Today’s artist is an English singer, songwriter, and record producer based in the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar.
He was born in London, England, where his family had been evacuated to from Gibraltar during World War II. His family returned to Gibraltar shortly after his birth, and it is there he grew up. In 1960, he started in music with Gibraltarian band The Diamond Boys, which had no real commercial success, but played a part in Spain’s introduction to pop and rock music. The Diamond Boys performed at the first nightclubs in Madrid to stage modern bands alongside Spanish rock and roll pioneers such as Miguel Rios. In 1966 he co-founded the British vocal group The Family Dogg, scoring a UK Top 10 hit with “A Way of Life” in 1969.
He also wrote songs for others with frequent collaborator Mike Hazelwood. These include “Little Arrows” for Leapy Lee, “Make Me An Island” (1969) for Joe Dolan, “Gimme Dat Ding” for The Pipkins in 1970 (itself a cover from the Freddie and the Dreamers album, Oliver in the Overworld), “Good Morning Freedom” for Blue Mink, “Freedom Come, Freedom Go” for The Fortunes in 1971, and ” The Air That I Breathe” which was a hit for The Hollies in 1974. In 1971. he also sang on Michael Chapman’s fourth album, Wrecked Again, and worked briefly with The Magic Lanterns on recordings of his and Hazlewood’s songs and other material.
He then moved to the United States, where he continued his professional career as a musician. He is known for his hits of the 1970s, released on Columbia subsidiary Mums Records.
Written with Carole Bayer Sager, “When I Need You” was first recorded 1976 album. Produced by Richard Perry, Leo Sayer’s version made #1 on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in February 1977, after three of his earlier singles had stalled at #2. A hit worldwide, it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week in May 1977.
He had success as a singer-songwriter with his Spanish recordings. His releases on Epic Records allowed him to successfully tour every region of Latin America.
With Hal David, he co-wrote “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before”, a hit in 1984 for Julio Inglesias and Willie Nelson. He collaborated with Diane Warren on “Nothing’s Gonna Stop s Now”, a transatlantic #1 in 1987 for Starship, and “I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love”, a hit for Chicago that peaked at #3 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1988. He also co-wrote “One Moment in Time”, the theme song to the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, as performed by Whitney Houston.
He wrote several hits for Tina Turner, Aswad (1988), and Ace of Base five years later.
In 2010, he also worked on Legend, a new recording of duets of his greatest hits, featuring such artists as Elena Paparizou and Bonnie Tyler. It was released on Sony Spain on 23 November that year.
In 1987, his composition with Diane Warren “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” (recorded by Starship) was nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy. In 1988, he won an Emmy Award for the song “One Moment in Time”, a song he wrote along with John Bettis.
In 2000, he received an OBE. On 19 June 2008, he was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
His son is a successful solo musician and also a member of The Strokes.
Albert Hammond – Free Electric Band was presented by Diana on April 11th 2014