Roger Daltrey
Daltrey performing in 2016
Daltrey performing in 2016
Background information
Birth nameRoger Harry Daltrey
Born (1944-03-01) 1 March 1944 (age 80)
East Acton, London, England
  • Singer
  • musician
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • film producer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • harmonica
Years active1959–present
Member ofThe Who
Jaquelin Rickman
(m. 1964⁠–⁠1968)
Heather Taylor
(m. 1971)

Roger Harry Daltrey CBE (born 1 March 1944) is an English singer, musician and actor. He is the co-founder and lead singer of the rock band the Who.[1][2]

Daltrey's hit songs with the Who include "My Generation", "Pinball Wizard", "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Baba O'Riley" and "You Better You Bet". He began a solo career in 1973 while still a member of the Who, and has released ten solo studio albums, five compilation albums and one live album. His solo hits include "Giving It All Away", "Walking the Dog", "Written on the Wind", "Free Me", "Without Your Love" and "Under a Raging Moon".

The Who are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century and have sold over 100 million records worldwide. As a member of the band, Daltrey received a Lifetime achievement award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988,[3] and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001.[4] He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005.[5][6][7] He and Pete Townshend received Kennedy Center Honors in 2008, and The George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement at UCLA on 21 May 2016.[8] He was ranked number 61 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest singers of all time in 2008;[9] Planet Rock listeners voted him rock's fifth-greatest voice in 2009.[10] Daltrey has also been an actor and film producer, with roles in films, theatre, and television.

Early life

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Daltrey was born on 1 March 1944 in Hammersmith Hospital, East Acton, London, the eldest of three children of Harry and Irene Daltrey. His father, an insurance clerk, was called up to fight in the Second World War, and three-month-old Roger and his mother were evacuated to a farm in Scotland.[11]

Daltrey attended Victoria Primary School and Acton County Grammar School in west London with Pete Townshend and John Entwistle. He showed academic promise in the English state school system and was top of his class in the eleven-plus examination, after which he went to Grammar School.[12]

Daltrey's first guitar, a cherry red Stratocaster replica, he made himself in 1957.[13] He joined a skiffle group called the Detours who needed a lead singer, and produced it when they told him to bring a guitar. His father bought him an Epiphone guitar in 1959 and he became the band's lead guitarist.

He also became the band's leader, and gained a reputation for using his fists to impose discipline. According to Townshend, Daltrey "ran things the way he wanted. If you argued with him, you usually got a bunch of fives[14] [a hard punch]".[15] Daltrey explained, later in life, that this harsh approach came from the tough neighbourhood in which he had grown up, where arguments were resolved by fighting. He was expelled from school, and Townshend wrote in his autobiography, "until he was expelled, Roger had been a good pupil."[16]

They discovered in 1964 that another band was performing as the Detours, and discussed changing their name. Townshend suggested "the Hair" and Townshend's room-mate Richard Barnes suggested "The Who". The next morning, Daltrey made the decision for the band, saying "It's the Who, innit?"[17]

The Who


Townshend began writing original material for the band, and after their first hit single ("I Can't Explain") and record deal in early 1965, Daltrey's dominance of the band diminished.[18] The other members of the Who fired him from the band in late 1965 after he beat up their drummer, Keith Moon, for supplying illegal drugs to Townshend and Entwistle, but he was re-admitted to the band a week later on probation after he promised not to do it again. He recalled, "I thought if I lost the band, I was dead. If I didn't stick with the Who, I would be a sheet metal worker for the rest of my life."[19]

The band's second single, "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere", was a collaboration between Daltrey and Townshend.[20] While Townshend was developing into an accomplished composer, Daltrey was gaining a reputation as a singer and front-man. The Who's stage act was energetic, and Daltrey's habit of swinging the microphone around by its cord on stage became a signature move. His Townshend-inspired stuttering expression of youthful anger, frustration and arrogance in the band's breakthrough single, "My Generation", captured the revolutionary feeling of the 1960s for young people around the world and became a trademark sound. His scream near the end of "Won't Get Fooled Again" was a defining moment in rock and roll.[21]

Daltrey onstage with Pete Townshend, 1976

By 1973, Daltrey was experiencing success with his solo projects and acting roles. While the other members of the band were recording the music for Quadrophenia, he took the opportunity to examine the Who's financial books and found they had fallen into disarray under the management of Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Lambert was Pete Townshend's artistic mentor, and challenging him led to renewed tension within the band. During a filming session, in an incident that Daltrey later claimed was overblown, Townshend and Daltrey argued over the schedule, Townshend hit Daltrey over the head with his guitar, and Daltrey responded by knocking Townshend unconscious with a single blow.[22]

