Neil Tennant
Overview
Neil Francis Tennant (born 10 July 1954) is an English musician, singer and songwriter, who, with bandmate Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe is an English musician, who, with colleague Neil Tennant, makes up the pop duo Pet Shop Boys.-Childhood:...

, makes up the successful electronic dance music
Electronic dance music
Electronic dance music is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment...

 duo Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards....

.
Tennant was born in North Shields
North Shields
North Shields is a town on the north bank of the River Tyne, in the metropolitan borough of North Tyneside, in North East England...

, near Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 to William Tennant (1923–2009) and Sheila Tennant (1923–2008). He has a sister, Susan, and two brothers, Simon and Philip.

As a child, Tennant attended St. Cuthbert's Grammar School, an all-boys' Roman Catholic school in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
Encyclopedia
Neil Francis Tennant (born 10 July 1954) is an English musician, singer and songwriter, who, with bandmate Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe is an English musician, who, with colleague Neil Tennant, makes up the pop duo Pet Shop Boys.-Childhood:...

, makes up the successful electronic dance music
Electronic dance music
Electronic dance music is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment...

 duo Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards....

.

Childhood

Tennant was born in North Shields
North Shields
North Shields is a town on the north bank of the River Tyne, in the metropolitan borough of North Tyneside, in North East England...

, near Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 to William Tennant (1923–2009) and Sheila Tennant (1923–2008). He has a sister, Susan, and two brothers, Simon and Philip.

As a child, Tennant attended St. Cuthbert's Grammar School, an all-boys' Roman Catholic school in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Tennant's songs "This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave" and "It's a Sin
It's a Sin
"It's a Sin" is a song recorded by Pet Shop Boys which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in 1987.-Background and writing:...

" refer to his early life in Catholic school and the strict Catholic upbringing there. "It's a Sin
It's a Sin
"It's a Sin" is a song recorded by Pet Shop Boys which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in 1987.-Background and writing:...

" caused controversy with its implicit criticism of Catholic education.

While at school, Tennant played guitar and cello. At age sixteen, he played in a group called Dust, whose most popular song was called "Can You Hear the Dawn Break?". They were heavily influenced by The Incredible String Band
Incredible String Band
The Incredible String Band were a psychedelic folk band formed in Scotland in 1966. The band built a considerable following, especially within British counterculture, before splitting up in 1974...

. During his teenage years, he was a member of the youth theatre at the People's Theatre
The People's Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
The People's Theatre is a theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.The People's Theatre originated from the Newcastle branch of the former British Socialist Party, who started to stage dramatic productions in 1911 in order to raise money to fund their political activities. One of the theatre's key...

, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Later life

In 1975, having completed a degree in history at North London Polytechnic
University of North London
The University of North London was a university in the United Kingdom from 1992 to 2002. On 1 August 2002, it merged with London Guildhall University to form London Metropolitan University. The former University of North London premises now form the new university's north campus, situated on...

 (now London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University , located in London, England, was formed on 1 August 2002 by the amalgamation of the University of North London and the London Guildhall University . The University has campuses in the City of London and in the London Borough of Islington.The University operates its...

), Tennant worked for two years as London editor for Marvel UK
Marvel UK
Marvel UK was an imprint of Marvel Comics formed in 1972 to reprint US produced stories for the British weekly comic market, though it later did produce original material by British creators such as Alan Moore, John Wagner, Dave Gibbons, Steve Dillon and Grant Morrison.Panini Comics obtained the...

, the UK branch of Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...

. He was responsible for anglicising
Anglicisation
Anglicisation, or anglicization , is the process of converting verbal or written elements of any other language into a form that is more comprehensible to an English speaker, or, more generally, of altering something such that it becomes English in form or character.The term most often refers to...

 the dialogue of Marvel's catalogue to suit British readers, and for indicating where women needed to be redrawn more decently for the British editions. He also wrote occasional features for the comics, including interviews with pop stars Marc Bolan
Marc Bolan
Marc Bolan was an English singer-songwriter, guitarist and poet. He is best known as the founder, frontman, lead singer & guitarist for T. Rex, but also a successful solo artist...

 and Alex Harvey
Alex Harvey (musician)
Alex Harvey was a Scottish rock musician. With The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, he built a reputation as an exciting live performer during the 1970s glam rock era.-Biography:...

