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Gavin DeGraw

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Gavin DeGraw

Gavin DeGraw

Photo by Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Early Life and Education:

Gavin DeGraw was born February 4, 1977 and grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York. He began playing piano and singing at age eight. With the advice of his older brother Joey, Gavin DeGraw began writing songs. He briefly attended the Berklee College of Music at the same time as John Mayer. Gavin DeGraw headed to New York City in the late 1990s to make his name as a singer-songwriter.

'Chariot' Breakthrough:

In the late 1990s and early into the next decade Gavin DeGraw generated a strong buzz for his songs and live performance. He signed a recording contract with Clive Davis' J Records. Gavin DeGraw's first album Chariot was released in 2003. He slowly built a strong core audience and then the song "I Don't Want To Be" was chosen as the theme song for the TV show One Tree Hill. "I Don't Want To Be" landed in the pop top 10 and it was followed on to the charts by the album's title song "Chariot."

Top Gavin DeGraw Songs:

  • 2004 - "I Don't Want To Be" - #10
  • 2005 - "Chariot" - #30
  • 2006 - "We Belong Together" - #26
  • 2008 - "In Love With a Girl" - #24
  • 2011 - "Not Over You" - #18

Top 10 Album Chart Success:

Gavin DeGraw built a strong following at adult pop radio. "Chariot" was a top 5 adult pop hit. In 2008 he released his self-titled second studio album. The new collection landed at #7 on the album chart, his first top 10. It included the top 5 adult pop hit "In Love With a Girl." Gavin DeGraw's music continued to be used on the soundtrack for One Tree Hill as well as a wide range of other films and TV shows.

'Sweeter' Comeback:

Gavin DeGraw's third album Free, released in 2009, although praised by critics, was a relative commercial failure. For his follow up, he began writing songs with collaborators for the first time. Gavin DeGraw commented, "Co-writing with other people changed everything for me. Not only did it open my mind to new ideas, but it changed the way I wrote on my own." The result was the album Sweeter released in September 2011. It became his second top 10 album, debuting at #8, and included his first #1 adult pop hit, and a collaboration with Ryan Tedder, "Not Over You." Gavin DeGraw reached out to TV audiences in a different way when it was announced in February 2012 that he would compete on Dancing With the Stars.

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