In the Who's milestone achievements, Tommy, Who's Next, and Quadrophenia, Daltrey became the face and voice of the band as they defined themselves as rebels in a generation of change. When Ken Russell's adaptation of Tommy appeared as a feature film in 1975, Daltrey played the lead role. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for "Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture", and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine on 10 April 1975. He worked with Russell again, starring as Franz Liszt in Lisztomania, and collaborated with Rick Wakeman on the soundtrack of the film.[23]

Daltrey (right) with Pete Townshend, 2004

The Who's drummer, Keith Moon, died in 1978. The band continued working after his death, but Daltrey thought that new drummer Kenney Jones had been the wrong choice.[24] The Who broke up in 1983 when Townshend felt that that he could no longer write for them.[25]

The band reformed in 1989 for a 25th Anniversary Tour, which also celebrated the 20th anniversary of their rock opera Tommy. The tour featured a large backing band, with guest appearances by Steve Winwood, Patti LaBelle, Phil Collins, Elton John, and Billy Idol. Daltrey managed to complete the tour in spite of an abdominal ailment, for which he later received surgery.[26]

In 1996, Pete Townshend was approached to produce Quadrophenia for the Prince's Trust concert at Hyde Park, London. Daltrey agreed to help to produce a one-off performance, and the opera was to be performed with a large backing band. On the night before the show, Daltrey was struck in the face by a microphone stand swung by Gary Glitter and the accident fractured his eye socket. There was concern that he might not be able to perform, but Daltrey covered the bruises with an eye patch and completed the show as scheduled. Townshend took the production on tour in 1996–97 as the Who.[27]

After the success of the Quadrophenia tour, the band returned as the Who with a five-piece line-up for tours in 1999–2000, and they made a major impact at the Concert for New York City in 2002. After Entwistle's death in June 2002, Daltrey and Townshend decided to continue with an already planned tour, with bass player Pino Palladino taking Entwistle's place. They also completed a brief tour in 2004. In 2006, they released the Who's first studio album of new material in twenty-four years, Endless Wire, which led to suggestions that the much-discussed artistic tension in the Who lay between Daltrey and Townshend. The band undertook a world tour in 2006–07 in support of the album.[28]

In February 2010, Townshend and Daltrey, headlining as the Who, performed the half-time show at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, Florida, and were seen by 105.97 million viewers across the world. In March 2010, Townshend and Daltrey, with an extensive backing band, performed Quadrophenia at the Royal Albert Hall in London as a tenth-anniversary charity benefit for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam sang the part of the Godfather and Tom Meighan of Kasabian sang the part of Aceface.[29]


Daltrey wrote several songs in the band's catalogue during their early years:

Daltrey also wrote a song titled "Crossroads Now" for the Who, which grew from an onstage jam in 1999.[34] Another Daltrey song, "Certified Rose", was rehearsed by the Who shortly before the death of John Entwistle. The band had intended to play it, as well as Townshend's "Real Good Looking Boy", during their 2002 tour, but it was dropped after Entwistle's death.[35] It was rumoured that a studio version had been recorded during the Endless Wire sessions which may have featured Entwistle's basslines from 2002, but Townshend later stated that no such recording had been made.[36] A more recent recording of "Certified Rose" was released on Daltrey's 2018 album, As Long As I Have You.[37]

Solo career


Daltrey with the Who at the Manchester Arena, 2014

Daltrey has released ten solo studio albums. The first, Daltrey (1973), was recorded during a hiatus in the Who's touring schedule. The best-selling single from the album, "Giving It All Away", peaked at No. 5 in the UK and the album, which introduced Leo Sayer as a songwriter, made the Top 50 in the United States. The inner sleeve photography showed a trompe-l'œil which referred to the Narcissus myth, as Daltrey's reflection in the water differed from his actual appearance. He also released a single in 1973, "Thinking", with "There is Love" on the B-side. The British release, with considerable airplay of "Giving It All Away" (first lines "I paid all my dues so I picked up my shoes, I got up and walked away") coincided with news reports of the Who being sued for unpaid damage to their hotel on a recent tour, which included a TV set thrown out of a window.[38]

