Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett was born on the 6th January 1946 in Cambridge and was a musician, composer, singer-songwriter, and painter. Best known as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd, Barrett was the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter in its early years and is credited with naming the band. Syd and Pink Floyd parted company in March 1968 after David Gilmour took over as their new guitarist. He then went on to pursue a solo career.
With Pink Floyd, Syd recorded four singles, their debut album 'Pipers at the Gates of Dawn' (and contributed to the second one), and several unreleased songs. Barrett began his solo career in 1969 with the single "Octopus" from his first solo album, The Madcap Laughs (1970). The album was recorded over the course of a year with five different producers (Peter Jenner, Malcolm Jones, David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Barrett himself). Nearly two months after Madcap was released, Barrett began working on his second and final album, Barrett (1970), produced by Gilmour and featuring contributions from Richard Wright. Two years later, he left the music industry, retired from public life and strictly guarded his own privacy until his death in 2006.
Barrett's innovative guitar work and exploration of experimental techniques such as dissonance, distortion and feedback influenced many musicians. His recordings are also noted for their strongly English-accented vocal delivery. After leaving music, Pink Floyd wrote and recorded several tributes to him, most notably the 1975 album Wish You Were Here, which included "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", as homage to Barrett.