Charles Thompson IV (born April 6, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of the alternative rock band Pixies, with whom he performs under the stage name Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under the name Frank Black. After releasing two albums with record label 4AD and one with American Recordings, he left the label and formed a new band, Frank Black and the Catholics. He re-adopted the name Black Francis in 2007.
His vocal style has varied from a screaming, yowling delivery as lead vocalist of the Pixies to a more measured and melodic style in his solo career. His cryptic lyrics mostly explore unconventional subjects, such as surrealism, incest, and biblical violence, along with science fiction and surf culture. His use of atypical meter signatures, loud–quiet dynamics, and distinct preference for live-to-two-track recording during his time with the Catholics, give him a distinct style within alternative rock.
Thompson regrouped the Pixies in early 2004, but continued to release solo records and tour as a solo artist until 2013, when he declared his solo career to be over.