Chris Martin

Chris Martin
Chris Martin

Chris Martin playing the guitar during Coldplay's Viva la Vida Tour in 2008.
Background information
Birth name Christopher Anthony John Martin
Born 2 March 1977 (1977-03-02) (age 34)
Exeter, Devon, England
Genres Alternative rock, art rock, post-Britpop
Occupations musician, producer
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar, mandolin, clarinet, trumpet, harmonica, bass, organ, glockenspiel, Keyboards
Years active 1996–present
Labels Parlophone, Capitol
Associated acts Coldplay

Christopher Anthony John "Chris" Martin (born 2 March 1977) is an English singer-songwriter, who is the lead vocalist, pianist and rhythm guitarist of the band Coldplay. He is married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow.


Early life

Chris Martin was born in Exeter, Devon, England and is the eldest of five children. His father, Anthony Martin, is a retired accountant, and his mother, Alison Martin, is a music teacher.[1][2] Martin started his education at the pre-preparatory Hylton School and then went on to preparatory Exeter Cathedral School.[3] It was at the prep school that Martin formed his first band, The Rocking Honkies, with Nick Repton & Iwan Gronow. Their debut performance was met with boos from the crowd.[4] After Exeter Cathedral, Martin boarded at Sherborne School, a boys' independent school in Dorset. He also met future Coldplay manager Phil Harvey at the school.[5] Martin continued his studies at University College London, staying at Ramsay Hall where he read Ancient World Studies and graduated with First Class honours in Greek and Latin.[2][6] It is here he met future Coldplay bandmates Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman.[7]

Recording career


While studying at University College London, Martin met Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman. In January 1998, they formed the rock band Coldplay. The band has had internationally recognised fame and success since their debut album, Parachutes, in 2000. Since then, they have released several further albums/EPs including: A Rush of Blood to the Head, Live 2003, X&Y, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, Prospekt's March, LeftRightLeftRightLeft and Mylo Xyloto.

Solo work

Martin sitting at his piano for a 2005 concert

As a solo artist, Martin has written songs for a variety of acts including Embrace ("Gravity") and Jamelia ("See It in a Boy's Eyes", co-written with Coldplay producer Rik Simpson). Martin has also collaborated with Ron Sexsmith, Faultline, The Streets, and Ian McCulloch. He also sang a part of the vocals for the Band Aid 20 single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" at the end of 2004. In 2005, Martin collaborated with Nelly Furtado on the track "All Good Things (Come to an End)", for her 2006 album, Loose. The two were once rumoured to be a couple, after they both performed at Glastonbury in 2002. Furtado joked about the situation, saying that "Yeah, he's my boyfriend — he just doesn't know it yet".[8]

Martin's fascination with hip hop was shown in mid-2006 when he collaborated with rapper Jay-Z for the rapper's comeback album Kingdom Come after the two met earlier in the year. Martin put some chords together for a song known as "Beach Chair" and sent them to Jay-Z who enlisted the help of hip hop producer Dr. Dre to mix it (contrary to popular knowledge it was Coldplay producer Rik Simpson and not Dre who conceived and performed the drum beats). The song was performed on 27 September 2006 by the two during Jay-Z's European tour at Royal Albert Hall. In 2007, Martin appeared on a track titled "Part of the Plan" for Swizz Beatz' debut solo album One Man Band Man. Martin has also worked on a solo collaboration with Kanye West, with whom he shared an impromptu jam session during a 2006 concert at Abbey Road Studios.[9] He performed the chorus of "Homecoming", from West's album Graduation.


Perhaps Martin's & Coldplay's main influence is the Scottish rock band Travis, with Martin crediting the band for the creation of his own group.[10] U2 has been another important influence on Martin both musically and politically,[11] on whom he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time",[12] in the section on U2, saying: "I don't buy weekend tickets to Ireland and hang out in front of their gates, but U2 are the only band whose entire catalog I know by heart. The first song on The Unforgettable Fire, "A Sort of Homecoming", I know backward and forward – it's so rousing, brilliant, and beautiful. It's one of the first songs I played to my unborn baby." Martin also comments on Bono's effect on his own charity and political involvement he is even known to joke with friends referring to himself as "Crono".[11]

Martin is very vocal about his love for Norwegian new wave/Synthpop band a-ha. In 2005 he stated the following in an interview: "I found myself in Amsterdam the other day and I put a-ha's first record on. I just remembered how much I loved it. It's incredible songwriting. Everyone asks what inspired us, what we've been trying to steal from and what we listened to as we were growing up – the first band I ever loved was a-ha."[13] Martin has also performed live together with Magne Furuholmen of a-ha.

