- NAME: Graham Coxon
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: March 12, 1969 (Age: 44)
- EDUCATION: Stanway Comprehensive School, North Essex School of Art And Design, Colchester Sixth Form College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Rinteln, Germany
- AKA: Graham Coxon
- Full Name: Graham Leslie Coxon
- ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
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Graham Coxon is an English singer-songwriter, best known as the guitarist and backup vocalist for the alternative rock band Blur.
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Graham Coxon was born in Rinteln, West Germany on May 12, 1969, and grew up primarily in the United Kingdom. Coxon is known as the lead guitarist and backup vocalist for the 1990s alternative rock band Blur. He also had a solo career concurrently with Blur. Band mates ejected him in 2001, and he returned to Blur in 2008. Blur won the BRIT Awards 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, and soon after, the band performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"I was the youngest in my family and the youngest in Blur and I always felt like the kind of brat. So that was when I started to snarl a little bit."
"I'd love to have a month to myself and a ton of canvases, but there's no time. It's kind of like a hobby. There are other things I want to do, such as bettering myself as a musician."
"I think to most people it's not outwardly noticeable, but to me it makes a lot of difference what shoes I wear, and whether I put them with the blue mac or the black mac. It reflects my mood."
Singer-songwriter Graham Coxon (Graham Leslie Coxon) was born in Rinteln, West Germany on May 12, 1969. His talent in the arts stemmed from his father, Bob, a clarinet player in the army band and mother, Pauline, a language educator. Coxon and older sister Haley lived with their parents in Germany until 1975 when the family moved to an U.K. army camp in Colchester, Essex.
By the time he was 12, Coxon could play the fife, drums, saxophone, and guitar. In 1977 at the Stanway Comprehensive School, he met Damon Albarn who would eventually become the lead vocalist in their future band Blur. Both went on to attend Colchester Sixth Form College, though Coxon only stayed for a year. The then 17 year old next enrolled into the North Essex School of Art and Design and proceeded to Goldsmiths College to pursue the arts.
During these early years, Coxon and Alban formed several short-lived bands such as The Aftermath and Real Lives. Other Coxon bands included Hazel Dean and The Carp Eaters From Hell, The Curious Band, Idle Vice, Circus and Seymour.
When Seymour sent their demo to Food Records, the company signed them on one major condition: They had to change their name. The band presented a list of options, and in 1989, Blur was born.
Coxon was halfway through his Goldsmith College art degree when Blur started to take off. Coxon provided all guitars and backup vocals for the band. Blur's genre of alternative rock, indie rock and Britpop put them in good company with Oasis and The Verve, other U.K. bands emerging at that time.
In the early '90s, Blur released its debut album Leisure (1991) and followed up with Modern Life is Rubbish (1992). The band toured the U.S., but at that time grunge ruled the airwaves so Americans didn’t take to Blur.
Notoriety came in 1994 with the band's breakout (third) album, Parklife. Blur catapulted to become one of England's most renowned bands, and it was this popularity that contributed to the rivalry between Blur and Oasis. Blur won the fight versus Oasis in the so-called "Battle of Britpop" when both released singles on the same day. In a newspaper interview, Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher said he hoped Blur's lead singer, Damon Albarn, "would catch AIDS and die" (he later apologized).
In 1995, Blur released The Great Escape, and the sudden celebrity status that followed seemed to coax out Coxon's demons. Hard partying filled with excessive booze took its toll on his relationship with his fellow bandmates, especially with Albarn.
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In the 1990s, London's artists and cultural tastemakers embraced their British roots. Pop acts like Oasis, Elastica and the Spice Girls dominated 90's music, and reinforced British pride with symbolic use of the Union Flag—Oasis member Noel Gallagher famously used a Union Jack guitar while "Ginger Spice" Geri Halliwell wore the symbol on her trademark, flashy dress. The period was also marked by influential designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, whose unique designs established numerous fashion trends for the decade. Biography.com celebrates these prominent figures, and the many others who led the way for "Cool Britannia."
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