Best Known For
Neil Tennant is a British musician, songwriter and singer, best known as one half of the electronic dance music group the Pet Shop Boys.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Neil Tennant was born on July 10, 1954, in North Shields, England. After working in publishing, Tennant formed electronic duo the Pet Shop Boys with friend Chris Lowe. Tennant and Lowe had several successful albums and two number one hits, “West End Girls” and “It’s a Sin.”
"I'm always uneasy with messages. I think if there is a message, it's about taking control of your life. Not becoming a victim. Be true to yourself. In essence it's about love in the drug culture."
Neil Tennant was born in North Shields, England, on July 10, 1954. Tennant attended St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School. Catholicism would later emerge as a theme of Tennant's music. The Pet Shop Boys’ “This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave” and “It’s a Sin” both deal directly with Tennant’s background in Catholic institutions.
After college, Tennant spent two years as the London editor of Marvel UK, the British branch of Marvel Comics. In 1982, he joined the staff of the teen magazine Smash Hits, where he remained for several years.
During this period, Tennant began writing songs with his friend Chris Lowe. Lowe and Tennant had met in 1981 in a London hi-fi shop, bonding over a shared interest in electronic music. The pair first called themselves West End, changing their name to the Pet Shop Boys shortly thereafter.
While working at Smash Hits, Tennant met producer Bobby Orlando (known as “Bobby O”) and recruited him to produce the Pet Shop Boys’ first single, “West End Girls.” The single, released in April 1984, became a club hit. In 1986, the group released a full-length album, Please, and the single “Love Comes Quickly.” A newly recorded version of “West End Girls” became the group’s first number one hit the same year. Their follow-up album, Actually, featured the number one hit “It’s a Sin.”
Tennant and Lowe have continued to record and tour as the Pet Shop Boys since the mid-1980s. In May 2009, their track “Love etc.” reached number 14 on the U.K. charts. Neil Tennant has also had success as a producer, including the 2007 Rufus Wainwright album Release the Stars.
Tennant confirmed his homosexuality in a 1994 interview for the U.K. publication Attitude.
Neil Tennant was a major donor to Britain’s Labour Party in 1990s, though he has since shifted his allegiance to the Liberal Democrats. Tennant is also a public advocate of modern art, and has served as a judge for the coveted Turner Prize.
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Neil Tennant 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 Cancerians 557 people in this group
Famous Singers 725 people in this group