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Brian Connolly

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Brian Connolly was born on October 5, 1945 in Hamilton, Scotland. He was adopted at birth and took the name Brian McManus. When he was 18 Brian discovered that he was adopted he changed his surname to his mother’s, Connolly.
At age 18 Brian moved to Middlesex and replaced singer Ian Gillan (of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath fame) in a band called Wainwright’s Gentlemen which included drummer Mick Tucker. Wainwright’s Gentlemen split up in 1968 without releasing any recordings.

Connolly and Tucker remained together and then recruited guitarist Frank Torpey and bassist Steve Priest, they named the new band Sweetshop. The group recorded several singles and eventually shortened their name to Sweet. Over the next 13 years Brian recorded albums with Sweet until his drinking problem caused him to leave the band in 1979.

After leaving Sweet Brian launched a solo career that had little success. In 1981 he survived multiple heart attacks in a single night but his health was permanently affected. Despite this Connolly toured with his backing bands New Sweet and Brian Connolly’s Sweet. In 1988 Connolly reunited with former bandmates Andy Scott, Steve Priest and Mick Tucker to rework studio versions of “Action” and “Ballroom Blitz”. The four reunited again in 1990 for the promotion of a video music documentary. By the late 1990s Brian’s previous drinking problem had taken a toll on his body and he died of liver failure on February 9, 1997.

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