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Jason Kay

Jay at the 2007 Gumball 3000 rally.
Background information
Born 30 December 1969 (1969-12-30) (age 40)
Origin Stretford, Lancashire,England
Genres Acid jazz, Funk, Disco, blue-eyed soul, Pop, Rock, Electronica,
Occupations Musician, Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1992 - Present
Associated acts Jamiroquai

Jason Kay, known by his stage names Jay Kay and Jamiroquai (born 30 December 1969 in Stretford, Lancashire, England) is Grammy Award winning, English musician.


Early life

Kay had a twin brother David, but he died a few weeks after birth. Kay has said that he still has a strong emotional connection with his brother. He was brought up by his Jewish mother Karen Kay, a cabaret singer, comedienne and impressionist who performed around the world, and stepfather James Royal. He did not meet his biological father, a man of Portuguese origin called Luís Silveira, until 2001. He was educated firstly at the independent Holmwood House School in Colchester, and then at the independent Oakham School in Rutland where he was caught smoking marijuana and expelled.

He spent six months in Thailand at the age of thirteen with his stepfather. Upon returning home, he decided to change his life and began recording demos using his drum machine and some free studio time, and writing lyrics (he was taught how to play a real drum set by Jan van Mesdag). During this time he coined the name Jamiroquai for his potential new band, based upon the name of a Native American tribe, the Iroquois, and "jam" from the word jamming, and also the distinctive Buffalo Man logo. His demos were soon spotted by the UK music label Acid Jazz with whom Kay signed a recording contract.


Kay formed Jamiroquai with members Toby Smith (Keyboards), Stuart Zender (bass), Nick Van Gelder (drums) and Wallis Buchanan (Didgeridoo), together with guest appearances by Gavin Dodds (guitar), Maurizio Ravelico (percussion) and Johnny Thirkell (horns) amongst others, both on the band's debut album and on their first tour.

Jamiroquai has sold over twenty million albums, and has spent a collective 162 weeks on the UK singles chart between 1992 and 2006 with Kay's personal wealth said to be around £40 million. He appeared on the Sunday Times Rich List 2004 at (joint) 950th. The Sunday Times Rich List 2008 has him tied for #1,794, with £40 million.

After the huge success of Jamiroquai's first single, "When You Gonna Learn", a $1.9 million, eight album deal was signed with Sony records. The band's first album Emergency on Planet Earth became a fast seller, and the unique nature of Jamiroquai soon became apparent.

The band's third album Travelling Without Moving generated international attention with the ground breaking video of "Virtual Insanity" which earned Jamiroquai four MTV Video Music Awards. Since then, their fourth album Synkronized has done just as well, which was recorded in Kay's home studio located in the garden of his 500-year-old, 11-bedroom Buckinghamshire mansion. Although the press usually focus on Kay's passion for cars, his mansion and his love life, Jason Kay is environmentally aware and has donated a large quantity of his money to Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth, as well as charities for the homeless.

On the production of his fourth album, Stuart Zender left the band. The reasons have said to been the birth of his daughter and that he and Kay did not get along anymore. Some fans have speculated that Zender's employment was terminated by the band's record label. Consequently, Kay scrapped almost a complete album's worth of work to eliminate from the album of all traces of Stuart Zender's playing.

Kay has previously stated that he would like his band to continue writing music for another 15–20 years. However it was reported in February 2007 that Kay has quit music due to a loss of inspiration.[1] This was denied on Jamiroquai's official website the day after.

Jay performing with Jamiroquai

Personal life

Media reports about Kay often focus on his personal relationships. Kay has had a number of high-profile relationships, including with Winona Ryder and Denise van Outen. In November 2006, the tabloid press reported Kay was dating actress Amy Nuttall.[2]

Jay Kay's primary home is in Buckinghamshire, but also he owns homes in Westminster, Gairloch and a house on Sandbanks, Poole.

Jay Kay continues to support the Burma Campaign UK and the need for democracy in Burma.

Paparazzi confrontations

In 2001 Kay was charged with assaulting a photographer and damaging his camera outside a nightclub. Kay pleaded not guilty and the charges were later dropped.[3]

On 12 September 2006, Jay Kay was cautioned by police over in an incident outside a London club. He allegedly assaulted two photographers.[4]

Cars and motorcycles

Kay has a strong interest in exotic cars and owns around 25 luxury cars—mostly sports cars. His love of motors was expressed with the release of the album Travelling Without Moving. The album's cover featured an adaptation of the "Buffalo Man" logo and the Ferrari crest. Three of his cars appeared in the video for the song "Cosmic Girl". Altogether he has 37 vehicles including what he calls "staff cars".[5]

"I've had a few Ferraris," declares Kay. He has four Ferraris, including an Enzo. Kay has also had an F40 and F50. A combination of cars and music is the song "Black Devil Car" on the album Dynamite which is a tribute to his black Ferrari Enzo. Recently, the Enzo suffered damage to the windows after an altercation with hotel chef Aaron Billington at the Brudenell Hotel.[6]

Kay's love of fast cars has occasionally landed him in legal trouble. In May 1998, Kay was caught driving at 111 mph and his licence was suspended for 42 days. He said in an interview, "I should count myself lucky. I've clocked up 175 mph on a public road. If I'd been caught doing that, it would have been a prison sentence." He appeared in court in Scotland to face charges for speeding after being clocked at 105 mph in a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, on 26 February 2004. The speed limit for the road was 70 mph. He was later banned from driving for 6 months.

Kay wearing a headdress during a concert

Kay participated in the 2007 Gumball 3000 rally as part of Team Adidas in a Maserati Quattroporte.

Kay also likes motorbikes and recently was at the Ace Cafe to see Charley Boorman off for his television series By Any Means. He rides a Rizla Suzuki GSXR-600.

He currently holds the record on the BBC Show Top Gear for the fastest lap on the "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car" segment at 1:45.81,being one hundredths of a second ahead of Brian Johnson, lead singer the rock band [AC/DC], four hundredths of a second ahead of Kevin McCloud, and one tenth of a second above then-leader, Simon Cowell. He was invited back as Cowell had been 'on the top for long enough'.

Jay Kay attended The Kop Hill Climb in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire on the 26th September 2009. He attended with 5 cars, his Maserati A6 G, Mercedes Benz 600, Porsche 911 Carrera, Porsche 911 S and Porsche 356 Speedster.

TV performances

Kay co-starred in an episode of the BBC series The Naked Chef alongside the chef Jamie Oliver. He has also performed on the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing singing Canned Heat. He can be seen in the Clarion H.M.I. adverts performing to the "Feel So Good" Knee Deep remix. Kay has also been a guest of Top Gear's 'Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car' segment. He appeared in the second episode of the show and, more recently, in Series 11, Episode 6, where he set the fastest lap time in the same challenge with a time of 1 minute 45.81 seconds, beating the previous top record held for two series by Simon Cowell.[7]


Kay is well known for his array of elaborate hats and headgear, which he often wears. When appearing professionally (in concerts, interviews etc.) he has been referred to as "mad hatter" and "that bloke that wears daft stuff on his head" for his love of headgear.[8] It is said that he has over 50 different hats that he wears at concerts and in public.[9] He has stated publicly that some of them were made by his own mother,

Kay's most recognizable headgear is his mirrored "feather headdress" seen on the cover of High Times: Singles 1992-2006.

See also


External links

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