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Lead singer for The Kinks, Ray Davies is known for his decades-long career in rock, hits like ‘Lola,’ and ongoing feuds with brother and bandmate Dave Davies.
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Their 1977 release, Sleepwalker, kicked off another era of straightforward rock music that earned them a packed U.S. tour schedule, and in 1981 they sold out Madison Square Garden. The band continued to record and tour for 15 years, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. The Kinks played their last concert at the Norwegian Wood Festival in Oslo, in June of 1996.
Although Davies technically released his first solo album in 1985—Return to Waterloo—the bulk of his solo work came after The Kinks broke up. He released four albums between 1998 and 2009: The Storyteller, Other People's Lives, Working Man's Café and The Kinks Choral Collection.
Throughout his career, Davies has also acted and written musicals and choral pieces. Additionally, he published his autobiography, X-Ray, in 1994.
Davies married Rasa Didzeptris in 1964, and they had two daughters. When she left him in 1973, he attempted suicide by overdosin on pills. He remarried three years later, but divorced and had a long-term involvement with Chryssie Hynde, lead singer of the Pretenders, with whom he had a daughter in 1983. He married and divorced for a third time in the 1980s, and had his fourth daughter.
Davies was awarded a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, for "services to music."
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The 1960s were a time of significant cultural and social change in London. The post-World War II era, coined "Swinging London," saw a youth-driven shift in culture, from old to new. Symbolized by famous faces like English supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy to "British Invasion" rock bands like the Beatles and Cream, the era created a fresh and modern approach to everything from fashion to music to cultural attitudes. Biography.com looks at the inspirational forces behind the "Swinging London" revolution.
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