Neil Tennant born 10 July 1954
Neil Francis Tennant (born in North Shields, Tyne and Wear, England) is an English musician, who, with his colleague Chris Lowe, makes up the successful pop duo, Pet Shop Boys.
As a child, Neil attended St Cuthbert's Grammar School, an all-boys' Catholic school in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. (Sting went to the same school.) Neil's songs This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave and It's A Sin refer to his early life in Catholic school and the strict Catholic upbringing there. It's A Sin caused controversy with its implicit criticism of Catholic education.
In 1975, having completed a degree in history at North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University), Neil worked briefly as an editor for Marvel UK, the UK branch of Marvel Comics. He was responsible for anglicising the dialogue of Marvel's catalogue to suit British readers, and for indicating where women needed to be redrawn more decently for the British editions! In 1977, he moved to Macdonald Educational Publishing and, later, ITV Books. In 1982 he joined the now-defunct British pop magazine Smash Hits, where he rose to Assistant Editor.
At Smash Hits, an opportunity arose for him to go to New York to interview The Police. Whilst there, Tennant arranged to meet Bobby Orlando, a producer who both he and Lowe admired. Tennant mentioned that he was writing songs in his spare time and Orlando agreed to record some tracks with him and Lowe at a later date. Orlando subsequently produced the Pet Shop Boys' first single West End Girls.
The longevity of Pet Shop Boys' career is generally attributed to their ability to create melodic pop/dance music with intelligent lyrics and striking musical and visual style. The duo are one of the most consistently successful duos in pop music, particularly in Europe. Since 1986, they have had 39 top thirty singles in the UK including four number ones.
Although Tennant avoided the issue of homosexuality in the 1980s, preferring his lyrics to be ambiguous, shortly after the release of 1993's Very he publicly 'came out' in Attitude, a UK gay lifestyle magazine.
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