Beginning his career with bubblegum pop-rock band Slik, he would go on to play in The Rich Kids and Thin Lizzy before replacing John Foxx as singer of electronic new wave band Ultravox in 1979. Shortly afterwards, they had a huge UK hit with "Vienna", and became one of Britain's top bands for several years.
In 1984, Ure co-wrote, with Bob Geldof, the Band Aid hit, "Do They Know It's Christmas?". He was one of few of the featured stars who did not sing solo on the recording. The following year Ure scored his one and only solo UK number one single with "If I Was", which was followed by an album "The Gift". With Ure's mind clearly on other matters, Ultravox took second place and soon dissolved.
Ure's solo career continued into the 1990s with less success, although "Breathe" was an international hit single, helped by its inclusion in a TV advertising campaign for Swatch watches.