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Bernard Fowler in Vienna, 2007
|Birth name||R. Bernard Fowler|
January 2, 1959 |
New York City, United States
|Genres||Rock, rock and roll, funk, R&B, blues, country rock, reggae, blues rock, gospel|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, producer, Songwriter, Actor|
|Instruments||Vocals, percussion, guitar, bass guitar, trombone|
|Labels||Atlantic, Rolling Stones, Sony|
|Associated acts||The Rolling Stones, Peech Boys, Herbie Hancock, Bootsy Collins, Tackhead, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Waddy Wachtel, Little Axe|
Bernard Fowler (born January 2, 1959) is an American musician. He has provided backing vocals for The Rolling Stones since 1988 and is featured on their studio recordings and live tours. and has been a featured guest vocalist on the majority of solo albums released by the members of that band. He has also been a regular featured singer on other musicians' recordings and tours. He has released two solo albums. Fowler has toured and recorded with the bands Tackhead and Bad Dog and occasionally with Nicklebag and Little Axe.
Fowler's first recordings were with the group The Total Eclipse for the album A Great Combination released 1975. In the early 1980s he was a member of The New York City Peech Boys with DJ Larry Levan and keyboard player Michael De Benedictus. The group had dance hits with tracks like "Don't Make Me Wait" and "Life Is Something Special". He provided vocals for the songs "I'm the One" and "Come Down" from the Material album One Down, where he was credited as a songwriter on several tracks. Fowler guested on Herbie Hancock's classic electro-funk albums Future Shock (1983) and Sound-System (1984), as well as the 1985 albums Compact Disc by Public Image Ltd and Language Barrier by Sly & Robbie. In 1986, he sang a song written by Paul Simon which appeared on Philip Glass's Songs from Liquid Days. In 1987 he sang backup for James Blood Ulmer on America – Do You Remember the Love?, and the next year he appeared on Bootsy Collins's What's Bootsy Doin'?. Fowler was the lead singer for the group Tackhead for several albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He has also appeared on albums from Herb Alpert, Little Axe, Todd Terry, and Michael Hutchence, (formerly of INXS). In 1988 Fowler found himself touring with Steven Seagal.
In 1985, Fowler was hired to record backing vocals on Mick Jagger's first solo album, She's the Boss. This proved to be the beginning of a lasting business and personal relationship, not only with Jagger, but with all the current members of the Rolling Stones, as he has also performed on the solo albums of Charlie Watts, Keith Richards and Ron Wood. After Fowler had already performed as a session musician with individual members of the Rolling Stones on their solo projects, he was chosen to join the Stones on their Steel Wheels world tour, in 1989. Mick Jagger spoke about his choice of Fowler to sing backing vocals saying that Fowler impressed him because he had a wide vocal range, many musical influences, and stamina.
He has remained as a regular backup singer on tours with the Stones since then. Fowler was a feature vocalist on three of Watts' jazz solo albums. The other members of the Rolling Stones have utilized his vocal talents on their solo projects, including Richards' Main Offender and Wood's solo projects.
Fowler has been asked to collaborate on songs from other artists. One such person has been Ron Wood in writing and composing songs for his solo albums. Fowler and Wood have co-written several songs together and recorded them on Wood's albums.
In 2006, Fowler released his first solo album, Friends with Privileges, on Sony Japan. This is his first entirely solo effort, however, he has had a significant number of rock and roll and R&B heavyweights in the music industry working with him. They include Ron Wood, Darryl Jones and Lisa Fischer of Rolling Stones fame; studio session musician and record producer Waddy Wachtel, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Plant, Dave Abbruzzese (formerly of Pearl Jam), Joe Elliot (of Def Leppard), and Ivan Neville. His newest project is called the IMF's.