Ultravox founding singer awarded with honorary doctorate

From the stories Summer Graduations 2014 and Summer Graduations 2014 – Day one

John Foxx in graduation robes after receiving his honorary doctorate

John Foxx

Ultravox founding singer, composer, graphic designer and film-maker John Foxx has today been made an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy by Edge Hill University.

Cited as a major influence of artists including Gary Numan and Moby and bands including Depeche Mode, Blur and The Klaxons, John was born and raised in Chorley where he first experienced electronic music after experimenting with making a Theremin with a friend.

John then explored his love of electronic music in Art College in the 1960s, firstly in Preston, then Manchester and finally in the Royal College of Art in London where he founded the rock band Ultravox.

John Foxx said: “I’m delighted and moved to receive this Honorary Doctorate from Edge Hill, a University with such vision and energy in my home county of Lancashire.”

Listen here for more of John’s reaction to being awarded his honorary doctorate:

Ultravox emerged in 1976 with John as lead singer at the peak of British Punk music, where he was instead known as a principal figure of the New Wave scene. He later signed as a solo artist to Virgin Records in 1979 where he released three electronic music albums, and set up his own recording studio in 1982.

In the mid-1980s, this time under his real name of Dennis Leigh, he made a living as a graphic artist and became a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

But he returned to music performance in 1997 and by 2006 had released his album to accompany a sequence of films, Tiny Colour Movies, premiered at that year’s Brighton Festival, where he successfully combined his interest in music with design

The following year a showcase of his artwork and music was presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

He toured Europe with his new band John Foxx and The Maths in 2011 and then toured with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark last year.