|Birth name||Stephen Lawrence Winwood|
|Born||(1948-05-12) 12 May 1948 (age 72)
Handsworth, Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Though primarily a vocalist and keyboard player, Winwood also plays a wide variety of other instruments; on several of his solo albums he has played all instrumentation, including drums, mandolin, guitars, bass and saxophone.
He also had a successful solo career with hits including "While You See a Chance", "Valerie", "Back in the High Life Again" and two US Billboard Hot 100 number ones, "Higher Love" and "Roll with It" charting 20 years after the start of his recording career.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.
In 2005, Winwood was honoured as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards for his "enduring influence on generations of music makers".
In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Winwood No.
33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Winwood has won two Grammy Awards.
He was nominated twice for a Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: 1988 and 1989.
In 2011, he received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for Outstanding Song Collection.
Winwood was born on 12 May 1948 in Handsworth, Birmingham.
His father Lawrence, a foundryman by trade, was a semi-professional musician, playing mainly the saxophone and clarinet.
He was also a choirboy at St. John's Church of England, Perry Barr.
He also attended the Birmingham and Midland Institute of Music to develop his skills as a pianist, but did not complete his course.
At 8 years old, he first performed with his father and elder brother Muff in the Ron Atkinson Band.
Muff later recalled that when Steve began playing regularly with them in licensed pubs and clubs, the piano had to be turned with its back to the audience to try and hide him, because he was so obviously underage.
While still a pupil at Great Barr School, Winwood was a part of the Birmingham rhythm and blues scene, playing the Hammond C-3 organ and guitar, backing blues singers such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. , KingSonny Boy Williamson II, Eddie Boyd, Otis Spann, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley on their United Kingdom tours, the custom at that time being for US singers to travel solo and be backed by pick-up bands.
At this time, Winwood was living on Atlantic Road in Great Barr, close to the Birmingham music halls where he played.
Winwood modelled his singing after Ray Charles.
The Spencer Davis Group
Winwood (still known as "Stevie" Winwood then) joined the Spencer Davis Group at the age of 14, along with his elder brother Muff, who later had success as a record producer, after Davis saw them at a Birmingham pub called the Golden Eagle, performing as the Muffy Wood Jazz Band.
The Group made their debut at the Eagle and subsequently had a Monday-night residency there.
Winwood's distinctive high tenor singing voice and vocal style drew comparisons to Ray Charles.
In 1964, they signed their first recording contract with Island Records.
Chris Blackwell later said of Winwood "He was really the cornerstone of Island Records.
He's a musical genius and because he was with Island all the other talent really wanted to be with Island."
The group's first record, a single, was released 10 days after Winwood's 16th birthday.
Eric Clapton and Powerhouse
Traffic, Blind Faith and Ginger Baker's Air Force
After Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in April 1967, the quartet formed Traffic.
This allowed them to escape the city and develop their music.
Early in Traffic's formation, Winwood and Capaldi formed a songwriting partnership, with Winwood writing music to match Capaldi's lyrics.
This partnership was the source of most of Traffic's material, including popular songs such as "Paper Sun" and "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys", and outlived the band, producing several songs for Winwood and Capaldi's solo albums.
Over the band's history, Winwood performed the majority of their lead vocals, keyboard instruments, and guitars.
He also frequently played bass and percussion, up to and including the recording sessions for their fourth album.
The band was short-lived, owing to Clapton's greater interest in Blind Faith's opening act Delaney & Bonnie & Friends; Clapton left the band at the tour's end.
However, Baker, Winwood and Grech stayed together to form Ginger Baker's Air Force.
The line-up consisted of 3/4 of Blind Faith (without Clapton, who was replaced by Denny Laine), half of Traffic (Winwood and Chris Wood, minus Capaldi and Mason) plus musicians who interacted with Baker in his early days, including Phil Seamen, Harold McNair, John Blood and Graham Bond.
However, this project also turned out to be short-lived.
Winwood soon went into the studio to begin work on a new solo album, tentatively titled Mad Shadows.
However, Winwood ended up calling in Wood and Capaldi to help with session work, which prompted Traffic's comeback album John Barleycorn Must Die in 1970.
In 1972, Winwood recorded the part of Captain Walker in the highly successful orchestral version of The Who's Tommy.
In 1976, Winwood also played guitar on the Fania All Stars' Delicate and Jumpy record and performed as a guest with the band in their only UK appearance, a sold-out concert at the Lyceum Theatre, London.
Weariness with the grind of touring and recording prompted Winwood to leave Traffic and retire to sessioning for some years.
Under pressure from Island Records, he resurfaced with his self-titled first solo album in 1977.
Both albums were recorded at his home in Gloucestershire with Winwood playing all instruments.
In 1986, he moved to New York.
There he enlisted the help of a coterie of stars to record Back in the High Life in the US, and the album was a hit.
Winwood embarked on an extensive tour of North America in support of the album.
All these albums were released on Island Records.
The album Roll with It and the title track hit No.
1 on the USA album and singles charts in the summer of 1988.
Another album with Virgin, Far from Home, was officially credited to Traffic, but nearly all the instruments were played by Winwood.
Despite lacking a significant hit, it broke the top 40 in both the UK and USA.
His final Virgin album Junction Seven also broke the UK top 40.
A new studio album, Nine Lives, was released 29 April 2008 by Wincraft Music through Columbia Records.
The album opened at No.
12 on the Billboard 200 album chart, his highest US debut ever.
In 2013, Winwood toured North America with Rod Stewart as part of the "Live the Life" tour.
