Born 1962 in Kingston, British-Jamaican pop singer and songwriter Peter Robinson is better known as Marilyn. He is most well known for his 1983 hit “Calling Your Name” and his highly androgynous appearance.
As a boy, Robinson loved Marilyn Monroe’s image, and Marilyn became his school nickname. While the name originated from homophobic bullies at school, Robinson decided to appropriate it to his advantage.
As a teenager, he was a regular nightclub-goer and wanted to look different, so he adopted a Marilyn Monroe image wearing vintage dresses with bleached blond hair. He became part of the British New Romantic movement which emerged in the late 1970s club scene and was popularized in the early 1980s.
Marilyn’s first chart success came in late 1983 with his debut single “Calling Your Name” which reached the Top 5 in the UK and Australia, and number 1 in Japan. He had two further minor UK Top 40 hits in 1984 with “Cry and Be Free” and “You Don’t Love Me”.
In June 1985, Marilyn released his debut album, Despite Straight Lines. Despite including his three earlier UK Top 40 hit singles, the album only charted in Australia.
By 1989, Robinson had signed with the Interbeat label, though again no new recordings surfaced. He then dropped out of the public eye for the next decade, abandoning his music career.
Marilyn modeled for several fashion designers including Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. Several photographs of Marilyn are housed in London’s National Portrait Gallery. He has been portrayed in several productions.
These photos captured portrait of Marilyn in the 1980s.