Steve Winwood Biography

Steve Winwood is a Grammy Award winning English musician known for his album ‘Back in the High Life’. He is a talented vocalist, keyboardist, and multi-instrumentalist. Born in Handsworth, Birmingham, he began playing the piano at a young age and decided to pursue a career in music. Starting with ‘The Spencer Davis Group’, he later joined ‘Traffic’ and worked with ‘Blind Faith’ and ‘Go’. Winwood has also released successful solo albums, including ‘Talking Back to the Night’ and ‘Back in the High Life’, which earned him two Grammy awards. With his impressive musical abilities, he has achieved high chart positions and received numerous awards and accolades.

Quick Facts

  • Name: Stephen Lawrence Winwood
  • Age: 75 Years
  • Gender: Male
  • Spouse/Ex: Eugenia Winwood (m. 1987), Nicole Weir (m. 1978–1986)
  • Father: Lawrence Winwood
  • Siblings: Muff Winwood
  • Children: Cal Winwood, Eliza Winwood, Lilly Winwood, Mary-Clare Elliot
  • Born Country: England
  • Occupation: Guitarist, Rock Musician
  • Height: 5’8″ (173 cm)
  • City: Birmingham, England

Childhood & Early Life

Stephen Lawrence “Steve” Winwood was born on 12 May 1948 in Handsworth, Birmingham, England. He developed an interest in music at an early age, influenced by his parents. His mother was fond of singing and his father Lawrence was a semi-professional singer. He was interested in swing and Dixieland jazz from an early age. He began playing the piano at the age of four, and later started playing drums and guitar as well. At the tender age of eight, he performed in the Ron Atkinson Band along with his father and elder brother. Winwood studied at the Great Barr School, and later at the Birmingham and Midland Institute of Music. However, he left without completing his course.


Steve Winwood joined the Spencer Davis Group at the age of fourteen. The group released several hit singles such as ‘I’m a Man,’ ‘Keep on Running,’ and ‘Gimme Some Lovin.’ Winwood eventually left the Spencer Davis Group to form the band ‘Traffic’ along with Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason, and Chris Wood in 1967. Their first album ‘Mr. Fantasy’ was released the same year. It was a commercial success, peaking at the 16th position on the UK Albums Chart and the 88th position on the US Billboard 200. Their second self-titled album which was released in October 1968 was even a greater success. It peaked at the 9th position on the UK Albums Chart, and at the 17th position on the US Billboard 200. In 1969, Steve Winwood formed the supergroup ‘Blind Faith’ along with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech. The group disbanded after releasing only one self-titled album. The album was a tremendous success commercially. It peaked at the first position on the US Billboard 200 and also topped the charts in several other countries such as Canada, UK, Denmark, and Norway. After ‘Blind Faith’ disbanded, Winwood briefly worked with ‘Traffic’ again. In the mid-1970s, he also began a solo career. In 1977, he released his debut self-titled solo album. It did well commercially, reaching No. 22 on the US Billboard 200. His next album ‘Arc of a Diver’ was released in 1980. It was even a greater success commercially. It reached the third position on the US Billboard 200. It also charted in other countries, such as Canada, France, and New Zealand. Over the next few years, he continued to release several albums, such as ‘Talking Back to the Night’ (1982), ‘Roll with It’ (1988), ‘Refugees of the Heart’, (1990), ‘Junction Seven’ (1997) and ‘Nine Lives’ (2008). Though he hasn’t been very active in the past few years, he toured North America in 2013 with Rod Stewart for the ‘Live the Life’ tour. He also toured with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in 2014.

Major Works

‘Arc of a Diver’ is one of Steve Winwood’s most successful albums. The album was a huge hit, peaking at the 3rd position on the US Billboard 200, and also charted in several other countries, such as France, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. It included singles, such as ‘While You See a Chance’, ‘Arc of a River’ and ‘Second Hand Woman’. It has also been included in the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Listen to Before You Die.’

‘Back in the High Life,’ Winwood’s third studio album, can be regarded as the most significant work of his career. The song ‘Higher Love’ topped the singles charts and won two Grammy Awards. Other tracks in the album included ‘Freedom Overspill’, ‘Back in the High Life Again’ and ‘The Finer Things’. The album was nominated for a total of seven Grammy Awards. The album was a huge success commercially and reached the 3rd position on the US Billboard 200, and entered the charts in various other countries as well.

‘Roll with It’ is another one of his most successful albums. It reached the first position on the US Billboard 200 and also entered the charts in various other countries, such as Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK. It was nominated for four Grammy Awards.

Awards & Achievements

Steve Winwood won two Grammy Awards for the song ‘Higher Love’ (1986) from his third album ‘Back in the High Life’. The first one was for ‘Record of the Year’ and the second one was for ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance’. He earned three more Grammy nominations for his fourth studio album ‘Roll with it’. He has also received several other awards such as the Musicians Union Classic Rock Award and honorary degrees from several universities. He was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Personal Life

Steve Winwood was married to Nicole Weir from 1978 to 1986. After their divorce, he got married to Eugenia Crafton in 1987. He currently lives with her in Nashville, Tennessee. He has four children with his second wife.

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