The amazing career of Robbie Williams

Hes one of the most famous entertainers in the world, and has millions of fans all over the globe. Hes sold over 55 million albums, won 15 BRIT Awards and has done 8 successful worldwide tours. Hes one of the biggest comeback artists of the year. Hes none other than Robbie Williams. As part of the release of his new single Bodies and with a brand new album to follow in November, we take a look at his amazing career so far


Early years & Take That

1974: Robert Peter Williams is born in Stoke-on-Trent on 13th February. His parents divorce at the age of three, and Robbie resides with his mother and sister.

1980: At high school Robbie is renowned for being mischievous, and unsurprisingly doesnt pass any of his G.C.S.Es.

1989: Robbies working as a salesman when his mother notices an article in the local newspaper for a boyband audition. Considering her sons talents as a singer and actor, she decides to get him to audition. Robbie takes his first step on to stardom.

1990: Following a successful audition Take That is formed, consisting of Robbie, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange. The groups breakthrough single, a cover of the 1970s Tavares hit It Only Takes A Minute charts at #7 in the UK. The group release a further three successful singles.

1992: Take Thats first album Take That & Party is released, peaking at #2 in the UK.

1993: The groups second album Everything Changes , largely based on Gary Barlows original material, is released. Failing to crack the US, the boys become radio and TV stars across Europe and Asia. Following a mass merchandising campaign the group embarks on their first worldwide tour.

1995: With the release of their third album Nobody Else the band releases their most successful single to date, Back For Good . Originally unveiled through a live performance at the 1995 BRIT Awards, the single is released earlier than planned following rave reviews and the reception of the performance alone. Unhappy with his musical ideas not being taken seriously by the band, Robbie decides to leave Take That at a rehearsal in July 2005. It would be the last time for 12 years that all the original members of Take That were together.


The first solo years

1996: Robbie releases his first solo single Freedom , a cover of George Michaels 1990 hit with the same name. The single reaches #2 in the UK, only beaten by Spice Girls Wannabe . Despite battling drug abuse, Robbie enters the studio with Guy Chambers.

1997: Robbie releases Old Before I Die , sporting another #2 on the UK charts. Robbies first solo album Life Thru A Lens is slow to take off, but following the release of Angels in December it shoots up the charts. Angels also ends up being Robbies trademark song. Robbie has ended up closing most of his live gigs with Angels ever since its original release.

1998: Robbies scores his first UK #1 with Millennium , the first single off his second solo album Ive Been Expecting You , which also ends up topping the charts. Five successful singles are released, among them the Pet Shop Boys collaboration No Regrets .

1999: Having enjoyed success in both UK and mainland Europe, Robbie looks to conquer US. He embarks on a North American promotional tour, but the US release of Ive Been Expecting You ends up being a disappointment, only peaking at #63 on the US Billboard Chart. Robbie shoots a new video for the US release of Angels , but the song only ends up as a moderately successful hit in the North American market. Robbie admits defeat and decides to focus on the rest of the world.


Controversies & success

2000: Robbie causes mass controversy with the video for Rock DJ , the first single off his third album Sing When Youre Winning . The raunchy video sees Robbie in a ring of roller-skating babes, stripping down to his skeleton, ripping off chunks of flesh and muscle. Despite being censored on most music channels in the UK and Europe, Rock DJ is an instant hit, topping the charts in both the UK and New Zealand, while going top ten in almost every European country. The single wins Robbie both a BRIT Award and a MTV Europe Music Award, and the album goes on to set the charts on fire all over the world. The album spawns a further five singles, among them the massive hit Kids , a collaboration with Australian pop star Kylie Minogue.

2001: Following the massive success of his third solo effort, Robbie goes on to pursue his dream of making a big band album, cleverly titled Swing When Youre Winning . Robbie duets with superstars such as Rupert Everett and Jane Horrocks, and Somethin Stupid , a duet with US actress Nicole Kidman lands Robbie another massive super hit.

2002: Now admittedly one of the biggest stars in the world, Robbie signs a legendary £80 million record deal with EMI. Following the release of Feel , his biggest international hit to date, his fifth studio album Escapology was released to massive fanfare all over the world. In the US, however, the album failed to make an impact.

2003: Robbie causes controversy again with the release of Come Undone , the second single off Escapology. The video sees raunchy Robbie having a threesome with two women, and showed footage of fights and alcohol and drug abuse. The controversy works in Robbies favour though, giving him another top ten worldwide hit. Later the same year Robbie announces his split from long-time producer and collaborator Guy Chambers.

2004: Robbie releases his first Greatest Hits, and reveals new tracks with new collaborator Stephen Duffy. The albums first single Radio is another UK #1 for Robbie, and the album sells 320 000 copies in the UK in its first week of release.

2005: After touring Latin America, Robbie begins work on his sixth studio album with Stephen Duffy. October sees the release of Intensive Care . The albums first single Tripping , which takes Robbie down a poppier, reggae-inspired route, tops the charts in several countries, while the follow-up ballad Advertising Space is another international hit for Robbie.


Mixed reviews & comeback

2006: While the single Sin Sin Sin becomes the first Robbie track to miss the UK Top 20, Intensive Care goes on to sell 5 million copies in Europe alone. 2006 sees the release of Robbies seventh studio album Rudebox . The first single, the albuims title track, causes controversy because of Robbies change in musical direction. The hiphop-inspired electro pop track sees Robbie rapping about important matters such as Durex condoms and Adidas. Rudebox , the album, receives mixed reviews but goes on to sell over 4 million copies worldwide.

2007: Despite Robbie dressing up as a drag queen in the video for Shes Madonna , the albums third single is largely considered a flop. Robbie meets with Gary Barlow for the first time in 11 years, and the pair seems to sort out their differences. Robbie, however, descends into obscurity after working with Mark Ronson on a track for his album Version .

2008: Rumours of a new album featuring collaborations with Guy Chambers surface, but Robbie is seemingly busy with his new UFO fascination. He takes part in Radio 4s UFO documentary, and in an interview about his fascination with the phenomena he says hes seen aliens three times in his life. Right

2009: Early this year Robbie confirms hes back in the studio, working with Trevor Horn. September sees the superstar turn up at Capital for an interview and a spin of his brand new single Bodies . Bodies is taken from Robbies eight studio album Reality Killed The Video Star , out in November. Robbie himself has said that the albums a killer: old Robbie, new Robbie and a Robbie that neither of us have met... We cant wait to hear it.


  • What do you think of Robbies fantastic career?
  • What is your favourite Robbie song?
  • What do you think about his new single Bodies ?
  • Are you excited about his new album?


Have your say in the comments section below!