|Height:||171 cm (5' 8'')|
|Birth Day:||January 6, 1986|
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|171 cm (5' 8'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Alexander David Turner was born in Sheffield on 6 January 1986, the only child of secondary school teachers Penny (née Druce) and David Turner. He was raised in Sheffield's High Green suburb. He has said that his parents came from "very different backgrounds"; his mother, from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, taught German and was "fascinated by language". His father, a Sheffield native, taught music and physics. Turner's parents were both music fans and his earliest musical memories involve The Beatles and The Beach Boys. During car journeys, his mother played music by Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and The Eagles. His father was a fan of jazz and swing music, particularly Frank Sinatra. He had played the saxophone, trumpet, and piano in big bands. Turner himself was taught some scales on the family keyboard by his father and took professional piano lessons until he was eight years old.
From the age of five, Turner grew up alongside neighbour Matt Helders; they attended primary school, secondary school, and college together. At their primary school graduation ceremony, Turner and Helders joined some other friends in a mimed performance of Oasis' "Morning Glory"—Helders played the role of Liam Gallagher while Turner pretended to play the bass guitar, using a tennis racket as his instrument. The two met Andy Nicholson in secondary school, and the three friends bonded over their shared enjoyment of rappers such as Dr. Dre, the Wu-Tang Clan, Outkast, and Roots Manuva. They spent their time playing basketball, skateboarding, riding BMXs, and "making crap hip-hop" beats using Turner's father's Cubase system. Turner and his friends became interested in rock music following the breakthrough of The Strokes in 2001. His father let him borrow a school guitar to learn a "couple of chords" when Turner was 15 and, for Christmas that year, his parents bought him an electric guitar.
In the summer of 2003, Turner played seven gigs in York and Liverpool as a rhythm guitarist for the funk band Judan Suki, after meeting the lead singer Jon McClure on a bus. That August, while recording a demo with Judan Suki at Sheffield's 2fly Studios, Turner asked Alan Smyth if he would produce an Arctic Monkeys demo. Smyth obliged and "thought they definitely had something special going on. I told Alex off for singing in an American voice at that first session." An introduction by Smyth led to the band acquiring a management team, Geoff Barradale and Ian McAndrew. They paid for Smyth and Arctic Monkeys to record numerous three-song demos in 2003 and 2004. Turner was quiet and observant during studio sessions, remembered Smyth: "Whenever anyone popped in the studio, he would sit and listen to them before he would say anything." At their rehearsal room in Yellow Arch Studios, Arctic Monkeys developed a reputation as particularly hard workers; the owner lent the band touring equipment while the owner's wife helped Turner with his singing. Barradale drove the band around venues in Scotland, the Midlands, and the north of England to establish their reputation as a live band. The band handed out free copies of the demo CDs after each show and fans began sharing the unofficial Beneath the Boardwalk demo compilation online. After finishing college in mid-2004, Turner took a year out to focus on the band and deferred vague plans to attend university in Manchester. He began working part-time as a bartender at the Sheffield music venue The Boardwalk. There, he met well-known figures including musician Richard Hawley and poet John Cooper Clarke. By the end of 2004, Arctic Monkeys' audiences were beginning to sing along with their songs and the demo of "I Bet You Look Good on The Dancefloor" was played on BBC Radio 1 by Zane Lowe.
John Cooper Clarke, whose poetry Turner first encountered at school, was a "massive" source of early inspiration. Turner was working as a barman at The Boardwalk in Sheffield in late 2004 when Clarke appeared on stage as the opening act for The Fall. The performance made a big impression on the eighteen-year-old: "He's talking 100 miles an hour, and he's really funny ... It just blew my mind." He was inspired by Clarke's use of a regional accent and the early Arctic Monkeys song "From the Ritz to the Rubble" was his homage to Clarke's style ("my best shot at it, at least"). Later in his career, Turner requested to interview Clarke for Mojo Magazine, published two Clarke poems as part of a single's artwork and used another ("I Wanna Be Yours") as the lyrical basis for a song. In 2018, Arctic Monkeys invited Clarke to perform his reading of "I Wanna Be Yours" at one of their Sheffield arena shows.
