Gravel-voiced vocalist Charlie Simpson is perhaps the only pop star to make the convincing transition from fresh-faced boy bander to authentic hard rock frontman.
Born in Woodbridge, Suffolk in 1985, he grew up in a musical family, with older brothers Edd and Will, members of indie bands Brigade and Union Sound Set, respectively, and his mother a direct descendant of 19th century composer Sir William Sterndale Bennett. In 2001, he answered an advertisement James Bourne and Matt Willis had placed in the NME to find a new guitarist, and successfully auditioned to form punk-pop trio Busted. The band enjoyed tremendous success, scoring four number one singles, two million-selling albums, and two Brit Awards, but Simpson soon became discontent with their teeny-bopper direction, and in 2003, he formed post-hardcore quintet Fightstar as an outlet for his more alternative tendencies. Two years later, he eventually left Busted to concentrate on his own band full-time, and despite his pop background, managed to win over rock skeptics and an entirely new fan base thanks to their authentic, credible sound. After Simpson released a compilation album, The Suffolk Explosion, through his own Sandwich Leg label, the band recorded three LPs, Grand Unification (2006), One Day Son This Will All Be Yours (2007), and Be Human (2009). Following a group hiatus in 2010, Simpson began work on an acoustic solo record, and released an EP, When We Were Lions, through the fund-raising initiative Pledgemusic. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi