Noel Thomas David Gallagher (born 29 May 1967) is an English singer, songwriter and guitarist. He served as the lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the English rock band Oasis. Raised in Burnage, Manchester, Gallagher began learning guitar at the age of thirteen. After a series of odd jobs in construction, he worked for local Manchester band Inspiral Carpets as a roadie and technician in 1988. Whilst touring with them, he learned that his brother Liam Gallagher had formed a band of his own, known as the Rain, which eventually took on the name Oasis. After Gallagher returned to England, he was invited by his brother to join Oasis as songwriter and guitarist.
Oasis' debut album, Definitely Maybe (1994), marked the beginning of the band's rise to fame as part of the Britpop movement. Oasis' second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995), reached the top of the album charts in many countries and their third studio album, Be Here Now (1997), became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history. Britpop eventually declined in popularity and Oasis' next two albums failed to revive it. However, the band's final two albums, Don't Believe the Truth (2005) and Dig Out Your Soul (2008), were hailed as its best efforts in over a decade and found renewed success. On 28 August 2009, following an altercation with Liam prior to a gig in Paris, Noel Gallagher announced his departure from Oasis and on 23 October 2009, he confirmed he would embark on a solo career. Gallagher would go on to form Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, with whom he has released three studios albums.
Gallagher's run with Oasis was marked by turbulence, especially during the peak of Britpop, during which he was involved in several disputes with Liam, and the brothers' fights and wild lifestyles regularly made headlines in British tabloid newspapers. Gallagher (along with Oasis) also shared a personal rivalry with fellow Britpop band Blur. However, he was often regarded as the spear-head of the Britpop movement, and at one point of time, NME termed a number of Britpop bands (including Kula Shaker, Ocean Colour Scene and Cast) as "Noelrock", citing Gallagher's influence on their success. Many have praised Gallagher's songwriting, with George Martin claiming him to be 'the finest songwriter of his generation'. In 2012, he was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life.
Conversely, Gallagher was voted the most overrated guitarist of the last millennium in a 1999 poll of fellow players, and the ninth-most overrated ever in a 2002 listener survey – he cited the former as the award he most enjoyed receiving.