Daltrey's second solo album, Ride a Rock Horse, was released in 1975. It was his second most commercially successful solo album.[citation needed] McVicar was a soundtrack album from the film of the same name, in which Daltrey starred and also co-produced; it featured all the other members of the Who (Townshend, Entwistle, and Kenney Jones). McVicar included two hit singles, "Free Me", and "Without Your Love", Daltrey's best-selling solo recording.[39]

His next album, Parting Should Be Painless, received negative reviews and was his poorest-selling studio album up to that point. In it, Daltrey had vented his frustrations after the break-up of the Who by assembling a set of roughly autobiographical songs. They included a track contributed by Bryan Ferry ("Going Strong"), and one contributed by the Eurythmics ("Somebody Told Me"). Daltrey said the album covered musical areas that he had wanted the Who to pursue.[40] The title track of the next album, Under a Raging Moon, was a tribute to the Who's drummer, Keith Moon, who had died in 1978 at the age of 32. On his Rocks in the Head album, Daltrey's voice ranged from a powerful bluesy growl in the style of Howlin' Wolf, to tender vocals shared with his daughter Willow on the ballad "Everything a Heart Could Ever Want".

Daltrey appeared in the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992, singing the hard rock Queen song "I Want It All", in homage to his friend Freddie Mercury who had died the previous year one day after a public announcement that he had AIDS.[41][42]

To celebrate his 50th birthday in 1994, Daltrey performed two shows at Carnegie Hall in New York. A recording of the concerts was later issued on CD and video, entitled A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, and is sometimes called Daltrey Sings Townshend. The success of these shows led to a US tour under the same name, featuring Pete Townshend's brother Simon on lead guitar. Phil Spalding played bass in the first half of each show and John Entwistle played bass in the second half. An Australian leg was considered but eventually scrapped.[citation needed]

A fan of Premier League football club Arsenal F.C., Daltrey wrote and performed a specially commissioned song, "Highbury Highs", for the 2006 Highbury Farewell ceremony after the final football match was played at the Highbury ground.[43] Daltrey's performance was part of Arsenal's celebration of the club's 93 years at Highbury as it prepared to move to a new stadium.[44]

Daltrey embarked on a solo tour of the US and Canada on 10 October 2009, the "Use It or Lose It" tour, with a new touring band he called "No Plan B" on the Alan Titchmarsh Show.[45] The band included Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Frank Simes on lead guitar, Jon Button on bass guitar, Loren Gold on keyboards, and Scott Devours on drums.[46] Eddie Vedder made a guest appearance at the Seattle show on 12 October.[47] In 2010, Daltrey and No Plan B appeared for several dates with Eric Clapton,[48] including Summerfest at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[49]

On 15 March 2018, Daltrey announced the forthcoming release on 1 June of a new solo studio album, As Long as I Have You.[50] He appeared on BBC One's The Graham Norton Show on 13 April 2018 to promote the single taken from the album.[51]

In May 2021, Daltrey announced a return to touring, with the solo Live and Kicking Tour, starting in August 2021.[52] The tour was rescheduled and carried out during the summer of 2022.[53]


Main article: Roger Daltrey discography


In 1998, Daltrey performed two songs with the Jim Byrnes Blues Band at the Los Angeles Highlander Convention.[54]

On 12 January 2009, he headlined a one-off concert with Babyshambles at the O2 Academy Bristol for Teenage Cancer Trust. On 5 July 2009, he joined the Jam's lead singer, Paul Weller, on stage at Hop Farm Festival in Kent for an encore of "Magic Bus".[55] In 2011, Daltrey recorded a duet on the song "Ma seule amour" with French singer and composer Laurent Voulzy for his album Lys and Love.[56]

In November 2014, while staying at the Mar Hall Hotel in Bishopton, Renfrewshire ahead of the Who's gig at the SSE Hydro, Daltrey joined local band Milestone for an impromptu rendition of "I Can't Explain". The band were playing at a wedding reception in the hotel.[57]


Daltrey singing with the Who in Hamburg, Germany, 1972

Pete Townshend said Daltrey had "almost invented the pseudo-messianic role taken up later by Jim Morrison and Robert Plant."[1] His stage persona earned him a position as one of the "gods of rock and roll".[2] He developed a trademark move of swinging and throwing his microphone through a complex sequence, matching these sequences with the tempo of the song that was being played, although Daltrey reduced the athleticism of his performances in later years. According to a review of the Who's performance at the Quart Festival in 2007:

