99 Facts About Elvis Costello


Elvis Costello has won multiple awards in his career, including two Grammy Awards in 1999 and 2020, and has twice been nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male Artist.


Elvis Costello began his career as part of London's pub rock scene in the early 1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British punk and new wave movement that emerged in the mid-to-late 1970s.


Elvis Costello's critically acclaimed debut album My Aim Is True was released in 1977.


Elvis Costello's music has drawn on many diverse genres; one critic described him as a "pop encyclopaedia", able to "reinvent the past in his own image".


Elvis Costello has co-written several original songs for films, including "God Give Me Strength" from Grace of My Heart and "The Scarlet Tide" from Cold Mountain.


Elvis Costello is the son of Lilian Alda and Ross MacManus, a jazz trumpeter and vocalist who performed with the Joe Loss Orchestra, and later as a solo cabaret act.


Elvis Costello worked for a short period as a computer operator at the Midland Bank computer centre in Bootle.


Elvis Costello moved back to London in 1974, where he formed Flip City, a pub rock band which was active from 1974 until early 1976.


Elvis Costello's father sang the song, and Costello sang backing vocals; the advertisement won a silver award at the 1974 International Advertising Festival.


Elvis Costello continued to write songs and began looking for a solo recording contract.


Four months later his debut album, My Aim Is True, was released to moderate commercial success, with Elvis Costello appearing on the cover in his trademark oversize eyeglasses, reminiscent of Buddy Holly.


Elvis Costello failed to chart with his early singles, which included "Less Than Zero" and the ballad "Alison".


Elvis Costello signed to Columbia Records, a few months later.


Later in 1977, Elvis Costello formed his own permanent backing band, the Attractions, consisting of Steve Nieve, Bruce Thomas and Pete Thomas.


Elvis Costello was banned from the show and he received considerable attention as an angry young man.


Elvis Costello found time in 1979 to produce the debut album of the 2 Tone ska revival band the Specials and worked as a backing vocalist on This Is Your Life, an album by new wave band Twist.


Elvis Costello is an avid country music fan and has cited George Jones as his favourite country singer.


In January 1981, Elvis Costello released Trust amidst growing tensions within the Attractions.


Elvis Costello co-produced Squeeze's popular 1981 album East Side Story and performed backing vocals on the group's hit "Tempted".


The album, which received mixed reviews, was a tribute to the country music that Elvis Costello had grown up listening to, especially George Jones.


Elvis Costello has said he disliked the marketing pitch for the album.


Under the pseudonym The Imposter, Elvis Costello released "Pills and Soap", an attack on the changes in British society brought on by Thatcherism, released to coincide with the run-up to the 1983 UK general election.


Elvis Costello retooled his upcoming tour to allow for multiple nights in each city, playing one night with the Confederates, one night with the Attractions, and one night solo acoustic.


Elvis Costello would continue to work with Attraction Pete Thomas as a session musician for future releases.


In 1991, Elvis Costello released Mighty Like a Rose, which featured the single "The Other Side of Summer".


In 1993, Elvis Costello experimented with classical music with a critically acclaimed collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet on The Juliet Letters.


Elvis Costello returned to rock and roll the following year with a project that reunited him with the Attractions, Brutal Youth.


In 1998, Elvis Costello signed a multi-label contract with Polygram Records, sold by its parent company the same year to become part of the Universal Music Group.


Elvis Costello released his new work on what he deemed the suitable imprimatur within the family of labels.


Elvis Costello wrote "I Throw My Toys Around" for The Rugrats Movie and performed it with No Doubt.


In 1999, Elvis Costello contributed a version of "She", released in 1974 by Charles Aznavour and Herbert Kretzmer, for the soundtrack of the film Notting Hill, with Trevor Jones producing.


From 2001 to 2005, Elvis Costello re-issued his back catalogue in the US, from My Aim Is True to All This Useless Beauty, on double-disc collections on the Rhino Records label.


In 2001, Elvis Costello was artist-in-residence at UCLA and wrote the music for a new ballet.


Elvis Costello produced and appeared on an album of pop songs for the classical singer Anne Sofie von Otter.


