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Robbie Williams Turns Fifty!

Updated: Feb 22

This week Robert Peter Williams turned fifty years old! He was born on the 13th February 1974 in Stoke on Trent, England. He was the king of the pop world around the globe, in the 90s onward, (except in the USA). This global "Robbie" phenomenon took place mainly in the late nineties and the first decade of the 2000's. Initially Robbie made a splash as a member of the boy band, Take That from 1990-1995. He left Take That to go solo in '96 and that decision was probably one of the best in his life! By 1997 he released his debut album, Life thru a Lens and his song "Angels" hit the charts with a bullet, turned into a global anthem and from then on he was riding high at the top of the music world. To the Americans reading this, I'm saying 'top of the music world' at that time on the level of Michael Jackson, Madonna, or of the Taylor Swifts of todays' standard....yes Robbie was THAT popular-everywhere apart from the USA.! In the UK during that time was what can only be called, "Robbie-Mania". Every product had a Robbie version. From bed sheets, curtains, and clothing, to mobile phones! Everywhere was something Robbie! His audience was predominantly female but not all. And women of all ages were going nuts for him!

In 1997, after his hit, 'Angels' his hits included more chart toppers, one after the other with, "Millenium', 'I've Been Expecting You', 'Let Me Entertain You', 'She's the One', 'Rock DJ' and more. Robbie Williams could seemingly do no wrong. He had seven UK No. 1 singles, and all but one of his 14 studio albums had reached Number 1 in the UK. Six of his albums are amongst the top 100 biggest selling albums, with two of them in the top 60, and he gained a Guinness World Record in 2006 for selling 1.6 million tickets in a single day during his Close Encounters Tour. And 375,000 tickets sold in less than a day for his 3 Knebworth shows.

After the success of his third album, Williams wanted to take another musical direction. Robbie was always a big fan of Frank Sinatra so his album, Swing When You're Winning was very "Sinatra' esque. His voice and super smooth delivery is perfect for this. And the track Have You Met Miss Jones was recorded for the film, Bridget Jones' Diary in 2001.

He has collaborated with Kylie Minogue, Darryl Hannah, Nicole Kidman and others. And recorded songs for other major films such as Finding Nemo in 2003. Williams has won a plethora of music awards including, 18 Brit Awards, 8 German Echo Awards, and 3 MTV European Music Awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted the Greatest Artist of the 1990s. Five of his albums have also topped the Australian albums chart, and has sold 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

I was living in the UK when Robbie ruled the charts and in 2003, my eleven year old daughter and I attended his concert at Knebworth. There were 375,000 attendees and it was the UKs biggest music event to that point. And from a fan girl attendees' POV, it was aVERY memorable experience! The show was so good, we did what any self respecting music fans would do and flew to Milan, Italy the following week to see his show again in a much smaller venue. That show in Milan was my introduction to another British artist called, Skin (from the band Skunk Anansie). She was Robbies opener in Milan, and she blew me away with her music. I have remained a big fan of her music ever since that show.

Photo Credit: Mike Starkey

As I own most of his music, here are some of my favorite Robbie albums: (Amazon affiliate links:) Robbie Williams Greatest Hits Intensive Care Life Thru a Lens The Ego Has Landed Swing When You're Winning Live at Knebworth

Robbie has since gotten married to Ayda, an American actress and they have four children together ranging in age from 3-11. And they live in LA. I remember ages ago reading an article on Robbie and why he and Ayda chose LA to settle down in and his reply was simply, "because its the only place I can walk to my local Starbucks without getting mobbed!" Because especially on the West Coast people are completely unfamiliar with him and his music apart from the Jessica Simpson version of his song, Angels.

In March of 2019, a friend and I went to Las Vegas to see two Robbie Williams shows. He played a stint at The Wynn Hotel at that time. The venue held less than 1500 people and most of the attendees were from elsewhere. I heard many accents amongst the crowd, Brits, Aussies and Europeans were plentiful. We attended the two shows, both were great (for Robbie fans like me), and my friend, seemed to also enjoy the show though I don't think he had ever heard of Robbie Williams before meeting me. I didn't professionally shoot the show, I was there as a Robbie fan. Heres a clip of some of that show at The Wynn Hotel:

Every Valentines Day I think of Robbie, as his birthday falls the day before. This year Robbie turned FIFTY! I know everyone grows older, (if you're lucky), like he says in the lyrics to one of his songs, "Old Before I Die" - but somehow it's still weird to think that Robbie is fifty, Paul McCartney is 81, Ringo 83, Carole King, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards 80, Elton John 76, Roger Daltrey 79, Debbie Harry 78....! The photos I've attached are a few from our phones. Hoping the next time Robbie plays in the USA I can photograph the event with my gear! Happy 50th Birthday Robert Peter Williams!

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