Holly Johnson is an English artist, musician, and writer, best known as the lead vocalist of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who achieved huge commercial success in the mid-1980s. Prior to that, in the late 1970s he was a bassist for the band Big in Japan. In 1989, Johnson’s debut solo album, Blast, reached number one in the UK albums chart. Two singles from the album – “Love Train” and “Americanos” – reached the top 5 of the UK Singles Chart. In the 1990s, he also embarked on writing, painting, and printmaking careers.
After gaining some measure of local celebrity from being a member of Big In Japan, Johnson became involved with a group of younger musicians who together would become the nucleus of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Johnson himself named the new band after seeing the headline of an article about Frank Sinatra. This new band quickly gained a reputation for their stage show which had strong sadomasochistic overtones. It was during this period that guitarist Brian Nash and backing vocalist Paul Rutherford completed the band’s established line up.