Ball, Britain's leading musical star, has starred on Broadway and dominated
the marquees on many of the leading West End shows for more than two decades.
A proven and varied talent, Michael won acclaim and the hearts of the
public with his numerous performances on stage, film and television. All
Michael's twelve solo albums have held commanding positions in the UK
charts, all rapidly going gold within weeks of their release. In July
1999 Michael was presented with the Theatregoers Club of Great Britain's
award for Most Popular Musical Actor over the last 21 years.
Michael's theatre career to date boasts roles such as Frederic in The
Pirates of Penzance; Marius in Cameron Mackintosh and the Royal Shakespeare
Company's production of Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre in London;
Raoul in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's
Theatre in London; Alex in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love at the
Prince of Wales Theatre, London and on Broadway; and Giorgio in Stephen
Sondheim's musical Passion at the Queen's Theatre, London; Caractucus
Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and Count Fosco
in both the London and Broadway productions.
In 1992 Michael represented Great Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest.
His entry One Step Out of Time reached an audience of over 600 million
worldwide, soaring to Number One in the UK singles chart, a position his
debut album Michael Ball swiftly took in the album chart. His success
as a solo artist lead to a sell out national tour concluding at the London
Palladium, and performances in front of HM The Queen at both Her Majesty's
40th Anniversary Gala and The Royal Variety Show.
career developed further in 1993 when, taking the role of Tony, he made
a recording of West Side Story with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
He released his second album Always, which entered the UK charts at number
three and remained in the top 20 for 10 weeks. The album was supported
by a 30 date national tour, once again playing to capacity houses, and
at Christmas he conceived and directed his own Christmas Special, performing
in major regional theatre and in London. It was during 1993 that Michael
sang with Kiri Te Kanawa in front of a capacity audience at Birmingham's
National Indoor Arena, and he launched his television show Michael Ball.
Six episodes were recorded with Carlton Television, and his guests included
the Bee Gees, Montserrat Caballe, the late Ray Charles, Gloria Estefan,
Elaine Paige, Cliff Richard, Take That, Dionne Warwick and the late Tammy
1994 saw the release of Michael's third album One Careful Owner, which
swiftly went Gold. Michael narrated The Cameron Mackintosh Story for BBC
Radio 2, as well as guest DJ for their prime time show. The success of
Michael Ball the television show lead to the recording of a second series,
which again attracted major stars including the late Larry Adler, James
Brown and Robert Palmer, Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett, Cher, Joe Cocker,
Marcella Detroit, D-Ream, Erasure, Darryl Hall, EmyLou Harris, Lulu, George
Martin. Michael concluded a successful year with yet another sell out
national tour, and the release of The Best of Michael Ball, which gave
Michael his 4th Gold Disc in 3 years.
1995 was taken up with one off performances, including top billing in
three major open air concerts in Exeter, Woburn Abbey and at Ludlow Castle
with the BBC Big Band. He sung at the opening ceremonies of the European
Youth Olympics in Bath and the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham. He also
performed for HM The Queen at the VE Day 50th Anniversary Concert in Hyde
Park. He sang a duet with Elaine Paige at the BBC Radio Music Live '95
Concert in Birmingham and demand was such that he also performed concerts
in Jersey, the Ulster Hall in Belfast and the Harrogate International
Centre. Michael was invited to recreate the role of Marius for the 10th
Anniversary Gala Concert of Les Miserables at the Royal Albert Hall. Michael
released The Rose, a charity single raising money for ROC (Research into
Ovarian Cancer), and as a founder member of the charity he continues to
be heavily involved with their work. Michael ended the year starring in
Tony Palmer's film England, My England, a Channel 4 Films production in
which he played Henry Purcell, and with a one hour Michael Ball Christmas
Special for Carlton Television with guest stars Dusty Springfield and
1996 began with the release of his fifth album, First Love, which went
straight into the UK charts at number 4, going Gold soon after, and saw
his return to the stage starring in Stephen Sondheim's musical Passion
at the Queen's Theatre, London. In the autumn he left the production to
prepare his new album, Michael Ball - The Musicals, which was released
in November to coincide with his 4th national sell out tour. The year
ended with Michael topping the bill at the Joy to the World Christmas
Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, subsequently televised by the BBC.
