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Alexander O'Neal set for Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 03:55 01 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

ONE of the biggest RnB stars of the eighties is set to bring his soulful sound to town next year.

Alexander O'Neal, who enjoyed hits with tracks including A Broken Heart Could Mend, Innocent and Criticise, will perform live at Ipswich Regent on March 20.

ONE of the biggest RnB stars of the eighties is set to bring his soulful sound to town next year.

Alexander O'Neal, who enjoyed hits with tracks including A Broken Heart Could Mend, Innocent and Criticise, will perform live at Ipswich Regent on March 20.

O'Neal was born in Mississippi in 1953 but later moved to Minneapolis. It was from here that his soul career was to take off.

He was an aspiring American Football player who had turned his attention to singing and in 1978 he joined the group Flyte Tyme with future producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

The band went on to become the full-time backing group for Prince but amid rumours that he was either "too black" or unwilling to conform to Prince's direction, Alexander left the band to pursue a solo career.

He began writing his first album in the early 80s and with his former bandmates as producers, his self-titled debut was released in 1985 on the Tabu label. It reached number 13 in the UK album charts in 1986.

O'Neal's career took a back seat shortly afterwards, however, when he was treated for drug and alcohol addiction but in 1987 he returned with the album Hearsay which spawned the hits Fake and Never Knew Love Like This.

His popularity, especially in Britain, continued to grow to the extent that he enjoyed a BBC television special and when his first album of new material for a few years, All True Man, hit the shops in 1991 it went straight into the UK chart at number ten.

Further recordings have followed but his latest offerings the album, The Saga of a Married Man, which will be preceded by a new single are due out early in the new year.

And to accompany the new material is a tour which will bring the proud father of six to Ipswich in March.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now priced £14.50 and £16.50 and can be bought at the Central Box Office, Princes Street, Ipswich, by calling 01473 433100 or on-line at www.ipswich-ents.co.uk


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