Arctic Monkeys came to national attention in early 2005. They received their first mention in a national newspaper in April, with a Daily Star reporter describing them as "the most exciting band to emerge this year". They self-released an EP, featuring the single "Fake Tales of San Francisco", in May and commenced their first nationwide tour soon afterwards. In June, in the midst of a bidding war, Arctic Monkeys signed to the independent label Domino Recording Company. After initial sessions with James Ford and Mike Crossey, they recorded an album in rural Lincolnshire with producer Jim Abbiss. Turner began dating London-based student Johanna Bennett around this time. In October, the single "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, Arctic Monkeys' debut album, was released in January 2006, and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. Turner's lyrics, chronicling teenage nightlife in Sheffield, were widely praised. Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times remarked: "Mr. Turner's lyrics are worth waiting for and often worth memorizing, too ... He has an uncanny way of evoking Northern English youth culture while neither romanticizing it nor sneering at it." Musically, Alexis Petridis of The Guardian noted that the album was influenced by guitar bands "from the past five years ... Thrillingly, their music doesn't sound apologetic for not knowing the intricacies of rock history."
Arctic Monkeys' second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, was released in April 2007, just over a year after their debut. It was produced in London by Mike Crossey and James Ford. As of 2020, Ford has produced every subsequent Turner project. Lyrically, the album touches on fame, love, and heartache. Turner and Bennett had ended their relationship in January; she was credited as a co-writer on "Fluorescent Adolescent". While uninterested in the songs concerning fame, Marc Hogan of Pitchfork said the album displayed Turner's "usual gift for vivid imagery" and explored "new emotional depth". Petridis of The Guardian noted that the band were "pushing gently but confidently at the boundaries of their sound", with hints of "woozy psychedelia" and "piledriving metal". The album was a commercial success, debuting at number one in the UK, while Arctic Monkeys headlined Glastonbury Festival in the summer of 2007. Also that year, Turner began to collaborate with other artists. He worked with rapper Dizzee Rascal on the Arctic Monkeys B-side "Temptation", a version of which also featured on Rascal's album Maths and English. He co-wrote three songs on Reverend and The Makers' debut album The State Of Things, after briefly sharing a Sheffield flat with the frontman Jon McClure. Another Sheffield singer, Richard Hawley, featured on the Arctic Monkeys' B-side "Bad Woman" and performed with the band at the Manchester Apollo, as part of a concert film directed by Richard Ayoade. Turner also announced plans to form a side-project band, The Last Shadow Puppets, with Ford and Miles Kane, whom he had befriended during a tour in mid-2005.
Nick Lowe, Jake Thackray, Nick Cave, John Cale, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed are among the lyricists Turner admires. He has spoken of his respect for country music songwriters like Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, and Hank Williams. He has been drawn to artists who reinvented themselves throughout their careers: "The Beatles, David Bowie… the big ones." When forming The Last Shadow Puppets in 2007, Turner was inspired by the music of Bowie, Scott Walker, Serge Gainsbourg, David Axelrod and Ennio Morricone. Songs that Turner has discussed repeatedly in interviews are Michael Chapman's "You Say", Leon Russell's "A Song for You" and Dion's "Only You Know", describing the latter as "one of my favourite tunes of all time". In 2007, he told Q Magazine that he is a huge Beyoncé Knowles fan.
In an otherwise positive review of a 2006 show, Richard Cromelin of the Los Angeles Times noted that Turner seemed "a little spooked by the attention" and hoped he would learn "to reach out more to the audience" in time. In 2007, Kitty Empire of The Observer noted that he was a "reserved" presence on stage: "He chats a bit to about 15 people in the middle of the front rows, and only looks up at the balcony, once, a little apprehensively." Following Arctic Monkeys' headlining appearance at Glastonbury Festival in 2007, Rosie Swash of The Guardian remarked upon Turner's "steady, wry stage presence": "Arctic Monkeys don't do ad-libbing, they don't do crowd interaction, and they don't do encores." Simon Price of The Independent said Turner seemed "to freeze like a rabbit in the spotlights" during a headlining set at Reading Festival in 2009.
