Gavin McGregor Rossdale (born 30 October 1965) is an English musician and actor, known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Bush. Following Bush's separation in 2002, which lasted for eight years, he was the lead singer and guitarist for Institute, and later began a solo career. When performing solo, Rossdale plays songs from his musical libraries. He was ranked 75th in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader. In 2013 Rossdale received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement.
Early Life (1967–1992)
Rossdale was born in Kilburn, London, the son of Barbara Stephan (née Bowie) and Douglas Rossdale, a doctor. His mother was born in Scotland and his father's parents were of Russian Jewish descent, the family's surname originally being Rosenthal. His parents divorced when he was eleven years old, and he was raised primarily by his father and aunt. His mother remarried and moved to Tampa, Florida. Rossdale has a younger sister, Soraya, and an elder one, Lorraine. Rossdale's half sister, Georgina Rossdale-Smith, is a doctor.
Rossdale learned to play bass guitar after hanging out with his sister Lorraine's boyfriend, who was in a band called The Nobodyz, but he switched to rhythm guitar. At 17, he left Westminster School, and formed a band called Midnight, which produced a couple of singles and many publicity photos. In 1991, Rossdale moved to Los Angeles for 6 months, lived where he could, and took whatever part-time jobs were available, including production assistant on video shoots. He spent some time in NYC before returning to England where he came into contact with future manager Dave Dorrell (MARRS), whom he had previously met in LA. In 1992, Rossdale formed Future Primitive, whose original line-up included screenwriter Sacha Gervasi, who left to pursue a film-making career. The band changed its name to Bush in the summer of 1994 and released the promo Sixteen Stone.
Rossdale has been the lead singer/songwriter for the British post-grunge rock band Bush since its inception. Their first album, Sixteen Stone (1994), was a huge commercial success. Almost overnight, Bush went from playing small pubs in London to headlining arenas in the US, the result of extensive, non-stop touring. However, some critics labelled them as an inferior derivative of bands such as Nirvana and Pixies, and this criticism followed them throughout their career as a band. In particular, Rossdale's forced, raspy singing voice and random, stream of consciousness-style lyrics were dismissed by some as an imitation of Nirvana's lead singer, Kurt Cobain. Although the band reached superstar status in the US, they failed to have much impact in the UK, which at the time was rather preoccupied with Britpop. The sole exception to this was their single "Swallowed", which reached Number 7 on the UK charts. A change in record labels, management and an extended hiatus did not bode well for the band, who unofficially split in 2002.
Bush's albums include the aforementioned Sixteen Stone, Razorblade Suitcase, Deconstructed, The Science of Things, and Golden State, all albums had success in terms of albums sales, which led Bush to be one of the best selling rock groups to come out of the nineties.
Post-Bush projects (2002–2009)
Rossdale sang a song entitled "Adrenaline" for the soundtrack of the movie xXx, which features it during the end credits. This song was also the official theme song for WWE's Unforgiven pay-per-view event in September 2002 and also was The Undertaker's Desire/Tribute theme of that same year. He also guest appeared for Blue Man Group's "The Current" and is featured in its video. This song was used in the ending credits of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
In 2004, after Bush had been on hiatus for two years, Rossdale formed Institute. Their album, Distort Yourself, released on 13 September 2005 achieved moderate success and the single "Bullet Proof Skin" was used in the motion picture Stealth. In an interview published in November 2008, Rossdale noted that the Institute record was, "for all intents and purposes, a solo record. It was just a bad marketing decision to call it something else". Institute broke up in 2006, after one album.
In 2007, Rossdale announced on his website that he was working on new music for a solo album. He wrote that he was very happy with the sound of the album, citing he went back to his roots with Bush. Rossdale's single, "Can't Stop the World," is the introduction theme to Fox's programme, Drive. That year, he covered John Lennon's "Mind Games" for the album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Later that year, he finished recording his first solo record titled Wanderlust, released 3 June 2008. Gwen Stefani, Rossdale's wife, sings background vocals on the track "Can't Stop The World", with other vocalists on the album including Shirley Manson, Katy Perry and Dave Stewart Bush and Institute guitarist Chris Traynor also played on the album. He also made a guest appearance on the DT8 Project album Perfect World, taking lead vocals and co-writing the track Falling.
