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I sold 12 million then albums.. I felt vulnerable being and hated; DAVID GRAY ON LIFE AFTER THAT RECORD.

Byline: MAEVE QUIGLEY

HE had the best-selling album of all time in Ireland but singer David Gray admitted the success of White Ladder nearly destroyed him.

The 42-year-old was speaking in an interview with John Kelly for The View Presents due to be screened on RTE One at 11.10pm tonight ahead of his gig with Bob Dylan at Limerick's Thomond Park this Sunday. And David said he hated the celebrity that came with selling 12 million records around the world. He added: "Initially it was just the most wonderful thing .

"White Ladder was so different from the first album I had done and we actually thought we were in danger of losing the few thousand people who were vaguely interested in what we were doing. "But we were wrong - and just of its own volition it began to take on - just through the power of people connecting with it." David said he has since been used as an example of some kind of marketing method.

But he added there was no science or magic behind the success. He said: "That's nonsense - it was just that it was good and people liked it." And although White Ladder was released all over the UK and Ireland, the record first took off here which meant he and the band spent 18 months on a high. He said: "The feeling of when we suddenly sensed what was going on - we were like a bunch of kids on Christmas morning for about 18 months.

"I remember being practically chaired through the streets of Dublin after we played the Trinity Ball - we didn't get on to play until about 2am. "When we left it was broad daylight and I just remember all these people singing This Year's Love to me. "And they just grabbed me and almost chaired me down the street - it was quite extraordinary really." White Ladder went on to sell 12 million copies around the world but the impact the success had on David emotionally was tough.

He likened the rise of the record to a volcanic explosion and said he knew that from there, the only way to go was down. He added: "I was feeling vulnerable - I suddenly realised I didn't like that feeling of being in the supermarket and being mobbed by people. "You have become ubiquitous and you have become the thing that anybody in their right minds should start hating." And the death of his father and becoming a dad himself changed things for David. He said: "A lot happened to me in a short space of time - White Ladder, my father and then having children - there was too much on my plate for a few years.

"And the knock-on effect of grappling with all that stuff and the hall of mirrors that you are thrown into when you are seen as a celebrity of some kind just turned me a bit inward. "But I think I realised by the time I did Life In Slow Motion that the vital energy that had been there wasn't there any more and I was powering myself." David decided to go with his own judgement for the new album, instead of getting caught up in chasing massive chart success again. He said: "The reason all these great things happened was because you followed your heart so you just have to keep following it. "There's a whole other world outside the charts where the music goes out there and I believe it finds its way."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2010
Words:584
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