A. J. Croce

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A. J. Croce
Croce performing in 2007
Croce performing in 2007
Background information
Birth nameAdrian James Croce
Born (1971-09-28) September 28, 1971 (age 52)
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresPop, rock, blues, country
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician
InstrumentsPiano, guitar
Years active1983-present
LabelsPrivate Music, Ruf, Compass

Adrian James "A.J." Croce (born September 28, 1971) is an American singer-songwriter.


Early life[edit]

Croce was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on September 28, 1971, the son of singers Jim Croce, who was from an Italian Roman Catholic family, and Ingrid Croce, who is Jewish. His father died in a plane crash in September 1973, at age 30, eight days before A.J.'s second birthday. Shortly before his father's death, in the summer of 1973, the family moved to San Diego. When he was four years old, he was temporarily blinded as a result of abuse from his mother’s boyfriend. He was hospitalized for six months and was totally blind in both eyes for six years. Croce grew up listening to Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, a lot of soul music, early rock 'n' roll, jazz, and blues.[1] He learned how to play the piano, inspired by Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder.[2] He later regained sight in one eye.[3][4] For junior high, Croce attended Hebrew school.[5] When he was 15, in 1987, the family's house burned down.[6]


Croce's first paying gig was at the age of 12, when he was paid $20 to perform 25–30 minutes of cover versions at a bar mitzvah party. Croce played music for a living since he was 15.[7] By the age of 16, Croce was performing regularly at San Diego nightclubs as a sideman and band leader.[1]

When he was 17, while staying at the house of Arlo Guthrie, he met Mae Boren Axton, who invited him to Nashville to record with Jack Clement.[8]

Ron Goldstein and Peter Baumann of Private Music signed Croce to his first recording contract, at age 19.[1] He recorded two albums for Private Music: his self-titled debut, A. J. Croce, produced by T-Bone Burnett and John Simon; and That's Me in the Bar, produced by Jim Keltner, and featuring Ry Cooder and David Hidalgo.[9]

Croce's third album, Fit to Serve, was recorded in 1998 in Memphis and produced by Jim Gaines, who produced Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, and the Steve Miller Band.[10]

Songs on Transit, released in 2000, were compared to the works of The Beatles, Elvis Costello, and The Posies.[11]

In 2003, Croce launched his own record label, Seedling Records.[12]

Croce's next three albums were self-produced. Adrian James Croce, Croce's only pop-oriented album, was the only independently produced album of 2004 to chart in the Top 40 in the U.S. The album won Best Pop album at the 2004 San Diego Music Awards. His 2006 album, Cantos, on his own label, Seedling Records, features Ben Harper.[13] In 2009, his album Cage of Muses was released on Seedling, garnering a 4-star review from Rolling Stone.[14]

In 2012, he publicly performed an entire set of his father's songs for the first time.[15]

In 2013, Croce signed with Compass Records and released Twelve Tales. He recorded two songs with each of six producers in five U.S. cities over 12 months, releasing one song per month exclusively on iTunes in 2013. The full album was released in 2014. The album's producers were Jack Clement, Allen Toussaint, Mitchell Froom, Kevin Killen, Tony Berg, and Greg Cohen.[16] Croce co-wrote a few of the songs on Twelve Tales, including one song with Leon Russell.

In 2014, Croce spoke at TEDxLaJolla, an independently produced TED.[17]

His 2017 album, Just Like Medicine, according to ABC News, "sounds like it was crafted with the influence of greats like Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello in mind".[18]

Personal life[edit]

Croce lives in East Nashville, Tennessee.[19] In 2018, his wife, Marlo Gordon Croce, died of a rare and sudden heart virus while he was in the midst of his own health scare. A.J. was left a single father to two children, a daughter, Camille, and a son, Elijah.



  1. ^ a b c CAUDELL, ROBIN (May 16, 2019). "Don't mess around with A.J." Press-Republican.
  2. ^ "A.J. CROCE". Compass Records.
  3. ^ Hislop, Christopher (March 5, 2015). "A.J. Croce brings live show to The Loft".
  4. ^ VARGA, GEORGE (February 7, 2021). "A.J. Croce's healing new album of classics, 'By Request,' follows death of his wife: 'She was my best friend'". The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  5. ^ "A.J. Croce". San Diego Reader.
  6. ^ "A CONVERSATION WITH A.J. CROCE". Magnet. March 31, 2022.
  7. ^ DANZIG, MAYER (February 2, 2021). "A.J. Croce on Character Building Experiences and Coping with Celebrity". Twangville.
  8. ^ Rhodes, Don (September 18, 2018). "A.J. Croce has got a name of his own". The Augusta Chronicle.
  9. ^ "That's Me in the Bar – A.J. Croce". AllMusic.
  10. ^ Oksenhorn, Stewart (March 1, 2013). "The 'Twelve Tales' trail brings A.J. Croce to Aspen". The Aspen Times.
  11. ^ Butland, John F. (April 1, 2000). "AJ Croce". Exclaim!.
  12. ^ Marshall, Alli (November 11, 2012). "The point is to continue to try new things and not just settle on one sound". Mountain Xpress.
  13. ^ "Cantos". Ben Harper. May 18, 2006.
  14. ^ Reichert, Daniela (June 23, 2009). "AJ Croce "Cage Of Muses"". Rolling Stone.
  15. ^ Varga, George (January 11, 2012). "A.J. Croce pays heartfelt tribute to his dad". The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  16. ^ "Album premiere: A. J. Croce's 'Twelve Tales'". USA Today. January 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "TedXLaJolla".
  18. ^ "Avicii, Guided by Voices, AJ Croce album reviews". ABC News. August 14, 2017.
  19. ^ Spearie, Steven (June 21, 2017). "A.J. Croce shares musical passion with late father". The State Journal-Register.

External links[edit]