Emerson Hart

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Emerson Hart
Tonic band lead singer.jpg
Hart in 2010
Background information
Birth nameEmerson Hart
Born (1969-07-21) July 21, 1969 (age 50)
OriginWashington, Pennsylvania, United States
GenresAlternative rock
Occupation(s)singer, songwriter, producer
Instrumentsvocals, guitar
Years active1993–present
Associated actsTonic
WebsiteOfficial site

Emerson Hart (born July 21, 1969) is a songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and producer. He is the lead singer and songwriter of the alternative rock band Tonic.


Emerson Hart was born in Washington, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey and attended Red Bank Catholic High School.[1]

Emerson Hart's father Jennings sang for the USO and his mother Sandra is a former television hostess. His father was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was prescribed medicine to regulate his mental disorder, but he often resisted treatment and he and Sandra divorced in 1977. Jennings may have been off his medication at the time of his disappearance on January 21, 1980. The elder Hart has not been seen since, and in an interview Emerson addresses his "father's murder", which is the subject of the title track written and recorded by Emerson on 2007's Cigarettes and Gasoline.[2]

Hart has been married twice, first to Nicole Taylor Hart in 2000.[3] They had a child, daughter Lucienne Elizabeth, in 2007,[4] but divorced in 2008. After the divorce, Hart began dating Heather McMurray, whom he married in 2012.[5]

Music career[edit]

Tonic’s first release, Lemon Parade, was a multi-platinum success, featuring the hit songs, "Open Up Your Eyes" and "If You Could Only See" (the former written by Hart and co-writer Jeff Russo and the latter written by Hart), the latter of which became radio's most played rock song in 1997.[citation needed] In 1999, Tonic returned with their second album and the mainstream rock hit, "You Wanted More". In 2002, Tonic released their third LP, Head On Straight. In 2003, Tonic received two Grammy nominations - one for best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal for "Take Me As I Am", and the second for Best Rock Album. Hart also co-wrote the 2005 Ingram Hill hit, "Almost Perfect", which reached the top 25 on the Hot AC chart.

Hart co-wrote the theme song, "Generation", for the NBC drama American Dreams, which premiered in 2002. He earned an ASCAP award for "Best Theme Song of Television" in 2003.[6]

In February 2007, Hart signed a solo record deal with EMI/Manhattan Records to release his debut solo effort Cigarettes and Gasoline. It was released on July 17, 2007. Hart's first single, "If You're Gonna Leave", received airplay on American radio stations beginning in June 2007,[7] while his second single, "I Wish the Best for You", received airplay beginning in Dec 2007.[8]

Hart's second solo album, Beauty in Disrepair, (BMG) was released April 15, 2014. The first single, titled "Best That I Can Give", premiered on USA Today's website on January 7, 2014. Whereas his 2007 release dealt more with rocky relationships and personal struggles, Beauty takes on a more optimistic tone, with a theme of picking up the pieces and moving on.

Regarding the single "Best That I Can Give", Hart says: "My wife and I dated for about four years" starting shortly after a divorce, says Hart, 44. "That's a rocky road, because you have to address all the luggage that comes with the past relationships. That was the song I wrote when I almost blew it — but I didn't."

Hart continues to tour with Tonic as of 2018.


Solo albums[edit]

  • Cigarettes and Gasoline (July 17, 2007) Manhattan Records
    1. "Run To" - 3:17
    2. "Devastation Hands" - 3:10
    3. "If You're Gonna Leave" - 3:50
    4. "I Wish the Best for You" - 3:50
    5. "I Know" - 3:29
    6. "Green Hills Race for California" - 3:58
    7. "Ordinary" - 3:08
    8. "Vanity" - 4:33
    9. "When She Loves You" - 3:30
    10. "Flyin'" - 4:03
    11. "Friend to a Stranger" - 3:29
    12. "Cigarettes And Gasoline" - 5:10
  • Beauty in Disrepair (April 15, 2014) BMG
    1. "The Best That I Can Give" - 4:17
    2. "Who Am I" - 2:40
    3. "Hurricane" - 4:30
    4. "To Be Young" - 4:16
    5. "Mostly Grey" - 4:03
    6. "You Know Who I Am" - 2:52
    7. "Another Life" - 3:59
    8. "Don't Forget Yourself" - 2:28
    9. "The Wire" - 3:10
    10. "Hallway" - 3:44
    11. "All is Well" - 3:13
    12. "The Lines" - 4:07


  1. ^ Acampora, Rob. "Tonic Comes Home To N.J. in June – Prepares For Their American Reboot", WSJO. Accessed July 8, 2015. "Growing up in Atlantic Highlands (Jersey Shore – Monmouth County) and having attended Red Bank Catholic High School, Tonic lead singer Emerson Hart grew up having a mom who was known on local TV and a father with singing chops."
  2. ^ "The Charley Project: Jennings Lee Hart". Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  3. ^ Gage, Eleni (February 2001). "Hart's Desire". InStyle. Vol. 8 no. 2. p. 351.
  4. ^ Nudd, Tim (2007-10-12). "Ex-Tonic Singer Emerson Hart, Wife Have a Baby". People Magazine/Time INC. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  5. ^ Mansfield, Brian (January 7, 2014). "Premiere: Emerson Hart's 'The Best That I Can Give'". USA Today. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  6. ^ "IMDb - American Dreams Awards". Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  7. ^ "Billboard - If You're Gonna Leave". Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  8. ^ "Billboard - I Wish the Best for You". Retrieved 2010-12-28.

External links[edit]