This frontman soared to fame with his band’s debut album, made $1 million in just a month from his Christmas number one and had a sold-out world tour with hair as big as his career.
The singer, 48, famously spent $200,000 of his estimated $7million fortune on cocaine, living a life of excess which caused him to quit his band in 2006, and go into recovery.
He is now a vegan, married, father of one living a quiet life in rural Switzerland and looks worlds away from his once-flamboyant on-stage persona.
Twenty years on from when his band’s hit song was released, the huge rock star looks completely unrecognisable.
But can YOU guess who it is?
That’s right! It’s Justin Hawkins from The Darkness.
Known for his long curly hair, the rocker sported a whole new look as he stepped out with a darker, shorter do and clean shaven face as he headed to some designer shops in Mayfair on Wednesday.
Back in the day, the operatic I Believe In A Thing Called Love singer used to wear flamboyant metallic catsuits which showed off his bare tattooed chest.
While Justin wasn’t wearing his signature stage costume, the rocker still showed an interest in fashion as he hit designer shop Marni before waving down a taxi.
Justin proved he had expensive taste as he carried a Celine rucksack, but kept his outfit casual in a tartan baseball cap, black hoodie and checked trousers.
In an exclusive chat with MailOnline last year, Justin said during lockdown he kept busy teaching himself to play slide guitar ‘for several hours a day’ but wished he learned to play piano and perhaps the language of the country he now lives in – Switzerland.
Married to Sarah Hawkins, with whom he shares a daughter, eight, whose name has not been revealed publicly, he said: ‘They’re the reason I live there.
‘I live in quite a rural part so the only time I am in contact with anyone English speaking is when I see my daughter.
‘So those times are really important to me. I always block out her birthday in the calendar.’
Justin said he was delighted when he was eliminated from The Masked Singer – in which he appeared as The Chameleon, in 2020, just two weeks into the series – because he would have missed his daughter’s birthday otherwise, as he would have to have remained in the UK to film.
He said: ‘She thinks I am cool, for now. I’ve got another year or so before that wears off I think.
‘I’m looking forward to the hormones kicking in. The times when she is rebellious, I quite enjoy those really.
‘It’s difficult for dads, especially absent dads, [because he is often on tour]. I think the rebellion that occurs, I don’t think I’ll get the full brunt of it really. If anything I’ve encouraged it.’
He’s still found ways to spend his royalties from hits like I Believe in a Thing Called Love and Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) and spilled that he has bought a garish bespoke water feature.
He said: ‘It comes with a marble statue of myself as the Belgian urinating boy, which I keep in my front garden.
‘I often pose in front of it and startle the neighbours by moving when they least expect it.’
During the height of his fame, Justin wasted $200,000 on cocaine in just three years.
The band made $1million in one month alone as a result of their festive hit, Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End), but the frontman wasted thousands on his drug habit.
Justin previously confessed that one of his lowest moments was waking up in first class on a plane dressed in a microphone fancy dress costume having soiled himself.
His addiction became such a source of friction within the group that he went for two years without speaking to his brother Dan – who was also the band’s guitarist.
So in order to get sober, Justin went to a month-long addiction treatment program at the Priory clinic in Roehampton.
Speaking to The Independent, he confessed: ‘I became secretive, volatile and verbally abusive, a really unpleasant person to be around.
‘There were lots of periods I don’t even remember; blackouts.’
The Darkness called it quits in 2006 after their rock and roll lifestyle took a toll. However, in 2015 they decided to give fame another go, and released a fourth album.
Speaking at the time, he told the Daily Mail: ‘I had to make a lot of tough decisions when I left the band, but leaving my brother was the hardest.
‘After a while, though, any awkwardness between us disappeared. We started writing songs together and that laid the foundations for this return…
‘There are the bands who have a little success before a slow decline. Then there are the ones who ride the roller-coaster, where your mood swings constantly between jubilation and despair. I prefer the rollercoaster.’
In 2011 the band reunited and went on to tour around the world.
In January 2020, The Darkness released a new video for In Another Life, which featured model Abbey Clancy.
Most recently Justin performed for the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert and joined Eurovision 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder after this year’s contest aired for a BBC special where he sang” “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”.
Never heard of him or band…