Robert Peter Williams was born on 13 February 1974 in the “Royal Infirmary” hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. Until his third year he lives with his parents Jan Williams and Pete Conway (stage name) and sister Sally above their own pub called “The Red Lion”. It was close to the Port Vale football stadium. When his parents divorced, Robbie moved with his sister, mother, and grandmother to another home in Stoke-on-Trent.
Robbie’s first school is the “Dolly’s Lane School”. Then he goes to the “Millhill Primary School”. He then goes to the “Sixt Form College” of St. Margeret’s Ward, the local high school. Robbie also becomes a member of the local theater school. He plays in many musicals. Singing and acting are in his blood at a young age. He has his greatest role as “Dodger” in the musical “Oliver”.
When Robbie left school at the age of sixteen, he wanted to be an actor, but his first job was selling double glazing for a few local firms.
Nigel Martin Smith, the manager of the future boy band Take That, places an advertisement in “The Sun”. It was Robbie’s mother who encouraged him to respond. During the auditions, Robbie had to sing a song from “Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat” and “Nothing Can Divide Us” by Jason Donovan. After three or four weeks he was informed that he had been hired. The creation of Take That was a fact.
Take That recorded a number of songs in 1990 and started a tour of schools and clubs. The first real performance of Take That was in nightclub “Flicks” in Huddensfield, for about 30 people. The first real television appearance was in the television program “The hit man and her”, presented by Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachan.
In July 1991 the first single “Do what you like” was released. The song reached the 82nd position of the charts in England. Their next two singles “Promises” “Once you’ve tasted love” later that year achieved a 38th and 47th position. The boys almost wanted to give up when the next single “It only takes a minute” reached the 7th position. Their debut album “Take That & Party” was released in August 1992 and reached 2nd place in the album charts. Also in August came the single, with Robbie singing the lead vocals for the first time, “I found heaven” and reached the 15th position. Successively from the same album “Take That & party” came the singles “A million love songs”, “Could it be magic” and “Why can’t I wake up with you” and reached 7th, 3rd and 2nd place in the charts.
The following album “Everything Changes” was released in 1993. The first single to be released from this album is “Pray” and takes the highest position of the hit list. More number 1 hits will follow from the same album. Namely “Relight my fire”, “Babe” and “Everything changes”. The single “Love ain’t here anymore” achieved the 3rd position in the charts.
The last album that Robbie will be working on within Take That before he leaves the band will be released in 1995. The album is called “Nobody Else”. The singles “Sure,” Back for good “and” Never forget “all reach 1st place in the charts.” Back for good “also breaks all records in music history. It becomes the best-selling, non-charitable single all the time.
Robbie leaves Take That on July 17, 1995. He felt trapped within the band. “We are told how we should look, what we can say and not and how we should behave,” says Robbie. “I can never be myself”.
After Robbie has left the band things go downhill with him. He ended up in the world of alcohol and drugs.
It is said that the Take That contract prevented solo projects from being done after a break with the band.
After a number of lawsuits with his then record company “BMG” Robbie holds a press conference on June 27, 1996. This starts with the words; “I’m here tonight to celebrate my freedom.” He underlines this by releasing the George Michael cover “Freedom” to his new record company “Chrystal Records” on July 29. The single reaches the 2nd place in the charts in England.
On April 14, he releases his second solo single “Old before I die”. This also achieved the 2nd place of the charts.
Robbie still has a drink and drug problem. On the advice of George Michael and Elton John he signs up at “Clouds House Drink and Drug Rehabilitation Clinic in Salisbury, Wilstshire. He stays there for 4 weeks to get rid of his problems. He comes out with a new hairdress and some pounds lighter.
Robbie releases two more singles, “Lazy days” and “South of the border” from the solo debut album “Life thru a lens”. Then comes the real success. The mega hit “Angels” will be released in December. Every day Robbie receives thousands of fans from all over Europe and Asia. Everyone is now convinced that Robbie is not the umpteenth day fly.
After the successful first solo album, Robbie releases a second album; “I’ve been expecting you”. The success is smiling at Robbie. Every single that comes out of the album is a great success.
In America, Robbie releases the album “The ego has landed”. This is an album with a number of songs from the two previous albums on it. But the success does not really get off the ground in America.
However, there is success again in Europe and Asia with the following album “Sing when you’re winning”. Especially the song “Rock Dj” is a huge hit.
At the end of 2001, Robbie released an album of a completely different genre. Namely the album “Swing when your winning”. It is an album with mainly covers of old songs from artists for which Robbie has great admiration. Although this CD sounds very different from what Robbie has released so far, this album is again a resounding success.
