Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter Robert Palmer was born this day 19 January, 1949 in Batley, Yorkshire. He was known for his distinctive voice and the eclectic mix of musical styles on his albums, combining soul, jazz, rock, pop, reggae and blues. He found success both in his solo career and in the musical act Power Station, and had Top 10 songs in both the US and the UK. His iconic music videos by Terence Donovan for the hits “Simply Irresistible” and “Addicted to Love”, featured identically dressed dancing women with pale faces, dark eye makeup and bright red lipstick, which resembled the women in the art of Patrick Nagel, an artist popular in the 1980s. Sharp-suited, his involvement in the music industry commenced in the 1960s, covered five decades and included a spell with Vinegar Joe.
He released his first album “Pressure Drop” in 1975, which infused with his interests in reggae and rock music. In 1978, he released Double Fun, a collection of Caribbean-influenced rock. Palmer’s next album was an artistic departure, concentrating on pure rock, 1979′s Secrets produced his second Top 20 single “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)”.The 1980s saw Palmer find an increasing amount of commercial success with his next album Clues, which contained the synth pop stylings of New Wave and gave him much needed exposure to a younger audience. The album contained the singles “Looking for Clues” and “Some Guys Have All the Luck”. In April 1983 Pride was released, which not as commercially successful as Clues did feature the title song and Palmer’s cover of The System’s “You Are In My System”. later that year Palmer also performed at Duran Duran’s charity concert at Aston Villa football ground where he struck up friendships with members of Duran Duran which would spawn the supergroup Power Station, and The subsequent album spawned two hit singles “Some Like It Hot” and a cover of the T.Rex song “Get It On (Bang a Gong)”,
In 1985 Palmer recorded the album Riptide which featured the single “Addicted to Love“. which has a memorable and much-parodied music video, directed by Terence Donovan, and In 1987, he won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Addicted to Love”.The album also contained The singles “Hyperactive!” and his cover of Cherrelle’s “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”. In 1987 Palmer set up his own recording studio and released Heavy Nova in 1988, Palmer again returned to experimenting, this time with bossa nova rhythms, heavy rock and white-soul balladeering.
He repeated his previous success of “Addicted to Love” with the video of “Simply Irresistible“, again with a troupe of female “musicians”. The ballad “She Makes My Day” also proved to be a hit in the UK. In 1989, he won a second Grammy for “Simply Irresistible” which would later be featured in the Tony Award winning musical Contact. Rolling Stone magazine voted Palmer the best-dressed rock star for 1990. The same year Palmer expanded his range even further for his next album, Don’t Explain, which featured the Bob Dylan penned single “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, in a collaboration with UB40. Marvin Gaye cover “Mercy Mercy Me”. Throughout the 1990s, Palmer ventured further into diverse material and his 1992 album Ridin’ High was a tribute to the Tin Pan Alley era. Sadly Palmer, who was a heavy smoker, died in Paris, France, from a heart attack on 26 September 2003 at the age of 54. He was survived by his parents, Leslie and Anna Palmer, his girlfriend Geraldine Edwards, his brother, Mark Palmer, and his children, James, Jane, Anthony, Anna and Martin.