David Jon Gilmour, CBE (born 6 March 1946) is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He joined the progressive rock band Pink Floyd as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968, effectively as a replacement for founder Syd Barrett, who left the band shortly afterwards.
Pink Floyd subsequently achieved international success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. By the early 1980s, they had become one of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling acts in the history of popular music; it was estimated that by 2012 the band had sold over 250 million records worldwide, including 75 million units sold in the United States. Following the departure of another founding member, Roger Waters, Gilmour assumed leadership of Pink Floyd in 1985.
Gilmour has recorded four solo albums, all four of which have charted in the US Top 40: 2006's On an Island peaked at number 6 in 2006, 2008's Live in Gdansk peaked at number 26, his 1978 self-titled solo debut peaked at number 29 in 1978, and 1984's About Face peaked at number 32 in 1984.
Although mainly known for his guitar work, Gilmour is also a proficient multi-instrumentalist. He also played bass on a portion of Pink Floyd tracks, keyboards, synthesiser, banjo, lap steel, mandolin, harmonica, and drums on the Syd Barrett solo track "Dominoes". He can also play the saxophone.
Many critics have been very favourable towards Gilmour and his style, music critic Alan di Perna has praised Gilmour's guitar work as being an integral element of Pink Floyd's sound. Rolling Stone ranked him number 14 in their "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list and di Perna described him as the most important guitarist of the 1970s, Perna also referred to Gilmour as "the missing link between [Jimi] Hendrix and Van Halen." In a 2006 interview with Gilmour, he commented on his playing technique: "[My] fingers make a distinctive sound... [they] aren't very fast, but I think I am instantly recognisable... The way I play melodies is connected to things like Hank Marvin and the Shadows".