Gavin DeGraw

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This article is about the singer. For the singer's self-titled album, see Gavin DeGraw (album).
Gavin DeGraw
Gavin WIki.jpg
Gavin live in 2013
Background information
Birth name Gavin Shane DeGraw
Born (1977-02-04) February 4, 1977 (age 38)
South Fallsburg, New York, United States
Genres Blue-eyed soul, pop rock, rock
Occupation(s) Musician and singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar
Years active 1990–present
Labels J, RCA Records

Gavin Shane DeGraw (born February 4, 1977) is an American musician and singer-songwriter. He rose to fame with the single "I Don't Want to Be" from his debut album Chariot which became the theme song for the television drama series One Tree Hill. Other singles from the album included notably "Chariot" and "Follow Through". His second self-titled album was released in 2008 and included the top-twenty single "In Love with a Girl".

In 2009, Degraw released his third album Free. His fourth album Sweeter (2011) spawned hit single "Not Over You", as well as "Soldier" and "Sweeter". His fifth album Make a Move was released in 2013. DeGraw has sold more than a million records in the US.[1] His duet with Colbie Caillat on "We Both Know" for the film Safe Haven received a Grammy Award nomination.

Early life[edit]

DeGraw grew up in the Catskills in South Fallsburg, New York.[2] His mother, Lynne (née Krieger), was a detox specialist, and his father, Wayne DeGraw, was a prison guard;[3] he referenced his father's and mother's occupations in the song "I Don't Want to Be".[4] His father is of Irish descent and his mother's family is of Russian Jewish ancestry.[5][6] DeGraw began singing and playing piano at the age of eight. He also has two older siblings, sister Neeka and brother Joey (born August 1973). It was at his brother's advice that he began writing his own songs.[7] Joey DeGraw is also a musician.[8]

Music career[edit]

DeGraw rose to fame in 2003, when "I Don't Want to Be" was chosen as the theme song for teen drama One Tree Hill.[9] The song has also been performed on American Idol[10] and Idol Sweden[11] by various contestants during different seasons.

DeGraw released his debut album, Chariot, on July 22, 2003 under J Records.[12] Chariot was recorded at Los Angeles' music studios, Sunset Sound and produced by Mark Endert.[2] Chariot sold over a million copies and earned platinum certification.[13] The album also featured three of DeGraw's singles: "I Don’t Want To Be", "Follow Through" and "Chariot".[13] He then went on to release an acoustic version of the album called Chariot Stripped in 2004. Chariot Stripped contains a cover version of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come".[14]

DeGraw performing in Georgia, 2005

DeGraw's second album, the self-titled Gavin DeGraw, was released on May 6, 2008.[12] Ahead of this, its single "In Love with a Girl" was released on February 12, 2008. The second U.S. single "Cheated On Me" was released in the US on September 30, 2008. This was followed by the Live From Soho album, released on Nov 7 2008, featuring mostly tracks from Gavin DeGraw.[15] Gavin DeGraw debuted at No. 1 on the digital sales chart and ranked at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart.[13]

Degraw's third album, Free, was released March 31, 2009.[16] DeGraw made Free in less than two weeks at the Brooklyn studio of his producer, Camus Celli. DeGraw included some songs on the album that he wrote very early in his career and that have evolved over time, songs such as "Dancing Shoes" and "Glass".[2] The debut single from the album, "Stay", was released on March 11, 2009.[17] FREE has been described as "recorded versions of his live favourites".[13]

DeGraw's fourth album, Sweeter, was set to release on August 9, 2011 but was pushed back to September 20, 2011.[18] The album features many tracks co-written with other artists. The first single "Not Over You" was released on iTunes in June.[19] The track was co-written and produced by Ryan Tedder and was said to be inspired by Kyle Craig. "Not Over You" is his first song to reach the top spot on the Adult Pop Songs.[20] Sweeter contains collaborations from producers including Butch Walker, Eric Rosse, and Ron Aniello; alongside another co-written title track, "Sweeter" with Andrew Frampton. The album was recorded in many locations including Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Walker’s Space in Venice and the Henson Recording Studios.[13] Sweeter is DeGraw's first album released under RCA Records, all three of his previous albums were released under J Records.

DeGraw went on to release an acoustic album based mostly on songs from Sweeter. The iTunes Session album features seven tracks and a 30 minute interview.[21]

DeGraw sang "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Colbie Caillat on her Christmas in the Sand album. The pair also wrote the song "We Both Know" for the soundtrack of the 2013 film Safe Haven.[22][23]

On June 18, 2013, DeGraw released the first single from his fifth studio album, "Best I Ever Had".[24] Degraw's fifth, and most recent studio album, Make a Move, was released on October 15, 2013.[25] During that year, he supported Train across their series of US shows; The Script also appeared in several of those shows.[26]

DeGraw will release his first greatest hits album Finest Hour: The Best of Gavin DeGraw on October 21, 2014.[27] The album includes the new songs "You Got Me" (featured in the film Dolphin Tale 2), "Fire" (released on August 12, 2014)[28] and "Not Our Fault".[27]

Soundtrack credits[edit]

DeGraw's songs have been played on 13 titles across TV and film.

