The legendary Bad Company and Free vocalist Paul Rodgers turns 68 today

He is one of the most influential Rock singers of all time

The legendary Bad Company and Free vocalist Paul Rodgers turns 68 today

Paul Rodgers owns one of the most powerful vocals in Hard Rock, he was born Paul Bernard Rodgers on December 17th, 1949 in Middlesbrough, England. Rodgers made a mark on the British music scene in 1968 as singer/songwriter for bluesy rockers Free. In 1970, they shot up the international radio charts with “All Right Now”, which Rodgers wrote with the group’s bassist Andy Fraser. The song played a role in introducing Rodgers’s vocal style, while helping to establish the sound of the British blues/rock invasion. For a short time, Free were alongside Led Zeppelin as among the highest grossing British acts though Free’s status did not sustain. Free released four albums with a combination of blues, ballads and rock. After the first break-up of Free in the spring of 1971, Rodgers briefly formed a three-piece band called Peace. Rodgers formed his next band, Bad Company, with Mick Ralphs, former guitarist of Mott the Hoople. The lineup also included Rodgers’ bandmate from Free, drummer Simon Kirke, as well as Boz Burrell, former vocalist and bassist of King Crimson. Bad Company was the first act signed to Led Zeppelin’s new record label, Swan Song. They toured successfully from 1973 to 1982, and had several hits such as “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, “Can’t Get Enough”, “Shooting Star”, “Bad Company”, and “Run with the Pack”. t was revealed in April 2011 that after Jim Morrison’s death in 1971, the rest of The Doors wanted Rodgers to replace him. Rodgers has said that he was  at an unreachable rural area at the time, and the moment passed. During the 1980’s Paul followed a solo career and in the early 2000’s he toured with Queen. Bad Company made a few successful reunions during the 2000’s and in early 2014 they toured again together. Rodgers became a Canadian citizen on 21 October 2011. Rodgers has been cited as a significant influence on a number of notable rock singers, including David Coverdale, John Waite, Lou Gramm, Steve Walsh, Joe Lynn Turner, Paul Young, Bruce Dickinson,Joe Bonamassa, and the late Ronnie Van Zant. In 1991, John Mellencamp called Rodgers “the best rock singer ever”.Freddie Mercury, the original Queen vocalist, in particular liked Rodgers and his aggressive style.

Look back at Paul Rodger performing with Free “All Right Now” in 1970

Listen to a selection of some of Free’s best songs compiled by Pop Expresso

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