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Shaun Ryder

For the British water polo player, see Sean Ryder (water polo).

Shaun Ryder
Ryder lighting a cigarette at the 2007 Coachella Music Festival.
Background information
Birth name Shaun William Ryder
Also known as X
Born (1962-08-23) 23 August 1962 (age 53)
Little Hulton, Worsley, Lancashire, England
Genres Alternative rock, Madchester, baggy, alternative dance, electronica, Britpop
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, actor, television personality, author, columnist
Instruments Vocals, saxophone, guitar, piano, bass
Years active 1980–present
Labels Factory
Associated acts Bez, Happy Mondays, Black Grape, Gorillaz

Shaun William George Ryder (born 23 August 1962)[1] is an English musician, singer-songwriter, actor, television personality, author and newspaper columnist. Born in Little Hulton, Worsley, Lancashire, he is best known as the lead singer of the Happy Mondays and Black Grape, as well being as the runner-up of the tenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.[2]

Happy Mondays era


As the singer for the Happy Mondays, Ryder's "often witty lyrics are the stuff of legend".[3] Tony Wilson is known for having compared Ryder's lyricism to the work of W.B. Yeats.[3][4] Ryder's struggle with drugs led to the break-up of the Happy Mondays in 1992. The film 24 Hour Party People featured the (semi-fictional) story of Shaun Ryder's youth and the life of the Happy Mondays whilst signed with Factory Records in the late '80s and early '90s. In the film Ryder is portrayed by Danny Cunningham.

Black Grape era


Despite rumours of how his substance abuse had finally caught up with him, Ryder returned to the spotlight in 1995 with his new project, Black Grape,[5] an immediate short-term success whose first release, It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah, topped the British album chart for a week.[6] However, the follow-up album, Stupid Stupid Stupid, did not achieve the same critical or commercial success, and the group split in 1998.

Newspaper column and television career


Ryder wrote a column for the Daily Sport newspaper in which he gave his own take on current news events and celebrity goings-on.[7] It was in this column that Ryder famously announced his intention to reform Happy Mondays before even making any fellow former members aware of this. He famously would state the height of a famous person, instead of their age, as is standard in the media (i.e. "Jeremy Irons [6'2"]", instead of "Jeremy Irons [64]").

Ryder has taken part in two reformations of Happy Mondays (1999–2000 and 2004–) and released a solo album, Amateur Night in the Big Top, to mixed critical acclaim. He was involved in litigation with former Black Grape management,[8] which he eventually lost.

In 2000 following the Big Day Out Festival in Australia with Happy Mondays, Ryder stayed on in Perth, Western Australia with Pete Carroll who had a label called Offworld Sounds. While in Perth he recorded Amateur Night in the Big Top, an album of punk electronica with Carroll, Shane Norton, Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire and Lucky Oceans from American country band Asleep at the Wheel.[9] UnCut called it, "exhilarating stuff. Another wildly implausible Ryder comeback" while Ministry of Sound said it was "A remarkable album. The most vitriolic lyrics this side of Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man" and the Sex Pistols "EMI". The album was recorded quickly during a few late night sessions in Carroll's garage studio during an extremely hot Perth summer. The album was subsequently released on Offworld Sounds.

In 2004, the Mondays reunited to play a comeback gig called "Get Loaded in the Park" on Clapham Common with the only original members being Bez, Shaun Ryder and Gaz Whelan. Two years later they released the single "Playground Superstar", used in the football film Goal, which was released after Bez had won Celebrity Big Brother.[10]

In 2004, Ryder landed the job of a voice actor in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in which he played Maccer, a washed-up, self-abusing musician who was planning a major comeback tour in 1992.[11]

In 2007 Happy Mondays produced yet another album, Uncle Dysfunktional.[12] In 2009 he made a cameo appearance (Ryder later revealed that it was also a non-speaking role) as himself in Channel 4 drama Shameless.[13]

In 2010, he supported the Charlatans on a UK tour, as well as one off headline show at the Assembly, Leamington Spa.

Ryder was a contestant on the tenth series of ITV's reality game show I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, where he finished second behind Stacey Solomon. In 2011, he published his autobiography, Twisting My Melon.[14]

In January 2011, Ryder appeared on the first series of the ITV programme That Sunday Night Show,[15] and again on the second series in September 2011.[16]

His autobiography Twisting My Melon[17] has been optioned by Granada Television and Bafta winning writer Danny Brocklehurst has been enlisted to write the screenplay.

In 2013, Ryder starred in a new television show called Shaun Ryder on UFOs on History channel.[18] Ryder reveals a lifelong interest in UFOs and that he has personally encountered space aliens, "It's not that I want to believe – it's impossible not to," he said.[18]


Ryder appeared on British tenor Russell Watson's 2001 debut album The Voice, lending his vocals to a cover version of the Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé song "Barcelona".[19] Watson claimed on Never Mind the Buzzcocks that he recorded some of Ryder's vocals himself.

In 2005, he collaborated with Gorillaz on "DARE", a song on their Demon Days album. In the music video, he is featured as a large disembodied head kept alive through a series of tubes and electronic wires, living in animated band member Noodle's closet.[20] It was stated by Chris Evans at the 2006 Brit Awards that the song was originally called "It's There", but was changed as Ryder's thick Mancunian accent made him pronounce the word "there" as "dare".

In 1996, Ryder collaborated with Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz on No Talking, Just Head. He collaborated with Intastella in 1993 and appeared on Peter Kay's "Is This the Way to Amarillo?" charity music video. He collaborated with fellow I'm a Celebrity contestant Stacey Solomon at the 2011 National Television Awards.[21] In November 2011, he played saxophone onstage at the Barbican in York as a special guest in Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra for the Sky television series First Love. He played on "Tuxedo Junction" by Glenn Miller after six weeks' tuition by jazz musician Soweto Kinch.


