"Stephen William Bragg" (born December 20, 1957), known as "Billy Bragg", is an English musician known for his blend of folk, punk-rock, and protest music, and his poetic lyrics dealing with political as well as romantic themes. He has been active for over 20 years, and has collaborated with many other leading musicians, including Johnny Marr of The Smiths, protest folk singer Leon Rosselson, members of R.E.M., Less Than Jake, Kirsty MacColl, and Wilco.
Billy Bragg was born in a district of Essex, England that is now part of Greater London. He grew up in the district of Barking, which he has always considered his home. However, his successful career was to take him across the globe, singing songs of freedom and advocating social change. Although now living in a small village in Dorset, he is still associated with his London roots and is sometimes known, jocularly, as "the bard of Barking". Bragg is a self-declared West Ham United fan.
Attending a comprehensive school, Bragg had an undistinguished educational career. One source states that he excelled only in English. He left school with few qualifications, but determined to do something with his life. He joined his...