Ryan Tedder in Austria, 2010
|Birth name||Ryan Benjamin Tedder|
|Also known as||Alias
Ryan "Alias" Tedder
June 26, 1979 |
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Years active||1999 – present|
Ryan Benjamin Tedder (born June 26, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and occasional actor. He is best known as the frontman of the pop rock band OneRepublic, though he has an independent career as songwriter and producer for various artists such as Adele, Beyoncé, Birdy, Maroon 5, Demi Lovato, Ellie Goulding, B.o.B, Kelly Clarkson, K'naan, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Lopez, Jordin Sparks, Leona Lewis, Gavin DeGraw, Sebastian Ingrosso, Gym Class Heroes, One Direction, James Blunt, Far East Movement, and Paul Oakenfold.
Tedder's production and songwriting work has proven successful commercially. "Apologize," "Bleeding Love," "Halo" and "Counting Stars" all made it to the list of best-selling singles of all time. In early 2014, Billboard Magazine named him "The Undercover King of Pop" and featured him on the magazine's cover. During the last quarter of 2013, and the first of 2014, he charted six Top 40 hits, a record no other producer or songwriter had ever achieved.
Early life and education
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tedder was raised by an extended family of missionaries and pastors in a Christian church. He began learning to play the piano at the age of three via the Suzuki method. His early interest in music was prompted by his musician father and school-teacher mother, who coaxed their young son into practicing piano in exchange for candy corn. Tedder started singing at the age of seven. A self-taught vocalist, Tedder began honing this skill at the age of twelve by imitating his favorite artists, who ranged from The Beatles to acts as diverse as Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder and Sting. He has commented, "I sang for two hours a day every day of my life until I was eighteen." He continued to perform musically during his adolescence through church, school, and personally formed groups.
In his senior year, he moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. There he met and became friends with future OneRepublic band-mate Zach Filkins on their soccer team at the Colorado Springs Christian School. He attended Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma and began to showcase his own material there. Tedder completed his college education and graduated from ORU in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and Advertising.
Early musical career
For years Tedder worked as a waiter, and also as a shop assistant at Pottery Barn, before securing an internship at DreamWorks SKG in Nashville, singing on demos to break into the music scene. He produced demos for songwriters and labels, charging $300 to $400 a track. Tedder claims that DreamWorks offered him his first publishing deal shortly after his arrival; however, he was intent on pursuing a career as an artist and his first venture in that arena came via a different route all together.
At the age of twenty-one, Tedder competed in a singer-songwriter competition and was selected by 'N Sync singer Lance Bass as one of five finalists to perform on a one-hour special on MTV, performing original material in front of millions of viewers. The prize for the winner was a music contract with Bass's now-defunct management company, Free Lance Entertainment. The contestants performed live and were then rated by judges and the audience; the highest scoring artist winning the contract. Tedder's performance of one of his songs, "The Look", received the most votes from the judges and fans, and he won the competition; however, a contract with a recording label was not finalized and no album was released. Tedder later revealed the record and publishing deal he was offered "wasn't real. It was just a bunch of hype that didn't turn into anything."
Producing and writing
One year after winning the MTV competition, Tedder caught the attention of the hip hop producer Timbaland. Tedder commented that he was with Timbaland from 2002–2004 to develop as an artist while producing for other artists at the time. Tedder's work crossed many musical genres (ranging from hip hop, R&B, rock, pop to dance/techno) and he has had many chart successes both in America and the United Kingdom with a number of artists. In June 2007, Tedder signed a worldwide publishing administration deal with Kobalt Music Publishing. The deal included Tedder's new works and all songs not performed by OneRepublic.
Tedder is the writer of the worldwide hit, "Apologize", performed by his band OneRepublic. The song broke the US Top 40 Radio Airplay Record with 10,331 spins in one week. It was the number-one most played song for five months until May 7, 2008 when Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love" (a song that Tedder co-wrote and produced), broke the record previously set by "Apologize", with 10,665 spins in one week. "Bleeding Love" was the best-selling single of 2007 in the United Kingdom, topping the UK charts for seven weeks and was the fastest selling CD of 2007 receiving the most radio airplay worldwide prior to its US debut. The song also earned a Best British Single award nomination at the Brit Awards in February 2008 and reached number one in over 35 countries. Tedder and co-writer Jesse McCartney received an ASCAP award for writing the song. Tedder is also credited for writing the treatment for the second music video that was filmed for the US release of "Bleeding Love". It also earned a Record of the Year nomination at the February 2009 Grammy Awards.
