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Paul Rodgers is enjoying a career that now spans three decades. Vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Paul Rodgers and his various groups have sold in excess of 125 million records around the world.
Paul Rodgers is best known for his expressive vocals on songs that have become rock & roll staples, like "All Right Now," "Feel Like Makin' Love," "Can't Get Enough" and "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy." Paul Rodgers has been cited by dozens of 1970s and '80s-era rock groups and musicians as a major influence. U.S. groups like the Black Crowes and Guns N' Roses have cited Rodgers and his various groups - Free, Bad Company, the Firm, the Law - as an influence on their styles.
Paul Rodgers has always had great admiration and respect for the classic African-American blues and R&B vocalists. Paul Rodgers credits his father for buying him a guitar in his youth, but Paul Rodgers later taught himself bass and piano as well. Rodgers began writing songs when he was in his early teens, before he had mastered any instrument.
Paul Rodgers began playing out in clubs around Middlesborough, in northern England, when he was 13, taking singers like Rod Stewart as his role models. Right after Rodgers left school, he set out for London in a van with a band called the Roadrunners. The van broke down en route, and while the other members hitchhiked back north, Paul Rodgers went south to London.
After a short time Rodgers returned home to his parents, who were supportive of his musical endeavors. But having seen the club scene in London, Rodgers became determined to go back and make his mark there.
Paul Rodgers returned to London to formed the blues band Brown Sugar, deciding to see how far he could go as a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist. In the mid- and late 1960s, London was in the midst of a huge blues revival, and Rodgers had the opportunity to see Muddy Waters and dozens of other American blues musicians perform at London's Marquee Club and other blues and R&B venues.
Paul Rodgers freaked after seeing Muddy play live. Seeing Waters live had a lasting effect on Rodgers, and his early experiments, Brown Sugar and Free, started out as blues bands. Rodgers was working with Brown Sugar when guitarist Paul Kossoff heard him sing. Kossoff was so impressed with Rodgers' voice, the two decided to create a new band, joined by Simon Kirke on drums and bassist Andy Fraser.
Paul Rodgers was soon making lasting impressions on others. After seeing them at the Nags Head Pub in Battersea, Britain's godfather of blues, Alexis Korner, suggested they call themselves Free. A song Paul Rodgers co-wrote with Fraser, "All Right Now," hit number one in twenty territories around the world in 1970. The song remains a rock staple, having been entered into ASCAP's "One Million" airplay singles club.
Paul Rodgers vocal skills were causing a mighty buzz.. By the early 1970s, Free were one of the biggest-selling British blues-rock groups; by the time the band dissolved in 1973, they had achieved an uncanny level of superstar success: they had sold more than 20 million albums around the world and had played more than 700 arena and festival concerts.
Paul Rodgers formed Bad Company, then a prototype "supergroup," with King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell, Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, and Free drummer Simon Kirke later on in ‘73. But this time, Rodgers learned from the mistakes he'd made with Free; he was determined to have band mates who shared his musical vision - the overnight success that Free experienced put undue pressures on the personalities in the band.
Paul Rodgers contacted Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin's notorious manager, who was fortuitously starting Swan Song Records, the group's vanity label. By the close of the 1970s, Bad Company had recorded six multi-platinum albums, which spurred classic blues-rock and rock staples like "Can't Get Enough," "Feel Like Makin' Love," "Shooting Star" and "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy." By the time Bad Company called it quits, they had played to over 10 million people around the world and sold 30 million albums.
Other highlights of Paul Rodgers' career include a show-stopping version of Otis Redding's "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay" at Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary party at Madison Square Garden in 1988, and Rodger's formation of a new group with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, the Firm, in the mid-1980s. Following that band's two albums, Rodgers formed the Law with former Small Faces/Who drummer Kenny Jones.
Since the early 1980s, Paul Rodgers has also released a handful of solo albums. They include Cut Loose (1983) and The Morning After the Night Before/Northwind (1984), both for Atlantic Records. Rodgers 1990s output includes Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters (1993, Victory Records), and The Hendrix Set, a mini-CD, released that same year.
Muddy Water Blues was nominated for a Grammy and features guest performances by Slash, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Guy Booking Agent & Management" href="https://www.bookingentertainment.com/artists/jazz/booking-buddy-guy.php">Buddy Guy, and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. More recently, Rodgers put together a backing band featuring guitarist Geoff Whitehorn, bassist Jaz Lochrie and drummer Jim Copley, recording Paul Rodgers Live (1996) and Paul Rodgers Now (1997) for the New York-based Velvel Records.
After a Bad Company reunion in 1999, Rodgers switched over to CMC International, issuing the album Electric in 2000.
