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Russell Watson

Russell Watson


11/24/1966, Salford, Greater Manchester, England, UK

Birth Name


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Russell Watson is a British classical singer with a tenor voice. He has released many albums of songs, both classical and popular. He is known as the "People's Tenor". He began singing when he was very young and started out singing in the notoriously difficult working men's clubs of northern England.more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • On 5 June 2008, Russell brought out his autobiography titled "Finding My Voice".

    • Rupert Christiansen, music critic of The Daily Telegraph, has referred to him a "karaoke crooner".

    • Russell will be one of the principal singers in the world premiere concert presentation in English of the hit Swedish musical Kristina fran Duvemala (by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus) at Carnegie Hall, in New York, in September 2009.

    • Russell played Parson Nathaniel in the stage adaptation of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds which toured the UK in early 2006.

    • Russell is also known as "The Voice" after his first album.

    • Russell is a lifelong fan of Manchester United football club. In 1998 he was invited to sing at Old Trafford during the interval at a memorial football match for the Munich air disaster.

    • Russell first came to the public's notice in 1999 when he sang the UK's national anthem at the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, "Barcelona" at the last match of the Premiership season between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford and a full programme of songs at the final of the UEFA Champions League in Barcelona between Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

    • Russell and his singing partner Sian Reeves won the Just the Two of Us show for charity in 2006.

    • Russell is a celebrity friend of the charity "Support for Africa".

    • Russell was married to Helen in 1993 and divorced in 2002. The couple have 2 daughters, Rebecca, born in 1995 and Hannah, born in 2000.

    • Russell's first record contract was with Decca Records, entitled "The Voice". It eventually reached number 5 in the UK Albums Chart and was a mixture of operatic arias and covers of pop songs.

    • Russell quit school at the age of 16. He left with no GCSEs.

    • Russell underwent emergency surgery to remove a brain tumour October 25, 2007 after a scan at a Cheshire hospital found the tumour.

  • Quotes

    • Russell: I'm credited for introducing 'classical crossover', whatever it is, but for me it was the Three Tenors who brought classical music to the masses. They combined two of the most passionate things on the planet, opera and football, and it's a brilliant combination.

    • Russell: I've bumped into [Mick] Hucknall a couple of times but he totally blanked me, so he's obviously a much bigger star than me," snorts Watson. "He's a hard-nosed businessman and that's not my bag, but he's got a nice soul voice, there's no question about that. But he still looks like Charlie Drake.

    • Russell: I'm much more serious about my music and how I approach it. Especially with the classical material, I've worked very hard on getting the old tonsils in shape and I think it's paid off.

    • Russell: I ain't no Pavarotti or Domingo, I didn't go to the right schools and I'm proud to let you know that, but I'm having a good time.

    • Russell: You'll never make everybody like you. Someone will always think you're a w---er.

    • Russell: I like a good rant every now and then. But I try not to moan too much because I feel very lucky to be here. Please don't write 'I met that Russell Watson and he was a right moaning bastard.'

    • Russell: The Vatican was incredible. I gave the Pope one of my CD's. It was surreal. About three or four weeks later I got a postcard signed from one of the cardinals saying the Pope "very much enjoyed listening to your music and will place you in his prayers this evening".

    • Russell: Nessun Dorma is the benchmark. Finishes with a monster big note. The longer you can hold it the more reaction you can get. I guess it's like the further out the free kick, the more crazy the crowd goes.

    • Russell: I was doing a big open air concert at a stadium in New Zealand and 110,000 turned up to see me. I just couldn't wait to get on, you know. I was buzzing. Went out and sang the first song and it was like: Yesssssss! It was better than scoring a goal in a Cup final. I hit the top note in Nessun Dorma and the crowd just spontaneously rose from their seats. It was like hitting the ball from the edge of the 18-yard box and curling it in the top corner. Wow! It's a goal!

    • Russell: Seven years ago classical crossover didn't exist – putting Italian lyrics to pop songs in a big ballsy way. Now every bugger's doing it. I've transcended all that bickering and bitching.

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