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Vincent Neil Wharton


1981-1992 Mötley Crüe - vocals (as Vince Neil)  
1996- Mötley Crüe - vocals (as Vince Neil)  

Personal information

Also known as: Vince Neil
Born on: 08.02.1961

Vincent Neil Wharton (born February 8, 1961 in Hollywood, California), better known as Vince Neil is the lead singer for American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe.

Early life

Neil was born to Odie and Shirley Wharton in 1961 in Southern California. During the 1960s, his family moved around, from Inglewood to Watts, before finally settling in Compton. Growing up in Compton was sometimes tough; Neil once had his face slashed by a gang member. Neil eventually got in trouble at school for fighting and drug use, and he was subsequently expelled. As well as having an interest in music while a teenager, Neil was also interested in surfing, baseball, football, wrestling, tennis, cricket, and golf.


Neil was discovered while performing with his band, Rockandi in 1980, and joined Mötley Crüe in 1981. Mötley Crüe released its first album, Too Fast For Love the same year. In 1983, Mötley Crüe released Shout At The Devil, a blockbuster success that established the band as one of the biggest acts of the 1980s.

In 1985, Neil regrouped with Mötley Crüe to record Theatre Of Pain. The band subsequently recorded the hugely successful Girls, Girls, Girls. The band then released their highest-selling album, Dr. Feelgood, in 1989 after going through drug rehabilitation. The band's stint in rehab was due to bassist Nikki Sixx's overdose on heroin in December 1987. Sixx was revived by two adrenaline shots to the heart, but the band's management nevertheless cancelled an upcoming European tour and insisted that all members of the group go to drug rehabilitation with the admonition: "If you guys go to Europe, at least one of you will be coming back in a bodybag."

Neil left Mötley Crüe to pursue a solo career in February 1992. According to rumors in the band's autobiography, he was fired because he was more interested in car racing than in the band (he was racing in the Indy Lights open wheel developmental series at the time). In 1992 he released his first solo offering, the single You're Invited (But Your Friend Can't Come) featured on the Encino Man soundtrack. Exposed, his first solo album, was released in mid-1993, debuting at #13 on the Billboard charts. The album featured Steve Stevens, Dave Marshall, Robbie Crane, and Vik Foxx. It sold only about 300,000 copies in the US, just about as many as Mötley Crüe's 1994 self-titled album with singer John Corabi. All previous Mötley Crüe albums had sold at least one million copies.

In 1995, Neil released Carved In Stone, an industrial-oriented album produced by the Dust Brothers. It sold less than 100,000 copies in the US, and Neil's contract with Warner Bros. Records eventually came to an end. Some versions of the album feature "Skylar's Song" a tribute to his daughter.

By 1997, both Neil's solo career and Mötley Crüe's fortunes were declining and he accepted their invitation to rejoin the band. They released the album Generation Swine which debuted at #4 on the Billboard charts. It wasn't long before tension erupted again, this time prompting Tommy Lee to leave the band. They replaced him with Randy Castillo, but things came to a halt when Castillo died from cancer in 2002.

In 2002, Neil was one of the cast members on the first season of The Surreal Life.

In 2003, Vince Neil was featured (as a solo act) in the "Rock Never Stops Tour" along with other '80s hard rock bands.

In 2004, Neil appeared again on TV for the special Remaking Vince Neil, which showed him trying to recharge his solo career. He also recorded the single Promise Me produced by the acclaimed record producer Desmond Child which was never released commercially, but was rumored to be on his forthcoming solo album. However, it turned out to be Mötley Crüe that got the career boost as Neil and Tommy Lee put aside their differences and toured in support of the compilation album Red, White And Crüe which was supported by an extensive world-wide tour dubbed Carnival Of Sins, The tour featured near-naked female acrobats, fire-breathers and a midget as part of the overall 'circus' atmosphere the band created.

Vince Neil is currently touring with his solo band, now consisting of Slaughter members Jeff Blando and Dana Strum, as well as drummer Zoltan Chaney.

Mötley Crüe will continue to tour, with several dates over the summer, and Neil will continue to tour with his solo band during his off time from Mötley Crüe. He is also currently working on a new studio album with Dana Strum, with whom he performed at glam metal festival Rocklahoma.

On January 19, 2008, Neil played a free concert on the streets of downtown West Palm Beach, Florida to celebrate the grand opening of his club "Dr Feelgoods".

On April 15th, 2008 Mötley Crüe announced the tour dates for their summer tour "Crue Fest".

Television & Film:
Neil had a small part in the film The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane playing the part of Bobby Black, lead vocalist of the fictional rock band "Black Plague", which also consisted of Carlos Cavazo, Randy Castillo, and Phil Soussan. Opening sequences of the film feature the band playing at Red Rocks Amphitheater where Neil's character makes a grand entrance by swooping on stage via zip-line. He then proceeds to die onstage under suspicious circumstances. Bobby Black's misfortunes continue even in death when at his funeral, a mêlée takes place resulting in his cylindrical plexiglass casket rolling down a hill (obviously containing a dummy of Vince Neil).

In 2004, Neil appeared in an episode of the CBS sitcom Still Standing, in which he played a tattoo artist.

Personal life

Neil married his first wife, Beth Lynn, in 1981; they divorced in 1985. In April 1988, Neil married Sharise Ruddell, a mudwrestler. Ruddell and Neil divorced in 1993.

On August 15, 1995, Neil and Ruddell's daughter, Skylar Neil, died of cancer. He founded the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund in her honor. Since that time, Neil and the foundation have raised awareness and funding for various children's illnesses. The Skylar Neil Memorial Foundation has donated over one million dollars to The T.J. Martell Foundation, and it sponsors an annual golf tournament to raise money for children with cancer.

In May 2000, Neil married Playboy Playmate Heidi Mark. They divorced in August 2001.

Neil married Lia Gerardini in January 2005. The ceremony was officiated by ordained minister and fellow cast member from The Surreal Life, M.C. Hammer.

Legal problems:
In late 1984, Finnish metal band Hanoi Rocks was on their first American tour; on December 8, their drummer Nicholas Dingley visited Neil's home and spent the day at Redondo Beach. After partying for hours, the two men decided to take a trip to a local liquor store in Neil's De Tomaso Pantera. Neil, who was drunk, lost control of the car and hit an opposing vehicle. The two occupants of the other car were seriously injured, and Dingley was killed. Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with the crash. His blood alcohol level was .17, well above the legal limit of .10.

In July 1986, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Edward Hinz, Jr. sentenced Neil to 30 days in jail, five years probation, $2.6 million in restitution to the victims of the crash and 200 hours of community service. Neil got out of jail in 20 days for good behavior; Mötley Crüe dedicated their third studio album, Theater Of Pain to Dingley.

Neil's account of this event is documented in Mötley Crüe's 2001 autobiography The Dirt: Confessions Of The World's Most Notorious Rock Band.

In July 2003, Neil, a regular customer of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, was charged with battery after a prostitute at the ranch alleged that he grabbed her around the throat and threw her against a wall. A year earlier, he had pleaded no contest to the charge that he had punched record producer Michael Schuman.

(Source: Wikipedia, 1.1.2013)