Happy Mondays

Black Grape



  • 2010 – Shaun William Ryder XXX: 30 Years of Bellyaching


Happy Mondays

  • 1986 – Freaky Dancing
  • 1986 – Tart Tart
  • 1987 – 24 Hour Party People
  • 1988 – Performance
  • 1989 – Clap Your Hands
  • 1989 – Hallelujah (MacColl Mix)
  • 1989 – Hallelujah (Club Mix)
  • 1989 – Lazyitis
  • 1989 – Wrote For Luck (Vince Clark Mix)
  • 1989 – Wrote For Luck (Dark Version)
  • 1989 – Wrote For Luck (Kids Version)
  • 1990 – Kinky Afro
  • 1990 – Step on (1st Version)
  • 1990 – Step on (2nd Version)
  • 1990 – Bob's Yer Uncle
  • 1991 – Judge Fudge
  • 1991 – Stayin' Alive
  • 1991 – Loose Fit
  • 1992 – Stinkin' Thinkin'
  • 1992 – Sunshine and Love
  • 1999 – The Boys Are Back in Town
  • 2004 – Playground Superstar
  • 2007 – Uncle Dysfunktional
  • 2007 – Jellybean

Black Grape

  • 1995 – In the Name of the Father
  • 1995 – Kelly's Heroes (Rob-Job Version)
  • 1995 – Kelly's Heroes (Celebrities Version)
  • 1995 – Reverend Black Grape
  • 1996 – England's Irie
  • 1997 – Get Higher
  • 1997 – Fat Neck
  • 1998 – Marbles


  • 1996 – Don't Take My Kindness for Weakness (with the Heads)
  • 2001 – Barcelona (with Russell Watson)
  • 2003 – Scooter Girl
  • 2005 – Dare (with the Gorillaz)
  • 2005 – Is This the Way to Amarillo?


  • NME Single of the Year 1996 – Black Grape's "Reverend Black Grape"
  • Godlike Genius – NME Awards 2000
  • John Peel Music Innovation Award (for the Gorillaz) – Shockwaves NME Awards 2006


  1. ^ Michael Sutton. "Shaun Ryder Biography". All Music Guide. Rogue Digital, LLC. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Shaun Ryder marks 'I'm A Celebrity...' exit by announcing UK gigs" (NEWS ARTICLE). NME. IPC MEDIA. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Shaun Ryder's Top 10 Craziest Moments". 3 March 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Showbiz, Bang (31 January 2011). "Shaun Ryder's lyrical confusion" (NEWS ARTICLE). The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Happy Mondays". The Guardian home (Guardian News and Media Limited). 13 August 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Shaun Ryder". Star Pulse. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Shaun Ryder solo show, career spanning set for FAC 251" (NEWS ARTICLE). Clash Music News. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Interview: Shaun Ryder*1". Big Issue in the North. expletive undeleted. July 2003. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Ted Kessler (20 June 2003). "'I look all right, don't I?'" (NEWS ARTICLE). The Guardian home (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Interview: Shaun Ryder*2". City Life. expletive undeleted. November 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Shaun Ryder". Artist. Ltd. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Never Mind The Dysfunktional Uncle... Here's the Happy Mondays.". The Salford Star. The Salford Star. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Shaun Ryder to make cameo appearance in 'Shameless' tonight (February 10)". NME. IPC MEDIA. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  14. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (15 September 2011). "'Shaun Ryder in the Happy Mondays wasn't me. He was a caricature'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 16 September 2011. He has just written his autobiography and it has forced him to confront many uncomfortable aspects of his life. 
  15. ^ "That Sunday Night Show, episodes guide (season 1)". British Comedy Guide. British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "That Sunday Night Show, episodes, season 2". The British Comedy Guide. The British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Steve Jelbert (18 September 2011). "Twisting My Melon: The Autobiography, By Shaun Ryder" (ARTICLE (REVIEW)). The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  18. ^ a b Simon Hattenstone (1 November 2013). "Shaun Ryder on UFOs: 'It's not that I want to believe – it's impossible not to'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "HAPPY MONDAYS – celebrating the baggy kings of Madchester". Pride of Manchester. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  20. ^ Miranda Sawyer (25 February 2007). "It's great when you're straight" (NEWS ARTICLE). The Observer (2012 Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "Stacey Solomon and Shaun Ryder to open NTAs". Bang Showbiz. The List Ltd. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 


  • Middles, Mick (1997). Shaun Ryder – Happy Mondays, Black Grape & Other Traumas. Independent Music Press. ISBN 1-897783-11-6. 
  • Verrico, Lisa (1998). High Life 'N' Low Down Dirty – The Thrills and Spills of Shaun Ryder. Ebury Press. ISBN 0-09-185419-9. 
  • Middles, Mick (1998). Shaun Ryder... In His Own Words. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-6815-2. 
  • Bez (1998). Freaky Dancin' – Me and the Mondays. Pan. ISBN 0-330-48197-5. 
  • Haslam, Dave (1999). Manchester, England. 4th Estate. ISBN 1-84115-146-7. 
  • Wilson, Tony (2002). 24 Hour Party People – What The Sleeve Notes Never Tell You. Channel 4 Books. ISBN 0-7522-2025-X. 
  • Warburton, John and Ryder, Shaun (2003). Hallelujah!: The Extraordinary Story of Shaun Ryder and "Happy Mondays". Virgin Books. ISBN 1-4053-1031-6. 
  • Ryder, Shaun (2011). Twisting my Melon- the Autobiography. FSC. 

External links

Template:Happy Mondays

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