British singer, Cat Stevens, has released more than 15 studio albums and has churned out many hit songs. He converted to Islam in 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. He was slammed for reportedly backing the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. He has also been accused of allegedly having ties with terrorist organisations, a charge he has vehemently denied.
Northern Irish singer, Van Morrison, garnered recognition in the 1960s while playing with the band, Them, and then later as a solo singer with the 1967 song Brown Eyed Girl. Over the years, he has released more than 40 albums. Astral Weeks, Moondance, Wavelength, Down the Road and Keep It Simple are some of his acclaimed and commercially successful albums.
George Ezra is an English guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He achieved popularity after releasing his debut album Wanted on Voyage, which peaked at number one in the UK. It was also one of the best-selling albums in the UK in the year 2014. In 2019, George Ezra was honored with the Brit Award under the British Male Solo Artist category.
Donovan is a Scottish guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for developing and popularizing a distinctive and eclectic style that blended many genres, such as folk, jazz, pop, calypso, and psychedelic rock. Donovan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Nick Drake was a British singer-songwriter best remembered for his acoustic guitar-based music. Although he failed to achieve popularity during his lifetime, Drake's music has achieved recognition in recent times. He suffered from depression throughout his life and died at the age of 26 from an overdose of a prescribed antidepressant called amitriptyline.
English singer-songwriter Sandy Denny, considered a leading British folk-rock singer, performed as lead-singer of the famous folk-rock band Fairport Convention, and fronted it through many of its successful albums like What We Did on Our Holidays. Other notable works of Denny includes her solo-albums like Rendezvous; and her folk-duet The Battle of Evermore with Robert Plant for Led Zeppelin's album.
Richard Thompson is an English guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He helped revive British folk music during the 1960s and 1970s by co-founding the folk rock band Fairport Convention where he performed as the lead guitarist and songwriter. One of his best-known songs, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, was named in Time magazine's list of All Time 100 Songs.
English singer-songwriter and musician Michael David Rosenberg, well-known by his stage-name Passenger, has spawned several successful albums and singles. These includes the single Let Her Go that became a sleeper hit topping charts in sixteen countries and accumulating over 3.2 billion views on YouTube. Rosenberg was a co-founder, main-vocalist and songwriter of the now dissolved British folk-rock band called Passenger.
Al Stewart is a Scottish folk-rock musician and singer-songwriter. He achieved popularity during the 1960s and 1970s and helped revive British folk music. He is best known for his single Year of the Cat, which became a hit worldwide. Over the course of his career, Al Stewart has worked with well-known musicians like Peter White, Jimmy Page, and Richard Thompson.
British folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling is noted for albums like I Speak Because I Can and Song for Our Daughter, which garnered her nomination for Mercury Music Prize. The latter and her sixth album, Semper Femina also earned her Grammy Award nomination for Best Folk Album. She has won the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist in 2011.
Ronnie Lane was an English musician, music producer, and songwriter. He is best remembered as the founding member of the popular rock and roll bands, Small Faces and Faces. Ronnie Lane’s work with the bands earned him a posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
English singer and guitarist Ralph McTell is best known for his contribution to English folk music. He soared to fame with his chartbusting hit Streets of London. The singer has also hosted children’s programs such as Alphabet Zoo. Interestingly, he had started his career as a teacher, before switching to music.
Ed Sheeran is one of the most popular English singer-songwriters of the current generation. His songs Castle on the Hill and Shape of You from his third studio album broke records in several countries. He is one of the best-selling music artists in the world, having sold over 150 million records worldwide.
Singer and lyricist of the English band Portishead, Beth Gibbons was at her family’s farm in Exeter and grew up shunning modern lifestyle or education. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with many artists. She has also been a judge at the Independent Music Award.
British folk singer-songwriter, folk song-collector, political activist, and actor Ewan MacColl, was a leading figure of the 1960s British folk revival. He is noted for writing songs like The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Dirty Old Town. He was also involved in trade unionism and socialist politics as a steadfast communist and wrote several left-wing political songs.
English folk-singer Maddy Prior MBE is best-known as a founding-member and lead vocalist of the folk-rock band Steeleye Span. Her musical pursuits also include collaborating with Mac MacLeod as part of singing duo Mac & Maddy, with June Tabor as part of singing duo Silly Sisters; performing and recording two albums with Tim Hart; and releasing solo albums like Ravenchild.
English singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan is best-known for her debut album Just Another Diamond Day which got relatively unnoticed following its release in 1970 leading Bunyan to abandoned her musical-career. The album however gained attention with time and acquired cult following by 2000. This motivated Bunyan to re-start her musical-career after around three decades, and release the albums Lookaftering and Heartleap.
Iain David McGeachy OBE, well-known by his stage name John Martyn, was a critically-acclaimed British singer-songwriter and guitarist. Commencing his music career at age 17, Martyn soon created a distinctive style drawing inspiration from blues and folk and emerged as a leading figure in the British folk scene. Two of his top-30 albums include Glorious Fool and Well Kept Secret.
British-American singer-guitarist Dewey Bunnell soared to fame as part of the folk-rock band America, which released hit singles such as A Horse with No Name in the 1970s. His tracks were later reworked by music legend Michael Jackson. He and his band have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
English singer-songwriter Ella Edmondson is the eldest daughter of comedians Ade Edmondson and Jennifer Saunders. During her teens, for some time, Ella became part of the goth subculture. She did several odd jobs before turning to music full-time releasing the EP, Blame Amy, and the album, Hold Your Horses. She also toured with Ade’s English folk band, The Bad Shepherds.