Tedder has written and produced singles with artists such as Adele, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Alexandra Burke, Backstreet Boys, Beyoncé Knowles, Monrose, David Cook, Big Time Rush, Jordin Sparks, A. J. McLean, Chris Cornell, Ashley Tisdale, Ludacris, Gavin DeGraw, James Blunt, James Morrison, Paula DeAnda, Hilary Duff, Timbaland, Bubba Sparxxx, Dima Bilan, Shayne Ward, Lemar, Esmée Denters, Clay Aiken, t.A.T.u., Menudo, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Whitney Houston, Westlife, Charice, Varsity Fanclub, Sugababes, Daughtry, Mario, DJ Tiesto and a number of songs with various rock acts in the US and abroad.
He worked with Jennifer Lopez on her 2007 single Do It Well from her album Brave, then worked with Kelly Clarkson on her 2009 album All I Ever Wanted, penning the songs "If I Can't Have You", "Impossible", "Save You", "Tip of My Tongue" and "Already Gone", which features vocals from Tedder. He also worked with Beyoncé on her album I Am... Sasha Fierce, penning the song "Halo." The similarity between the songs "Already Gone" and "Halo" prompted Clarkson to publicly state that she did not know about "Halo" and that both songs were co-written by Tedder. Tedder's work with Beyoncé also earned him two Grammy nominations with Record of the Year for "Halo" and Album of the Year for I Am...Sasha Fierce at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Tedder worked extensively on Leona Lewis's second album, Echo, writing and producing many songs with her, three of which have made the album, including the first single "Happy", "You Don't Care" which features vocals from Tedder and "Lost Then Found", which features OneRepublic. Tedder co-wrote and produced Jordin Sparks' lead single "Battlefield" from her second album of the same name. Tedder worked on American Idol season 8 runner up, Adam Lambert's debut album, For Your Entertainment.
In late 2009, Tedder launched his own record company, Patriot Records. Recently signed buzz artist My Name Is Kay, released her debut EP through Interscope in 2012. Nikki Flores' single "City Lights" was released in the fall of 2010 on Universal/Republic Records. Tedder also formed his own publishing company, Patriot Games Publishing, in 2009 in alliance with Kobalt Music Publishing Worldwide. To date he has a stable of top notch writers and producers such as Inflo, Noel Zancanella, and Brent Kutzle, cellist/bassist of OneRepublic. The Patriot team of writers and producers with Tedder are credited with "I Was Here" by Beyoncé, "Good Life" by OneRepublic, "I Just Had Sex" by The Lonely Island featuring Akon, "Lost Then Found" by Leona Lewis and OneRepublic, "Just a Guy" by BC Jean, "Count on You" by Big Time Rush featuring Jordin Sparks, and "And Then We Dance", from Australia's Got Talent winners Justice Crew.
Tedder had expressed interest in collaborating with Adele after they met at the 2009 Grammy Awards ceremony in February. He arrived four hours early to their first studio session, buying time to better familiarise himself with some of her previous work. Although unaware of Adele's personal predicament, he composed the opening piano sequence and first few lines to what became the lovelorn ballad "Turning Tables". Adele and Tedder arranged a second meeting and reconvened at Serenity West Studios in Los Angeles weeks later to write and record "Rumour Has It". In an interview, Tedder recalled his astonishment at the singer's musicality and vocal prowess after she completed the main vocals to the song in 10 minutes: "She sang it once top to bottom, pitch perfect, she didn't miss a note. I looked at the engineer then at her and said, 'Adele, I don't know what to tell you but I have never had anyone do that in ten years'." His work with Adele brought him a Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
In 2011, Tedder worked with Demi Lovato for her third album, Unbroken. Tedder commented, "Demi blew me out of the water vocally! I had no idea how good her voice is. She's one of the best singers I've ever worked with. Literally, that good... I mean, she's a Kelly Clarkson-level vocalist. And Kelly has a set of pipes". Tedder return to worked with Lovato from her fourth album Demi, where he co-write and produced the song "Neon Lights", released in 2013. Tedder was featured in Far East Movement's 2010 hit single "Rocketeer".
Tedder composed a song for Vanness Wu, "Is this All" in Taiwan. Tedder also worked with the band Big Time Rush in writing the single, "Music Sounds Better with U" off their second studio album, Elevate, and he proceeded to produce it. He co-wrote David Cook's "The Last Goodbye" from his second album. He produced a song for K'naan titled "Better". He also worked on tracks for Jennifer Lopez's 2011 album Love?, one of the songs being "Clothes Off", which did not make the album.
In 2012, Tedder co-wrote "Good in Goodbye" for Carrie Underwood's fourth album, Blown Away, released on May 1, 2012. He produced tracks for Maroon 5's fourth album, Overexposed. Tedder co-wrote and co-produced the song "Satellite" for British band The Wanted which appears on their US album released on April 24, 2012. He also worked on B.o.B's Strange Clouds, released in May 2012; he produced and co-wrote single "So Good" and is featured on "Never Let You Go". He also recorded vocal tracks for Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso's dance music track (which he also co-wrote), titled "Calling". Tedder was featured on Gym Class Heroes' single "The Fighter".
