London (AP) - He always enters the stage in an elegant suit.

Bryan Ferry is still the dandy, the style icon.

He's a rock star and crooner.

In the 70s he shaped art rock as the front man of Roxy Music.

Later he was also very successful as a solo artist with smooth, elegant pop.

Now the British singer is 75 years old.

A career as a musician?

“That would never have crossed my mind,” said Ferry in one of his rare 2019 interviews on the TV program “CBS This Morning”.

As a young boy, he was passionate about American music.

In the small English town of Washington near Newcastle, where Ferry was born on September 26, 1945 to a working-class family, show business seemed far away.

Studying at Durham University in Newcastle was groundbreaking.

Ferry's parents envisioned a career as a lawyer for their son, but he was more interested in art and sang in changing bands.

Richard Hamilton, who later created the cover for the Beatles' White Album, became his professor and mentor.

In the late 1960s Ferry moved to London, where he still lives today.

There he founded the band Roxy in 1970, which later became Roxy Music.

He took the name from a cinema.

Old film classics, film noir and the so-called golden Hollywood era are still a passion of the singer today.

A few years ago he had a cool guest appearance in the TV series "Babylon Berlin", which is set in the 1920s.

With their first single "Virginia Plain", Roxy Music landed at number 4 on the British charts - in Germany at least at number 20. The danceable, intellectually inspired art rock hymn stood out from the music of other glam rock representatives such as T. Rex or The Sweet .

Visually, the group stood out with their extravagant costumes.

“We experimented with it,” says Ferry.

“We were all rather shy, reserved types.

Because we went on stage in disguise, it was easier to get out of yourself. "

Ferry was an alternative to the singers of other rock bands.

He often wore a white jacket, always a shirt and a tie.

It was not only visually similar to the big crooners of the 40s, 50s and 60s.

His languishing, downright seductive singing was also reminiscent of icons like Perry Como or Dean Martin.

Sound tinkerer Brian Eno left Roxy Music after the second album - due to differences with Ferry, who dictated the course of the group as songwriter and frontman.

With success: The albums “Stranded” (1973) and “Country Life” (1974), with their mixture of refined rock and elegant pop, are considered classics of the art rock genre, whose most important representatives include Roxy Music and David Bowie.

During the recording of the fifth Roxy Music album "Sirens", Ferry met Jerry Hall in 1975, the model on the cover.

The two were a couple for two years.

Then the US model left the musician for Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.

Ferry sang the separation on his record "The Bride Stripped Bare" (1978).

The eighth and final studio album “Avalon” with the radio-friendly hit single “More Than This” was Roxy Music's most successful work.

From the initially progressive, sometimes pompous rock'n'roll sound, Roxy Music had developed into a stylish pop group that became the model for later successful New Wave and New Romance bands, including Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Human League.

Ferry began his solo career almost at the same time as the rise of Roxy Music.

In 1973 he released “These Foolish Things”, an album with covers including “A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan.

In 2007, the Briton dedicated an entire album called "Dylanesque" to the American musician.

He never met Dylan.

Ferry released five solo albums in the 1970s.

Even then, Roxy Music split briefly.

Because three members then appeared on Ferry's solo albums, the band soon continued.

After the dissolution in 1983, Roxy Music reformed itself several times, most recently in 2019 when it was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame".

Ferry continued her style of music on his album “Boys and Girls” and afterwards.

The hit singles “Slave To Love” and “Don't Stop The Dance” are indistinguishable from the Roxy sound.

Bryan Ferry has recorded a total of 16 solo albums so far, including two jazz albums.

For "The Jazz Age" he rearranged solo and Roxy Music songs in the style of the 1920s without singing a single note on the album.

On "Bitter-Sweet" he gave his voice to a few songs.

The elegant pop sound typical of Ferry was last heard in 2014 on his outstanding album “Avonmore”.

The multiple father, who lives alone after two divorces, also wants to give concerts at the age of 75.

Because of the corona pandemic, Bryan Ferry canceled his tour this year.

A good dozen concerts are planned in Europe for 2021, including performances in Cologne and Schwetzingen.

The motto of a 1985 Bryan Ferry hit obviously still applies today: "Don't Stop The Dance."

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200921-99-649271 / 3

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