James (Jim) Kerr

1959 -

Jim Kerr
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Jim Kerr

Rock singer. Born in Glasgow, Kerr was brought up on the Toryglen Estate. He joined fellow Scot and childhood friend Charlie Burchill (b.1959), along with Tony Donald and Brian McGee in the punk group Johnny and the Self-Abusers, based in Glasgow. They went on to form the internationally-successful rock band Simple Minds in 1978.

The groups albums included Life in a Day (1979), Empires and Dance (1980), Sister Feeling Call (1980), New Gold Dream (1982), Sparkle In The Rain (1984), Once Upon A Time (1985), Street Fighting Years (1989), which included the chart-topping single Belfast Child, Real Life (1991), Good News From The Next World (1995), Neapolis (1998) and Cry (2002).

Touring regularly, the group has a strong political agenda, donating the proceeds from various concerts to Amnesty International, took part in Live Aid (1985) and enthusiastically promoted Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday concert in London's Wembley Stadium (1988).

Kerr has avoided the pitfalls of celebrity life while having been financially successful; he is said to be one of Britain's most wealthy musicians. In 1984, Kerr married Chrissie Hynde, American-born singer with the rock group The Pretenders, but the marriage failed and Kerr married again in 1992, this time to English actress Patsy Kensit, but this too ended in divorce (1996).

A great fan of the Glasgow football club Celtic, Kerr was part of a consortium which attempted to buy the club in 1998. Kerr has homes in London, Nice and Scotland, once owning the estate of Ardchullarie on the border of Perthshire and Stirling.

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