Paul Antony Young (born 17 January 1956) is an English pop musician.
Paul was born in Luton, Bedfordshire. He has an older brother Mark and an younger sister Joanne. After school, he went to work at the Vauxhall Motors factory and in his spare time played in several bands as bass guitarist. The first group for which he became lead singer was Kat Kool & The Kool Kats. In the late 1970s he joined the Streetband, who had one Top 20 hit in the UK, with the humorous, novelty track "Toast", reaching No. 18 in November 1978.
In December 1979 the Streetband broke up and Young formed the Q-Tips, who established their name by playing live but had no hits in the UK, although their single "Letter Song" did enjoy minor success in mainland Europe.
The Q-Tips went their separate ways in 1982, and Young was signed by CBS Records as a solo performer. His first two singles, "Iron Out the Rough Spots" and a re-make of "Love of the Common People" had no success, but the third, a cover of the Marvin Gaye classic "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" was No. 1 in the UK singles chart for three weeks in the summer of 1983, the first of fourteen British Top 40 singles, and is on the soundtrack of the 1992 British comedy film Peter's Friends.
Similar success followed all over Europe. In the UK, follow-up single "Come Back and Stay" reached No. 4, and a re-release of "Love of the Common People" made it to No. 2, while his debut album No Parlez was certified platinum in various countries.
Young's style at the time was a warm, approachable white soul, though he sometimes received playful criticism for his fashion decisions. However, his choice of an Antony Price leather suit for the cover of No Parlez was impractical for stage, where an energetic show dictated more robust clothing.
1984 was a difficult year for Young, as his first heavy promotional and live concert tour of America affected his vocal cords to the extent that he couldn't sing at all for most of the year. He recovered, however, to famously perform the opening line to the Band Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and his second album, The Secret of Association, secured his future success in the U.S., Japan and Australia. He continues to have occasional voice and throat difficulties, though.
Young's biggest worldwide hit followed in 1985 with a version of Daryl Hall's "Everytime You Go Away". The song reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts. In 1990, he released a cover of the Chi-Lites song Oh Girl, which peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
He continued to have a successful career, with some highlights such as singing the Crowded House track "Don't Dream It's Over" at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute in 1988, producing a popular duet, "Senza una donna-Without a Woman", with Italian blues singer Zucchero in 1991, and singing "Radio Ga Ga" with Queen in 1992, at the tribute concert to the recently deceased Freddie Mercury. In 1991, he recorded a duet with Irish group Clannad for the Blake Edwards film Switch, a cover of the Joni Mitchell song "Both Sides Now".
"Don't Dream It's Over", "Senza una donna-Without a Woman", and "Both Sides Now" all feature on his first greatest hits album, entitled From Time To Time - The Singles Collection, released in 1990, including the most prominent hit singles from his first four solo albums, the three above mentioned songs and a fourth previously unreleased track, called "I'm Only Foolin' Myself". Los Pacaminos at the 2006 Wickham Festival
Young has released fewer solo albums since he was freed from his contract with CBS/Sony Records in 1993. He reformed the Q-Tips for a short series of concerts that year. He contributed to the Vangelis album Voices in 1995. Young sang the British national anthem "God Save the Queen", on the eve of England's Euro '96 semifinal match against Germany. Now he divides his time between family, the informal Tex-Mex group Los Pacaminos, and performing live during Eighties revival tours in the UK (in 2001 to 2008).