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Adrian Belew is an American guitarist and vocalist, perhaps best known for his work as a member of the progressive rock group King Crimson. Adrian Belew was born on December 23, 1949 in Covington, Kentucky. Belew rose to prominence as a guitarist alongside several name acts before joining King Crimson in 1981.
In addition, he is well-regarded for his contributions to various other artists' recordings. Belew was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 for his single Beat Box Guitar, in the category Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
Adrian Belew's vocals are known for their distinct, sometimes manic feel. Belews singing voice is often compared to that of Talking Heads singer David Byrne. Belew has been the King Crimsons lead vocalist for every incarnation since 1981.
He prevailed through a competitive audition to perform with Frank Zappa in 1977. Belew appeared in Zappa's 1979 concert film Baby Snakes, and also worked in Zappas controversial album Sheik Yerbouti.
He then played for David Bowie's Heroes tour in 1978, and recorded for the double live album Stage. Belew also contributed to Bowie's next album, Lodger.
Belew next assisted Talking Heads on Remain in Light and the subsequent tour. His session credits include Lights Out by Peter Wolf, Earth Moving by Mike Oldfield and Paul Simon's landmark 1986 album Graceland.
In 1981, Adrian Belew contributed to a Ryuichi Sakamoto album called Lefthanded Dream, together with Robin Scott of the pop group M.
The American guitarist worked with Laurie Anderson during the mid-1980s, and appeared on Mister Heartbreak and her subsequent concert film Home of the Brave. He worked as a rubberneck guitar in Lauries concert film.
In the late 1980s, he formed the pop band The Bears with ex-members of The Raisins. The Raisins was a Cincinnati-based band that had some local success in the early 1980s.
With the band, he released two albums, The Bears and Rise and Shine. Belew played synthesized guitar on the song God Shuffled His Feet by Crash Test Dummies in 1993. He again contributed to Laurie Anderson album, Bright Red, in 1994.
During the 1990s and 2000s, he contributed to three Nine Inch Nails albums, The Downward Spiral, The Fragile and Ghosts I-IV.
In 1995 Adrian Belew came up with two tracks on Jars of Clay's debut album, including the crossover Christian hit Flood. Belew has also played for Heads' side projects: the debut album by Tom Tom Club, The Red and the Black by Jerry Harrison, and several tracks of David Byrne's The Catherine Wheel soundtrack.
The Bears released their third album entitled Car Caught Fire in 2001. Adrian Belew is featured prominently on Tori Amos's 2001 album of cover versions, Strange Little Girls.
Belew appeared in a series of Japanese advertisements promoting the mechanic company Daikin. He also contributed his lead guitar stylings to Cyndi Lauper's album, True Colors, Porcupine Tree's album, Deadwing (2005) and a track I Can't Get Behind That.
Belew is featured as primary guitarist on the album Habitat by progressive rock band Man on Fire. In April/May 2006, he toured Australia with local musicians Al Slavik and John Prior from Matt Finish.
Adrian has intermittently toured the U.S. and abroad with his latest band, The Adrian Belew Power Trio. The band came up with their fourth studio album, Eureka, early in 2007.
He has also issued a number of solo albums for Island Records and Atlantic Records. Adrian contributed to Trent Reznor's 2008 Nine Inch Nails instrumental release known as Ghosts I-IV.