Simply Red’s sophomore outing, Men and Women, was released in 1987, followed two years later by A New Flame. The RIAA gold-certified album was highlighted by the band’s second “Hot 100” chart-topper, a gold-certified cover of Harold Melvin & The Blue-Notes’ 1972 classic, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” which Simply Red made a bigger hit the second time around.
Stars, the band’s fourth collection, was Europe’s best-selling album for two years running following its 1991 release. Certified gold in the U.S., the deeply personal, intensely political album turned Simply Red into megastars in their native UK, ultimately achieving 12-times platinum status. Over the next decade, the band released a string of UK multi-platinum hits, scoring #1 singles and albums as well as a trophy case full of honors like three Brit Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards (for songwriting and composing) and a MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Award.
In 2007, Hucknall announced the imminent end of Simply Red, declaring that the band would split at the end of their 2009/2010 tour, with a farewell concert slated for December 19th, 2010 at London’s O2 Arena. Ever anxious to stretch himself musically, Hucknall made his solo debut with his 2008 tribute album to the great Bobby “Blue” Bland and in 2010, stood in for lead singer Rod Stewart at a number of reunion concerts by The Faces.