- Robbie Williams
Infobox Musical artist
Name = Robbie Williams
Img_capt = Robbie Williams at a concert in
Img_size = 352
Birth_name = Robert Peter Maximilian Williams
Born = birth date and age|1974|2|13|df=yes
Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England
guitar, bass guitar, bongos, trumpet, synthesizer
Pop rock Britpop Soft rock
Years_active = 1990–Present| Label = Chrysalis,
URL = [http://www.robbiewilliams.com robbiewilliams.com]
Robert Peter Maximilian Williams (born
13 February 1974) is an English singer. His career started as a member of the pop " boy band" Take Thatin 1990, then going on to leave the band in 1995 to begin his solo career, after selling 25 million records with the group.cite web|url=http://www.takethattv.com/page/Biography/0,,12359,00.html|title=Take That Biography 2007|work=takethattv.com |accessdate=2008-01-04]
His album sales stand at over 55 million, with singles sales over 17 million. [ [http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article3004159.ece Times Article mentioning Robbie selling 55 m albums] ] Williams entered the
The Guinness Book of World Recordswhen in just one day he sold more than 1.6 million tickets for his 2006 world tour. [ [http://news.softpedia.com/news/Robbie-Williams-Enters-The-Guinness-Book-of-World-Records-13394.shtml Robbie Williams Enters The Guinness Book of World Records] ] He has been the recipient of many awards, including fifteen BRIT and six ECHO awards. [cite web|url=http://brits.co.uk/show/2005/ |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20070702072306/http://brits.co.uk/show/2005/|title=The BRIT Awards 2005|publisher=BRIT Awards|archivedate=2007-07-02] [cite web|title=ECHOndash Deutscher Musikpreis: Historie|url=http://www.echo-deutscher-musikpreis.de/history.htm|language=German|accessdate=2008-01-04] In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, after being voted as the Greatest artist of the 1990s. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4005595.stm|title=Robbie joins UK pop Hall of Fame|publisher=BBC NEWS|date= 12 November 2004]
Robbie Williams is the artist who is currently featured the most times in the UK "
Now That's What I Call Music!" series. In the first 68 Now!s he has appeared 29 times (including 4 times with Take That). His first appearance was with Take That on "Now 22" and his most recent appearance was on " Now 66" with " She's Madonna". [ [http://www.moopy.org.uk/forums/archive/index.php/t-28060.html An All New NOW 1-69 Index Thread [Archive - Moopy ] ] __TOC__
Solo career (1996–present)
After leaving Take That, Williams became more popular for his behavior and his boldness, but also for a controversial appearance in concert with rock band Oasis in
Glastonbury, Somerset, UK in 1995. The episode was followed by an advertising campaign against drugand alcoholism, during which Williams was seen fed up, wearing grungy clothes and sporting a dirty beard. After a public fall-out with the members of Oasis, Noel Gallagherwas reported to have referred to Williams as "the fat dancer from Take That". [cite web | url = http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1301227,00.html | title = The Guardian profile: Robbie Williams | date = September 10 2004| accessdate = 2008-05-19] During this time, as he struggled with his weight, alleged substance and alcohol abuse, as well as episodes of depression, [cite news|title=The dark side of Robbie Williams|url=http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=910&id=237932007|author=Fergus Sheppard|date= 14 February 2007|publisher=The Scotsman] few forecast that Williams would become a successful solo artist. Rather it was Gary Barlowwho was tipped for greatness following the break-up of Take That.Fact|date=January 2008
Williams' solo career started in 1996 covering
George Michael's "Freedom", reaching number-two in the UK Singles Chart, [http://www.8notes.com/biographies/robbie_williams.asp Robbie Williams] ] twenty-six places higher than George Michael's original. In the interview included on the single, Williams declared "I just needed something quick to put out to keep me in the public eye, so I put "Freedom" out as a statement."citequote
"Life Thru a Lens" (1996–1998)
After trying to find his own sound during a harrowing period for him, recordings for the album began at London's Maison Rouge studios in March of that year. Shortly after his introduction to
Guy Chambers, Williams released what would be the first single taken from his début album, " Old Before I Die". Co-written by Williams with Eric Bazilianand Desmond Child, the single was released in April 1997, hitting number-two on the UK Charts; however, it was largely ignored on international charts. The second single, " Lazy Days", was released in the summer of 1997, amidst William's battle with addiction. He was allowed to check out of rehab to shoot the video for the song, but promotion for the single was non-existent, so whilst the single charted at number eight in the United Kingdom , it struggled to reach the top forty of any European chart. During this time, Robbie Williams was known to take heroin.Fact|date=April 2008
His début album, "
Life Thru A Lens", was released in September 1997, not long after Williams' stint in rehabndash which he embarked upon with much help from Elton John.Fact|date=January 2008 The album launched with his first live solo gig at the Elysée Monmatre theatre in Paris, France.
At first, the album was slow to take off, debuting at number eleven of the
UK Album Charts; it was passed to the bargain bin not long after its release, selling a little over 33,000 copies.
The third single of the album, "
South Of The Border", failed to make a significant impact on the UK Charts. When it was released in September 1997, it reached number fourteen, and many considered this the end of Robbie Williams' career.cite web|url=http://rtl.musicbrigade.com/templates/ArtistPage____7326.aspx?View=4&ArtistID=5156|title=Robbie Williams|publisher=Musicbrigade|accessdate=2008-01-04]
After Williams met the record company's concerns about his future, he released what would be the fourth single taken from his album, not knowing it would become his biggest single in the United Kingdom so far, and one of his most well-known songs. "Angels" became Williams' best seller in the United Kingdom, being certified 2x Platinum by the BPI.cite web|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=27952|title=Award Certification for "Angels"|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04] The song, apart from becoming a hit around
Europeand Latin America, and selling over two million copies worldwide, [ [www.robbiewilliams.com Angels, Discography, Robbie Williams' Official Website] ] caused sales of his album to sky-rocket. It reached number-one on its 28th week on the charts. The album remained forty weeks inside the British top ten and 218 weeks altogether, making it the 58th best selling album in UK History with sales over the 2.4 Million. [cite web|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=30745|title=Award Certification for "Life Thru A Lens"|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04] Despite the album's success in Williams' homeland, it failed to make a bigger impact in the international market, with the exception of Argentina, where the album reached the top ten in early 1998;Fact|date=January 2008 eventually, the album managed to sell over four million copies worldwide. [ [http://www.purerobbie.com/showthread.php?t=152 Robbie Williams Discography] ]
One of the most popular songs on the album was '
Let Me Entertain You', the lyric of which Williams has described as an ironic attack on the culture industry. Williams says he sees the culture industry as an arena in which critical tendencies or potentialities are eliminated. He has argued that the culture industry, which produces and circulates cultural commodities through the mass media, manipulates the population. Williams claims popular culture is the reason why people become passive; the easy pleasures available through consumption of popular culture make people docile and content, no matter how terrible their economic circumstances. The differences among cultural goods make them appear different, but they are in fact just variations on the same theme. Williams sees this mass-produced culture as a danger to the more difficult high arts and says he believes the culture industries cultivate false needs; that is, needs created and satisfied by capitalism. Robbie believes that true needs, in contrast, are freedom, creativity, and genuine happiness.