It is now the end of 2002. Robbie has delivered another great album; “Escapology”. It doesn’t stop with the success. The album is still high in the album charts at the end of the summer of 2003. This is also evident from the concert tour Robbie makes during the summer. Many sold out stadiums with crazy fans.
Back in England, Robbie plays three concerts in Knebworth for a total of 375,000 crazy fans. A few weeks after this concert Robbie releases a live album. The album is called “What we did last summer”. This album again ensures record sales. When Robbie also releases a DVD of the concerts on 24 November, it becomes even more apparent how popular he is. This DVD also breaks all sales figures around the world. In England it will even be the fastest selling DVD ever!
At the beginning of 2004 the singer is silent for a while. However, Robbie has a lot on the program for this year. He works with a small roll in the movie “De-Lovely”. It is a musical about the life of the legendary Cole Porter with Kevin Kline in the lead. The film will be shown in European cinemas on 11 November. Robbie’s acting debut has made a great impression on a number of directors. There is even a director who would like to see him in the lead role of the next film.
In April there is a rumor that Take That will meet again for a while. This should happen around December in Christmas. It is reported that it will be something very special. Robbie, however, says that if there is a reunion, this will certainly not be in his presence.
Robbie will release a biography with the title “Feel” on 1 September.
Robbie releases a “Greatest Hits” album on October 18. The collector contains 19 numbers. It is striking that the album contains no songs from “Swing when you’re winning”. Robbie chose this because he thinks that album is “a very different career”. There are two completely new songs on it, namely “Radio” and “Misunderstood”. These are released consecutively on October 4 and December 6. The single “Do they know it’s Christmas?” Will be released on November 29. of Band Aid 20 in stores. Robbie also makes his contribution here. Like the previous versions, the proceeds are intended for the famine in Africa.
To promote his “Greatest Hits” album, Robbie travels to Latin America and Europe. On December 9 he appears in the Dutch program “Pulse” by Reinout Oerlemans for an interview and the singing of “Feel” and “Misunderstood”. Only a small number of people could be present and tickets could only be obtained through a Yorin competition.
In the meantime, Robbie is also working hard on a new studio album. This is expected mid-2005.
In January Robbie is nominated with “Angels” for a special Brit Award: Best song of the past 25 years. He won the award on 9 February. Among other things, the award goes beyond the nose of Queen.
Robbie lends his voice to the British cartoon “The Magic Roundabout”. He takes care of the voice of the long-haired dog “Dougal”. The premiere of the cartoon will take place on January 30.
In May a new wax Robbie is unveiled at Madame Tussaud in London. The fans may even kiss the image and when it is a good kiss his eyes will twinkle and a photo of the kiss will be shown on a large plasma screen.
Live 8 will take place on 2 July. At various locations concerts of various great artists around the world take place. Robbie performs at Hyde Park in London and sings four songs: Let me entertain you, Angels, Feel and We will rock you.
Robbie also enters into an 18-month partnership with T-Mobile in July. The telephone company will, among other things, make exclusive offers such as: live streaming, VIP tickets and downloads.
On September 5, Rob’s first single “Tripping” from the “Intensive Care” album will premiere on the radio. A month later the single will be in the record stores. The single is again very different from what Robbie is used to, but it is swallowed like a piece of cake.
On September 29, Robbie starts a promotional tour for his album “Intensive Care”, to be released on October 24, Robbie provides intimate performances in London and Paris. And it is also the Netherlands’ turn on 5 October in Paradiso in Amsterdam. Through, among other things, competitions, fans have the opportunity to attend the concert.
The day before the Paradiso performance Robbie is a guest in Paul de Leeuw’s “Pauls Parenavond” program. A small number of fans can be present at the recordings. Robbie has a lot of fun with Paul and is very impressed by swimmer Inge de Bruijn. He invites both to the performance in Paradiso.
On October 9, Robbie presents his brand new album in the Velodrom, Berlin, Germany. 23 theaters across Europe broadcast the presentation live on large screens. In the Netherlands the presentation was broadcast in the Heineken Music Hall. Before the performance, Robbie breaks his arm during a game of soccer with a local Berlin soccer team. During the performance Robbie is in a lot of pain, but despite everything it turns into a great show that is broadcast on TV in many countries later in the year.
On October 19, Robbie enters the Dutch Top 40 with “Tripping” on one. This means a second number one hit in the Netherlands since “Feel”.
Intensive Care works well throughout Europe. In no fewer than twelve countries the album is at the highest position of the album charts.
