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Russell Watson

Russell Watson

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Russell Watson <tr style="text-align: center;"><td colspan="3">Image:Watson.JPG
Russell Watson - Promo shot.
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Background information

<tr><td>Birth name</td><td colspan="2">Russell Watson</td></tr><tr><td>Born</td><td colspan="2">November 24 1966</td></tr><tr><td>Origin</td><td colspan="2">Salford Lancashire England United Kingdom</td></tr><tr><td>Genre(s)</td><td colspan="2">Classical music, Pop/Rock</td></tr><tr><td>Occupation(s)</td><td colspan="2">Singer</td></tr><tr><td>Years active</td><td colspan="2">1998–present</td></tr><tr><td style="padding-right: 1em;">Label(s)</td><td colspan="2">Decca Records</td></tr><tr><td>Website</td><td colspan="2">[1]</td></tr>

Russell Watson, born in Salford, Lancashire, England, November 24 1966 is an English tenor who has released popular albums of operatic-style songs. In his 9 year career he has released four singles, five albums and another was planned for November 2006, delayed now until 2007 due to removal of a benign brain tumour.

Contents

[edit] History

Although he has been singing since he was a child, Russell Watson never sought a career as a professional singer, and began work as a bolt-cutter in Manchester. To help support his young family, he began to earn extra cash singing Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond covers in north-west clubs.<ref>Interview - Hello! Magazine</ref>

The turning point in his career came at an engagement at Wigan Road working men's club one night, when the secretary suggested he try singing "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot. Although Russell Watson is not a classically trained singer he continued to perform the piece, and was encouraged to try new classical pieces.

In 1998 he was invited to sing at Old Trafford during the interval at a Memorial Match of the Munich air disaster, a huge privilege for a lifelong Manchester United fan. However, his appearance was cancelled at the last minute when player Éric Cantona requested that Mick Hucknall sing instead.

In 1999 he sang the UK's national anthem at the rugby Cup final at Wembley Stadium, then finally got to sing at Old Trafford before the last match of the Premiership season between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. After the game, when his team had won the league championship, he returned onto the pitch to sing the Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé song "Barcelona", during which he tore off his dinner suit to reveal a Manchester United shirt.

This appearance sealed his success, and only a week later he was invited to sing a full set at the final of the UEFA Champions League in Barcelona between United and Bayern Munich, duetting with Montserrat Caballé herself.

[edit] The People’s Tenor

His debut album entitled The Voice followed in May 2001, a mixture of operatic arias and covers of pop songs, topping the UK classical music charts and eventually reaching number five in the UK album charts. Later when released in the United States the album took the number one spot and made history as the first time a British artist has held both the US and UK classical number one. The album featured a duet with Cleo of girlgroup Cleopatra (band) on the song 'Someone like You'. Cleo also did a duet with Russell on his third album 'Reprise' on the song 'The Best That Love Can Be' Cleo.

Prior to the formation of Velvet Revolver, Russell Watson was asked by Slash (former guitarist of Guns n' Roses and currently in Velvet Revolver) whether he would be their singer, however he rejected; on grounds of continuing his solo career, at least for the time being.

Also in 2001, Watson sang the opening theme of Star Trek: Enterprise, "Where My Heart Will Take Me" (written by Diane Warren), originally sung by Rod Stewart for Patch Adams. The song was remixed to be more upbeat in 2003. Watson also sang it live at the Commonwealth games opening ceremony in England in 2002.

In late 2002, he released the single "Nothing Sacred - A Song For Kirsty" to raise money for the Francis House children's hospice in Didsbury, Manchester. Their campaign to raise £5 million was fronted by Kirsty Howard, a seven-year-old girl with a serious heart defect. The song reached number 17 in the UK singles chart. <ref>A Song For Kirsty - BBC News </ref>

Watson won the Album of the Year at the Classical Brit Awards in both 2001<ref>Classical Brits 2001 </ref> and 2002<ref>Classical Brits 2002 </ref>, also collecting Best-Selling Debut Album (2001) and Best-Selling Album (2002). He recently played Parson Nathaniel in the stage adaptation of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds which toured the UK in early 2006.

Perhaps Watson’s most unusual collaboration to date is with former Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder on Watson’s first album The Voice. Ryder lends his vocals to the Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé song "Barcelona".

[edit] Just The Two Of Us

Image:Just the two of us.JPG
Just the two of us
In 2006 Russell took part in BBC reality TV show, ‘Just the Two of Us' where eight couples, including Sian Reeves and Russell Watson competed in a duet-singing showdown complete with live band, a panel of judges and viewer voting to see who will be crowned champions.

The scores each week where tallied from both a judging vote (the judges were Lulu, Trevor Nelson, Stewart Copeland and Cece Sammy) and a public phone in vote.

Russell, who was a late arrival, replacing Sian's original partner Rick Astley, who pulled out at the last minute, took the crown despite the judge’s low scores of their performances. As the competition progressed a wide array of music was performed, everything from country and western to rock.

Following the competitions ending Sian and Russell released a victory single.

[edit] Brain tumour

In September 2006, Watson was recording his next album in Los Angeles. During the recording he complained of severe headaches and blurred vision. After a doctors visit in Los Angeles, he was advised that he had a developing brain tumour. He stayed in Los Angeles recording his new album for two days, while tests defined whether the tumour was malignant or not.

He returned to the UK, and had an emergency operation to remove the benign 8 centimetre lump at the St George's Hospital, London on Monday 24 September, 2006. As the tumour was pressing against his optical nerve, the surgeon removed the tumour through his nose <ref>The Sun Russell Watson leaves hospital</ref>. Watson's album, due out in November, will now be released in early 2007. But his UK tour in November and December is still expected to go ahead. <ref>BBC Brain surgery for Russell Watson 29 September 2006</ref>

Watson we readmitted to hospital on October 6th 2006 complaining of dizziness, headaches and blurred vision. He is currently undergoing tests in Manchester.<ref>BBC Russell Watson readmitted to hospital 06 October2006</ref>. Watson's latest UK tour which was due to start in late October was proponed until March 2007 following his operation.<ref>BBC Tour proponed 31 October2006</ref>

[edit] Albums

[edit] Singles

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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