Michael Ball Biography
Last updated: 01/11/2008 11:00:00 AM
Michael Ball, Britain's leading musical star and The Variety Club Best Recording Artiste for 1998, has starred on Broadway and dominated the marquees on mostof the leading West End shows for more than a decade. A proven and varied talent,Michael won acclaim and the hearts of the public with his numerous performances on Stage, Film and Television. All Michael's nine solo albums have held commanding positions in the UK charts, all rapidly going gold within weeks of their release..Michael has just completed his sixth sell out Tour and was presented in July 1999 with the Theatregoers Club of Great Britain's award for Most Popular Musical Actor over the last 21 years.
Michael's theatre career to date boasts roles such as: - Frederic in "The Pirates of Penzance." Marius in Cameron Mackintosh and The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "Les Miserables" at the Palace Theatre in London. Raoul in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "the Phantom of the Opera" at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. Alex in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Aspects of Love" at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London and on Broadway, New York. Giorgio in Stephen Sondheim's new musical "Passion" at the Queen's Theatre, London.
In 1992 Michael represented Great Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest. His entry "One step out of time" reached an audience of over 600 million world-wide, soaring to Number One in the UK Singles Chart, a position his debut album "Michael Ball" swiftly took in the Album Chart. His success as a Solo artist lead to a sell out National Tour concluding at The London Palladium and performances in front of Her Majesty The Queen at both HM The Queen's 40th Anniversary and The Royal Variety Show.
Michael's musical career developed further in 1993 when taking the role of
"Tony" he made a recording of "West Side Story" with the London ilharmonic
Orchestra. He released his second album "Always" which entered the UK arts
at number three and remained in the top 20 for 10 weeks. The album was supported by a 30 date National Tour, once again playing to capacity houses, and at Christmas he conceived and directed his own "Christmas Special" performing in major regional theatres and in London. It was during 1993 that Michael sang with Kiri Te Kanawa in front of a capacity audience at the National Indoor Arena and he launched his television show "Michael Ball". Six episodes were recorded with Carlton Television and his guests included The Bee Gees, Montserrat Caballe, Ray Charles, Gloria Estefan, Elaine Paige, Cliff Richard, Take That, Dionne Warwick and the late Tammy Wynette.
1994 saw the release of Michael's third album "One Careful Owner" which swiftly went Gold. Michael narrated "The Cameron Mackintosh Story" for BBC Radio 2 as well as Guest DJ for their prime time show. The success of "Michael Ball" the television show lead to the recording of a second series which again attracted major stars including Larry Adler, James Brown, Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett, Cher, Joe Cocker, Marcella Detroit, D-Ream, Erasure, Daryl Hall, Emy Lou Harris, Lulu, George Martin and Robert Palmer. Michael concluded a successful year with yet another sell out National Tour and the release of "The Best of Michael Ball" which gave Michael his 4th gold disc in 3 years.
1995 was taken up with one off performances including top billing in three
major open air concerts in Exeter, Woburn Abbey and, along with the BBC Big Band, Ludlow Castle. He sung at the opening ceremonies of the European Youth Olympics in Bath and the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham and performed for HM The Queen at the VE Day 50th Anniversary concert in Hyde Park. He also sung a duet with Elaine Paige at the BBC Radio Music Live '95 concert in Birmingham. Demand was such that he also performed concerts in Jersey, The Ulster Hall in Belfast and The Harrogate International Centre. Michael was invited to recreate the role of Marius for the 10th Anniversary Gala Concert of "Les Miserables" at the Royal Albert Hall, an invitation that he was thrilled with. Michael released "The Rose" a charity single raising money for ROC (Research into Ovarian Cancer) and as a founder member of the charity he continues to be heavily involved with their work. Michael ended the year starring in Tony Palmer's film "England My England" a Channel 4 Films production in which he played Henry Purcell and with
a one hour "Michael Ball Christmas Special" with guests stars Dusty Springfield and Michael Bolton.
