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From Ed Sheeran to Bill Wyman – how well do you know Suffolk’s pop star royalty?

26 January, 2017 - 18:00
Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Christie Goodwin

While Suffolk can’t claim a pop production line in the same way that Liverpool gave birth to the Mersey beat movement or Manchester’s unique “Madchester” period, we have had our fair share of links to the charts over the years.

Here are 11 of the stars to emerge from the towns and villages of Suffolk, or to have made it their home.

Suffolk Super Star Ed Sheeran Picture: Simon ParkerSuffolk Super Star Ed Sheeran Picture: Simon Parker

1. Ed Sheeran – let’s start with the most obvious, shall we?

Nik KershawNik Kershaw

Former Thomas Mills high School pupil Ed started out busking but is now one of the biggest selling music stars on the planet.

Busted's Charlie Simpson is donating art to this year's Art for Action. Picture: IAN WEST/PA WIREBusted's Charlie Simpson is donating art to this year's Art for Action. Picture: IAN WEST/PA WIRE

His third album Divide is due out next month and Suffolk-inspired single Castle on the Hill has already proved a huge hit.

Jack Bruce (Pic by Lee Millward)Jack Bruce (Pic by Lee Millward)

Brian Eno.Brian Eno.

2. Nik Kershaw – the 80s version of Ed, if you will. Well, they’ve both duetted with Elton John!

Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones in action at Norwich Gaumont on April 25 1964.Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones in action at Norwich Gaumont on April 25 1964.

Nik, who was born in Bristol but grew up in Ipswich, spent more weeks on the UK singles charts in 1984 and 85 than any other solo artist.

The Darkness. Photo: Marianne HarrisThe Darkness. Photo: Marianne Harris

He has also written hits for others, including The One and Only for Chesney Hawkes.

in the Court of King Crimsonin the Court of King Crimson

Dani Filth, of death metal band Cradle of Filth.Dani Filth, of death metal band Cradle of Filth.

3. Charlie Simpson – the boy from Busted who wanted to be taken seriously.

Laura WrightLaura Wright

While with Busted, the Ipswich-born former Framlingham College pupil enjoyed a run of chart success but left to form rock band Fightstar.

LETS TALK COLUMN   W/C  20/10  RE  VINYL RECORDS    John Peel with part of his vinyl collection at his home near Stowmarket.  CLifford Hicks  LETS TALK MAGAZINE JULY 2003 EADT 2 11 04 EADT 25 11 04 EADT 24 10 06 ES 4 04 07LETS TALK COLUMN W/C 20/10 RE VINYL RECORDS John Peel with part of his vinyl collection at his home near Stowmarket. CLifford Hicks LETS TALK MAGAZINE JULY 2003 EADT 2 11 04 EADT 25 11 04 EADT 24 10 06 ES 4 04 07

He rejoined his Busted buddies last year.

4. Jack Bruce – like Charlie Simpson, one third of a platinum-selling group.

Unlike Charlie, Jack was an actual rock legend. With Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton, he formed Cream in 1966 and they enjoyed a spectacularly successful three-year career. Jack, born in Scotland, lived in Suffolk for many years and died of liver disease in October 2014.

5. Brian Eno – the master innovator of pop music who was born in Woodbridge.

Eno went to St Joseph’s College and was a founder member of Roxy Music. He is known for his collaborations with David Bowie, Talking Heads and U2, while he has recently worked with Grammy-nominated James Blake.

6. Bill Wyman – octogenarian ex-Rolling Stone who lives near Bury St Edmunds.

Rocker Bill was a founding member of the Rolling Stones, playing bass for more than 30 years before leaving in 1993. Now aged 80, he still tours with his Rythm Kings band. As well as Gedding Hall, Bill has a home in the South of France.

7. The Darkness – Lowestoft-based rockers who topped the charts in 2003.

Founded in 1999, The Darkness came to prominence with the release of debut album Permission to Land in 2003, which sold 1.5 million copies. After a hiatus, the band reformed and continue to tour.

8. Peter Sinfield – the prog lyricist who has made Aldeburgh his home.

Sinfield was a founding member of King Crimson and the main lyricist on iconic album In the Court of the Crimson King.

A devoted herbalist, he is a member of the British Academy of Songwriters.

9. Cradle of Filth – extreme metal band former in Hadleigh in 1991.

Lead singer Dani Filth was controversially selected as an “icon of Suffolk” in 2011 through an online poll run by Choose Suffolk, while he also claimed to have been banned from appearing at Ipswich’s Regent Theatre.

10. Laura Wright – the rugby-loving soprano.

Formerly a member of All Angels, the Framlingham College pupil is now a fixture singing at big rugby internationals and cup finals. She is an ambassador for the Invictus Games and has been nominated for a Classical Brit Award.

11. John Peel – well, he did mime playing the mandolin for David Bowie on Top of the pops!

Peel, who lived at Peel Acres near Stowmarket, was one of the most influential radio DJs and presenters in British pop history.

He is known for his Peel Sessions and as a presenter of Home Truths.

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