Glenn Hughes (born 21 August 1951)[ is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple , as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.
In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He fronted the supergroup Black Country Communion from 2009-13, and California Breed from late 2013 to early 2015. On 8 April 2016, Hughes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.
Hughes was born in Cannock, Staffordshire, England. He fronted Finders Keepers in the 1960s as bassist/vocalist, as well as the British funk rock band Trapeze. Hughes was recruited to replace Roger Glover as bassist in Deep Purple in 1973, though he considered himself more a vocalist than a bassist. He was reportedly uninterested in the Deep Purple job until some of the other members proposed that Paul Rodgers of Free be brought in as co-lead vocalist.
Although the recruitment of Rodgers fell through, Hughes had now become interested in the “two-lead-singer thing”, and David Coverdale was later hired as Deep Purple’s lead vocalist. The two would ultimately share lead vocal duties in the band until their break-up in 1976. Battling severe cocaine addiction, Hughes embarked on a solo career following his departure from the group, releasing his first solo album in 1977 called Play Me Out.
Hughes and Thrall
In 1982, he joined with ex-Pat Travers guitarist Pat Thrall to form Hughes/Thrall, and they released one self-titled album which went virtually unnoticed at the time. Part of the reason for the album’s obscurity was the inability to support it with a proper tour due to both parties suffering from drug addiction. As Hughes stated in a 2007 interview, “The Hughes-Thrall album was a brilliant, brilliant album, but we only did 17 shows because we were too loaded.”
Gary Moore, Black Sabbath and ongoing health problems
In the mid-1980s, Hughes recorded several different albums with bands and artists including Phenomena (Phenomena, Phenomena II: Dream Runner), Gary Moore (Run For Cover), and Black Sabbath (Seventh Star; originally a solo album by Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi that was released as a Sabbath album due to record label pressure).
Hughes’ health problems due to overeating, drugs and alcohol began to seriously affect his musical projects, and this contributed to very short stints with Gary Moore and Tony Iommi, as Hughes was unable to tour with them properly due to his bad health. In 1985 Black Sabbath re-united with original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne for the one-off Live Aid performance. While waiting for a break in Osbournes’ career, Iommi decided to record a solo album and Hughes was brought in to provide the vocals. Due to the aforementioned contractual obligations with the record company the album was released as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi in 1986, to generally positive critical reviews, with Hughes in particular putting in a fine performance. While touring to promote the new album Glenn was replaced by vocalist Ray Gillen after six shows due to a fight with Black Sabbath’s production manager, as the injuries contributed to a degradation in his voice and he was also in no physical shape to complete the tour.
Health recovery and career rejuvenation
By the end of the decade, Hughes’ realized his ongoing drug problem was derailing him, and by 1991 a clean, sober and fully rejuvenated Hughes returned with the vocal for the hit “America: What Time Is Love?” with KLF. He also recorded all the vocals for former Europe guitarist John Norum’s solo album Face the Truth. He then re-embarked on a solo career that he has primarily focused on to date. In 1999, Hughes did a short tribute tour to Tommy Bolin in Texas, with Tommy’s brother Johnnie (of Black Oak Arkansas) on drums.
In 2005 Hughes released Soul Mover supporting it with a European tour. He also collaborated with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi on the 2005 album Fused. Hughes then released Music for the Divine in 2006, which featured Red Hot Chili Peppers members Chad Smith and John Frusciante. Hughes toured in support of the album throughout Europe in autumn 2006.
Released on Edel Records on 17 November 2007 is Live in Australia, an acoustic CD and companion DVD of a performance at Sydney’s famous “Basement” club. The album First Underground Nuclear Kitchen was released on 9 May 2008 in Europe and on 12 May in the rest of the world. In 2009, Hughes formed Black Country Communion with Jason Bonham (drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards).
The band has released three albums as of October 2012 and disbanded in March 2013 following the departure of guitarist Bonamassa. In July 2010 Hughes appeared as a guest vocalist (together with singer Jorn Lande) fronting Heaven & Hell at the High Voltage Rock Festival in London as a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio.
Hughes’ autobiography was published in May 2011 by British specialist limited edition publishers Foruli. The book, titled ‘Deep Purple And Beyond: Scenes From The Life Of A Rock Star’, was co-written with author Joel McIver and featured contributions by Tony Iommi, David Coverdale, Ozzy Osbourne and Tom Morello, as well as a foreword by Lars Ulrich of Metallica. An extended paperback edition, retitled ‘Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography’, was published in late 2011 by Jawbone Press
On 13 September 2012 Glenn Hughes and Derek Sherinian met Bako Sahakyan, the president of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and organised a concert in Stepanakert. In 2013, Hughes makes a special guest appearance on the debut, self-titled album from Device. Hughes is featured on the song “Through It All” accompanying David Draiman on vocals.
Kings of Chaos and California Breed
Hughes has been touring as a member of Kings of Chaos, as lead vocals, backing vocals and acoustic guitars since early 2013. In late 2013 he formed a new band called California Breed with drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Andrew Watt. In 2015, California Breed announced that they had broken up. The group released one self-titled album in 2014.
Glenn Hughes solo tour
During 2015 Glenn Hughes undertook a solo world tour, featuring guitarist Doug Aldrich and drummer Pontus Engborg
Hughes was formerly married to Karen Ulibarri.[He has been married to Gabrielle “Gabby” Hughes since 2000.
- Play Me Out (1977)
- L.A. Blues Authority Volume II: Glenn Hughes – Blues (1992)
- From Now On… (1994)
- Feel (1995)
- Addiction (1996)
- The Way It Is (1999)
- Return of Crystal Karma (2000)
- A Soulful Christmas (2000)
- Building the Machine (2001)
- Songs in the Key of Rock (2003)
- Soul Mover (2005)
- Music for the Divine (2006)
- First Underground Nuclear Kitchen (2008)
- Resonate (2016)