Welcome to Famous Firsts, a new Global Original podcast from Smooth Radio, with host Jenni Falconer.
We all remember our first concert, our first album and the first song we slow danced to, but what about our favourite artists’ firsts? In Famous Firsts, Jenni Falconer will chat to pop music legends to hear the stories behind their firsts: first gigs, first record deals, first TV appearances and much more. Famous Firsts will let listeners hear the hilarious, heartwarming and at times heartbreaking stories from guests each week as they reminisce with host Jenni.
Hear Ed Sheeran talk about his hero Elton John; Michael Bolton open up about his parents’ divorce and their unwavering support of him; and Shane Filan and Nicky Byrne reveal what made Westlife get on their feet for their very first key change.
Subscribe for new episodes in this 10-part series every Monday, starting with Ed Sheeran on November 8th.
10. Billy Ocean
Billy Ocean is the latest guest on Smooth's Famous Firsts podcast, and the legendary performer opens up about his incredible life and career.
In episode 10 of Famous Firsts, Billy Ocean speaks to Jenni Falconer in-depth about his family's move from Trinidad and Tobago to the UK, and how he discovered his love of music before becoming one of the world's biggest stars.
Billy opens up about how he chose his famous stage name, and how he took over America in the 1980s with hits like 'When the Going Gets Tough' and 'Caribbean Queen'.
9. Tony Hadley
Tony Hadley is the latest guest on Smooth Radio's Famous Firsts podcast with Jenni Falconer, and the former Spandau Ballet singer opens up about the various fascinating 'firsts' through his life and career.
In episode 9 of Famous Firsts, Tony Hadley speaks to Jenni Falconer in-depth about discovering his powerful voice as a youngster, the creation of Spandau Ballet and their various name changes, and how the band became a leading force in the New Romantics movement.
Tony also opens up about going solo and how he may have done certain things differently, performing at Live Aid, and his incredible experience duetting with Queen and Freddie Mercury. The legendary artist also looks ahead to his 40th anniversary tour in 2022, and whether there is any chance of Spandau Ballet reuniting with him as lead singer.
8. Marti Pellow
Marti Pellow is the latest guest on Smooth's Famous Firsts podcast, and the Scottish music icon reflects on his fantastic career, and the amazing artists he has worked with.
In episode 8 of Famous Firsts, host Jenni Falconer chats to Marti Pellow about the various firsts of his career, including the early days of his former band Wet Wet Wet, what it was like going solo for the first time, and how he took the West End and Broadway by storm.
Marti opens up about the support and belief of his family helped him find success back in the 1980s when Wet Wet Wet became one of the UK's biggest new bands.
He also speaks about some of the biggest moments of his career, including triumphing at the Brit Awards and singing with his heroes such as Elton John. He also looks ahead to his next plans including a UK tour in 2022.
In episode 7 of Famous Firsts, host Jenni Falconer chats to Gabrielle about the various firsts of her career, including how she first performed live at her school canteen and her local supermarket, how she first found her stunning voice, and when she first decided on her now-famous stage name.
Gabrielle also opens up about facing her fears by wearing her iconic eye-patch, and how she has been an inspiration to many people who may consider themselves as having "differences", as she puts it.
6. Richard Marx
In episode 6 of Famous Firsts, Jenni Falconer chats to American singer-songwriter Richard Marx about how he first got into music thanks to his similarly-talented father, and how Lionel Richie was the person to get his first foot in the door.
Richard speaks about the fantastic duets and collaborations throughout his career, including Whitney Houston, Kenny Rogers and co-writing 'Dance with My Father' with Luther Vandross.
Richard has so many incredible stories and memories that Jenni could have talked to him all day, and this is a fascinating look back at a brilliant era of music, and the story of how a 17-year-old songwriter became one of the world's most sought-after musicians.
Make sure to subscribe to Famous Firsts for more amazing stories from other pop legends, and follow us on socials @smoothradio.
5. Paul Young
In episode 5 of Famous Firsts, Jenni Falconer speaks to Paul Young about his unique journey from quirky novelty band lead singer to one of the greatest pop and soul singers of the 1980s.
We hear the stories behind some of his biggest hits, how he almost duetted with Whitney Houston and how he stood in for David Bowie in Band Aid.
Make sure to subscribe to Famous Firsts for more fascinating stories from other pop legends, and follow us on socials @smoothradio.