Peter Sarstedt was an English singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. He mainly performed pop music with elements inspired by ballads and traditional folk music. He is best known for writing and singing the song Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?, which won an Ivor Novello Award. He was active in the music scene for over 40 years.
Lianne La Havas is a British record producer and singer-songwriter. Apart from releasing award-winning albums like Lianne La Havas and Is Your Love Big Enough, La Havas also headlines concert tours. Her work has received nominations for the prestigious Grammy Awards and Brit Awards.
Known for both his singing and guitar skills, English singer Steve Tilston remains one of the most celebrated musicians of the Irish and English folk genre. He has also often collaborated with his former partner, Maggie Boyle. He has also won a Folk Award and penned a novel.
A legend of Celtic music, Phil Coulter was the best-selling Irish music artist of his time. Starting his career as a songwriter for various artists, he later teamed up with songwriter Bill Martin to write hits such as Puppet on a String. He also penned a theme for the Irish rugby team.
Kate Rusby, counted among the best-known contemporary English folk-singers, has released several successful albums like 20 and Hand Me Down. She co-founded and remained part of the band called Equation; performed as lead-vocalist of The Poozies, an all-female traditional folk band; and contributed guest vocals on Ronan Keating's single All Over Again that reached #6 on the UK Singles Chart.
Julie Driscoll is an English actress and singer best known for her '60s version of Rick Danko and Bob Dylan's This Wheel's on Fire. Driscoll's version of the song became the unofficial anthem of the psychedelic subculture era in British rock music.
Dana Gillespie is an English singer, songwriter, and actress. Gillespie, who started her career as a teen pop musician, went on to experiment with other genres like folk and rock. More recently, she has established herself as an exponent of the blues. As an actress, Dana Gillespie has played interesting roles in movies like The Lost Continent and Bad Timing.
Jake Thackray was an English poet, journalist, and singer-songwriter. He achieved immense popularity during the 1960s and 1970s when he started appearing on British television, performing his topical comedy songs. Jake Thackray is credited with influencing performers like Jarvis Cocker, Alex Turner, Ralph McTell, and Mike Harding.
Mike Harding is an English singer, songwriter, poet, comedian, author, multi-instrumentalist, and broadcaster. A multi-talented person, Harding has also tried his hand at photography, filmmaking, and scriptwriting. Mike Harding is also credited with launching his own radio show titled The Mike Harding Folk Show.
John Tams is an English actor, musician, composer, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for portraying the role of Daniel Hagman in the television drama series Sharpe. As a musician, John Tams worked with Ashley Hutchings before forming a folk-rock group called Home Service in late 1980.
Lauren Aquilina is a Maltese-English singer-songwriter. She achieved popularity when she was still a school student by releasing a trilogy of independent EPs, namely Fools, Sinners, and Liars. Since then, Lauren Aquilina has released several best-selling singles, such as Lovers or Liars and Swap Places.
English folk singer June Tabor first gained fame with the album Silly Sisters, a collaboration with singer Maddy Prior. She is also known for her collaboration with British folk-rock band The Oyster Band. In 2004, she bagged the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for the Folk Singer of the Year.
English folk singer Anne Briggs started her career with folk clubs and later became a cult figure in folk music. However, she apparently hated her voice so much that she ended up retiring from music at age 27. She became a recluse later, but her music ended up inspiring many future folk artists.
The only son of legendary folk-rock musicians Richard & Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson is a folk-rock artist in his own right and first gained attention with his appearance in this father’s album You? Me? Us? He later brought his mother out of retirement and co-produced her come-back album.
English singer-songwriter Thea Gilmore was a teenager when she released her first album. Initially a poetry and short story writer, she left home at 16 and established her own label. She soon gained fame with tracks such as Juliet. She has also collaborated extensively with her husband, producer-songwriter Nigel Stonier.
A.L. Lloyd was an English folk singer. A collector of folk songs, Lloyd played an important role during the British folk revival movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Lloyd also helped establish industrial folk music through his recordings, books, and theoretical writings.
While singer Lucy Rose initially sang gentle folk-rock, she later experimented with pop and added acoustic elements to it. Interestingly, she once sold her own brand of tea at her shows. She also shot a documentary while performing for free and staying with her fans in Latin America.
Mike Waterson was an English folk singer, songwriter, and author. He is best remembered for his association with the popular folk group, The Watersons. Waterson was also an important member of the English folk supergroup, Blue Murder. Mike Waterson is also remembered for his work with his sisters, Lal and Norma Waterson.
Known for her powerful soprano voice, English folk singer Frankie Armstrong soared to fame with her rendition of Peggy Seeger's I'm Gonna Be an Engineer. She has performed at folk festivals across the US and Britain. She has also worked as a voice coach at National Theatre and other theater groups.
Bob Roberts was a British storyteller, folk singer, songwriter, bargeman, journalist, and author. Renowned for his charismatic personality and great story-telling ability, Bob Roberts achieved popularity in the 1950s when he started appearing in folk clubs and festivals.
Born into the famous musical Copper family of Rottingdean, British singer Bob Copper is remembered as a folk music legend. He, along with his family, wrote down songs and had a unique style of a capella singing. He was later awarded the Gold Badge of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Louis Killen was an English folk singer. Killen is credited with forming one of the UK's first folk clubs in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1958. After moving to the USA, Louis Killen became an important member of The Clancy Brothers and featured in the band until the mid 1970s.