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Elvis Costello


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London, United Kingdom

Elvis Costello (born Declan Patrick MacManus on 25 August 1954) is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London’s pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and soon became associated with the punk/New Wave genre (as Elvis Costello & The Attractions). In a long and successful career, Costello has released over 30 studio albums on his own and with the Attractions, the Imposters, and other collaborations.

Born in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington in London, Costello is the son of trumpeter, vocalist and band-leader Ronald (“Ross”) MacManus and record store manager Lillian Costello. His family had roots in Merseyside and he moved to Birkenhead at age 16, with his mother, when his parents separated.

While he is better known as Elvis Costello - a stage name suggested by Stiff Records manager Jake Riviera - he has used many other aliases including The Imposter and Napoleon Dynamite*.

In the early 1970s Costello was a participant in London’s pub rock scene with the group Flip City. Then in 1977 along with fellow Pub-Rockers Nick Lowe and Ian Dury he made his first releases on the independent label Stiff, tailoring his work towards the and scenes. From 1980’s Armed Forces onwards, however, other influences including soul, country, 1960s pop, and classical music began to re-emerge, and he soon became established as a unique and original voice. His output has been wildly diverse: one critic has written that “Costello, the pop encyclopedia, can reinvent the past in his own image”.


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