Probably best known as one of the founding members of Take That -- alongside Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Robbie Williams, and Howard Donald -- Mark Owen successfully carved a solo career after the group's initial break-up in 1996. Born in Oldham, England, in 1972, Owen's original boyhood dream was to become a professional soccer player, and subsequent trials for Manchester United, Rochdale, and Huddersfield Town proved fruitless after an injury put a stop to any chance of a sporting career. Joining Take That in 1989, the five-piece went on to become one of the U.K.'s biggest-selling boy bands until their split in 1996. Becoming the first member of Take That to release a solo album, Owen drafted in producer John Leckie -- who had become known for his work with the Stone Roses and Radiohead and had been linked to the explosion of the Brit-pop scene -- to give the album an alternative edge. Green Man was released at the end of 1996 and debuted at number 33 on the U.K. album charts, while spawning three singles, Clementine, Child, and I Am What I Am. While moderately successful, the album failed to reach the lofty heights that fellow Take That members Barlow, and in particular, Williams, eventually reached and in 1999 Owen was dropped by BMG.