Richard Melville Hall, also known as Moby, is an American musician, songwriter, singer, producer, and animal rights activist. He has sold twenty million records worldwide. AllMusic considers him to be “among the most important dance music figures of the early 1990s, helping bring dance music to a mainstream audience both in the United Kingdom and the United States”.
After taking up guitar and piano at age nine, he played in several underground punk rock bands through the 1980s before turning to electronic dance music. In 1989, he moved to New York City and became a prolific figure as a DJ, producer, and remixer. His 1991 single “Go” was his mainstream breakthrough, reaching number ten in the United Kingdom. Between 1992 and 1997 he scored eight top ten hits on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart including “Move (You Make Me Feel So Good)”, “Feeling So Real”, and “James Bond Theme (Moby Re-Version)”. Throughout the decade he also produced music under various pseudonyms, released the critically acclaimed Everything Is Wrong in 1995, and composed music for films. His punk-oriented album Animal Rights, released in 1996, alienated much of his fan base.
Moby found commercial and critical success with his fifth album Play in 1999 which, after receiving little recognition, became an unexpected global hit in 2000 after each track was licensed to films, television shows, and commercials. It remains his highest selling album with twelve million copies sold. Its seventh single, “South Side”, featuring Gwen Stefani, remains his only one to appear on the US Billboard Hot 100, reaching number fourteen. Moby followed Play with albums of varied styles including electronic, dance, rock, and downtempo music, starting with 18 in 2002, Hotel in 2005, and Last Night in 2008. His later albums saw him explore ambient music, including the almost four-hour release Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. in 2016. Moby has not toured since 2014 but continues to record and release albums; his most recent is Live Ambients – Improvised Recordings Vol. 1 in 2020.