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Elliot John Gleave (born 20 June 1982), better known by his stage name Example, is an English singer and rapper signed to Data Records. His name arose due to his initials being E.G., which is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase exempli gratia ("for example").
Example first found success with the release of his second studio album, Won't Go Quietly, which peaked at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart. The album had two top 10 singles, "Won't Go Quietly" and "Kickstarts". His third album Playing in the Shadows was released on 4 September 2011. The album debuted at number 1 on the UK Album Charts with two number 1 singles, "Changed the Way You Kiss Me" and "Stay Awake". His fourth album, The Evolution of Man was released on 19 November 2012.
Elliot Gleave was born at West London Hospital in Hammersmith, the elder of two children, and attended All Saints C of E Primary School in Fulham. He later went on to attend ADT College (now Ashcroft Technology Academy) in Putney. Gleave has claimed in interviews that the main reason he started rapping was due to his introduction to hip-hop through albums by Wu-Tang Clan and Snoop Dogg – the latter's album purchased primarily for "the cool cover art", and to the fact that he was not particularly good at any sports, so started rapping to fit in socially. His first experience of rapping was through a rap battle at a house party in Shepherd's Bush in 1994, when he was 12 years old. In that battle, he, in his own words, "completely destroyed a useless wanker and a fight broke out so (he) sprinted home". During a Google+ hangout, he revealed that the scar on his forehead is where he had a tumour removed as a child.
In 2000, Elliot attended Royal Holloway, University of London to study film directing. While at university, he started garage MCing to make some money. It was during this period that he met Joseph Gardner, AKA Rusher, the producer whom he would later go on to work with. Gleave and Gardner made a concept album in the audio booth of the University film department which would go on to be Example's first white-label vinyl release, "A Pointless Song".
Following graduation in 2003, Gleave worked in Australia for a year in the props departments of films such as Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He returned to the UK and became a voiceover artist and editor for the Paramount Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central), also working as an editor at MTV Networks.
After releasing three singles through his own label "All The Chats", including the original 7" version of "I Don't Want To" in January 2006, Example received attention from Pete Tong, Zane Lowe and others at Radio 1. Example also caught the attention of people at four record labels – perhaps most significantly Mike Skinner (of The Streets), owner of The Beats label.
After signing a deal in April 2006 with The Beats, Example put out a response to Lily Allen's No.1 hit "Smile" entitled "Vile" and received Radio 1 airplay from Zane Lowe, Jo Whiley and Chris Moyles. His first 'proper' release on The Beats was "What We Made" in November 2006, the video for which was filmed in Chernobyl, Ukraine (see below).
Example's second official Beats single entitled "You Can't Rap" was released in March 2007, followed by a re-release of "I Don't Want To" on 11 June 2007. "I Don't Want To" was followed by the single "So Many Roads" (famously sampling The Carpenters "We've Only Just Begun") which eventually turned out to be the opening track on Example's full-length studio debut. After the demise of The Beats label at the end of 2007 Example self-released his next single "Me + Mandy" on 10 March 2008 through his original imprint All The Chats. The video for "Me + Mandy" was shot over 4 days and nights in London, in over 30 locations with over 40 extras. This was done at a cost of just £1000. It was directed by Example's friend Henry Scholfield who also made the promos for "Who Needs Sunshine?", "Vile", "You Can't Rap" and "I Don't Want To".
In February 2008 Example also tried his hand at stand-up comedy as part of BBC2's The Culture Show. Mentored by English comic Richard Herring, Example spent six weeks writing and practising his own stand-up routine which culminated in his first ever stand-up show in front of 60 paying customers in a Covent Garden pub. A week later he appeared on the bill under Richard Herring, Phill Jupitus and Harry Hill at the Lyric Hammersmith – Example had performed in the same venue ten years earlier whilst a student at ADT College.
