Fred Durst

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Fred Durst
Durst performing in 2019
Durst performing in 2019
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Frederick Durst
Born (1970-08-20) August 20, 1970 (age 50)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
OriginGastonia, North Carolina, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • film director
Years active1993–present
Associated acts

William Frederick Durst[citation needed] (born August 20, 1970) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and film director. He is best known as the frontman and lyricist of the nu metal band Limp Bizkit, formed in 1994, with whom he has released six studio albums.

Since 2006, Durst has worked on independent films. He co-starred in Population 436, and made his directorial debut in 2007, with The Education of Charlie Banks. He followed with The Longshots in 2008. His latest film, The Fanatic, came out in 2019.

Early life[edit]

Durst was born in Jacksonville, Florida but soon moved to Orlando and then a farm in Cherryville, North Carolina at one year old. In the fifth grade, he moved to Gastonia, North Carolina where he would later graduate high school.[1][2][3] He was raised Wiccan.[4] At the age of 12, Durst took an interest in breakdancing, hip hop, punk rock and heavy metal. He began to rap, skate, beatbox and DJ. Leaving the Navy after just two years (1988–1990), Durst moved back to Jacksonville with his father where he worked as a landscaper and a tattoo artist while developing an idea for a band that combined elements of rock and hip-hop.[5][6]


Formation of Limp Bizkit (1994–1998)[edit]

In 1994, Durst, Malachi Sage bassist Sam Rivers, and Rivers' cousin John Otto jammed together and wrote three songs. Guitarist Wes Borland later joined. Durst named the band Limp Bizkit because he wanted a name that would repel listeners.[7] Limp Bizkit developed a cult following in the underground music scene when its covers of George Michael's "Faith" and Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" began to attract curious concertgoers.[7]

Later, when Korn performed in town as the opening act for Sick of It All, Durst invited Korn to his house. He was able to persuade bassist Reginald Arvizu to listen to demos of the songs "Pollution", "Counterfeit", and "Stalemate". Korn added a then-unsigned Limp Bizkit to two tours, which gave the band a new audience.[7][8] DJ Lethal, formerly of the hip hop group House of Pain, joined the band as a turntablist; Durst's disagreements with Borland led the guitarist to quit and rejoin the band.[7]

In 1997, Limp Bizkit signed with Flip Records, a subsidiary of Interscope Records, and released their debut album, Three Dollar Bill, Y'all to minimal response. Durst was appointed Senior Vice President of A&R at Interscope.[9] On October 23, 1997, Durst met the band Staind, but friction quickly emerged between the two over the cover art of Staind's album. Durst unsuccessfully attempted to remove Staind from a concert bill shortly before their performance, but after hearing the band play,[9] he was so impressed that he signed them to Flip/Elektra, recorded a demo with the band, and co-produced their next album, Dysfunction.[9]

After Limp Bizkit finished a tour with the band Deftones, Durst and DJ Lethal were asked by Max Cavalera, formerly of the band Sepultura, to appear on "Bleed", a song from the self-titled debut of his new band Soulfly. Cavalera stated that producer Ross Robinson recommended that he work with Durst.[10] Durst also made an appearance on Korn's album Follow the Leader. Jonathan Davis had intended to write a battle rap with B-Real of Cypress Hill, but the latter's label wouldn't let him do it, and Durst was tapped instead.[10] Davis and Durst wrote the lyrics for "All in the Family", which featured the two vocalists trading insults. Davis and Durst would often offer suggestions for each other's lyrics; a lyric written by Durst as "tootin' on your bagpipe" was changed to "fagpipes" by Davis, who stated "I helped him bag on me better".[10]

Durst began to take an interest in filmmaking, directing the music video for Limp Bizkit's single "Faith" in promotion for its appearance in the film Very Bad Things; he was unsatisfied with it and made a second video which paid tribute to tour mates Primus, Deftones and Mötley Crüe, who appeared in the video.[10]

Mainstream success and controversies (1998–2005)[edit]

Durst with Limp Bizkit at Sonisphere 2011

Limp Bizkit achieved mainstream success with the albums Significant Other (1999) and Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000). In the summer of 1999, Limp Bizkit played at the highly anticipated Woodstock '99 festival in front of approximately 200,000 people. Violence occurred during and after their performance, including fans tearing plywood from the walls during the song "Break Stuff". Several sexual assaults were reported in the aftermath of the concert.[8][9][11] Durst stated during the concert, "People are getting hurt. Don't let anybody get hurt. But I don't think you should mellow out. That's what Alanis Morissette had you motherfuckers do. If someone falls, pick 'em up. We already let the negative energy out. Now we wanna let out the positive energy".[9] Durst later stated in an interview, "I didn't see anybody getting hurt. You don't see that. When you're looking out on a sea of people and the stage is twenty feet in the air and you're performing, and you're feeling your music, how do they expect us to see something bad going on?"[9] Les Claypool told the San Francisco Examiner, "Woodstock was just Durst being Durst. His attitude is 'no press is bad press', so he brings it on himself. He wallows in it. Still, he's a great guy."[9]

