Madness’ Suggs: I learnt of my father’s death on Wikipedia

From The Telegraph:

Suggs, 51, whose real name is Graham McPherson, was three when his Scottish father, William McPherson, walked out on the family.

He was brought up by his mother Edith Gower, a jazz singer and barmaid, and only decided in recent years that he wanted to know exactly what became of his father.

The answer is revealed in his show, Suggs: My Life in Words and Music, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The musician performed on top of Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert and in the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games.

Speaking in the Scottish capital, Suggs said his mother was able to fill in some of the details, but he feared he would be resigned to spending years in records offices trying to find the truth.
He added: “Then one day my mate said, ‘Have you ever looked yourself up on Wikipedia?

“I looked myself up and there it all was. It said my father had died in 1975, aged just 40. The thing is, this website knew more about my life than me and my whole family combined.

“My dad had died in Birmingham, so I contacted the records office and a nice man there pieced things together for me.

“He had remarried so there was a glimmer of hope that he had turned his life around. But it was all a bit of a mess. He didn’t have any kids, which put paid to the chance that I might have stepbrothers or stepsisters. When his death certificate arrived it was a real shock.”

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Telegraph