The voice of “Relax”
Former Frankie Goes To Hollywood lead singer Holly Johnson turns 60 today
Holly Johnson was born on 9 February 1960 in Liverpool, England. Johnson was actively involved in that city’s punk rock/new wave scene of the late 1970’s. Johnson played bass with the local band Big in Japan and also released two solo singles on Eric’s label. In 1982, Johnson joined Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and he later found fame as the lead singer and lyricist of the band. Frankie Goes to Hollywood experienced both controversy and phenomenal commercial success during 1984. Johnson claims to have grasped the nickname “Holly” from Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”. The band had a string of hit singles and songs during the 1980’s including “Relax”, “Two Tribes”, “The Power Of Love” and “Rage Hard”. In 1987 he left Frankie Goes To Hollywood. His 1989 debut solo album, “Blast”, reached number one in the UK albums chart. Two singles from the album – “Love Train” and “Americanos” – reached the top 5 of the UK Singles Chart. In 1991, Johnson was diagnosed with HIV and wrote an autobiography,” A Bone In My Flute”; he did not expect to live much longer. Johnson remained creative working as a painter and printmaker and writing songs until 1994 when he returned to performing music occasionally. Holly remains a very active musician, performer, and songwriter. In late 2015, Johnson co-wrote a song with Gary Barlow for the film “Eddie The Eagle”. The song “Ascension” was released in March 2016, Today he turns 60.
Look back at the 1989 music video “Americanos” by Holly Johnson
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