Stuart Lee Murdoch (born 25 August 1968) is a Scottish musician, and the lead singer and songwriter for the indie pop band Belle & Sebastian. The majority of his childhood was spent a stone's throw from the birthplace of Robert Burns in Alloway, Ayr until he left school and attended university in Glasgow.
Murdoch's parents made him take piano lessons during his childhood, and even though he claims not to have enjoyed them at the time, he says he now "appreciates this decision vastly". Apart from early musical activities at secondary school (at the age of twelve he formed a band with fellow pupils, in which he played the piano), Murdoch first became publicly involved in music as a radio DJ for Subcity Radio at the University of Glasgow.
Whilst at university at the end of the 1980s, he became ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and was unable to work for seven years. Murdoch said that the isolation of these years is what led to his becoming a songwriter: "That was a big desert at the time, a kind of vacuum in my life. From that, these songs started coming out, these melodies where I could express what I was feeling." In early 1995 he had largely recovered from his illness, for which he credits a faith healer, and began to look for fellow musicians to form a band, which was to become Belle & Sebastian.