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Holly Johnson


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Holly Johnson is an artist, writer and musician (born William Johnson on February 9, 1960 in Liverpool, England; name on passport William Holly Johnson). Some sources erroneously suggest he was born in Khartoum, a myth Johnson himself apparently started during an interview.

Actively involved in the Liverpool punk rock/new wave scene, Johnson played bass with Big in Japan and released several solo singles on the Eric’s label, before finding fame as the lead singer and lyricist of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who enjoyed considerable controversy and commercial success during their heyday in the early 1980s.

Holly left the group in 1987 after growing increasingly unhappy with their musical direction, but was immediately the subject of an injunction from the group’s record company, ZTT Records, which cited his prior recording agreement and effectively barred him from releasing solo material with new label MCA Records.

Johnson famously embarked on a protracted legal battle with ZTT, the case finally being settled in Johnson’s favour in 1989, the judge ruling that ZTT’s original contract had constituted an unreasonable restraint of trade. The result represented a landmark legal outcome within the music business. Johnson’s relationship with ZTT owners Trevor Horn and Jill Sinclair apparently broke down irretrievably due to the court case.

Johnson finally released his first solo album, Blast, which reached number one in the UK and spawned three hit singles. However, relations with MCA cooled over dissatisfaction with promotional budgets for his second solo album, Dreams That Money Can’t Buy, released in 1991 after Johnson had left the label.


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  • Sebottendorff

    Born in Khartoum!

    3 Jan 12:02am Reply
  • CaCoffiny

    Holly - the voice is still perfect!

    10 Jul 2012 Reply
  • eighty80s

    Love him... :)

    14 Jun 2012 Reply
  • BelcantoInTheSp

    there are no Legendary Pink Dots and Legendary who knows what....Holly Johnson rules...he is legend...

    23 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Alejo_Valdez

    czemu tak mało odtworzeń do cholery ?

    19 Dec 2011 Reply
  • Zoltanrah

    amazing voice :)

    15 Aug 2011 Reply
  • spfranke

    Always adored his voice, ever since I first heard 'The Power Of Love.' His post Frankie solo stuff is very good too, although less known.

    23 Jan 2010 Reply
  • babamulon

    "With pepsi and doritos" would be more on spot.

    30 Sep 2009 Reply
  • sneggyuser

    I saw him in Cardiff a few years ago, freeked me out as I heard he had previously died of AIDS, obviously incorrect.

    17 May 2009 Reply

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