Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965), known professionally as Moby, is an American musician, songwriter, singer, producer, and animal rights activist. He has sold 20 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 States and the United Kingdom”.
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, especially in Europe, where it peaked within the top ten of the charts in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Between 1992 and 1997 he scored eight top 10 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 (1995), and composed music for films. His punk-oriented album Animal Rights (1996) alienated much of his fan base.
Moby found commercial and critical success with his fifth album Play (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 12 million copies sold. Its seventh single, “South Side”, featuring Gwen Stefani, remains his only one to appear on the US Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 14. Moby followed Play with albums of varied styles including electronic, dance, rock, and downtempo music, starting with 18 (2002), Hotel (2005), and Last Night (2008). His later albums saw him explore ambient music, including the almost four-hour release Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. (2016). Moby has not toured since 2014 but continues to record and release albums; his nineteenth studio album, Reprise, was released in May 2021.
In addition to his music career, Moby is known for his veganism and support for animal rights and humanitarian aid. He was the owner of TeaNY, a vegan cafe in Manhattan, and Little Pine, a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, and organized the vegan music and food festival Circle V. He is the author of four books, including a collection of his photography and two memoirs: Porcelain: A Memoir (2016) and Then It Fell Apart (2019).