|Born on: 19.08.1945
Ian Gillan (born 19 August 1945 in Hounslow, London), is an English rock music vocalist best known as the lead singer for Deep Purple. During his career Gillan had a year-long stint as the vocalist for Black Sabbath and sang the role of Jesus Christ in the original recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. Gillan is considered to be one of the foremost rock vocalists, who introduced into rock music the vocal belting technique. In his prime he possessed a wide vocal range. His work with Deep Purple is particularly recognisable for its occasional high-pitched screams and falsettos.
Gillan was born at Chiswick Maternity Hospital, Hounslow, London, England in a family of Scottish descent (his father was from the Govan area of Glasgow) He sang in various constellations and appeared under a variety of different pseudonyms during the early years, eg. Garth Rockett, Jess Thunder, Jess Gillan, and probably others as well.
He was the lead vocalist in the band Episode Six. After Deep Purple members Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore saw one of his performances with the band, he was later approached to replace Rod Evans in Deep Purple.
Gillan was a member of Deep Purple from 1969 through to 1973, appearing on such now-classic Deep Purple albums as In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and Who Do We Think We Are. During these years, he also was the voice of Jesus on the original 1970 album recording of Jesus Christ Superstar. He was offered the lead role in the 1973 film adaptation. Ian demanded not only to be paid for his role in the movie but insisted, without the consent of his manager, that the entire band be paid because filming would conflict with a scheduled tour. The producers declined and Ian continued on in the band.
Gillan was room-mates with Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, and in a 2006 interview Gillan said Blackmore "turned into a weird guy and the day he walked out of the tour was the day the clouds disappeared and the day the sunshine came out and we haven't looked back since." He added that "there are certain personal issues that I have with Ritchie, which means that I will never speak to him again. Nothing I'm going to discuss publicly, but deeply personal stuff."
He rejoined a reunited Deep Purple in early 1984, recording the highly-acclaimed comeback album Perfect Strangers. He was sacked in 1989, but rejoined in 1992 to record the album The Battle Rages On. During the 1993 tour for this album, Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple for good. The rest of Deep Purple carried on, eventually replacing Blackmore with Steve Morse, and Gillan remains in the band to the present day.