Suddenly each and everyone stopped caring about the down-pouring rain. When the Who took the stage we couldn't do anything but to reach for the sky and howl. Anyone who has ever thought of calling these gods old men and dinosaurs should be deeply ashamed. The reports we've heard from around the world were true: Live rock doesn't get any better.[58]


See also: The Who's musical equipment

Daltrey performing onstage at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Canada, 1976

Daltrey hand-built his first guitar from a piece of plywood, and he also built guitars for the band in the early days when they had little money to buy equipment.[59] As lead guitarist for the Detours, Daltrey played a 1961 Epiphone Wilshire solid-body electric guitar, which he later sold to Pete Townshend on an easy payment plan.[60][61] After he took over as the band's vocalist in the 1960s, and during the 1970s, Daltrey rarely played guitar on stage, except for a Martin acoustic guitar he used while promoting his solo album Daltrey.[62] He began playing guitar with the Who again during the band's tours in the 1980s, and used a Fender Esquire to play a second guitar part for the song "Eminence Front" on the Who's 1982, 1989 and later tours.[63] During the 1989 tour, Daltrey played a Gibson Chet Atkins SST guitar for the song "Hey Joe". During the Who's 1996–97 Quadrophenia tour, he played a Gibson J-200 acoustic guitar.[64]

After 1999, it became common for Daltrey to play guitar during both the Who and solo shows. He played a Versoul Buxom 6 handmade acoustic guitar on the Who's 2002 tour.[65] Daltrey owns a Gibson Everly Brothers Flattop acoustic guitar which he played on the Who and solo tours in the late first decade of the 21st century.[66] On his 2009 tour, he played Pete Townshend's "Blue, Red and Grey" on an Ashbury cutaway tenor EQ ukulele.[67]

Daltrey is among those who brought the harmonica into British popular music.[68] Harmonica brands he has used include Hohner and Lee Oskar.[69]

Daltrey uses Shure microphones. Their cords are taped to strengthen the connection to the microphone and to avoid cutting his hands when he swings and catches it. He commonly uses a standard Shure SM58,[70] but has also used Shure SM78 (in 1981), Shure model 565D Unisphere 1, and Shure model 548 Unidyne IV.[71] Daltrey also uses a hybrid monitoring system, with one in-ear monitor supplemented by floor wedges.[72]

Acting career

Daltrey prior to a screening of The Who Live at Kilburn 1977 at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks, 2008
List of acting performances in film and television
Title Year Role Notes
Tommy 1975 Tommy Walker film
Lisztomania 1975 Franz Liszt film
The Legacy 1978 Clive film
McVicar 1980 John McVicar also producer
The Beggar's Opera 1983 Captain Macheath BBC musical production
The Comedy of Errors 1983 The Dromios TV film
Bitter Cherry 1983 short
Murder: Ultimate Grounds for Divorce 1984 Roger Cunningham film
Pop Pirates 1984 Producer film
Buddy 1986 Terry Clark TV series
The Little Match Girl 1986 Jeb Macklin musical film
The Hunting of the Snark 1987 The Barrister concert appearance
Crossbow 1987 Francois Arconciel/François Arconciel TV series
Gentry 1987 Colin TV series
How to Be Cool 1988 Himself TV series
Mack the Knife 1990 Street singer musical film
Forgotten Prisoners: The Amnesty Files 1990 Howard TV film
Cold Justice 1989 Keith Gibson film
Buddy's Song 1991 Terry Clark film, also music score composer, producer
Midnight Caller 1991 Danny Bingham TV series
If Looks Could Kill – Teen Agent 1991 Blade film
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert 1992 Himself concert performance
The Real Story of Happy Birthday to You 1992 Barnaby (voice) short
Tales from the Crypt 1993 Dalton Scott TV series
Highlander 1993–98 Hugh Fitzcairn TV series
Lightning Jack 1994 John T. Coles film
A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who 1994 Himself concert performance
The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True 1995 Tin Man concert performance
Bad English I: Tales of a Son of a Brit 1995 film
Vampirella 1996 Vlad film
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman 1996 Tez TV series
Sliders 1997 Col. Angus Rickman TV series
Pirate Tales 1997 William Dampier TV mini-series
Like It Is 1998 Kelvin film
The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns 1999 King Boric TV film
Rude Awakening 1999–2000 Nobby Clegg TV series
The Bill 1999 Larry Moore TV series
Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula 2000 King Janos TV film
Best 2000 Rodney Marsh film
The Young Messiah – Messiah XXI 2000 Himself concert performance
The Simpsons (episode "A Tale of Two Springfields") 2000 Himself, as The Who TV series
Strange Frequency 2 2001 Host/devil TV series
Chasing Destiny 2001 Nehemiah Peoples film
Witchblade 2001 Father Del Toro/Madame Sesostris TV series
.com for Murder 2001 Ben film
That '70s Show 2002 Mr. Wilkinson TV series
The Wheels on the Bus 2003 Argon the dragon children's DVD
Trafalgar Battle Surgeon 2005 Loblolly Boy TV film
The Mighty Boosh 2005 Himself TV series, Series 2 episode 2 'The Priest and the Beast'
Johnny Was 2006 Jimmy Nolan film
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2006 Mickey Dunn TV series (episode: "Living Legend", season 7, episode 9)
The Last Detective 2007 Mick Keating TV series
Once Upon a Time 2012 Caterpillar TV series (uncredited)
Pawn Stars 2013 Himself 1 Episode

