Rick Allen was born in 1963, in Sheffield, England. Allen began playing the drums when he was 10 years old. By the age of 12, he became so proficient, he began playing with local groups. Before he turned 15, a local band originally called Deaf Leopard had just lost their drummer and was looking for a replacement. Allen called up, auditioned, and got the job. After Def Leppard's first two releases, 'On Through the Night' in 1980 and 'High and Dry' in 1981, the band was considered to be one of the leaders of the New Wave of the British heavy metal movement. In 1983, their hit Pyromania became their breakthrough album, selling over 9 million copies in the U.S. alone.
In 1984, the band was taking a break before working on their follow up album, when tragedy struck. Allen was involved in a car accident near his hometown on New Year's Eve. He was thrown from his vehicle, his left arm severed. His band members stood behind him and convinced him to stay with the group. He constructed an electric drum set that was partially controlled by his feet. By 1987, Def Leppard was ready to perform again with their fourth album, Hysteria, which outsold Pyromania. The band was beset with other setbacks, but have continued to persevere, being a model of resiliency. Today, the band continues to perform to sold out venues and produce successful albums.
Although Rick received fame at an early age as a musician, Rick has always been passionate about photography and art. He has performed numerous one man art shows and his works have been in high demand. All of his works are created with his passion that still motivates him. His Purple Heart series, for example, are inspired by the courage of wounded warriors.
Rick Allen, now 51, has been living in California for the past 25 years. He resides with his singer-songwriter wife, Lauren Monroe, along with their 2 daughters. Together they live a life comprised of art, music and philanthropy, having founded the Raven Drum Foundation and Project Resiliency with a mission to serve, educate, and empower veterans and people in crisis.