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Blaze Bayley

He replaced Bruce Dickinson as the "Iron Maiden's" frontman and despite stepping into his huge shoes, managed to leave a mark on the band's glorious history.

(Photo: Ullstein Bild)

Singer Blaze Bayley is celebrating his birthday today and we are going to tell you some facts about him:

1. He was born in Birmingham, England on May 29, 1963. His name at birth was Bayley Alexander Cooke.

2. The inspiration to become a singer came after watching Ronnie James Dio live during the "Holy Diver" tour.

3. He began his musical career a year later, in 1984, when he joined the band "Wolfsbane".

4. The band's first album - "Live Fast, Die Fast" was released in 1989. Since then Bayley has participated in three more of the band's studio albums, the most recent - "Genius" was released in 2022.

5. Together with the band he warmed up "Iron Maiden" in 1990 on the "No Prayer On The Road Tour". He even got to take the stage as a guest singer during the band's performance at the "Hammersmith Odeon" in London and perform "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter".

6. Despite the relatively limited range of voice and the fact that he had a baritone voice as appose to Bruce Dickinson's tenor, he was chosen in 1994 as the lead singer of "Iron Maiden". He was selected from hundreds of candidates, including James LaBrie and Doogie White.

7. In 1995, "The X Factor", Bayley's first album with the band was released. Bayley co-wrote some of the album's songs, including "Man on the Edge."

(Photo: George Chin)

8. The tour that accompanied the album was not a successful one, to say the least. Blaze was given a cold and chilly welcome by the crowd and there were many cancellations related to bronchitis from which Blaze suffered, all at a time when the band's popularity was declining.

9. Despite the above, we were privileged to see the band here in Israel in a series of performances held in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem.

10. The band opened their tour in Israel and even shot a music video for the song "Lord of the Flies" in Masada.

11. In 1996, the band, with Blaze, released the single "Virus". It was the first single released by the band that was not included on an album, since "Women In Uniform" from 1980.

12. That same year the band got to perform with Blaze, for the first time in years, in Chili, where it was boycotted by the church.

13. During a performance in the city of Santiago on August 29, 1996, Blaze "exploded" on a fan who spat at him and started cursing and raving on stage. See the end of the video here:

14. In 1998, "Iron Maiden" released their second studio album with Blaze - "Virtual XI". Although considered one of the band's weakest albums, it features excellent songs such as "Futureal" written by Blaze and Harris and selected in a 1999 "Maiden" fan poll as one of the band's most popular songs, and "The Clansman", both of which were performed even after Dickinson's return.

15. Blaze lost his voice several times during the band's tour and this led to his dismissal from "Iron Maiden" in January 1999.

16. Two months later Blaze formed "BLAZE". The band's first album - "Silicon Messiah" was released back in 2000, with the band releasing two more albums in 2002 and 2004.

17. Following many lineup changes, Bayley decided to change the band's name to "Blaze Bayley Band", in 2007. The first album under the new name - "The King of Metal" was released in 2008.

18. In 2012 Blaze began releasing albums under his name as a solo artist. The first album released in this frame was "The King of Metal" and since then Blaze has released 4 more studio albums, the last of which "War Within Me", was released in April 2021.

19. Among the albums released by Bayley as a solo artist are the trilogy "Infinite Entanglement" - three concept albums released in the years 2016-2018.

20. In 2019, Blaze came to perform in Israel under the title "Nylon Maiden" - a show that included, among other things, classics of "Iron Maiden" and songs from his solo career in an adaptation of classical music.

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