At the age of just 16 in 1976, Tony was one of the founding members of a band called Roots. A couple of name changes later they became Spandau Ballet and enjoyed their first taste of chart success in 1980 with their debut single To Cut A Long Story Short which reached number 9 in Ireland and number 5 in the UK. It was the beginning of a whirlwind period that saw them become one of the biggest bands of the 80s and Tony one of the eras defining voices. Hits such as Gold, I’ll Fly For You and the smash hit classic True all ensured their place as world-wide superstars. However, relationships cracked and the band split in 1990 leading Tony to pursue a solo career. He surprised many people in 1997 when he collaborated on an electro pop hit Dance with Me with Tin Tin Out. He followed this up with several more dance and house collaborations.
2003 saw him appearing on the reality show Reborn In the USA, which saw 80s artists trying to make it big in America again. The show featured many of his contemporaries from the decade such as Dollar and Peter Cox from Go West. Tony’s consistently powerful performances saw him win the show leading to a new record deal with Universal. The resulting album was called True Ballads and included a version of After All This Time – the theme song from the BBC drama series Down to Earth!
The show also inspired some collaborations. In 2004 he and Peter Cox co-headlined a tour which would lead to a live album and a DVD in 2004 called simply Tony Hadley vs Peter Cox and Go West. Alongside their own hits the pair performed many other classic tracks as duets including Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love.
The formula was such a success that in 2005 he recreated it with Martin Fry of ABC. Following exactly the same format a lave album and DVD release followed of the pair singing their hits and performing duets. Tony even joined Martin on ABC’s monster hit The Look Of Love.
In 2007 he turned his hand to acting and won a new legion of fans when he appeared as Billy Flynn in Chicago on the West End stage.
One of his more curious collaborations came in 2013 when he and 1980s chart peers Kim Wilde, Bananarama and Go West set a new world record for Comic Relief when they performed the highest ever gig, singing on a Boeing 767 aeroplane at 43,000 ft!
In 2020 he marked 40 years since his breakthrough but unfortunately had to cancel his touring plans due to the pandemic. That same year he was awarded an MBE in the 2020 New Years Honours List for his charitable services and support of the outstanding work of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.
In 2022 he finally marked his anniversary, performing 40 dates to belatedly mark the occasion. He also released a new single in February 2022 Because Of You.
Now in his fifth decade in the business he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. He wowed the crowd at Forever Young Winterfest in 2019 and was a huge hit when he played Forever Young last July. We can’t wait to have him back this year by popular demand.
Tony Hadley plays the ‘Forever Young’ festival in Palmerstown House Estate on Saturday July 15th, 2023. ‘Forever Young’ is a three-day celebration of the music of the 1980s featuring artists such as Andy Bell (Erasure), Bananarama, Squeeze, Jason Donovan, Billy Ocean, ABC and many more.
Full line-up and tickets are available here