The Last Shadow Puppets' debut album, The Age of the Understatement, was released in April 2008, shortly after Turner had moved from Sheffield to east London. Co-written by Turner and Kane, the album was recorded in the Loire Valley, France and featured string arrangements by Owen Pallett. Alexa Chung, dating Turner since mid-2007, featured in the music video for "My Mistakes Were Made For You". Hogan of Pitchfork noted that, lyrically, Turner was "moving from his anthropologically detailed Arctics brushstrokes to bold, cinematic gestures." Petridis of The Guardian detected "the audible enthusiasm of an artist broadening his scope" and praised "a certain fearlessness on display". During a tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Turner said Kane's presence gave him "somewhere to hide" on stage. The Last Shadow Puppets gave a surprise performance at Glastonbury Festival, with both Matt Helders and Jack White making guest appearances. Alison Mosshart performed with the band at the Olympia in Paris, and provided vocals for a B-side. Also in 2008, Turner formed a covers band with Dev Hynes for a one-off show in London and recorded a spoken word track "A Choice of Three" for Helders' compilation album Late Night Tales.
Turner has described Arctic Monkeys' third album, Humbug, released in August 2009, as "a massive turning point" in the band's career. They travelled to Joshua Tree, California to work with producer Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age; it was the band's first experience of working in a studio for extended period of time. Homme has said the album's heavier sound was initiated by the band themselves, while he encouraged Turner to embrace longer guitar solos and to develop his newfound "crooning" style of singing. While Petridis of The Guardian found some lyrics "too oblique to connect", he was impressed by the band's "desire to progress". He described "Cornerstone" as a "dazzling display of what Turner can do: a fabulously witty, poignant evocation of lost love." Joe Tangari of Pitchfork felt the album was a "legitimate expansion of the band's songwriting arsenal" and described "Cornerstone" as the highlight. During a break in the UK Humbug tour, Turner joined Richard Hawley on stage at a London charity concert, and played a seven-song acoustic set. Homme joined Arctic Monkeys for a live performance in Pioneertown, California.
While living in Brooklyn, New York, where he moved with Chung in the spring of 2009, Turner wrote an acoustic soundtrack for the coming-of-age feature film Submarine (2010); it was released as an EP in March 2011. Director Richard Ayoade initially approached Turner to sing cover versions but, instead, he recorded six original songs in London, accompanied by James Ford and Bill Ryder-Jones. Two of the songs had already been written; Turner wrote the rest after watching dailies from the film set. The songs existed within the world of the film as a mixtape made by the main character's father. Paul Thompson of Pitchfork felt "Turner's keen wit and eye for detail" had created a "tender portrayal" of adolescent uncertainty. Ben Walsh of The Independent said the "exquisite" soundtrack was "reminiscent" of Cat Stevens's work on Harold and Maude. In 2014, the Submarine soundtrack appeared on The Times's list of 100 Soundtracks to Love. Turner also co-wrote six songs for Miles Kane's debut solo album Colour of the Trap (2011) and co-wrote Kane's standalone single "First of My Kind" (2012).
In late 2011, Turner began to change his stage persona and style, most notably changing his hairstyle to a "rockabilly-inspired quiff". Brian Hiatt of Rolling Stone noted of his "newfound showmanship" that he "puts his guitar down to strut and dance, drops to his knees for solos when he does play, [and] flirts shamelessly with the female fans". In reviewing a 2013 concert, Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian said, "Turner, a shy sort for a frontman, used to seem unnerved by attention and he's coped by adopting a tongue-in-cheek persona that suggests a comic-strip version of a 50s rock star, a Blackpool Buddy Holly: all quiff and quips. It's a curious pose, entertaining but alienating in the same way as some of his more arch lyrics. [...] Turner always holds something back, which makes the band more interesting but somewhat distant." Ben Beaumont-Thomas of The Guardian noted in 2018 that Turner ironically "played with the role" of being a rockstar but simultaneously "can't help but be a real rock star".
By 2012, Arctic Monkeys were based in Los Angeles, with Turner and Helders sharing a house. Arctic Monkeys toured the US as the support act for The Black Keys in early 2012. While they had previously opened for Oasis and Queens of the Stone Age at one-off shows, it was the band's first time to tour as a supporting act. They released "R U Mine?" as a standalone single in preparation for the tour, with Turner's new girlfriend, Arielle Vandenberg, appearing in the music video. Later that year, Arctic Monkeys performed "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and a cover of "Come Together" by The Beatles at the 2012 London Summer Olympics opening ceremony. In early 2013, Turner provided backing vocals for the Queens of the Stone Age song "If I Had a Tail" and played bass guitar on "Get Right", a Miles Kane B-side. Arctic Monkeys headlined Glastonbury Festival for a second time in June.