On 1 April 2008 the first single from WANDERlust, "Love Remains The Same", was released through digital retailers. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at Number 76, rising to 27 in October 2008, giving Rossdale his first Top 40 hit since the days when he fronted the post-grunge band Bush. Rossdale is planning a full-scale solo tour in Spring 2009. Of the album's title, Rossdale said, "I just liked it because it's kind of sexy enough, it's powerful, it's one word. Wanderlust sums up that desire for music and for singing and performing and this life."
Rossdale also provides the vocals for the Apocalyptica song "End of Me," which is the lead single from their latest album 7th Symphony.
Bush reunion (2010–present)
On 21 June 2010, it was announced that Bush would return and planned to release a new album, The Sea of Memories, in the autumn of 2011. It was released on 13 September 2011.
Rossdale was also a judge for the 10th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers. In 2013, Rossdale was awarded in the Ivor Novello Awards, for International Achievement in Songwriting, which was presented to him by Chris Martin.
Rossdale appeared in the film Constantine (2005) playing the villain Balthazar. He has also appeared in the films Zoolander (2001), Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2004), Little Black Book (2004), the Game of Their Lives (2005), How to Rob a Bank (2008), and the Bling Ring (2013). Additionally, he appeared in the crime drama television series Criminal Minds in the episode "The Performer" (2009), portraying a rock star named Paul Davies who takes a vampire-like alter-ego named Dante whose music is involved in a string of exsanguination murders. Rossdale has also appeared in the eighth episode of season 5 of Burn Notice, and most-recently as Johnny Moreau in the 100th episode of Hawaii Five-0 in November 2014.
In 1995, Rossdale met Gwen Stefani, lead singer of the ska punk band No Doubt, when Bush and No Doubt were on tour. The two married in 2002. In 2005, on the radio show Loveline, Rossdale said that he and Stefani preferred to keep their relationship entirely out of the media because he grew up in a chaotic home and that having a stable environment for his family was important to him.
Rossdale has four children:
On 26 May 2006, Rossdale and Stefani had a son, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. On 21 August 2008, Stefani gave birth to the couple's second son, Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale, in Los Angeles. The couple's third son, Apollo Bowie Flynn Rossdale, was born on 28 February 2014.
In 2004, a paternity test revealed that Rossdale was the father of Pearl Lowe's daughter, Daisy Lowe (born 1989); Rossdale and Pearl Lowe had had a brief relationship and Rossdale had been Daisy's godfather. Rossdale subsequently cut off all contact with his teenage daughter and her mother, but in 2009 several websites published photos of Daisy walking with Kingston on a London pavement. Both Daisy and Rossdale said in 2010 interviews that their relationship is good.
In his 1995 autobiography Take It Like A Man, Boy George wrote that in the 1980s Rossdale had an affair with the British singer Peter Robinson, a.k.a. Marilyn. In a 1996 interview for Rolling Stone, Rossdale responded: "That's George's take – he doesn't know me. There's a queue of people going to their lawyers about stuff in his book. I hope he manages to sell some books by putting my name in there." Elsewhere both Rossdale and Marilyn initially denied the story. Then in 2009, Marilyn confirmed it and said they had been "together five years" in the 1980s; in 2010, Rossdale said it had been an experimentation and "part of growing up". Marilyn said, "Gavin and Gwen are perfect for each other, but he was the love of my life."
Rossdale and Stefani have homes in Primrose Hill (London), and Los Angeles (California). Rossdale is an avid tennis player. Rossdale and Stefani are also friends of tennis players Lindsay Davenport and Roger Federer – often seen supporting him at tournaments. At the 2010 Farmers Classic in Los Angeles, he teamed up with Michael Chang, playing against Jim Courier and comedian Jon Lovitz.