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Andy Summers achieved international fame as the Grammy Award-winning guitarist of The Police, known for hits songs like "Message in a Bottle," "Every Breath You Take" and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic."
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Andy Summers was born on December 31, 1942 in Lancashire, England. Summers established himself as a musician at a young age, playing in a psychedelic rock band, The Soft Machine and The Animals before joining The Police. After releasing several gold and platinum records with The Police—including the hit songs "Message in a Bottle," "Walking on the Moon," "Every Breath You Take" and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"—Summers went on to a career in composition and experimental musical performance.
Andrew James Summers was born in Lancashire, England, in the winter of 1942. Summers spent the majority of his childhood in Bournemouth, in the county of Dorset. Summers played the piano as a child, taking up the guitar as a teenager. By age sixteen, he was playing in local clubs. A couple of years later, he moved to London with his friend Zoot Money, to break into the music industry.
Summers and Money formed Zoot Money's Big Roll Band in the mid-1960s. Eventually, the band evolved into an acid rock outfit called Dantalian’s Chariot. Summers then played with The Soft Machine for six months and joined The Animals for a short time in 1968. His Soft Machine stint included a tour of the United States.
After living in Los Angeles for several years, Summers returned to London. There, Summers recorded and toured with a number of acts, including Kevin Coyne, Neil Sedaka, and Jon Lord. In 1977, Summers joined the band Strontium 90, along with future Police bandmates Sting and Stewart Copeland.
Sting and Copeland formed The Police in 1977, recruiting Summers months later. The band went on to international fame and produced chart-topping singles, including "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" and the No. 1 hits "Message in a Bottle," "Walking on the Moon" and "Every Breath You Take." During his tenure with the band, Summers twice won the Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance. Although Sting was the lead vocalist of the band and its primary songwriter, Summers occasionally contributed lead vocals and original compositions.
The Police disbanded in early 1984, after seven years and record sales of around 80 million dollars. The group reunited in 2007, for a performance at the Grammys and a successful world tour.
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The 1980s were an important era in London marked by several significant social and historical events. On July 29, 1981 the United Kingdom saw the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The new Princess of Wales soon became a cultural icon—noted for her patronage, charity work and refined sense of fashion. Another history maker, Margaret Thatcher, served as Britain's first female prime minister, soon establishing herself as the authoritative "Iron Lady." Biography.com looks at these powerful women and the many other figures of the '80s, who made their mark on the decade.
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