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Feargal Sharkey

Pictured in 2009
Background information
Birth name Sean Feargal Sharkey
Born 13 August 1958 (1958-08-13) (age 51)
Origin Derry, Northern Ireland
Genres Punk rock, pop
Occupations Musician, A&R Manager
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1976 — present
Labels Virgin Records
A&M Records (U.S.)
Zarjazz Records
Associated acts The Undertones, The Assembly

Feargal Sharkey (born Sean Feargal Sharkey, 13 August 1958 in Derry, Northern Ireland)[1] is a Northern Irish singer, who first found fame as the lead vocalist of pop punk band The Undertones, famous for the hit single "Teenage Kicks". Since the end of his recording career he has worked in the business side of music and held several leadership roles in the industry.

Contents

The Undertones (1976-1983)

He was a co-founder of The Undertones at their inception in 1976.[2] As the singer, his high, tremulous voice with its undisguised Derry accent was considered integral to the band's sound.

The Undertones had several UK hits with songs such as "Here Comes The Summer", "My Perfect Cousin", "Wednesday Week" and "It's Going To Happen". The band split in 1983 citing musical differences, with Sharkey pursuing a solo career and other members of the band forming That Petrol Emotion the following year.

John Peel famously said in an interview, 'Teenage Kicks' came on the radio, and I had to pull the car over to the side of the road. There's nothing you could add to it or subtract from it that would improve it." The song was played at Peel's funeral in 2004, which Sharkey attended.

Before his solo career took off he was also the singer of the one-shot group The Assembly with ex-Yazoo and Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke in 1983. Their single 'Never Never' was a UK #4 hit.

Solo Career (1984-1991)

Sharkey's debut single was a collaboration with Madness member Cathal Smyth titled 'Listen To Your Father'. The single was released on Madness's label Zarjazz Records in 1984, reaching #23 in the UK charts. The track was performed on Top of the Pops with members of Madness.

His best-known solo material is the 1985 UK chart-topping single penned by Maria McKee, 'A Good Heart', which went to #1 in several countries in 1985. His solo work is significantly different from the punk offerings of The Undertones. He also had UK Top 5 hit in 1986 with 'You Little Thief'. This song has a link with 'A Good Heart': 'You Little Thief' was written by Benmont Tench, a member of Tom Petty's band, about his relationship with Maria McKee in response to Maria McKee writing 'A Good Heart' about him. His eponymous debut album reached #12 in the UK chart.

Following on from his less-publicised second album 'Wish' in 1988, he achieved further success in 1991 with his UK Top 30 album 'Songs From The Mardi Gras', which produced the #12 hit single 'I've Got News For You'.

Business (1992-Present)

Starting in the early-1990s Sharkey moved into the business side of the music industry, initially as an A&R manager for Polydor Records, and then as Managing Director of EXP Ltd. He was appointed a Member of the Radio Authority for five years from December 1998 to December 2003.

He became Chairman of the UK Government task force the 'Live Music Forum' in 2004 to evaluate the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on the performance of live music,[3] and gave public evidence before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee[1] on 11 November 2008.

In 2007, Sharkey was appointed as the CEO of British Music Rights, replacing Emma Pike.[4]

In October 2008, he became head of UK Music [5], an umbrella organisation representing the collective interests of the UK's commercial music industry. He has become prominent in criticising the use of Form 696 by the Metropolitan Police' requiring event promoters to provide data on performers and audiences.[6]

Awards & Honours

2004. Awarded the "Scott Piering Award", by the radio industry for "recognising achievement in the promotion of music and the understanding of the music industry to their colleagues in radio". He is the only Member of the Radio Authority to have been honored in this way by the radio industry.[7]

2006. Awarded the "Bottle Award", at the International Live Music Conference for "outstanding contribution to the live music industry".[8]

2008. Awarded a Honorary "Doctor of Arts", by the University of Hertfordshire in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of music.[9]

2009. Entered the Guardian newspaper's MediaGuardian 100, described as the "MediaGuardian's annual guide to the most powerful people in television, radio, newspapers, magazines, digital media, media business, advertising, marketing and PR", at number 56.[10]

Discography

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Albums

[11 ]

Singles

  • 1984 "Listen to Your Father" UK # 23 (collaboration with Madness and written by Cathal Smyth of Madness)
  • 1985 "Loving You" UK # 26, Switzerland # 23
  • 1985 "A Good Heart" UK #1 (2 weeks), US #74, Australia #1 (1 week), Austria #13, Norway #6, #3 Switzerland
  • 1986 "You Little Thief" UK #5, Australia #4, Switzerland #27
  • 1986 "Someone to Somebody" UK #64
  • 1988 "More Love" UK #44
  • 1991 "I've Got News for You" UK #12

[11 ]

References

External links


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