1996 began with the release of his fifth album, "First Love" which went straight into the U.K. charts at number 4 going gold soon after and saw his return to the stage starring in Stephen Sondheim's musical "Passion" at the Queen's Theatre, London. In the autumn he left the production to prepare his new album "Michael Ball - The Musicals" which was released in November to coincide with his 4th National Sell Out Tour. The year ended with Michael topping the bill at the "Joy to the World" Christmas Concert at the Royal Albert Hall subsequently televised by the BBC.
1997 saw the release of Michael's video "The Musicals and More..." entering the UK video charts at number 1. It remained in the top 5 for over 9 weeks and the top 20 for over a year. Michael enjoyed a busy summer with an appearance at a major event in St Louis, USA. During '97 he returned to the television screen when he was asked to launched the Wednesday Lottery show on BBC1 and guest present the National Lottery Live Show for the BBC during July. His performances included two open air concerts, one at Bedford Park North Devon, and top billing for "Proms in the Park", a concert held in Hyde Park in front of 35,000 people for the Last Night of the Proms. Following huge demand from the public, he ended
the year with a 5th National sell out Tour named "Nothing but the Best!" As well as appearing at the 1997 Royal Variety Performance in the presence of HM The Queen, on the occasion of her Golden Wedding Anniversary and as guest of honour at the Hallelujah Christmas Concert in Birmingham.
For Michael, 1998 began under new management. In the early part of the year he performed and recorded three shows for the BBC at St David's Hall Cardiff, with special guests Lesley Garrett and Ronan Keating. This was televised nationally during the summer in an hour long special titled 'An Evening with Michael Ball'. Due to Michael's huge contribution to the success of Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Cameron Mackintosh's Musicals, he was asked to appear at both of their 50th Birthday celebrations, requests that he was honoured to accept. Lloyd Webbers evening was recorded for video and was released Internationally from which Michael has received many great reviews. During the summer he enjoyed performing at a selection of sell out open-air festivals such as Chelmsford Spectacular and the Liverpool Summer Pops. 1998 ended with a third hugely successful concert
for his charity R.O.C and the promotion of his seventh solo album titled 'The Movies' which enjoys Platinum status with over 500,000 sales in the UK.
1999 had an exceptional beginning as Michael was named the Variety Club of
Great Britain's Recording Artiste for 1998. This was in recognition of Michael's album "The Movies" which gained platinum status only 6 weeks after its release. Having begun his career as a Musical Actor Michael was honoured at being regarded a Recording Artist and this has opened out his audience base ever further. His 6th UK tour went on sale at the close of 1998 and sold out within weeks. During April and May on the tour he entertained and delighted 74,527 people at 25 concerts. Not satisfied with such a gruelling tour Michael went on to perform a concert in Amsterdam, two shows at the Liverpool Pops Festival and open-air concerts at Howard Castle, Glamis Castle and Longleat House. In July the Theatregoers Club of Great Britain's voted Michael the Most Popular Musical Actor over the
last 21 years. An obvious choice to most but a total surprise to Michael. He also performed private shows for the Princes Trust in front of HRH The Prince of Wales at Highgrove and for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at the DoE Awards night.
To conclude the summer season Michael performed four sell out shows in Ireland during September. Whilst putting the finishing touches to his Live at The Royal Albert Hall Video and Album as well as a Christmas Album he was involved in the Rugby World Cup opening and closing ceremonies during October. The launch of the live Video and CD of one of his tour concerts has seen the year-end on a high. His video went straight in at number 1 and has since gone Platinum with over 140,000 sales in the UK and Northern Ireland, whilst his Album achieved gold status within three weeks of going on sale. Michael welcomed 2000 with an outdoor concert in Kuala Lumpur for the whole City followed by a well earned break.
As soon as the new Millennium began Michael announced his 7th UK tour. The
24 date tour which travels the UK in September and October of 2000 ractically sold out within 6 weeks of going on sale. The majority of the year to date has been spent planning and developing his new album. As well as recording well known songs that hold a memory for him, he hopes to also include some of his own songs in the new project. The ideas are now in place and the studio is book for June & July.
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