Robert Plant defies definition. Popularly known as the front-man for Led Zeppelin, Plant's solo work has seen him venture into other, sometimes surprising, waters.
Growing up in England, young Robert got the singing bug at a very early age.
Robert Plant and The Sensational Shape Shifters at the Royal Albert Hall
A teenage passion reared its head for Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, and other blues artists and that led to Plant ducking out of training to be an accountant to pursue music:
"I left home at 16 and I started my real education musically, moving from group to group, furthering my knowledge of the blues and of other music which had weight and was worth listening to."
After recording some singles for CBS Records, a chance meeting with drummer John Bonham led both of them into Band of Joy where they infused a blues base with psychedelic rock flourishes.
Guitarist Jimmy Page was soon after looking for a singer to front his new band.
Plant brought Bonham along for the ride; Page had John Paul Jones in tow.
The New Yardbirds were complete.
Then they changed their name to Led Zeppelin.
Their 1969 eponymous debut is widely heralded as the birth of the heavy metal genre despite objections from Plant who points to their acoustic work as contrary to that label.
With Led Zeppelin II, Plant began contributing lyrics to the band's work.
Often culling themes from mythology and mysticism, his style was uniquely his own and evokes deep passion from his fans.
One of his greatest achievements was his work on “Stairway to Heaven.”
Plant wrote the lyrics spontaneously in 1970 and, though the song was never released as a single, it is often named as the greatest song of all time on listener polls.
In 1975, Plant was seriously injured in a car accident. His recovery put the band's seventh album in limbo and forced a cancellation of their tour.
Bad luck stuck again in 1977 with the death of Plant's 5-year-old son Karac.
The loss caused Plant to retreat from the public for a time while he considered his future.
Following Bonham's 1980 death, Led Zeppelin dissolved and Plant pursued a solo career. His first outings, 1982's Pictures at Eleven and 1983's The Principle of Moments, both met with success as did subsequent releases like Now and Zen and Fate of Nations.
Robert Plant and The Sensational Shape Shifters
His solo tours were equally well-received.
Plant and Page continued with occasional collaborations throughout the years, including as The Honeydrippers that found Jeff Beck as the third wheel.
Plant's African music explorations and influences are evidenced on both No Quarter:
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded and his 2002 solo album Dreamland.
After performing together at various events in the '80s and '90s with Jason Bonham on drums, Led Zeppelin reunited in 2007 for an Ahmet Ertegun tribute show.
Rumors abound that a tour was surely in the works.
Plant passed on a $200 million offer to make that a reality saying he had no desire to "tour like a bunch of bored old men following the Rolling Stones around."
Finding a new partner in bluegrass artist Alison Krauss in 2007, Plant has wandered into even wider musical fields.
Their first effort, Raising Sand, earned a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals in 2008.
The following year, they grabbed Grammy prizes for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Pop Collaboration with Vocals, Country Collaboration with Vocals, and Contemporary Folk/Americana Album.
The Band of Joy are a rock band from Birmingham, England.
The original Band of Joy performed from 1966 to 1968. Robert Plant has re-formed the band in 2010 for a concert tour of the United States.