Dave Gahan (pronounced /ˈɡɑːn/; born 9 May 1962 in Epping, Essex, United Kingdom) is the baritone lead singer for the British electronic band Depeche Mode, and is also an accomplished solo artist.
Born into a working class family, to parents Sylvia (a conductress on London's buses known as "a clippy") and Len (a bus driver), Gahan was six months old when his father left the family. Sylvia and Len divorced two years later and his mother moved Gahan and sister Sue (born 1960) to Basildon, Essex, after Sylvia met and married her second husband Jack (an administrator with Shell Oil). The Gahan family continued to grow with the birth of two more brothers Peter (born 1966) and Phil (born 1968). Dave and Sue were raised under the impression that their mother's second husband, Jack Gahan, was their natural father.
In 1972, when Gahan was ten, his stepfather died. Gahan recalls how he "came home one day and found this bloke at home". Of the incident, he has said: "I'll never forget that day. When I came home from school, there was this stranger in my mum's house. My mother introduced him to me as my real dad. I remember I said, that was impossible because my father was dead. How was I supposed to know who that man was? From that day on, Len often visited the house, until one year later he disappeared again. Forever this time. Since then he had no contact with us. By growing older, I thought about him more and more. The only thing my mother would say, was that he moved out to Jersey to open a hotel". "Mum had kept it back from me 'til there was a need to tell me about my birth father, it's a different generation and you can understand I guess she thought she was doing the right thing".