. In 1977, he moved to Macdonald Educational Publishing where he edited The Dairy Book Of Home Management and various illustrated books about cookery, playing the guitar and other home interests. Then he moved to ITV Books where he edited TV tie-in books. After having commissioned Steve Bush, then the designer of Smash Hits
Smash Hits
Smash Hits was a pop music based magazine, aimed at teenagers and young adults and originally published in the United Kingdom by EMAP. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and was issued fortnightly for most of that time...

and The Face
The Face (magazine)
The Face was a British music, fashion and culture monthly magazine started in May 1980 by Nick Logan.-1980s:Logan had previously created the teen pop magazine Smash Hits, and had been an editor at the New Musical Express in the 1970s before launching The Face in 1980.The magazine was influential in...

, to design a book about the group Madness
Madness (band)
In 1979, the band recorded the Lee Thompson composition "The Prince". The song, like the band's name, paid homage to their idol, Prince Buster. The song was released through 2 Tone Records, the label of The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The song was a surprise hit, peaking in the UK music charts...

, he was offered a job at Smash Hits
Smash Hits
Smash Hits was a pop music based magazine, aimed at teenagers and young adults and originally published in the United Kingdom by EMAP. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and was issued fortnightly for most of that time...

as news editor of the British teen pop magazine in 1982. The following year he became Assistant Editor. He also edited the 1982, 1983 and 1984 editions of The Smash Hits Yearbook.

At Smash Hits, an opportunity arose for him to go to New York to interview The Police. While there, Tennant arranged to meet Bobby Orlando
Bobby Orlando
Robert Philip Orlando , also known as Bobby Orlando, is an American record producer, dance music artist, musician and songwriter.- Early life :...

, a producer whom both he and Lowe admired. Tennant mentioned that he was writing songs in his spare time and Orlando agreed to record some tracks with him and Lowe at a later date. Orlando subsequently produced the Pet Shop Boys' first single, "West End Girls
West End Girls
"West End Girls" is a song by British pop duo Pet Shop Boys. Written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, the song was released twice as a single. It is a synthpop song, influenced by hip hop music. The lyrics focus on class, and inner-city pressure, and were inspired by T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land...

".

Tennant neither denied nor confirmed rumours of his sexuality throughout the 1980s, before "coming out
Coming out
Coming out is a figure of speech for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people's disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity....

" in a 1994 interview for Attitude
Attitude (magazine)
Attitude is a British gay lifestyle magazine owned by Vitality Publishing. It is sold worldwide as a physical magazine and a digital download for the iPad and iPhone via the App Store. The first issue appeared in May 1994....

, a UK gay lifestyle magazine.

In 1998, Tennant was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

. He has since switched allegiance to the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

, citing disillusionment with Labour's ID card scheme.

Current career and future

Tennant and Lowe are still going strong as Pet Shop Boys. Tennant has a recording studio in his home in County Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

 and many songs from 2002's Release
Release (Pet Shop Boys album)
Release is the twelfth studio album, the eighth of entirely new music, by the English electronic music duo Pet Shop Boys. It was first released in 2002....

album were recorded there. Pet Shop Boys' soundtrack for the silent film, The Battleship Potemkin
The Battleship Potemkin
The Battleship Potemkin , sometimes rendered as The Battleship Potyomkin, is a 1925 silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm...

, was also written and partly recorded there.

Tennant is also known for his support of modern art, and was a judge for the 1998 Turner Prize
Turner Prize
The Turner Prize, named after the painter J. M. W. Turner, is an annual prize presented to a British visual artist under the age of 50. Awarding the prize is organised by the Tate gallery and staged at Tate Britain. Since its beginnings in 1984 it has become the United Kingdom's most publicised...

 as a representative of the Patrons of New Art.

Tennant was the executive producer for the Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright
Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter. He has recorded six albums of original music, EPs, and tracks on compilations and film soundtracks.-Early years:...

 album Release the Stars
Release the Stars
Release the Stars is the fifth studio album by Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, released through Geffen Records on May 15, 2007. Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant was the executive in charge of production, and the album was mixed by producers Marius de Vries and Andy Bradfield...

, released in May 2007. Wainwright made a special appearance performing the track "Casanova In Hell" at a live Pet Shop Boys show at the Mermaid Theatre
Mermaid Theatre
The Mermaid Theatre was a theatre at Puddle Dock, in Blackfriars, in the City of London and the first built there since the time of Shakespeare...

