English singer, songwriter and musician Paul Antony Young was born 17 January In Luton, Bedfordshire, England. As a youth, after school, he played football for the Vauxhall Motors factory and in his spare time played in several bands as a bass guitarist. The first group for which he became lead singer was Kat Kool & The Kool Kats. In the late 1970s he joined Streetband, who had one Top 20 hit in the UK, with the humorous, novelty track “Toast”. The ex-Streetbanders added new recruits Dave Lathwell on guitar and Baz Watts on drums and became Q-Tips. In addition, a four piece brass section was created by Steve Farr (baritone saxophone), Richard Blanchard (tenor saxophone), Stuart Van Blandamer (alto saxophone) and Tony Hughes (trumpet) who all hailed from the North London and Hertfordshire area, while organist Ian Kewley lived in Essex. Q-Tips’ name derived from a well-known brand of cotton buds and their songs included, “SYSLJFM (The Letter Song)”, and “Having a Party”.
The professionalism of the band had attracted the attention of several record labels, with the late Mickie Most (RAK Records) confirming on BBC Radio 1’s Round Table programme that Q-Tips “…are easily the best live band working at the moment”. In August 1980, the British music magazine NME reported that Q-Tips had released their debut, eponymous album. In time, Garth Watt Roy replaced John Gifford on guitar, and Blandamer was replaced by Nick Payne. This line-up remained for the rest of the band’s career. They appeared on BBC Television’s In Concert, Rock Goes to College and The Old Grey Whistle Test in the latter part of 1981. Other television appearances included children’s Saturday morning TV. Q-Tips opened for The J. Geils Band, The Knack, Thin Lizzy, Bob Marley and the Average White Band. The band toured with After the Fire, and supported The Who on their 12-date UK tour in 1980. In 1981, Q-Tips played the Montreux Jazz Festival. With poor record sales after the release of two albums and seven singles, the Q-Tips broke up in early 1982 when Paul Young signed a solo recording contract with Sony/CBS
The Q-Tips disbanded in 1982, and Young was signed by Columbia Records as a solo performer. Young’s new backing band ‘The Royal Family’ included keyboardist Kewley, fretless bass player Pino Palladino, guitarist Steve Bolton, drummer Mark Pinder, and backing singers Maz Roberts and Kim Leslie AKA ‘The Fabulous Wealthy Tarts’. His subsequent solo success turned him into a 1980s teen idol. He is famous for hit singles such as “Love of the Common People”, “Wherever I Lay My Hat”, “Come Back and Stay”, “Everytime You Go Away” and “Everything Must Change”, all reaching the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. Released in 1983, his debut album No Parlez, the first of three UK number one albums, turned him into a household name.His smooth yet soulful voice belonged to a genre known as “blue-eyed soul”. At the 1985 Brit Awards, Young received the award for Best British Male.
In July 1985, Young appeared at Live Aid held at Wembley Stadium, London, performing the Band Aid hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (having sung the opening lines on the original single release), and his own hits “Come Back and Stay” and “Everytime You Go Away”, with Alison Moyet joining him on stage to perform “That’s The Way Love Is”. “Everytime You Go Away” reached number one in the US in 1985, and won Best British Video at the 1986 Brit Awards. Young also become involved with the Band Aid single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, an all-star charity project put together by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure for Ethiopian famine relief, singing the opening lines of the song as a replacement for David Bowie. He also released Ann Peebles’ “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down” Which appeared on his second album, The Secret of Association, released in 1985. Young released the song “Every Time You Go Away”, and performed the song during the London segment of the Live Aid concert”
In 1990, he released a cover of The Chi-Lites’ “Oh Girl”, he also sang the Crowded House track “Don’t Dream It’s Over” at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute in 1988. He produced a popular duet, “Senza una donna (Without a Woman),” with Italian blues singer Zucchero in 1991, and sang “Radio Ga Ga” with the surviving members of Queen in 1992, at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert soon after Freddie Mercury died. The songs Senza una donna (Without a Woman)” “Both Sides now” and I’m Only Foolin’ Myself”. featured on his first greatest hits album From Time To Time – The Singles Collection, released in 1991. Both Sides Now” was a cover of the Joni Mitchell song recorded with Irish group Clannad for the Blake Edwards film Switch.
In 1995. He contributed to the Vangelis album Voices and sang the British national anthem, “God Save the Queen” at Wembley Stadium before England’s Euro ’96 semi-final match against Germany. In 1992, Young formed a new group Los Pacaminos based on the sounds of Ry Cooder’s “Chicken Skin Music” era and the Tex-Mex group the Texas Tornados. In November 2001, when Young was on the final night of the Here and Now tour, Michael Aspel awarded him his This Is Your Life book. In 2006 he released Rock Swings – On the Wild Side of Swing. He also appeared in the BBC1 cooking show Celebrity MasterChef. He has also appeared as a guest on shows including Hell’s Kitchen The Wright Stuff, This Morning and The One Show. In 2010, Young recorded and released a new track “Come Back”, a duet he did with electronic dance music act Chicane. The single was a sample of Young’s 1983 hit “Come Back and Stay”. Since the mid-1990s, he has also performed with his band Los Pacaminos.