Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard; 3 November 1954) is an English singer and musician. He gained popularity as the lead singer of new wave group Adam and the Ants and later as a solo artist, scoring 10 UK top ten hits from 1980 to 1983, including three UK No. 1 singles. He has also worked as an actor, appearing in over two dozen films and television episodes from 1985 to 2003.
Since 2010, Ant has undertaken an intensive reactivation of his musical career, performing live regularly in his hometown of London and beyond, recording and releasing a new album and completing three full-length UK national tours, two US national tours, and an Australian tour.
Stuart Goddard was born an only child in Marylebone, London to Leslie Goddard and Betty Kathleen Smith. Home was two rooms in De Walden buildings, St John’s WoodHe recalls: “There was no luxury, but there was always food on the table.” His father had served in the Royal Air Force and worked as a chauffeur, and his mother was an embroiderer for Norman Hartnell. He is of partial Romani descent; his maternal grandfather, Walter Albany Smith, was Romanichal. This heritage would become a basis for a theme in his later work: a concern for oppressed minorities.
At 21 years of age he was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, and has spoken candidly about his experiences with the effects of the illness. In his 31 December 2010 interview for The Sun, Ant also discussed the side effects of medication for his bipolar condition: “In the past I’ve been a robot. It’s been an out-of-body experience. Bipolar means up and down and that’s me… Music has always been the best medication. I was on sodium valproate for seven years…. I couldn’t get to sleep and I didn’t make love for seven years. My hair fell out and I couldn’t pick up a book as I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t write a song or pick up a guitar in that time – and piled on the weight. I might as well have been dead. I work very closely with my GP and any decisions I make are made with him”. During an interview with BBC Radio 6 Music, he declared that “mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with.” Ant is involved in the Black Dog campaign, which promotes better understanding of mental illness.
Ant married Carol Mills in 1975, divorcing her shortly after. He dated Amanda Donohoe between 1977 and 1981, Jamie Lee Curtis in 1983 and Heather Graham in the early 1990s. In 1997, Ant married a 25-year-old assistant for Vivienne Westwood. The ceremony took place in Dayton, Tennessee. They divided their time between Dayton and London, and in April 1998 the couple had a daughter. However, the couple separated soon afterwards.
Ant, who does not own a television, enjoys reading, particularly historical novels. He has tattoos depicting Lord Nelson’s last prayer before Battle of Trafalgar, an image of his grandfather, and a quotation from Oscar Wilde: “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”