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Rock musician Huey Lewis is the face and lead singer of the band Huey Lewis and The News, one of the biggest-selling pop groups of the 1980s.
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Huey Lewis was born in New York City in 1950. Lewis cut his teeth in a host of bars around California's Bay Area before he and his band, Huey Lewis and The News, became one of pop's best-selling groups. Lewis' two biggest albums, Sports (1983) and Fore! (1986), featured a string of Top 10 singles like "I Want a New Drug" and "The Heart of Rock and Roll." Lewis and The News continue to tour.
"I am deluded enough to think I can bring something to the table."
Singer and harmonica player Huey Lewis was born Hugh Anthony Cregg III on June 5, 1950, in New York City. The older of two boys, Lewis was raised in California's Bay Area, where his father, a jazz drummer and radiologist, and his mother, a commercial artist, moved their young family when Lewis was 4 years old.
California life proved to be interesting for the Creggs. Lewis' parents were eccentrics and hardly career-minded. His mother, especially, had a particular disdain for conventional life and fell in deep with the beatnik crowd, palling around with Allen Ginsberg and others.
After his folks divorced when he was 12, Lewis was packed off to New Jersey for boarding school. It was a trying time for the young boy, who was clearly bright but shared his father's passion for music.
A gifted math student—he scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of the SAT—Lewis was accepted at Cornell University, where planned to study engineering. But tired of school, and taking the advice of his father, who pushed him to take some time off, Lewis postponed his college plans and backpacked around Europe.
After a year away, he returned to the United States and enrolled at Cornell. But this college experience proved short. After six months of classes, he moved back to the Bay Area and started working odd jobs while trying to navigate the hardships of making it as a musician.
Lewis eventually hooked on as a vocalist and harmonica player with a group called Clover. In the mid-1970s the band, along with Lewis, relocated to Europe, where it enjoyed some modest success. By 1979, however, Lewis was back in the United States, jamming in local bars around the Bay Area with bassist Mario Cipollina, guitarist and saxophonist Johnny Colla, and drummer Bill Gibson. Not long after, the group added lead guitarist Chris Hayes and began calling itself Huey Lewis and The News.
After inking a record contract with Chrysalis, Lewis and the band released a self-titled debut in 1980. It received only a tepid commercial response. The band's 1982 effort, Picture This, gave The News more of a following and cracked the Top 20.
For the group's third album, Sports (1983), Lewis managed to convince Chrysalis to give him total creative control. Intent on creating a collection of hits, Lewis produced a record that far exceeded even his own expectations.
Featuring Top 10 singles like "The Heart of Rock and Roll," "I Want a New Drug," "Heart and Soul" and "If This Is It," Sports went on to sell more than 7 million records and put Lewis and his band in heavy rotation both on radio and on MTV.
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