Ian Robins Dury (12 May 1942 – 27 March 2000) was an English rock and roll singer-songwriter, bandleader, artist, and actor who first rose to fame during the late 1970s, during the punk and new wave era of rock music. He was the lead singer of Ian Dury and the Blockheads and before that of Kilburn and the High Roads (a reference to the road in North West London) in 1971.
Under the management of Andrew King and Peter Jenner, the original managers of Pink Floyd, Ian Dury and the Blockheads quickly gained a reputation as one of the top live acts of new wave music. Dury's lyrics were a combination of lyrical poetry, word play, observation of British everyday life, character sketches, and sexual humour:
Dury's lyrics are a combination of lyrical poetry, word play, observation of British everyday life, character sketches, and sexual humour and the Blockheads' sound drew from its members' diverse musical influences, which included jazz, rock and roll, funk, and reggae, and Dury's love of music hall. The band was formed after Dury began writing songs with pianist and guitarist Chaz Jankel (the brother of noted music video, TV, commercial and film director Annabel Jankel). Jankel took Dury's lyrics, fashioned a number of songs, and they began recording with members of Radio Caroline's Loving Awareness Band—drummer Charley Charles (born Hugh Glenn Mortimer Charles, Guyana 1945), bassist Norman Watt-Roy, keyboard player Mick Gallagher, guitarist John Turnbull and former Kilburns saxophonist Davey Payne. An album was completed, but major record labels passed on the band. Next door to Dury's manager's office was the newly formed Stiff Records, a perfect home for Dury's maverick style.