Best Known For
British musician Dave Gahan is best known as the lead singer of electronic band Depeche Mode. His voice can be heard on the tracks "Suffer Well" and "Nothing's Impossible," among many others.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Dave Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode, was born in Essex, England on May 9, 1962. The original members of the band recruited Gahan after hearing him sing David Bowie's "Heroes." After joining the band, Gahan suggested the name "Depeche Mode" after seeing it on the cover of a French fashion magazine. Gahan's iconic voice, which can be heard on songs like "Suffer Well" and "Nothing's Impossible," is a critical characteristic of Depeche Mode's unique sound.
David Gahan was born into a working-class family. When Dave was 6 months old, his father, bus driver Len Callcott, left the family. Several years later, his mother, Sylvia, met and married her second husband. The Gahan family continued to grow with the birth of two boys, Peter and Phil. Gahan and his sister Sue were raised under the impression that their stepfather, Jack, was their natural father. After Jack's death, in 1972, Gahan met his biological father for the first time. Shortly thereafter, his father left again and did not return.
Gahan left the Barstable School in July 1978, taking jobs that ranged from selling soft drinks to working on a construction site. In 1980, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher formed the band Composition of Sound. A few months later, Clarke heard Gahan perform David Bowie's song, "Heroes." Gahan agreed to join Composition of Sound as its lead singer. The band subsequently changed its name to Depeche Mode, which Gahan suggested after seeing a French fashion magazine of the same name.
Depeche Mode went on to become one of the pioneering electronic or synthpop bands of the era. They released more than 10 studio albums, and achieved global sales in excess of 100 million records. Gahan's iconic voice has garnered him recognition and high praise as one of popular music's leading men.
Despite his strong vocals, Gahan did not write any of Depeche Mode's songs during the period of their greatest popularity. Three of the band's songs, sung by Gahan, appeared on 2005's Playing the Angel, including "Suffer Well" and "Nothing's Impossible." The single was nominated for a Grammy Award and reached No. 12 on the U.K. charts. In the early 2000s, Gahan began songwriting for Depeche Mode, and three of his songs were included on the band's 2009 album, Sounds of the Universe.
Gahan has appeared on other bands' albums, as well. He contributed vocals to a track called "Visitors," under the name frYars, and served as the main vocalist and lyricist for Soulsavers' 2012 album, The Light the Dead See.
Dave Gahan relocated to New York City in 1997. He has been married three times, and has a daughter and a son from two of these relationships.
Gahan is a recovering heroin addict. In 1993, he suffered a minor heart attack during a performance in New Orleans, leaving his bandmates to improvise without him. In August 1995, he attempted suicide. The following May, Gahan overdosed at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles, which resulted in his heart stopping for two minutes.
profile name: Dave Gahan profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
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.
London Cultural Renaissance - Cultural Icons: 1980s 19 people in this group
Famous Taureans 561 people in this group
They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
Famous Singers 774 people in this group