, London on 8 May 2006. The concert was subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is best described as Adult Contemporary or AOR, although the station is also noted for its specialist broadcasting of other musical genres...

 and released on CD with the title 'Concrete', 13 November 2006.

In December 2008 Tennant appeared alongside the Killers and Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 on the Christmas track, "Joseph, Better You Than Me
Joseph, Better You Than Me
"Joseph, Better You than Me" is a song by Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers featuring Elton John and Neil Tennant. The song was released on as a download-only single. All proceeds from the song benefit the Product Red campaign, headed by Bono and Bobby Shriver...

."

In February 2009, Tennant appeared with Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe is an English musician, who, with colleague Neil Tennant, makes up the pop duo Pet Shop Boys.-Childhood:...

 to receive the BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and did a medley
Medley (music)
In music, a medley is a piece composed from parts of existing pieces, usually three, played one after another, sometimes overlapping. They are common in popular music, and most medleys are songs rather than instrumental. A medley which is a remixed series is called a megamix, often done with tracks...

 of their songs with Brandon Flowers
Brandon Flowers
Brandon Richard Flowers is an American musician, best known as the frontman of the Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers. He has also released a solo album titled Flamingo.-Early life:...

 from The Killers and Lady Gaga
Lady GaGa
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta , better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Born and raised in New York City, she primarily studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to...

.

In May 2009, the Pet Shop Boys released the song "Love etc.
Love etc.
"Love etc." is a song by English electronic duo Pet Shop Boys from their tenth studio album, Yes . It was released on 16 March 2009 as the album's lead single...

", which reached #14 in the UK chart. Their studio album Yes
Yes (Pet Shop Boys album)
Yes is the tenth studio album by English electronic duo Pet Shop Boys. The album was recorded throughout 2008 and is produced by Brian Higgins and his production team Xenomania. Xenomania also co-wrote three of the tracks. Guitarist Johnny Marr and string arranger Owen Pallett appear as well...

charted at #4 in the UK albums chart.

Radio

In August 1991, Tennant and Lowe were invited to take over Simon Bates
Simon Bates
Simon Bates is a UK disc jockey and radio presenter. Between 1976 and 1993 he worked at BBC Radio 1, presenting the station's weekday mid-morning show for most of this period. He later became a regular presenter on Classic FM...

' then mid-morning show on BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

 for a week. They chose all the records, which were principally dance tracks. Chris swore on-air once, but they were invited back to fill the same role in July 1992, when they played the seminal Watch Out For Stella remix of "The Age of Love" every morning.

In March 2009, Tennant and Lowe had two radio appearances. On 15 March, they presented a radio cover show at Absolute Radio, while DJ Geoff Lloyd
Geoff Lloyd
Geoff Lloyd is a British radio presenter. Lloyd presents Geoff Lloyd's Hometime Show, Monday-Friday, 5pm-8pm on Absolute Radio...

 was on holiday. On 16 March, Tennant and Lowe appeared on Rob Da Bank
Rob da Bank
Robert John Gorham, known by the pseudonym Rob da Bank, is a British disc jockey. He presents a Friday-night/Saturday-morning show, Rob da Bank, on BBC Radio 1 from 5am-7am, focused on promoting new left field music...

 and Friends showcasing their 'A to Z of music'.

Guest appearances

  • In 2008, Tennant's vocals featured in The Killers' Christmas song "Joseph, Better You Than Me
    Joseph, Better You Than Me
    "Joseph, Better You than Me" is a song by Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers featuring Elton John and Neil Tennant. The song was released on as a download-only single. All proceeds from the song benefit the Product Red campaign, headed by Bono and Bobby Shriver...

    " alongside Brandon Flowers and Elton John.
  • In 2007, Tennant co-produced Rufus Wainwright
    Rufus Wainwright
    Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter. He has recorded six albums of original music, EPs, and tracks on compilations and film soundtracks.-Early years:...

    's album Release the Stars
    Release the Stars
    Release the Stars is the fifth studio album by Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, released through Geffen Records on May 15, 2007. Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant was the executive in charge of production, and the album was mixed by producers Marius de Vries and Andy Bradfield...