1997 saw the release of Michael's video The Musicals and More...entering
the UK video charts at number one. It remained in the top 5 for over 9
weeks, and the top 20 for over a year. Michael enjoyed a busy summer with
an appearance at a major event in St Louis, USA. During '97 he returned
to the television screen when he was asked to launch the Wednesday Lottery
Show on BBC1, and guest present the National Lottery Live Show for the
BBC during July. His performances included two open air concerts - one
at Bedford Park in North Devon, and top billing for Proms in the Park,
a concert held in Hyde Park in front of 35,000 people for the Last Night
of the Proms. Following huge demand from the public, he ended the year
with a 5th national sell out tour named Nothing But The Best. He appeared
in the 1997 Royal Variety Performance on the occasion of HM The Queen's
Golden Wedding Anniversary, and as guest of honour at the Hallelujah Christmas
Concert in Birmingham.
In the early part of 1998, Michael performed and recorded three shows
for the BBC at St David's Hall, Cardiff, with special guests Lesley Garrett,
Ronan Keating and Martine McCutcheon. This was televised nationally during
the summer in an hour long special entitled An Evening with Michael Ball.
Due to Michael's huge contribution to the success of Andrew Lloyd Webber's
and Cameron Mackintosh's musicals, he was asked to appear at both of their
50th birthday celebrations. Lloyd Webber's evening was recorded for video
and was released internationally from which Michael received many great
reviews. During the summer he enjoyed performing at a selection of sell
out open air festivals such as the Chelmsford Spectacular and the Liverpool
Summer Pops. 1998 ended with a third hugely successful concert for his
charity R.O.C, and the promotion of his 7th solo album entitled The Movies,
which enjoys Platinum status with over 500,000 sales in the UK.
1999 had an exceptional beginning as Michael was named the Variety Club
of Great Britain's Recording Artiste for 1998. This was in recognition
of Michael's album The Movies, which gained Platinum status only 6 weeks
after its release. Having begun his career as a musical actor, Michael
was honoured at being regarded as a recording artist, and this has opened
out his audience base even further. His 6th UK tour went on sale at the
close of 1998 and sold out within weeks. During April and May on the tour
he entertained and delighted 74,527 people at 25 concerts. Not satisfied
with such a gruelling tour Michael went onto perform a concert in Amsterdam,
two shows at the Liverpool Pops Festival and open air concerts at Castle
Howard, Glamis Castle and Longleat House. In July, the Theatregoers Club
of Great Britain voted Michael the Most Popular Musical Actor over the
last 21 years. He also performed private shows for The Prince's Trust
in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales at Highgrove and for HRH The
Duke of Edinburgh at the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Night. To conclude the
summer season, Michael performed 4 sell out shows in Ireland. Whilst putting
the finishing touches to his Live at the Royal Albert Hall video and album,
as well as a Christmas album, he was involved in the Rugby World Cup opening
and closing ceremonies during October. The launch of the live video and
CD saw the year end on a high. His video went straight in at number one,
and has since gone Platinum, with over 140,000 sales in the UK, whilst
his album achieved Gold status within 3 weeks of going on sale. Michael
saw in the millennium with an outdoor concert in Kuala Lumpur.
As soon as the new millennium began, Michael announced his 7th UK tour.
The 27 date tour practically sold out within 6 weeks of going on sale.
The majority of the year was spent planning and developing his new album
titled This Time....It's Personal, which was released in October. The
album includes covers of songs that are personal to him, and for the first
time it includes material written by him. In July, whilst completing the
album, PBS in the USA asked Michael to do a whistle stop promotional tour
as they wished to show his Live at the Royal Albert Hall video as part
of their August pledge drive. The reaction was overwhelming, with the
video being shown across 30 states and he left with fans demanding more.
Whilst in the US, Michael confirmed that along with the album, he would
be recording in September a one off performance to an intimate audience
of 300 at the Cafe de Paris in the heart of London's West End. The concert
comprised a selection of songs from the new album as well as new and old
favourites, and was released alongside the album in October. The year
ended with Michael performing to 75,000 people on his 7th sell out UK
tour, and a Gold disc for his album This Time....It's Personal.
