Born August 20, 1948 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, Robert Plant would become the epitome of the hard rock and heavy metal lead singer. As a member of the most influential hard rock band of all time, Led Zeppelin, Plant would set the standard that all rock singers would desire to emulate.
In the mid 60's, Plant recorded with bands such as Listen and Band Of Joy. He was discovered in 1968 by Jimmy Page and future Zeppelin manager Peter Grant to join what was at that time called The New Yardbirds. This band changed its name when Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, said they would crash like a lead balloon.
Led Zeppelin put out their first album in 1969, Led Zeppelin I, and from the first notes off Good Times, Bad Times, Plant for ever shook the rock world's proverbial tree. From his wailing on Dazed and Confused to his screams on Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, history had been made.
On November 9th, 1969, Plant married his first wife, Maureen, shortly before the release of their second album, Led Zeppelin II.
Contrary to Moon's prediction, Zeppelin exploded and enjoyed incredible success. They focused heavily on touring and recording, and by 1975 had accumulated 6 albums and were touring regularly. However, in August, Robert and Maureen got in a car accident that left Robert wheel chair bound. This let Zeppelin relax to record their 7th album, Presence. During the spring of 1977, Plant's son died of a stomach infection, causing Zeppelin to stop touring once again.
Led Zeppelin was stopped for good in 1980, when drummer John Bonham died after a drinking binge on September 25th. The official breakup was anounced on December 4th of the same year.
Shortly thereafter, Plant began work on on his first solo album, Pictures at Eleven, which would be released on June 28th, 1982. It debuted at #2 on the UK charts and would featured Burning Down One Side, which would be the song for his first video. This album was followed by 1983's Principle of Moments which is particularly noteworthy because Phil Collins (then with Genesis) played the drums on it.
In 1984, Plant organized a 50's rock "supergroup" called the Honeydrippers, which boasted such members as Nile Rodgers, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. The band had a huge hit with Sea Of Love.
In 1985, Plant reunited with John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page as well as drummers Phil Collins and Tony Thompson (from Power Station) at Bob Geldof's much famed Live Aid concert. However, his 1985 release Shaken 'n' Stirred garnered little attention and he took a little time off.
In 1987, Jimmy Page had him record The Only One, a track that that would appear on Jimmy's 1988 album, Outrider. This got Plant back into the swing and he formed a new band and recorded his most critically acclaimed solo effort, Now and Zen in 1988. Tall Cool One was an extreme success.
Plant followed with 2 more solo albums, 1990's Manic Nirvana and 1993's Fate of Nations, but neither one recaptured much of Plant's earlier success. He finally got back in the mainstream again after meeting up with Page to work on 1994's Unledded No Quarter Project, which featured an MTV special. A new generation was introduced to Led Zeppelin's classics.
Plant and Page met up again in 1995 to play with John Paul Jones, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, and Jason Bonham, to perform at Zeppelin's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The pair set off touring and also released a second "Unledded" album in 1998, Walking Into Clarksdale, which was a critical flop. Plant and Page have since separated, although more tours are always rumored to be in the works.
Plant is given writing credits on the following Led Zeppelin songs:
Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin IV/Zoso/Runes
Houses of the Holy
In Through the Out Door
Plant's solo recordings:
This node was posted on Robert Plant's 53rd birthday.
stupot corrected my information about Plant's birthplace and added that Plant "grew up in Kidderminster. He still lives just down the road in Shatterford."