David Coverdale was born on September 22, 1951 in Saltburn by the Sea, North Yorkshire, England. After spending the early 1970s using the group Deep Purple, Coverdale break in the group and released two solo albums, White Snake and Northwinds. In the late 1970s, Coverdale founded the rock band Whitesnake, which became very well-known shortly after.
Born into a household of devoted music fans, he first discovered interest in the guitar, shortly changing over to vocals. Around 14 years old, he started performing professionally and developing his well-known voice.
They played around the region, from cabaret night clubs to local schools, and opened for major names like Elkie Brooks as well as The Paper Dolls. Shortly changing their name to The Authorities, the group enjoyed brief success but finally determined to not go professional. Shortly Coverdale located a fresh job with local group, The Fabulosa Brothers.
The group, which had been together since 1968, was auditioning to get a fresh vocalist to replace former group member Ian Gillan. Coverdale was comfortable with Deep Purple from his days with all The Authorities, and chose to try out for the part. The group was impressed with his voice and songwriting skills, and he was soon welcomed as the newest lead vocalist. On December 8, 1973, Coverdale fronted Deep Purple for the very first time in Sweden.
Within his first year together with the group, Coverdale had toured throughout America, with shows at Madison Square Garden, the Nassau Coliseum and, most notably, the famed California Jam festival in the Ontario Motor Speedway. The telecasted show, which comprised well-known groups such as the Eagles and Earth, Wind & Fire, brought more than 250,000 buffs, exposing the group to a widespread audience.
The record proved to be a success certifying Gold in America, and still ranks among the group’s best attempts. The closing track, “Mistreated,” contained a order solo performance from Coverdale. The enthusiastic, bluesy tune would stay his private inconcert hallmark, long after his days with Deep Purple.
In December 1974, the group released their next record, Stormbringer, which likewise rated Gold in both America and United Kingdom. The funk and soul sway of Coverdale was even more notable in this record. This finally resulted in the departure of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, whose own private musical interests changed from their new sound. The record proved less successful than previous records, resulting in the group’s death the next year. Coverdale said of his departure, “I was frightened to leave the group. Purple was my life, Purple gave me my break, but yet, I wanted out.”
Deterred, but prepared to proceed with his profession, Coverdale started work as a solo musician. In February of 1977, he released his first record titled White Snake, with all songs composed by both himself and guitarist Micky Moody. In 1978, he released his second solo album, Northwinds, with an even better reception compared to preceding. Both records represented Coverdale’s growing self-confidence in a future profession outside of Deep Purple.
Before his second record was even released, Coverdale had started to form his new band, Whitesnake. Their very first official release, “Snakebite” (1978), proved to be a hit in the UK. Their debut album, Trouble (1978), premiered in the autumn of this year, peaking at No. 50 on the U.K. record graphs. Next arrived Lovehunter (1979), which despite turning heads having a fairly risqu album cover, made the Top 30 hit list in the U.K. The success of their first two or three records helped Whitesnake develop an enormous European following.
The group first pioneered American interest in 1980 with the hit “Fool for Your Loving,” off their third record, Ready an’ Willing (1980). The course reached No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The group soon crossed the Atlantic to function as an opening act for hit groups AC/DC and Jethro Tull—a major correction, as the group was used to having American stars open for their shows.
Whitesnake took a new course in 1982, together with the development of numerous new members, including drummer Cozy Powell and bassist Colin Hodgkinson. In 1985, the group’s self-titled record marked the their first mainstream success in the U.S. The record continued to sell throughout 1987 and 1988, and peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. record graphs. The records largest hits included the ballad “Is This Love” as well as the No. 1 hit single, “Here I Go Again.” After years of succeeding, Coverdale took a pause from music in 1997 and folded the group, returning to get a reunion tour in 2002. In 2008, the group released Good to Be Bad, its first studio album in over ten years.
Coverdale has been married three times. Since 1997, he’s been married to wife Cindy, an author, with whom he’s one son, Jasper, produced in 1996.