Donovan (Donovan Phillips Leitch, born May 10, 1946, in Maryhill, Glasgow), is a Scottish singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Emerging from the British folk scene, he developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelia, and world music.
Donovan grew up in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland. He contracted polio as a child when he was vaccinated (this was in the period before the introduction of the safer Sabin oral vaccine), and the disease and subsequent treatment left him with a limp.
In 1956, his family moved to Hatfield, England. Influenced by his family's love for Scottish and English folk music, he began playing guitar at 14. He enrolled in art school but dropped out soon afterwards, determined to live out his Beatnik aspirations by going out on the road. In 1963 he took a trip to St Ives with Gypsy Dave and other friends from Hertfordshire. Donovan came to fame in the United Kingdom in early 1965 with a series of live performances on the pop TV series, Ready Steady Go!, and his popularity spread to the USA and other countries.
In mid-1966, Donovan became the first high-profile British pop star to be arrested for possession of marijuana. Donovan's drug use appears to have been moderate, and was mostly restricted to pot smoking — with occasional use of LSD and mescaline. Although he was not indulging on the scale of friends like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Brian Jones, his use of LSD is referred to in many of his lyrics, including "The Trip", "Sunshine Superman", "Wear Your Love Like Heaven", "Epistle To Dippy", and "Hurdy-Gurdy Man".
Donovan had planned a spring 2007 release of a new album, along with a UK tour. However, he subsequently announced on his website that the tour had been cancelled and the album release delayed. He indicated that he is in good health but gave no reason for the cancellation.