Nik Kershaw

English singer-songwriter
English pop songwriter and performer; enjoyed scattershot successes since the 1980s.
BornMarch 1, 1958
HometownBristol, England
Net worth$20 million
Height5'4" (1.63m)
SpouseSarah Kershaw (m 2009 - present) , Sheri Kershaw (m 1983 - 2003)

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Nik Kershaw interview: ‘The Smiths hated me – we had stare-offs on Top of the Pops’

  • It’s 11.30am or thereabouts on Monday, so it’s time for Nik Kershaw to get out the wine. “We were drinking this,” the musician is saying, hefting into laptop-screen view a bottle of Gevrey-Chambertin. It just so happens that the 1980s pop star, responsible for retro-radio staples Wouldn’t It Be Good, I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me and The Riddle, has to hand a bottle of the same red wine he enjoyed one fateful Sunday at Elton John’s Windsor estate. (Probably not the same pricey vintage, he points out, but you get the picture.) In late 1984, the year of his chart breakthrough, Kershaw – now a well-preserved 62 years old, with a grey buzzcut and a larky sense of humour – had been friends with John for a short but intense-sounding time. The latter had championed the young, Bristol-born, Suffolk-raised synth-pop singer after a joint Radio 1 gig at Wembley. Later, he invited Kershaw to a gig in Paris, “and we got chatting, and started hanging out a bit. Then he invites me to Sunday lunch. “We went for a walk in the woods at the back of his property, and when we came back, he told me put my shoes by the door. Then when I went to leave, the shoes had been cleaned by some minion. My shoes have never been as clean, before or since. A different f---ing planet… And that was the world I lived in, back in 1984!” Kershaw says with a laugh and a shrug. Over a lunch of roast beef and Gevrey-Chambertin (“his favourite”), John told Kershaw that he had “just got a bunch of lyrics over from Bernie Taupin, and he’d spent two weeks making demos. We finished lunch and I asked if he could play them to me. Brilliant! Demos for an Elton John album? Of course I want to hear them! “So he played me about eight of them, then looked at me and said: ‘So which ones do you want to play on?’ Really? So I picked three, and Nikita was one of them. We ended up at Jimmy Page’s studio at the time, The Mill, and spent a day putting down the rhythm tracks.” That, he adds, “was a blast”, and how, aged 26, he came to play guitar on Nikita, a UK number 3, US number 7 and a global 1985 smash for John (with a video directed by Ken Russell).

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