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Jian Ghomeshi (/ʒiːˈɒnɡɵˈmɛʃi/zhee-ONgo-MESH-ee; born June 9, 1967) is a British- Canadian broadcaster, writer, musician. He was born in London, UK and raised in Thornhill, Ontario. Now based in Toronto, he is the host of the national daily cultural affairs talk program, Q, on CBC Radio One and CBC TV. The show, which he co-created in 2007, now has the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada and has gained the all-time highest audience share for a CBC program in its morning time slot. Q now airs on over 150 stations in the USA including WBEZ in Chicago, WNYC in New York, WCPN in Cleveland, WUFT in Florida, WMAE in Booneville, Mississippi, WDET in Detroit and the stations of Vermont Public Radio.
As a singer, songwriter and musician, Ghomeshi was a member of the multi-platinum Canadian folk-rock group, Moxy Früvous. The band toured internationally during the 1990s and shared stages with a variety of artists including Bob Dylan, Ani Difranco and Elvis Costello. Moxy Früvous sold over 50,000 copies of their debut independent EP (gold in Canada) in 1992. Their debut album, "Bargainville", went platinum in Canada in 1994 (over 100,000). Over the course of 8 albums they sold over 500,000 albums in Canada and the United States. He continues to write and produce music through his company, Jian Ghomeshi Productions Inc., and has been managing the career of the Juno Award winning musician, Lights since 2001.
In 2012 Ghomeshi was awarded the prestigious New York Festivals international radio broadcasting gold medal for “Best Talk Show Host”. He was previously awarded the gold medal for “Talk Show Interview” of the year for his feature length world-exclusive with Leonard Cohen, in 2010.
Ghomeshi's literary debut, 1982, is a creative non-fiction title, about that year of his youth. It was released on September 18, 2012 and debuted as a #1 Canadian bestseller. 1982 was #1 on the MacLean's Bestseller list for 5 weeks in a row.
He joined Mike Ford, Murray Foster, and Dave Matheson to form Moxy Früvous in 1990, recording seven albums through 2000. He was credited as "Jean," rather than Jian, on the band's first album, but reverted to the original spelling of his name for subsequent albums. Moxy Früvous sold over 50,000 copies of their debut independent EP (gold in Canada) in 1992. Their debut album, "Bargainville", went platinum in Canada in 1994 (over 100,000). Over the course of 8 albums they sold over 500,000 albums in Canada and the United States.
He released his first solo EP, The First 6 Songs, in July 2001.
In 2002, Ghomeshi was hired as the host of CBC Newsworld's >play, a show about the arts in Canada and abroad. >play ran for three seasons. He also did the weekly entertainment report on the Toronto edition of Canada Now.
Since April 16, 2007, Ghomeshi has been the host of Q, a program on CBC Radio One. The show airs all across Canada at 10 a.m and 10 p.m. (10:30 in Newfoundland). The show also airs in the United States on a handful of National Public Radio affiliate stations, including WBEZ in Chicago, WNYC in New York, WUFT in Florida, WDET in Detroit, and WBUR in Boston, as well as statewide on Wisconsin Public Radio. Since its inception, Q has garnered the largest audience of any cultural affairs program in Canada and has become the highest-rated show in its morning time slot in CBC history.
In 2012 Ghomeshi was awarded the prestigious New York Festival's international radio broadcasting gold medal for "Best Talk Show Host". He was previously awarded the gold medal for “Talk Show Interview” of the year for his feature length world-exclusive with Leonard Cohen, in 2010.
Ghomeshi curates a CBC Music online audio stream titled "Jian's New Wave," which features songs from New Wave music artists.
On April 8, 2009, Billy Bob Thornton appeared with his band, The Boxmasters, on Q, with Ghomeshi hosting. In introducing Thornton, Ghomeshi mentioned Thornton's acting career and added, "he's always intended to make music, he just got sidetracked." Though he wasn't asked about his film work, Thornton became annoyed, having previously told the show's producers that he didn't want to talk about his film career, and immediately began giving erratic answers to Ghomeshi's questions, such as "I don't know what you're talking about" and "I don't know what you mean by that," when asked how long the band had been together. When queried about his musical tastes and influences as a child, Thornton gave a lengthy, unrelated answer about his favourite childhood magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland.
Thornton then expressed the cause of his anger, and Ghomeshi called for "a truce," after which Thornton began answering questions more directly. He did remain testy, however, complaining that Canadians did not get up and move or throw things at concerts, and referring to them as "mashed potatoes without the gravy." Ghomeshi replied, "Oh, we've got some gravy up here as well." The interview caused an outpouring of criticism from across Canada and around the world for Thornton's behaviour. The following night, Thornton's band opened for Willie Nelson at Toronto's prestigious Massey Hall. A series of boos and catcalls erupted mid-set when Thornton tried to explain he liked Canadians, but not Ghomeshi and many fans chanted "Here comes the gravy!"
Thornton and The Boxmasters subsequently cancelled the rest of their Canadian tour, officially because a band member and several crew members caught the 'flu. Ghomeshi described the interview as one of the most difficult he has ever conducted and compared the international media exposure he received to being "in the middle of a tsunami."
Ghomeshi's literary debut, 1982, is a creative non-fiction title, about that year of his youth. It was released on September 18, 2012 and debuted as a #1 Canadian bestseller. 1982 was #1 on the Maclean's Bestseller list for 5 weeks in a row.