Richard Paul Ashcroft (born 11 September, 1971, in Billinge, Wigan, England) is best known as the lead singer of The Verve, an English rock band that he helped form in 1989. After that band's demise in 1999, Ashcroft embarked on a successful solo career.
Ashcroft's father passed away when Richard was 11. Ashcroft soon fell under the influence of his stepfather, who belonged to the ancient secular order of the Rosicrucians.
He is good friends with Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher and Coldplay's Chris Martin (whom Ashcroft once thanked for "letting me be myself again"), and occasionally plays as support at Oasis and Coldplay concerts, including the European and second UK legs of Coldplay's 'Twisted Logic Tour'. He recently described himself as "the best support act you'll ever see." The Oasis track "Cast No Shadow" is dedicated to him, and it is believed that Ashcroft dedicated The Verve's 1995 song "Northern Soul" to Noel Gallagher. Martin introduced him as "the best singer in the world" when he performed "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (which Martin called "the best song in the world") with Coldpla...