"Follow Through" was part of the soundtrack for 2004 film Laws of Attraction and an episode of Scrubs called My Self-Examination, aired on 27 April 2004. The song has also been featured on One Tree Hill and on British and Italian TV advertisements for Carte D'or.[8]

"Chariot" features as an uncredited part of the soundtrack for the American-Canadian TV series Dead Like Me. The song features in a 2004 episode called Always and is portrayed by DeGraw. DeGraw plays a non-recurring small role as street singer, Pete Anderson. The song also features on the TV series Boston Legal in a 2006 episode named Helping Hands, it is played during Denise and Daniel's dinner. The song can also be heard during a 2007 episode of Cold Case called Knuckle Up.[8]

During the wedding episode of the TV show What I Like About You, he performed his songs "Follow Through" and "More Than Anyone" off his album Chariot.

His song "We Belong Together" was also featured in the 2006 film Tristan and Isolde.[29]

DeGraw has performed a cover of Smokey Robinson's love ballad, "The Tracks of My Tears", which is played during Chaos Theory, an episode of The Cleaner aired on August 5, 2008.[8]

During a Christmas special of TV series House called "Joy to the World", a cover of "The Christmas Song" performed by DeGraw was played.[8]

TV dance competition and reality show So You Think You Can Dance utilized three of DeGraw's tracks across four shows and also features a cover performed by DeGraw. "Belief", "More Than Anyone" and "We Belong Together" are used as background tracks across the 2006, 2008 and 2009 series respectively. During the first part of the 2007 finale, a cover of "We Are the Champions", performed by DeGraw, is used.[8]

DeGraw's songs are contained in the soundtracks of 11 episodes of One Tree Hill. Throughout he is uncredited. However, tracks such as "Belief", "More Than Anyone", "Chariot", "We Belong Together" and "Jealous Guy" all feature in the show. During the second season of the show, an unreleased live version of "Chariot" is played during the episode "Something I Can Never Have".[8] He also played "Chariot" in a season 1 episode set at Karen's cafe. The scene featured Nathan and Haley. During a special of the TV show The Bachelor called The Bachelor: Jason & Molly's Wedding, DeGraw's song "Follow Through" is played.[8]

Other work[edit]

DeGraw has released a number of music videos as well, including "I Don't Want to Be", "Follow Through" and "Chariot". The latter was directed by Zach Braff, who also directed music videos for Joshua Radin.[8] "More Than Anyone" was selected by fans of One Tree Hill through a Cingular Wireless contest as the first wedding dance song for Nathan & Haley in the 3rd season finale "The Show Must Go On."[30]

At the Des Moines Arts Festival on 27 June 2009

He and his brother opened The National Underground in December 2007, a New York City music venue that is a roots rock Americana music bar located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, at 159 East Houston Street between Allen Street and Eldridge Street.[31] The venue offers music, food, and drink.[32][33][34] The idea for the venue came about because the brothers wanted a place where they could hang out on a regular basis, and where other musicians could come in and listen and learn.[35] "We were picky about the quality of musicians that played there," Gavin DeGraw says. "We wanted a place where the players were so good, other musicians were like, 'Wow! I really respect what they're doing.'"[36]

Acting credits[edit]

He has appeared in an on-screen role in four One Tree Hill episodes. His first appearance was in 2004, during ("You Gotta Go There to Come Back"); he was seen singing "I Don't Want to Be" at Karen's Cafe. His second appearance was in season 2 where he sang, "Chariot" in episode 17 and his third was in the season 5 finale, ("What Comes After the Blues") where he was seen singing "I Don't Want to Be" with Jamie Scott (Jackson Brundage), and then performed one last time during the series' final episode,[8] in which he sang "Belief", "Soldier" and "I Don't Want to Be" at TRIC's 10th Anniversary party.[37]

He also appeared in one episode of Dead Like Me.

TV appearances[edit]

As well as being a musician, DeGraw has acted on TV, where his first appearance was on Real Magic TV. He then went on to appear on: The Sharon Osbourne Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, American Dreams, TRL and Rove Live. During Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2004, DeGraw is credited as a performer. After this, he was seen on What I Like About You alongside Dutch TV show Barend & Van Dorp and Danish TV show Clement Behrendt Kjersgaard. DeGraw performed "I Don't Want to Be" during the 2005 Radio Music Awards. He was also a musical guest on The VIP, Jensen!, New York 360º and Entertainment Tonight. DeGraw has appeared on multiple episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live! with Kelly and Michael, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Last Call with Carson Daly, performing tracks from whichever album he was promoting. DeGraw is credited as a presenter for the 2011 American Music Awards and can mostly be seen presenting footage from backstage. Recently he appeared during an episode of Conan; the episode was aired on January 9, 2012.[8]

DeGraw was a contestant on season 14 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars which premiered on Monday March 19, 2012. DeGraw and his partner Karina Smirnoff were eliminated from the competition during week 5, following a Dance Duel with cast-mate Jaleel White and his partner Kym Johnson.[38] They landed in 9th place.

