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Lord Chesney Hawkes (the First and Only!)

Written by: Caitlin
Published: 22nd September 2021

Chesney Hawkes became a heartthrob and over night chart-topper in 1991 at the tender age of just 19… and we can confirm that the super-star is a proud Lord of Glencoe and member of our Highland Titles community, since 1st July 2014. If, like mine, your teenage bedroom featured this star’s face on a poster, you’ll be thrilled to hear that he’s still keeping busy, making music recordings, and is possibly even better looking than ever before!

Singing sensation, Chesney Hawkes, at the height of his fame.
Singing sensation, Chesney Hawkes, at the height of his fame.

If you would like to become a Laird, Lord or Lady of Glencoe just like the legendary Chesney Hawkes, you can do so HERE.


The Early Life of Chesney Hawkes

Chesney Hawkes was born on the 22nd September 1971 in Windsor, Berkshire, into a multi-talented family of familiar faces.

His father is the singer Len ‘Chip’ Hawkes, who found success with the 1960s band The Tremeloes, and his mother is former actress and game-show hostess Carol Dilworth, who appeared both in television and film.

Chesney attended Charters School in Sunningdale, alongside his sister Keely, who had her own success singing with the 1990s band Transister, and is now a songwriter based in Los Angeles.

Hawkes’s career really began at the young age of 19, when he appeared as the title character in the film ‘Buddy’s Song’. His biggest ever single was released from this film’s soundtrack, entitled ‘The One and Only’, on which, amazingly, his younger brother Jodie was the drummer!

“When I was 16 I told my dad I wanted to be a pop star. He told me, ‘I’ll give you until the end of the summer. If you’re not earning money by then, you’re going back to school’.”

Chesney Hawkes recalls wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps from an early age.

In fact, it was Chesney’s father Len who first came across Nik Kershaw’s song ‘The One and Only’ and played it to his son. Len Hawkes presented Chesney with a cassette, which featured all of the Nik Kershaw songs that were available at that time, and asked him if he would like to think about recording one of them. Out of all the songs, it was this one in particular that caught the young Hawkes’ attention, and all of us who have heard it today can understand why.


The One and Only

This catchy tune spent an impressive 5 weeks at the number one spot in the UK charts when it was released in February 1991!

Chesney Hawkes’ most famous release, ‘The One and Only’ was written by Nik Kershaw, produced by Nik Kershaw and Alan Shacklock, mixed by Gareth Cousins and recorded by Chesney Hawkes. The song was featured in the 1991 film ‘Buddy’s Song’ which starred Chesney Hawkes alongside Roger Daltrey. It also became very successful in the US as well, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in November 1991.

Two separate music videos were produced of ‘The One and Only’. The first one featured Chesney Hawkes performing the song on stage in front of a crowd. The second one showed two girls going to watch the ‘Buddy’s Song’ film in the cinema, before Chesney jumps out the screen and beckons the girl to follow him.

‘The One and Only’ received rave reviews at the time of it’s release with Larry Flick from Billboard commenting on it:

“Sugar-coated pop rocker by U.K. male vocalist, who was discovered by Roger Daltrey, is beginning to duplicate previous European chart success. Anthemic lyrics and a heartfelt performance should help push this over the top with top 40 punters.”

As well as being in ‘Buddy’s Song’, Chesney Hawkes’s number 1 hit song has featured in a number of other movies, including ‘Moon’, ‘Source Code’ and ‘Mute’ all by directer Duncan Jones, and a cover version by Ellen and the Escapades was featured in the 2014 film ‘L.A. Slasher’.

