albums, which were mainly penned by Gary Barlow.

Personal life

Gary went through some hard times during his solo career causing a drastic gain in weight and a brief relationship with drugs, but his long term girlfriend Dawn Andrews(former Take That backing dancer)stood by him and in 2000 became his wife. The couple now have two children: a son Daniel (born August 16th 2000) and a daughter Emily (born May 31st 2002). In a 2005 television documentary on Take That, "Take That... for the Record", Williams retracted his previous taunting of Barlow, claiming that he would swap all of his current success for Barlow's happy family life.

In his autobiography "My Take", Barlow mentions he was on the Edgware Road tube train that was one of the targets of the 7 July 2005 London bombings.


Solo Albums

"Open Road" — (1997) Charts: #1

'Love Won't Wait' (4:17) (Madonna/S. Pettibone)

'So Help Me Girl' (4:29) (H. Perdew/A. Spooner)

'My Commitment' (4:48) (G. Barlow/D. Warren)

'Hang On In There Baby' (3:39) (J. W. Bristol)

'Are You Ready Now' (4:19) (G. Barlow)

'Everything I Ever Wanted' (3:32) (G. Barlow)

'I Fall So Deep' (4:02) (L. Loftin/M. Gustafsson/A. Powers)

'Lay Down For Love' (5:33) (G. Barlow/R. Stannard/M. Rowbottom)

'Forever Love' (4:50) (G. Barlow)

'Never Knew' (3:50) (G. Barlow)

'Open Road' (4:23) (G. Barlow) royhjk4wuj4 w#7i4#0


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article about Gary Barlow.