Literary work

Daltrey contributed to a collection of childhood fishing stories published in 1996 entitled I Remember: Reflections on Fishing in Childhood.[73] In 2009, he contributed a foreword to Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of The Who 1958–1978 by Andrew Neill and Matt Kent.[74] In 2011, he wrote a tribute article in honour of the late Ken Russell which was published in Britain's Daily Express.[75]

In October 2018, Daltrey published his memoir, Thanks a Lot Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story.[76] The title is a reference to the man who threw him out of grammar school, enabling him to go into a successful music career.[77]

Awards and achievements

In 1976, Daltrey was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for "Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture" for his starring role in the film version of the Who's rock opera Tommy. He also performed as a guest on the Chieftains' recording of Irish Evening: Live at the Grand Opera House which won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in 1993. With the Who, Daltrey received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 for outstanding artistic significance in music.[78]

In 1990, Daltrey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio as a member of the Who.[79] The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also included three songs that Daltrey recorded with the Who on the list of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, including: "My Generation", "Go to the Mirror!", and "Baba O'Riley".[80] In 2005, Daltrey received a British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors Gold Badge Award for special and lasting contributions to the British entertainment industry.[81][82]

In 2003, Daltrey was honoured by Time magazine as a European Hero for his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust and other charities.[83] In the New Year's Honours List published on 31 December 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Music, the Entertainment Industry and Charity.[84][85]

As a member of the Who, Daltrey was inducted in 2005 into the UK Music Hall of Fame.[86] In December 2008, he and Pete Townshend were honoured with America's most prestigious cultural awards as recipients of the 31st annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., by the then-president of the United States, George W. Bush.[87] On 4 March 2009, three days after his 65th birthday, Daltrey accepted the James Joyce Award from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin for outstanding success in the music field.[88]

On 12 March 2011, he received the Steiger Award (Germany) for excellence in music.[89] In November 2011, Daltrey and Pete Townshend received the Classic Album Award for Quadrophenia from the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards at the Roundhouse in London.[90]

In July 2012, Daltrey received an honorary degree from Middlesex University in recognition of his contributions to music.[91]

Daltrey has received numerous awards for his music, including Best Blues Album in the British Blues Awards 2015 alongside Wilko Johnson.[92]

In 2019, Daltrey was the recipient of the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. He received his Golden Plate along with Pete Townshend and presented by Awards Council member Peter Gabriel.[93][94]


Daltrey at the Hyde Park Live 8 concert in 2005

All of the Who's Encore Series profits go to young people's charities. Daltrey was instrumental in starting the Teenage Cancer Trust concert series in 2000, with the Who playing in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2010, and Daltrey playing solo in 2011 and in 2015 as the Who. The annual concerts have raised over £20 million. He has endorsed the Whodlums, a Who tribute band which raise money for the trust.[95]

Daltrey performed at the first ChildLine Rocks concert at London's the O2 on 13 March 2008.[96] In 2009, Daltrey was a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.[97][98] In the same year, he appeared on stage with Michael J. Fox for the "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's" benefit. In April 2010, he headlined the Imagine A Cure II show honouring the legacy of John Lennon, which raised money for the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity. In 2011, Daltrey became a patron of the Children's Respite Trust for children with disabilities.[99]

