Robert Peter "Robbie" Williams (born 13 February 1974) is an English singer-songwriter, and occasional actor. He is a member of the pop group Take That, but has found greater commercial success as a solo artist.
Williams rose to fame in the band's first run in the early- to mid-1990s. After many disagreements with the management and group members, Williams left the group in 1995 to launch his solo career. On 15 July 2010, it was announced he had rejoined Take That and that the group intended to release a new album in November 2010 which became the second fastest-selling album in UK chart history and the fastest-selling record of the century so far. In 2006 Williams entered the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 1.6 million tickets of his Close Encounters Tour in a single day.
Williams has sold over 70 million records worldwide, which ranks him among the best-selling music artists worldwide. He is the best-selling British solo artist in the United Kingdom and the best selling non-Latino artist in Latin America. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the United Kingdom. He has also been honoured with seventeen BRIT Awards"more than any other artist"and seven ECHO Awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted as the "Greatest Artist of the 1990s." Williams is married to actress Ayda Field.
Williams was born in Stoke-on-Trent, on 13 February 1974. His parents, Janet (née Farrell) and Peter Williams, ran a pub called the Red Lion in the town of Burslem, before his father became the licensee at the Port Vale F.C. Social Club " this led to Williams' lifelong affinity for the team. His maternal grandfather was Irish, from Kilkenny.
Williams attended Mill Hill Primary School in Stoke-on-Trent then St Margaret Ward Roman Catholic School in Tunstall, and also attended dance school UKDDF in Tunstall. He participated in several school plays, and his biggest role was that of the Artful Dodger in a production of Oliver!.
In 1990, the sixteen-year-old Williams was the youngest member to join Take That. According to the documentary Take That: For the Record, his mother read an advertisement seeking members for a new boy band and suggested that he try out for the group. He met fellow member Mark Owen on the day of his audition/interview with Nigel Martin-Smith. During the heights of the band's popularity, Williams was known as the extrovert and practical joker of the band. Although the majority of the band's material was written and performed by Gary Barlow, Williams did perform lead vocals on their first Top Ten hit "Could It Be Magic", "I Found Heaven", and "Everything Changes". However, he had conflicts with Martin-Smith over the restrictive rules for Take That members, and he began drinking more alcohol and dabbling in cocaine.
In July 1995, Williams's drug abuse had escalated to the point of his having a near drug overdose the night before the group was scheduled to perform at the MTV Europe Music Awards. According to the documentary For the Record, he stated that he was unhappy with his musical ideas not being taken seriously by lead singer Barlow and Nigel Martin-Smith, because his desire to explore hip hop and rap conflicted with the band's usual ballads. Barlow explained in interviews that Williams had given up trying to offer creative input and merely did as he was told. As well as Williams's friction with the management of the band, Jason Orange had problems with his increasingly belligerent behaviour, his lack of interest in performing, and his frequent habit of missing the band's rehearsals.Source: Wikipedia
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