Mark Ronson is an English musician, DJ, singer, songwriter and record producer. Although his debut album Here Comes the Fuzz failed to make an impact on the charts, his second album, Version, reached number two in the UK and included three top 10 singles. This earned him a Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist in 2008. His third studio album, Record Collection, was released on September 27, 2010, peaking at number two in the UK.
In 2014 Ronson achieved his first UK and U.S. number one single with "Uptown Funk," which featured vocals from Bruno Mars. The song earned Ronson the 2015 Brit Award for British Single of the Year, the 2016 Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. His fourth studio album, Uptown Special, was released in January 2015, and became his first UK number one album and also peaked at number 5 in the US.
Ronson produced "Cold Shoulder" on Adele's first album, 19. He received critical acclaim for producing fellow Jewish artist Amy Winehouse's album Back to Black, for which he won the Grammy Awards for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Record of the Year for the single "Rehab". He has won Record of the Year twice, in 2008 as a producer and in 2016 as a performing artist. One of the most successful musicians in contemporary British popular culture, Ronson appeared on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in Britain.
Ronson was born at the Wellington Hospital, St John's Wood, London, to Jewish parents, Laurence Ronson, a real-estate speculator and music manager, and Ann Dexter. His ancestors immigrated from Austria, Russia, and Lithuania. Ronson was brought up in Conservative Judaism and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony. The family name was originally "Aaronson", and was shortened by Mark's grandfather Henry. He is the nephew of businessman Gerald Ronson. Through his mother, he is also related to British Conservative politicians Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Leon Lord Brittan, as well as Odeon Cinemas founder Oscar Deutsch. He is not related to the late English guitarist Mick Ronson, who coincidentally fathered a son named Mark in 1975.
After his parents divorced his mother married Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones, which contributed to a childhood surrounded by music. Ronson – along with his mother, step-father and twin sisters – moved to New York City when he was eight years of age. Living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, he counted Sean Lennon – son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono – amongst his childhood friends. Ronson attended high school at the private Collegiate School in Manhattan before attending Vassar College and then New York University (NYU).
While attending New York University (NYU), Ronson became a regular at downtown hip hop spots and made his name as a DJ on the New York club scene in 1993. He soon became known for his diverse, genre-spanning selection. Influenced by funk, New York hip hop, and rock from the UK (all of which he incorporated in his sets) he attracted a wide audience. He was soon a popular and sought after DJ in New York City, frequently booked for high-profile events and private parties. In 1999 Ronson was featured in an ad for Tommy Hilfiger denim, wearing their jeans in the recording studio.
Ronson's debut album, Here Comes the Fuzz, was released in 2003. Despite poor initial sales it was well received by critics. As well as writing and producing all of the songs on the album, Ronson created the beats, played guitar, keyboards, and bass. The album featured performances from artists from diverse genres, including Mos Def, Jack White, Sean Paul, Nikka Costa, Nappy Roots and Rivers Cuomo. The best known song from the album, "Ooh Wee," samples "Sunny" by Boney M and features Nate Dogg, Ghostface Killah, Trife Da God, and Saigon. It was featured that year in the movie Honey and its soundtrack. The song was later used in the movies Hitch and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Two weeks after releasing Here Comes the Fuzz, Elektra Records dropped him. Ronson has since produced multiple songs on the albums of singers Lamya, Macy Gray, Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, and Robbie Williams.
In 2004 Ronson formed Allido Records, a subsidiary of Sony BMG's J Records, along with his longtime manager Rich Kleiman.
Ronson's second album, Version, was well received by critics particularly in the UK and U.S. In May 2007 it was awarded the title Album of the Month by the British dance music magazine, Mixmag. On 23 June, Ronson made the cover of the Guardian newspaper's Guide magazine, alongside singer Lily Allen.
In December 2007, Ronson received his first Grammy Award nomination, for 'Producer of the Year, Non Classical'. Ronson's work with Amy Winehouse received substantial accolades, gaining 6 more nominations. Winehouse's "Back to Black" album, mostly produced by Ronson, was nominated for 'Album of the Year' and 'Best Pop Vocal Album'. Her song "Rehab" received nods for 'Best Female Pop Vocal Performance', 'Song of the Year' and 'Record of the Year'. Ronson would go on to win three Grammys: 'Producer of the Year' as well as 'Best Pop Vocal Album' and 'Record of the Year' (the latter two of which he shared with Amy Winehouse) in early February 2008. Around this time Ronson received his first number one on an international chart (Dutch Top 40), for "Valerie," which topped the chart for four consecutive weeks.
In the Spring of 2010 Ronson confirmed the name of his new album, Record Collection, and said that he hoped to have it out by September 2010. Additionally, Ronson announced the name of his new band, "The Business Intl.'", which is the alias adopted by Ronson on the third studio album. The first single "Bang Bang Bang". which featured rapper Q-Tip and singer MNDR was released on July 12, 2010, where it peaked at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart, giving Ronson his fourth Top 10 single. The single also entered the Irish Singles Chart, where it peaked at number 18. The second single from the album, "The Bike Song", was released September 19, 2010 and features Kyle Falconer from The View and Spank Rock. The album was released on September 27, 2010. This is the first Ronson albums on which he features as a singer.
Although Ronson had never met Michael Jackson, in 2010 he was given the vocal track to a song titled "Lovely Way", sung by Jackson, to produce for his posthumous album Michael. He submitted the track, but it did not make the track listing for Michael.
On October 30, 2014, Ronson announced, via Twitter, a new single from his upcoming album, to be released on 10 November 2014. The single, "Uptown Funk," featured Bruno Mars on vocals. On November 22, 2014, Ronson and Mars appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live performing "Uptown Funk" and "Feel Right" (featuring Mystikal). "Uptown Funk" reached number one in the UK and US singles charts, and also became the all-time most streamed track in a single week in the UK, having been streamed a record 2.49 million times in one week. "Uptown Funk" reached the top 10 in nearly every country it charted; it spent fifteen weeks at number one on the Canadian Hot 100, fourteen weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and seven weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart. In February 2015 the song won Ronson the Brit Award for British Single of the Year. As of November 29, 2016, the song's music video on YouTube has amassed over 2 billion views.
At the 2016 Grammy Awards Ronson won two awards for "Uptown Funk", including Record Of The Year.
He went on to executive produce Lady Gaga's fifth album Joanne, and the Queens of the Stone Age's 2017 album Villains.