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Biography

BLAKE: Ollie Baines, Stephen Bowman and Humphrey Berney

Renowned for performing classical and pop songs in stunning harmony vocal arrangements, BLAKE comprises three young men who enthral fans the world over with their amazing singing, hit albums and charismatic stage presence. With over a million albums sold, No. 1 hits in ten countries and nearly 150 TV appearances around the globe, BLAKE continue to build their reputation as one of today’s most eclectic and exciting classical ‘crossover’ groups.

Their friendship and musical careers date back to their school days, but just six months after reuniting as adults via social networking site Facebook, BLAKE were
ready to launch their debut album in 2007. It was a phenomenal success going straight to No. 1 in the UK Classical Album Chart and taking the pop charts by storm. With over 100,000 copies of the album selling in just three weeks, the group earned their first Gold Disc. Recognised by the music industry for their talent, the album received the prestigious Classical Brit Award for Album of the Year in 2008 – a huge honour for a group that was still less than a year old.

Their second album, And So It Goes, captured the hearts of a devoted and fast-growing fan-base of all ages. It went straight in at No. 12 in the UK pop charts and No.1 in several classical charts around the world. During 2008 and 2009 the group undertook triumphant tours of Australia and Japan, bringing their unique brand of music to an expanding global audience. 2009 continued to be a whirlwind year for the boys with a big UK tour, the creation of their new record label, Blake Records, and the release of their third album, Together, which enjoyed huge chart success. They finished the year with a 30-night sell-out tour in Scandinavia.

2010 proved to be another exciting year for Blake. Their original track, ‘Beautiful Earth’, was selected by the World Wildlife Fund as its Earth Hour Anthem, and their album Together continued its chart success, reaching No. 1 in the Australian Classical Charts and No. 1 in the South African Classical Charts during the FIFA World Cup. Blake took their ‘An Evening With Blake’ show to over 60 locations throughout the UK and the group traveled the length and breadth of the country, performing to over 50,000 people. After being invited to Buckingham Palace twice during 2010, Blake released ‘All of Me’ in 2011 – written by acclaimed songwriter Simon May (Eastender’s Theme) – to help the country celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

With over 90 live concert appearances in 2011, this was their busiest year yet. They made highly successful début tours to the Philippines and Russia and appeared at the famous Henley Festival. Another high-profile performance that year was for Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco. By 2012 major tours took the band into two important new territories – China and the USA – and they also returned to the Philippines for 20 concerts there. In addition to long hours in the recording studio working on their fourth album, the group also found time for a major performance at the Olympic Stadium in the run-up to the 2012 Games.

In 2013 Blake launched their fourth album Start Over in the UK and the USA, revealing a new contemporary and original harmony sound. The year also saw performances at Wembley Stadium for the Rugby League Cup final, the group’s first play-listed song on BBC Radio 2 (‘So Happy’), tours to Indonesia and Trinidad & Tobago plus the launch of their first Asia-only album. Towards the end of 2013, the band launched two charity singles. ‘You Raise Me Up’ was recorded with the soprano Camilla Kerslake and the ‘Sing To Beat Breast Cancer Choir’, made up entirely of women affected by the disease, and was released in October shortly before a 20 date UK tour where Camilla appeared as their guest artist. ‘To The Sun’ was released in November and debuted live in Trafalgar square as the anthem for the launch of the Walking With The Wounded South Polar Challenge in the presence of Prince Harry.

In addition to their worldwide touring schedule, Blake also find time to perform and work as ambassadors for their many selected charities, which include, amongst others, Cancer Research, The War Widows Association, The World Wildlife Fund, Clic Sargent, The Prince’s Trust, Variety (The Children’s Charity), MIND, Starlight, The Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and Walking With The Wounded. The band continue to do much work for military charities, most famously fundraising for, and performing at the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial in London for the Queen and 5,000 veterans in the summer of 2012.

2014 saw Blake tour Russia, The Philippines and South Korea, as well as concerts in the USA. Towards the end of the year, Blake released their fifth album ‘In Harmony’ to much acclaim. In 2015, alongside their constant touring throughout the UK, Blake played for the second time at the famous Holders Festival in Barbados and also recorded their first Christmas Album ‘A Classic Christmas’ after a campaign on PledgeMusic to fund their first completely independent album and to raise money for Variety, The Children’s Charity.

For the album, Blake teamed up with Dame Shirley Bassey for an incredible version of ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)’ which gained much exposure and was extremely well received by critics. The group appeared a great deal on TV in the run up to Christmas, most notably on The Graham Norton Show and Strictly Come Dancing.

2016 saw Blake begin their year with performances in China, the USA and of course continuing to tour the UK with their latest live show ‘Songs from Stage and Screen’.

Summer 2016 saw Blake headlining no less than five Proms throughout the UK culminating in the sellout at The Henley Festival with Dame Shirley Bassey – a massive highlight for the group.

With tours in UK, US and China 2016 was their busiest year yet.

They were also the only group to be asked to appear on the Dame Shirley Bassey special tributed hosted by David Walliams which was broadcast on BBC on Christmas Eve.

Throughout 2017 Blake performed in Taiwan and China and continued to tour throughout the U.K, where they were joined by a host of talented choirs local at each of the venues.

In March 2017 they had the honour of being asked to perform at the magnificent event in London to celebrate the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn.

“ We genuinely feel privileged and honoured to have got to know her so well, making it all the more special to be singing for her once again in her 100th year. She’s more than a national treasure, she’s one of Britain’s all-time greats!”

To celebrate their 10th Anniversary in 2018 Blake released their Anniversary Album in March which shot straight to Number One in the UK Classical Charts and it remains in the charts today.

With a 50+ date UK Tour this will be one of their busiest years.

For Chinese translated Biographies click here ( 传记 ).