Steve Winwood Enjoys his Highest Chart Debut & Best First Week's Sales of the SoundScan era as 'Nine Lives,' his Columbia Records Debut, Enters the Billboard Top 200 at #12

Legendary Music Superstar Launching Tour with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

On May 30

May 07, 2008, 01:00 ET from Columbia Records

    NEW YORK, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Legendary singer-songwriter-multi-
 instrumentalist Steve Winwood's new album, "Nine Lives," his first for
 Columbia Records, has just entered the Billboard Top 200 at #12, giving the
 Rock & Roll Hall of Famer his highest chart debut, and best first week's
 sales, of the SoundScan era.
     News of "Nine Lives" chart success comes on the eve of Winwood's
 extensive North American summer tour with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers,
 launching May 30 at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan (please
 see itinerary following).
     Eric Clapton, Winwood's former bandmate in Blind Faith, lends his
 signature guitar work to "Dirty City," the album's first single, which held
 the #1 added single spot for three weeks in a row and peaked at the overall
 #2 spot on AAA Radio.
     Released on April 29, the much-anticipated "Nine Lives" is Winwood's
 first full-length studio album since the artist released "About Time" on
 his own independent label, Wincraft, in 2003.
     Each of the nine tracks on the aptly-titled "Nine Lives" paints a
 musical portrait of spiritual transformation as Winwood continues the
 exploration of soul, rock, blues and world music which began in 1957, when,
 at the age of 9, he played guitar in his father's band in Birmingham,
     Songs on "Nine Lives" include "I'm Not Drowning," "Fly," "Raging Sea,"
 "Dirty City," "We're All Looking," "Hungry Man," "Secrets," "At Times We Do
 Forget," and "Other Shore."
     "Nine Lives" arrived in the wake of a transcendent live collaboration
 between Winwood and Clapton at the Chicago Crossroads Guitar Festival in
 July 2007. The pair's staggering on-stage chemistry in Chicago led to three
 historic Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton concerts at New York's fabled Madison
 Square Garden in February 2008. All three of Winwood's MSG shows with
 Clapton sold-out within minutes.
     "Steve Winwood has had a most successful solo career for over a quarter
 century, beginning in 1981 with 'Arc of A Diver' through 2003's 'About
 Time.'," wrote Doug Collette in Glide Magazine (April 25, 2008). "Yet no
 album has so accurately reflected his versatile talents or vividly echoed
 the pinnacles of his past as 'Nine Lives.'"
     Winwood (who turns 60 this year) was perhaps the youngest member of the
 original British pop music invasion of the mid-1960s. A prodigious
 guitarist and keyboard player in the Birmingham R&B scene by his mid-teens,
 Winwood cut his musical chops as a back-up musician for an impressive array
 of American rock & roll and blues pioneers -- including Muddy Waters, John
 Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley -- during
 their UK tours.
     In 1962, Steve and his older brother, Muff Winwood, began playing with
 Spencer Davis and drummer Pete York in The Rhythm & Blues Quartet, an
 ensemble which would eventually morph into the Spencer Davis Group. An
 intensely powerful and emotional vocalist and formidable songwriter, Steve
 Winwood launched an enormously influential "blue-eyed soul" movement with
 hits like "Keep On Runnin'," "Somebody Help Me," and, especially, the
 massively successful pop-soul anthem, "Gimme Some Lovin'." Originally
 released in 1966, "Gimme Some Lovin'" entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in
 1996. Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in 1967 to form the
 groundbreaking jazz-rock ensemble Traffic.
     In 1966, as "Gimme Some Lovin'" transformed the pop landscape, the
 18-year-old Steve Winwood entered into his first collaboration with Eric
 Clapton, recording three songs -- "Steppin' Out," "Crossroads," and "I Want
 To Know" -- as the Powerhouse (a group which also included future Cream
 bassist Jack Bruce). Winwood and Clapton would join forces again in 1969 to