He also is known to be a fan of artists such as English alternative rock bands Oasis & Muse,[14] Irish pop group Westlife,[15] English band Radiohead, British pop groups Girls Aloud[16][17] and Take That,[18] and Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. Solo artists Martin likes include Leona Lewis,[19] Noel Gallagher, Kylie Minogue,[20] Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Hank Williams.[14]

Coldplay performed R.E.M.'s "Nightswimming" with Michael Stipe on their Austin City Limits performance. During the show, Martin called "Nightswimming" "the greatest song ever written".[21]

Other endeavours

Martin playing "Trouble" on his piano during a concert in Brazil, February 2007

Martin and Coldplay guitarist Jon Buckland made cameo appearances in the film Shaun of the Dead as supporters of the fictional charity ZombAid.[22] Martin has a second cameo in this film as a Zombie.[22] In 2006 Martin had a cameo role in the second series episode four of the Ricky Gervais- and Stephen Merchant-created comedy Extras. He also appears singing in the closing credits of the 2009 film Brüno alongside Bono, Sting, Slash, Snoop Dogg, and Elton John.[23] Martin also played one gig with the "Sid James Experience".

Martin has been particularly outspoken on issues of fair trade and has campaigned for the charity Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign. He traveled to Ghana and Haiti to meet farmers and view the effects of unfair trade practices.[24] When performing he usually has variations of "Make Trade Fair", "MTF" or an equal sign written on the back of his left hand and the letters "MTF" can be seen emblazoned on his piano. [25]

He was a vocal critic of President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. Martin was a strong supporter of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, most notably during his acceptance speech for the 2004 Grammy Awards Record of the Year, accepting for "Clocks". Martin also supported the Democratic Party candidate for President in 2008, giving a shout-out to Barack Obama at the end of a performance of "Yellow" on 25 October 2008 episode of Saturday Night Live.[26]

On 1 April 2006, The Guardian reported that Martin was backing the British Conservative Party leader David Cameron and had written a new theme song for the party titled "Talk to David".[27][28] This was later revealed to be an April Fool's joke. Whilst touring Australia in March 2009, Martin and the rest of Coldplay were the opening act at the Sound Relief benefit concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, for the bushfires and floods in Victoria and Queensland.

Personal life

Martin met American actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 2002 backstage at a Coldplay gig after the death of the actress's father, Bruce Paltrow. The couple married a year later on 5 December 2003.[29] Their daughter, Apple Blythe Alison Martin, was born on 14 May 2004 in London.[30] Their second child, Moses Bruce Anthony Martin, was born on 8 April 2006 in New York City.[31] Simon Pegg and Martin's bandmate Jonny Buckland are Apple's godfathers.[32][33] Martin is a longtime friend of Pegg, having met him in 2001, and appears in Shaun of the Dead,[22] one of Pegg's movies.

Martin does not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol.[34]

In a 2005 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Martin said of his religious views: "I definitely believe in God. How can you look at anything and not be overwhelmed by the miraculousness of it?"[35] In the same interview he spoke of going through a period of spiritual confusion, stating "I went through a weird patch, starting when I was about sixteen to twenty-two, of getting God, religion, superstition, judgement all confused".[35] However, in a 2008 interview he stated:

"I'm always trying to work out what 'He' or 'She' is. I don't know if it's Allah or Jesus or Mohammed or Zeus. But I'd go for Zeus."[36]

Following the said interview, he released a text message declaring himself an "Alltheist", a word of his invention meaning that he believes in "everything".[36]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Extras Himself "Chris Martin" (Season 2: Episode 4)
2010 The Simpsons Himself "Million Dollar Maybe" (Season 21: Episode 11)


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Shaun of the Dead Himself Cameo appearance
With Jon Buckland
2009 Brüno Himself Cameo appearance

