Gavin McGregor Rossdale (born October 30, 1965) is a British musician most famous for being the lead singer and guitarist of the former British rock group Bush, and later the lead singer and guitarist of Institute, which broke up in 2006.
Born in Kilburn, London, England, to parents Lucy Stephan (b. Scotland) and Douglas Rossdale (a doctor of Russian Jewish descent); they divorced when he was eleven years old and he was raised primarily by his father and aunt (his mother remarried and moved to South Tampa Florida). He has a younger sister, Soraya, and an older one, Lorraine (daughter called Jade).
Rossdale modelled briefly, producing some embarrassing fashion shots with good friend, Marilyn. Gavin learned to play bass guitar after hanging out with Lorraine’s boyfriend who was in a band called The Nobodyz, but switched to rhythm guitar. At 17, he had left Westminster School, played semi-professional football until side-lined by an injury, and formed a band called Midnight (formerly Little Dukes), which produced a couple of singles and a bunch of publicity photos. In 1991, Gavin moved to Los Angeles for 6 months, lived where he could, and took whatever part time jobs were available, including production assistant on video shoots. He spent some time in NYC with his good friend Bill MacAdam before returning to England inspired to start a new band. He hooked up with future manager Scottie Mac (SSM), whom he had met in LA, around this time. In 1992, Gavin formed Future Primitive, whose original line-up (under the name The Diceheads) included screenwriter Sacha Gervasi, who left to pursue a film-making career. The band changed its name to Bush in the summer of 1994 and released the promo Sixteen Stone.
Gavin was the lead singer/songwriter for the UK post-grunge rock band Bush. Their first album, Sixteen Stone (1994), was a huge commercial success. Almost overnight, Bush went from playing small pubs in London to headlining arenas in the US, the result of extensive, non-stop touring. However, some critics labelled them as an inferior derivative of bands such as Nirvana and Pixies, and this criticism followed them throughout their career as a band. In particular, Rossdale’s forced, raspy singing voice and random, stream of consciousness-style lyrics were dismissed by some as an imitation of Nirvana’s lead singer, Kurt Cobain. Although the band reached superstar status in the U.S., they failed to have much impact on the Brit-Pop riddled UK charts, the lone exception being their single “Swallowed”, which reached #7. A change in record labels, management and an extended hiatus did not bode well for the band, who unofficially split in 2002.
Bush’s albums include Razorblade Suitcase (produced by Steve Albini), Deconstructed, The Science of Things, and Golden State, none of which matched the sales success of the debut album, Sixteen Stone.
In 2004, after Bush had been on hiatus for two years, Rossdale formed Institute. Their first album, Distort Yourself, released September 13, 2005 achieved moderate success and the single “Bullet-proof skin” was used in the motion picture Stealth.
Rossdale was featured on the Sony Pictures XXX soundtrack in 2002 with a song called “Adrenaline.” The song was also the official theme song for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)’s Unforgiven pay-per-view event in September 2002. He also guest appeared for Blue Man Group’s “The Current” and is featured in its video. The song was used in the ending credits of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
In 2005, Rossdale appeared in the motion picture Constantine (2005) playing the villain Balthazar. Rossdale has also appeared in the films Zoolander (2001), The Mayor of Sunset Strip (2003), Little Black Book (2004), and The Game of Their Lives (2005). He will next be seen in the heist film How to Rob a Bank alongside Nick Stahl and Erika Christensen.
In 2007, on Rossdale’s website, he has announced that he is now working on new music. It will be a solo album, and he is very happy with the sound of the album, citing he went back to his roots from Bush. Rossdale’s single, “Can’t Stop the World,” is the introduction theme to Fox’s program, Drive.
In 2007, he covered John Lennon’s “Mind Games” for the album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Later that year, Gavin finished recording his first solo record entitled Wanderlust. It is expected out in early 2008. He also made a guest appearance on the DT8 Project album Perfect World, taking lead vocals and co-writing the track Falling.
Rossdale has homes in Primrose Hill, London and California, and is a regular on the celebrity tennis circuit in the latter.
In 2004, it was revealed that he was the father of Pearl Lowe’s 17-year-old daughter, Daisy Lowe (b. 1989). Rossdale and Lowe had a former relationship and Rossdale had been the godfather of Daisy.
On September 14, 2002 Rossdale married Gwen Stefani, American pop-princess and lead vocalist of the rock band No Doubt. During an August 8, 2005 appearance on the radio show Loveline, Rossdale said that he and Gwen preferred to keep their relationship entirely out of the media. He also said that he grew up in a chaotic home, and stated that having a stable environment for his family was important to him. On May 26, 2006, they had a son, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Kingston weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces (3.4 kilograms).