Mick Huck­nall Biog 2009

Mick Huck­nall is the founder and lead­er of Simply Red. In this role he has had great suc­cess and has remained at the top of his pro­fes­sion for more than 25 years. His path has taken him to extraordin­ary heights as a record­ing artist and live per­former and his suc­cess has giv­en him the oppor­tun­ity to devel­op and indulge oth­er interests.

His col­lec­tion of awards, from a music­al career built up around ten best-selling stu­dio albums and more than 1000 con­certs, runs from two coveted Ivor Nov­ello awards (for Song of the Year in 1992 and an Out­stand­ing Song Col­lec­tion ten years later); three BRITs; an Amer­ic­an Soci­ety of Com­posers, Authors & Pub­lish­ers hon­our; a World Music Award; and the Music Of Black Ori­gin (MOBO) accol­ade for an Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment In Music, to over 130 plat­in­um and gold records earned from world­wide record sales in excess of 50 mil­lion. With Simply Red he has played live to over a mil­lion people around the world, and has had the hon­our of play­ing for both the Queen of Eng­land, and Pope John Paul II and Pres­id­ent Clinton.

Togeth­er with his degree in Fine Art and an hon­or­ary Mas­ters degree from UMIST (Uni­ver­sity of Manchester Insti­tute of Sci­ence & Tech­no­logy) — awar­ded for his con­tri­bu­tion to Manchester, fund-rais­ing in the after­math of an IRA bomb attack and out­stand­ing music­al suc­cess – these accol­ades are all tan­gible evid­ence of Mick Hucknall’s enorm­ous achieve­ments since he launched his band in 1984.

How­ever, what is less well-known is the Manchester-born musi­cian’s pas­sion for wine mak­ing, his enthu­si­asm for sport­ing pur­suits and his involve­ment in the devel­op­ment of the city of his birth where, for many years, Mick has been an act­ive play­er in the city’s regen­er­a­tion, being involved in a host of award-win­ing devel­op­ment pro­jects. It was also in Manchester that he ori­gin­ally based Blood and Fire, his own spe­cial­ist reg­gae record label, in which he con­tin­ues to have an interest.

His enthu­si­asm for game fish­ing — and love of Ire­land, the home of his ancest­ors — led Mick to invest in the world-renowned Glen­more Rivers sport­ing estate loc­ated on 10,000 hec­tares of Ire­land’s Atlantic coast. Glen­more puts great emphas­is on con­ser­va­tion and nat­ur­al regeneration.

Mick­’s love of Italy dates back to the days when he and his band sought an escape in Mil­an in the 1980s and was fur­ther enhanced by the fact that Simply Red recor­ded Stars, their biggest-selling album of all-time, in Venice.

Since then, as the own­er of an estate in Sicily, Mick has enthu­si­ast­ic­ally embraced the world of wine and, on the slopes of Mount Etna lie the vine­yards which have been pro­du­cing his highly regarded Il Can­t­ante (the sing­er) wines since 2001. Grow­ing high-qual­ity grapes in rich vol­can­ic soil and pro­du­cing around 40,000 bottles of red and white wine each year, the Il Can­t­ante winery embraces tra­di­tion­al wine-mak­ing meth­ods and is lov­ingly guided by Mick and his part­ner Gab­ri­ella, under the expert eye of oen­o­lo­gist Salva Foti, win­ner of the Slow Food Ita­ly’s ‘Wine­maker of the Year’ award. The res­ult­ing wines are excep­tion­al, with the Etna Rosso hav­ing been awar­ded 93pts from Gam­bero Rosso, the world’s most highly regarded guide to wines.

The story may have begun a long time ago with Simply Red but it’s no sur­prise to learn that Mick Huck­nall, as a true cre­at­ive spir­it, is still in the busi­ness of seek­ing out new chal­lenges to sat­is­fy his soul.