Richard John Thompson OBE (born 3 April 1949) is a British songwriter, guitarist and recording and performing musician. Highly regarded for his guitar techniques and strange, darkly-funny lyrics, Thompson was awarded the Orville H. Gibson award for best acoustic guitar player in 1991. Similarly, his songwriting has earned him an Ivor Novello Award and, in 2006, a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio. Artists who have recorded Thompson's compositions include such diverse talents as Robert Plant, Del McCoury, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Christy Moore, David Gilmour, Mary Black, Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw, The Corrs, Sandy Denny, June Tabor, Joel Fafard, Maria McKee, Shawn Colvin, Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, Nanci Griffith, Graham Parker, Maura O'Connell, Los Lobos, John Doe, Greg Brown, Bob Mould, Barbara Manning, Loudon Wainwright III, The Futureheads and The Blind Boys of Alabama.
He was born in Notting Hill, London.
Richard Thompson made his debut as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September 1967. He continues to write and record new material and performs live frequently throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia.
Thompson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music. On 5 July 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Aberdeen.