Solo discography

See Coldplay discography for his work with said group.
Year Song(s) Artist Album Role
2002 "Where Is My Boy?"
"Your Love Means Everything, Pt. 2"
Faultline Your Love Means Everything Featured vocals
"Gold in Them Hills" Ron Sexsmith Cobblestone Runway Featured vocals
2003 "Sliding", "Arthur" Ian McCulloch Slideling Piano, backing vocals
"See It in a Boy's Eyes" Jamelia Thank You Co-writer, backing vocals
2004 "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" Ash Orpheus Backing vocals
"Gravity" Embrace Out of Nothing Writer
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" Band Aid 20 Featured vocals
2006 "All Good Things (Come to an End)" Nelly Furtado Loose Co-writer, background vocals
"In the Sun (song)" Michael Stipe - background vocals
"Beach Chair" Jay-Z Kingdom Come Producer, featured vocals
2007 "Homecoming" Kanye West Graduation Co-writer, featured vocals, piano
2009 "Lukas", "Fun", "Want" Natalie Imbruglia Come to Life Co-writer
2009 "Dove of Peace" Brüno Brüno Featured vocals
2010 "Most Kingz" Jay-Z Featured vocals
2010 "Me and Tennessee" Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw Country Strong Writer


  1. ^ "Chris Martin: The stereo MC". London: Independent. 2003-02-23. Retrieved 2003-02-23. 
  2. ^ a b Ellen, Barbara (2003-12-07). "The Observer Profile: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin". London: The Observer. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  3. ^ Boshoff, Alison (200-12-09). "The very genteel Mr Paltrow". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  4. ^ "X & Y = Zzzzzzzz". London: The Daily Telegraph. 2005-06-11. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  5. ^ "The State of Coldplay". Q. August 2002. 
  6. ^ No byline (2003-01-27), "She's With The Band". People. 59 (3):69
  7. ^ "Coldplay's university challenge". BBC News. 2001-02-22. Retrieved 2001-02-21. 
  8. ^ "Compilation Brings Nelly Furtado and Chris Martin Together Forever". Chart. 2001-09-05. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  9. ^ NME staff author (2006). "Chris Martin to release solo collaboration" NME magazine. Retrieved 2006-04-26.
  10. ^ Chris Martin | Martin: 'Travis Invented Coldplay' | Contactmusic
  11. ^ a b "The Immortals: The First Fifty". Rolling Stone Issue 946. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  12. ^ "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  13. ^ "Martin: 'I'm A Big Fan Of A-Ha'". 
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ "Chris Martin: I dream about Westlife". Now. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  16. ^ Sylvia Patterson (2008-10-05). "Girls uninterrupted". The Observer (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  17. ^ "Chris Martin : you can't just fancy one member of Girls Aloud, its all or nothing". Celebrities News. fametastic. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  18. ^ "Chris Martin reveals Coldplays secret love of Take That". Celebrities News. fametastic. 2008-11-17. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  19. ^ "Chris is on Leona's wish list". The Sun. 28 December 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2009. 
  20. ^ Jason Gregory (2008-05-18). "Chris Martin : Kylie Minogue ie like Girls Aloud rolled into one". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  21. ^ Coldplay On Austin City Limits On Jambase
  22. ^ a b c "Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Trivia", IMDb, 2008, webpage: IMDb-5748: notes role as zombie, and singer in Ash music.
  23. ^ Ben Child (2009-04-01). "Bono and Chris Martin record spoof single for Sacha Baron Cohen film". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-07-09. 
  24. ^ "Coldplay". Oxfam. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  25. ^ "Catch Coldplay // USA TODAY". 2005-06-03. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  26. ^ "Coldplay Gives Shout Out To Obama On SNL // Current". 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  27. ^ Olaf Priol (2006). "Their wives met at yoga. Now Chris Martin plans to rock the vote for Cameron's Tories" The Guardian. Retrieved 2006-04-25.
  28. ^ Guardian staff (2006). "Talk to David" The Guardian. Retrieved 2006-04-26.
  29. ^ Hiatt, Brian (2003-12-10). "Gwyneth Paltrow marries Chris Martin". Entertainment Weekly.,,559500,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  30. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (2004-05-14). "It's a Girl for Gwyneth Paltrow & Hubby". People.,,638322,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  31. ^ Robertson, Jessica (2006-04-10). "Coldplay's Chris Martin Has a Boy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  32. ^ "Martin+Paltrow Name Pegg As Godfather". 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  33. ^ "Simon Pegg named Apple Martin's godfather", Celebrity Baby, 2007, webpage (has 10 ads): CB.
  34. ^ "Chris Martin: The stereo MC". The Independent (London). 2003-02-23. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  35. ^ a b Austin Scaggs (2005-08-11). "Coldplay's Quiet Storm". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  36. ^ a b "What is Chris Martin's problem? - Music, Entertainment -". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 

External links

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