Adam Ant delivers first new album in 18 years

Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:18am EST
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By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - Flamboyant and wild, Adam Ant stormed the British pop scene in the 1980s dressed as a pirate and highwayman, but crashed out of the music world in 1995, exhausted and battling mental illness.

The British singer/songwriter spent these years raising his daughter and in and out of psychiatric care with bipolar disorder before slowly re-emerging with concerts leading to the release this year of his first album in 18 years.

Quiet-spoken and calm, Ant does not quite fit the image of the frenetic performer with white stripes over his nose who rose to fame as lead singer of the New Wave group Adam and the Ants with hits such as "Stand and Deliver" and "Prince Charming".

After the band split in 1982, Ant went solo, releasing five albums in the 1980s and 1990s and notching up 10 Top 10 songs in the UK between 1980 and 1983, including "Goody Two Shoes".

Now 58, Ant still has the eye liner, goatee beard, bandana over his greying ponytail and heavy silver jewelry.

He has no television and loves to read, particularly historical books, and has a tattoo on his left arm of Nelson's inspirational last prayer before Trafalgar below the image of his grandfather who served in the navy during World War One.

On his right arm he has a tattoo of the Oscar Wilde quote: "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."

"I can certainly say I have had that experience," Ant told Reuters in his London office, surrounded by framed gold and silver records and piles of books.   Continued...

Stuart Goddard, formerly known as pop star Adam Ant, arrives at the Old Bailey in London, October 2, 2002. STR New