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Donnie Dacus is a guitarist, singer, actor, writer, and co-producer, born in Pasadena, Texas.
Guitarist Donnie Dacus grew up in Cleburne, Texas. By the age of 14, he was teaching guitar in the local music store and playing with a local band he organized called The Chantels. Eventually, the band changed its name to The Shux and won the Battle of the Bands in Dallas, Texas. Dacus was subsequently managed by the Beard Brothers out of Fort Worth, Texas. Dacus received his big break when he was discovered by the band The Yellow Payges in 1968 during a concert with Buffalo Springfield and The Beach Boys.
Dacus has contributed to a number of artists albums that went Gold, Platinum, and Multi-platinum as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Dacus’ background vocals may be heard on Billy Joel's "My Life".
Dacus has worked and performed with a number of renowned musicians, including Billy Joel, Boz Scaggs, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Neil Young, Stephen Stills (solo), John Lennon, Elvin Bishop, REO Speedwagon, Steve Cropper, Kiki Dee, Elton John, Chicago, The Turtles, Roger McGuinn, Badfinger, Bobby Womack, Mac Davis, Veronique Sanson, Bonnie Bramlett, Deep Purple, Ambrosia, Orleans, Berry Gordy of Motown's MoWest label group Odyssey, Rick James, and Spirit.
Dacus has performed at major concert venues such as The Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, the Greek Theatre, Dick Clark Live, Pine Knob Music Festival, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Tanglewood, A Week In Central Park, Dr. Pepper Stage, King Biscuit's Concert Hour, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, Midnight Special, The Olympia in Paris and Summerfest in Milwaukee, Navy Pier at ChicagoFest, where more than 150,000 people attended, Dacus covered the front page of the Chicago Tribune and the cover of People magazine during tenure with the group Chicago, who garnered the Hollywood Walk of Fame award.
His work in the starring role of Woof in Hair, with Annie Golden, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo, John Savage was directed by Academy Award winner Miloš Forman. Hair was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. The movie opened the Cannes Film Festival in 1979.
Dacus' debut with Chicago followed the death of founding member Terry Kath. The first album Dacus appeared on (Hot Streets) went to No. 12 and platinum. Dacus also was in the lineup for Chicago 13. After the 1979 tour in support of Chicago 13, Dacus was released from the band without an announcement. It was the start of a period of personnel changes for Chicago.
In 2016, Dacus returned to the spotlight after years away from the music industry by reuniting with several former bandmates. In January 2016, he appeared as a guest guitarist alongside former Chicago vocalist & bassist Peter Cetera at a concert at Magic City in Miami, Florida. In April 2016 Dacus appeared as a special guest guitarist alongside former Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine and former Chicago percussionist Laudir de Oliveira in a performance following Chicago's 2016 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Bielen, Ken (2011). The Words and Music of Billy Joel. ABC-CLIO. p. 49. ISBN 9780313380174. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Souza, Charlie; Souza, Chip (2011). Live Your Dream. Charlie Souza. p. 139. ISBN 9781618423276. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Seraphine, Danny (2010). Street Player: My Chicago Story. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 171–172. ISBN 9780470625736. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Betts, Graham (2014). Motown Encyclopedia. AC Publishing. p. 430. ISBN 9781311441546. Retrieved 8 September 2014.