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Ian Robert Astbury (born Cheshire, England, May 14, 1962) is a singer, rock musician and British actor. He is known for being the leader of the famous group The Cult and also for being the singer of the blues rock band The Doors of the 21st Century, formed by former members of The Doors in 2002. He is ranked 90th in the list The 100 best Metal vocalists of all time.
Astbury was born in Heswall, in Cheshire, England, on June 14, 1962. He was named after his father Robert Astbury, who was a merchant seaman, so he kept the family moving while Ian was young. He grew up between Merseyside, then Liverpool, then Glasgow, (Scotland). He emigrated to Canada in 1973, when he was eleven years old. He moved to Belfast, in Northern Ireland in 1979, then Brixton, England, and eventually ended up in Bradford England, in the fall of 1981. His mother died of cancer on his 17th birthday and his father also died of cancer when Ian was 29 years old.
Beginnings with The Cult
The Cult in 2010: Right to left: John Tempesta (bass), Ian Astbury (vocals), Billy Duffy (guitar) and Mike Dimkich (drums).
In 1980 he went to Liverpool, where the punk scene was active. After a period of life in the squats and sleeping in the open, he moved to Bradford later that year. In 1981, Astbury joined a local band as the lead vocalist and renamed it Southern Death Cult, in honor of an American tribe from the Mississippi delta of the 14th and 15th centuries. This training lasted until March 1983, when it was dissolved. Along with guitarist Billy Duffy, bassist Jamie Stewart and drummer Raymond Taylor Smith, Astbury formed a new band, called Death Cult, to shorten the name to The Cult. With this group he edited a total of twenty three studio albums.
After the first separation from the band, in the year 1995; Astbury was released as a soloist and released two albums: Spirit Light Speed (2000) and BXI (2010). In 1996 he formed Holy Barbarians and released the album Cream. In 2002, he is summoned to be the replacement voice of the late Jim Morrison in the famous rock blues and psychedelia group, The Doors, with the three original members: Ray Manzarek (keyboards), Robby Krieger (guitar) and John Densmore ( battery); which they renamed The Doors of the 21st Century. In the year 2003, Astbury also performs with the surviving members of MC5, a concert at the 100 Club of London, before finally returning to his former group, The Cult with Billy Duffy again in 2006, for a series of live dates and rumors of reissues and another compilation of great hits.
More Facts about Ian Astbury
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