Adrian Belew Biography

Adrian Belew is a American guitarist, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. Read on to know more about Adrian Belew ’s profile, childhood, life and timeline in this biography.

Adrian Belew

Quick Facts

Gender: Male
Birthday: 23 December 1949
Nationality: American
Famous: Musicians
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Adrian Belew is a prominent guitarist and singer known for his work as a member of progressive rock group King Crimson, which he joined in 1981. Known as a highly versatile singer, Belew released plenty of solo albums. His distinct vocals is often been compared to the well-known singer David Byrne. His 2005 single "Beat Box Guitar" was nominated for Grammy Best Rock Instrumental Performance category.

Early Life & Career

The talent in Belew was discovered by Frank Zappa, he well known guitarist, singer and composer and Belew performed in his controversial album Sheik Yerbouti in 1979 and his concert film, ‘Baby Snakes’. Blew also became part of British singer David Bowie’s “heroes Tour” in 1978 and made a contribution to the next album, ‘Lodger’. He also became a music director on Bowe’s sound and vision tour of 1990 and also played guitar and singing. Following this, he assisted ‘Talking Heads on Remain’ in light. He also played for projects such as ‘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’.
It was in 1980 that he formed a new brand by the name, ‘Gaga’ for which he served as the guitarist, song writer and vocalist and drummer. He also established a pop band namely ‘The Bears’ with the ex-members of the ‘The Raisins’ and also released two albums namely ‘The Bears’ and ‘Rise and Shine’ and ‘Car Caught Fire’. He also featured on ‘Tori Amos’ album ‘Strange Little Girls’ played on Cyndi Lauper's ‘True Colors’, Porcupine Tree's ‘Deadwing’ (2005), and William Shatner's ‘Has Been’.

Awards and Achievements

Best Rock Instrumental Performance, Grammy Awards, 2006

Media Representations

Studio albums
Lone Rhino (1982)
Twang Bar King (1983)
Desire Caught By the Tail (1986)
Mr. Music Head (1989)
Young Lions (1990)
Inner Revolution (1992)
The Acoustic Adrian Belew (1993)
Here (1994)
The Experimental Guitar Series Volume 1: The Guitar as Orchestra (1995)
Op Zop Too Wah (1996)
Belew Prints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew, Vol. 2 (1998)
Side One (2005)
Side Two (2005)
Side Three (2006)
e (2009)

Live albums

Side Four (2007)
Live Overseas (2009)


Desire of the Rhino King (1991) - compilation derived from first three albums
Salad Days (1999)
Coming Attractions (2000)

Other releases

with Kevin Max: Raven Songs 101 (2004)
as Clay & Belew: A Cup Of Coffee And A Slice of Time (2009)

Famous Associations

Adrian Belew has worked with some of the biggest names of rock music such as Frank Zappa, David Bowie, the Talking Heads, King Crimson, etc.


1949: Robert Steven (Adrian) was born in Covington, KY on 23rd December.
1960: Adrian joins the Ludlow High School marching band as a drummer.
1970: Adrian adopts the name 'Adrian'.
1970: Adrian tours with Frank Zappa, meets David Bowie and asks him to join his band.
1980: Adrian forms a new brand by the name, ‘Gaga’ for which he served as the guitarist, song writer and vocalist and drummer.
1981: Adrian Belew joins the King Crimson band. He also becomes part of Talking Heads' Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth and record as ‘Tom Tom Club’. He rewrites their hit, ‘Genius Of Love’ which appears as ‘Tom Tom Club’.
1982: Adrian signs with Island Records and releases his debut solo record, 'The Lone Rhino' which features the song and video, ‘Big Electric Cat’.
1983: Adrian releases his second solo lp, ‘Twang Bar King’.
2006: Adrian Belew wins the Best Rock Instrumental Performance, Grammy Award.

Citation Information

Article Title

Adrian Belew Biography

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Last Updated

June 05, 2019

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