In 2014, Winwood toured North America with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
In January 2020, a North American summer tour was announced with Steely Dan.
On 17 February 2020, Winwood participated in "A Tribute to Ginger Baker" that took place at Eventim Apollo Hammersmith in London.
Other participants were Ron Wood, Roger Waters and Eric Clapton.
The concert was held in honour of Ginger Baker, his former band member in Blind Faith, who had died the previous year.
In 1994, Capaldi and Winwood reunited Traffic for a new album, Far From Home, and a tour, including a performance at Woodstock '94 Festival.
That same year, Winwood appeared on the A Tribute To Curtis Mayfield CD, recording Mayfield's "It's All Right".
Winwood also appeared in the film Blues Brothers 2000, as a member of the Louisiana Gator Boys, appearing on stage with Isaac Hayes, Eric Clapton, and KoKo Taylor at the battle of the bands competition.
In 2003, Winwood released a new studio album, About Time on his new record label, Wincraft Music.
It spent five weeks at No.
1 on the UK singles chart.
Winwood heard an early version of Prydz's remix and liked it so much, he not only gave permission to use the song, he re-recorded the samples for Prydz to use.
In 2005, his Soundstage Performances DVD was released, featuring recent work from the About Time album along with prior hits including "Back in the High Life".
Winwood also performed hits from his days with Traffic as well as current recordings.
That same year, he appeared on Grammy Award winner Ashley Cleveland's album Men and Angels Say, a mix of rock, blues and country arrangements of well known hymns including "I Need Thee Every Hour", which featured a vocal duet and organ performance.
In May 2007, Winwood performed in support of the Countryside Alliance, an organisation opposed to the Hunting Act 2004, in a concert at Highclere Castle, joining fellow rock artists Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton, Steve Harley and Kenney Jones.
In July 2007, Winwood performed with Clapton in the latter's Crossroads Guitar Festival.
Winwood played several guitar leads in a six-song set.
The two continued their collaboration with three sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City in February 2008.
Clapton and Winwood released a CD and DVD of their Madison Square Garden shows and then toured together in the summer of 2009.
Between 1978 and 1986, Winwood was married to Nicole Weir (d. 2005), who had contributed background vocals to some of his early solo work.
The two married at Cheltenham Register Office.
They have four children.
Both were Patrons of the Cheltenham Festivals of music and literature between 2007 and 2015.
The couple have two sons.
Winwood's daughter Lilly Winwood is a singer; she was featured with him performing a duet of his song "Higher Love" in a Hershey commercial.
She is the opening act and sings backup on multiple songs during Steve Winwood's 2018 Greatest Hits Live tour.
Main article: Steve Winwood discography
- 1977: Steve Winwood
- 1980: Arc of a Diver
- 1982: Talking Back to the Night
- 1986: Back in the High Life
- 1988: Roll with It
- 1990: Refugees of the Heart
- 1997: Junction Seven
- 2003: About Time
- 2008: Nine Lives
- 2017: Greatest Hits Live
Spencer Davis Group
- 1969: Blind Faith
Ginger Baker's Air Force
- 1970: Ginger Baker's Air Force
- 1973: Aiye-Keta
Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood
- Chris Knipp – blast
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland, 1968
- B B King – B B King in London, 1971
- McDonald and Giles – McDonald and Giles, 1971
- Jimi Hendrix – The Cry of Love, 1971
- Howlin' Wolf – The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, 1971
- Shawn Phillips – Faces, 1972 – Organ on Parisien Plight II
- London Symphony Orchestra – Tommy – As Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Choir, 1972
- Jim Capaldi – Oh How We Danced, 1972
- Eddie Harris – E.H. in the UK (Atlantic), 1973 With Chris Squire, Alan White and Tony Kaye
- Lou Reed – Berlin, 1973
- John Martyn – Inside Out, 1973
- Jim Capaldi – Whale Meat Again, 1974
- Robert Palmer – Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley, 1974
- Jim Capaldi – Short Cut Draw Blood, 1975
- Jade Warrior – Waves, 1975
- Toots & the Maytals – Reggae Got Soul, 1976
- Sandy Denny – Rendezvous, 1977
- John Martyn – One World, 1977
- Pierre Moerlen's Gong – Downwind, 1978
- Vivian Stanshall – Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, 1978
- Jim Capaldi – Daughter of the Night, 1978
- George Harrison – George Harrison, 1979
- Marianne Faithfull – Broken English, 1979
- Jim Capaldi – The Sweet Smell of... Success, 1980
- Jim Capaldi – Let the Thunder Cry, 1981
- Marianne Faithfull – Dangerous Acquaintances, 1981
- Jim Capaldi – Fierce Heart, 1983
- David Gilmour – About Face, 1984
- Christine McVie – Christine McVie, 1984
- Billy Joel – The Bridge, 1986
- Dave Mason – Two Hearts, 1987
- Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring, 1986
- Jim Capaldi – Some Come Running, 1988
- Jimmy Buffett – "My Barracuda", 1988
- Phil Collins – ...But Seriously, 1989
- Soulsister – Heat, 1990
- Davy Spillane – A Place Among The Stones, 1994
- Paul Weller – Stanley Road, 1995
- Kathy Troccoli – Corner of Eden, 1998
- Eric Clapton – Back Home, 2005
- Eric Clapton – Clapton, 2010
- Slash – Hey Joe Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame, 2010
- Miranda Lambert – Four the Record, 2011
- Eric Clapton – Old Sock, 2013
- Gov't Mule – Shout!, 2013
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve Winwood.