David Gilmour is guitarist, vocalist and writer with Pink Floyd, but is also renowned for his solo work: his highly acclaimed 2006 platinum album On An Island was Number 1 in the UK and achieved Top Tens in many countries.
David Gilmour and Roger 'Syd' Barrett met as children in Cambridge, UK, and later began playing guitar together. In 1965 Syd joined Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason to form Pink Floyd, while David continued playing with a succession of his own bands. In 1968 David was asked to augment the Pink Floyd line up as the singer and guitarist, only for Syd to leave the group five gigs later. David's guitar playing, singing and song writing became major factors of Pink Floyd's worldwide success, including his distinctive vocals and guitar playing on The Dark Side Of The Moon, the third most successful album of all time.
In 1978, David released his first solo album, David Gilmour, which charted in the UK and the US. His second solo album, About Face, was released in 1984, again hitting the Top 20 in the UK.
David assumed control of Pink Floyd in 1985, after Roger Waters' departure, creating the new Floyd album A Momentary Lapse Of Reason with Richard Wright and Nick Mason. It was followed in 1994 by The Division Bell, which contained the instrumental Marooned, composed by David and Richard Wright, for which Pink Floyd won their sole Grammy Award. Both albums charted at Number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic and were supported by sell-out world tours. Live album and video, P.U.L.S.E., followed in 1995.
In 1996, Pink Floyd were inducted into the US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, followed by the same honour in the UK in November 2005. In 2002, following a concert for Robert Wyatt's Meltdown Festival, three semi-acoustic concerts were performed by David Gilmour and friends at London's Royal Festival Hall, released on DVD as David Gilmour In Concert.
David is one of the all-time guitar greats, with an instinctive and distinctive sound; he was voted 'Best Fender Guitar Player Ever' in a poll in Guitarist magazine, beating such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. In 2005, David was made a CBE for services to music. In July 2005, Pink Floyd reunited with Roger Waters for a one-off performance at Live 8 in London's Hyde Park, which was regarded by many as the highlight of an astonishing show.
On 6th March 2006, David released his third solo album, On An Island, which entered the UK Charts at Number 1, subsequently hitting the top position in the pan-European Charts, as well as hitting multi-Platinum around the world. On An Island was accompanied by tour dates in the US and Europe, including a one-off performance in the historic dockyards of Gdańsk, Poland, with a 40-piece orchestra. David's live show at London's Royal Albert Hall was filmed by director David Mallet and released in 2007 as a DVD, entitled Remember That Night Live At The Royal Albert Hall, which topped the charts upon release.
In May 2008, David was awarded an 'Ivor' for Lifetime Achievement by the British Association of Composers and Songwriters. In September 2008, Fender Guitars made available their David Gilmour Signature Black Strat model, in 'Relic' and 'New Old Stock' models, a month which also saw the release of Live In Gdańsk, David's live album from the outdoor show there.
In 2009, David was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from East Anglia's Ruskin University of Cambridge and Chelmsford for his outstanding contribution to music as a writer, performer and innovator. In 2010, David gave a performance with Roger Waters in aid of the HOPING Foundation charity in Oxfordshire, UK. Following that appearance, David appeared at one of Roger Waters' stagings of 'The Wall' at the O2 Arena, London, on 12th May 2011.
In 2010, an album entitled Metallic Spheres, by The Orb featuring David Gilmour, was released to help the cause of UK alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who was then fighting extradition to the US, subsequently winning his battle. The album entered the UK charts at Number 12.
In September 2014 Pink Floyd released The Endless River, and David confirmed that it would be the band's final album: it topped the charts in over 20 countries. David then returned to working on his album Rattle That Lock, released worldwide on Friday 18th September 2015.
Rattle That Lock once again featured novelist Polly Samson as primary lyricist, although David wrote lyrics for two songs himself. Longstanding collaborator Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music co-produced the album with David. The striking cover was art directed by Dave Stansbie from The Creative Corporation under the creative directorship of Aubrey Powell from Hipgnosis. The title track begins with the four notes, created by Michaël Boumendil, which precede announcements at French SNCF railway stations which David recorded on his phone at Aix-en-Provence station. Polly's lyrics were inspired by Book II of John Milton's 'Paradise Lost', which is also featured in her recent acclaimed novel, 'The Kindness'. The single, Rattle That Lock, also featured The Liberty Choir, as well as singers Mica Paris and Louise Marshall.