Childhood & Early Life
Paul Weller was born as John William Weller Jr., to John Weller and Ann Weller, on 25 May 1958, at Surrey England. Though he was initially named John, he was renamed Paul by his parents. His father was a taxi driver and his mother was a cleaner.
He completed his school education from the Maybury County First School and Sheerwater County Secondary school. Before he turned eleven, Paul Weller began playing the guitar.
In 1972, he formed the band ‘The Jam’ along with his friends Steve Brookes and Dave Waller. Initially the band was a five member team with the addition of Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton, and they performed at local clubs and gradually gained popularity and recognition in the locality. In 1976, Steve Brookes left the band.
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Paul Weller was part of the band ‘The Jam’ from the time of its conception, till 1982 when the band was dissolved. ‘The Jam’ was initiated at a time when multiple other bands in the punk rock genre had emerged, however, they did not stick to the punk rock crowd and the music they played made them a better fit in the new wave genre.
In 1977, the band released its first single ‘In the City’ and appeared in the UK Top 40 list. Two years later, with the release of the political single ‘The Eton Rifles’, the band made its way into the UK Top 10 list.
Paul Weller’s lyrics and the incorporation of pop music played a major role in the success of the band. In 1980, the band released its initial No. 1 single ‘Going Underground’.
The band’s two singles ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ‘Just Who Is the 5 O’clock Hero?’ reached No. 21 and No. 8 respectively in the UK singles chart despite not even being released as singles in the UK. The songs became popular purely on the strength of the import sales of the German and Dutch single releases.
In 1982, ‘The Jam’ was disbanded. The final single of the band titled ‘Beat Surrender’ went on to be a UK chart topper in the first week of its release.
The following year, he collaborated with keyboard player Mick Talbot and formed an English Band called ‘The Style Council’. During his association with The Style Council, Paul Weller was able to experiment with various genres of music and most of the group’s performances were well accepted.
’The Style Council’ witnessed great success in Australia with their chart topper ‘Shout to the Top’ in 1984. However, towards the end of the 1980s the popularity of the group began to decline, and the band split in 1989.
Following the disbanding of The Style Council, Paul Weller began to explore music as a solo artist. After taking a break for a year, he went touring with drummer Steve White under the name ‘The Paul Weller Movement’, and began performing at clubs.
In 1990, he released ‘Into Tomorrow’ under his own independent label, ‘Freedom High Records’. The single received positive and reaching UK Top 40 that year.
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In 1992, he released his debut solo album titled ‘Paul Weller’, and began establishing himself as a lyricist and singer. The album debuted at 8th position at the UK charts.
The next year, he released his single album ‘Wild Wood’ that entered the UK Charts in the Number 2 position. The album contained multiple hit songs like ‘Sunflower’, ‘Hung Up’, and ‘Wild Wood’, and the album won several awards as well.
In 1995, with the album release ‘Stanley Road’; he regained his position in the UK Charts as a bestseller after almost a decade. The album included chart topper singles like ‘The Changingman’ and ‘You Do Something to Me’.
Paul Weller was greatly involved in the popularizing of a sub genre of rock and pop music called Britpop music. He was idolized by the public and many emerging artists of the time like Noel Gallagher of Oasis looked up to him.
In 1997, he released his next album ‘Heavy Soul’. The album was a big hit and earned positive reviews. A year later he released the album ‘Modern Classics: Greatest Hits’.
In 2000, he released his fifth album ‘Heliocentric’. The following year he released his second live album ‘Days of Speed’ and embarked on a worldwide tour in connection with the same. In 2002, he released his next studio album ‘Illumination’.
In 2004, he released a collection of covers named ‘Studio 150’. It contained the covers of songs by Rose Royce, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan and Gil Scott-Heron to name a few. This was followed by an album release the following year under the title ‘As Is Now’ which was received well but failed to earn appreciation from the critics.
In 2006, the album ‘Hit Parade’ was released; the album included all the singles that were released by the bands ‘The Jam’ and ‘The Style Council’ and by Paul Weller himself as a solo artist. His next album ‘22 Dreams’ was released two years later with the title track being ‘Echoes Round the Sun’.
He made guest appearances in albums like in Dot Allison’s album ‘Room 71/2’ in 2009, and he co-wrote the song ‘Love's Got Me Crazy’. The following year he released his album ‘Wake UpThe Nation’, which earned critical as well as commercial success.
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In 2012, he announced the release of a limited edition of 3000 copies of the ‘Dragonfly EP’. The same year he released the album ‘Sonik Kicks’. He also sang for the band ‘The Moon’ in their single ‘Something Soon’, that year.
In 2014, Paul Weller turned lyricist for Olly Murs’s album ‘Never Benn Better’ and wrote the song ‘Let Me In’. His current team members are Andy Lewis, Steve Cradock, Andy Crofts, Ben Gordelier and Steve Pilgrim.
Awards & Achievements
He won the NME Award for ‘Best Guitarist’ for four consecutive years from 1979 to 1982. Similarly, he received the NME Award for ‘Best Songwriter’ in 1979, 1980, 1981and 1982.
He was awarded the BRIT Award for ‘Best British Male Solo Artist’ the years 1995, 1996 and 2009.
The NME Award for ‘Best Male Singer’ was awarded to him in 1980 and 1982.
He won the NME Award for ‘Best Solo Artist’ in 1995 and 1996.
He received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the BRIT Awards 2006 for his ‘outstanding contribution to music’.
In 2010, he won the ‘Godlike Genius Award’ at the NME Awards. The same year, he was awarded the ‘Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award’.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was in a relationship with singer Dee C. Lee and they married in 1987. They couple has two children named Leah and Nathaniel. Their relationship ended in a divorce in 1988.
In the mid-1990s, Paul Weller was romantically involved with Samantha Stock. They have two children Jesamine (born in 2000) and Stevie Mac (born in 2005). The couple separated ways in 2008.
In 2008, he began living with singer Hannah Andrews and subsequently got married in 2010 at Capri Islands. The couple has two twin sons named John Paul and Bowie, born on 14 January 2012.
He has a daughter named Dylan from his relationship with makeup artist Lucy.