Ed Kowalczyk

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Ed Kowalczyk
Ed Kowalczyk performing with Live in Ottawa (2009)
Background information
Birth nameEdward Joel Kowalczyk
Born (1971-07-16) July 16, 1971 (age 52)
OriginYork, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • guitarist
Years active1984–present

Edward Joel Kowalczyk (/kˈwɔːl.ɪk/; born July 16, 1971)[1][2] is an American singer, songwriter, musician and a founding member of the band Live. After leaving Live in 2009, he launched a solo career. His first album, Alive, was released worldwide in June and July 2010. He rejoined Live in December 2016.

Early life[edit]

Kowalczyk was born to a family of Polish descent.[citation needed] He grew up in York, Pennsylvania and attended William Penn Senior High School in the York City School District, where he met the other three members of what would become Live. His father was a teacher at the local Northeastern High School.[citation needed]


Ed Kowalczyk was the lead singer, lyricist, and main songwriter for the band Live from its formation until 2009, then rejoined the band in December 2016. In 2009, he left the band and the other three members issued a statement detailing what they felt were inappropriate actions by Kowalczyk in regards to contract and salary negotiations.[3] Kowalczyk was sued by the band, seeking damages and an injunction against using the name "Live".[4] Ed rejoined the band in December 2016 after months of rumors.[5] In June 2022, Kowalczyk took a 55% controlling ownership of the band, immediately firing founding guitarist Chad Taylor from the band.[6] In October 2022, Kowalczyk and three new musicians began performing as Live without Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey, leaving Kowalczyk as the sole founding member of the band.

Following his departure from Live, Kowalczyk recorded his first solo album, Alive, which was released in 2010. In 2012, he recorded The Garden and in 2013 The Flood and the Mercy. In 2014-2016 he embarked on an extensive tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of Throwing Copper, playing acoustic concerts across the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Kowalczyk has worked with musicians Stuart Davis and Glen Ballard and singers Anouk, Neneh Cherry, Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, Red Wanting Blue, and Shelby Lynne. He featured on the song "Evolution Revolution Love," from the 2001 Tricky album Blowback. He collaborated with Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth (ex-Talking Heads, then performing as The Heads) on the song "Indie Hair" from their 1996 album No Talking, Just Head.[citation needed]

He appeared in the David Fincher film Fight Club as a waiter, his only film acting credit to date.[1]

Political activities[edit]

Kowalczyk performed John Lennon's "Imagine" with Slash in 2003 at "Peace on the Beach," a rally to protest the coming Iraq War.[7] In 2008, he appeared in a video with will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Scarlett Johansson, and Nick Cannon, supporting U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama and appeared at campaign rallies for Obama with will.i.am.[citation needed]

Kowalczyk is a member of Canadian charity Artists Against Racism and has worked with them on awareness campaigns.[8]


Solo studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions

2010 Alive
  • Released: July 6, 2010
  • Label: Soul Whisper
  • Format: CD
166 42 27 4
2013 The Flood and The Mercy
  • Released: October 29, 2013
  • Label: Soul Whisper
  • Format: CD

Solo extended plays[edit]

Year EP details
2012 The Garden
  • Released: November 2012
  • Label: Harbour
  • Format: Download

Solo singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2001 "Evolution Revolution Love"
(Tricky featuring Ed Kowalczyk & Hawkman)
35[12] 79[13] Blowback
2010 "Grace" 100 Alive
2013 "Seven" The Flood and the Mercy

Songs in TV[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Edward Kowalczyk IMDb entry" IMDb
  2. ^ "Happy birthday, Ed Kowalczyk!" MTV.com
  3. ^ Michael Alan Goldberg, "No Lead Singer Bonus For You, Ed Kowalczyk!" Archived December 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Make Major Moves Blog, philadelphiaweekly.com – December 7, 2009
  4. ^ "Live Sue Former Frontman Ed Kowalczyk". Rolling Stone. July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  5. ^ Young, Alex (December 12, 2016). "Live reunite with singer Ed Kowalczyk, announce world tour and new music". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  6. ^ "Live Frontman Claims Control of Band, Guitarist Fired Amidst Internal Drama". Loudwire.
  7. ^ "IMAGINE (Slash)" YouTube
  8. ^ "Radio". Artists Against Racism. Archived from the original on October 7, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  9. ^ Rhett, What Went Wrong?…Live Archived December 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Drone – November 2, 2010
  10. ^ a b c "Chart History for Alive" dutchcharts.nl
  11. ^ a b Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 157.
  12. ^ Tricky – Blowback > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles Allmusic
  13. ^ "Dutch Chart History for Evolution Revolution Love" dutchcharts.nl
  14. ^ "Soundtrack details for West Wing episode Manchester (part 1)" IMDb
  15. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin "Killing Bono Soundtrack To Feature Song By Pre-U2 Group The Hype" indieWire – February 23, 2011

External links[edit]