Born Paul Bruce Dickinson in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, Bruce began his foray into the music business in 1979 under the moniker of “Bruce Bruce” when he fronted popular NWOGHM band Samson, releasing two albums with the quartet (1980’s Head On and 1981’s Shock Tactics – both on RCA.)
It wasn’t until the took the reigns for powerhouse metal band Iron Maiden, debuting on their multi-platinum selling Number of the Beast opus – regarded as one of the best heavy metal albums ever by many – that his star began to rise. Leading the band through eleven further albums as well as six solo albums, Dickinson is also often touted to be one of the top frontmen in the metal genre.
Aside from his musical ventures Bruce is also adept at fencing (for which he’s placed as a finalist in British competitions as well as founding a fencing company, Duellist), beer brewing and aviation, having learned to fly recreationally in the 90’s. He is now certified as a transport pilot and even flies Iron Maiden’s own plane “Ed Force One.’
His role as a pilot has led to some high-profile flights, which include returning a group of British RAF pilots from Afghanistan in 2008, 200 UK citizens from Lebanon during the Israel/Hezbollah conflict in 2006, and 180 stranded holiday makers from Egypt following the collapse of XL Airways UK in September 2008.
From 2002 – 2010, Bruce presented BBC’s Friday Rock Show (BBC Radio 6), ending it with a personal tribute to the then recently deceased Ronnie James Dio. From 2003 – 2007 Dickinson was also the host of BBC Radio 2’s Masters of Rock program.
In 2005, Dickinson hosted a 5-part historical TV series about aviation, ‘Flying Heavy Metal,’ which was shown on the Discovery Channel, and later on Discovery Turbo in the UK. He was a guest on an episode of the Military Channel’s ‘The Greatest Ever,’ where he drove a Russian T-34 tank. In 2006, Dickinson presented a documentary for Sky One entitled ‘Inside Spontaneous Human Combustion with Bruce Dickinson’, in which he investigated the phenomenon by enlisting the help of several experts and performing various experiments to determine its possible cause. Other television appearances include guesting on quiz shows such as’ Never Mind the Buzzcocks’ and the short-lived ‘Space Cadets,’ as well as the chat show ‘Clarkson,’ hosted by Jeremy Clarkson Dickinson has also appeared in a BBC series called ‘The Paradise Club,’ undertaking the role of a musician named Jake Skinner. On 27 July 2012, Dickinson spent a day being filmed as a guest star for a season four episode of ‘Ice Pilots NWT,’ in which he flew a Douglas DC-3 and took part in “touch-and-go drills” in a Douglas DC-4 with Buffalo Airways., he also appeared in a season five episode when two Buffalo Airways planes were brought to his Cardiff Aviation base in Wales.
In 2015, Dickinson underwent seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for a cancerous tumor found at the back of his tongue.Dickinson’s medical team expected him to make a full recovery as the tumor was discovered in the early stages. On 15 May, Dickinson was given the all-clear by his specialists.