Charlie Simpson

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Charlie Simpson
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Gravel-voiced vocalist Charlie Simpson is perhaps the only pop star to make the convincing transition from fresh-faced boy bander to authentic hard rock frontman. Born in Woodbridge, Suffolk in 1985, he grew up in a musical family, with older brothers Edd and Will, members of indie bands Brigade and Union Sound Set, respectively, and his mother a direct descendant of 19th century composer Sir William Sterndale Bennett. In 2001, he answered an advertisement James Bourne and Matt Willis had placed in the NME to find a new guitarist, and successfully auditioned to form punk-pop trio Busted. The band enjoyed tremendous success, scoring four number one singles, two million-selling albums, and two Brit Awards, but Simpson soon became discontent with their teeny-bopper direction, and in 2003, he formed post-hardcore quintet Fightstar as an outlet for his more alternative tendencies. Two years later, he eventually left Busted to concentrate on his own band full-time, and despite his pop background, managed to win over rock skeptics and an entirely new fan base thanks to their authentic, credible sound. After Simpson released a compilation album, The Suffolk Explosion, through his own Sandwich Leg label, the band recorded three LPs, Grand Unification (2006), One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours (2007), and Be Human (2009). Following a group hiatus in 2010, Simpson began work on an acoustic solo record and released an EP, When We Were Lions, through the fund-raising initiative Pledgemusic on Christmas Day. The debut album, Young Pilgrim, was finished a few months later and appeared in August 2011, peaking at number six on the U.K. album charts. The following year, the album was reissued in Europe after Simpson signed a deal with PIAS. Returning to the studio in March 2013 with Steve Osbourne (U2, Placebo), Simpson recorded his sophomore release, Long Road Home, while that same year he also headed out on the Vans Warped Tour in the U.S., and supported U.K. rockers Deaf Havana. August 2014 saw the release of Long Road Home, which reached the top spot on the U.K. indie charts. After the success of the McBusted tour -- a super-group consisting of Busted and McFly members -- in 2015, Simpson announced that after ten years, he would re-join his former bandmates in Busted. A tour was scheduled for 2016, but beforehand, Simpson had released his third solo album, Little Hands. A collection of previously unreleased songs written between 2010 and 2016, the album also featured a re-working of Bon Iver's "Re: Stacks." ~ Jon O'Brien u0026 Rich Wilson

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