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Nom de naissance Bryan FerryNationalité Royaume-uniNaissance 26 septembre 1945
Commandeur de l'ordre de l'Empire britannique
Bryan Ferry, CBE (born 26 September 1945) is an English singer-songwriter and musician born in Washington, Tyne and Wear. His vocal style has been described as an "elegant, seductive croon". He also established a distinctive image and sartorial style; according to The Independent, in common with his contemporary David Bowie, he influenced an entire generation with both his music and his appearance.
Ferry came to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist and principal songwriter with the glam art rock band Roxy Music, which had three number one albums and ten singles entering the top ten charts in the United Kingdom during the 1970s and the 1980s, including "Virginia Plain", "Street Life", "Love is the Drug", "Dance Away", "Angel Eyes", "Over You", "Oh Yeah", "Jealous Guy", and "More Than This". Ferry began his solo career in 1973, while still a member of Roxy Music. His solo hits include "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall", "Let's Stick Together", "This Is Tomorrow", "Slave to Love" and "Don't Stop the Dance".
As well as being a prolific songwriter himself, Ferry has also been notable for his many cover versions of other artists' songs and for his re-working of standards, especially from the Great American Songbook, in albums such as These Foolish Things (1973), Another Time, Another Place (1974) and As Time Goes By (1999). When his sales as a solo artist and as a member of Roxy Music are combined, Ferry has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
Several of the women Ferry had been involved with have appeared as cover models on the Roxy Music albums. Ferry dated the French singer and model Amanda Lear, who was photographed with a black jaguar for the cover of the For Your Pleasure album. She later went on to date David Bowie.
Ferry then began a relationship with model Jerry Hall. Ferry first met Hall when she posed for the Roxy Music album cover for Siren in Wales during the summer of 1975. Hall's autobiography Tall Tales (1985) describes the photo session, and she elaborates on how the blue body paint she wore to look like a mythical siren would not wash off; Hall says that Ferry took her back to his house, claiming he would help her to remove the paint. Her stay at Ferry's Holland Park (London) home, following the album cover photo shoot, marked the start of their affair. Hall and Ferry lived together, sharing homes in London and in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles, and Hall also appeared in some of Ferry's music videos, including "Let's Stick Together" and "The Price of Love" (both 1976). Their relationship ended when she left him for Mick Jagger in late 1977.
To this day, Ferry rarely speaks about Jerry Hall, but fans have often speculated that his song "Kiss and Tell" from the Bête Noire album (1987) was Ferry's response to Hall's tell-all book about their relationship published a couple of years earlier. Additionally, Ferry's 1978 solo album The Bride Stripped Bare is widely believed to contain allusions to his break-up with Hall—particularly the song "When She Walks in the Room". Ferry's original songs on the album were in fact written some time before the relationship ended, although it was recorded afterwards.
On 26 June 1982, Ferry married London socialite and model Lucy Helmore (14 years his junior), who had become pregnant with their child Otis (b. 1 November 1982). Although her face is not seen, Helmore was the model on the front cover of Roxy Music's 1982 album Avalon, released a month before their wedding. The couple went on to have three more sons, Isaac, Tara, and Merlin. After they married, Helmore helped Ferry to kick a cocaine habit, and she herself attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous in the mid-1990s.
In 2000, the whole Ferry family were on British Airways Flight 2069 to Nairobi when a deranged passenger forced his way into the cockpit, attacked the pilot and caused the plane to lurch downward. Maintaining his composure in a frantic situation, Ferry took the time to berate one of his sons for using bad language during the incident. A crash was prevented when the assailant was eventually overcome.
Ferry's son, Otis, has become known in the British media for his pro-hunting political activities. He has been arrested and charged several times for activities relating to hunting, one of which led to a conviction. In 2004, Otis was among pro-hunt campaigners who stormed into the chambers of the House of Commons during a debate on the banning of hunting. He was charged with disorderly conduct. Otis is also a joint master of the South Shropshire hunt. Ferry's second son, Isaac, was suspended from Eton College for sending abusive e-mails to an anti-hunting campaigner.
By 2008, Ferry's son Tara was performing in a rock band called Rubber Kiss Goodbye and was about to start studying at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. By 2008, Merlin was studying for "A" Levels at Marlborough College, and now plays guitar in his band Voltorb. Ferry's children have also contributed to his 2010 album Olympia. Tara played drums on several tracks, Merlin played guitar on one track, and Isaac was the producer of the album's artwork. Tara also toured with Ferry (and Roxy Music) on the band's 2011 For Your Pleasure tour, performing additional drums.
Ferry and Helmore split in the early 2000s following an affair she had, and they divorced in 2003. After their separation, British newspapers photographed Ferry with Katie Turner, 35 years his junior, naming her as his new 'girlfriend'.
Ferry and Turner met while she worked as one of the dancers on Roxy Music's concert tour in 2001 (and is featured on the DVD of the 2001 Hammersmith Odeon Show). She went on to appear with Ferry on several TV shows to promote the Frantic album, and also performed on the Frantic tour in 2002. After their break-up, Ferry had a relationship with British socialite Lady Emily Compton.
In 2006 he resumed his relationship with Katie Turner for some time.
Ferry began a relationship with Amanda Sheppard, an ex-girlfriend of one of his sons. Sheppard worked in public relations until she quit her job in 2009 after Ferry offered to support her financially. In early January 2012, Ferry married Sheppard in a private ceremony on the Turks and Caicos Islands. In August 2013, it was reported that the couple were to separate after 19 months of marriage.
Ferry was estimated to have a fortune of £30 million in the Sunday Times Rich List of 2010.
In 2007, a controversy arose after Ferry praised the imagery and iconography of the Nazi régime in an interview with the German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag. Ferry stated
"the way that the Nazis staged themselves and presented themselves, my Lord!...I'm talking about the films of Leni Riefenstahl...And the buildings of Albert Speer and the mass marches and the flags—just fantastic. Really beautiful."
In the same interview Ferry was also reported to have referred to his West London recording studio as "The Führerbunker" (Adolf Hitler's bunker during World War II).
Ferry's comments caused considerable controversy in the media and, in the following month he made a public apology, stating
"I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by my comments on Nazi iconography, which were solely made from an art history perspective. I, like every right-minded individual, find the Nazi régime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent."
At the time of the controversy, Ferry was contracted to the British retailer Marks & Spencer to model their "Autograph" menswear line. However, despite Ferry's public apology for his comments, Marks & Spencer opted to sever their ties with him.
In 2008 Ferry alluded to support for the UK Conservative Party; referring to himself as "conservative by nature," but essentially apolitical. Without elaborating, he stated he was "proud" of his son Otis and declared the ban on fox hunting "futile." He also alluded to an opposition to "left-wing bitterness" and the spectre of "political correctness," but the model of free speech he cited was the anarchic 1970s, and not the Thatcher era, or a more distant past. In a 2009 interview, Ferry stated:
"I would support a Cameron government. I have met him, and he's a bright guy. I hope they do well. I don't like the way the present Government has done things, most of all putting my son in prison for four and a half months, totally unlawfully ... and that's not just my opinion: judges, all sorts, have said it was a stitch-up. It was politically motivated. The poor lad just wants to live the traditional country life".
Ferry is a supporter of the Countryside Alliance and has played concerts to raise funds for the organisation. In August 2014, Ferry was one of 200 public figures who signed a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
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