Paul Rutherford born 8 December 1959
Paul Rutherford was the backing vocalist and dancer with 1980s pop band Frankie Goes to Hollywood (FGTH), one of the group's two openly gay singers.
He was born in inner-city Liverpool but several years later moved to the Cantril Farm estate, where future footballer Mick Quinn and future comedian Craig Charles were among his neighbours.
He emerged from the 1970s punk scene on Merseyside to team up with Johnson in a new band who would go on to dominate the UK Singles Chart in 1984 thanks to a mixture of controversy, marketing, luck, seemingly ahead-of-its-time production and a handful of great songs. For a few bright months Frankie perfectly captured the Zeitgeist of the age. Rutherford sang backing vocals to Holly Johnson's lead vocals and also danced.
The band disintegrated two years later and Rutherford attempted a solo career, which was short lived.
He was known for being one of the first stars to endorse nipple-piercing and also for the ace of hearts he had tattooed on his arm. Although the band soon toned down the gay fetish imagery of their early appearances, Paul Rutherford was one of the first stars to portray a recognisably 'gay' image, sporting familar gay scene markers that somehow went almost unnoticed in Freddie Mercury's 'clone' image.
Rutherford currently lives on Waiheke Island, New Zealand, with his longterm partner.
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