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Bernard Fowler

Bernard Fowler in Vienna, 2007
Courtesy, Lorenz Loidl
Background information
Also known as R. Bernard Fowler
Born May 22, 1950 (1950-05-22) (age 59)
New York City, New York
United States
Genres Rock, Rock and Roll, Funk, R&B, Blues, Country rock, Reggae, Blues-rock, Gospel
Occupations Musician, Producer, Songwriter, Actor
Years active 1974 - Present
Labels Atlantic, Rolling Stones, Sony
Associated acts Rolling Stones, Herbie Hancock, Bootsy Collins, Tackhead, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Waddy Wachtel, Little Axe
Website Bernard

Bernard Fowler is an American musician and songwriter, known as powerful vocalist with a wide range, who has provided backing vocals with the Rolling Stones, for over 20 years on recordings and tours, collectively and individually, as well as being a regular featured singer on other musicians' recordings and tours. He has appeared on over 30 albums.[1]

In addition, Fowler has gained notoriety touring and recording with the bands Tackhead and Bad Dog and occasionally touring with Nicklebag and Little Axe. He released his first solo album in 2006, and has produced a number of the albums upon which he performed.




First cuts 1970s

Fowler's first recordings were for the group Total Eclipse in 1974. In the early '80s he was a member of The New York City Peech Boys with DJ Larry Levan and keyboard player Michael De Benedictus. The group had dance hits with tracks like "Don't Make Me Wait" and "Life Is Something Special". He provided vocals for the songs "I'm The One" and "Come Down" from the Material album One Down, where he was credited as a songwriter on several tracks. Fowler guested on Herbie Hancock's 1983 album Future Shock, as well as the 1985 albums Compact Disc by Public Image, Ltd., Language Barrier by Sly & Robbie, and She's the Boss, a Mick Jagger solo effort. In 1986, he sang a song written by Paul Simon which appeared on Philip Glass's Songs from Liquid Days. In 1987 he sang backup for James Blood Ulmer on America:Do You Remember the Love?, and the next year he appeared on Bootsy Collins's What's Bootsy Doin'?. In 1988 Fowler found himself touring with Steven Seagal.[2]

Rolling Stones

Fowler performing in Potsdam, Germany on March 8th 2007
Photo: Philipp Schlueter

In 1985, Fowler was hired to record backing vocals on She's The Boss, Mick Jagger's first solo album. This proved to be the beginning of a lasting business and personal relationship, not only with Jagger, but with all the members of the Rolling Stones, as he has performed on the solo albums of Watts, Jagger, Richards and Wood.[3] After Fowler had already performed as a session musician with individual members of the Rolling Stones on their solo projects, he was chosen to join the Stones on their Steel Wheels world tour, in 1989. Mick Jagger spoke about his choice of Fowler to sing backing vocals saying that Fowler impressed him because he had a wide vocal range, many musical influences, and stamina.

"He is also very strong and can sing for ages. He's got a lot of range and a lot of stamina vocally. You have to have that if you're going to do long nights and lots and lots of shows, all in the open air; He can easily keep up with me." -- Mick Jagger, 1998


He has remained as a regular backup singer on tours with the Stones since then. Fowler was a feature vocalist on three of Charlie Watts' jazz solo albums. The other members of the Rolling Stones have utilized his vocal talents on their solo projects, including Keith Richards's Main Offender and Ron Wood's solo projects. Fowler was the lead singer for the group Tackhead for several albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[5] He has also appeared on albums from Herb Alpert, Little Axe, Todd Terry, and Michael Hutchence, (formerly of INXS).

Songwriting and Projects

Fowler has been asked to collaborate on songs from other artists. One such person has been Ron Wood in writing and composing songs for his solo albums. Fowler and Wood have co-written several songs together and recorded them on Wood's albums.[6]

In 2006, Fowler released his first solo album, Friends with Privileges, on Sony Japan. This is his first entirely solo effort, however, he has had a significant number of rock and roll and R&B heavyweights in the music industry working with him. They include Ron Wood, Darryl Jones and Lisa Fischer of Rolling Stones fame; studio session musician and record producer Waddy Wachtel, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Plant, Dave Abbruzzese, formerly of Pearl Jam, Joe Elliot of (Def Leppard), and Ivan Neville.


With the Rolling Stones and their solo projects

With others

Personal Discography

  • (2006) Friends With Privileges Bernard Fowler (Sony Japan)


External links


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