Paul Rodgers focused on his solo career in 2000 and released "Electric, his 6th solo CD. In it's debut week, the single "Drifters" was US rock radios #1 Most Added FMQB Hot Trax, #2 Most Added R&R Rock and #3 Most Added Album Net Power Cuts. "Drifters" remained Top Ten for 8 weeks on Billboards Rock Charts M.H. That year he played sold out concerts in England, Scotland, Australia, US and Canada. After his appearance on T.V.'s "Late Show" with David Letterman in New York, he met and jammed with B.B. King. Says Rodgers, "The thrill was definatley not gone... for me. B.B. is a blues giant." That same year, Paul Rodgers, Jimmie Vaughn, Levon Helm, blues men Hubert Sumlin, Johnnie Johnson, James Cotton and others performed a sold out concert in Cleveland as a "Tribute to Muddy Water".
The spring of 2001 Paul Rodgers returned to Australia, England and Scotland for the second run of sold out shows. That summer he toured the US with Bad Company.
Paul Rodgers and Bad Company released their first Live CD & DVD "Merchants of Cool" in 2002. It included all the hits and a new single " Joe Fabulous" penned by Rodgers which hit #1 at Classic Rock Radio and Top 20 on mainstream rock radio in the US.In it's debut week, the DVD sales sound scanned at #3 Canada, #4 in the US.The " Joe Fabulous" Tour kicked off in the US and sold out in the UK.While in London, Paul performed with Jeff Beck at the Royal Festival Hall. Rodgers was invited by long time fan, Tony Blair to perform at the Labour Party Conference. "I had the entire Labour Party singing the chrous of "Wishing Well", a song I wrote and shared with Free, ..."LOVE IN A PEACEFUL WORLD. LOVE IN A PEACEFUL WORLD"... over and over and over hoping the words would sink in but we went to war." recalls Rodgers. Twice this year Rodgers performed on Britain's popular TV show "Top Of The Pops 2".
In 2003 Paul Rodgers toured as a solo artist for the first time in two years playing 25 exclusive US dates. In his solo band are guitarist Howard Leese ( Heart), bassist Lynn Sorenson and drummer Jeff Kathan. BBC TV/Radio host (pianist and songwriter) Jools Holland invited Paul to record "I Told The Truth". (to hear visit the NEWS page) An original song for Holland's 3rd CD "Small World Big Band". The CD also featured Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, Peter Gabriel, Michael McDonald, Ringo Starr and others. This led to Rodgers performing 2 sold out nights at London's Royal Albert Hall with Holland and his 18 piece rhythm and bluse orchestra, plus several UK TV appearances.
Paul Rodgers joined Mitch Mitchell & Billy Cox (Hendrix's Band of Gypsies)early in 2004 along with Guy Booking Agent & Management" href="https://www.bookingentertainment.com/artists/jazz/booking-buddy-guy.php">Buddy Guy, Joe Satriani, Kid Rock's Kenny Olson, Alice in Chain's Jerry Cantrell, Double Trouble, Indigenous, Kenny Wayne Sheppard and blues legend Hubert Sumlin (Howlin' Wolf & Muddy Water) and performed 3 sold out shows in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco as "Experience Hendrix".Once again, Rodgers only played 25 concerts in the US and Canada. He performed at Wembley for the 50th Anniversary celebration for the Fender Stratocaster, along with David Gilmour who played Strat #001, Ronnie Wood, Brian May, Joe Walsh, Gary Moore, Rodgers sang and played a custom designed Jaguar Fender Strat. Rodgers was invited by The Four Tops to be part of their 50th Anniversary TV/DVD concert celebration at Motown's Opera House and performed along side Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Sam Moore, Mary Wilson, Ashford and Simpson and The Four Tops."The call from THE TOPS' Duke Fakir just about knocked me out. I've been a fan since I was a boy and had no idea that they even knew I existed!"exclaims Rodgers. For years the media and fellow musicians have referred to Rodgers as "The Voice". But The Four Tops' Duke Fakir says,"Paul Rodgers is THE SOUL OF ROCK!"
Paul Rodgers may very well be the "soul of rock." In 2005/2006, Paul Rodgers toured with Queen as: Queen + Paul Rodgers It was stated, including on Brian May's own website, that Rodgers would be "featured with" Queen as: Queen + Paul Rodgers, not replacing the late Freddie Mercury, and they released a live album with songs from Queen, Bad Company and Free, called Return of the Champions and a DVD of the same name. Both featured live recordings from their Sheffield Hallam FM Arena concert on 9 May 2005. The DVD features "Imagine" from Hyde Park.
Paul Rodgers remains a musical titan. Queen + Paul Rodgers have also released a single featuring Reaching Out / Tie Your Mother Down / Fat Bottomed Girls. There are many bootlegs from nearly every show of the 2005/2006 tour in audio, as well as a few in video form 2005 Europen tour, and then in October 2005 in the USA (2 concerts) and Japan.. the U.S.A. and Canada in March/April 2006 playing 23 venues, including Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Seattle, and Portland. From the show in Japan they released a DVD in 2006 Called Super Live In Japan. With Paul and Queen version of All Right Now being a fan favorite.
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