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Welsh pop and rock

Picture cited Green Man Festival

Wales has a history of producing top singers and musicians including rock bands and many of them have a large international fan base. As you can see below, each generation keeps producing new stars.

1940s & 1950s

Donald Peers was popular in both the 1940s and 1950s, with hits including 'In a Shady Nook by a Babbling Brook'.  sang the no 1 Shirley Bassey rose to fame in the mid to late 50s and by 1959 she had her first UK number 1, with ‘As I Love You’.

1960s & 1970s

The 1960s and 1970s saw the success of Welsh artists such as Tom Jones, Ricky Vallance and Mary Hopkin who all sang no1 hits. Both Jones and Shirley Bassey continued to make music throughout the decades and are still hugely popular worldwide today.

The 1970s also saw progression in the world of Welsh rock with groups such as Man and Budgie (widely considered as one of the first heavy metal bands), who went on to influence bands such as Black Sabbath and Metallica.

1980s & 1990s

In the 1980s Shakin' Stevens, The Alarm and Iris Williams were chart successes. Bonnie Tyler had hits in both the ‘80s and ‘90s, including ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart', which sold 6 million copies. She is still a recording artist today.

In the mid to late 1990s, Welsh music made quite the commercial breakthrough with bands such as the Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia (with lead singer, Cerys Matthews), Stereophonics and Super Furry Animals storming the rock and pop scene and some acts are still going strong.

[Dance - Green Man Festival]

The 2000s and 2010s

The ever-evolving Welsh music scene has seen a burst of new bands and artists making a significant impact (and continuing to do so) both across the UK and worldwide. Acts such as Mariana and the Diamonds, Feeder, Funeral for a Friend,  The Automatic, Duffy, Bullet for my Valentine and Skindred are just a few.

Wales also has an established electronic music scene. Artists such as DJ Sasha,  Hybrid, DJ Huw Stephens and 2012 London Olympic Games contributor, DJ High Contrast are Wales’ most known in this type of music.

Did you know...

Wales' capital city of Cardiff is home to what is thought to be the world’s oldest record business; Spillers Records has been in business since 1894?