The long-awaited ticket sale for the 2006 tour is announced on November 1. For members of the online fan club “Inner Sanctum”, ticket sales begin on November 9, after which regular sales start on November 19. A true rush is the result on the Inner Sanctum. The site is overloaded, but luckily this is resolved in the afternoon and everyone still gets tickets.
On November 18, the real die-hard fans will be at the post office for ticket sales the next day around 5 p.m. The planned first and second concert are sold out in twenty minutes. A third and fourth concert will follow. These too are sold out in no time and Robbie sets a record with this.
Take That comes together again. They release a new greatest hits album and DVD and will tour England in 2006. Robbie only cooperates for a documentary on the DVD.
They are crazy about the RTL 4 television program “RTL Boulevard” because Robbie is a guest. December 8 is the day. A select number of guests can be present, including some lucky fans who had won a competition.
From 12 December there is a completely new official site online with exclusive films, etc. for the fan club members.
In February Robbie invests 400,000 euros in his favorite football club Port Vale FC. The football club hopes to secure the future with this money.
In March Robbie wins a German Echo Award for the best international singer category for the fifth time in a row. In this month it is also announced that the planned concerts during the Close Encounters tour cannot take place at the Wembley Stadium. This news causes panic among the fans, but it soon becomes known that the concerts have been moved to Milton Keynes.
In April, Robbie caused a stir within various churches in a television show by illusionist Derren Brown. Derren Brown rested Robbie with his arms in chains on a cross. Then Brown stuck two needles through Robbie’s forearms.
In April Robbie starts his Close Encounters tour with four concerts in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. He opens the show, as he does all his shows this year, with the song Radio. In total, around 150,000 fans have the evening of their lives during these shows. That promises what kind of concerts are still to come!
For months it is speculated whether Robbie will appear on stage during the Take That concerts. At the end of April it will become apparent that during the shows the singer is projected as a hologram on a giant screen at the song ‘Could it be magic’.
In May, Robbie becomes the godfather of Micky, the baby of his best friend Jonathan Wilkes.
“Soccer aid” is being organized on May 27 at the Old Trafford football stadium in England. The proceeds of the competition will go to Unicef. England’s former national coach, Terry Venables, takes on the coaching duties for his native country. On the field he can have Robbie as captain of the team. Our own Dutch Ruud Gullit is at the helm of the other team that plays under the name “The Rest of The World”. Both teams have eleven international celebrities and five World Cup Legends. The competition is won by Robbie’s team and the event ultimately brings in $ 2 million for Unicef.
Sin sin sin, the third single from Robbie’s Intensive Care will be in stores from May 22. In the Netherlands the single manages to take the 9th position of the Top 40. The number is less well received in England. The single does not exceed a 22nd position.
Robbie will kick off his Close Encounters summer tour in Dublin on 9 June. Robbie experiences the opening concert as a disappointment due to a number of setbacks and promises his Irish fans a free concert. His next two concerts are at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. It is the turn of the Amsterdam ArenA in the Netherlands on 21.22, 24 and 25. Most reviewers are generally positive. The fans are also extremely enthusiastic, but found that these concerts could not match the 2003 concerts. Many more concerts follow in Europe and Robbie always seems to feel at ease. During all his shows, he is accompanied by his best friend Jonathan Wilkes. Together they sing ‘Me and my shadow’ and ‘Strong’ and hold a football match in connection with the World Cup.
At the end of July it will be announced that the piece of rap he raps during his concerts will become the new single ‘Rudebox’. It is also announced that this song will be released this year on a new album with an unknown title. The singer describes the style as ‘naughty electro-funk pop with a deep bass’. The single ‘Rudebox’ is released on September 4 and is received with great criticism especially in England. Nevertheless, the number achieved a fourth position in both the Netherlands and England.
The former manager of Robbie in the Take That days, Nigel Martin-Smith, threatens to sue Robbie if he does not change the original lyrics of the song ‘The 90’s’ on his new album ‘Rudebox’. In the song, Robbie sings that he wants to reach out to the manager’s eyes. To prevent problems, the lyrics of the song are adjusted.
Giving all concerts is starting to take its toll. In September it is decided to cancel the concerts in Asia due to “stress and exhaustion”.
The ‘Rudebox’ album will be released on October 23rd. As with the single of the same name, the English press is not enthusiastic. Despite the criticism, the album does reach the number 1 position in the album list and in the Netherlands the album becomes platinum before it appears.
The second single ‘Lovelight’ will be released on November 13. In both England and the Netherlands the number reaches the eighth place in the single charts. The DVD ‘And through it all – Robbie Williams Live 1997 – 2006’ will be released on the same day. The DVD contains a collection of ten years of live performances.
Robbie ends his Close Encounters tour on December 18 in Melbourne, Australia.