Gary Numan (born Gary Anthony James Webb on 8 March 1958) is an influential English singer, composer, and musician. Most widely known for his chart-topping 1979 hits "Are 'Friends' Electric?" (when in Tubeway Army) and "Cars", Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 70s and early 80s but maintains a loyal cult following. Numan, whose signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music. Both Numan's music and his transgressive public image are known for his sense of alien coldness and embrace of avant-garde influences.
Becoming of the founding fathers of electronic-based pop music, Numan's reach extends far beyond his lone American hit, "Cars," which still stands as one of the defining new wave singles. That seminal track helped usher in the synthpop era on both sides of the Atlantic, especially his native England, where he was a genuine pop star and consistent hit-maker during the early 80s. Even after new wave had mostly petered out, Numan's influence continued to make itself felt. His dark, paranoid vision, theatrically icy persona, and clinical, robotic sound were echoed strongly in the work of many goth rock and (especially) industrial artists during the past several decades.
For his part, Numan just kept on recording, and, by the late 90s, he'd become a hip name to drop. Prominent alternative rock bands have covered his hits, with Numan himself playing live with Nine Inch Nails briefly to much acclaim, and a goth-flavored brand of industrial-type music christened darkwave looks to him as its mentor. Numan was born Gary Anthony James Webb on March 8, 1958, in Hammersmith, West London, U.K. A shy child, music brought him out of his shell; he began playing guitar in his early teens and played in several short-lived bands.Make Gary Numan Playlist