Born on January 19, 1949, he was a British singer, songwriter, and musician who was well known for his distinctive voice and heterogeneous mix of musical styles, which is rare to find. The artist is celebrated for combining various genres like Soul, Rock, Jazz, Pop, Reggae, New Wave, and Blues.
He had a great voice, astonishing vocal range, and distinct ability to renovate old songs in his own ingenious way. His carefully polished image was much more sophisticated, attired in spotless designer suits, and releases of his radio-friendly soft rock singles were just exemplary for the video age.
Robert’s Vitality & Life’s Work
Robert Palmer was born in Batley, England, and raised in Malta, whose father was a Naval Intelligence Officer. He was 12 when he settled in Scarborough, the largest holiday resort on the Yorkshire Coast. His father was based at RAF Flyingdales, and his mother ran a guest house for a living.
They used to live in the same town in the house that Robert bought when he turned wealthy. His brother followed in his father’s footsteps and headed toward RAF, but Robert had a different vision in his eyes.
At 15, He started learning to play guitar and singing with The Mandrakes. The first record he bought played an important part in shaping his music career, Otis Redding’s Sings Soul Ballads.
One of the days’ blues band called the Alan Brown Set and found themselves without a singer for a concert at Scarborough spa they borrowed him for the night and kept him till then he was Alan Palmer, it was then that he changed his name to Robert Palmer, so it doesn’t get mixed up with the band name.
He went to Scarborough Boys High School and left it when he was 16 to pursue arts at Scarborough School of Art & Design. He gave up his idea of pursuing the arts and went to work at the Scarborough Evening News.
Journalists there still recall him as the skinny teenager technical with his hair bleached working in the photographic department until the cops burst him for a cannabis joint found at a raid on his bedside, and he lost his only job.
In 1969 he joined a Jazz rock band called “Dada” they were signed with the Island Records Label and released three albums named Vinegar Joe (1972), Rock n Roll Gypsies (1972), and Six Star General (1973) before they broke up in March 1974.
In the same year, Palmer signed a solo deal with Island records. Heavily influenced by the music of Little Feat and funk fusion of the meters, who also acted as a backing band accompanying the producer/guitarist Lowell George of Little Feat, he released his first solo album, Sneakin Sally, Through The Alley in 1974, which was unsuccessful in the UK but found its way in the top 100 in the US.
Later he moved to New York City, and there in 1975, he released Pressure Drop.
In October 1976, a follow-up album named Some People Can Do What They Like turned out to be a failure. Later in 1978, he came out with Double Fun, which got into the list of top 20 hits in the US in Philadelphia; it broke Robert into the mainstream.
The very next year, he released an album, Secrets; it was in 1979 that he acquired this pure rock and recorded it at Compass point. It was the 2nd top 20 single with Moon Martin’s Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor Doctor).
In the 80s, Palmer stepped onto his increasing commercial success. He released his self-produced album Clues making it his 6th solo that was recorded at Compass Point ft—talking head’s drummer Chris Frantz & Gary Numan.
It marked a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, beginning with the throbbing radio-friendly Jonny & Mary that was the first time Palmer endeavored Baritone. Jonny & Mary was later used as the signature tune for Renault car advertisements through the 1980s & 1990s.
The album’s other hit single was Looking for Clues video that aired on MTV’s first day of telecasting on August 1, 1981. In the year 1982, the single Some Guys Have It All The Luck from his album Maybe Its Live got tremendous success. In July 1983, Palmer performed at the Duran Duran charity concert at Aston Villa’s football ground at Villa Park. He became friends with Duran Duran, which in late 1984 resulted in forming a supergroup called The Power Station.
The Success Speaks
In 1986 his album Riptide was what made him a superstar. That album’s lead single Addicted to love, broke all his records and was a hit in the US at number 1; it was his self-penned song. This also won him his first Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
In the year 1988, his second album Heavy Nova featured in Simply Irresistible, which he undoubtedly made a number 2 Hit in the US and won him his 2nd Grammy in 1989.
He also appeared in TV shows, and Movies, the most recalled was the 1988s Cocktail in which Tom Cruise sang the chores.
He expanded his range in his 10th album in the 1990s, Don’t Explain, which featured a Reggae version of Bob Dylan’s I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight and ranked no. 6 in the UK.
In 1990 Rolling Stone named him The Best Dressed Male Artist.
In 2003 his 1st Blues album, Drive, featured cover songs, including ZZ Top’s TV Dinners. It was Co-written with his son James, a Drummer, and he got great reviews on it. Some people even expected it to be his comeback, but later they knew it was his last video.
He was last seen at an interview with Christine Talbot that was recorded on September 24, 2003, at Ronnie Scott Club in London’s Soho.
The Private Life Of Robert Palmer
Palmer was always known as a very private man; he stayed out of all the newspapers and magazines. There are very few things that people know about his personal life.
He was married twice and had five children. He married his first wife, former model Shelly Putnam in 1972, and they had three children Anthony, Anna, and Martin. In 1978 they got divorced, and Palmer met Susan Eileen Thatcher, an art student at backstage at his concert in Pittsburg they got married in 1979 and had two children, Jane and James.
In 1999 Susan pleaded for a divorce, and his relationship with Mary Ambrose came out.
Death Of The Superstar
Two days later his interview Palmer went to Paris with his young girlfriend, Mary. They stayed at a luxury Warwick hotel at around 2 am on Friday, September 26, 2003; after a cozy night of movie and dinner, he collapsed and died from a massive heart attack.
He was 54 when he died, and he died with a net worth of $10 Million at the time of his death.