"I've Been Expecting You": European success in 1998
Williams and Chambers started the writing process of the album in
Jamaicain the spring of 1998. The first single, "Millennium", was inspired by John Barry's James Bondmusic. The song became Williams' first solo number one single in the United Kingdom when it was released in September of that year, coincidentally knocking All Saints from the top spot. Williams commented, "Someone had to be knocked off, and it may as well be the wife" (Williams and Appleton were engaged at the time of the release of the single).citequote The song went on to sell over 400,000 copies in the UK alone being certified Goldby the BPI in November 1998. [cite web|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=27847 |title=Award Certification for "Millennium"|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04] It also became a top twenty hit in many European countries, as well becoming a hit in Latin America and Australia.Fact|date=January 2008
When the album "
I've Been Expecting You" was released in late October 1998, it débuted at number one in the UK Albums Chart, becoming the year's best selling album in the country. This time, the album received more attention outside the United Kingdom, leaving its mark in the European and Latin American market with hits such as "No Regrets", which became one of the most talked-about tracks from the album, due to its references of Williams' Take Thatdays.Fact|date=January 2008 A collaboration with The Pet Shop Boys' singer Neil Tennantand The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, the single was released in November of 1998, reaching number four in the UK Singles Chart, backed with the cover of Adam & The Ants, "Antmusic". The song became a substantial hit worldwide and the single went on to sell over 20 copies in the United Kingdom being certified Silverin October 2004, almost six years after its original release. [cite web|title=Award Certification for "No Regrets"|publisher=BPI |url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=31788|accessdate=2008-01-04]
The third single from the album, "Strong" came at a busy time. It was written in a Hotel in
Cologne, Germany, inspired by some of Williams' more manic admirers who, he admitted, "scared the living daylights" out of him.Fact|date=January 2008 The song debuted at number four in the United Kingdom and number nine in New Zealand, peaking within the top forty around Europeand many other countries.
The fourth single, "She's the One", a cover of a track from
World Party's album "Egyptology", was a favourite song of Williams after his time in rehab. It became his second number one hit in the United Kingdom and scored a top three place in the New Zealand. The song went on to win a number of awards around the world, including a BRIT Award for "Single of the Year" and a Capital Radio Award for "Best Single". The single was released as a double a-sidewith "It's Only Us", the official theme for Sony's Playstation FIFA2000. The single became a massive success selling over 400,000 copies in the UK alone being certified Gold by the BPI in early 2000. [cite web|title=Award Certification for "She's The One"/"It's Only Us"|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=28709|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04] Williams finished the year with an extensive European Tour in the autumn of 1999.
I've Been Expecting You" was a smash hit, selling almost 3 million copies in the United Kingdom alone: certified 10x Platinum by the BPI, [cite web|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=31787|title=Award Certification for "I've Been Expecting You"|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04] it became Williams' best selling album in the country and the 30th best selling album in UK Music History. Worldwide, the album sold around 15 million copies.
"The Ego Has Landed": Aiming for the American market in 1999
After his worldwide success (especially in
Europe), Williams was signed to Capitol Recordsin the United States, which is a part of EMI. Williams embarked in a US Promotional Tour and when his first American single, "Millennium" was released, it hit number seventy-two in the Billboard Hot 100, the album " The Ego Has Landed" was released in July 1999 in the United States, not having the success that he enjoyed in Europe, the album peaked at number sixty-three in the BillboardAlbums Chart.
Despite this, Williams enjoyed good video airplay and received a nomination for the
MTV Video Music Awardsfor "Best Male Video"ndash he did not win, but the exposure helped the sales of the album.
Capitol Records, trying to make Williams a bigger star, released a second single from the album, the ballad "Angels", Williams shot a new video for it, and when it was released in fall of that year, the song became a somewhat bigger hit than "Millennium", charting at number forty-one, but this was not enough for Williams, so he concentrated on the rest of the world where he was already an established act. The album went on to sell 596,000 copies in the United States being certified Gold by the
RIAAin November of that year. [ [http://www.riaa.com/gp/database/search_results.asp RIAA Certification for "The Ego Has Landed"] Dead link|date=January 2008]
The compilation was released worldwide (as a limited edition in Europe, pressings for the album are still going strong in Latin America, Asia and New Zealand to this day), the album was a success in New Zealand reaching number-one on the official album charts, [cite web|url=http://charts.org.nz/showitem.asp?key=7331&cat=a|title=Robbie Williamsndash The Ego Has Landed|work=New Zealand charts portal|accessdate=2008-01-04] it went on to sell 140,000 copies being certified 9x Platinum, in Australia, the album ensured platinum sales over 7 copies. The album was promoted in Latin America as well, Williams recorded a Spanish version of his hit "Angels" and was included as a bonus track on the album and then released as a single (almost two years after its original release in English), the Spanish version was a substantial hit in most Latin American countries, but as the single had already been big in 1997, most video and radio outlets focused on the tracks from his album "I've Been Expecting You", despite of this, the compilation proved to be a medium success giving him Gold sales in
Mexicoand Argentina. It has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
"Sing When You're Winning": International success (1999–2001)
In the middle of promotion and the tours in 1999, becoming an established worldwide
pop star, Williams found time to start the work on what would be his third studio album, this time he had finally found his confidence, not only to be more brash, but also vulnerable. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Sing When You're Winning] ]
The first single taken from the album was "Rock DJ", a song inspired by Williams'
UNICEFmentor, the late Ian Dury. The video was censored by Top Of The Popsfor its gore content, many other channels followed the suit and it caused a controversy in the United Kingdom and many other countries. [cite news|title=Controversial Robbie single hits the shops|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/859988.stm|date= 31 July2000|publisher=BBC NEWS] The video showed Williams tearing chunks of skin and muscle from his body while performing a strip show in an attempt to get noticed by the female DJ, the track became an instant hit around the globe, hitting number-one in the United Kingdom, becoming his third number-one single as a solo artist and exactly a year after his sell-out concert at the Slane Castle. The song also reached number-one in Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico, Nepal, and Argentina and hit top ten placings all over Europe Australasiaand Latin America. Despite this success, the song failed to break in the United States charts, but it did get some TV Airplay in channels such as MTVand VH1. The song went on to win several awards, among them, "Best Song of 2000" at the MTV Europe Music Awards, "Best Single of the Year" at the BRIT Awards and an MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects, the single went on to sell over 600,000 copies in the UK alone, being certified Platinum by the BPI. [cite web|title=Award Certification for "Rock DJ"|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=29110|accessdate=2008-01-04 |publisher=BPI]
When the album, "
Sing When You're Winning" was released in August 2000, it became a smash hit all over the world, débuting at number-one in the United Kingdom being certified 2x Platinum on its first week of release. [cite web|title=Award Certification for "Sing When You're Winning"|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=29046|publisher=BPI |accessdate=2008-01-04] The album also topped the charts in New Zealand, Ireland and Germany, and secured top ten placings in Argentina, Austria, Australia, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, and Switzerlandamong many others. Snapped by photographer Paul M. Smith, the album artworkndash along with Williams' complete football strip (including a signed jockstrap)ndash was later sold at Williams' Bid It Sum auction to raise money for his charity, "Give It Sum".Fact|date=January 2008
The second single, a collaboration with
Australian pop icon Kylie Minoguetitled "Kids", was written when Minogue approached Williams to write material for what would be her first album under Parlophone, "Light Years"; it was then, when Williams felt the chemistry and decided to include the track on his album and release it as a single. It was an instant hit when it was released in October of that year, hitting number-two in the United Kingdom and reached top ten placings in Australia, New Zealand, Latvia, Mexicoand other countries. Kids became one of the biggest hits of that year selling over 200,000 copies in the UK alone being certified Silver. [cite web|title=Award Certification for "Kids"|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=29111|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04]
Williams toured the United Kingdom with Minogue in October and November 2000 selling-out in every venue.
