b. Peter Robinson, 3 November 1962, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Marilyn launched his UK singing career on the coattails of his friend Boy George as England’s second cross-dressing pop star. Much photographed in the teenage press, he became a major celebrity in 1983 with the release of ‘Calling Your Name’, which became a number 4 hit in the UK charts (many critics suggested it sounded like a Culture Club offcut). The tabloids turned on him with barely-concealed venom. As Marilyn complained later ‘You just expect that, after Danny La Rue and Quentin Crisp and God knows who else, that people would be able to accept someone with a bit of make-up. England is like such a bunch of old drag-queens anyway. If you pick up a history book... I’m quite tame compared to a lot of people.’ Afterwards, however, a succession of further singles for Mercury Records attained ever-decreasing chart positions. The gospel-flavoured ‘Cry And Be Free’ reached 31 in February 1984. Exactly a year later ‘You Don’t Love Me’ reached UK number 40. His record company dispatched him to Detroit, Michigan, to work with producer Don Was. However, when he arrived there he found nobody had paid for a room for him to stay in. Without personal funds, he cut his famous blonde hair (which gave him his name) and ceased to wear make-up, abandoning the image that had brought him his initial success. Despite this ‘Baby You Left Me’ (one of two tracks recorded with Was) failed to re-ignite his career, and the only time he is heard of now is in ‘Where Are They Now’ features.
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