Mark Knopfler

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Mark Knopfler – born in Glasgow, Scotland on August 12, 1949 – is best known as the founder and leader of British rock band Dire Straits. The son of an English mother and a Hungarian Jewish refugee father, Mark Knopfler spent his early years in Scotland before his family moved to Blyth in the northeast of England. Inspired by Shadows' guitarist Hank Marvin, he took up guitar and joined various school bands before training as a journalist, a career he abandoned to commit to music. He played guitar with groups such as Café Racer and Brewers Droop, developing his trademark style on acoustic guitar. He formed his own group, Dire Straits, in 1977 and, as lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter, he was their driving force for two decades of extraordinary success. However, although they were one of the most popular rock bands at the time, he split Dire Straits in 1995 to concentrate on his solo career. By then he'd already played with occasional country band The Notting Hillbillies and made his mark with film scores for movies including Local Hero (1983), Cal (1984) and Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989). Mark Knopfler released his first solo album, Golden Heart, in 1996. He wrote another successful movie score in 1998 for Wag the Dog and his solo tours proved as hugely popular as Dire Straits, maintaining his reputation with albums The Ragpicker's Dream (2002), Shangri-La (2004), Kill to Get Crimson (2007) and Get Lucky (2009). In 2012, he released his seventh solo album Privateering, after which he embarked on a tour with Bob Dylan. His follow-up record, 2015’s Tracker, reached number 1 on the Billboard Folk Albums Chart. His ninth album, Down the Road Wherever, followed in 2018. After a six-year break, Mark Knopfler announced the release of his 10th solo album, One Deep River (2024).

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