Elvis Costello released the album When I Was Cruel in 2002 on Island Records, and toured with a new band, the Imposters.


Elvis Costello appeared as himself in the "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation" episode of The Simpsons.


Also that year, Elvis Costello made an appearance in the television series Frasier as a folk singer in the Cafe Nervosa, sending Frasier and Niles on a search for a new coffee bar.


On 12 March 2003, Elvis Costello filled in for David Letterman on the Late Show with David Letterman for the evening while Letterman was recovering from an eye infection.


Elvis Costello co-wrote many songs on Krall's 2004 CD, The Girl in the Other Room, the first of hers to feature several original compositions.


In September 2004, Elvis Costello released the album The Delivery Man, recorded in Oxford, Mississippi, on Lost Highway Records, and it was hailed as one of his best.


The result was Elvis Costello's The River in Reverse which is a collaboration with New Orleanian, Allen Toussaint and recorded with The Crescent City Horns.


Elvis Costello turned to older songs to reflect the national malaise at the time.


Elvis Costello later reprised the piece on the stage of the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in 2008, with Sting, Joe Sumner and Sylvia Schwartz.


Elvis Costello was commissioned to write a chamber opera by the Danish Royal Opera, Copenhagen, on the subject of Hans Christian Andersen's infatuation with Swedish soprano Jenny Lind.


Elvis Costello played a homecoming gig at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 25 June 2006.


In July 2008, Elvis Costello appeared in his home city Liverpool where he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Liverpool.


Between its two seasons, the show compiled 20 episodes, including one where Elvis Costello was interviewed by actress Mary-Louise Parker.


Elvis Costello was featured on Fall Out Boy's 2008 album Folie a Deux, providing vocals on the track "What a Catch, Donnie", along with other artists who are friends with the band.


Elvis Costello appeared in Stephen Colbert's television special A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.


The episode references Elvis Costello's given name when Jack Donaghy accuses him of concealing his true identity: "Declan McManus, international art thief".


In May 2009, Elvis Costello made a surprise cameo appearance on-stage at the Beacon Theatre in New York as part of Spinal Tap's Unwigged and Unplugged show, singing their fictional 1965 hit "Gimme Some Money" with the band backing him up.


On 15 May 2010, Elvis Costello announced he would withdraw from a concert performed in Israel in opposition to Israel's treatment of Palestinians.


Also in 2010, Elvis Costello appeared as himself in David Simon's television series, Treme.


Elvis Costello released the album National Ransom in autumn of 2010.


In 2011, Elvis Costello appeared as himself on Sesame Street to perform a song with Elmo and Cookie Monster, titled "Monster Went and Ate My Red 2", a play on " Red Shoes".


On 26 February 2012, Elvis Costello paid tribute to music legends Chuck Berry and Leonard Cohen, who were the recipients of the first annual PEN Awards for songwriting excellence, at the JFK Presidential Library, in Boston, Massachusetts, on 26 February 2012.


In September 2013 Elvis Costello released Wise Up Ghost, a collaboration with the Roots.


On 25 October 2013, Elvis Costello was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the New England Conservatory.


On 12 October 2018, Elvis Costello released his first studio album in five years, Look Now, recorded with The Imposters.


Elvis Costello wrote and produced a large majority of the album himself, with help from producer Sebastian Krys.


Elvis Costello was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to music.


In 2021, Elvis Costello released Spanish Model, a remix of 1978's This Year's Model with Spanish lyrics.


In 2021, Elvis Costello appeared at the Royal Variety Performance playing two songs with the Imposters.


Elvis Costello was introduced by the MC Alan Carr as a man who has achieved everything except appearing at the Royal Variety Performance.


Between songs Elvis Costello informed the audience that he was the second McManus to appear.


Elvis Costello has been married three times, the first time in 1974 to Mary Burgoyne, with whom he had a son, Matthew.


In 1985, Elvis Costello became involved with Cait O'Riordan, then the bassist of London Irish group the Pogues, while he was producing the Pogues' album Rum Sodomy and the Lash.


Elvis Costello became engaged to pianist-vocalist Diana Krall in May 2003, and married her at the home of Elton John on 6 December that year.


