Alison Moyet (born 18 June 1961), is an English pop singer-songwriter, noted for her bluesy voice, whose UK album sales have reached a certified 2.3 million, with 800,000 singles sold, all in the UK, where all seven of her studio albums and three compilation albums have charted in the Top 40 UK Album Chart, with two of the albums reaching number one. She has also achieved nine Top 30 singles and five Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart.
Geneviève Alison Jane Moyet was born in the small Essex town of Billericay to a French father and English mother. She grew up in the nearby town of Basildon, where she attended Nicholas School. Upon leaving school at 16, she worked as a shop assistant and trained as a piano tuner. She was involved in a number of punk rock, pub rock and blues bands in the South East Essex area during the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the Vandals, the Screamin' Ab Dabs, the Vicars and the Little Roosters (the latter featuring Gary Lammin formerly of Cock Sparrer).
Beginning her mainstream pop career in 1982, at the age of 21, she formed the electropop duo Yazoo with former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke. In the United States, the band became known as Yaz, as there was a record label in the region already operating as Yazoo Records that presented trademark issues. Yazoo had several hits, including "Only You", "Don't Go", "Situation" and "Nobody's Diary", and recorded two albums, Upstairs at Eric's and You and Me Both.
In 1983 Moyet and Clarke decided to disband Yazoo. While Clarke went on to form The Assembly (another duo, this time with former Undertones vocalist Feargal Sharkey) and then Erasure (a duo again, with Andy Bell), Moyet signed to CBS (in part because it had been Janis Joplin's label), and began her solo career.During mid-2008, Moyet reunited with Clarke as Yazoo for a series of live dates.
In 1984, Moyet released her debut solo album Alf (titled after her punk-era nickname). Alf was produced by the record producing and songwriting team of Jolley & Swain. The album was co-written by the duo and Moyet, with the exception of "Invisible", which was written specifically for her by Lamont Dozier. The record was a hit in Britain, reaching #1 in the album chart. Alf spawned three international hit singles, "Love Resurrection" (UK #10), "Invisible" (UK #21) and "All Cried Out" (UK #8). In the US, "Invisible" was a Top 40 hit (something Yazoo had never achieved). In some European territories, a fourth single, "For You Only", was also released.
In 1985, Moyet performed at Live Aid alongside Paul Young, and later returned unscheduled to the stage (alongside Bob Geldof, David Bowie and Pete Townshend) to provide emergency vocals on "Let It Be" when the microphone on Paul McCartney's piano failed, leaving him unable to be heard. Moyet also released a single not featured on Alf, a cover of the standard "That Ole Devil Called Love", which climbed to #2 on the UK Singles Chart (it remains Moyet's highest-charting UK single).
Moyet had another big UK hit the following year with "Is This Love?" (co-written by the Eurythmics' David A. Stewart, under the pseudonym Jean Guiot), followed in 1987 by her second LP, Raindancing. Raindancing spawned further hit singles, including a cover of Floy Joy's "Weak In The Presence of Beauty" and "Ordinary Girl". In 1987, she scored another cover hit with "Love Letters", which peaked at UK #4. The video for the song featured comedy duo French & Saunders.
Following a period of personal and career evaluation, Hoodoo was released in 1991. The album sold respectably in the UK, and Moyet was nominated for a Grammy for the single "It Won't Be Long". However, the release of Hoodoo marked the beginning of what was to become a long fight for Moyet to secure complete control of her artistic direction. Like many similar artists (including Aimee Mann and the late Kirsty MacColl), Moyet was reluctant to record a radio-friendly "pop" album simply for the sake of creating chart hits.
Moyet's next album, Essex (1994), was also a source of controversy for her; in order for the album to be released, her label (now Sony) insisted that certain Essex tracks be re-recorded and re-produced, and that there be additional material remixed to create a more 'commercial' package. The video for the single "Whispering Your Name" again featured Dawn French.
Following the release of Essex, Sony released a greatest hits compilation of Moyet's work. Singles entered the UK charts at #1 and, following a UK tour, was re-issued as a double CD set which included "Live (No Overdubs)", a bonus live CD. Upon re-issue, Singles charted again, this time in the Top 20.
Due to prolonged litigation with Sony, Moyet did not record or release a new studio album for over eight years after the release of Essex. During this time, however, she recorded vocals for Tricky, Sylk-130, Ocean Colour Scene, The Lightning Seeds, and King Britt, and was featured on the British leg of the Lilith Fair tour. 2001 saw the release of The Essential Alison Moyet CD, and in 2002 The Essential Alison Moyet DVD.In 1995, she sang back-up vocals with Sinéad O'Connor for one of Dusty Springfield's last television appearances, singing "Where Is a Woman to Go?" on the music show Later With Jools Holland.
In August 2002, Moyet was released from her Sony contract. Moyet signed to Sanctuary Records and released her first studio album in eight years. Hometime was produced by The Insects, who had also produced works by Massive Attack and Madonna. The release of the CD launched Moyet into the top five best-selling female UK artists of 2002, and resulted in a BRIT Awards nomination for Best Female Vocalist, as well as a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. Hometime was certified Gold in the UK for sales in excess of 100,000 copies with little promotion.
Voice, a collection of cover versions, was released on 6 September 2004 and entered the UK charts at #7. Scored and produced by Moyet's neighbour (and Academy Award winner) Anne Dudley, the album was later re-issued with a bonus track, "Alfie". A companion DVD, One Blue Voice, was released in 2006. Voice was certified Gold in the UK within four weeks of its release.
In December 2006 Moyet signed a recording contract with W14 Music, a Universal Music Group imprint. The deal saw Moyet reunited with label head John Williams, who was her A&R man for her last two albums, Hometime and Voice.
Moyet's album, The Turn, was released on 15 October 2007, preceded by the single "One More Time" a week earlier. The album featured self-penned songs, including the three numbers she wrote for the stage play, Smaller in which she starred with Dawn French. For these songs, again Moyet worked alongside producer/songwriter and frequent Moyet collaborator Pete Glenister. The Turn debuted at #21 on the UK Albums Chart on 22 October 2007. Alison left W14 shortly after the release of The Turn. Promotional videos for the tracks "One More Time", "Anytime At All" and "The Man in the Wings" are on Youtube and Moyet's Myspace site.
Sony Music released Revisited: The Very Best of Alison Moyet on 19 October 2009. The track listing was compiled by Moyet including material from her seven solo albums. The 'deluxe' version of the album contained an extra disc, with re-recorded versions of older songs. In support of the release Moyet toured the UK and Ireland during November and December 2009
Alison is Jools Holland's Special Guest throughout his UK Tour of the UK for 2010. Alison has contributed vocals on the latest Jools Holland album released 15 November 2010 on the song titled 'The Man That Got Away. The song was made famous by Judy Garland.
Alison has confirmed that she is writing her new album with Guy Sigsworth. Alison confirmed on BBC 6 live her new album (8th solo album) will be released in 2011 and she will be touring to promote the release.