Further singles, such as "Supreme" (which Williams recorded in French), "
Let Love Be Your Energy" and "Better Man" (which Williams recorded in Spanish) became big hits reaching the top ten around the world.
"Eternity", a track that was not featured on the album, was released in the summer of 2001 backed with "The Road to Mandalay", the former was written by Williams in what he called "the most amazing summer",citequote after years of non-stop work he took a month off and recorded this track, when it was released it became his fourth number-one single in the United Kingdom, selling over 70,000 copies in its first week in the UK alone, [ [http://www.theofficialcharts.com/all_singles_song.php?id=903 "Eternity"/"The Road To Mandalay" first week sales in the United Kingdom] ] and also hit the top ten hit all over Europe.
Williams toured around the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe in the summer of 2001.
The album had spent 91 weeks inside the UK Charts, going on to sell 2.4 Million copies in the UK alone being certified 8x Platinum by the BPI, [cite web|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=30744|title=Award Certification for "Sing When You're Winning"|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04] the album became the best selling album of 2000 in the country and the 51st Best Selling album in UK Music History. The album went on to sell over 6 million copies worldwide.
"Swing When You're Winning" (2001)
After the success of his third album, Williams wanted to take another musical direction. He took two weeks off from his tour to record what would be his fourth studio album, the big band album he had always dreamed of making. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Swing When You're Winning] ]
Born from his life-long love for
Frank Sinatrandash combined with the success of the track " Have You Met Miss Jones?" that he recorded for the film "Bridget Jones's Diary" in early 2001ndash the album was recorded at the Capitol Studiosin Los Angeles, California.
Williams took the chance to duet with his long-time friend Jonathan Wilkes, "Little Voice" star
Jane Horrocks, "Saturday Night Live" star Jon Lovitz, Rupert Everettand the Academy Awardwinning actress Nicole Kidman.
The first single released from the album was a duet with Kidman, on "
Somethin' Stupid". Originally a hit for Frank and Nancy Sinatra, the song became Williams' fifth number-one hit in the United Kingdom, selling almost 100,000 copies in its first week of release, [ [http://www.theofficialcharts.com/all_singles_song.php?id=916 "Somethin' Stupid" first week sales in the United Kingdom] ] as well hitting the top spot in Argentina, New Zealand, Latvia and scoring top ten placings all over Europe becoming one of the biggest hits of 2001 selling over 200,000 copies in the UK alone after spending three weeks at the top of the charts being certified Silver in January 2002. [cite web|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=29997 |title=Award Certification for "Something Stupid"|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04]
When the album, "
Swing When You're Winning" (in reference to his 2000 studio album "Sing When You're Winning") was released in late 2001, it became an instant number-one hit in the United Kingdom (spending six consecutive weeks at number-one), Ireland, New Zealand, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland and it reached the top ten in the rest of the world going on to sell over 2 million copies by the end of 2001 and over 7 million altogether. [cite news|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,4-2002420301,00.html |title=Robbie swings both ways|publisher=The Sun|date= 10 September 2002]
A second single was released from the album, a
doublea-side " Mr. Bojangles/I Will Talk And Hollywood Will Listen", however it was released in Central and Eastern Europeonly. "Mack The Knife" was released as a radio single in Mexico. [ [http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=217433 "Mack The Knife" Mexican Promo] ]
The album spent 57 weeks inside the UK Charts selling over 2.1 million copies being certified 7x Platinum in the United Kingdom [cite web|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=30751|title=Award Certification for "Swing When You're Winning"|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04] and becoming the 49th Best Selling Album in UK Music History.
"Beyond the Sea" was put in the credits of the film "
Finding Nemo" in 2003 and was also released on the album's Academy Award nominated soundtrack. [cite web|url=http://www.oscars.org/76academyawards/nomswins.html|title=76th Academy Awards Nominees and Winners|publisher=Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences|accessdate=2008-01-04]
DVDcalled "Robbie Williams Live at the Albert Hall" was released in December of that year. So far, it has become one of the best selling music DVDs in Europe, being certified 6x Platinum in the United Kingdom [cite web|url=http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=32440|title=Award Certification for "Live at the Albert Hall"|publisher=BPI|accessdate=2008-01-04] and 2x Platinum in Germany. [ [http://www.ifpi.de/wirtschaft/gpergebnis.php?strAktion=suche&txtSuche=Live%20At%20The%20Albert IFPI Certification for "Live at the Albert Hall] ]
In 2002, Williams signed a record-breaking £80 million contract with EMI. [cite news|title=Robbie signs '£80m' deal|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/entertainment/2291605.stm|publisher=BBC NEWS|date=
2 October 2002] The contract featured a number of provisos, including the label ceding greater creative control to the artist and a commitment to breaking Williams in the US market. In return, EMI affirmed they would benefit from a cut of Williams' non-recording activities, including touring, publishing, and merchandising, thus protecting the company from any commercial downturn in the singer's album sales. So far it has become the biggest music deal in British history. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Escapology] ]
Williams began working on what would be his fifth studio album, after a year out recording, the album heralded a new era for Williams; he had taken a more active role in the making of this album giving an indication of his growing confidence in the studio, and "One Fine Day". "Nan's Song" and "Come Undone" were the first songs that Williams wrote without the
Guy Chambersinput. Most of the songs were recorded in Los Angeles[ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Escapology] ]
The album's first single, "Feel", written by Williams and Chambers, was recorded as a demo; when they started working on the album and trying to re-record the vocals, Williams felt unsatisfied with it, so he decided to include the demo version and then release it as the first single. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Singles>Feel] ] When the single was released in late 2002, it became Williams' biggest international hit reaching the top ten in every single European country. It also topped the charts in Argentina,
Italy, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, Mexico and The Netherlands. The success of the song was so massive that it spent 54 weeks inside the Canadiancharts reaching a peak of number ten. The video for the song received attention in the United States, because it featured the Hollywoodactress Daryl Hannahas his love interest. The track eventually peaked inside the top forty in the Billboard adult contemporary charts, but it failed to make the Hot 100.
When Williams' fifth studio album, "Escapology", was released in late 2002, it hit number-one in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Austria; elsewhere, it made the top ten, however in the United States failed to make as big of an impact, reaching only number forty-three on the Billboard Albums Chart.