If you aren’t already familiar with the well known, catchy lyrics, here they are:

“I am the one and only
Oh yeah

Call me
Call me by my name or
Call me by my number
You put me through itI’ll still be doing it the way I do it
And yet, you try to make me forget
Who I really am
Don’t tell me I know best
I’m not the same as all the rest

I am the one and only
Nobody I’d rather be
I am the one and only
You can’t take that away from me

I’ve been a player in the crowd scene
A flicker on the big screen
My soul embraces
One more in a million faces

High hopes and aspirations
Add years above my station
Maybe but all this time I’ve tried
To walk with dignity and pride

I am the one and only
Nobody I’d rather be
I am the one and only
You can’t take that away from me

I can’t wear this uniform
Without some compromises
Because you’ll find out that we come
In different shapes and sizes

No one can be myself like I can
For this job I’m the best man
And while this may be true
You are the one and only you

I am the one and only
Nobody I’d rather be
I am the one and only
You can’t take that away from me

I am the one and only (one and only)
Nobody I’d rather be
I am the one and only (the one and only)
You can’t take that away from me”

You can watch the official music video, and even sing along if you want to, HERE.


The Difficult Years

“When I first released ‘The One And Only’ nobody knew it was going to be so big. I just thought, ‘Oh, this is was happens when you release a record? Brilliant! Let’s release another.”

Chesney Hawkes, openly speaking about his naivety about becoming a celebrity.

Unfortunately, the aftermath of a rapid rise to fame and fortune isn’t always an easy path to tread, as poor Chesney discovered.

It seems to be a trend in the music industry, if your first song release is such a roaring success, it can be difficult to match with your follow up music. His second release “I’m a Man Not a Boy” reached it’s peak at number 27 in the UK charts, and his third single “Secrets of the Heart” came in at number 57.

Chesney was sadly dropped from his record label, and is the first to admit that he irresponsibly blew all the cash he had made. The singer was incredibly generous with his money and spoiled his family and friends with gifts such as cars.

Whilst the realisation that money doesn’t last for ever must have been a difficult one, Chesney claims to have no regrets about this period in his life, it was just a tough lesson to learn at a young age.


What is Chesney Hawke’s up to now?

Chesney Hawkes, no less handsome then he was 30 years ago when his career began!
Chesney Hawkes, no less handsome then he was 30 years ago when his career began!

Luckily Chesney Hawkes overcame his money troubles and has gone on to have a happy and successful life. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife of over 20 years, Kristina – who used to be a model – and the couple have had three children, and his family are now very much his biggest priority.

The star now writes music for television and film, as well as writing, recording and producing music for the contestants taking part in shows such as ‘The X Factor’.

He first return to the media spotlight in March 2004 when he won a bronze medal taking part in Channel 4’s television show ‘The Games’. He has also made appearances since in other programmes including ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in 2008, ‘Let’s Dance for Comic Relief’ and ‘Sing If You Can’ in 2011, and ‘Celebrity Masterchef’ in 2015, where he made it to the semi-finals.

As well as television appearances, Chesney has done very well for himself in musical theatre. In 2008 he appeared in the role of Tony Lowiman in the musical ‘Can’t Smile Without You’, which featured over 40 songs by Barry Manilow. He also appeared as Joseph in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ in September of 2011.

Multi-talented Chesney Hawkes was also involved in a project called the Lexus Symphony Orchestra in 2007. This was a corporate promotion designed to showcase the quality of Lexus’ in-car audio systems, which culminated in two original pieces of music composed by Chesney being performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at several events.

With all these accolades under his belt, plus the fact that he began receiving royalties for his smash hit ‘The One and Only’ ten years on from it’s original release, its easy to see how well the floppy haired boy from Windsor has done for himself. Whilst some people may always use the label of ‘one-hit wonder’ to describe Hawkes, there really is so much more to know about the singer and his achievements.

If you would like to keep up to date with Chesney Hawkes’ news, music and appearances, may we recommend checking out his personal site HERE.


About the author

Written by: Caitlin


Comments on this post

  • Chris Hawkes
    29/09/21 - 10:27

    I met Lord Chesney Hawkes a few years ago when he was staying at a hotel in Inverness where I was attending a wedding. He even gave an impromptu performance of ‘the one and only’. Great guy and wonderful surname too 🙂

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