The Scottish singer Jim Kerr turns 65 today

As the singer for the Simple Minds he scored hits such as “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”

The Scottish singer Jim Kerr turns 65 today

Jim Kerr was born on July 9, 1959, in Glasgow, Scotland. Growing up in the working-class neighborhood of Toryglen, Kerr was influenced by the vibrant music scene of Glasgow during the 1970s. His early exposure to rock and punk music would later shape his career as the frontman of one of the most iconic bands of the 1980s.
Kerr’s musical career began in high school when he formed a punk band called Johnny and the Self-Abusers in 1977 with his schoolmates, including Charlie Burchill, who would become a lifelong collaborator. The band quickly morphed into Simple Minds later that year. Their first few albums, “Life in a Day” (1979) and “Real to Real Cacophony” (1979), showcased their post-punk roots and experimental sound.
Simple Minds began to gain recognition with their 1980 release, “Empires and Dance,” and further solidified their reputation with “Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call” (1981). However, it was their 1982 album “New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)” that marked a significant breakthrough, blending synthesizer-driven new wave with rock elements and propelling them to international fame.
The band’s success continued to soar throughout the 1980s. The 1984 album “Sparkle in the Rain” was a commercial success, but it was the 1985 release “Once Upon a Time” that brought them global acclaim. The album included hits like “Alive and Kicking” and “Sanctify Yourself.” During this period, Simple Minds also recorded the anthem “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” for the soundtrack of the film “The Breakfast Club,” which became one of their most iconic songs.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Simple Minds faced challenges as musical tastes evolved, but they continued to produce music and tour. Albums like “Street Fighting Years” (1989), “Real Life” (1991), and “Good News from the Next World” (1995) saw varying degrees of success.
Jim Kerr and Simple Minds have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. The band continues to release new material and tour globally, delighting both old and new fans. Their albums “Big Music” (2014) and “Walk Between Worlds” (2018) were well-received, demonstrating that Simple Minds remain relevant in the contemporary music scene.
In addition to his work with Simple Minds, Kerr has pursued solo projects. In 2010, he released his debut solo album, “Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr,” exploring different musical directions while staying true to his roots.
Jim Kerr has been married twice. His first marriage was to Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of The Pretenders, from 1984 to 1990, and they have a daughter, Yasmin. He later married actress Patsy Kensit in 1992, with whom he has a son, James, though they divorced in 1996. Kerr is known for his philanthropy and activism, supporting various causes and remaining politically engaged, particularly in his native Scotland.

Look back at the 1985 music video “Don’t You (Forget About Me” by Simple Minds

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