Album's second single, "Come Undone" became a top ten hit around the world; due to its controversial video, it was heavily censored by MTV Networks Europe for depicting a debauched (but fully-clothed) Williams having three-way sex with two women. The video was all about some young people having a party and it showed footage of fights, drug taking, and unwise alcohol use. It also showed unsettling images of insects and reptiles, however, the uncensored version of the video was released on
DVD Singlein Europe and was also included on the Enhanced CDSingle. [ [http://famous.y2u.co.uk/F_Robbie_Williams.htm Escapology] ] BBCRadio 2 also banned the song for its explicit content. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Singles>Come Undone] ] During such furores at this time, it was confirmed that Williams and Guy Chambers were to officially part ways. [ [http://famous.y2u.co.uk/F_Robbie_Williams.htm Escapology] ] The single version of "Come Undone" is not the same version as the one on the album, but instead produced by Steve Power "from an original production by Guy Chambers/Steve Power", perhaps to deny Guy Chambers part of the revenue for the single.
The third single taken from the album was "
Something Beautiful", the song was written in Barbados, the song was first offered to Tom Jones, but it was then reworked and for its inclusion on Williams' album, [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Singles>Something Beautiful] ] when the single was released in the summer of 2003, it hit the top ten in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland and Denmark, it failed to make an impact in the world charts. The video featured a casting in which people from all over Europe contested to win the chance to perform as Robbie Williams at the end of the same video, the three winners had the chance to meet Williams, three different versions of the video were released to different parts of the world featuring a different winner.
Williams started his world tour in the summer of 2003, and he was about to do three live concerts in
Knebworth. The three shows attracted a total of 375,000 fans. [cite press release|title=Robbie Williams at Abbey Road|date= 31 October 2003|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/10_october/31/robbie_abbey_road.shtml|publisher=BBC]
"Escapology" ended 2002 as the best selling album of the year in the United Kingdom with 1.4 million copies sold, [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Escapology] ] by the end of 2003 the album had sold almost 2 million copies being certified 6x Platinum by the BPI, [ [http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=30860 BPI Certification for "Escapology"] ] becoming the 60th best selling album in UK music history. Worldwide the album went on to sell 7 million copies.
In October 2003, Williams released his first
live album, " Live at Knebworth", including tracks from his record-breaking shows recorded in August of that year, the album became the fastest selling live album in the United Kingdom with 120,000 copies sold in its first week, it gave a finale two finger salute to Oasis who sold half that amount and held that title with their own live album, [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Live at Knebworth] ] peaking at number-two (Dido's " Life For Rent" was at number-one), however, the album reached the top position in Germanyand Austria and became a top ten album throughout Europe, Australasia and Latin America. The live record ended up selling a little over 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom being certified 2x Platinum by the BPI [ [http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=31784 BPI Certification "Live at Knebworth"] ] and a total of 3 million in Europe alone [ [http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/platinum/plat2003.html IFPI Certifications in 2003] ] altogether, the album sold 3.5 million worldwide.
"Greatest Hits" (2004)
A year after the release of his live album, in October 2004, Williams' decided that it was time to make a retrospective of his career, and also, to reveal the new tracks he had been working on with the then, new collaborator,
Stephen Duffy. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Greatest Hits] ]
"Radio", the compilation's first single, was released in October 2004, which debuted at number-one of the
UK Singles Chart(becoming Williams' sixth number-one hit) selling 41,732 copies, [ [http://www.theofficialcharts.com/all_singles_song.php?id=994 "Radio" first week sales in the United Kingdom] ] the song was also a number-one hit in Denmarkand Portugal, and it hit the top ten around the world.
When the compilation was released two weeks later, "Greatest Hits" went on to sell 320,000 copies in its first week in the United Kingdom debuting at number-one becoming the fastest selling 'Greatest Hits' album in the country, [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Greatest Hits] ] the album hit the top spot in no less than 18 countries,
Arabia, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the aforementioned United Kingdom, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Lebanon among others. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Greatest Hits] ]
The album's second single, the ballad, "Misunderstood", being the soundtrack of the film, "" hit the top ten around the world in December of that year, making the album the best selling album of the year in the United Kingdom, becoming the 61st Best Selling Album in UK Music History, with sales over the 2 million copies being certified 6x Platinum by the BPI. [ [http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=32340 BPI Certification for "Greatest Hits"] ] The album, also became the best selling album of the year in
Europebeing certified 5x Platinum for over 5 million copies sold, [ [http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/platinum/plat2006.html IFPI Certification for "Greatest Hits"] ] worldwide, the album ended up selling a little under 8 million copies becoming his best selling album ever.
Eight years after the release of "Angels", in February 2005 British public voted it as the "Best Single of the past Twenty Five Years" at the 2005 BRIT Awards. [cite news|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/news/brits2005/wdyt_2.shtml|title=Brits25: Did your favourites get awards?|publisher=BBC|date=
9 February 2005]
"Intensive Care" (2004–2005)
Latin Americain late 2004 for the promotion of his "Greatest Hits" album, Williams started working on what would become his sixth studio album. Recorded in Robbie Williams' bedroom high in the Hollywood Hills, the album was co-written Stephen Duffyover the course of 24 months. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Intensive Care] ]
Inspired by the
Human League's single "Louise", about a man who breaks off a relationship and realized he still has strong feelings for her. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Albums>Intensive Care] ]
The album's first single, "Tripping", was released on 3 October 2005, it became an international success, topping the charts in Germany, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Argentina & Mexico, and more importantly, the United World Chart.
The album was launched in
Berlin, Germany on October 9. It was not shown on television, but broadcast to various locations around the world in cinemas and theatres, in a high-definition "cine-cast". It was shown on 22 October 2005on Channel 4. During the album launch, Williams said he would like to be the new "King of Pop".Fact|date=January 2008
When "Intensive Care" was released in late October 2005, it became smash hit around the world, hitting number-one in the United Kingdom, selling 373,000 copies in its first week as well as topping the charts in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, New Zealand and many other countries, debuting at number-one in the United World Chart. [ [http://www.mediatraffic.de/albums-week45-2005.htm United World Chart, "Intensive Care", 12 November 2005] ] The album became Williams' biggest international success in his career, selling over 2 million copies in only six weeks. [ [http://www.mediatraffic.de/albums-week50-2005.htm United World Chart, "Intensive Care", December 17] ]
That November, Williams took home the MTV Europe Music Award for 'Best Male', but also, entered in the
The Guinness Book of World Recordswhen he announced his World Tour for 2006, selling 1.6 million tickets in one single day.cite news|url=http://news.softpedia.com/news/Robbie-Williams-Enters-The-Guinness-Book-of-World-Records-13394.shtml |title=Robbie Williams Enters The Guinness Book of World Records|date= 26 November 2005|publisher=Softpedia] But after the success, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange, and Howard Donaldhad agreed to reunite in Notting Hill, West London, for a preview screening of a documentary about the group, Take That. The documentary screened on ITV1on 16 November 2005. Unfortunately, according to a source quoted by Sunday Mirror, "Robbie announced he wasn't coming. The rest of the band were gutted but felt the show had to go on." [cite news|title=Robbie Williams Misses Take That Reunion|url=http://news.softpedia.com/news/Robbie-Williams-Misses-Take-That-Reunion-12303.shtml|publisher=Softpedia|date= 14 November2005]
By December, the second single from the album was released, the ballad "
Advertising Space", becoming another international hit, reaching the top ten in Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
The album became the best selling album in
Europeby the end of 2005 with sales over the 4 million copies. [ [http://www.zpav.pl/rankingi.asp?page=inne&lang=en IFPI Certification for "Intensive Care"] ] However, it only managed to be the third best selling album in the United Kingdom that year.