On February 7, 2013, Carlos Pena, member of the boyband Big Time Rush, announced on his Twitter that Gavin will be guest starring on their same-titled Nickelodeon-show. He also might be featured on the next album of the popular vocal group.

On January 1, 2015, DeGraw performed between the first and second periods of the NHL Winter Classic game in Washington, D.C..

On January 25, 2015 DeGraw preformed at the Miss Universe Competition.

Personal life[edit]

On August 8, 2011, DeGraw was hospitalized after being assaulted by several people in New York City. Police said a group of men attacked DeGraw early Sunday morning at 6th Street and First Avenue in the East Village, near The National Underground. He suffered a broken nose, a concussion, two black eyes and lacerations to his face. Only minutes after the attack, DeGraw was then struck by a taxi. He was admitted to Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital Center for treatment. He had to cancel his scheduled August 9 performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, located in Saratoga Springs, New York.[39]

DeGraw says his family "motivated me to continue to pursue music and pursue passion versus just a job" during the interview attached to his iTunes session. He also says that he "didn't necessarily want to learn to play the piano [at a young age]". DeGraw has said that his ultimate goal is "to leave this world a better person, and for me to not be the only one who knows it."[8]

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Gavin DeGraw – lead vocals, piano, keyboards, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar (2003–present)
  • Billy Norris – lead guitar, backing vocals, musical director (2009–present)
  • James Cruz – bass guitar (summer 2012–present; previously as well)
  • David Maemone – keyboards (spring 2014–present)
  • Travis McNabb – drums (summer 2014–present)
  • Mike Baker – drums (summer 2014–present)
Former members


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
  • Released: July 22, 2003
  • Label: J
56 74  — 1 23 43 6 2 21 48
Gavin DeGraw
  • Released: May 6, 2008
  • Label: J
7  — 21 3 36 44 8 35 13 23
  • Released: March 31, 2009
  • Label: J
19  —  — 29  —  — 76  —  — 96
  • Released: September 20, 2011
  • Label: RCA
8 65 41 6  —  — 6 25 29 19
Make a Move
  • Released: October 15, 2013
  • Label: RCA
13  — 19 21  —  — 18  — 39 55


Title Album details Peak chart positions[50]
iTunes: Live from Soho
  • Release date: 2008

Compilation albums[edit]

Other albums[edit]

  • 2001: Gavin Live


Year Title Chart positions[40][44] Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US US Adult US Pop AUS
2004 "I Don't Want to Be" 10 9 1 19  — 25  — 21 6 30 15 27
  • US: 2× Platinum[51]
2005 "Chariot" 30 5 17  —  —  — 27 12 19  —  — 114
"Follow Through"  —[A] 22 33 68  —  —  — 56 12  —  —  —
2006 "Just Friends"  —  —  —  —  —  —  — 26  —  —  —  —
2007 "Meaning"  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —
2008 "In Love with a Girl" 24 5 10  — 32  —  — 40  —  —  —  — Gavin DeGraw
"She Holds a Key"  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  — 29  —  —  —
"Cheated on Me"  — 30  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —
2009 "I Have You to Thank"  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —
"Stay"  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  — Free
"Dancing Shoes"  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —
2011 "Not Over You" 18 1 9 37 23  —  — 16 12 8  —  —
2012 "Sweeter"  —[B] 18  —  —  —  —  — 76  —  —  —  —
"Soldier"  — 26  —  —  —  —  — 30  —  —  — 59
2013 "Best I Ever Had" 75 14  —  — 48  —  —  — 44  —  — 80[55]
Make a Move
"Make a Move"  — 23  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —
2014 "Fire"  — 29  —  —  —  —  — 26  —  —  —  —
Finest Hour: The Best of Gavin DeGraw

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award
2005 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top Soundtrack Single of the Year ("I Don't Want to Be")
2005 Radio Music Award nomination for Song of the Year/Mainstream Top 40 Radio ("I Don't Want to be")
2012 Grammy Award nomination for Ryan Tedder as Producer of the Year Non Classical ("Sweeter") & ("Not Over You")
2013 Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media ("We Both Know")

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Follow Through" did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 but did peak at #11 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, which is an extension of the Hot 100.
  2. ^ "Sweeter" did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 but did peak at #16 on Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, which is an extension of the Hot 100.


