Who was Richard Wright (Musician)?
One of the founding members of the rock band ‘Pink Floyd’, Richard Wright was the competent keyboardist, whose wonderful tunes played a critical role in the sale of millions of ‘Pink Floyd’ albums across the world. Affectionately known as ‘Rick’ in the rock ‘n’ roll circle, his richly layered keyboard playing style, backed by his powerful vocals formed the basis of his musical identity. He played a dominant role in the ‘Pink Floyd’ during its early years but was unfortunately forced to quit during its most successful period, due to creative differences with other band members. After he left ‘Pink Floyd’, he went on to produce his own studio albums and live albums. Some of the best known albums with ‘Pink Floyd’, for which he did the major part of the composition, include ‘Meddle’, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and Pink Floyd's final studio album ‘The Division Bell’. His solo albums include ‘Broken China’ and ‘Wet Dream’. He chose to remain publicly averse all through his life and stayed away from the spotlight, unlike his other fellow band members. To learn more interesting facts about his personal life and professional achievements, scroll down and continue to read this biography.
Childhood & Early Life
Richard William ‘Rick’ Wright was born to Bridie and Cedric Wright in Hatch End, England, where he attended the Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School.
He had a keen interest in music from his childhood and played the guitar since the age of 12 and attended the Regent Street Polytechnic in 1962.He also took lessons in musical theory and composition at the Eric Gilder School of Music, where he met his fellow band members, Roger Waters and Nick Mason. He later attended the London College of Music.
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In 1965, the rock band ‘Pink Floyd’ was founded and he became a member of it along with Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, and Roger Waters.
In 1967, he played the keyboard and sung the lead vocals for the ‘Pink Floyd’ song ‘Astronomy Domine’ along with his band member, Syd Barrett.
He sung the lead vocals for the ‘Pink Floyd’ song ‘Matilda Mother’ from the album ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’. That year, he also sang the lead vocals for the song ‘Paint Box’.
In 1968, he recorded the songs ‘It Would Be So Nice’, ‘Let There Be More Light’, ‘Remember a Day’ and ‘Corporal Clegg’ for ‘Pink Floyd’.
In 1969, he worked with the psychedelic folk band ‘Chimera’ and played the musical instrument ‘harpsichord’ for the band.
In 1970, he co-wrote the song ‘Crumbling Land’ from the ‘Pink Floyd’ album ‘Zabriskie Point’. He also played the keyboard and sang the lead vocals for the song.
In 1971, he composed ‘Echoes’, which contained many lengthy instrumental passages and sound effects along with his band members. The same year he also wrote the organ melody for the song ‘Burning Bridges’.
In 1973, he sang the lead vocal for the song ‘Time’ from the ‘Pink Floyd’ album titled ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’.
In September 1978, his first solo project ‘Wet Dream’ was released. The album did not do well and went nearly unnoticed at that time.
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In 1979, he officially resigned from the ‘Pink Floyd’ due to personal problems with fellow band member, Roger Waters but remained a paid session musician for the band.
On April 9, 1984, he produced and co-wrote songs for the album ‘Identity’ for the upcoming band ‘Zee’.
On November 26, 1996 his solo album titled ‘Broken China’ was released by the EMI records in U.K and the Guardian Records in the U.S.
In 2006, he performed in over two dozen shows on David Gilmour’s tour across Europe and North America. He also played the keyboard and gave background vocals for the album ‘On The Island’.
In 2007, he delivered his final performance as a part of the David Gilmour's band at the premiere of Gilmour's concert DVD ‘Remember That Night’. That year he also performed vocals at the ‘The Madcaps Last Laugh’.
‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ was one of the bestselling albums of all time and is featured in the list of top 25 best-selling albums in the United States. The album was placed 29th in ‘The Observer's’ 2006 list of ‘The 50 Albums That Changed Music’.
Awards & Achievements
In 1996, as a member of the ‘Pink Floyd’, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He features at the 8th position on Music Radar's list of top 27 musicians.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1965, he married Juliette Gale and the couple had two children together. They divorced in 1982.
In 1984, he married Franka but the marriage ended in a divorce in 1990.
In 1995, he married his third wife Mildred ‘Millie’ Hobbs and the couple had a son together. However, the marriage ended in 2007.
He died at the age of 65 due to cancer at his home in the United Kingdom.
Many journalists believe that this acclaimed ‘Pink Floyd’ musician spent most of his earnings on his cocaine habit and was nearly bankrupt in the late 1980s.