Williams' kicked off his "Close Encounters World Tour" in
South Africain April 2006, when he finished his European leg of the tour, 2.5 million had seen the show, [ [http://www.emimusic.com.mx/portal/hgxpp001.aspx?2,24,135,O,S,0,PAG;CONC;26;2;D;372970;1;PAG;, EMI Music Mexico] ] and after Latin Americaand Australia the numbers when up to 3 million.
After a long gap between singles, the third cut from the album was released in the summer 2006, "
Sin Sin Sin" was the first song Williams and Duffy wrote together, [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Singles>Sin Sin Sin] ] the video was shot in Cape Town, South Africa right before the start of his tour, when the track was released it became Williams' first single to miss the UK Top 20, charting at number twenty-two, worldwide, the single did a lot better, hitting the top ten in Europe and Latin America.
By the end of the promotion of the album, it was announced that sold over 5 million copies in Europe alone being certified 5x Platinum by the
IFPI, [ [http://www.zpav.pl/rankingi.asp?page=inne&lang=en IFPI certification for "Intensive Care"] ] it also certified 5x Platinum in the United Kingdom becoming, at the time, his lowest selling studio album in the country, [ [http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=32490 BPI Certification for "Intensive Care"] ] worldwide, the album went on to sell way over seven million copies worldwide becoming Williams' best selling studio album.
"Rudebox": Mixed reviews (2006–2007)
Williams' seventh studio album was announced in early 2006. It was originally scheduled to be called "1974", the year Williams was born, and then "Rudebox '74". It is a dance/electro album with collaborations with
the Pet Shop Boys, William Orbit, Soul Mekanik, Joey Negro, Mark Ronsonand more.
The first single, "
Rudebox", was premièred on radio by Scott Millson his show on BBC Radio 1. The event caused some controversy, as the record label's embargodate was broken, although the artist himself later backed the presenter for doing so. Right after the single was unleashed, it caused controversy due to Williams' radical change in the single in direction from his other releases. British Newspaper"The Sun" named the song "The Worst Song Ever". [ [http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,4-2006330767,,00.html The Sun, Williams' Worst Song EVER] Dead link|date=January 2008] However, Victoria Newtonstated that there were sure-fire hits on the album. [ [http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,4-2006320749,,00.html The Sun, Robbie: After you, Justin] Dead link|date=January 2008] When the song was released in September that year, it reached number four in the UK Singles Chart; elsewhere the song did a lot better, hitting number one in Honduras, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Lebanon, Turkey, and on the Australian Airplay Chart; it also peaked at number two in the Eurochart.
Williams released his much anticipated dance/electro album, "Rudebox", on 23 October 2006. It received mixed reviews:
Allmusicgave it a four star rating, the NME8 out of 10, and Music Week and MOJO were equally positive [ [http://www.nme.com/reviews/robbie-williams/8052 NME Magazine on "Rudebox"] ] , but it received much weaker reviews from some of the British press. Despite reaching the number one spot, sales were far below what was expected by his label, and overall sales in the UK were overtaken by his former band, Take That,'s "Beautiful World". The album has sold a little under 500,000 copies in the United Kingdom, becoming his lowest-selling album in the country, being certified 2x Platinum by the BPI. [ [http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=32726 BPI Certification for "Rudebox"] ] Elsewhere, the album was received with a warmer reception by the public, hitting number one in fourteen countries including Argentina, Australia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland, and reaching number two in the United World Chart selling 378,000 copies in its first week. [ [http://www.mediatraffic.de/albums-week45-2006.htm United World Chart, 11 November 2006] ] On 8 November 2006, IFPIcertified the album 2x Platinum in Europewith sales of over 2 million making it the fastest platinum selling album of 2006. [ [http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/platinum_intro.html IFPI Certifications, November 2006] ] The album finished at number eighteen in the list of 2006's best selling albums worldwide, Neil Tennantfrom the the Pet Shop Boyscommented the album had sold 4.5 million copies by early 2007. [cite news|title=The boys are back in town|url=http://www.mirror.co.uk/showbiz/entertainment/music/tm_method=full%26objectid=19176631%26siteid=89520-name_page.html |author=Gavin Martin|date=2007-05-25|publisher=Daily Mirror]
Promotion for the album was almost non-existent due to Williams' "Close Encounters Tour" around
Latin Americaand Australia.
The second single, "
Lovelight", came out right before the release of the album, and was commercially released on 13 November. The single reached the top ten in the United Kingdom and many other European countries, reaching number two in the Eurochart. The track became also a hit in Latin America and Australia, but failed to reach the success of Williams' previous releases when the track showed no longevity in the charts.
Williams finished 2006 as the 16th most played artist in
Latin America[ [http://www.americatop100.com/iberoamerica/resumen2006/artistas2006.htm Most Played Artists List] ] and the third most played international artist.
The third single, "
She's Madonna" incl. Remixes from Kris Menaceand Chris Lake, was released to European radio in late January to precede the commercial release which was scheduled to March 5, 2007. The track failed to be a massive success in the United Kingdom, reaching number sixteen on the Singles Chart, but it did far better in Continental Europe hitting the top ten in most countries and rose to number one on the European Airplay Chart after spending four weeks at number two, a feat his former band, Take That, failed to achieve.cite web|url=http://charly1300.perso.orange.fr/nouveauclassement.htm|title=She's Madonna: #1 in European Airplay Charts|publisher=Orange.fr|date= 2007-02-25|accessdate=2007-02-25] [ [http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i36498a3471ed416a03b71c9f595e2ad1 Billboard Euro hot 100] ] It was confirmed that this single was not going to be released in Latin Americaor Australia, but did receive heavy airplay in the later of the two. [ [http://www.robbiewilliams.com/ Discography>Singles>She's Madonna>Territory Info] ] Despite this, the single was released as Digital Downloadin Mexicoin four different formats. [ [http://www.beon.com/detail/album.aspx?productID=e9e85e48-6718-4f5c-9d61-521ffec8bb4f "She's Madonna" Mexican Digital Download] ] [ [http://www.beon.com/detail/album.aspx?productID=e5f7bbf1-9543-4e31-b764-ed58e325a138 "She's Madonna" Mexican Digital Download (Format 4)] ] In August 2007, the single reached number 12 in the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club PlayChart. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/charts/chart_display.jsp?f=Hot+Dance+Club+Play&pageNumber=Top+11-25&g=Singles US Dance Chart] ]
Bongo Bong and Je Ne T'Aime Plus", a collaboration with British singer Lily Allen, was released as the third single in Latin Americaand other European countries, hitting radio in January 2007, and as a Digital Download in February. It managed to chart in Mexico and Latvia.