In January 2013, Elvis Costello teamed up with Paul McCartney to create an ad campaign backing vegetarian foods produced by the Linda McCartney Foods brand.


Elvis Costello is a keen football fan, supporting Premier League football club Liverpool FC since childhood, and appeared on Channel 4's Football Italia as a pundit.


On 25 May 2005, Elvis Costello was due to take the stage with his band at a gig in Norwich, which clashed with Liverpool appearing in the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final against AC Milan.


In July 2018, Elvis Costello cancelled the remaining six dates of his European tour on doctor's orders, while recovering from surgery to treat cancer.


Elvis Costello apologised to his fans and said he initially thought he had recovered enough from the surgery to complete the tour.


Elvis Costello sits on the Advisory Board of the board of directors of the Jazz Foundation of America.


Elvis Costello began working with the Jazz Foundation in 2001, and has been a featured performer in their annual benefit A Great Night in Harlem since 2006.


Elvis Costello has donated his time working with the Jazz Foundation of America to save the homes and the lives of America's elderly jazz and blues musicians, including musicians who survived Hurricane Katrina.


Elvis Costello has performed at a benefit concert for the Seva Foundation.


In 2017 Elvis Costello helped establish the Musician Treatment Foundation as a member of the Board of Directors to help under- and uninsured professional musicians receive free orthopedic care for upper limb injuries.


Elvis Costello performed his one man show for the foundation's first benefit in October 2017 at The Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas.


In 1987, Elvis Costello began a songwriting collaboration with Paul McCartney.


In 1988, Elvis Costello co-wrote "The Other End " with Aimee Mann; this song appears on the Til Tuesday album Everything's Different Now.


In 2000, Elvis Costello wrote lyrics to "Green Song", a solo cello piece by Svante Henryson; this song appears on the Anne Sofie von Otter album For the Stars.


In 2005, Elvis Costello performed with Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong.


In late 2005 Elvis Costello performed with Allen Toussaint in New York City at some Hurricane Katrina Relief Concerts and produced the studio album The River in Reverse.


Also, Elvis Costello had a collaborative history with Toussaint, beginning with a couple of scattered album tracks in the 1980s, and skipping ahead to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with the production of The River in Reverse.


In 2006, Elvis Costello performed with Fiona Apple in the Decades Rock TV special.


In 2008, Elvis Costello collaborated with Fall Out Boy on the track "What a Catch, Donnie" from their album Folie a Deux.


In Jenny Lewis' 2008 release, Acid Tongue, Elvis Costello provided vocals for the song "Carpetbaggers".


In November 2009, Elvis Costello appeared live with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Madison Square Garden and performed the Jackie Wilson song " Higher and Higher".


In December 2009, Elvis Costello portrayed The Shape on the album Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a collaboration between rock singer John Mellencamp and novelist Stephen King.


In February 2010, Elvis Costello appeared in the live cinecast of Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, singing some of his own songs, and participating in many of the show's other musical and acting performances.


In March 2014, Elvis Costello recorded Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes with Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James and Marcus Mumford.


In 2023, Elvis Costello collaborated with Joker Out on the song "New Wave", set to be released on 21 April.


Elvis Costello has worked with Paul McCartney, Madness, Tony Bennett, Burt Bacharach, Allen Toussaint, T Bone Burnett, Lucinda Williams, Johnny Cash, Kid Rock, Lee Konitz, Brian Eno, and Ruben Blades.


Elvis Costello has written several pieces for the magazine Vanity Fair, including a summary of what a perfect weekend of music would be.


Elvis Costello has interviewed one of his own influences, Joni Mitchell, and appeared on the release A Tribute to Joni Mitchell performing "Edith and the Kingpin".


Elvis Costello performed the title track of the Charles Mingus tribute collection, Weird Nightmare.


Elvis Costello appeared on the Nick Lowe tribute album Labour of Love, performing the Lowe song "Egypt" and the Gram Parsons tribute album The Return of the Grievous Angel, performing the Parsons song "Sleepless Nights".


On being chosen, Elvis Costello remarked, "I always dreamed that I might one day stand in the boots of Albert Stubbins [the Liverpool footballer who appeared in the original artwork]".