Pete Doherty

The quintessential rock star (with all the vices -- drugs, cars, and women -- to prove it), English bad boy Pete Doherty practically spent more of his time in the early 21st century in the tabloids than he did on-stage, his numerous arrests and run-ins with the law fodder for the paparazzi, fans, and critics alike. Born to a father in the British Army, Doherty passed much of his youth moving from place to place, both in England and abroad. An intelligent child and a good student, he immersed himself in books, especially Romantic and war poetry, even choosing to study English literature at university. He didn't stay long in the academic world, however, dropping out after a year and moving into a London apartment with guitarist and singer Carl Barat, whom he had recently met. The two, though they didn't always agree on everything, felt a kind of artistic connection, and were soon writing songs together, employing a variety of different characters (including a prostitute and a 70-year-old) to complete their band, which they called the Libertines. They finally settled on a lineup -- Doherty and Barat on vocals and guitars, John Hassall on bass, and Gary Powell on drums -- in the first years of the new millennium and were signed to Rough Trade in December 2001. Their first single, "What a Waste," was released the next year and was followed shortly after by the full-length debut, Up the Bracket.

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