Stephen Lawrence “Steve” Winwood is an English musician whose genres include rock, blue-eyed soul, rhythm and blues, blues rock, pop rock, and jazz. A multi-instrumentalist, he can play keyboards, bass guitar, drums, guitar, mandolin, violin, and other strings.
Steve Winwood was a key member of The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go. He also had a successful solo career with hits including “Valerie”, “Back in the High Life Again” and two US Billboard Hot 100 number ones; “Higher Love” and “Roll With It”. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.
In 2005 Winwood was honoured as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards for his “enduring influence on generations of music makers.” In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Winwood #33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Winwood has won two Grammy Awards.
In 1986, he moved to New York. There he enlisted the help of a coterie of stars to record Back in the High Life in the US, and the album was a hit. He topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “Higher Love”, and earned two Grammy Awards: for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Winwood embarked on an extensive tour of North America in support of the album.
All these albums were released on Island Records. However, at the peak of his commercial success, Winwood moved to Virgin Records and released Roll with It and Refugees of the Heart. The album Roll with It and the title track hit #1 on the USA album and singles charts in the summer of 1988. Another album with Virgin, Far From Home, was officially credited to Traffic, but nearly all the instruments were played by Winwood. Despite lacking a significant hit, it broke the top 40 in both the UK and USA.
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