In early March 2001 Michael was able to turn a long-held career dream
into reality by appearing in concert in Australia. On the release of his
latest Gold selling album there, Michael flew to Sydney for a 'one night
only' concert, his first performance for an Australian audience. The Australian's
welcome was one of the best he has ever experienced. Upon his return to
the UK, Michael was planning and recording Centre Stage, a compilation
of songs from the musical theatre due for release in September, and he
also managed to perform a number of sell out concerts throughout the UK.
September saw Michael returning to his roots when he was invited to appear
at the Donmar Warehouse for two weeks only as part of the Divas at the
Donmar season. This thrilling challenge gave Michael the opportunity to
explore areas of the musical stage in a new concept show that embraced
many songs that Michael had not sung before. His album Centre Stage was
released during this time and went to Gold within 7 weeks. The year ended
with a video release of his Donmar show titled Alone Together, along with
a sold out UK tour in December.
2002 began with Michael hard at work in rehearsal for the exciting new
production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, which opened
in April with Michael taking the lead role of Caractucus Potts.
In 2003, after completing a 16 month run in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Michael
recorded a new album, “A Love Story” and subsequently undertook
a major concert tour of the UK. The year finished with a Gala Christmas
Concert at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
In March 2004, Michael undertook a highly successful concert tour of Australia,
including a sell out at Sydney Opera House. In April 2004 Michael played
opposite Petula Clark in BBC Radio 2's live concert production of Sunset
Boulevard recorded at Cork Opera House, prior to making his American solo
concert debut in Salt Lake City, Utah in May. Later in the year, Michael
performed in various outdoor concerts and participated in the Theatre
Royal Haymarket's "Singular Sensations" season by reprising
his Alone Together performance, slight reworked for the different setting.
Towards the end of 2004 Michael released "Love Changes Everything
- The Essential Michael Ball", a double CD containing three previously
unreleased tracks including the self-penned "That's What Love Is
For". The DVD/Video "Live in London" which had been recorded
at the Hammersmith Apollo the previous year was also released in November.
To round off the year Michael performed twice for members of the royal
family, when he appeared in a special version of "Les Miserables"
at Windsor Castle, and then at the opening celebrations of the new Wales
Michael continued his hectic schedule in 2005, stepping into the role
of Count Fosco in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Woman In White" in
London, after only 10 days to learn the part, and then undertaking a full
UK tour in May/June. He then left the UK for New York, where he played
the role of Reginald Bunthorne in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience"
for the New York City Opera. He then went on to reprise the role of Count
Fosco for the Broadway production of "Woman In White". Between
“Patience” and “Woman in White” Michael also managed
to record his 11th, and one of his most successful, solo albums “Music”.
After Michael returned
from New York at the beginning of 2006, he went straight into the studio
to record his 12th solo album, “One Voice” ready for release
in the autumn. During the summer months he delighted audiences at several
open-air venues, including Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire, Oakley Hall
in Basingstoke, Bath Recreation Ground where he shared the bill with Elaine
Paige, and Southport. He also performed at the “Proms In The Park”
in Swansea, at the Hackney Empire in a tribute to the late Anthony Newley
and at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as a guest of Petula Clark. The end
of the year was particularly busy with a round of appearances to promote
not only the new album but a new DVD “The Best of Michael Ball –
Live”. He also managed to find time to stand in for Johnnie Walker
on his Radio 2 programme on a Sunday evening, something Michael particularly
enjoyed doing. His last TV appearance of the year was to push the button
on the Lottery Show.
2007 starts with Michael being a judge on the second series of “Soapstar
Superstar”. He promises to be fair and honest with his opinions!
From mid March until mid April Michael will undertake a full UK tour taking
in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. He will then go into rehearsals
for the role of Hajj the poet in the English National Opera’s production
of “Kismet”, another new venture for Michael. This will take
us through to the middle of July, so Michael already has the first half
of the year pretty well sown up!