Jimmy Somerville

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Jimmy Somerville (born June 22, 1961) is a Scottish pop singer. He had considerable success in the 1980s with the pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards, and has also had a successful solo career.

Somerville was born and raised in Glasgow and has a highly distinctive falsetto (high pitched) singing style, and is also openly gay. He is also a left-wing and human rights political activist.

His music has consisted largely of disco music, but has also contained sometimes groundbreaking social commentary.

He co-founded the synth pop group Bronski Beat in 1983, who proceeded to have a number of hits in the British charts. Their biggest hit, Smalltown Boy, which reached Number 3, was written about persecution of a gay youth in a provincial town, which at the time was groundbreaking.

He left Bronski Beat in 1985 and formed The Communards with classically trained pianist Richard Coles. They had a number of hits, including a cover version of Thelma Houston's Don't Leave Me This Way which spent four weeks at Number 1 in the charts, and became the biggest selling UK single of 1986. He also sang backing vocals on the Fine Young Cannibals' version of Suspicious Minds, which was a UK Top 10 hit.

The Communards split in 1988 and Somerville launched his solo career. He had several solo hits between 1989 and 1991, also singing on the second Band Aid project at the end of 1989. But after releasing his 1991 album Run From Love, Somerville left the limelight and was absent from recording for a number of years.

He returned in 1995 with an LP called Dare to Love. Another album, titled Manage the Damage was released in 1999, and Root Beer came out a year later. Most recently, his dance-based fourth solo album, "Home Again," was released in 2005.

Somerville also has an acting career, appearing in Sally Potter's 1992 film of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, in Isaac Julien's 1998 Looking for Langston, and in the Girltown episode of the cult science fiction television series Lexx.

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