Robert Plant, singer and songwriter

Robert Plant, singer and songwriter

By BBC Radio 4

Robert Plant is a singer and songwriter who was Led Zeppelin’s frontman from the band’s inception in 1968 until it disbanded in 1980. Led Zeppelin sold hundreds of millions of albums and in their heyday acquired a reputation for unbridled rock ‘n’ roll hedonism. Since 1980 Robert has gone on to achieve success as a solo artist and has collaborated with other musicians, notably the bluegrass singer Alison Krauss. Their 2007 album Raising Sand won five Grammy Awards.

Robert was born in West Bromwich in 1948. At 15 he appeared on stage for the first time as the lead vocalist for a local band after the regular singer fell ill. In 1965 he started performing with the Crawling King Snakes and it was after one of the band’s gigs that he met his friend, the drummer John Bonham.

In 1968 Robert and John joined up with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones to form Led Zeppelin. Later that year the band embarked on its first US tour and the enthusiastic response from American audiences heralded a new force in British music. Over the next 12 years the band released eight studio albums including Led Zeppelin IV which featured one of their most popular tracks – Stairway to Heaven.

In 1980 John Bonham died from alcohol poisoning at the age of 32 and Led Zeppelin broke up. Devastated by his friend’s death, Robert took himself off to explore other creative avenues, recording and performing with a wide range of artists.

Robert and Alison Krauss released their second album, Raising the Roof, in 2021.

Robert lives in Worcestershire near where he grew up. He is a committed fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Black Country homing pigeons.

DISC ONE: Pink Peg Slacks by Eddie Cochrane DISC TWO: Serenade by Mario Lanza DISC THREE: I Ain’t Superstitious by Howlin’ Wolf DISC FOUR: Teenage Ska by Baba Brooks DISC FIVE: Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young DISC SIX: Raha Gardishon Mein Hardam by Mohammed Rafi DISC SEVEN: Diaraby by Ali Farka Touré with Ry Cooder DISC EIGHT: Your Long Journey by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

BOOK CHOICE: The Earliest English Poems, translated by Michael Alexander LUXURY ITEM: A basket containing photos of homing pigeons CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Serenade by Mario Lanza

Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley

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