Citizen Cope

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Citizen Cope
Background information
Birth nameClarence Greenwood
Born (1968-05-20) May 20, 1968 (age 55)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
OriginWashington, D.C., U.S.
GenresAlternative rock, soul, blues rock
Occupation(s)Songwriter, producer, singer
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1991–present
LabelsDreamWorks, Arista, RCA

Clarence Greenwood (born May 20, 1968), also known by his stage name, Citizen Cope, is an American songwriter, producer and singer. His music is commonly described as a mix of blues, soul, folk, and rock. Citizen Cope's compositions have been recorded by Carlos Santana, Dido, Pharoahe Monch and Richie Havens. He currently records and produces for his own record label, Rainwater Recordings, which he founded in 2010. He had previously been signed to Capitol, Arista, DreamWorks and RCA.[1] On March 1, 2019, he self-released his first album in six years, Heroin and Helicopters.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Greenwood spent parts of his childhood in Texas and Mississippi, ultimately ending up in Washington, D.C., where he was primarily raised. He graduated from Wilson High School and attended Texas Tech.[3]

Recording career[edit]

Greenwood was initially the DJ for Washington, D.C.-based alternative rock band Basehead. He was signed to Capitol Records in 1997.[4] In 2000, Citizen Cope signed with DreamWorks and released a self-titled album in 2002.

In 2004, he released The Clarence Greenwood Recordings, which he also produced. Every Waking Moment followed in 2006 (also self-produced), and debuted at #69 on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2007, he featured on the soundtrack of Trouble the Water alongside Massive Attack, Mary Mary, John Lee Hooker, The Roots, Dr. John and Blackkoldmadina.[citation needed] In 2010, Greenwood established his own record label, Rainwater Recordings. The move allowed him full creative control over his music and career.[4] He released The Rainwater LP that year.

"Let the Drummer Kick" from his 2002 album Citizen Cope achieved RIAA gold disc status. Greenwood released his following album, One Lovely Day on July 17, 2012.[5]

On March 1, 2019, his first album in six years, Heroin and Helicopters was released.[2][6] He released his first single from the album, "Justice," on November 30, 2018.[7]

Citizen Cope in Seattle, Washington, in 2008

Songwriting and producing[edit]

Citizen Cope performing at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, North Carolina

Greenwood's work has been recorded by a number of musicians. In 2002, Santana recorded Cope's song "Sideways" for their Shaman album.[7] He performed "Sideways" in concert with Santana on his 2003 European tour.[8] Greenwood sang on and produced the track. Sheryl Crow asked to record the song in 2010 for her 100 Miles from Memphis album, and invited Greenwood to join her in concert on several occasions, including the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago.[9] At the same festival, Eric Clapton brought Greenwood onstage to perform "Hands of the Saints" together.[10] Corey Taylor also recorded a version of the song. Brett Dennen recorded a version of the song "Healing Hands" for The Voice Project Presents Home Recordings Volume 1 in 2012.[11]

In 2008, Greenwood wrote and recorded "Burnin' Love" with Dido for her Safe Trip Home album.[citation needed] That same year, Richie Havens released his version of "Hurricane Waters" and the hip-hop artist Rhymefest recorded "Bullet," featuring Greenwood.[citation needed]

His work appeared in a number of soundtracks to films including Trust the Man, Ghost Town, Coach Carter, Accepted, The Lincoln Lawyer, Fracture and Jamesy Boy. His song "Bullet and a Target" appeared in 2006's The Sentinel, Alpha Dog as well as in the television show, Cold Case.[citation needed] Greenwood's songs have also been included on Scrubs, One Tree Hill, Entourage, So You Think You Can Dance, and Smallville. "One Lovely Day" appeared in the film Battleship.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Greenwood currently lives in Los Angeles and Fort Greene, Brooklyn.[12][13] He is married to singer/songwriter Alice Smith.[14][15]


Other contributions[edit]


  1. ^ Greg Prato. "Citizen Cope - Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Citizen Cope Announces 1st Album In 7 Years, 'Heroin And Helicopters,' Out March 1st On Rainwater Recordings/Thirty Tigers". Music News Net. November 30, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  3. ^ Segal, David (January 28, 2002). "Citizen Cope's Record Year". The Washington Post. p. C1.
  4. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Citizen Cope Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Morin, Natalie (July 16, 2012). "Song Premiere: Citizen Cope, 'One Lovely Day'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  6. ^ Kallao, Stephen; Myers, John (May 3, 2019). "Catching Up With Citizen Cope". NPR. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Warren, Bruce (November 30, 2018). "Citizen Cope Swings For The Fences And Scores On 'Justice'". NPR. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  8. ^ Harris, Jenna (March 7, 2017). ""TUNES"day--Citizen Cope". North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  9. ^ Zaretsky, Mark (March 27, 2015). "Citizen Cope at Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport Thursday". Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Citizen Cope & Eric Clapton Hands of the Saints Crossroads 2010. YouTube. March 16, 2019. Archived from the original on May 26, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Brett Dennen » Citizen Cope "Healing Hands". YouTube. September 15, 2010. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  12. ^ Oksenhorn, Stewart (September 3, 2009). "Citizen Cope takes the long view of making an album". The Aspen Times. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  13. ^ "Kelly Slater interviews Citizen Cope; Citizen Cope interviews Kelly Slater". Surfing Magazine. February 21, 2007.
  14. ^ "Stage Buzz: Citizen Cope at House of Blues Chicago". Illinois Entertainer. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  15. ^ "ON ALICE SMITH, HER BRILLIANCE, AND A NIGHT AT THE HAMILTON". Brightest Young Things. November 13, 2012.

External links[edit]