Nicholas David Kershaw, born on March 1st 1958 in Bristol as Nik Kershaw, is a British singer-songwriter, who is known for the songs I Won't Let the Sun Go Down On Me, Wouldn't It Be Good or The Riddle.
After Nik Kershaw was born in Bristol, his family moved to Ipswich, Suffolk. His father was a flautist and his mother was an opera singer. He was educated at Northgate Grammar School for Boys where he played the guitar – he was self-taught on this instrument. He left school in the middle of his A-levels 1974 and got a job at the unemployment benefit office in Ipswich. He also sang in a number of underground Ipswich bands. However, when the last of these, Fusion, split up in 1982, he embarked on a full-time career as a songwriter and performer.
Kershaw was unemployed for a year but during this time he found a manager, Micky Modern, after placing an advertisement in the magazine Melody Maker. He gave the promise: "I've done all the work, you just have to sell me." Modern secured a record deal for him at MCA Records.
In September 1983, Kershaw released his first single I Won't Let the Sun Go Down On Me; however, it only reached Number 47 in the UK Singles Chart. It became a major hit only in Scandinavia, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
At the beginning of 1984 Kershaw released his breakthrough song Wouldn't It Be Good, which reached Number 4 in the UK, and was a big success in Europe, particularly in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and Scandinavia, and also in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He enjoyed three more Top 20 hits from his debut solo album Human Racing, including the title track and a successful re-issue of I Won't Let the Sun Go Down On Me in June 1984.
Kershaw's second album was The Riddle. The title track, released in November 1984, proved to be his third international hit single, reaching Number 3 in the UK and Ireland, and Number 6 in New Zealand. The album also spawned two more UK Top 10 hits, Wide Boy and Don Quixote, as it went multi-platinum. During this time, Kershaw toured extensively with his backing band The Krew, consisting of Keith Airey, Tim Moore, Mark Price and Dennis Smith. He made also a tour throung the US and Japan.
In July 1985, Kershaw was among the performers at Live Aid, held at Wembley Stadium. He has described the experience as "absolutely terrifying" and forgot the words of Wouldn't It Be Good. His stardom began to wane soon afterwards and he enjoyed only one more UK Top 40 hit. He continued to record and release records and collaborated with others on a number of projects. Also in 1985, Elton John asked Kershaw to play guitar on John's hit single, "Nikita".
A cover of Wouldn't It Be Good by the Danny Hutton Hitters appeared on the soundtrack of the 1986 teen romantic comedy-drama Pretty in Pink. Later that same year, Kershaw's third solo album, Radio Musicola, was released to critical acclaim but to little commercial success. The Works was released in 1989, also to little success. Two singles were released from the album, One Step Ahead and Elisabeth's Eyes.
Kershaw's prowess as a songwriter served him well in 1991, when his song "The One and Only" appeared on the soundtrack to the British film Buddy's Song, and in the American movie Doc Hollywood. "The One and Only" proved to be a UK Number 1 for the star of Buddy's Song, Chesney Hawkes. In 1993, The Hollies had a minor hit with another of Kershaw's songs, "The Woman I Love". During the mid-1990s he also wrote and produced material for the boy band Let Loose, with two of the tracks ("Seventeen" and "Everybody Say Everybody Do") achieving reasonable success.
The year 1999 saw the release of the album 15 Minutes. Kershaw revealed that he decided to record the tracks himself, when he could not envisage them being recorded by other artists. The album spawned two singles, Somebody Loves You and What Do You Think of It So Far?, the latter a song described as "an elegant and soaring ode to the transience of time, infused with both self-doubt and an acceptance of life that can only come with maturity".
The follow-up album, To Be Frank, was released in 2001. Over the years, Kershaw has collaborated on albums with artists such as Elton John, Bonnie Tyler, Tony Banks and Gary Barlow.
In 2005, Kershaw released Then And Now, a collection of earlier material with four new tracks. In 2006, he completed another solo album, You've Got to Laugh, available only through his website or digitally through iTunes. This album contained twelve tracks and was released on the musician's own label, Shorthouse Records. Neither Then And Now nor You've Got To Laugh was promoted by a tour. The year also saw the digital re-release of his 1980s back catalogue including Human Racing, The Riddle, Radio Musicola and The Works. On 13 May 2010, Kershaw appeared on stage and hosted 'Our Friends Acoustic' in aid of Mencap. He performed The Riddle, Wouldn't It Be Good, Dancing Girls and I Won't Let the Sun Go Down On Me.
Following the release of his eighth studio album in 2012 (Ei8ht), Kershaw undertook a small tour of the UK, with some European dates. As part of each show he played the entirety of his debut album, which had been re-mastered and re-released in February 2012