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Last Updated: Friday, 10 June, 2005, 23:02 GMT 00:02 UK
Midge Ure: Music's quiet man
Midge Ure
Ure co-wrote the 1984 hit single Do They Know It's Christmas?
Midge Ure, who is made an OBE in the Queen's honours, is known for his hits with 1980s pop group Ultravox and as one of the forces behind Band Aid and Live Aid.

Born James Ure on 10 October 1953 in Lanarkshire, Scotland, Ure worked as an apprentice engineer before playing guitar and singing with Glasgow band Salvation.

Both the singer and band evolved in 1974, with Salvation becoming Slik and Ure taking the name Midge - a take on "Jim" reversed.

The band enjoyed a chart-topping single with Forever and Ever in 1976, but Ure was unimpressed with the band's direction. He left to join punk outfit The Rich Kids, but that group disbanded within a year.

Ultravox, performing on Top of the Pops in 1981
Ultravox's Vienna is still considered a classic hit of the early 1980s
Stints with the short-lived Misfits and new romantics Visage followed, but events were interrupted when Ure stepped in to replace Gary Moore on Thin Lizzy's US tour.

In the early 1980s, Ure linked up with Billy Currie to revive Currie's band Ultravox with fellow members Warren Cann and Chris Cross.

And with Ure on board, the electro-pop quartet achieved national recognition with the song Vienna, which reached number two in 1981.

More hits followed, including All Stood Still, Hymn and Dancing With Tears in My Eyes.

As the group's success began to wane - they eventually disbanded in 1987 - Ure launched a solo career, earning his first top 10 solo hit in 1982 with No Regrets.

Midge Ure and Bob Geldof
Midge Ure has been the more softly-spoken partner to Bob Geldof
If I Was topped the charts in 1985 - but by then Ure's pop career was overshadowed by Band Aid, which took the world by storm at Christmas 1984.

Under Ure's production, 36 artists, including George Michael, Bono and Duran Duran, appeared on the song.

Jointly composed by Ure and Bob Geldof, the track was the music industry's fund-raising response to famine in Ethiopia.

It would eventually sell more than three million copies worldwide and provide the impetus for the 1985 global concert Live Aid.

Midge Ure and family
Ure attended the recording of Band Aid 20 with his family last year
Geldof credits Ure with providing artistic impetus and enthusiasm vital to the success of Band Aid, but Ure recently said he felt sidelined during Live Aid.

"The Band Aid single was entirely Bob's and my baby," he told the Sunday Times last year.

"But it soon became clear that Live Aid was completely his. I didn't really mind that. It was obvious Bob was the right guy to do it."

Ure has continued to be involved with charity projects across the past 20 years, re-teaming with Geldof on Band Aid 20 last year.

And as a key organiser for the anti-poverty Live 8 concerts in July, it seems his work is far from done.


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