Gallery: Happy Birthday Robbie!

They say life begins at 40 – but cheeky chappy Robbie Williams has already packed more into his four decades than most.

Gallery: Happy Birthday Robbie!

Robbie Williams

He cried ‘Let Me Entertain You’  – and he’s been doing just that since the age of 16 when he started on the road to international stardom, having been signed up as one of the five members of boyband Take That.

They became pop superstars and Staffordshire-born Robbie was always known as the joker of the pack, not to mention a pin-up for teenage girls – and grown women – across the globe.

In a career that has spanned more than two decades the No Regrets and Angels singer has had his fair share of highs and lows.  And today the Stoke-on-Trent star is looking back on his success as he celebrates his landmark  40th birthday.

The rollercoaster ride started when the avid Port Vale fan  was picked to join Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Mark Owen in Take That,  formed by manager Nigel Martin-Smith.

The group enjoyed success around the globe, selling out stadium tours and millions of records. But behind the scenes, the rock and roll lifestyle was proving too much for the singer, who was drinking heavily and dabbling with cocaine.

But after five years Robbie wanted a change and announced he would be leaving the group.  His first solo effort was a cover of George Michael’s Freedom which reached number two in the charts.

But it was his fourth single Angels which made the whole world sit up and take notice. It proved a runaway success and caused sales of his album to skyrocket.  He followed it up with hits She’s the One and Millennium. 

In 2010, he rejoined Take That  and the band staged its Progress Live tour  across the UK, including a record breaking eights nights at Wembley Stadium in London. 

He later  became a father  to baby girl Theodora Rose with his wife Ayda Field. 

His music career is still going strong and last year he released an album featuring duet recordings with Michael Bublé, Olly Murs, Rufus Wainright, Lily Allen and Kelly Clarkson.

Robbie has always been proud of his roots and his home town is equally proud of him. A blue plaque honouring singer was unveiled near the pop singer’s childhood home in Stoke-on-Trent  last week.

It’s one of a number of events being held, including an exhibition inspired by his career  at a Burslem art gallery. And today the town is holding a Robbie Day  to mark his birthday.

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