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Robbie Williams: The Iconic British Pop Star

Full Name Robert Peter Williams
Age 49
Birthday February 13, 1974
Birthplace England
Relationship Married to Ayda Field
Children 4
Height 6′ 1′′
Net Worth $300 million
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Robert Peter Williams is an English singer/songwriter and former member of the massively popular boy band Take That. After leaving Take That in 1995, Robbie launched an extremely successful solo career with his debut album Life Thru a Lens which included the iconic song “Angels.” Over the past 25+ years, Robbie has cemented his status as one of the best-selling and most decorated artists in British pop history.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Robbie Williams was born on February 13, 1974 in Stoke-on-Trent, England. As a child, he loved performing and appeared in school plays. At age 16 in 1990, Robbie joined Take That – a new British pop group created by manager Nigel Martin Smith. Take That soon became a teen sensation across Europe with their catchy dance pop sound. However, Robbie started to chafe under the tight control of the managers.

“Creatively, I wanted to branch out, and they didn‘t want me to. I felt like I was in a straitjacket.” – Robbie on why he left Take That

In 1995, at the height of the band‘s fame, Robbie abruptly left Take That. It was a risky move, but Robbie was determined to pursue a solo career where he had more creative freedom.

Meteoric Rise as a Solo Star

After dealing with substance abuse issues in the wake of his Take That exit, Robbie got sober and focused on his solo career. He released Life Thru a Lens in 1997 and it was both a critical and commercial success. The album featured songs like “Angels” and “Let Me Entertain You” that showcased Robbie‘s talents as both a powerhouse vocalist and gifted songwriter blending pop, rock, swing, and soul influences.

Over the next decade, Robbie‘s popularity exploded as he gained more creative control. He adopted a cheekier, more edgy persona for hits like “Rock DJ.” Robbie’s tours consistently sold out arenas across Europe as he honed his skills as an entertainer with his charisma and connection to the audience.

Some key achievements from this era:

  • By 2001, Robbie became the best selling British solo artist ever with over 55 million records sold worldwide.
  • He continued breaking records, ultimately selling over 75 million albums globally.
  • Robbie was the first artist to reach 1 billion views on YouTube with smash hits like “Rock DJ” and “Angels.”
  • He holds a Guinness World Record for the most live concerts (10) in different cities within 24 hours during his 2003 tour.

Reunion and Continued Success

In 2010, Robbie reunited with Take That for a new album and tour. It marked the return of Robbie to the group after 15 years and was a monumental pop culture event in Britain. After the reunion, Robbie continued releasing solo material including Swings Both Ways (2013) which became the 1000th #1 album in UK history.

Throughout the 2010s, Robbie experimented with different musical styles and collaborated with various artists like Australian singer Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen, and British rapper Stormzy. He also served as a judge on reality singing competitions like The X Factor UK.

“I‘m loving songwriting at the moment. I‘m loving recording sessions and collaborating with people.” – Robbie

Despite being in his late 40s, Robbie shows no signs of slowing down. He keeps engaging with fans through social media and popped up on popular shows like The Voice UK.

Captivating Showmanship and Performance Style

A major part of Robbie’s long-lasting success can be attributed to his incredible showmanship and performance skills. He has an uncanny ability to immediately capture the audience’s attention with his energy and charm.

Robbie is known for his cheeky, improvised banter during shows. He thrives off the crowd interaction. As a performer, he is a true triple threat – able to effortlessly sing, dance, and entertain. Robbie throws his entire body into every song, dashing across the stage and hitting power vocal notes. No two shows are ever the same thanks to his improvisational style.

Robbie’s looks have evolved over the decades from spiky “pop star” hair in the 90s to sleek suits in recent years. But his engagement with the audience and smooth moves remain unchanged. Attending a Robbie Williams concert is still a must-do for any pop music fan.

Accolades and Legacy

Robbie Williams has amassed an astounding number of honors recognizing his contributions to British pop music:

  • 13 BRIT Awards, including Best Male Artist four times
  • 18 MTV Europe Music Awards
  • 2 Guinness World Records

In 2006, Robbie received a star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was entered into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

Many critics and fans regard Robbie as the true successor to Freddie Mercury as a pop showman. Robbie certainly shares Freddie’s incredible vocal talents combined with flamboyant performing skills and effervescent charisma.

Charitable Work and Causes

Robbie generously uses his celebrity status to support causes close to his heart, especially children’s charities. Some of the organizations he champions include:

  • UNICEF
  • Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy
  • The Donna Louise Trust

He also served as an ambassador for the poverty charity Save the Children for several years. Another major project was Robbie’s founding of the Help a London Child campaign in 2005 to aid underprivileged youth in London.

Robbie has done extensive work for charities combating children’s illnesses. In 2005, he funded the opening of a cancer ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital which was named after his daughter. Robbie also performed at several Soccer Aid charity football matches to benefit UNICEF.

Fun Facts and Anecdotes

Over his long career in the spotlight, there are many fun tidbits and anecdotes that give insight into Robbie Williams’ charming, quirky personality:

  • Early in his solo career, he created an alter ego for himself named “Jack the Lad” who had a bad boy, rock star image.
  • Robbie owns a sprawling estate in Wiltshire called Compton Bassett House that was previously owned by director Michael Winner and singer Engelbert Humperdinck.
  • He once lived in actress Cameron Diaz’s guest house for a few months when first moving to Los Angeles.
  • Robbie has the letters “DTFRY” (meaning “Don’t Try Finding Real You”) tattooed on his arm as a reminder during his struggles with addiction.
  • An avid football fan, Robbie is a minority shareholder in Port Vale FC – his childhood favorite team.
  • Robbie has ADHD and takes medication to help manage the symptoms of the condition.

Lasting Legacy

For over 25 years, Robbie Williams has remained one of Britain and Europe’s biggest pop superstars. He has masterfully reinvented his image and sound over the decades while retaining the spectacular vocals and showmanship fans love. With recent announcements of a new album and tour, Robbie shows no signs of stopping.

Off stage, Robbie comes across as genuine and down-to-earth. His openness about his past struggles with addiction, depression, and image has allowed him to connect deeply with fans. Robbie Williams has certainly cemented his legacy as one of the most decorated artists and charismatic entertainers in British pop history.