Full name: Paul Bruce Dickinson (born 7 August 1958). He's possibly the biggest example of the workaholic you'll ever find. Dickinson is known as the singer of Iron Maiden, yet he's also an airline pilot, fencer, broadcaster, author, director, screenwriter, actor, marketing director, entrepreneur and songwriter. Phew... Has a voice so powerful, he's been nicknamed the "Air Raid Siren".
He was born in 1958, in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England, from an Army mechanic and a shopkeeper; since both of them were teenagers, his birth hurried them into marriage. He fronted several small pub bands until he joined Samson in 1979 under the stage name of "Bruce Bruce"; he released two albums with this band before leaving in order to replace Paul Di'Anno as the lead singer of Iron Maiden.
With the Irons, he gained world-level fame with the release of Maiden's The Number of the Beast in 1982 and the five following albums since then, all of them considered heavy metal classics. Then Maiden's Dork Age of The '90s (started with the departure of guitar player Adrian Smith) saw him singing in two more albums before leaving them in order to focus on his solo career.
Said career started with 1990's "Tattooed Millionaire" and this album was followed with Bruce's first solo album since departing from Maiden, 1994's "Balls to Picasso". Then, after the release of the experimental, grunge-sounding "Skunkworks" in 1996, fellow Maiden mate Adrian Smith joined Dickinson's solo band, with him he recorded the acclaimed "Accident of Birth" (1997) and "The Chemical Wedding" (1998) before both Dickinson and Smith rejoined the 'Irons in 2000, where they kept playing since then. He later released another solo album in 2005, "Tyranny of Souls", which, as of 2017, it's still his latest record.
In 2015, he was been diagnosed with tongue cancer and underwent treatment.
Discography with Samson
- 1980 - Head On
- 1981 - Shock Tactics
Discography with Iron Maiden
- 1982 - The Number of the Beast
- 1983 - Piece of Mind
- 1984 - Powerslave
- 1986 - Somewhere in Time
- 1988 - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
- 1990 - No Prayer for the Dying
- 1992 - Fear of the Dark
- 2000 - Brave New World
- 2003 - Dance of Death
- 2006 - A Matter of Life and Death
- 2010 - The Final Frontier
- 2015 - The Book of Souls
- 1990 - Tattooed Millionaire
- 1994 - Balls to Picasso
- 1996 - Skunkworks
- 1997 - Accident of Birth
- 1998 - The Chemical Wedding
- 2005 - Tyranny of Souls
Tropes related with him and/or his works:
- '80s Hair: In The '80s, natch.
- Badass Bookworm: Well-versed in history and an airline pilot, also very physically fit and talented.
- Ballad of X: "Ballad of Mutt", from the Tattooed Millionaire single.
- Berserk Button:
- He's very protective of his voice understandable, since it's how he earns his living. So when he catches a whiff of someone in the concert smoking, he'll drop everything to yell at them.
- Probably best not to talk on your phone during a Maiden gig either.
- As shown in this video, do not beat up a fellow fan at a gig. He ended up verbally tearing the culprit a new one.
- Captain Morgan Pose: The Iron Maiden Greatest Hits DVD collection includes some behind the scenes footage where a sound tech points out the features of various band member's monitor speakers. Bruce's are a) not actually used (he gets his monitor feed through an earpiece) and b) bolted down to the stage, so he can do this. Or jump on them. Or use them as a banked surface to run on.
- Careful with That Axe: His scream in Maiden's "The Number of the Beast" was the result of pure frustration at the sound engineer forcing him to redo the opening for hours, which was thrown in.
- Carpet of Virility: This way◊.
- Catch-Phrase: He often shouts to the audience, "Scream for me, [insert name of country/city]!" when playing live. The best moment of this Catch-Phrase is before the appearance of Eddie himself in Maiden's concerts, generally in the Self-Titled Song.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Swearing is generally not something he goes all out on, but should you hurl things at him (or the band for that matter), abuse the fans or commit unspeakable atrocities, don't be surprised when he belts out one your way. See Berserk Button on this page too.
- Cool Old Guy: Now that he's pushing 60, Bruce qualifies among the coolest of the cool.
- Darker and Edgier: His two late-90's solo albums Accident Of Birth and ESPECIALLY The Chemical Wedding. After experimenting with styles like grunge and hard rock for his first three solo records, he returned to straight-up heavy metal on those two records (as well as Tyranny Of Souls). The results are... dark, even when compared to his work with Iron Maiden. He sings in a more gravely and less operatic style, the lyrical themes are grimmer ("Man of Sorrows" is about the tragic life of Aleister Crowley), and the guitar sound is more razor-sharp. A few songs on TCW even use downtuned guitars for an extra sheen of darkness.
- Downer Ending: "Arc Of Space" from Accident Of Birth and "The Alchemist" from The Chemical Wedding.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Pretty much no straight man has left a gig of Maiden's wondering how they could look as incredible as he does, and how they could be in top shape like him at his age.
- Evil Laugh: He does this in a lot of songs. "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter", "The Evil That Men Do", "Can I Play With Madness" and specially "Fear Of The Dark" come immediately to mind. Of particular note, "Moonchild" climaxes with a bone-chilling, prolonged evil cackle from him.
- Greatest Hits Album: The Best of Bruce Dickinson.
- Honor Before Reason: When Bruce found out his then-wife had slept with a member of Mötley Crüe, he challenged Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars to a fencing duel. Mars was confused, as he had not, in fact, been the one who slept with Bruce Dickinson's wife. That was bassist Nikki Sixx.
- Large Ham
- Like Father, Like Son: Both his sons Austin and Griffin are vocalists. Austin is the former vocalist of Rise To Remain and current vocalist of As Lions, whilst Griffin is the vocalist of Shvpes.
- Metal Scream: He's a master of these. Particularly when it crosses with Punctuated! For! Emphasis!.RUN! FOR! YOUR! LI-IIIIIIIIIIII-IVES!
- He seems to have passed this trait down to his sons too, although Austin has averted it since starting As Lions.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: His solo music is a bit more scattered in terms of hardness than his music with Iron Maiden. His harder songs are usually a 7, with songs like "Freak" bordering on 8. However, he also has quite a few softer and more ballad-like songs, which usually range from 2 to 4.
- Name's the Same: Other than their names, "The Alchemist" from The Final Frontier has nothing to do with the track of the same name on The Chemical Wedding.
- The Power of the Sun: The eponymous sun, from Tyranny of Souls.
- Precision F-Strike: Considering how Hot-Blooded he is, the live performances go into this, sometimes in rants, or during songs ("alright, fucking scream it!").
- In a heartwarming moment, in tribute to deceased Ronnie James Dio, "You are the fucking rainbow in the dark!"
- Renaissance Man: He has been described as this.
- He Also Did: He also has an aircraft maintenance business, is a qualified 757 pilot, starred in a PSA on aircraft safety and wants to start his own airline.
- Ninja Pilot Zombie Robot: Bruce flew "Ed Force One" the 757 with Eddie's face and the band's logo that was modified to carry the band's equipment.
- Shown Their Work: Does a lot of research on the subject of his songs, and as a result there are few mistakes.
- Signature Style: His Metal Scream and operatic voice.
- Stage Names: He was known as "Bruce Bruce" during his Samson years.
- Start My Own: His solo career started while he was in Maiden. After he left the band, the project went full-time for the rest of The '90s. Even today, said career is still on.
- Take That!: "1000 Points of Light", a jab at George H. W. Bush. Bonus points for ripping the title from Bush's speech on promoting volunteer work and charity.