Example made his first chart appearance in September 2009, when he released "Watch the Sun Come Up" as the lead single from his second album Won't Go Quietly through Data Records. The single debuted at number 20 on the UK Singles Chart, rising to number 19 the following week. The single was followed by a release of "Won't Go Quietly", released on 18 January 2010. The single debuted at number 6 in the United Kingdom, marking Example's first appearance within the top 10. It also peaked 36 in Ireland. The announcement was then made in April 2010 that the second album Won't Go Quietly would be released on 21 June 2010 and would be preceded by the single "Kickstarts". Receiving its radio debut on 13 April by BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, the song was produced by Sub Focus. "Kickstarts" was released on 20 June, where it debuted at number 3. Released the following week, the album Won't Go Quietly debuted at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart. On 12 September, Example released "Last Ones Standing" as the fourth cut from the album, where it reached a peak of number 27 in the United Kingdom and 37 in Ireland. On 14 November 2010, he released the final single off the album "Two Lives", though it only peaked at 84 on the UK Singles Chart. On the other hand, it was able to peak at number 10 position on the UK Dance Chart.
In June 2011, he released his first single from his third album, "Changed the Way You Kiss Me" where it debuted at number one in the UK. The song also charted in many European countries and Australia, where it was also certified Platinum. The second song of the album "Stay Awake", which was produced by Nero, was debuted on Friday 1 July 2011 on BBC Radio 1 by Annie Mac. It was released in August, and also debuted at number 1. His third single "Midnight Run" was released in December 2011 and reached number 30 in the UK Singles Chart.
In September 2011, his third studio album was released "Playing in the Shadows" debuted at number one in the UK albums chart and also charted in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
Example confirmed he was to have a track he wrote for The Wanted to be featured on their debut US album, The Wanted. The song is called "Chasing The Sun". The track was released as a single in April 2012 in USA and May 2012 in the United Kingdom, featuring remixes from Hardwell and Tantrum Desire and peaking at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart, and receiving worldwide recognition.
In January 2012, Example signed a US record deal with Mercury, which is part of Universal. He is hoping to crack America on his own terms with his next album.
On 17 August 2012, the 2013 tour dates were announced. The 13-date tour is to start on 11 February 2013 in Bournemouth and finish in Manchester Arena on 1 March 2013. Support comes from British dubstep producer Benga who also produced Example's album track "Come Taste The Rainbow".
The single Say Nothing was released in September 2012, debuting at number 2 in the UK charts. His second single from the album entitled Close Enemies was released in November 2012 and peaked to number 37 in the UK charts.
The album was released on the 19th of November shortly after the release of Close Enemies and reached a peak position of 13 in the UK charts.
Perfect Replacement was announced as the third and last single of the album; it was thought before that Queen of Your Dreams would be the third single but Gleave ended up opting for Perfect Replacement to be the third single. It was released in February 2013 and peaked at number 46 in the UK charts.
On 15 April 2013, he stated on Facebook that he is in Los Angeles currently working on his fifth studio album. The album is due to be released in early 2014. Five album tracks have already been written and produced in Los Angeles with Stuart Price, and the album will consist entirely of productions by Price and one other producer (who has yet to be announced). The lead single from the album, titled 'Wrong Places', was debuted at his Auckland concert in New Zealand on 24 April.
On 20 April 2013, UK duo Pet Shop Boys announced that their new studio album Electric, to be released on 15 July, will include a track called Thursday which features Example on vocals.
He is scheduled to appear at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival.
Gleave is engaged to Australian model and actress Erin McNaught as of November 2012 and are to wed on 18 May 2013. He is the nephew of former footballer Tony Grealish and a supporter of Fulham F.C.
While filming a promo video for his track "What We Made" in the abandoned city of Prypiat in northern Ukraine, Example also filmed an 18-minute documentary in the ghost towns he visited and their deserted schools, hotels and funfairs, many of which still remain exactly as they were when they were abandoned after the infamous disaster 20 years ago. "I don't think anyone who's been here can be for nuclear power," he said, looking around at empty cots and babies' gas masks in a disintegrating schoolroom near Chernobyl. "I've read stuff recently about how we're only ever going to survive if we make nuclear power available, but you just think: why would you want it to happen after seeing this?"
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Image from Discogs