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Noel Gallagher was the vocalist and lead guitarist in the 1990s alternative rock band Oasis. He began a solo career after quitting Oasis in 2009.
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Noel Gallagher was born in Manchester, England, on May 29, 1967, and experienced an unhappy childhood due to poverty and an abusive father. In 1991 he joined his brother Liam’s band, which evolved into the alternative rock band Oasis. Oasis has produced many hit singles such as “Supersonic” and “Wonderwall.” Known for his altercations with Liam, Noel left Oasis in 2009. He emerged as a solo artist in 2011 with his debut album, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Musician Noel Gallagher was born in Manchester, England, on May 29, 1967. His father was Thomas Gallagher, and his mother was Peggy Gallagher. Gallagher grew up with siblings Paul Anthony, 18 months older, and William (Liam) John, five years his junior.
They experienced unhappy childhoods primarily due to abuse at the hands of their drinking and gambling father. Paul and Noel stammered, eliciting hits from their angry father. Both boys required four years of speech therapy to conquer their stammering.
The family struggled to keep afloat, with Noel’s mother working as a cafeteria cook and his father as a laborer when he could find work. As teens Noel and his brothers often got into trouble with the law and at school. At age 15 Noel was expelled for throwing a bag of flour over a teacher. Noel found solace in tinkering with his father’s guitar, and eventually his mother bought him his own guitar.
When Noel was 17, his mother left his father and took all three boys with her. Noel maintained contact with his father, working for the concreting business he then owned. Noel and his father continued to have a rocky relationship, and eventually Noel left to work for a gas company. There he suffered a work accident that crushed the bones in his left foot. It was during his recuperation that he wrote several of the songs that were later included in his Definitely Maybe album.
In 1988 Noel met the guitarist of the Manchester band Inspiral Carpets. They kept in touch, and Noel auditioned to be the lead singer when the previous one left. Inspiral Carpets chose someone else, but Noel ended up working for them as a road crew member.
In 1991 Noel heard from his mother that his brother Liam had started a band called The Rain. Noel watched a performance and was unimpressed. He told them that to be successful, he needed to be the creative force; the band members relented. Noel began writing all their songs, playing lead guitar and singing. He also hated the band’s name, so it was changed to Oasis. In additional to Noel, Oasis included Liam as lead singer, Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs as rhythm guitarist, Paul McGuigan as bass player and Tony McCarroll as drummer.
Showcasing its alternative rock style of music, in 1993 Oasis played in Glasgow, where they were discovered by record executive Alan McGee, founder of Creation Records. McGee took their demo tape to executives at Sony America, who were impressed and signed the band to a six-album contract.
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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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