07/18/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT
COLDPLAY'S CHRIS MARTIN With Coldplay's new monster album, X&Y
, an upcoming tour and his marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow
, Chris Martin is this summer's It Brit.
1 Long before Coldplay sold 20 million albums worldwide (X&Y
went platinum in just two weeks), Martin, 28, enjoyed a prosperous upbringing in Devon, England. His family fortune comes from a trailer business. At University College London, he studied Greek and Latin.
2 Before meeting his wife, with whom he has a 1-year-old daughter, Apple, he was a virgin until age 21, partly because of his mom's advice, as he told Q: "She reckons waiting and committing leads to great sex."
3 Many of the words and symbols he scrawls on his hands refer to Make Trade Fair, an Oxfam campaign supporting Third World farmers. The colored tapes on his fingers "are there so people ask what it means," says Oxfam press officer Lys Holdoway, "then ask what the symbol means and that way you are lured into Make Trade Fair."
4 He has disdain for his record label: He recently complained about "the slavery that we are all under to shareholders" after EMI reported that its profits would be lower because X&Y
was delivered later than expected.
5 Despite such rants, he's not always that mopey. On a trip to Ghana with the Make Trade Fair campaign this January, he took Oxfam staffers clubbing—and then sang and danced with villagers (above).