John Mayer

  • Singer, songwriter, guitarist born in 1977 in Bridgeport Connecticut.
  • Mayer first became interested in the guitar after watching Michael J. Fox’s performance as Marty McFly in Back To The Future. He started playing when he was 13 years old, and was particularly fascinated with blues guitarists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, B.B. King and Lightin’ Hopkins. He took guitar lessons, and while still in high school, he started performing at bars and other venues. When he was 17, he landed in the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. Mayer has recounted that it was “the moment the songwriter in me was born.” He wrote his first lyrics the night he left the hospital.
  • He wanted to skip college to start a music career, but his parents persuaded him to attend the Berklee College of Music in 1997. After 2 semesters, he and a friend dropped out and moved to Atlanta, forming a duo called LoFi Masters and performing at clubs. Mayer wanted to pursue a pop music style, and he soon moved to a solo career. In 1999, he released an EP on his own independent record label – Inside Wants Out. He posted music online, gaining a following of fans. An independent label liked the EP, and Mayer was signed.
  • Mayer’s debut album, Room For Squares, was released in 2001. It became his best selling album, certified 4x platinum, and it reached #8 on the Billboard 200 album chart. He quickly became popular on Adult Contemporary radio for his acoustic rock, bluesy sound. The album scored 3 top 10 songs on the Adult Top 40 chart – No Such Thing, Your Body Is A Wonderland, and Why Georgia. Your Body Is A Wonderland won a Grammy award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
  • His follow-up album was released in 2003. Heavier Things was a strong record, topping the album chart, and getting certified 2x platinum. The record featured 3 more big hits – Bigger Than My Body, Clarity and Daughters – with Daughters earning Mayer 2 more Grammy awards, including Song of the Year. Mayer felt that Alicia Keys’ song If I Ain’t Got You was better than Daughters, so he removed the top half of his Grammy and gave it to Keys.
  • After the success of his first 2 albums, he branched into other genres. He performed with jazz greats Buddy Guy and Herbie Hancock and B.B. King, and also collaborated with Eric Clapton. He worked with hip-hop artists. In 2005, he formed the John Mayer trio, performing blues and rock music with a bassist and drummer.
  • In 2006, he released his third album, Continuum. The album won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album. The album reached #2 on the Billboard album chart, and #1 on the Rock Albums chart, and was certified 2x platinum. The songs Waiting On The World To Change, Gravity and Say each won Grammy awards.
  • His string of success continued with 2009’s Battle Studies. It was his final platinum album, and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. Top 5 hits were Heartbreak Warfare and Half of My Heart (with Taylor Swift contributing vocals to the song).
  • From 2010 to 2013, Mayer took a break from the public eye. He had 2 surgeries on his vocal chords for an inflammation. In 2012, he released an album, titled Born and Raised, but the inflammation on his vocal chords returned, so he could not tour to support the album.
  • Finally, by January 2013, he recovered enough to perform again. Later that year, he released his sixth album, Paradise Valley. Prior to that, after discovering music by The Grateful Dead while listening on Pandora, he learned the guitar parts to the band’s catalog of songs, and in 2015 he formed the group Dead & Company with the surviving members of the band. They toured each year from 2015 to 2018.
  • Mayer’s most recent album, The Search For Everything, was released in 2017. It was the fifth consecutive album of Mayer to top the Rock Album chart, and the single Love On The Weekend was in the top 20 on various Billboard Rock charts. He is working on new music – in May 2018 he released the single New Light – still to be determined if/when it will be included on an album.
  • Mayer is a collector of expensive watches – his collection is valued at greater than $10 million. He owns over 200 guitars, and has collaborated with guitar companies to design and build guitars that are branded with his name.
  • John Mayer’s success lies in his ability to write pop songs that don’t sound like the over-produced pop songs that are so common in this millennium. Many excellent songs – my favorite is his very first song, No Such Thing. Check it out!

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