Honorary Doctorate - 2008
Richard is a proud Sheffielder who started performing and touring with various bands from the age of 14 and was a member of 1980s Sheffield band Pulp.
His music strongly conveys the theme of his home city and the history, vision, sounds and ambience of Sheffield are strongly evoked in many tracks. His solo album titles all relate to Sheffield - Late Night Final (a reference to the shouts of the city's street newspaper sellers); Lowedges (a suburb of Sheffield); Coles Corner (a traditional meeting place in the city centre) which was nominated for the 2006 Mercury Prize; and Lady's Bridge (the famous city centre bridge over the River Don).
Since turning solo, Richard has headlined The Royal Albert Hall and V Festival and has gold records in various countries. He co-produced Nancy Sinatra and more recently, Tony Christie. Richard also appears on Elbow's Mercury winning album Seldom Seen Kid as well as having recorded and performed with Sheffield's own Arctic Monkeys and Jarvis Cocker.
He has helped significantly to put Sheffield on the map, spreading its name and reputation across the world while creating a niche in the music market for himself by returning to a swing and dancehall style, appealing to audiences of all ages.