 create Blind Faith, one of pop music's first bona fide supergroups, with
 drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Rick Grech.
     Following the break-up of Traffic in 1974 (they would reform and
 successfully tour in the 1990s), Steve Winwood launched a successful solo
 career which reached an apogee in the mid-1980s with the release of four
 classic albums in a row: "Arc of a Diver" (1981, platinum); "Talking Back
 To The Night" (1982); "Back In The High Life" (1986, 3x platinum), which
 featured the #1 smash, "Higher Love," which earned Winwood a trio of
 Grammys including "Record of the Year"; and the #1 Billboard chart-topping
 "Roll With It" (1988, 2x platinum).
     Through his unparalleled five-plus decades career, Steve Winwood has
 remained an in-demand session player, contributing his signature sound to
 an amazing variety of projects for artists including Jimi Hendrix
 ("Electric Ladyland"), Joe Cocker ("With A Little Help From My Friends"),
 Leon Russell ("Leon Russell"), Lou Reed ("Berlin"), George Harrison ("Dark
 Horse," "George Harrison"), Toots & the Maytals ("Reggae Got Soul"),
 Marianne Faithfull ("Dangerous Acquaintances"), David Gilmour ("About
 Face"), Tina Turner ("Break Every Rule"), Billy Joel ("The Bridge"), James
 Brown ("Gravity"), Rosanne Cash ("King's Record Shop"), Jimmy Buffett ("Hot
 Water"), Phil Collins ("But Seriously"), Etta James ("Right Time"), Paul
 Weller ("Stanley Road"), and Christina Aguilera ("Back To Basics"), among
 many others.
     The private Steve Winwood is an outdoorsman who loves hiking and
 walking, and a dedicated family man who spends his Sundays playing the
 organ and singing in his church choir.
     With "Nine Lives," Steve Winwood opens up his world and gives his fans,
 old and new, nine new reasons to celebrate the life and music of this
 ageless, and still prodigious, musical treasure.
Steve Winwood Summer Tour 2008 w/Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers 2008-05-08 Berklee Performance Center Boston, MA (w/o Petty) 2008-05-19 The Scala London, UK (w/o Petty) 2008-05-30 Van Andel Arena Grand Rapids, MI 2008-05-31 The Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills, MI 2008-06-03 Air Canada Centre Toronto, ON 2008-06-05 Wachovia Center Philadelphia, PA 2008-06-06 Wachovia Center Philadelphia, PA 2008-06-08 Nissan Pavilion Bristow, VA 2008-06-10 Post-Gazette Pavilion Burgettstown, PA 2008-06-11 New England Dodge Music Center Hartford, CT 2008-06-13 TD Banknorth Garden Boston, MA 2008-06-14 Tweeter Center Mansfield, MA 2008-06-17 Madison Square Garden New York, NY 2008-06-18 Prudential Center Newark, NJ 2008-06-21 Darien Lakes Performing Arts Darien Center, NY 2008-06-22 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH 2008-06-25 Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, CA 2008-07-02 United Center Chicago, IL 2008-07-03 Verizon Wireless Music Center Noblesville, IN 2008-07-05 Marcus Amphitheater Milwaukee, WI 2008-07-08 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH 2008-07-09 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA 2008-07-11 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte, NC 2008-07-12 Walnut Creek Amphitheatre Raleigh, NC 2008-07-15 BankAtlantic Center Ft. Lauderdale, FL 2008-07-16 St. Pete Times Forum Tampa, FL 2008-07-19 Mile High Music Festival Denver, CO 2008-07-20 Quest Center Omaha Omaha, NE 2008-07-22 Sprint Center Kansas City, MO 2008-07-23 Target Center Minneapolis, MN 2008-07-25 Harris Park London (w/o Petty) 2008-07-26 Empire Square Live Belleville (w/o Petty) 2008-08-07 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Maryland Heights, MO 2008-08-09 MTS Centre Winnipeg, MB 2008-08-11 Pengrowth Saddledome Calgary, AB 2008-08-12 Rexall Place Edmonton, AB 2008-08-15 The Gorge George, WA 2008-08-16 The Gorge George, WA 2008-08-20 Arena Glendale, AZ 2008-08-22 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Irvine, CA 2008-08-23 Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA 2008-08-26 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Selma, TX 2008-08-27 American Airlines Center Dallas, TX 2008-08-29 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Woodlands, TX

SOURCE Columbia Records