Roger Waters (born September 6, 1944) is a world-renowned, seminal British musician who rose to recognition as the conceptual leader of the progressive rock outfit Pink Floyd, hailing from Great Bookham, Surrey, England.
Born in Great Bookham, Surrey, Roger Waters’ father was a conscientious objector for the early part of WW2, however later changed this stance and was killed in action at Aprilia when Roger was five months old. Following his fathers death, Roger moved with his mother to Cambridge, which is where he met future band mates Syd Barrett and David Gilmour. Upon subsequently enrolling at Regent Street Polytechnic, Waters met Pink Floyd founding members Nick Mason and Richard Wright. The 3 members went on to play music together for the 1st time in the autumn of 1963, dubbing themselves Stigma 6 and sometimes the Meggadeaths.
By 1966 the moniker Pink Floyd had been settled on with a lineup consisting of Roger Waters, Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright. Together Pink Floyd would turn out to be one of the most influential, open-minded and in the end, successful rock bands of all time. In 1968 Barrett left the group and was replaced by David Gilmour, as a result Waters took the band’s conceptual reigns and began honing the distinctive Punk Floyd sound. This included the second best-selling record of all time “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973), “Wish You Were Here” (1975), “Animals” (1977), “The Wall” (1979), and “The Final Cut” (1983), culminating in over 250 million copies sold worldwide.
Waters departed Pink Floyd in 1985 and following a legal dispute regarding the rights to the name and material, the musician began crafting solo material. The esteemed singer-songwriter’s debut solo album, “The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking”, arrived in 1984, featuring Eric Clapton and David Sanborn. Following the release and disappointing supporting tour, Waters scored the soundtrack to the animated film “When the Wind Blows” in 1986, after which he released his second full-length album “Radio K.A.O.S.”. Issued in 1987, the record is a concept album based on a Welsh mute who can physically tune his mind into radio waves, and earned more popular reviews than its predecessor.
In November 1989, the world’s most polarising symbol, the Berlin Wall, fell. In 1990 Waters staged arguably the largest and most impressive rock concert in history, The Wall Live. Playing to in excess of 200,000 people, alongside fellow musicians Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Cyndi Lauper, and the Scorpions, a double live album “The Wall – Live in Berlin” was subsequently released to platinum sales. After a move to Columbia Records, Waters released his third studio album, “Amused to Death”, in 1992. Drawing greater comparisons to his Pink Floyd output, the record was his best-received to date, spawning the single “What God Wants, Pt. 1”.
In 1999 the extolled musician began touring again after a seven-year hiatus, playing a mix of solo and Pink Floyd material. The tour proved a massive success, constantly expanding to play larger venues and more dates, including a final show at 2002’s Glastonbury Festival. Following a reunion with Mason, Wright, and Gilmour in 2005 for Live 8 in London’s Hyde Park, Waters released the operatic album “Ça Ira”, based on the French Revolution. In 2010 Waters’ The Wall Live tour began, which by 2013 became the highest-grossing tour by a solo artist of all time.