Famous Singers From Leeds

Famous Singers From Leeds

Any singing teacher’s dream is to see their pupils go on to form successful bands. Never has this been truer than at Singing Lessons Leeds! To give you a little inspiration as to what sort of bands have come out of Leeds, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best. Enjoy!

Kaiser Chiefs formed in 1996 and rose to fame in the midst a wave of indie fervour that gripped the UK. They’ve largely managed to escape the constraints of the garage-rock scene, showing surprising longevity compared to their contemporaries (such as Franz Ferdinand, The Libertines etc.) and have released 4 studio albums. Employment, voted as NME’s Album of the Year, has alone sold over 3 million copies, reached number 2 in the UK album charts and gone platinum 5 times! Notable hits include ‘Ruby’, ‘Oh My God’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’, the latter resulting in the band being hailed as prophetic social commentators in the wake of the 2011 summer riots. Kaiser Chiefs are certainly a band worth watching out for, and with a singles album released on 4 June 2012, they’ve never been more in the public eye.

The Pigeon Detectives were elevated to stardom by the revival in indie’s popularity at the start of the new millennium. The Kaiser Chiefs are in fact a big fan and did much to promote the band in the Leeds area. 2007 was the game-changing year for the pigeon detectives, seeing them release their debut album ‘Wait For Me’, play a number of festivals around the UK and receive a large radio play from influential radio presenter Jo Whiley. Since, the band has completed UK, Ireland, European, Japanese and US tours as well as dozens of festivals, taking the band into the elite category as a "Platinum"-selling recording artist. Whilst gaining international popularity, The Pigeon Detectives have never forgotten their Yorkshire roots and love to come back to play gigs in Leeds as often as they can. On September 1 2012, they played Bingley Music Live, giving their northern fans summut’ smile ‘bout. 

Soft Cell are a northern synthpop powerhouse, scoring 10 top-40 hits during their career. The duo consists of Marc Almond and David Ball and it is their song writing partnership that has set the foundations of their successful 30-year career. Their sound is quintessentially ‘80s; based on catchy synth hooks and drum machines, they have received popular acclaim for being the early pioneers of techno. The duo met at Leeds Polytechnic College, now Leeds Met University, and caught the attention of similar acts such as Depeche Mode. Ever since, they’ve been rocking dance floors everywhere, especially with their mass hit ‘Tainted Love’. Listen out for Soft Cell at your mum’s 50th they’re sure to be played!

Corinne Bailey Rae really is a special talent. Not only is she only one of only 4 British female artists to secure a number 1 hit with her eponymous debut album, but also she was voted break-through act of the year in 2006 by the BBC’s annual poll of music critics! Her second album didn’t receive quite the same amount of acclaim but nevertheless was nominated for a Mercury Award and she won a Grammy for her single ‘Is This Love’. Her two albums have sold over 5 million units worldwide, finally confirming that Bailey Rae has made it as an international R&B artist. Her blend of smouldering soul with catchy pop riffs ensures that Corinne won’t be disappearing from the scene any time soon!

Melanie B was one of five members making up the musical abomination that was The Spice Girls. It’s probably fair to say that Melanie isn’t one of Leeds’s favourite musical offspring, but her contribution to the battering of so many eardrums means that she probably deserves a mention. Melanie Brown was ‘Scary Spice’ and with her in tow, The Spice Girls achieved number ones in 30 different countries with ‘Wannabee’ and 75 million overall album sales worldwide. Unfortunately, this makes them the world’s most successful female pop group. Ever. As such, Mel B is an unavoidable wart on the face of Leeds’ otherwise-impressive musical legacy and, alas, will never be forgotten. 

Photography: Christian Bertrand

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