Paul Bruce Dickinson (born 7 August 1958) is an English singer, airline pilot, fencer, broadcaster, author, director, musician, screenwriter, actor, marketing director, entrepreneur and songwriter best known as the vocalist of the heavy metal group Iron Maiden.
Dickinson performed for some local bands including Styx (not the American band of the same name) in 1976, Speed, (1977–1978), and Shots in early 1979. He then joined the band Samson later in 1979, where he gained some popularity. In this band he went by the name of "Bruce Bruce." He left Samson in 1981, citing musical differences. Shortly afterwards, in 1981, Dickinson was hired as Iron Maiden's new vocalist, replacing Paul Di'Anno, and debuting for that band with the 1982 album The Number of the Beast. During his time in that band, they issued a series of high impact releases, resulting in Dickinson gaining worldwide fame, and becoming one of the most acclaimed heavy metal vocalists of all time.
Dickinson quit Iron Maiden in 1993 in order to pursue his solo career, being replaced by Blaze Bayley. Dickinson's solo work ranged across a wide variety of heavy metal and rock styles. Dickinson rejoined Maiden in 1999 along with guitarist Adrian Smith. Since then, Dickinson has only released one more solo album, Tyranny of Souls. He is the older cousin of Rob Dickinson, lead singer of British alternative rock band Catherine Wheel. His son Austin Dickinson is the lead singer in metalcore band Rise to Remain.
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Although Dickinson never received a formal vocal training, he still possessed a wide vocal range which was trademarked by his quasi-operatic tenor. Along with Ronnie James Dio and Rob Halford, Dickinson is one of the pioneers of the operatic vocal style later to be adopted by power metal vocalists.
Dickinson's singing varied notably in the 1990s in the recording of albums such as No Prayer for the Dying, Fear of the Dark and his first solo work Tattooed Millionaire, making use of a much more raspy and unpolished sound, befitting of the stripped down style of the albums. Since returning to Iron Maiden in 1999, his singing style has returned to much like it was in the 1980s with Iron Maiden, though soft and reflective passages have been incorporated with the familiar operatic wail to suit the more progressive direction of Iron Maiden since the reunion. His voice has lowered with age, making him a dramatic tenor in opera terms.
- Iron Maiden
- 1982: The Number of the Beast
- 1983: Piece of Mind
- 1984: Powerslave
- 1986: Somewhere in Time
- 1988: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
- 1990: No Prayer for the Dying
- 1992: Fear of the Dark
- 1999: Ed Hunter, "Wrathchild" hidden track
- 2000: Brave New World
- 2003: Dance of Death
- 2006: A Matter of Life and Death
- 2010: The Final Frontier
- Bruce Dickinson
- 1990: Tattooed Millionaire
- 1994: Balls to Picasso
- 1996: Skunkworks
- 1997: Accident of Birth
- 1998: The Chemical Wedding
- 2005: Tyranny of Souls
- 1979: Survivors *
- 1980: Head On
- 1981: Shock Tactics
- 1990: Live at Reading 1981
- Prato, Greg. [Allmusic The Number of the Beast Review]. Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved on November 3, 2008.
- The Greatest Metal Bands of All Time. MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved on November 8, 2008.