Artist Biography Available in: Richard Paul Ashcroft (born 11 September 1971 in Billinge, Wigan) is an English singer-songwriter. He was the lead singer and occasional guitarist of alternative rock band The Verve from their formation in 1990 until their split in 1999, and continues as a lead vocalist working with guitars and keyboards. He became a successful solo artist in his own right, releasing three UK top three solo albums. The Verve reformed in 2007 but again broke up by summer 2009. Ashcroft then founded a new band, RPA & The United Nations of Sound, and released a new album on 19 July 2010.