Shakin Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone - 1985

Shakin Stevens performs the number one hit 'Merry Christmas Everyone' on Top Of The Pops in 1985.

The legend formerly known as Michael Barratt was born on 4 March 1948 in Ely, Cardiff - the youngest of 13 siblings. He started on the road to stardom in 1968 with the formation of Shakin' Stevens And The Sunsets.

Fame and fortune were slightly less than forthcoming, though the band stayed together for a decade and released a couple of albums.

Shakin' Stevens and The Sunsets lasted until 1977, when Shaky was offered the lead in Elvis, an award-winning West End musical. "It was terrific to be earning money while paying tribute to the King," he said.

And it was a formative experience. The show ran for 19 months, during which time he recorded a hit single, Justine, and an album - titled Shakin' Stevens.

The turning point came in the 1980s. He signed to Epic, releasing the Take One album and the single Hot Dog, which reached number 24 in the charts. Marie Marie followed, but it wasnt until 1981's This Ole House single that Shaky truly arrived. It was a number one smash, and made the singer an internationally-recognised face.

This Ole House was followed up by smashes including Green Door, Oh Julie and Shirley. Other notable releases include 1984's A Rockin' Good Way (a duet with Bonnie Tyler), and 1985's Merry Christmas Everyone - which was delayed from the previous year so it wouldn't clash with Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas?.

By the end of the decade he'd had more number ones than any other Welsh artist, and had scored 30 top 30 hits.

In May 2005 Shaky won the ITV comeback show Hit Me Baby One More Time, where he performed This Ole House and a cover of Pink's Trouble, beating competition from the likes of Tiffany, Shalamar and Chesney Hawkes. His victory coincided with the release of The Collection, a CD and DVD best-of.

Release date: 05 Dec 2012

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