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Edwyn Collins

Edwyn Collins

Orange JuiceOrange Juice had a No. 8 hit single with "Rip It Up", their only UK Top 40 single and biggest commercial success. In 1985, Orange Juice disbanded; after some difficulty finding a record label with which to sign, Collins began his solo career a year later after signing with the Elevation subsidiary of Creation Records.Solo career to 2005Collins released a 1994 single, "A Girl Like You", which was a hit in both the UK and the U.S. and was featured in the films Empire Records, The Secretary and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. "The Magic Piper (of Love)", a 1997 single that featured on the soundtrack of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, was also released.He built his own recording studio in 1994 and produced his own third solo album, Gorgeous George.He has also worked extensively as a record producer with other artists, including The Proclaimers, Vic Godard, A House, Space, Robert Forster, The Cribs, and Little Barrie. In 2005, Collins produced the album The New Fellas recorded by The Cribs.Cerebral hemorrhage and afterIn a BBC 6 Music radio interview on 18 February 2005, Collins said he felt unwell, but ascribed the nausea and vertigo to food poisoning. Two days later, he was admitted to intensive care in London's Royal Free Hospital after apparently suffering a major cerebral hemorrhage. After suffering a second haemorrhage he had an operation on 25 February 2005, which was followed by a lengthy programme of neurological rehabilitation owing to right-sided weakness and difficulty with speech. The aphasia he suffered allowed him to repeat only four phrases, over and over again: "yes", "no", "Grace Maxwell" (his wife's name) and "the possibilities are endless".Collins released his sixth solo album in September 2007 on Heavenly Records entitled Home Again. The album was recorded before his illness but mixed after his discharge from hospital. Collins was still on the road to recovery, and he returned to singing live, including playing a gig at The Arts Theatre in London. A tribute song, celebrating his return, was recorded by the Indiepop band The Candy Twins.A BBC Scotland documentary, Edwyn Collins:Home Again, narrated by Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos, was broadcast on 19 May 2008. Filmed during 2007, it followed Collins' progress in recovering from his illness, and his first return to live performance at the BBC Electric Proms.Collins performed at the Glastonbury Festival, broadcast on 28 June 2008 on BBC Two and at T in the Park on 10 July 2009.On 2 October 2009, Collins' wife and manager Grace Maxwell, detailed her "running battle" with Warner Music Group and MySpace over his right to allow fans to listen to "A Girl Like You" for free on his MySpace page.In November 2009, at a gig in London's Bloomsbury Ballroom, following a tour of the Scottish Highlands, Collins' singing was contrasted with his slow speech: "[W\]hen he started to sing, his baritone proved as powerful as ever."On 20 February 2010 he joined The Maccabees onstage at Brixton Academy for their encore, performing vocals on a rendition of "Rip It Up".Losing Sleep was released on 13 September 2010 in the UK. It was Collins' first written and recorded album since his 2005 illness. It was recorded at his own West Heath Studios between November 2008 and May 2010 and produced by Collins and Sebastian Lewsley. He collaborated with The Cribs' Ryan Jarman and Johnny Marr, Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy, The Magic Numbers singer Romeo Stodart, The Drums and Aztec Camera singer Roddy Frame.On 30 September 2010, Collins and his band broadcast three numbers live from the Royal Beacon Hotel in Exmouth for BBC Radio 2's Radcliffe and Maconie Show. (Music journalist Stuart Maconie's first NME article had been a review of Collins' 1987 gig at the Manchester International.)On 30 July 2011, Collins performed at the Indietracks festival at the Midland Railway, Butterley.His eighth solo album Understated was released in March 2013 on his own AED Records and was critically well received, with God Is In The TV stating "Understated is more than just another step to recovery, it is indeed a fine record in its own right, and utterly life-affirming. It’s also perhaps the ultimate testament to the healing power of music. He lost the ability to read, write, and lost movement in half of his body, but what he didn’t lose was his gift for coming up with an ear-catching tune, as is proved here. It will make you smile, it may even make you cry, and its an album that reminds you how good it is to be alive."Work outside musicIn addition to his music career, Collins has also produced and starred in the Channel 4 sitcom, West Heath Yard. Collins released his first book of illustrations with Morel Books in 2009.Awards and honoursIn May 2009, Collins won the Ivors Inspiration Award in recognition of his struggles following his 2005 brain haemorrhage.In 2010, he received an honorary masters degree from the Buckinghamshire New University in recognition of his "strong influences and contribution to the national and international music industry over the last three decades".On 21 August 2010 Collins attended the Helmsdale Highland Games as the chieftain, an honour also previously bestowed on his grandfather.Personal lifeCollins was born in Edinburgh. He is married to Grace Maxwell, who is also his manager. The couple live in London and have one son, William.Solo discographyHope and Despair - Demon, 1989Hellbent on Compromise - Diablo, 1990Gorgeous George - Setanta, 1994, UK #8, US #183I'm Not Following You - Epic, 1997, UK #55Doctor Syntax - Setanta, 2002A Casual Introduction 1981/2001 - Setanta, 2002 (collection of Orange Juice and solo work)Home Again - Heavenly Records, 2007, UK #90Losing Sleep - Heavenly Records, 2010, UK #54Understated - AED Records, 2013

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