Fatboy Slim (GB)
This musical chameleon grew up in Surrey and began to DJ when he moved to Brighton to study for a degree. After playing bass guitar with the Housemartins, he had his first success as a solo artist with a remix of Erik B And Rakim's "I Know You Got Soul" which reached number 13 in the charts in the late 80s. In the 90s, he formed Beats International, who achieved a UK number 1 in February 1990 with "Dub Be Good To Me", and later Freak Power (with Ashley Slater), who reached number 2 in the UK charts in March 1995 after their "Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out" single was featured in a Levis jeans commercial. Cook has achieved the most success in producing dance music under many different names, and in his roles as a club DJ and in-demand remixer. In 1994, he turned to house music as Pizzaman and had several Top 20 hits including "Tripping On Sunshine' (Loaded Records). At the same time, he began to write in a style that later became known as the big beat and to purvey this sound at the Big Beat Boutique (from which the movement took its name). Following the success of the club, he signed to Damian Harris" newly formed Skint Records as Fatboy Slim and released "Santa Cruz" as his first single. Cook's success lies in his ability to blend funky breakbeats with the most catchy melodies and riffs, and he has reached a wider audience than many DJs by combining elements of rock and dance music. While he admits his music is simple, cheesy and obvious, describing himself as "just a party fiend who nicks bits of other people's records," his light-hearted attitude and unashamedly amateurish approach, which also permeates Skint, could prove more critical in the long run than the sound itself. His high-profile marriage to television and radio personality Zoe Ball has ensured tabloid coverage for his every move during his present popularity.
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