To promote his album, Williams commissioned a series of short films. [ [http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=2&subID=1514 Goodbye to the hard sell] ] "Goodbye to the Normals" was directed by
Jim Field Smithand features "Burslem Normals" by Robbie Williams.
17 January2008, it was reported that EMIplanned to ship one million unsold copies of Rudeboxto Chinato be recycled and used for resurfacing roads. [ [http://www.mirror.co.uk/showbiz/2008/01/17/robbie-williams-unsolde-cds-being-shipped-to-china-89520-20288077/ Rudebox to be Shipped to China] ]
Next studio album (2007-present)
4 October 2007, Williams made a return to the live stage after almost ten months, when he made a guest appearance at Mark Ronson's concert in Los Angeles. He performed The Charlatans song " The Only One I Know", which features on Ronson's album "Version". The NMEpraised the performance. [ [http://www.nme.com/news/mark-ronson/31573 NME: Mark Ronson review] ]
Rumours of a new studio album had surfaced in early 2007, along with know commitments required by Williams to his EMI contract. British singer-songwriter
Laura Critchleycommented that she had sung vocals for three songs, and said that it would not be released until 2009. [cite news|title=Three WAGs on Rob's bed|author=Dominik Lemanski|url=http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/16180/Three-WAGs-on-Rob-s-bed/|publisher=Daily Star|date= 23 September 2007]
9 January 2008, Robbie said he might put a B-Sides album out some time in 2008, with his next studio album following in 2009. He also said that he has no plans to tour any time soon and is working with Dave Michigan (www.myspace.con/davemichiganofficial. [cite news|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article665538.ece|title=Robbie's loving indoors instead|publisher=The Sun|date= January 9, 2008]
16 January 2008it was announced that Williams had been working on some songs with former Ian Dury and the Blockheadsstar Chaz Jankel. In the same article it said that the reunion with Guy Chambers hadn't worked out and that the material that William's is working on with Chaz Jankel will form the basis of his next studio album. [cite news|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article691870.ece|title=Robbie's hit by rhythm stick|publisher=The Sun|date= January 16, 2008] However, although it has been confirmed on the Blockheads official site that Chaz is writing with Williams the rumour that Guy Chambers is no longer working with him, is not official. In late August 2008, friend Callum Blue commented that William's is still working on the album. [http://itn.co.uk/news/ebbc6ef6dc2b0b70e4a63137dcc1eae4.html]
Reception in North America
Despite Williams' immense popularity worldwide, he has yet to become a major chart or concert success in the United States, attracting comparisons with the similar failure of the American/Australian artist
Rick Springfieldto crack the '80s British chart scene, despite similar global appeal.
His first United States single, "Millennium", made it to only number seventy-two on the
Billboard 100charts [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=379&cfgn=Singles&cfn=The+Billboard+Hot+100&ci=3034436&cdi=7455056&cid=06%2F26%2F1999 Hot 100 from June 26, 1999, the last time the single was on the charts] ] . Its highest position on American charts was number twenty in Top 40 Mainstream. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=381&cfgn=Singles&cfn=Top+40+Mainstream&ci=3034842&cdi=7470289&cid=07%2F03%2F1999 Millennium Top 40 Mainstream] ] His second, "Angels", hit number forty-one in the Hot 100, but was a success on the Hot Adult Contemporary Chart where it peaked at #10, becoming his highest charting track on an American chart and the more commonly known Robbie Williams song in the United States. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/searchResult.jsp?keyword=angels+robbie+williams&exposeNavigation=true&an=bbcom Angels Adult Contemporary] ] In 1999, Williams released in that country a special compilation of his first two albums, titled " The Ego Has Landed". The album peaked at number sixty-three [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=305&cfgn=Albums&cfn=The+Billboard+200&ci=3036976&cdi=7548818&cid=02%2F12%2F2000 Billboard 200 Charts from the week of February 12, 2000, the last week "Ego" was on the charts] ] and went on to sell 600,000 copies in the US and went Gold.
Later in 2000 "Rock DJ", a single taken from Williams' second U.S. album "
Sing When You're Winning", was released; it reached number twenty-four in the Hot Dance Club PlayChart, [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/searchResult.jsp?keyword=rock+dj+robbie+williams&exposeNavigation=true&an=bbcom Rock DJ Hot Dance Club Play] ] but failed to chart in the Hot 100. The album peaked at number one-hundred-and-ten on the Billboard 200 and only stayed on the charts for four weeks [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=305&cfgn=Albums&cfn=The+Billboard+200&ci=3039830&cdi=7650785&cid=11%2F11%2F2000 Billboard 200 Charts from the week of November 11, 2000, the last time the album was on the charts] ] .
Together with a promotional tour, EMI hoped that the release of "Escapology" would be the album to successfully break the American market. Williams performed the lead song "Feel" on such shows as "
Good Morning America" and " The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". However, this single did not reach Hot 100 but peaked number twenty-eight in the Adult Top 40. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/searchResult.jsp?keyword=feel+robbie+williams&exposeNavigation=true&an=bbcom&x=0&y=9 Feel Adult Top 40] ] The album "Escapology" also failed to catch fire in America, selling only 200,000 copies, though it reached number forty-three on the U.S. Billboard Charts. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=305&cfgn=Albums&cfn=The+Billboard+200&ci=3049828&cdi=8008794&cid=06%2F14%2F2003 Billboard 200 from the week of June 14, 2003, the last time the album was on the charts] ]
The Williams' single "
Lovelight" was released in the United States by Virgin Recordsand reached #23 in the Billboard Hot Dance Club PlayChart on March 2008 and climbed up to number 11 in April 2008. [ [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/charts/chart_display.jsp?f=Hot+Dance+Club+Play&pageNumber=Top+11-25&g=Singles US Dance Chart] ] It was the third single from the British singer to hit the American dance chart. It was also his sixth single to reach American charts and his third highest-charting single in the United States to date.
Canada, however, Williams has enjoyed a warmer reception, with "Feel" spending fifty-four weeks in the Canadian singles chart and reaching the top ten there. A few of his other songs have gained popularity there, notably "Angels", "Millennium", "Rock DJ", "Tripping" and "She's Madonna".His two album release for the North American market, " The Ego Has Landed" and " Escapology", went also platinum in Canada with more than 100,000 copies sold.
Overall, Williams has sold over 1 million albums in the US, and 400,000 in Canada.
One of his most famous collaborations was on "Kids", a duet with Australian pop superstar
Kylie Minogue. The single peaked at number 2 on the UK singles charts. Another collaboration in 2001 with Kylie's fellow Australian, Film Star Nicole Kidman, was a cover of Frank and Nancy Sinatra's "Something Stupid". The single made Number 1 on the UK singles chart. His single No Regrets featured Neil Tennantfrom the Pet Shop Boysand The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannonon backing vocals.
