Pete Waterman

Peter Alan Waterman was born in 1947 in Stoke HeathCoventryWarwickshire.

He was educated at Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School until he left in 1962 to work

for British Railways. He became a steam locomotive fireman based at Wolverhampton

(Stafford Road) depot.  After closure of the depot in 1963, Waterman chose to follow a

career in music, being inspired by The Beatles. To supplement his income as a DJ, he

became a gravedigger and then an apprentice at General Electric Company, becoming

trade union official.

Building a record collection through rare US imports, his DJ work began to take him

across the UK, entertaining bigger crowds with a blend of rhythm and blues and soul

music tunes he had sourced. Given a residency with the Mecca Leisure Group, he

developed new initiatives including matinée discos for under 18s at Coventry’s Locarno

club, which gave him a valuable insight into what music interested a younger audience.

Waterman noticed that the younger dancers preferred records with high beats per

minute and this influenced his later work. It was at the Locarno that he first met Neville

Staple, later to be a vocalist for The Specials – a band that Waterman would manage

for a brief period. 

Pete took up a job as an A&R man, and worked in the Philadelphia scene, which included introducing the Three Degrees to the UK. He then moved to Jamaica working with Peter Tosh and Lee Perry, and producing Susan Cadogan’s reggae-crossover hit Hurts So Good.

In 1979, Waterman set up Loose Ends with Peter Collins, the first coming under the name 14–18 with a single inspired by World War I, "Good-Bye-Ee," and hits with artists like Musical Youth and Nik Kershaw

In 1984 he was approached by Mike Stock and Matt Aitken and they formed the partnership, Stock Aitken Waterman, one of the most successful musical production teams of all time.

To date, Waterman has scored a total of twenty-two UK number one singles with his various acts (including Dead or AliveKylie MinogueRick AstleyBananaramaStepsMel and KimDonna SummerSinittaCliff Richard and Jason Donovan and he claims upwards of 500 million sales worldwide (inclusive of singles, albums, compilation inclusions, downloads, etc.).

Pete has appeared on many television shows including, The Hitman And Her, Pop Idol and Celebrity Masterchef.

Waterman's main interest outside music is in railways, and he has been involved in several railway ventures. To hold his own collection of locomotives, he founded the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust. He also has a keen interest in model railways, and is the founder of the model railway business Just Like the Real Thing.

In 2004 he was awarded an OBE for services to music.

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