“Stand and deliver, your money or your life!” One of the most memorable pop songs of the 1980s, Stand and Deliver by Adam and the Ants was an over the top, catchy musical romp that gave the band their first UK number one single. They followed this with a second number one hit, Prince Charming, which was also the name of their third album.
As important as the music was, frontman Adam Ant became even more famous for his outlandish outfits and the band’s memorably theatrical music videos. However, Adam and the Ants did not remain on the pop scene for long, so you might have wondered what ever became of Adam Ant himself. If so, then read on…
Born Stuart Leslie Goddard on 3 November 1954 in London, Adam Ant was always passionate about music, having started out playing bass guitar in a band called Bazooka Joe during the mid-1970s.
Inspired by British punk band The Sex Pistols, Adam Ant quit Bazooka Joe to form his own band, who were initially known as The B-Sides before they changed their name to The Ants.
The Ants disbanded in 1980 when three of its members left to form another band, but Adam Ant was determined to realise his dream of becoming a star. He very quickly hired two new members and decided to put himself front and centre by changing the band’s name to Adam and the Ants.
Massive success followed in the form of the number one album Prince Charming and the two aforementioned number one singles, but in early 1982 Adam Ant made a sudden decision to quit the band. Claiming that his former band-mates “lacked enthusiasm,” Adam embarked on a solo career that would cement his role as an 80s music and fashion icon. His first solo single, Goody Two Shoes, saw him return to the top of the UK singles chart.
However, musical success appeared not to be enough for Adam Ant as he moved to Hollywood to pursue acting. He appeared alongside Sharon Stone in the 1987 film Cold Steel, as well as featuring in episodes of TV’s The Equalizer, Tales from the Crypt and Northern Exposure.
Whilst in Hollywood, Ant dated a number of high profile actresses including Jamie Lee Curtis and Heather Graham. He has been married twice: first to his fellow student Carol Mills whilst at art college in 1975 (they divorced in 1982), next to Lorraine Gibson, a PR assistant of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, in 1997 (they too divorced in 2002).
Sadly, Ant has also struggled with mental health issues for most of his life. He suffered depression and anorexia in his 20s, and after a stint in a psychiatric hospital he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His continuing mental issues saw him charged with criminal damage in 2003, and taken into psychiatric care a second time in 2010. Now, he works to promote better understanding and awareness of mental illness.
In 2013 he released an album with the catchy title Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter. He has since recorded another album called Bravest of the Brave, but despite being completed in 2014 it has yet to be released.
Now in his late 60s, Adam Ant still performs regularly. His 2019 Friend or Foe tour was due to continue into 2020, but these dates had to be postponed until due to the Covid-19 pandemic. His most recent live shows took place in 2022.