In 2002, Williams appeared on the track "
My Culture" on the 1 Giant Leapalbum, alongside rapper Maxi Jazz (which features lyrics from the hidden track "Hello Sir" from " Life Thru A Lens" (and " The Ego Has Landed")), on the " 1 Giant Leap" album, alongside Maxi Jazz. Williams also features on a double CD titled "Concrete" which was released on the same day as "Rudebox". The CD features a concert recorded for the BBC featuring the Pet Shop Boysand Williams singing their classic hit "Jealousy". Their joint effort, " She's Madonna", was released as a single in March 2007. On 13 August 2007, a Dean Martinduets album was released, on which Williams sings " Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone".
Williams is currently spending most of his time in
Los Angeles, California. He has commented many times on how he enjoys the freedom and privacy that he can't find in the UK. Despite this, many rumours have surfaced over the years suggesting he wants to return to the UK. [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/a84855/robbie-may-move-back-to-uk.html Showbiz - News - Robbie may move back to UK - Digital Spy ] ] Williams himself has never publicly spoken of these rumours, and in October 2008 bought former James Bondactress Luciana Paluzzi's house in Beverly Park. [citeweb|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article1795914.ece|title=Let Me Entertain You in my £12m pad|publisher=The Sun|date=2008-10-11|accessdate=2008-10-11]
Williams appears to struggle with depression, insecurity, and self-loathing. When beginning his solo career, pressure from critics led him to alcohol and drug use. He has admitted to trying
heroinand labelled it "the devil's drug".Fact|date=March 2008
He entered a rehabilitation centre in
Tucson, Arizona, US on 13 February 2007 for addiction to the anti-depressant Seroxat. [cite news|first=Victoria|last=Newton|title=What drove Robbie to rehab|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,4-2007070393,00.html|publisher=The Sun|date=2007-02-14|accessdate=2007-02-14] He left the centre on March 7according to his official website.
In his fly-on-the-wall documentary "
Nobody Someday" (2001) he repeatedly mocked his flamboyant behaviour on stage and felt that the persona and 'brand' of "Robbie Williams Popstar" was a fake that he increasingly felt uncomfortable with. In more recent documentaries he yearns to become a credible artist in the eyes of the serious music press. In 2006 he appeared in "The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive", a BBC documentary on bipolar disorder, hosted by Stephen Fry, where he spoke publicly about his own experiences with depression. However, he said that the manic behaviour shown on stage was simply an act, saying he'd been diagnosed as being "dead upset" and started taking anti-depressants 10 months after becoming sober.
Williams has a strong interest in
UFOs and related paranormalphenomena, and has pursued this interest during his 2007-08 sabbatical. [cite news|first=Jon|last=Ronson|title=I'm loving aliens instead|url=http://music.guardian.co.uk/pop/story/0,,2274878,00.html|publisher=The Guardian|date=2008-04-19|accessdate=2008-04-19] His interest in the subject led to him taking part in a documentary for BBC Radio 4with Jon Ronson. The documentary followed them to a UFO convention in Nevada. During an interview with Joss Stoneon The Jeremy Kyle Showin 2008, Williams revealed that he has seen UFOs three times. [ [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-528670/Ive-seen-UFOs-times-claims-Robbie-Williams.html Williams Has Seen UFOs Three Times] Daily Mail Online, 8 March 2008] Williams said his first UFO sighting was when he was a child in Britain while he spotted his second in Beverly Hills, and added that the third sighting was just after he had written a song about alien contact. Williams said: "This big ball of gold light turned up. On my life."
Williams is currently worth an estimated £130 million. In 2006 the
Sunday Times Rich Listclaimed he was worth over £90 million. [cite news |title=Sunday Times Rich List 2006 |url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/richlist/person/0,,43668,00.html |work=Sunday Times|year=2006] Since then Williams' company 'In Good Company' has made a further £17.2 million for the year ending March 2006. This figure does not include profits from Williams' record breaking Close Encounters Tour where he sold over 3.5 million tickets and grossed over £170 million, or his latest album "Rudebox" which shifted 3 million units in its first three months of release. According to HELLO Magazine's 2006 Rich list, he earned £30 million in 2006, making him the third highest earning act, behind Elton Johnand The Rolling Stones.In his five years as a member of Take That, Williams earned an estimated £5 million. Before signing his record breaking £80 million contract with EMI in 2002, Williams was worth an estimated £35 million.Williams is a lifelong supporter of Port Vale, based in his home town of Stoke-on-Trent. In February 2006 he bought £240,000 worth of shares in the club, making him the majority shareholder. [cite web| url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2006/02/27/robbie_williams_vale_stake_feature.shtml |title= BBC Stoke & Staffordshire - Robbie buys into Vale |accessdate=2006-12-17] In November 2007, British newspaper " The Mirror" revealed that Williams had earned £32million for his Close Encounters Tourbetween the months of March to December 2006. When further profits from his 4.5 million selling album " Rudebox" are included, along with back catalogue sales, estimates have his worth valued at around £130 million.
Robbie Williams created a charity with the aid of Comic Relief that is set up in his home town entitled "Give It Sum", with its goal being to "improve local conditions and strengthen community life by giving money to those who are disadvantaged." [cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/robbie/giveitsum/index.shtml |title=Robbie's Givin It Sum... |accessdate=2007-05-26 |publisher=BBC] Williams, with the help of friend
Jonathan Wilkes, recently organised a charity football match in an attempt to raise funds in Africa. This match was played in May 2006 at Old Trafford, Manchester. The participants were a mixture of celebrities and professional football players.Robbie Williams has also been the Patron of the children's charity the Donna Louise Trust based in his home town of Stoke-on-Trent, for the last 8 years. The charity offers respite and palliative care to terminally ill and life limited children who are not expected to live past the age of 16. [ [http://www.donnalouisetrust.org Donna Louise Trust] ] Robbie Williams also works as a national ambassador for UNICEF.
Williams appears to question his own sexuality in some well-known songs, such as "
Old Before I Die", where he sings: "Am I straight or gay?" In his documentary film "Nobody Someday", he said:
"As it happens, I've never slept with a man. I've never done anything with a man. The thought has passed my mind, but it always stops at his bits. I'm not discounting it, but it hasn't appealed enough for me to do it — yet." [Robbie Williams, "Nobody Someday", subtitles, at 42.07 mins]
Williams won a libel case against MGN and Northern & Shell in December 2005 relating to articles which had reported he was a closet homosexual. [cite news |title= Williams wins 'gay' libel damages |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4502834.stm |publisher=BBC |date=
2005-12-06|accessdate=2006-12-17] In the libel action that resulted from this, Williams accepted substantial damages, and the publishers accepted that the stories were untrue. His counsel, Tom Shields QC, told the court: "Mr Williams is not, and has never been, homosexual." Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchellcalled for any damages paid out from the libel case to be donated to gay charities, claiming Williams' legal actions had created the impression that it is "bad to be gay". [cite news |title= Williams 'should donate damages' |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4513430.stm |publisher=BBC |date= 2005-12-09|accessdate= 2006-12-17] Williams retorted that he was not bothered about being labelled as a gay man, and he would have taken the same action had it been regarding a heterosexual relationship. The court case has led some to draw comparisons between Williams and Australian actor/pop star Jason Donovan, who also once made a successful libel claim against a publication concerning his sexuality. Donovan won the case, but the act of his litigation alienated many of his gay fans.
