Gary Barlow is one of the most successful songwriters in British musical history, proving wildly popular both as part of Take That and as a solo artist.
Barlow, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Wednesday, developed a love of music thanks to stars including Sir Elton John and taught himself to play his favourite songs on a keyboard.
After a stint on the club circuit in the north of England, superstardom beckoned when he formed Take That.
To mark Barlow's birthday, the PA news agency takes a look back at his career so far:
Barlow formed the popular group in Manchester in 1990 alongside Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Robbie Williams.
He was the band's creative engine, writing or co-writing many of their biggest hits including 'Back For Good', 'Never Forget' and 'A Million Love Songs'.
After Williams left to pursue a solo career in 1995, Take That called it a day a year later having cemented their place as one of the most successful boybands of all time.
With his prodigious songwriting talent, a successful solo career seemed certain for Barlow and he was touted as the next George Michael.
He got off to a fine start, with his first two singles 'Forever Love' and 'Love Won't Wait' going to number one in the charts., Barlow's 1997 debut solo album, also topped the charts.
However, while Williams continued to find success on his own, Barlow's career entered a lull and he quit singing in 1999 to act as a producer for other artists.
He later admitted to losing confidence and being unable to recapture his gift for songwriting.
Barlow said his weight ballooned to 17 stone by 2003 as he struggled to come to terms with his career slump.
He said he had an eating disorder which he claimed stemmed from a subconscious desire to "kill off the popstar".
Looking back on his decision to get healthy, Barlow said:
A 2005 documentary titledbrought renewed interest in the once all-conquering boy band and they reunited that year - minus the still estranged Williams.
They hit the road in 2006 for The Ultimate Tour, which proved hugely successful and their comeback albumcatapulted them back to the top of the charts.
Williams rejoined the band for the 2010 album, which was another smash hit and number one record.
Barlow faced heavy criticism after being caught up in a tax avoidance scandal in 2014.
He later said he had little knowledge of accounts and took full responsibility for the damaging episode.
During his 2018 appearance on, Barlow said: "You try and do these things under the guidance of other people. I don't know a thing about accounts. I never want to. It's of no interest to me."
He added: "I signed those things. It's my responsibility."
Barlow has been married to former Take That backing dancer Dawn Andrews since 2000.
The couple have three children and a fourth, a daughter named Poppy, was delivered stillborn in 2012, days before Take That were booked to perform at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics.
Discussing the tragedy, Barlow said:
Barlow wrote movingly about the loss in his 2018 autobiography.
Barlow is recognised as one of the most successful and influential songwriters of his generation and in 2012 was honoured with an Ivor Novello award for his outstanding contribution to British music.
He was a judge on talent showsand , has written musicals and been made an OBE.
And his talent for songwriting remains as strong as ever.
In December he beat another act spawned in the 1990s - band Steps - to number one in the album charts with his fifth solo record.
Responding to the news, a delighted Barlow said: "What an honour, what a privilege, I can't believe it. This possibly could mean the most to me than any other before."