10 music stars from Norfolk and Suffolk

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran - Credit: PA

Ed Sheeran 

Undoubtedly the most famous musician to hail from East Anglia, Suffolk’s very own Ed Sheeran is one of the planet’s biggest pop stars.

After rising to fame following the release of his 2011 debut album +, the singer-songwriter has since gone onto become one of the world’s best-selling musical artists and has sold over a whopping 150 million records globally.  

Myleene Klass

Myleene Klass - Credit: Ian Burt

Myleene Klass 

Born in Great Yarmouth, Myleene Klass first shot to fame as a member of pop group Hear’Say after appearing on reality talent show Popstars back in 2001.

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Following her stint in the pop group, she then went on to release two classical solo albums in 2003 and 2007.

Musical feats aside, she’s a regular on daytime and primetime television – and readers may recognise her hosting favourites such as Popstar to Operastar, The One Show, and Loose Women.  

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Benjamin Britten 

Lowestoft-born Benjamin Britten is one of the world’s most revered composers – and his legacy still lives on to this day. Britten, who spent most of his life in Suffolk, was also a conductor and pianist, and was a central figure in 20th-century British music.

Some of his most famous pieces include the 1962’s War Requiem, the 1945 opera Peter Grimes, and the 1945 orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. 

Charlie Simpson 

Very few have successfully made the jump between two starkly contrasting genres like Woodbridge’s very own Charlie Simpson has. Charlie first rose to public prominence in 2001 as the vocalist and lead guitarist in pop band Busted before departing just four years later.

After doing a total 180, he soon found his feet and began fronting his own band, Fightstar.

Combining a blend of post-hardcore, metal and alternative rock, Fightstar have since gone on to release four studio albums.

Bands aside, Charlie has also released two folk solo records, as well as synthwave music on his Gunship side project.  

Cradle of Filth 

Headed by its enigmatic frontman and founding member, Ipswich’s Dani Filth, Cradle of Filth have been making music since 1991.

The Suffolk band’s musical style has evolved over the years –spanning genres including black metal, gothic metal, and symphonic metal – winning them legions of fans across the globe in the process.

The band has played a number of legendary music festivals in the rock and metal world, including Download Festival, Ozzfest and Bloodstock Open Air.  

Brian Eno 

Brian Eno is a man of many hats. Musician, record producer, composer, artist, and theorist, Melton’s very own is best-known for his contribution to contemporary genres such as pop, rock and electronica.

A creative through-and-through, he studied painting and experimental music at Ipswich Civic College’s art school in the 1960s before later joining the group Roxy Music to play the synthesizer.

However, he is more recognised for his innovative solo works which span across five decades, alongside his collaborations and productions with the likes of David Bowie, David Byrne, Damon Albarn, Grace Jones, and U2 to name a few. What a musical CV.  

Hannah Spearritt 

There must be something in the water in Great Yarmouth, as the Norfolk seaside town has not only produced just one talented pop songstress, but two.

Hannah Spearritt first found fame in the world of stage and theatre at the tender age of 12 - but it wasn’t until she auditioned for a coveted spot in S Club 7 that she was propelled into international stardom.

Hannah, along with her S Club cohorts, topped the charts around the world before ultimately splitting in 2003.

Hannah has since returned to her acting roots, going on to star in shows and films such as Primeval, Casualty, EastEnders, and Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. 

Beth Orton 

Hailing from Dereham in Norfolk, singer-songwriter Beth Orton is best-known for her iconic ‘folktronica’ sound which fuses folk and electronica music.

Having collaborated with the likes of William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers, she received critical acclaim across both sides of the pond thanks to her debut album Trailer Park – and later went on to win a Brit Award for her 1999 release Central Reservation.

Her music has also been featured in a number of popular American television series and films such as Grey’s Anatomy, Vanilla Sky, Charmed, Dawson’s Creek, and Roswell.  

Roger Taylor 

Drummer of one of the biggest rock bands to come from the UK, Norfolk’s Roger Taylor is undoubtedly a certified member of rock royalty.

Born in King’s Lynn in 1949, at the age of 21 Roger found fame as the drummer of Queen.

The British rock band – fronted by Freddie Mercury – went on to have an incredibly successful career and sell an estimated 300 million records worldwide.

Fun fact: Roger actually turned down the offer to be the drummer in Genesis... a role that would end up going to none other than Phil Collins himself.  

John Peel 

If you grew up in the latter half of the 20th century listening to music, you’ll certainly know the name John Peel.

The legendary disc jockey and radio presenter had a prolific career that spanned decades as he championed both up-and-coming artists and experimental genres.

Peel, who sadly passed away in 2004, spent a lot of his time in Suffolk – and his legacy certainly lives on.

He lived in a Great Finborough cottage nicknamed ‘Peel Acres’, in which many of his shows were produced.

He was later buried in the graveyard of St Andrew’s Church, and the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket is named after him.

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