English singer-songwriter, and the frontman of five-piece band Kaiser Chiefs “Ricky” Wilson was born 17 January 1978 in Keighley, West Yorkshire to Glynne and TV producer, Geoff Wilson He attended Leeds Grammar School after Ghyll Royd primary school, and later attended Leeds Metropolitan University and completed his BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Arts and Design in 2000 before undertaking his masters degree in Art and Design. He then taught at Leeds College of Art for a year before the band’s big break.
Before the formation of the band, in 2003, Wilson was a member of the band Runston Parva (later known as Parva), which consisted of Wilson Nick Hodgson and Andrew White. After the group failed to land a record deal, the band re-formed as Parva, with their old friends, Simon Rix and Nick Baines, joining the group, following their return from university. The band landed a record deal; they were later dropped following the closure of Mantra Recordings. They had just recently released their debut album 22 and their first three singles. Following this, the group decided to re-form for the third time, with intentions to sign a new long-term record label and release new musical material, now named Kaiser Chiefs. Their name was adapted from the South African football team Kaizer Chiefs. James Sandom became their new manager and they soon signed a recording contract with B-Unique Records.
Wilson replaced Danny O’Donoghue as a coach on the third series of The Voice UK alongside will.i.am, Tom Jones, and fellow new coach Kylie Minogue, who replaced Jessie J. During the series, Katy B appeared as Wilson’s team mentor. For the fourth series, Wilson appeared alongside Tom Jones, will.i.am and Rita Ora. He was named the winning coach during the 4 April 2015 live final when Stevie McCrorie won the public vote. The following year, he again appeared alongside will.i.am with new coaches, Boy George and Paloma Faith. On 9 April 2016, he became winning coach for the second time when Kevin Simm won the fifth series. The final pitted Team Ricky against Team Ricky with both of Wilson’s acts knocking the other coaches out of the live final. The win made him the Voice UK coach with the most wins. He left the show prior to its move to ITV.
Wilson has twice been a guest on the BBC Two television show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, firstly in 2005 as a panellist and then as a guest host in 2006. He also featured on the panel of the BBC Television comedy series, Shooting Stars, in 2009. In 2008, he appeared in Peter Kay’s talent show parody, Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor… and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice, in a duet with the show’s protagonist, Geraldine McQueen. Wilson had a minor role in St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold, as the rock star boyfriend of Sarah Harding’s character, Roxy. Wilson stated on his Radio X show that he was cast to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 fronting a wizard band made up of actual musicians. When the band was replaced with CGI instruments, he was invited instead to appear in a background role as Dirk Cresswell in a scene at the Ministry of Magic. Between November 2012 and January 2013, Wilson took on the role of the Artilleryman in the staged musical, Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation. Wilson and Kaiser Chiefs bassist Simon Rix wrote and performed the theme tune for Zig and Zag. Wilson joined new radio station Radio X in September 2015. He currently presents the Sunday morning show from 11 am to 2 pm.
In October 2015, Wilson became the host of Sky 1’s music and comedy panel show Bring the Noise opposite former The X Factor judge and the Pussy Cat Dolls singer Nicole Sherzinger, stand up comedian Joel Dommett, rapper Tinie Tempah and comedian Katherine Ryan. In 2017, he also appeared as a guest on The Grand Tour, with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.