For other people named Burns, see Burns (disambiguation).

Template:Infobox musical artist Peter "Pete" Burns (born August 5, 1959, Port Sunlight, England (near Liverpool)) is a British singer/songwriter and the frontman of the Hi-NRG band Dead or Alive, most famous for their number one single, You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) in 1985. His father is English and his mother was from Heidelberg in Germany.


Before forming Dead or Alive, he was a member of the short-lived Mystery Girls, and then Nightmares in Wax, an early proto-Goth, semi-punk group that formed in Liverpool around 1980. Nightmares in Wax put out a 12" single, Black Leather, and a 7" single, Birth of a Nation, each containing the same three songs, but never did an album. Burns has accused fellow pop star Boy George of copying his style and mainstreaming his unique image.


Known for his blatant sexuality and flamboyant style, Burns shocked audiences in the 1980s with his pre-Boy George androgynous or feminine dress, exotic hairstyles and heavy make-up (although he maintains that he is not a transvestic fetishist, and that his wardrobe choices are based on fashion and image rather than sexual enjoyment). Almost as much as his career with Dead or Alive, Burns is known for his ever-changing appearance, which he freely admits has been greatly modified by cosmetic surgery.

Burns has had extensive collagen injections in his lips, along with cheek implants, several nose jobs and many tattoos. He revealed in early 2006 in a pre-Big Brother interview that he had spent almost all of his life savings on eighteen months of reconstructive surgery after a procedure on his lips went horribly wrong.

Burns's autobiography, Freak Unique, was released in May 2006. In it, he writes candidly about his life and reveals that he was raped at a young age by a man who was never prosecuted. Burns also writes about his endurance of depression and his harrowing suicide attempts.

In December 2003, the BBC apologised [1] to its viewers after Burns swore repeatedly on its pre- 9pm watershed Liquid News show when asked about his views on the Michael Jackson trial.

Burns and his wife, Lynne Corlett, divorced in 2006 after more than twenty years of marriage. On 9 February 2006, in an interview with Channel 4's Richard and Judy, Burns and his boyfriend, Michael Simpson, publicly announced their engagement, displaying matching rings made for them by the designer Vivienne Westwood. However, only a day after the announcement, Burns said that the engagement was off, as Simpson was finding it hard to deal with his new recognition by the public.

Burns was arrested in March after a fight broke out between himself and Simpson. The couple are still together, as Burns has confirmed numerous times[citation needed]

In November 2006, Burns recounted his and others' similar experiences of botched operations in a TV special entitled Pete Burns' Cosmetic Surgery Nightmares for the UK ITV network. Cameras followed Burns around through his recent arrest, and his determination to get his career back on track in the documentary, Pete Burns Unspun on Living TV.

In January 2007 Burns announced that he was planning to sue the cosmetic surgeon for £1 million who carried out the botched lip.[2] He also plans to introduce his own line of cosmetics.[citation needed].

He lives in London but has also lived in Genoa, Italy for two years while he had over one hundred reconstructive operations carried out on his face.

File:George dance.jpg

Pete Burns (right) dancing with George Galloway on Celebrity Big Brother.

Celebrity Big Brother UK 2006

Burns appeared on Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother 2006 in the UK, eventually coming fifth on the show's final episode. After he claimed that his coat was made from gorilla skin, police removed the coat for testing. Ownership of products made from gorilla is illegal in the UK without a licence. Tests found the coat was in fact made of Colobus monkeys, another endangered species). As a result the case was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service who determined that the pelts used to make the coat were imported before 1975, when it became illegal to import Colobus fur and as such will not be pressing charges.[3] This greatly upset animal rights campaigners[citation needed].

The show also saw Burns gain new fans and critics alike after his scathing verbal attacks on other housemates, most notably former page three girl Jodie Marsh and former Baywatch star Traci Bingham.

Back to music

In 2004, Burns enjoyed a minor solo hit in the form of the Pet Shop Boys produced single Jack and Jill Party, which reached number 75 in the UK Singles Chart and received considerable club play; whilst on 5 February 2006, You Spin Me Round, was released once again after his Big Brother appearance, and re-entered the UK charts at number five. Burns is currently trying to record new material.


Yahoo! UK revealed that Pete was the second (behind Heather Mills McCartney) most searched for keyword in 2006 in their annual top ten search results [4]


  1. BBC News. BBC apology for Liquid swearing. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  2. chartattack. Pete Burns Sues Doctor Over Faulty Lip Surgery. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  3. BBC News. No action over Burns' monkey coat. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.
  4. Yahoo UK. Yahoo! 2006 Top Searches. Retrieved on April 2, 2007.

External links

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