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British musician and actor, Goldie (b. 1965), was in children’s homes and foster care as a child. 

Clifford Joseph Price was born in Walsall, a market town in the West Midlands, England. His mother, Margaret, was a Scottish pub singer. His father, Clement, was a Jamaican man who disappeared shortly after Price was born. Clifford entered the state care system at the age of three, but his half-brothers remained at home with their mother.  

Over the next fifteen years, Clifford lived in a number of foster and children’s homes. This meant he was always ready to be moved on. 

I’d go to one children’s home and they’d go ‘Ok, you need to leave now’. So you’d always keep your life in a suitcase (The Herald).

The boy had no contact with his mother while in care.  He can still recall the day he was taken away. 

I remember down to the day when the social worker came to take me away. Me and my brother rolled down this hill on a trolley, all the way to the bottom and we fell off and were laughing, and then we went back up the hill, and this car pulled up and a woman got out with a guy and they took me away (Cadwalladr). 

Price’s eclectic musical taste originated during his time in care. He was exposed to many different music genres by other young people in care.  

In one room a kid would be playing [local reggae outfit] Steel Pulse, “while through the wall someone else had a Japan record on and another guy would be spinning Human League (Barr). 

Before he became interested in hip-hop, Price took up roller skating and was in the national team. As a teenager, he was inspired by his art teacher, which is how his interest in graffiti began. He then joined a breakdance in nearby Wolverhampton called the B-Boys. Price grew his hair, and his dreadlocks earned him the nickname “Goldie”.  

At the age of sixteen, Goldie ran away from a children’s home to live with his mother on a high-rise estate in Walsall. He believes he ultimately benefited from his time in care. This is because his half-brother, who remained with their mother, “does nothing“. 

Goldie’s talent as a graffiti artist brought him to the attention of Britain’s Arts Council. At the age of seventeen, he was featured in a Channel 4 TV documentary on graffiti, Bombin’ (1988). After the filming, Goldie was taken to New York by the filmmakers. There, he met with street artist Brim Fuentes in New York. Goldie then moved to Miami where he supported himself by selling gold caps for teeth. 

After his return to London in 1990, Goldie became involved in the rave scene. He pioneered jungle music which combines rapid breakbeats with hip-hop, funk and reggae samples. Goldie is also credited with popularising drum and bass and introducing new techniques to the genre.  

In 1994, Goldie launched his own label, Metalheadz. He has worked with a range of artists including Björk and David Bowie.  

Goldie has also ventured into acting with roles in The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Eastenders (2001-2002). He also featured in the 2011 BBC series, Goldie’s Band: By Royal Appointment, where he worked with twelve young people on a special musical performance with Prince Harry in the audience. 

Goldie has been awarded honorary degrees from Brunel University and the University of Wolverhampton. In 2016, he was awarded an MBE for his services to music and young people. Goldie is also an author; his autobiography, Nine Lives, (2002), is co-authored with Paul Gorman, and his memoir, All Things Remembered, was published in 2017.  


“Goldie (Clifford Joseph Price)”. National Portrait Gallery. 

“NEW YEAR’S HONOURS: MBE pride for musician Goldie.” The Herald Scotland, 31 Dec 2015. 

Barr, Tim. “Percious Metalheads.” Complex, 2013. 

Cadwalladr, Carole. “Goldie interview: The alchemist”. The Guardian, 30 January 2011. 

Fletcher, Alex. “Goldie’s band perform for Prince Harry” Digital Spy, 22 Oct, 2010. 

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