Peter Cetera is an older American singer and a bassist who was a member of a rock and roll band called “Chicago”.

After leaving the band he made a successful musical career as a solo author and a singer. He is very known for the music he made for “Karate Kid” movies.

Early years

He was born as Peter Paul Cetera on September 13, 1944 in Chicago in Illinois in US. He has spent all of his childhood in South Side Chicago. He said that growing up in Chicago was very interesting.

He was born in a very big family which originated from European states: Poland and Hungary. All the members of the family are devoted Catholics so he was raised in a religious environment. He claims that growing up in America raised by European people is very interesting since he noticed the difference between him and his classmates.

His parents had six children and he was the second to oldest of them. Most of the kids were boys.

He was especially close to his brothers Tim and Kenny who were also musicians later. They even worked with him during his career in the group Chicago. They are known to stick together in tough times.

His mother was very religious (since Poland and Hungary are known Catholic countries) and she wanted him to become a priest. That is why he went to Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary, but only for one year. He didn’t find himself in the call and decided to devote to things he loved.

After he showed no interest, he was transfered to Mendel High School which he finished in 1962.

He wanted a guitar from his early age but he gained an accordion from his parents. No matter that, he learned to play it but bought himself an acoustic guitar in his teenage years.

Later he upgraded to electric bass and started hanging out with his friends from high school, playing and making music. He found himself in the music he was playing.

They rounded up a little high school music band where he played the guitar and was the vocalist and other three members were a drummer, a pianist and also a guitarist. It was one of the most joyful period of his life, he claims: no worries, no anything. 

Career development

In 60’s he joined the band called “The Exceptions” and toured with them.

He started making more money and helped out his family, especially dad, who worked a hard job as a machinist. Peter knew how hard is his father’s job and he respected him for doing it in order to raise and school his children. They always had good connections in the family and understood each other well.

He left his band and joined another one, called “The Big Thing”. Later this band was renamed to “Chicago”. Their album “Chicago” made them world known. He sang a leading vocal on their hit song “25 or 6 to 4”.

Peter was the vocalist in the group and other members were: guitarist Terry Kath, keyboardist Robert Lamm and drummer Danny Seraphine.

He wrote lyrics for one of their hits: “Where Do We Go From Here?” at the end of 60’s.

In 1970 he was involved into a fight that occurred because of a baseball game. He was hurt but not seriously. This was a scandal back them.

He needed some reconstructive surgery and the result of it was his special voice which brought him the nickname “The voice of Chicago”.

During 70’s he contributed to hits “Wishing You Were Here” where they had guest appearances from “The Beach Boys”. He also wrote “Happy Man”.

His ballad “If You Leave Me Now” was their No.1. In USA and was a hit all over the world. It was gold and platinum and brought them a Grammy in 1977. It was in the category of Best Pop Vocal Performance By a Duo, Group or Chorus.

His next work was “Baby, What a Big Surprise” which also turned out to be a big hit.

He worked alongside Billy Joel on his hit “My Life” and guest appeared on Karen Carpenter’s “Making Love in the Afternoon”.

80’s brought disco music and that caused breaking up of the group and started Paul’s solo career.

He released his debut album called “Peter Cetera” in 1981 after singing a contract with Warner Bros Records. He was forced to buy off his rights from his previous record label “Columbia Records” because he wanted to change label.

In 1982, he returned as a part of “Chicago” again and they released their album “Chicago 16”.

Their hit “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” went to No.1. and gained nomination for Grammy. He was a back vocal on Paul Anka’s hit “Hold Me ‘Til the Mornin’ Comes” in 1983.

His band released another album in 1984 called “Chicago 17”. This was his biggest album ever, sold in over five million copies only in US, not to mention in the world.

It included four hit singles sang by Peter: “Stay the Night”, “Hard Habit to Break”, “You’re the Inspiration” and “Along Comes a Woman”.

They toured in 1985 to promote this album but the band had huge differences and Cetera protested and ultimately left the band in the summer 1985.

This time he continued his solo career more seriously. His first song named “Glory of Love” was a huge hit and was used in a movie “The Karate Kid”. It reached No.1. on Billboard charts in 1986.

He won an ASCAP Award for it and was nominated for Oscar. He performed the same single on the Academy Awards event.

This song won the award in the following category:  Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures.

He released his second album “Solitude/Solitare” in 1986 and was also received as a hit by his fans, and became Platinum. His duet with Amy Grant named “The Next Time/Fall” was one of the most played songs of the year. It was also nominated for Grammy.

His third album was titled “One More Story” and was released in 1988 in collaboration with a known producer Patrick Leonard. “One Good Woman” was a very known hit single from this album.

It featured members of Pink Floyd, The Oak Ridge Boys and Madonna. This was something huge for him since these artists are people he really liked.

He has co-written the theme for “Baywatch” original series.

His duet with Cher titled “After All” was released in 1989 reached Top 5 Billboard hits.

He released another album in 1992, called “World Falling Down” which gave one big hit “Restless Heart” and another highly charted duet single with Chaka Khan: “Feels Like Heaven”

He switched his label to River North Records in the 90’s. They released his album “One Clear Voice”.

In 1997 he decided to release a duet collection: an album named “You’re the Inspiration: A Collection”.

In 1995/96 he made covers of a few songs from his past with Chicago. He made it with R&B group Az Yet. One of this songs got him nominated for a Grammy again.

“Another Perfect World” was his 7th album released in 2001. In 2004 he released a holiday album called “You Just Gotta Love Christmas”.

His daughters Senna and Claire both made appearances on this CD. He went on Christmas tour un 2007.

He acted as himself in “Tim and Eric Awesome Show” in 2010. In 2015, he formed a band called “The Bad Daddies”.

Seven original members, including him gained a place at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He didn’t attended the ceremony. He turned off the reported who wanted to interview him because of differences with past fellow members.

Personal life

His first marriage began in 1968 to Janice Sheeley but it was ended in 1973 and they had no kids together.

He got married in 1982 with Diane Nini and they have only one daughter together, named Claire. One year later they were separated, realizing they have rushed into marriage too soon. They finally divorced in 1991.

He started dating Blythe Weber at that time but they didn’t break up. They had a daughter, Senna, but they aren’t together anymore.

The media is always suspicipus of his sexuality since he is changing dates and it seems as if he doesn’t want to commit to someone. Many speculate he won’t come out because his parents are so Catholic.

Peter resides in a town called Ketchum in Idaho for over forty years.

Quick summary

Full name: Peter Paul Cetera

Date of birth: September 13, 1944

Birthplace:  Chicago, Illinois

Age: 74

Profession: singer, bassist

Height: 1,8 m

Weight: NA

Net Worth: $25 million