With the voice of an angel and the looks to match, Morten Harket has been entertaining both our ears and our eyes for almost four decades now. He was of course the lead singer of Norwegian group A-ha, who in 1985 topped the charts internationally with their massive hit Take on Me, and still occasionally perform to this day.
We’re sure that many of you were big fans of Harket when you were young, but have you ever wondered what he’s up to, or what he looks like, these days?
Born on 14th September 1959, Morten Harket grew up in Asker, South Norway, and is the son of Reidar, a physician, and Henny, a teacher. He has four brothers called Gunvald, Håkon, Ingunn and Kjetil.
Harket started writing his own music when he was just four years old, and also started learning the piano at the same age, but lacked the discipline to practice regularly so eventually had to give it up.
Harket’s musical influences include David Bowie, Queen and Simon & Garfunkel, and he is well known for his unique voice, which has a vocal range that spans five octaves!
Before joining A-ha, Harket appeared on the Oslo club scene as the lead singer for a blues outfit called Souldier Blue.
A-ha were shot into the stratosphere with their classic single Take on Me, but it’s a song that actually only became a hit after the band re-recorded it and created that now legendary animated music video.
Take on Me reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in October 1985, but it went one better in the US, becoming A-ha’s only number one single on the Billboard Hot 100.
Hunting High and Low, the album from which Take on Me (and The Sun Always Shines on TV) were taken, became one of the best-selling albums of 1986, and it’s one that we suspect many of you owned when you were young!
A-ha released another four albums before taking a break in 1994, after which Harket began releasing solo albums. A-ha did eventually reform, and released five further albums between 2000 and 2015.
With the band having toured recently, we can honestly say that Harket’s voice sounds as good live as it did 20 years before on A-ha’s classic 80s albums!
Despite performing a ‘farewell’ tour in 2010, A-ha do occasionally still perform together. In 2015 they reunited for the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in 2017 they performed for MTV Unplugged in Norway.
Harket has two boys and one girl with his ex-wife Camilla Malmqvist Harket, to whom he was married for nearly ten years. He also has a daughter with ex-girlfriend Mette Undlien, and another daughter with Inez Andersson.
Not enough Morten Harket for you? Read on for 12 fascinating facts about this gorgeous 80s heartthrob…
1. He Started Writing Music At The Age Of 4
Harket started writing his own music at the tender age of 4.
He also started learning the piano at the same age, but lacked the discipline to practice regularly so eventually gave it up.
2. His Musical Influences Include Johnny Cash And James Brown
Morten’s musical influences as a youngster are reported to have included Queen and David Bowie.
He also enjoyed Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel and James Brown.
3. He Decided On The Name A-ha
The name ‘A-ha’ was originally one that guitarist Paul Waaktaar thought about giving to a song he had written.
Morten came across the name in Paul’s notebook and immediately decided that is was the perfect name for their band.
4. He Has A Unique Voice…
Harket is well known for his unique voice, which some have claimed has a vocal range that spans five octaves.
However, Morten himself has been quoted as saying that “I’ve never counted, quite honestly”.
5…Which Some Claim Is The Greatest Ever
Sylvia Patterson from the (now defunct) trendy music magazine NME once claimed that Morten has “the greatest falsetto in the history of pop music ever”.
That’s quite a thing to say about somebody!
6. Take On Me Was Only A Hit On The Band’s Third Attempt
Unbelievably, A-ha’s classic single Take On Me only became a hit on its third attempt.
This was after the band re-recorded it and the now legendary animated music video was created.
7. He Broke The World Record For Longest Single Note In A Song
In 2000 Morten broke the world record for the man who could hold the longest single note in a song.
The record was previously held by Bill Withers, who held a note for 18 seconds in the song ‘Lovely Day’. Harket beat that in 2000 by holding a note for 20.2 seconds in his song ‘Summer Moved On’.
8. He’s A Norwegian Knight
All 3 members of A-ha have been appointed ‘Knights of the 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.’
This was for their contribution to Norwegian music.
9. He Has Released A Number Of Solo Albums
Since A-ha went on ‘hiatus’ in 1994, Morten has released six albums.
Two of these were sung in Norwegian, but he did have decent success with album Wild Seed, which he sung in English.
10. He Supports Stoke City FC
Morten, as well as fellow A-ha band member Magne Furuholmen, are reported to support the English football club Stoke City!
We’re not sure why, but if the Potters are good enough for A-ha then they’re good enough for us.