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John Waite
Background information
Birth name John Charles Waite
Born 4 July 1952 (1952-07-04) (age 57)
Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Origin United Kingdom
Genres Rock, pop
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar
Years active 1975–present
Labels Chrysalis Records
Epic Records
Gold Circle Records
Rounder Records
No Brakes Records
Imago Records
Associated acts The Babys
Bad English
Alison Krauss

John Charles Waite (born 4 July 1952[1] in Lancaster, Lancashire, England), is an English rock singer and musician. He was lead vocalist for the bands The Babys and Bad English. As a solo artist, he scored a #1 hit in the United States with "Missing You" in 1984.



Waite first came to attention as the lead singer and bassist of The Babys, a British group which had moderate chart success and a solid following for their concert tours. Over the course of five years, the Babys produced five albums ending with the final album On the Edge in October 1980, after which the group broke up.

Waite subsequently launched his solo career with his 1982 debut album Ignition, which produced the hit single "Change". The Chrysalis 45 failed to chart on Billboard's Hot 100 during its initial release but was a top track on AOR (Album-Oriented Rock) radio stations as well as a very popular music video on MTV as the 'new' cable channel celebrated its first full year of operation. The pulsating track was written by Holly Knight and in 1985 was included on the Platinum selling Vision Quest soundtrack. (The single was reissued and this time it reached the Top 50 on the Hot 100.) "Going To The Top" was released as the original follow-up single to "Change".

His next album, No Brakes, resulted in international attention - and was a Top 10 Billboard album in the US - due to the smash hit "Missing You" which went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It knocked Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It?" out of #1. For that very reason, Turner later recorded and released Waite's smash song herself. (Turner's single peaked at a disappointing #84 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1996.) "Missing You" also hit #1 on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks as well as the Top 10 of Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. No Brakes sold over a million and a half US copies yet has never been certified above the RIAA Gold standard (a record company must apply to the RIAA for such certification). Two more singles from No Brakes followed, including "Tears" which was a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.

The next album Mask of Smiles followed in 1985, and another single "If Anybody Had a Heart" was released from the soundtrack of the 1986 film About Last Night..., starring Demi Moore. In 1987, "Rover's Return" was released with the single "These Times Are Hard For Lovers". Waite would have another soundtrack appearance in 1990 from Days of Thunder with "Deal for Life", written by Martin Page and Bernie Taupin.

In 1988, Waite joined former Babys bandmates Jonathan Cain and Ricky Phillips along with Neal Schon from Journey and drummer Deen Castronovo, to form the supergroup Bad English. In 1989, the Bad English ballad "When I See You Smile" (penned by Diane Warren) went to #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 and earned a Gold-certified single. It's parent album reached Billboard's Top Five and sold nearly two million copies in the United States alone. Bad English released two albums before tensions amongst the members led to the band's dissolution by 1992.

Waite returned to solo work and since 1995 has produced five solo albums including his latest album Downtown... Journey of a Heart. He still tours, including in 2003 with Ringo Starr's All Starr Band, and as an opening act for Journey in 2005.

In 2006, "Missing You" was released as a duet with Alison Krauss and reached the Top 40 on the Country Charts in the United States. Waite appeared with Krauss on the Tonight Show on February 5, 2007 to perform "Missing You."

Waite appears as himself and performs two songs in the 2010 feature film, New Day, from L'Oiseau Blanc Films.

A longtime resident of New York City, Waite currently resides in Newport Beach, California.



Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
[2 ]
1982 Ignition 68
1984 No Brakes
  • Second studio album
  • Release date: 1984
  • Label: EMI
46 10
1985 Mask of Smiles
  • Third studio album
  • Release date: 1985
  • Label: EMI
1987 Rovers Return
  • Fourth studio album
  • Release date: 1987
  • Label: EMI
28 77
1995 Temple Bar
1997 When You Were Mine
2001 Figure in a Landscape
  • Seventh studio album
  • Release date: 2001
  • Label: One Way Records
2004 The Hard Way
  • Eighth studio album
  • Release date: 2004
  • Label: No Brakes
2007 Dowtown: Journey of a Heart
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation and specialty albums

Year Album Label
1992 The Essential John Waite Chrysalis
2001 Live & Rare Tracks One Way


Year Single Peak chart positions[2 ] Album
UK NZ SWI US US Main US AC US Dance US Country
1982 "Change" 16 Ignition
1984 "Missing You" 9 18 12 1 12 7 27 No Brakes
"Tears" 37 8
1985 "Restless Heart" 59 28
"Change" (re-release) 54 Vision Quest (soundtrack)
"Every Step of the Way" 25 4 Mask of Smiles
"Welcome to Paradise" 85
1986 "If Anybody Had a Heart" 76 24 About Last Night (soundtrack)
1987 "These Time Are Hard for Lovers" 53 6 Rover's Return
"Don't Lose Any Sleep" 81
1988 "Rover's Return"
1995 "How Did I Get By Without You?" 89 20 Temple Bar
2001 "Fly" 27 Figure in a Landscape
2005 "New York City Girl" 23 The Hard Way
2006 "Missing You" (with Alison Krauss) 34 Downtown: Journey of a Heart
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

See also


External links


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