David Byrne

Biography

David Byrne (born 14.5.1952)

David Byrne is an American / Scottish musician and artist, best known as the singer / songwriter in the New Wave band Talking Heads.

David Byrne: Childhood

David Byrne was born in Dumbarton in Scotland but moved to Canada two years later with his parents. When he was around eight years old, they moved again to Maryland. He attended Maryland Institute College of Art for one year.

He also attended Rhode Island School of design for a year. He dropped out and formed Talking Heads with fellow students Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz. They were later joined by Jerry Harrison.

David Byrne: Life outside of Talking Heads

David Byrne has undertaken a large number of various artistic and musical projects that have earned him both respect and critical acclaim. In 1981, he worked with the choreographer Twyla Tharp on 'The Catherine Wheel', a ballet that undertook the use of unusual lyrics and rhythms. Productions of the piece appeared on Broadway. Byrne also produced a soundscape for the Belgian dance company Ultima Vez. The piece was entitled In Spite of Wishing and Wanting.

David Byrne has contributed a large volume of work for movie soundtracks, including his collaboration with Cong Su and Ryuichi Sakamato for The Last Emperor. The soundtrack won an Oscar for Best Original Score. He also released Lead Us Not Into Temptation (music from the film Young Adam) and directed True Stories, which was a collection of short musical collages, primarily featuring Americana-style music. He was also largely responsible for the stage design and the choreography in the popular Talking Heads film, Stop Making Sense.

Byrne has worked with a number of different musicians, from a range of genres. He appeared as a guest vocalist with the band 10,000 Maniacs when they performed their MTV Unplugged concert. One of the tracks became a B-side for their 'Few and Far Between' single, though none of the tracks on which he featured were included in the resulting album.

David Byrne also collaborated with the Tejano star Diva Selena, when he wrote, produced and sang on the track 'God's Child (Baila Conmigo)', from her Dreaming of You album; the last album released before her death.

Perhaps Byrne's most notorious and influential collaboration was with Brian Eno on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, released in 1981. The album was hailed as groundbreaking for its use of samples and was re-released in 2006, with bonus tracks. A new album by Byrne and Eno will be released in 2008.

In 2002, Byrne's vocals were featured in the track 'Lazy' by X-Press 2. The single was a number two hit in the UK and reached number one in the US Dance Charts.

Byrne runs his own record label, Luaka Bop (which releases music by Cornershop, Jim White and Os Mutantes, among others) and his own internet radio station, Radio David Byrne.

Byrne's art installations have been on display on numerous occasions; notably, in 2008, he and his band programmed the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan so that it played music. He had previously done a similar installation in Stockholm.

David Byrne: Personal Life

In 1987, Byrne wed the costume designer Adelle Lutz. Three years later, they had a daughter, Malu Abeni Valentine Byrne. In 2004, the couple were divorced.

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