Steve Winwood (born 12 May 1948) is an English musician whose genres include rock, blue-eyed soul, rhythm and blues, blues rock, pop rock, and jazz. Though primarily a vocalist and keyboardist, Winwood also plays bass guitar, drums, acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, violin, and other strings.
Winwood was a key member of The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go. He also had a successful solo career with hits including “While You See a Chance”, “Valerie”, “Back in the High Life Again” and two US Billboard Hot 100 number ones: “Higher Love” and “Roll with It”. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.
In 2005, Winwood was honoured as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards for his “enduring influence on generations of music makers.” In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Winwood #33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Winwood has won two Grammy Awards. He was nominated twice for the Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: 1988 and 1989.
Stephen Lawrence Winwood was born in Handsworth, Birmingham. His father, Lawrence, a foundryman by trade, was a semi-professional musician, playing mainly the saxophone and clarinet. Young Winwood became interested in swing and Dixieland jazz as a boy and started playing drums, guitar and piano. He first performed with his father and older brother, Muff, in the Ron Atkinson Band at the age of eight. Winwood was a choirboy at St John’s Church of England, Perry Barr. He later admitted to having “sneaked a few plays” of the organ there. While he was still young the family moved from Handsworth to the semi-rural suburb of Great Barr at the northern edge of the city. Winwood attended the Great Barr School which was one of the first comprehensive schools,