In 2011, Daltrey, Steven Tyler, and Julie Andrews provided funding for Robert S. Langer's research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology into vocal cord repair for victims of cancer and other disorders.[100] On 4 November 2011, Daltrey and Pete Townshend launched the Daltrey/Townshend Teen and Young Adult Cancer Programme at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, to be funded by the Who's charity Teen Cancer America.[101] The launch, followed on 5 November by a fund-raising event, was also attended by Robert Plant, and Dave Grohl.[102] Daltrey also announced that a portion of ticket sales from his solo tours would go to fund the teen cancer centres. In 2012, he offered his support to a project helping unemployed young people in Heathfield, run by Tomorrow's People Trust.[103]

Political views

In 1970, Daltrey publicly supported The National Campaign for Freedom of Information, saying: "I come from a working-class background and I am proud of it, and I intend to fight for the workers' right to know. We all need to know what goes on behind the scenes that is causing this country's economic mess. When we have a Freedom of Information Act in this country we shall have restored our Right to Know the Truth and that will bring sanity to our tax laws."[104]

Daltrey was previously a supporter of the British Labour Party, but he withdrew his endorsement, citing his opposition to the "mass immigration" policies put in place under the Blair government.[105] In 2018, he criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, describing him as a "communist".[106]

Daltrey supported Britain leaving the European Union.[107] He wrote in The Mirror: "Whatever happens, our country should never fear the consequences of leaving. We went into the Common Market in 1973. Do you know what was going on before we went in? It was the 1960s. The most exciting time ever – Britain was Swinging. Films, Theatre, Fashion, Art and Music.... Britain was the centre of the world. You got that because Britain was doing its own thing. It was independent. Not sure we'll ever get that again when we're ruled by bureaucrats in the European Union."[108] He again criticised the EU in 2019, saying, "If you want to be signed up to be ruled by a fucking mafia, you do it. Like being governed by FIFA".[109]

In 2017, Daltrey opined that a "dead dog" could have defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States presidential election.[110] In 2018, he denounced the MeToo movement, saying: "I find this whole thing so obnoxious. It's always allegations and it's just salacious crap."[111]

In 2021, Daltrey criticised "the woke generation" in an interview with Zane Lowe's Apple Music 1 podcast, arguing that younger generations are limiting themselves by stifling and undoing creative freedoms that had emerged through the artistic revolutions of the 1960s. He elaborated by saying "It's terrifying, the miserable world they're going to create for themselves. I mean, anyone who's lived a life and you see what they're doing, you just know that it's a route to nowhere."[112][113]

Personal life

Daltrey has been married twice. In 1964 he married Jacqueline "Jackie" Rickman, and later that year their son, Simon, was born. They divorced in 1968. In 1967, another son, Mathias, was born, the result of an affair with Swedish model Elisabeth Aronsson. In 1968 he met Heather Taylor, a UK-born model living with her grandmother at the time, who was the subject of the 1967 Jimi Hendrix song "Foxy Lady".[114] Daltrey and Taylor have been married since 1971, and have three children: daughters Rosie Lea (born 1972) and Willow Amber (born 1975),[115] and son Jamie (born 1981), who runs Daltrey's trout farm near Burwash Common.[116][117]

On 1 March 1994, his 50th birthday, Daltrey received a letter from a woman who claimed to be his daughter from a brief relationship in the interval between his marriages.[118] Daltrey later met two more daughters who were born during this period in the late 1960s.[118] All three had been adopted, and had grown to adulthood before meeting their biological father. Daltrey stated that Heather had joined him in welcoming them to their extended family.[114] As well as his eight children, Daltrey has fifteen grandchildren.[119]

In 1971, Daltrey bought a farm at Holmshurst Manor, near Burwash, Sussex.[104]

Daltrey announced onstage in 2018 that he had suffered hearing loss as a result of exposure to loud noise levels during performances and was now "very, very deaf". He urged audience members to use earplugs.

In 1978, during the recording of the Who's album Who Are You, Daltrey had throat surgery to remove nodules.[120] During a solo tour in 2009 he began finding it harder to reach the high notes. In December 2010 he was diagnosed with vocal cord dysplasia and consulted Steven M. Zeitels, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center and professor at Harvard Medical School. Zeitels performed laser surgery to remove a possibly pre-cancerous growth.[121] Both surgeries were considered successful, and Daltrey has regular checks to monitor his condition.[122]

Daltrey has an allergy to cannabis that affects his singing voice. When second-hand marijuana smoke from an audience has affected his performance, he has occasionally interrupted the concert to request that people not smoke it.[123][124] Daltrey has stated that he has never taken hard drugs.[125][126]

Daltrey is a supporter of Arsenal F.C.[127]


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Further reading