He is openly gay and was a longtime partner of Paul M. Hickey, met in 1990. On 17 December 2004, he publicly announced that he is HIV-positive and has been aware of this since 1998. Bell told Melody Maker in 1986, "I don't want to go out of my way to talk about it but I'm not going to pretend I'm not [gay]. I won't portray a heterosexual in videos and we're consciously doing lyrics that could apply to either sex". He told Barry Walters of Seventeen, "I want to be known as a good performer but it's important to me to take a stance. If you're doing music, you should use it for something and have substance. Being gay and open about it is my substance".
In a 2007 interview, Bell remarked that a complacency exists among gay men about HIV, specifying that: (Picture: Paul M. Hickey)
There are definitely HIV-positive people who meet other HIV-positive men, and like still having unprotected sex. I think it must be quite hard for young gay men because there is so much for them now to do – there are so many saunas and stuff like that for them to go to, and it's so easy to get it."He has also practised reiki since the early 2000s. He has suffered from avascular necrosis (which has no relationship to his HIV diagnosis) and has had both hips replaced. Bell has stated that this keeps him from "pogoing around" compared to previous performances.
Andy Bell is the lead singer of the duo Erasure. He was partner of Paul Hickey since 1990. Sometimes, A Life of Love, Loss & Erasure is Paul's account of their life. Unflinchingly honest and unashamedly romantic, is the true story of a gay love affair that survives and thrives despite the pressures of the music industry, through highs and lows, in sickness and in health. Moving, shocking, laugh-out-loud funny, it's a warm, witty book that deserves a wide readership. Hickey died on 11 April 2012.
Hickey died on 11 April 2012.
Andy Bell originates from the Dogsthorpe area in Peterborough. His family still resides in the city and surrounding areas such as Market Deeping.
In 1985, he was working in a meat packing plant, when he responded to a newspaper advert that was looking for a singer. He was picked by Vince Clarke and together they formed the group Erasure. The pair has sold over 20 million albums worldwide.
Apart from his work with Erasure, he has taken part in numerous charity recordings. These included Ferry Aid's cover of "Let It Be" (1987); a cover of Cole Porter's "Too Darn Hot", that was included in 1990s Red Hot + Blue album to raise funds for AIDS and HIV research; re-making Lene Lovich's "Rage" alongside her to be included in PETA's album (1991) in favour of a wildlife campaign; and performing twice on Big Spender's Red Hot and Dance events to support various AIDS projects (in both December 1994 and November 2004). Bell also performed on the True Colors Tour 2008.
Bell sang the role of Montresor in the opera The Fall of the House of Usher by Peter Hammill and Judge Smith, released in 1991 and reissued with a new recording in 1999.
July 2005 brought the announcement of Bell's first solo album. He signed a worldwide solo recording contract with Sanctuary Records, and announced details of his debut album, which was released on 3 October 2005 and entitled Electric Blue. The album featured fourteen tracks, including three duets, with Claudia Brücken of Propaganda and Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters.
The first single, "Crazy", released on 26 September 2005, included club remixes from his Erasure partner Vince Clarke, plus Cicada, MHC and King Roc. Electric Blue was co-written and recorded throughout 2004 and 2005 with Manhattan Clique (Philip Larsen and Chris Smith) who have worked with Erasure, Moby, The B-52's, Stereophonics and Goldfrapp.
Bell released his second solo album, Non-Stop, on 7 June 2010. It was co-written and co-produced by Bell and Pascal Gabriel, who previously remixed "It Doesn't Have to Be" for Erasure. It also features a collaboration with Perry Farrell.
Using the pseudonym Mimó, Bell released two Pascal Gabriel-produced singles on Mute Records: "Running Out" (2009) and "Will You Be There?" (2010) prior to his second solo album. The name, used as a "tribute to good friend Tomeau Mimó”, was not used on any subsequent solo releases, as a legal block was issued against Bell by another artist already using the Mimó name. Both songs will appear on Non-Stop. Both of these singles have since been re-branded as Andy Bell.
In June 2011, he appeared on the second season of ITV series Popstar to Operastar and finished in fifth place.
Sometimes - A Life of Love, Loss & Erasure by Paul Hickey
Publisher Minotaur Music Ltd.
Paul Hickey's account of his life with Andy Bell is unflinchingly honest and unashamedly romantic. ‘Sometimes’ is the true story of a gay love affair that survives and thrives despite the pressures of the music industry, through highs and lows, in sickness and in health. Sometimes moving, sometimes shocking, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a warm, witty book that deserves a wide readership. Contains rare and previously unreleased photographs.
More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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