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Glenn Hughes (born 21 August 1951, Cannock) is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple and briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s, as well as working with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi as a solo artist. In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He fronted the supergroup Black Country Communion from 2009 to 2013 and from late 2013 to early 2015, California Breed.
Hughes fronted Finders Keepers in the 1960s as bassist/vocalist, as well as the British funk rock band Trapeze. Hughes was recruited to replace Roger Glover as bassist in Deep Purple in 1973, though he considered himself more a vocalist than a bassist. He was reportedly uninterested in the Deep Purple job until some of the other members proposed that Paul Rodgers of Free be brought in as co-lead vocalist. Though the recruitment of Rodgers fell through, Hughes had now become interested in the "two-lead-singer thing", and David Coverdale was later hired as Deep Purple's lead vocalist. The two would ultimately share lead vocal duties in the band until their break-up in 1976. Battling severe cocaine addiction, Hughes embarked on a solo career following his departure from the group, releasing his first solo album in 1977 called Play Me Out.
In 1982, he joined with ex-Pat Travers guitarist Pat Thrall to form Hughes/Thrall, and they released one self-titled album which went virtually unnoticed at the time. Part of the reason for the album's obscurity was the inability to support it with a proper tour due to both parties suffering from drug addiction. As Hughes stated in a 2007 interview, "The Hughes-Thrall album was a brilliant, brilliant album, but we only did 17 shows because we were too loaded." It is now often cited by many fans/musicians to be their favourite Glenn Hughes album. In the mid-1980s, Hughes recorded several different albums with bands and artists including Phenomena (Phenomena, Phenomena II: Dream Runner), Gary Moore (Run For Cover), and Black Sabbath (Seventh Star; originally a solo album by Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi that was released as a Sabbath album due to record label pressure).
Hughes' health problems due to overeating, drugs and alcohol began to seriously affect his musical projects, and this contributed to very short stints with Gary Moore and Tony Iommi, as Hughes was unable to tour with them properly due to his bad health. By the end of the decade, Hughes' realised his ongoing drug problem was derailing him, and by 1991 a clean, sober and fully rejuvenated Hughes returned with the vocal for the hit "America: What Time Is Love?" with KLF. He also recorded all the vocals for former Europe guitarist John Norum's solo album Face the Truth. He then re-embarked on a solo career that he has primarily focused on to date. In 1999, Hughes did a short tribute tour to Tommy Bolin in Texas, with Tommy's brother Johnnie (of Black Oak Arkansas) on drums.
In 2005 Hughes released Soul Mover supporting it with a European tour. He also collaborated with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi on the 2005 album Fused. Hughes then released Music for the Divine in 2006, which featured Red Hot Chili Peppers members Chad Smith and John Frusciante. Hughes toured in support of the album throughout Europe in autumn 2006.
Released on Edel Records on 17 November 2007 is Live in Australia, an acoustic CD and companion DVD of a performance at Sydney's famous "Basement" club. The show features songs from most recent Hughes albums, Purple classics and rare gems and covers.
His newest album, First Underground Nuclear Kitchen was released on 9 May 2008 in Europe and on 12 May in the rest of the world. In 2009, Hughes formed Black Country Communion with Jason Bonham (drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards). The band has released three albums as of October 2012 and disbanded in March 2013 following the departure of guitarist Bonamassa.
In July 2010 Hughes appeared as a guest vocalist (together with singer Jorn Lande) fronting Heaven & Hell at the High Voltage Rock Festival in London as a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio.
Hughes' autobiography was published in May 2011 by British specialist limited edition publishers Foruli. The book, titled 'Deep Purple And Beyond: Scenes From The Life Of A Rock Star', was co-written with author Joel McIver and featured contributions by Tony Iommi, David Coverdale, Ozzy Osbourne and Tom Morello, as well as a foreword by Lars Ulrich of Metallica. An extended paperback edition, retitled 'Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography', was published in late 2011 by Jawbone Press.
On 13 September 2012 Glenn Hughes and Derek Sherinian met Bako Sahakyan, the president of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and organised a concert in Stepanakert.
In 2013, Hughes makes a special guest appearance on the debut, self-titled album from Device. Hughes is featured on the song "Through It All" accompanying David Draiman on Vocals.
In April 2013 Hughes appeared in Readings, Carlton for an Australian launch of Glen Hughes: The Autobiography.
Hughes has been touring as a member of Kings of Chaos, as lead vocals, backing vocals and acoustic guitars since early 2013.
In late 2013 he formed a new band called California Breed with drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Andrew Watt. In 2015, California Breed announced that they had broken up. The group released one self-titled album in 2014.