Marilyn was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He grew up in Hertfordshire, England as part of a musical family and was influenced by the songs of Barbra Streisand, Motown and gospel. He became friends with Boy George during his teenage years and began experimenting with his sexuality and image, adopting the blonde hair, makeup and movements of his idol Marilyn Monroe, hence his stage name Marilyn. Coincidentally Monroe died the same year Peter Robinson was born.
While Boy George went on to form Culture Club in 1981 and secure a recording deal with at first with Epic Records, then Virgin Records, Marilyn was still scouting for a recording contract. He teamed up with songwriter and pop entrepreneur Paul Caplin, with whom he co-wrote Calling Your Name, Cry and Be Free, You Don't Love Me and other songs. At this point Culture Club had made a commercial impact with their debut album, and record companies were seriously looking for artists with a similar cross-dressing image. Marilyn was signed to Phonogram Records in 1983.
Marilyn released Calling Your Name in November 1983. The song was an immediate smash, reaching #4 on the UK charts, #3 in Australia,and #1 in Japan. The lyrics to the song are reportedly based on an argument Marilyn had with Boy George. He also released Cry and Be Free and You Don't Love Me in 1984, with varying success. During a controversial promotional visit to Australia, Marilyn was involved in a fight in a Sydney pub and left the country with a black eye, calling Australians "animals". In November 1984, he recorded the song and video to "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with other musicians under the title Band Aid.
A moderately successful debut album Despite Straight Lines was released in June 1985, featuring his three previous hits and a new single, "Baby U Left Me (In The Cold), which failed to chart in the UK but was a Top 40 hit in Australia.
Despite the initial collaborations between Boy George and Marilyn, the friendship became increasingly strained due to fame and drug-related problems. On July 9, 1986, Marilyn along with Boy George's brother Kevin O'Dowd were sentenced at Marylebone Magistrates Court on a charge of possessing heroin. The resultant media fallout of Marilyn's drug addiction and disputes with Boy George seriously damaged his public career. While attempting to record a follow-up album to Despite Straight Lines with famed producer Don Was in Detroit, Michigan, with little record company support, Marilyn's finances were drained to the point of having to work regular jobs outside of music. He briefly retired from the industry until 2001, when he made a series of successful Club PA's. He is still in demand for interviews and TV appearances.
- Despite Straight Lines (1985)
- Official Marilyn website
- Knitting Circle entry
- Third Eye Mazweb fanpage
- Yahoo! mailing list Maz It Out
- Bombshell - The Unofficial Marilyn Webpage
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Marilyn (singer). The list of authors can be seen in the . As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.|