AM was released in September 2013. Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork said that the album, dealing with "desperate 3 a.m. thoughts", managed to modernise "T. Rex bop, Bee Gees backup vocals, Rolling Stones R&B, and Black Sabbath monster riffage". Phil Mongredien of The Guardian described it as "their most coherent, most satisfying album since their debut": "Turner proves he has not lost his knack for an insightful lyric." Arctic Monkeys promoted the album heavily in the US, in contrast to previous album campaigns where, according to Helders, they had refused to do radio promotion: "We couldn’t even have told you why at the time. Just stubborn teenage thinking." Arctic Monkeys spent 18 months touring AM; they were joined onstage by Josh Homme in both Los Angeles and Austin. Turner briefly reunited with Chung in the summer of 2014, having ended his two-year relationship with Vandenberg earlier that year.
Columbia Records approached Turner about working with Alexandra Savior in 2014, and he co-wrote her debut album, Belladonna of Sadness, in between Arctic Monkeys' touring commitments. Turner and James Ford co-produced the album in 2015, with Turner also playing bass, guitars, keyboards, and synthesisers. An additional song "Risk" was recorded with T Bone Burnett for an episode of the crime drama True Detective. While Turner and Savior performed together in Los Angeles in 2016, the album was not released until April 2017. In reviewing it, Hilary Hughes of Pitchfork remarked: "Turner’s musical ticks are so distinct that they’re instantly recognizable when someone else tries to dress them up as their own." Savior later said the press attention surrounding Turner's involvement was overwhelming: "I'm so grateful for him, but I'm also like, 'Alright, alright!'"
The Last Shadow Puppets released their second album, Everything You've Come to Expect, in April 2016. Turner, Kane and Ford were joined by Zach Dawes of Mini Mansions, with whom Turner had collaborated on the songs "Vertigo" and "I Love You All The Time" in 2015. Owen Pallett again composed the string arrangements, this time working in the studio with the band rather than remotely. According to Turner, the album featured "the most straight-up love letters" of his career, written for American model Taylor Bagley whom he dated from 2016 to 2018. Laura Snapes of Pitchfork detected an air of "misanthropy" in the album. However, she acknowledged that Turner was "no less a gifted lyricist than ever" and described some songs as "totally gorgeous ... the structures fluid and surprising". Alexis Petridis of The Guardian enjoyed Turner's "characteristically sparkling use of language" and "melodic skill". However, he felt the pair's "in-joking" during interviews and Kane's "leery" encounter with a female Spin journalist sullied the album. From March until August 2016, they toured in Europe and North America. Johnny Marr played guitar with the band at two shows, while Turner's father David played saxophone at a Berlin show.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, Arctic Monkeys' sixth album, was released in May 2018. After receiving a Steinway Vertegrand piano as a 30th birthday present from his manager, Turner wrote the space-themed album from the perspective of "a lounge-y character". He recorded demos at home, alone and later with Helders, and shared them with Cook in early 2017. Cook was initially taken-aback by the change in direction but was "very, very excited by what he’d come up with." By mid–2017, the whole band was recording the project, produced by Turner and James Ford, in both Los Angeles and France. They were joined by musicians from the bands Tame Impala, Klaxons, and Mini Mansions. Upon release, Jonah Weiner of Rolling Stone characterised Tranquility Base as "a captivatingly bizarre album about the role of entertainment – the desire to escape into it, and the desire to create it – during periods of societal upheaval and crisis." Alexis Petridis of The Guardian found it "quietly impressive" that the band chose to release the "thrilling, smug, clever and oddly cold album" rather than more crowd-pleasing fare. Jazz Monroe of Pitchfork declared it "a delirious and artful satire directed at the foundations of modern society." The album became the eighth number one album of Turner's career in the UK. The band toured the album from May 2018 to April 2019. Turner began dating French singer Louise Verneuil in mid–2018.
Currently, Alex Turner is 35 years, 8 months and 13 days old. Alex Turner will celebrate 36th birthday on a Thursday 6th of January 2022.
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