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Paul Rodgers

In a career that now spans four decades, vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Paul Rodgers and his various groups have sold in excess of 125 million records around the world. 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," Rodgers has been cited by dozens of 1970s and '80s 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. As a vocalist and songwriter, Rodgers had great admiration and respect for the classic African-American blues and R&B vocalists. Rodgers credits his father for buying him a guitar in his youth, but he later taught himself bass and piano as well. He began writing songs when he was in his early teens, before he had mastered any instrument.

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 he 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, Rodgers went south to London. After a short time he returned home to his parents, who were supportive of his musical endeavors. But having seen the club scene in London, he became determined to go back and make his mark there.

Returning to London, he 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 '60s, 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. 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 that the two decided to create a new band, joined by Simon Kirke on drums and bassist Andy Fraser. After seeing them at the Nags Head Pub in Battersea, Britain's godfather of blues, Alexis Korner, suggested they call themselves Free. A song Rodgers co-wrote with Fraser, "All Right Now," hit number one in 20 territories around the world in 1970. The song remains a rock staple, having been entered into ASCAP's "One Million" airplay singles club. By the early '70s, Free was 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.

In 1973, 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. But this time, Rodgers learned from the mistakes he'd made with Free; he was determined to have bandmates who shared his musical vision -- the overnight success that Free experienced put undue pressures on the personalities in the band. 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 ten million people around the world and sold 30 million albums.

Other highlights of Rodgers' career include a showstopping 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 his formation of a new group with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, the Firm, in the mid-'80s. Following that band's two albums, Rodgers formed the Law with former Small Faces/Who drummer Kenny Jones.

Since the early '80s, Rodgers has also released a number of solo albums. They include Cut Loose (1983) and The Morning After the Night Before/Northwind (1984), both for Atlantic Records. His 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, Buddy Guy, and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. Rodgers then 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. Taking a break from his solo career in the middle of the decade, Rodgers joined Brian May and Roger Taylor in a version of Queen for some live shows, one of which was documented on 2005's Return of the Champions, a double disc on the Hollywood label. In 2007 Eagle Rock Entertainment released a new solo album, Live in Glasgow, taken from a October 13, 2006, concert at Clyde Auditorium in Scotland. Released on both CD and DVD, it highlighted both Bad Company and Free material, some of which Rodgers hadn't performed in 35 years.

Rodgers continued to perform live with Queen through the end of 2009. Not long afterward, he reunited with Bad Company for a 2010 tour that was documented on two separate live releases. After this, Rodgers turned to his solo career, releasing a collection of classic soul covers called The Royal Sessions early in 2014. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Bad Company group
Put on a great show last night at the hardrock in T town.
So the rabbit done died?
He's alright ... I suppose... kinda average
we're pregnant
The man is, The Voice. Period. There is no equal, nothing better, nowhere!
alohakghi
Why doesn't Paul Rodgers get a lifetime achievement award from the RR Hall of Fame? Can't believe none of his band's have made it in yet. Too many politics, I guess.
flemingbrenn e r
paul is # 1 to me! glad I was born on the same planet! same time!!!
Damn what can I say he's just a bad azz blues man serious for sure lov a his stuff he's with the best
He is great no doubt..simil a r artitst...Re a l l y Stevie Ray...no stop the bus..that's not fair to Paul.. He isnt that type of player....we l l no one really is or was...Paul is great in his own right and clearly deserves to be in the RR HOF
alohakghi
Ok, I don't understand why Paul Rodgers does not have a single band in the RR Hall of Fame. There are so many lesser acts that have been inducted. He must not play the politics that gets you in. Shameful!
That's a long carrier! I saw him in Bad Co Years ago. Nice 2 C he's still jamin'.
sexy voice!
Fine!
I could go for a nice cup of soup...
he gets better as he gets older, I love the acoustical version of seagull
An unmistakable voice! Love Paul Rodgers!!
flemingbrenn e r
Paul is the man! ck. out Mr. Midnight on youtube! New fresh Paul! Hope its on the next solo or Bad.Co.!!!!! ! ! !
Member of one of rocks legendary bands. Bad Company. Great voice
All Right Now !!!
the velvet voice
veralcarroll
Just awesome
belkat
H - O - T!!
Velvet kids, pure velvet!
I saw him live recently and he still sounds great! An all time great!
Such an awesome voice...sooo o o very sexy!
Humble Pie kicks ths versions asp!
chichi11656
love him...hot voice
georgevrpr
High energy rock. and the blues rolls out ouf Rodgers mouth like molten gold.....wow ! Glad I found my old fashion Bose ear phones....sm o k e n ! ; )
One of my fav vocalists ever!!!
So many, Soooo many wonderful, good memories.
This is moving me
This is how it's done, period.
msht30
one of the best vocalists!!
awesome!!!
wow i like when they can play
very nice!!!
annsmith92
Love,love... L O V E !
You, Mr. Rodgers, know how to rock.
Sounds like Robben Ford!! Gonna have to hear more!
jeffro66sell s
best blues-styled rock singer of all time. power and perfect pitch, always
byrnesthree
best rock/blues vocalist EVER....
magenia4
This guy is great!
This is the shizat!
Saw Bad Co. back in the late 90's. David Lee Roth opened for them. Bad Co. played a great show, but it was rather short. A little over an hour. Maybe I get spoiled going to Rush shows in excess of three hours!! LOL
NO WHY WHY WHY
homeloft
Great artist, Paul Rodgers. I never get tired of listening to his music.
jbbecker12
Prolly da best rock singa evah!
Rock on with your Bad (company) self!
The only band that challenged him was Queen. Otherwise his vocals are always the best thing by far in any band he's ever been in.
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