Ian Scott Anderson, MBE (born 10 August 1947) is a Scottish-born musician, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work as the lead vocalist, flautist and acoustic guitarist of British rock band Jethro Tull.
Anderson plays several other musical instruments, including keyboards, bass guitar, bouzouki, balalaika, saxophone, harmonica, and a variety of whistles. His solo work began with the 1983 album Walk into Light, and since then he released another five works, including the sequel of Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick (1972) in 2012, entitled Thick as a Brick 2.
From 1970 to 1974, Anderson was married to Jennie Franks, a photographer who is credited with some of the lyrics to the first couple of verses of the song “Aqualung“.
Anderson married Shona Learoyd in 1976, described by Rolling Stone magazine as a “beautiful convent-educated daughter of a wealthy wool manufacturer”. She had studied ballet for 10 years, though Anderson met her when she was working as a press officer at Jethro Tull’s then record-label Chrysalis Records. She later became involved with the band’s on-stage special effects.
The couple have lived in a 16th-century redbrick farmhouse on the 500-acre (2.0 km2) Pophleys Estate in Radnage, England, in Kilmarie House on their Strathaird Estate on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, as well as a short time in Montreux, Switzerland. They currently live in Wiltshire, England and have a house again in Switzerland, near Montreux. They have two children: James Duncan Anderson, also a musician; and Gael, who works in the film industry and is married to actor Andrew Lincoln, star of the US TV drama series The Walking Dead.
Anderson is a survivor of deep vein thrombosis, and has done several public service announcements to raise awareness of the disease.
Among his interests Anderson lists protecting wild cats, especially those that have been rescued from harsh captivity; cameras, chiefly Leicas; Indian cuisine – he has written a beginner’s guide, thus far published only on the internet
Anderson describes himself as being “somewhere between deist and pantheist” religiously, according to his foreword to the pamphlet for his 2006 St Brides charity concerts for the homeless.