Be-Bop Deluxe musician and artist becomes the latest ‘Wakefield Star’


Bill has recorded and collaborated with Mike Levon, the Wakefield born record producer and owner of independent record label Holyground Records. This work brought him to the attention of Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who gave his solo albums significant airplay.

Nelson formed his band, Be-bop Deluxe in the early 1970's and established himself as a influential guitarist and performer, with a cult following. He later settled into a solo career recording albums in the early electropop vein. In the 1980's he went onto work with artists such as Gary Numan and David Sylvian.

Bill Nelson received his award at a special event hosted at Wakefield's Unity Works on Monday evening (6 October). He said: "I am delighted to have received the Wakefield Star, and feel extremely honored to have my accomplishments celebrated in my home town.

"I would like to say big thanks to everyone who nominated me for this, and of course my fans that have supported me throughout my career."

Kevin Trickett, Chairman of the Wakefield Stars Board which selects the winners from nominations made by the public, said: "The Wakefield Stars celebrate the achievements of people who have a connection with the Wakefield area and I was very pleased to see Bill presented with his star. I look forward to seeing the next round of nominations and I encourage everyone to keep sending in their nominations for the next set of awards."

The Wakefield Star was presented to Bill Nelson by Wakefield Council's Cllr Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, who is also a member of the Wakefield Stars Board. Cllr Shaw said: "I am pleased to have awarded Bill the Wakefield Star for his contribution to music. This was a great evening and I am thrilled for Bill and all his accomplishments."

Mr. Nelson's star will be fitted near the footbridge at The Hepworth Wakefield in October.

Wakefield Stars is a pavement stars scheme developed by Wakefield Council, located in Wakefield City Centre.

The scheme aims to recognise current or past residents and businesses in the Wakefield district, that have a nationally recognised outstanding achievement. This includes achievements in sport or culture, those that support their local community nationally or an organisation which is nationally recognised as a leader in their profession or industry.

Fourteen stars in the form of pavement plaques have been installed so far, leading from The Bull Ring, down Westmoreland Street, Kirkgate and onto the end of the footbridge at The Hepworth, Wakefield.

Wakefield Stars are

Bill Nelson – Musician
Stan Barstow - Writer
The Cribs - Indie Rock Band
Neil Fox - Rugby League
Noel Gay - Composer
John Godber - Playwright
Sir Martin Frobisher - Explorer
Barry Hoban - Professional Cyclist
John Harrison - Clockmaker
Barbara Hepworth - Sculptor
Jane McDonald - Entertainer
Henry Moore - Sculptor
David Topliss - Rugby League
Charles Waterton - Conservationist

Cllr Shaw added: "The next Wakefield Stars will be awarded in Spring 2015 and I urge all residents to put forward their nominations for the consideration of the board."

People can nominate at any Wakefield district library, at Wakefield Visitor Centre and on the Council's website


Images are available from Wakefield Council