    .
  • In June 2006, Tennant provided backing vocals on "Throw" by DJ Fresh.
  • In 2005, Tennant provided lyrics and sang on the track "Tranquilizer
    Tranquilizer
    A tranquilizer, or tranquilliser , is a drug that induces tranquility in an individual.The term "tranquilizer" is imprecise, and is usually qualified, or replaced with more precise terms:...

    " by DJ Tom Stephan (a.k.a. Superchumbo). Under numerous guises and aliases, Stephan had previously remixed Pet Shop Boys tracks such as "Paninaro '95
    Paninaro (song)
    "Paninaro" is a song by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. Originally a B-side to the 1986 single "Suburbia", it was released as a limited-edition single in Italy during the same year; later, in 1995, a re-recording entitled "Paninaro '95" was released to a wider market, to promote the B-side...

    ", "Minimal
    Minimal (song)
    "Minimal" is a song by British synthpop band Pet Shop Boys and is featured on their 2006 album Fundamental. It was released 24 July 2006 as the second single from that album in the UK, entering the UK Singles Chart at #19 in the first week of its release . It was their 37th Top 20 hit in the UK...

    ", "New York City boy
    New York City Boy
    "New York City Boy" is the second single off the album Nightlife by British music group Pet Shop Boys. In the UK, the single peaked at #14 on the UK Singles Chart...

    " and "Sexy Northerner".
  • In 1998, along with Neil Hannon
    Neil Hannon
    Neil Hannon is a Northern Irish singer and songwriter, best known as the creator and frontman of the chamber pop group The Divine Comedy. The band's official website even goes so far as to say, "The Divine Comedy is Neil Hannon," and Hannon is quoted in an interview as saying, "The Divine Comedy...

     of The Divine Comedy
    The Divine Comedy (band)
    The Divine Comedy are a chamber pop band from Ireland, fronted by Neil Hannon. Formed in 1989, Hannon has been the only constant member of the group, playing, in some instances, all of the non-orchestral instrumentation bar drums. To date, ten studio albums have been released under the Divine...

    , Tennant sang backing vocals on the Robbie Williams
    Robbie Williams
    Robert Peter "Robbie" Williams is an English singer-songwriter, vocal coach and occasional actor. He is a member of the pop group Take That. Williams rose to fame in the band's first run in the early- to mid-1990s. After many disagreements with the management and certain group members, Williams...

    ' single "No Regrets".
  • In April 1996, Tennant's vocals were featured on two live recordings by the British group Suede
    Suede (band)
    Suede are an English alternative rock band from London, formed in 1989. The group's most prominent early line-up featured singer Brett Anderson, guitarist Bernard Butler, bass player Mat Osman and drummer Simon Gilbert. By 1992, Suede were hailed as "The Best New Band in Britain", and attracted...

     that were released as b-sides to their single "Filmstar". One track was a cover of the Pet Shop Boys track "Rent
    Rent (song)
    "Rent" is a 1987 single by the Pet Shop Boys. It was released in the UK by Parlophone on 12 October 1987. The lyrics deal with a financially one-sided relationship, i.e...

    ", while the second was a duet with Suede singer Brett Anderson on the Suede song "Saturday Night".
  • He worked with Electronic
    Electronic (band)
    -Albums:-Singles:-Music videos:-External links:* *...

    . Tennant sang backing on vocals on their first single "Getting Away With It
    Getting Away With It
    "Getting Away with It" was the first single by the English band Electronic, which comprised Bernard Sumner of New Order, ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and guesting vocalist Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys. It was first released in 1989 ....

    " in 1989, while taking lead vocals on the 1992 single "Disappointed
    Disappointed
    "Disappointed" was the fourth single by the English band Electronic. Like their first single "Getting Away with It" it featured Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys as well as founding members Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner. It was released in June 1992 on Parlophone soon after the demise of Factory Records...

    ". Along with Lowe, he wrote and appeared on the Electronic album track "Patience of a Saint", on which he shared lead vocals with Sumner.

Quotation

NME
NME
The New Musical Express is a popular music publication in the United Kingdom, published weekly since March 1952. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s, changing from newsprint in 1998. It was the first British paper to include a singles...

– September 1990

External links

  • Pet Shop Boys official website
  • Neil Tennant discography at Discogs
    Discogs
    Discogs, short for discographies, is a website and database of information about audio recordings, including commercial releases, promotional releases, and bootleg or off-label releases. The Discogs servers, currently hosted under the domain name discogs.com, are owned by Zink Media, Inc., and are...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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