Sir George Ivan Morrison, born on August 31, 1945, in Belfast, Ireland, is an extraordinary songwriter and singer who has sold millions of records worldwide. Morrison is skilled at various musical instruments like guitar, harmonica, saxophone, keyboard, drums, tambourine, and ukulele. Morrison’s song, “Brown Eyed Girl,” was released in 1967 and reached number 10 on the U.S. charts, becoming his most played song. In 1968 Morrison released an album under Warner Bros Records titled “Astral Weeks.” Read on to learn more about this amazing talent’s special day right here!
Sir George Ivan Morrison
Van the Man
August 31, 1945
Sir George Ivan Morrison, popularly known as Van Morrison, is a grammy-award-winning and multi-talented artist whose recording career has been going on for about six decades. He was born on August 31, 1945, in Belfast, Ireland, to George Morrison and Violet Stitt Morrison. He attended Elmgrove Primary school from 1950 to 1956 while being known as ‘Van.’ His father bought him his first acoustic guitar when he was just 11 years. He then attended Orangefield Boys Secondary School and left in 1960. He settled into doing odd jobs before he joined a band called “Monarchs.”
Morrison started his career at the early age of 17 as he toured Europe with his Irish band mates. He played the saxophone, harmonica, and guitar for the band. Morrison left the group when it got disbanded and was hired by “The Wheels,” a rock band, as a blues singer. In 1964, Morrison created another band, “Them,” which enabled him to break into the international scene. The band’s R&B performances at Maritime attracted the attention of many. Dick Rowe of Decca Records recognized the band’s talents and signed them on a two-year contract. They released two albums and ten singles after Morrison left the band.
Morrison’s song, “Brown Eyed Girl,” was released in 1967 and reached number 10 on the US pop charts, becoming his most played song. In 2000, the song was listed on Rolling Stone/MTV’s list of 100 Greatest Pop Songs. He signed a recording deal with Warner Bros Records and his first album with them was “Astral Weeks,” which is considered one of his best albums of all time, released in 1968. In 1993, Morrison was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Morrison also has honorary doctorate degrees in music from Queen’s University Belfast (2001) and the University of Ulster (1992).
Morrison has been married twice and is a father of three children.
Morrison’s song — "Brown Eyed Girl" earns him worldwide recognition and is one of his best songs yet.
Morrison is inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame but he could not attend the event.
Morrison receives an honorary degree in music from Queen's University in his hometown of Belfast.
Morrison wins the Hall of Fame Award for his song, "Brown Eyed Girl."
Morrison is knighted in honor of his contribution to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland.
Why We Love Van Morrison
He is a good friend
Morrison's friend, Farrah Fawcett, who is also one of his biggest fans, was battling cancer. When he learned she couldn’t make it to his Los Angeles concert, Morrison had the entire show filmed and sent her copies to watch at home.
Morrison is gifted in poetry
He has a way of writing songs that unveils beautiful melodies. We admire his talent!
He is a Knight of the Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) is a high-ranking award given to those who have made outstanding achievements. Morrison was knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. All hail Sir Morrison!
5 Surprising Facts
His fans have a unique name
As a twist to his given name, Morrison's fans are dubbed "Vanatics."
A popular song with zero returns
Morrison never made money off "Brown Eyed Girl," because his record label took it all.
He’s hit the one million records sale
Morrison's song, "Moondance," was his first song to sell over a million records.
He wrote a hit song at 18
Morrison was just 18 years old when he wrote his famous song, “Gloria."
He is shy
Morrison tends to avoid award ceremonies and interviews unless he must attend.
Van Morrison FAQs
Is Van Morrison Protestant or Catholic?
Morrison is a protestant and has been affiliated with St Donard’s Parish Church.
Does Van Morrison identify as Irish or British?
Although he is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter, Morrison identifies as both.
Is Van Morrison an American Citizen?
Morrison is a dual citizen of Northern Ireland/U.K. and the U.S.
Van Morrison’s birthday dates