|Birth name Neil Francis Tennant|
Years active 1981–present
|Name Neil Tennant|
|Born 10 July 1954 (age 61)
North Shields, Tyneside,
England (1954-07-10) |
Genres Synthpop, dance, electropop, electronica, alternative dance
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, music journalist
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar
Labels EMI, Parlophone, Spaghetti
Music group Pet Shop Boys (Since 1981)
Movies It Couldn't Happen Here, Pet Shop Boys: Pop Art
Similar People Chris Lowe, Bernard Sumner, Bobby Orlando, Johnny Marr, Brandon Flowers
Dusty springfield goin back
Neil Francis Tennant (born 10 July 1954) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, music journalist and co-founder of the synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys, which he formed with Chris Lowe in 1981. He also was a journalist for Smash Hits, and was assistant editor for the magazine for a period in the mid-1980s.
- Dusty springfield goin back
- Rent neil tennant suede live at roundhouse 1996
- Early life
- Early career
- Solo appearances
- Personal life
Rent neil tennant suede live at roundhouse 1996
Neil Francis Tennant was born in North Shields, a fishing port near Newcastle upon Tyne to William W. Tennant (1923–2009), a sales representative, and Sheila M. (Watson) Tennant (1923–2008). He has an older sister, Susan, and two younger brothers, Simon and Philip. The family moved to a semi-detached house in Greenfield Road (opposite the corner of South Bend), Brunton Park, a relatively affluent suburb in Newcastle, shortly after Neil was born.
As a child, Tennant attended St. Cuthbert's Grammar School, an all-boys' Catholic school in Newcastle upon Tyne. Tennant's songs "This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave" and "It's a Sin" refer to his early life in Catholic school and the strict upbringing there.
While at school, Tennant played guitar and cello. At age 16, he played in a folk music group called Dust, whose most popular song was called "Can You Hear the Dawn Break?" They were heavily influenced by The Incredible String Band. During his teenage years, he was a member of the youth theatre at the People's Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne.
In 1975, having completed a degree in history at North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University), Tennant worked for two years as London editor for Marvel UK, the UK branch of Marvel Comics. He was responsible for anglicising the dialogue of Marvel's catalogue to suit British readers, and for indicating where women needed to be redrawn for the British editions. He also wrote occasional features for the comics, including interviews with pop stars Marc Bolan and Alex Harvey. In 1977, he moved to Macdonald Educational Publishing where he edited The Dairy Book Of Home Management and various illustrated books about cookery, playing the guitar, and other home interests. Then he moved to ITV Books where he edited TV tie-in books. After having commissioned Steve Bush, then the designer of Smash Hits and The Face, to design a book about the group Madness, he was offered a job at Smash Hits as news editor of the British teen pop magazine in 1982. The following year he became Assistant Editor. He also edited the 1982, 1983 and 1984 editions of The Smash Hits Yearbook.
At Smash Hits, an opportunity arose for him to go to New York to interview The Police. While there, Tennant arranged to meet Bobby Orlando, a producer whom both he and Lowe admired. Tennant mentioned that he was writing songs in his spare time and Orlando agreed to record some tracks with him and Lowe at a later date. Orlando subsequently produced the Pet Shop Boys' first single, "West End Girls".
Alongside his work with Chris Lowe as Pet Shop Boys, Tennant has worked on several side projects including:
Tennant is openly gay, revealing his sexuality in a 1994 interview in Attitude magazine. He is also a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He maintains a house in London and a house in County Durham in the North East countryside.
In 1998, Tennant was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party. However, in the 2005 General Election he voted for the Liberal Democrats, citing disillusionment with Labour's ID card scheme. Despite the numerous ideological differences, the Pet Shop Boys agreed to personal appeals by major Tory figures Boris Johnson and David Cameron for the group to play at the "winners’ parade" taking shortly after the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony. Enjoying the event's atmosphere and how their stage presence turned into a well-received performance, Tennant commented with Cameron's staff both thanking them for their courteousness and also pushing Cameron to use LGBT scientist Alan Turing’s centenary year as impetus for the British government to formally pardon Turing. The formal pardon did, in fact, go through on 24 December 2013, with the related official paperwork signed by Queen Elizabeth II.
In terms of other artists' music, Tennant has praised the group The Specials and singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, highlighting the former's track "Ghost Town" and the latter's track "Shipbuilding" as successful protest songs putting politics into pop music.
Tennant has complained about ageism in the context of the music industry, stating that multiple individuals have told him that they wanted to play Pet Shop Boys songs yet could not because informal policies labelled the duo as too old.