He lived with actor
Charlie Condoufor 2 years from 1997 - 1999.
In 2006, Williams claimed that he would have sex with a man "to save a rabbit's life". [http://www.timessquaregossip.com/2006/11/come-out-of-closet-robbie-williams.html Williams: "I'd have sex with a man to save a rabbit's life!"] Williams said: "I would be prepared to bed a member of the same sex to save my own skin or that of a furry animal." He quipped: "I wouldn't enjoy it but I could do it under pain of death, or if it meant saving a baby bunny from being burned alive."
In 2008, Williams' long-time friend
Max Beesleyrejected claims that Williams was gay. Beesley was quoted as saying: "Some of the stuff written about him is enough to make me mad, the rumours about him being gay, for example. Not true. I've never met anybody less gay in my life!" [ [http://www.nowmagazine.co.uk/celeb_news/Max_Beesley_Robbie_Williams_is_not_gay_article_181582.html Max Beesley: Robbie Williams is not gay! | Celebrity News | Now Magazine ] ]
Williams has had romantic relationships with several well-known female celebrities, including
Rachel Hunter. "Feel", written by Williams' friend and " Daily Mail" writer Chris Heath, details Williams' many sexual conquests during his European tour in 2003.cite book|author=Chris Heath|title=Feel: Robbie Williams |publisher=Ebury|location=London|year=2004|isbn=978-009189753-6]
In 1997, Williams met
Nicole Appleton, a member of the band All Saints. The pair became engaged, and Nicole became pregnant. Although Robbie was delighted at the prospect of becoming a father, Nicole had an abortion, claiming her record company had pressured her into it. [cite web|url=http://www.therockalltimes.co.uk/2002/09/23/appleton-abortion.html|title=My abortion heartbreak, by Nicole Appleton|accessdate=2007-08-25|author=Kieren McCarthy|date=2002-09-23|publisher=The Rockall Times] The pair subsequently broke up. [cite news|title=All Saints' Nicole Appleton Splits With Take That's Robbie Williams,but now Robbie has been spotted with a new love interest by the name Lydia Weir.|url=http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1424876/19980803/story.jhtml|accessdate=2007-08-25|date=1998-08-03|publisher= MTV]
As of January 2008, Williams was dating American television actress
Ayda Field(born 1979). This has been one of his longest relationships to date, and they have been reported to have been together for ten months. [ [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=496563&in_page_id=1773 Robbie Williams wraps up with American actress Ayda Field | Mail Online ] ] On 20 January 2008, it was reported that their love life was "on the rocks" after it was revealed that Ayda wished to stay in Hollywood to develop her career, while Robbie longed to be on the road. [http://www.showbizspy.com/2008/01/20/robbie-williams-love-life-on-the-rocks/ Robbie Williams Love Life on the Rocks] [ [http://www.people.co.uk/showbiz/showbiz/tm_headline=she-s-the-gone-for-robbie-williams&method=full&objectid=20291364&siteid=93463-name_page.html People.Co.Uk - She'S The.. Gone For Robbie Williams ] ] However, on 29 January 2008Williams and Ayda were spotted on vacation together at Mammoth Ski Resort in California, accompanied by Max Beesley. [ [http://www.aftonbladet.se/webbtv/noje/article1762260.ab Aftonbladet: TV ] ] [ [http://robbiewilliamsnews.blogspot.com/2008/02/robbie-williams-spotted-in-snowy.html Robbie Williams News: Robbie Williams spotted in snowy California! ] ] [ [http://robbiewilliamsjourney.blogspot.com/2008/02/images-thanks-to-rwcm-purerobbiecom.html My Robbie Williams Journey: images thanks to rwcm @purerobbie.com ] ] After months of stories about the couple being inseparable, it was reported on 25 June 2008that Williams had split with Ayda due to her wanting to pursue a more "Hollywood" lifestyle as opposed to Robbie who wanted to stay at home "watching DVDs and eating junk food". [ [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1029337/Unlucky-love-Robbie-Williams-loses-splitting-latest-girlfriend.html Robbie Williams Splits with Girlfriend] Digital Spy, 26 June, 2008] According to reports, Ayda ended the relationship.
LA Vale, a
football (soccer)team which is named after Port Vale, was founded by Williams in 2005. After converting tennis courts into a turf field at his house in Los Angeles, a small group of expatriates and Americans including Dean Jacobs, Dave Hills and Ben Rosenblatt, formed together and started playing up to 4 times a week. They took part in a 7-a-side league in Marina Del Reyin 2006, losing 1-0 in the playoff-finals after finishing top of the table. After that, the team moved on to 11-a-side. They are now playing their first season in the L.A. Premier League.
* Williams has won a large number of awards over the years, including more BRIT Awards than any other artist in music history (15), as well as more ECHO Awards than any other artist ever (nine awards in seven consecutive years from 2001 until 2007). [ [http://www.echopop.de/history.htm Echo Award details from 1992 until today] ]
* 1997: "
Life Thru A Lens"
* 1998: "
I've Been Expecting You"
* 2000: "
Sing When You're Winning"
* 2001: "
Swing When You're Winning"
* 2002: "Escapology"
* 2005: "Intensive Care"
* 2006: "Rudebox"
* 2009: "Forthcoming 8th studio album TBA"
* 1999: "
The Ego Has Landed"
* 2004: "Greatest Hits"
* 2003: "
Live At Knebworth
2005 live in sydney
Number One Singles in the UK
The Show Off Must Go On" (October - November 1997)
The Ego Has Landed" (May - June 1998)
One More For The Rogue" (January 1998 - March 1999)
Man, The Myth, The Tax Bill (aka Born To Be mild)" (May - June 1999)
Get Your Coat Baby, You've Pulled!" (October 1999)
The Sermon On The Mount" (October 2000)
The Sermon On The Mount" (February - March 2001, European Tour)
Weddings, Barmitzvahs & Stadiums" (July - August 2001)
Sing When You're Pacific Rimming" (October - November 2001, Australasian Tour)
Weekends Of Mass Distraction" (June - August 2003)
Cock of Justice/Aussie Typo Tour" (October - December 2003)
Close Encounters Tour" (April - December 2006)
* [http://www.robbiewilliams.com Official Website]
* [http://www.purerobbie.com Resource and community]
* [http://www.robbiewilliamslive.com French Website]
* [http://www.irishtakethatfans.com Irish Take That website] - Robbie early years pre solo career
* [http://www.robbiewithrespect.com Robbie Williams With Respect] - A friendly Non "Robbie Bashing" fan forum for the true Robbie Williams fan
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2006/04/07/robbie_news_new_page_feature.shtml Latest Robbie Williams News from the BBC]
* [http://www.cooltattoofinder.com/celebrity-tattoos/the-best-of-robbie-williams-tattoos The List of Robbie Williams Tattoos]
* [http://www.post2share.com/lyrics/robbiewilliams Robbie Williams Songs collection]
NAME = Williams, Robbie
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Williams, Robert Peter
SHORT DESCRIPTION = English singer
DATE OF BIRTH =
13 February 1974
PLACE OF BIRTH =
Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England
DATE OF DEATH =
PLACE OF DEATH =
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