  1. ^ ""Gavin Rossdale Dishes on New Bush Album and a Milestone 20th Anniversary"". Yahoo Music. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Gavin DeGraw Biography". Gavin DeGraw US. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "More Than a Memory - The Official Gavin DeGraw fan site: Articles & Interviews". 2005-04-29. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  4. ^ "I Don't Want To Be Lyrics". Lyrics On Demand. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Staff (February 3, 2005). "Gavin DeGraw Speaks Out on Life and Music – His 'I Don’t Want To Be' Is the Theme Song for the Teen Soap 'One Tree Hill'. Associated Press (via MSNBC). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  6. ^ JDate Blog - Gavin DeGraw. (2013-08-03). Retrieved on 2013-08-08.
  7. ^ "Gavin DeGraw". Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Gavin DeGraw IMDB page". IMDB. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "One Tree Hill IMDB page". IMDB. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "'American Idol' Needs To Retire 'I Don't Want To Be,' Whitney Houston And Heart". MTV Website. MTV. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "YouTube Video: Guy singing I Don't Want To Be in Idol 2009". YouTube. Google. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Amazon: Chariot Gavin DeGraw | Format: Audio CD". Amazon Retail. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "Gavin DeGraw Official Bio". Gavin DeGraw Official Website. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Amazon: Chariot Stripped (Bonus CD) Gavin DeGraw | Format: Audio CD". Amazon Retail. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Gavin DeGraw Discography". Gavin DeGraw Website. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  16. ^ "Amazon: FREE Gavin DeGraw | Format: Audio CD". Amazon Retail. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "iTunes Single - Stay". iTunes. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Gavin DeGraw Blog". Gavin DeGraw Blog. Gavin DeGraw. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  19. ^ "Gavin DeGraw Website - Not Over You Release". Gavin DeGraw Website. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  20. ^ Trust, Gary (26 January 2012). "Weekly Chart Notes: Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Gavin DeGraw". Billboard. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "iTunes Session Gavin DeGraw". iTunes. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  22. ^ Pajer, Nicole (November 28, 2012). "Gavin DeGraw & Colbie Caillat Add Song to Nicholas Sparks' 'Safe Haven'". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw Sing 'We Both Know': Listen". Billboard. December 12, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  24. ^ iTunes - Music - Best I Ever Had - Single by Gavin DeGraw. (2013-06-18). Retrieved on 2013-08-08.
  25. ^ [1]. (2013-09-10). Retrieved on 2013-09-11.
  26. ^ "Gavin DeGraw & The Script Join Train For Summer Tour". American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Gavin DeGraw to Release "Best Of" Album October 21, Includes Song Co-Written by Harry Styles". ABC News Radio. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Gavin Degraw Discography". Gavin DeGraw. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  30. ^ "Tree Hill Memories: 322 THE SHOW MUST GO ON". Tree Hill Memories. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  31. ^ "About Us". The National Underground Official website. Retrieved October 5, 2010. 
  32. ^ Carlson, Erin (May 8, 2008). "Gavin DeGraw Doesn't Wanna Be Another Singer-Songwriter". The Decatur Daily. 
  33. ^ Friedman, Roger (March 6, 2008). "Patrick Swayze Slammed by National Enquirer". Fox News. 
  34. ^ "Soul of the City: New York City". Glide Magazine. August 29, 2008. 
  35. ^ Adams, Patty (July 27, 2008). "Six Seconds with: Gavin DeGraw". New York Post. 
  36. ^ Tomcho, Sandy (August 15, 2008). "Gavin DeGraw Performs at Monticello Gaming & Raceway". Times Herald-Record. 
  37. ^ Tree Hill 9.13 Songs "One Tree Hill Music". CW. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  38. ^ 04/18/2012 (2012-04-18). "'Dancing with the Stars' ('DWTS') 2012: Gavin DeGraw Booted After Showdown | Video - ABC News". Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  39. ^ "Gavin DeGraw released from hospital after attack, doesn’t remember much". The Washington Post. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  40. ^ a b c Gavin DeGraw. Billboard
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  42. ^ "Discography Gavin DeGraw". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Discography Gavin DeGraw". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  44. ^ a b "Gavin Degraw – Music Charts". Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
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  47. ^ a b "Discography Gavin DeGraw". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Discografie Gavin DeGraw". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  49. ^ Gavin DeGraw RIAA certifications, published by RIAA.
  50. ^ "iTunes Live from Soho – Gavin DeGraw". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  51. ^ a b "Gavin DeGraw: Timeline". Rock On The Net. 
  52. ^ a b "Gavin Degraw RIAA album certifications". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  53. ^ "ARIA". 2011-12-31. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  54. ^ "RMNZ". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  55. ^ "Official Singles Chart UK Top 100 - 26th October 2013". Official Charts Company. 

External links[edit]