David Byrne famous: (born May 14, 1952 in Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland) is a Scottish musician and interdisciplinary artist best known as the front man of influential American art-rock band Talking Heads. Later in his life he developed an eclectic solo career which earned him respect from many in the music industry.
David Byrne (born May 14, 1952 in Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland) is a Scottish musician and interdisciplinary artist best known as the front man of influential American art-rock group Talking Heads. Later he earned recognition for his eclectic solo career.
As a child, Byrne moved with his Scottish parents to Canada and eventually the United States. While attending Rhode Island School of Design during the mid-1970s, he cofounded Talking Heads as principal singer and guitarist, aligning itself with punk rock and new wave movements. Their first album Remain in Light (1980), Speaking in Tongues (1983), and Stop Making Sense from concert film sound track Stop Making Sense (1984) all showcased Byrne’s interest in experimental pop and African rhythms; after issuing Naked (1988), however, the group disbanded shortly after that.
At the height of Talking Heads’ fame, Byrne pursued other creative projects. During a band break in the early 1980s, he composed music for choreographer Twyla Tharp’s The Catherine Wheel (1981) and collaborated with Brian Eno on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981), an avant-garde album featuring rhythmic grooves and vocal samples. Later that same year he directed True Stories (1986) before earning himself an Academy Award for his contributions to The Last Emperor (1987). Additionally, during these same years he provided music for two theatre works directed by Robert Wilson during this period.
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Byrne founded Luaka Bop Records in 1988 to introduce American audiences to various world musics. His solo career took off with Rei Momo (1989), featuring Afro-Latin rhythms; other releases include Uh-Oh (1992), Feelings (1997) and Grown Backwards (2004); additionally he collaborated with Eno on gospel-inspired Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (2008) and singer-songwriter St. Vincent for Love This Giant (2012).
Byrne continued her career in film and theatre well into the 21st century, most notably joining electronic deejay Fatboy Slim to create Here Lies Love, a disco musical about Filipina political icon Imelda Marcos’ life. Throughout the creation of his show, its songs were recorded and released as an album (2010); it premiered onstage in 2013.
Byrne also produced and exhibited art throughout his career, as well as writing several books such as Bicycle Diaries (2009) and How Music Works (2012). In 2018, Byrne launched Reasons to Be Cheerful (named for a song by Ian Dury), an initiative highlighting positive developments in recent history. That same year he also released American Utopia with Eno, inspiring the Broadway production David Byrne’s American Utopia (2019- ), featuring songs from Talking Heads as well. A film adaptation directed by Spike Lee will air on HBO in 2020.