|Birth name||Duncan Scott Sheik|
November 18, 1969 |
Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, pop, alternative rock, acoustic rock|
|Instruments||Guitar, piano, voice, electronics|
|Labels||Atlantic, Nonesuch, Elektra, Zoë, Rounder, Universal, Rhino Entertainment|
|2008||Best Musical Show Album
|2007||Best Original Score
Duncan Scott Sheik (born November 18, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and composer. Initially finding success as a singer, most notably for his 1996 debut single "Barely Breathing", he later expanded to compositions for motion pictures and the Broadway stage, such as the successful musical, Spring Awakening. Sheik practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the US branch of the worldwide Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International.
After being raised by both his parents in Montclair, New Jersey and his grandparents in Hilton Head, South Carolina (of whom his Juilliard-trained grandmother taught him piano), and after graduating from Phillips Academy, Andover in 1988, Sheik studied semiotics at Brown University, and moved to Los Angeles. Playing for other artists, including Liz and Lisa (with Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell), Sheik also played on His Boy Elroy's 1993 album through his connections from fellow Brown alum, Tracee Ellis Ross.
In 1996, Sheik released his self-titled debut album, which was certified Gold and spawned the hit single, "Barely Breathing", which itself remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-setting 55 straight weeks, enjoying Top 20 success on Adult Contemporary radio and topping the Adult Top 40 charts. The song also garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
In 1998, Sheik released Humming, an experimental follow-up with meticulous string arrangements.
In 2006, Sheik wrote the music for Spring Awakening, another collaboration with Sater. Written over a period of eight years, the musical, which premiered off-Broadway in New York during the summer, opened on Broadway to critical acclaim later in the fall. Based on the controversial German expressionist play, The Awakening of Spring by Frank Wedekind, the musical won Tony Awards for "Best Orchestration" and "Best Original Score" (Music), as well as "Best Musical". The original cast recording album received the Grammy Award in 2008 for "Best Musical Show Album", and the guitar that Sheik used to compose songs for the Spring Awakening is currently on display at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
In 2008, Sheik was a judge at the 7th annual Independent Music Awards.
In 2011, Sheik released Covers 80's, which included covers of popular 1980s songs. Concert dates in support of the album were later canceled due to Sheik seeking treatment for alcohol addiction. In a message to fans in his tumblr blog, Sheik noted that he had entered a treatment center on the same day his latest album was released and had told his staff, "My record is coming out and I’m checking in." A remixed version of the album was released the following year.
In 2012, Sheik wrote Alice By Heart, an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, along with collaborator Sater. Directed by Jessie Nelson with musical direction by Lance Horne, the musical was workshopped at the Royal National Theatre and commissioned by the National Theatre Connections.
Currently, Sheik is composing the music for the musical adaptation of American Psycho, as well as collaborating with director McG on a feature-film adaptation of Spring Awakening, set to begin filming in 2013.
Duncan Sheik is also working on the original musical score for Because of Winn Dixie opening at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre  the same day as American Psycho opens in London December 6, 2013. The project is a collaboration with Director John Tartaglia and Nell Benjamin who wrote the book and lyrics. The star is an Irish wolfhound trained and provided by William Berloni Theatrical Animals, Inc. if the show moves to Broadway, it will be the first play with a dog as the lead.
Despite claiming to be a Buddhist, and therefore non-violent, Sheik tweeted that he wanted to "punch Greg Gutfeld in the neck, hard." However, Sheik later tweeted that his "threat" was actually only a reference to a book written by humorist David Sedaris.
Note: All certifications based on current data from RIAA's website: http://www.riaa.com
|Year||Album||Billboard Top 200|
- At the Reservoir EP (1997, Atlantic)
- Humming Along EP (1998, Atlantic)
- White Limousine EP (2005, Zoe)
- Brighter/Later: A Duncan Sheik Anthology (2006, Rhino)
- Brighter: A Duncan Sheik Collection (2007, Rhino)
- On Stage at World Café Live: Duncan Sheik DVD (2007)
- Whisper House EP (2008)
- 80s Covers EP (2010, Sneaky Records Inc.)
- Music from the Motion Picture 'Harvest' EP (w/ David Poe) (2011)
- Twelfth Night - 2002
- Nero (Another Golden Rome) - 2006
- Spring Awakening - 2006, 2007—2009
- The Nightingale - 2006 (based on The Nightingale)
- Whisper House - 2010
- Alice by Heart - 2012
- American Psycho - In production
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1997||"Barely Breathing"||16||19||2||—||10||Duncan Sheik|
|"She Runs Away"||—||—||24||—||—|
|"Reasons for Living"||—||—||—||3||—|
|1998||"Wishful Thinking"||103||—||—||—||—||Great Expectations (soundtrack)|
|"Bite Your Tongue"||—||—||—||—||—||Humming|
|1999||"That Says It All"||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001||"A Mirror in the Heart"||—||—||—||—||—||Phantom Moon|
|2003||"On a High"||—||—||—||1||—||Daylight|
|2006||"White Limousine"||—||—||—||—||—||White Limousine|
|"The Dawn's Request"||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009||"Earthbound Starlight"||—||—||—||—||—||Whisper House|
|"Play Your Part"||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
Film & television
In 1998, Sheik recorded "Embraceable You" for Red Hot + Rhapsody, a George Gershwin tribute to increase AIDS awareness, and also recorded "Songbird" for another tribute, Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.
In 2000, Sheik wrote the foreword to The Way of Youth: Buddhist Common Sense for Handling Life's Questions, by Soka Gakkai leader Daisaku Ikeda.
In 2006, Sheik recorded the song, "A Purple Trail", for Other Songs and Dances, Vol. 1
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- "SGI-USA Arts Division Conference". Soka Gakkai International News. February 8, 2008.
- Loveline, 1996-09-08.
- Finn, Robin (July 2, 2002). "PUBLIC LIVES; Decisions, Decisions. Name Recognition or Nirvana?". The New York Times.
- www.broadway.tv article, "Broadway’s Hidden Treasures Revealed".
- "''Playbill'' article". Playbill.com. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- Miller, Michael H. "Duncan Sheik Cancels Tour Dates to Deal with Alcohol-Related Addiction | The New York Observer". Observer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- Peter Vidani. "Duncan Sheik News Archive (Message + Song From Duncan)". Dsnews.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik Workshopping New "Alice" Musical at London's National Theatre". Playbill.com. 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- 'American Psycho' musical takes shape Duncan Sheik to write music, Roberto Aguirre to pen adaptation
- "Duncan Sheik and Robert Aguirre-Sacasa Will Make American Psycho Sing". Playbill.com. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Dance/Club Play Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- E-Online (July 22, 2008) Sting, Matthews, Mayer Gamer for Tibet Than Beijing
- Duncan Sheik official website
- Duncan Sheik at the Internet Broadway Database
- Duncan Sheik at the Internet Movie Database
- Rounder Records Group artist page on Duncan Sheik