As lead singer of East 17, Take That's closest '90s boy band rivals, Brian Harvey's unquestionable vocal talents were often overshadowed by his tabloid-baiting and controversial extracurricular activities. Born in Walthamstow, London in 1974, Harvey was originally intended to be a backing vocalist/dancer for East 17, a pop group centered around songwriter Tony Mortimer, until record company executives heard him sing during a recording session and promoted him to frontman status. The band scored an impressive 16 Top 40 singles and three Top Ten albums, but in 1997 Harvey was sacked from the band following a radio interview where he appeared to condone the use of ecstasy, an opinion that unsurprisingly caused a media furor due to his predominantly teen fan base. However, a year later, he rejoined the band, minus Mortimer, under the ...
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Artist Biography

by Jon O'Brien

As lead singer of East 17, Take That's closest '90s boy band rivals, Brian Harvey's unquestionable vocal talents were often overshadowed by his tabloid-baiting and controversial extracurricular activities. Born in Walthamstow, London in 1974, Harvey was originally intended to be a backing vocalist/dancer for East 17, a pop group centered around songwriter Tony Mortimer, until record company executives heard him sing during a recording session and promoted him to frontman status. The band scored an impressive 16 Top 40 singles and three Top Ten albums, but in 1997 Harvey was sacked from the band following a radio interview where he appeared to condone the use of ecstasy, an opinion that unsurprisingly caused a media furor due to his predominantly teen fan base. However, a year later, he rejoined the band, minus Mortimer, under the rebranded name of E-17, but despite the success of number two lead single "Each Time," its parent album flopped and the trio was dropped by its Telstar label. After providing guest vocals for garage duo True Steppers' hit "True Step Tonight," he signed a deal with Edel Records and scored two Top 30 entries with "Straight Up (No Bends)" and the Wyclef Jean-produced "Loving You (Ole Ole Ole)," but his debut album, Solo, wasn't released. In 2004, he appeared on jungle reality show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, and a year later almost died following a bizarre accident where he got crushed under the wheels of his own car. After reuniting with East 17's John Hendy and Terry Coldwell for a series of club PAs, he lost out to Scooch in the search to find the U.K. entry for the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, and in 2010 he resumed his solo career with the track "Going Backwardz."