Tedder served as a judge for the 10th and 11th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers. In 2013, Tedder was a celebrity mentor during the second season of The Voice (Australia) for Delta Goodrem's team. He then worked with Goodrem on "Heart Hypnotic". Tedder was also an advisor of Adam Levine (frontman of Maroon 5), for his team from the fifth season of the reality competition show The Voice (U.S.). Tedder was also present on Birdy's second album, Fire Within.
As well as producing, Tedder also sings lead vocals and plays guitar and piano for the band, OneRepublic. The five member band consisting of Tedder, Filkins, Eddie Fisher, Drew Brown, and Brent Kutzle was formed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2002 by Tedder and his high school classmate Zach Filkins. Tedder has since revealed that the band was formed at a "crossroads" in his life: "I was offered two publishing deals within two months of being in Nashville…I could have just written songs and lived a carefree life, but I knew that I had to be an artist. I wanted to form a rock band and create my own sound." Based in Los Angeles, OneRepublic started out as an unsigned act on the social networking website, MySpace. Since June 2004, they have accumulated over fifty million plays for their music on the site. As of 2009, they are the number-one band on MySpace and have been in the MySpace Music's Top Artists since the summer of 2006.
The band gained further exposure when their 2007 single, "Apologize", was re-mixed and re-released on Timbaland's compilation album, Timbaland Presents Shock Value. The remix became an international chart hit in the fall of 2007. The song broke records after gaining 10,331 spins in one week. According to SoundScan, "Apologize" is the most legally downloaded song in US digital history with sales of over 4.3 million digital downloads in the US alone. It is also the second best-selling song of the decade. OneRepublic's debut album, Dreaming Out Loud, includes both the song's original version and version with Timbaland, and was released on November 20, 2007 on Timbaland's Mosley Music Group imprint via Interscope Records. The band had previously been signed to Columbia Records, and their album was due to be released in 2006, but this did not occur. Tedder explained, "Crap happened. People got fired. Labels merged and politics abounded". Subsequently, the band was released from their deal with Columbia, and they were signed by Timbaland in the summer of 2006 becoming the first rock band to be signed to Mosley Music Group. Tedder has commented on the success of his band's hit single, "Apologize": "The toughest thing to do is write a hit song, but we had a hit song before we had an album… What has happened has been really strange and really great."
Tedder is a multi-instrumentalist. During OneRepublic's performances, he often switches from singing lead vocals to playing guitar, bass guitar, glockenspiel, tambourine, or piano. On rare occasions, he plays drums alongside the band's main percussionist, Eddie Fisher.
The band finished recording their second album, titled Waking Up, on August 25, 2009, and released their lead single, "All the Right Moves" to radio and iTunes everywhere except Germany and Austria, where "Secrets" was released instead. The album was released on November 17, 2009 in the United States. To date, the second US single, "Secrets" has reached over 2 million digital downloads, and third single "Good Life" broke into the Top 10 on iTunes and radio everywhere.
In January 2012, the band was working on their third studio album, titled Native. The album was released on March 26, 2013 to mostly positive reviews from music critics. It became the band's highest charting album to date, as well as their first top 10 album, debuting at no. 4 on the Billboard 200. It sold 60,000 copies within its first week. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of "Feel Again", a single from the album, will be donated to Save the Children's Every Beat Matters campaign to support training frontline health workers around the world.
Tedder is married. He openly acknowledged and thanked his wife Genevieve in the liner notes of OneRepublic's debut album Dreaming Out Loud. Tedder and Genevieve have a son, Copeland Cruz Tedder, born on August 2, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. Tedder's second cousins, Adam, Ashley and Austin Clark comprise the band Sons of Sylvia and were formerly in The Clark Family Experience. He co-wrote their song "Love Left to Lose". Despite being a Christian, he does not want to be labeled as a "Christian artist". He has on one arm a tattoo written in old Japanese which he got while he was in Osaka, meaning "God's will" and literally means "God gives and God takes".
Tedder became involved with Southern Hospitality, a restaurant co-created in 2007 by Justin Timberlake at Second Avenue in Manhattan, when it opened a second location in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. On August 22, 2011, it was announced that Tedder had become the first franchisee of the Southern Hospitality BBQ brand and that there were plans to bring the concept in ten cities across the United States including Denver, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Phoenix, Palo Alto and Washington, D.C. They opened a restaurant in the St. Elmo Hotel in October 2012.
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