Andy Bell was born today, April 25, in 1964. He is the lead singer of the English synth-pop duo Erasure. His solo career includes the albums Non-Stop, Electric Blue, and iPop.
Bell grew up in the Dogsthorpe area of Peterborough. His family still resides in the city and surrounding areas such as Market Deeping. Bell was educated at the King's School in the city.
In 1985, while selling women's shoes and performing in a band called the Void, he responded to a newspaper advert that was looking for a singer. Vince Clarke had been Bell's "hero;" Bell was successful in his audition and together they formed the group Erasure. The pair have sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.
Bell has also donated time and made recordings for charities. These included Ferry Aid's cover of "Let It Be" (1987); a cover of Cole Porter's "Too Darn Hot", that was included in 1990s Red Hot + Blue album to raise funds for AIDS and HIV research; re-making Lene Lovich's "Rage" alongside her to be included in PETA's album (1991) in favor of a wildlife campaign; and performing twice on Big Spender's Red Hot and Dance events to support various AIDS projects (in both December 1994 and November 2004). Bell also performed on the True Colours Tour 2008.
Bell is an out gay man, and had a longtime partner in Paul M. Hickey. Bell told Melody Maker in 1986, "I don't want to go out of my way to talk about it but I'm not going to pretend I'm not [gay]. I won't portray a heterosexual in videos and we're consciously doing lyrics that could apply to either sex." He told Barry Walters of Seventeen, "I want to be known as a good performer but it's important to me to take a stance. If you're doing music, you should use it for something and have substance. Being gay and open about it is my substance."
In December 2004, Bell publicly announced that he has been HIV-positive since 1998.
Bell also suffers from avascular necrosis. He has had both hips replaced, which keeps him from "pogoing around" in more recent performances.
His partner, Paul Hickey, died on April 11, 2012, at the age of 62. In January 2013, Bell married partner Stephen Moss (with Bell at right).