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Elvis Costello

Updated on January 27, 2014
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello (Declan Patrick Macmanus) was born on 25th August 1954 in Paddington, England and he is of Irish heritage. He lived in Twickenham and worked with his father on a broadcast recording in a television commercial where his father wrote and sang the song and Elvis provided backing vocals. The advert won a silver award at the 1974 International Advertising Festival.

His father was a musician and a bandleader. (Joe Ross Orchestra)

Elvis Costello took the name as a tribute to his father who performed as Day Costello.

He began his singer- songwriter career in the early 70's and later became associated with the British punk and new wave movement in the late 70's.

Costello has multiple awards to his name including a grammy. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 alongside the Attractions and in 2004 Rolling Stone magazine ranked him as number 80 out of 100 Greatest artists of all time.

Costello's first single was released in 1977. "Less than Zero"

Two months later: "My Aim is True" which became no 14 in the U.K and 40 in the U.S.

"Watching the Detectives" was his first major hit single and he appeared on the cover of the album with his oversized glasses, resembling Buddy Holly. This became his trademark look.

The first albums were initially distributed in the U.K and was sold in U.S.A only as an import.

Elvis Costello was arrested for busking outside a London convention of CBS Record executives, protesting that they were yet to release his records in the United States. A few months later he was signed on by CBS's Columbia Records.

He then formed his own backing band called "The Attractions."

Costello, as a replacement act for the Sex Pistols, was banned from Saturday Night Live for ten years after he and The Attractions were to perform, "Less than zero" which they stopped midway to perform their song "Radio Radio," pulling a rebellious copycat move by Jimmy Hendrix.

In 1979, he released his third LP "Armed Forces" which went to number 2 in the U.K.

Elvis has performed in movies and has collaborated with many artists.

Elvis Costello and Diana
Elvis Costello and Diana

Personal Life

Elvis Costello has been married three times and has three children. A son with first wife, Mary Burgoyne and twins with Diana Krall, whom he married in 2003.

He is a vegetarian and swore of meat after watching the documentary,"The Animals Film" which also inspired his song; "Pills and Soap."

Costello is on the advisory board of the board of directors of the Jazz foundation of America. He has spent his time working to save the homes and lives of American elderly jazz musicians.


Recent News

Costello kicked off a new series on television interviewing and performing with other artists. The show started in 2011.

He also did the soundtrack for the movie, "One Day" starring Anne Hathaway with a song called, "Sparkling Day."

Elvis is still performing and has tour dates lined up for 2013.

Collaborations with "The Roots" and European tour with,"The Imposters" are underway starting in Canterbury and heading back out through Europe.

Elton John had to cancel a concert in Hyde Park and Elvis Costello continued the show with Ray Davies and The Imposters among many others.

The Imposters along with Elvis Costello, performed at the Glastonbury festival this year.

He also collaborated with Mumford and Sons doing "The ghost of Tom Joad."

The Royal Albert Hall, Milton Keynes Theatre and the Sasquatch music festival, were graced by Costello performances too.

He has just recently done an Australasian tour and is still very active in the music industry.

Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello
Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello

He has worked with a number of great musicians; Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Lucinda Williams, Kid Rock, Lee Konitz, Brian Eno and Ruben Blades.

The collaboration with Burt Bacharach honoured Burt's place in musical History.


1977 - My Aim is True

1978 - This Year's Model

1979 - Armed Forces

1980 - Get Happy

1981 - Trust, Almost Blue

1982 - Imperial Bedroom

1983 - Punch the Clock

1984 - Goodbye Cruel World

1986 - King of America, Blood and Chocolate

1989 - Spike

1991 - Mighty Like a Rose

1993 - The Juliet Letters

1994 - Brutal Youth

1995 - Kojak Variety

1996 - All this Useless Beauty

2002 - When I was Cruel

2003 - North

2004 - Delivery Man

2008 - Momofuku

2009 - Secret, Profane and Sugercane

2010 - National Ransom


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