|Artist Birtday :||21/02/1969 (Age 52)|
|Born In :||Pontypool, Wales|
|Occupation(s) :||Musician, singer-songwriter, producer|
|Genres :||Alternative rock, hard rock, post-punk, punk rock, glam punk|
James Dean Bradfield (born 21 February 1969) is a Welsh singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. He is known for being the lead guitarist and lead vocalist for the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers.
Born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Bradfield attended the local Oakdale Comprehensive School where he suffered years of cruelty and bullying (he claims he was “a Woody Allen-esque little nerd”) for his name (nicknamed Crossfire), lazy eye, musical bent and small size. James formed a close relationship with three friends: his cousin Sean Moore, who lived with James and his family throughout their childhood after his own parents’ divorce, and future bandmates Nicky Wire and Richey Edwards.
Bradfield loved to run and was a steeplechaser, and soon grew fond of punk rock band The Clash, although his earliest musical love was ELO. He gave up his dream of “being like Napoleon” and decided that he wanted to be a rock star. He learnt to play guitar by learning how to play Guns N’ Roses’s Appetite for Destruction with the curtains drawn in his parents’ front room.
In late April 2006, a track from Bradfield’s debut solo single entitled “That’s No Way to Tell a Lie” premiered on Janice Long’s show on BBC Radio 2. It became the first single from the album and was released on 10 July while the album, entitled The Great Western, was released on 24 July. The single debuted at #18 in the UK singles chart while the album debuted at #22 on the album chart. The positions were considered relatively successful considering the lack of promotion.
In support of the album, Bradfield played a series of solo gigs in May 2006 in Manchester, Glasgow, Dundee, Nottingham, Birmingham, and London. The setlists consisted of tracks from The Great Western as well as several Manics tracks including “This Is Yesterday” and “Ocean Spray”. He also played one further date at London ULU in June 2006, featuring a similar setlist to the other gigs. Bradfield also performed at the 2006 V Festival in late August. He embarked on his first full UK tour – consisting of 15 dates – in October. A second single, “An English Gentleman”, was lifted from The Great Western before the tour and entered the UK chart at #31 on 1 October 2006.
The second album by Bradfield, Even in Exile, was confirmed in March 2020 to NME alongside the announcement of a 2021 Manics album. That June, the album was confirmed to be inspired by the life and death of Víctor Jara, with lyrics written as unpublished poetry by Patrick Jones. Two tracks, “There’ll Come a War” and the instrumental “Seeking the Room With the Three Windows” were released the same day. The next week, the album was given a title and date alongside the launch of its first single, “The Boy From the Plantation”, which debuted on Steve Lamacq’s show on BBC Radio 6 Music. The album was released on 14 August 2020 on digital, CD, cassette, and vinyl and entered the UK charts at #6, giving Bradfield his first solo top 10 album.
He currently lives in Llandaff, Cardiff. Despite having once said “I always get bored of the company of women really quickly,” he married the band’s PR agent Mylène Halsall in a ceremony in Florence, Italy on 11 July 2004. The couple have two children. He is a supporter of Cardiff Blues and Nottingham Forest. In 2015, Bradfield and fellow Manic Sean Moore went to Patagonia in aid of the Velindre charity.