In June 2000, Limp Bizkit performed at the WXRK Dysfunctional Family Picnic, but showed up an hour late for their set.[12] An Interscope spokesman stated that there was confusion over the band's set time.[12] During the band's performance, Durst criticized Creed singer Scott Stapp, calling him "an egomaniac".[12] Creed's representatives later presented Durst with an autographed anger management manual during an appearance on Total Request Live.[12] In the summer, Limp Bizkit's tour was sponsored by the controversial file sharing service Napster. Durst was an outspoken advocate of file sharing.[8]

During the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, Durst performed Limp Bizkit's song "Livin' It Up", as a duet with Christina Aguilera. In response to the performance, Filter frontman Richard Patrick claimed that "Fred getting onstage with Christina Aguilera embarrassed us all."[13] In response to the negative reactions to the performance, Durst remarked, "I already told you guys before, I did it all for the nookie, man."[13] Aguilera, in response to Durst's remark, commented, "He got no nookie."[14]

During a 2001 tour of Australia at the Big Day Out festival in Sydney, fans rushed the stage in the mosh pit, and teenager Jessica Michalik died of asphyxiation. In Auckland, New Zealand, on the same tour, Durst threw water over the head of a security personnel tasked with diffusing a similar situation.[15] During the Big Day Out crush, Durst has been accused of taunting security guards intervening in the situation.[16] In court, Durst, represented by his long-time attorney, Ed McPherson, testified he had warned the concert's organizers Aaron Jackson, Will Pearce and Amar Tailor and promoter Vivian Lees of the potential dangers of such minimal security.[17] After viewing video and hearing witness testimony, the coroner said it was evident that the density of the crowd was dangerous at the time Limp Bizkit took the stage and Durst should have acted more responsibly when the problem became apparent.[18] Durst stated that he was "emotionally scarred" because of the teenager's death.[19]

In 2002, Durst was tapped to write songs for Britney Spears, and later said that he was in a relationship with her. Spears denied Durst's claims.[20] In a 2009 interview, he explained that "I just guess at the time it was taboo for a guy like me to be associated with a gal like her."[20] In February 2005, a sex tape featuring Durst was released on the Internet. Durst filed a $70 million lawsuit against ten websites that posted the video.[21][22]

In July 2003, Limp Bizkit participated on the Summer Sanitarium Tour, headlined by Metallica.[23] In the days preceding the tour's stop in Chicago, local radio personality Mancow Muller mocked Durst and suggested that listeners who were attending the concert should heckle the singer and throw debris.[24] With the crowd chanting "fuck Fred Durst" and pelting the stage with garbage, Durst erupted in a profane, homophobic tirade after six songs, threw the microphone down and walked off stage.[25] Durst was eventually sued for breach of contract (for not completing the show) by Chicago lawyer Michael Young in a class-action suit.[26]

In May 2005, The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) was released. Sammy Siegler took over drumming duties for the band for much of the album. At Durst's insistence, the album was released as an underground album, without any advertising or promotion.[27][28] The album sold over 2,000,000 copies worldwide, peaking at number 24 on the Billboard 200.[29][30] Durst later announced that despite the album's title, no sequel to The Unquestionable Truth would be produced.[31] Later in the year, the band released a Greatest Hitz album.[32]

Having been bullied while growing up, Durst disliked seeing people "using my music as fuel to torture other people"; feeling that his music was being misinterpreted, he would later cite this as the reason for the band taking a hiatus.[33]

Start of film career (2006–2009)[edit]

Durst at the premiere of Baby Mama at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival

While Limp Bizkit was on hiatus, Durst began working in independent films. In 2006, Durst costarred in the film Population 436. His directorial debut, The Education of Charlie Banks, was released the following year. The film, which starred Jesse Eisenberg, Chris Marquette and Jason Ritter, received mixed reviews; Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, assigned the film a score of 46%. The website's consensus stated, "Unevenness and earnestness mire this otherwise sweet, surprising coming of age drama."[34] A second directorial effort, The Longshots, starring Ice Cube and Keke Palmer, was released in 2008. Rotten Tomatoes assigned the film a score of 39%, with the consensus indicating that the film was "a largely formulaic affair, rarely deviating from the inspirational sports movie playbook."[35] The same year, Durst appeared as a bartender in two episodes of the television medical drama House, M.D.[36]

Limp Bizkit reunion (2009–present)[edit]

In 2009, the original lineup of Limp Bizkit reunited and began touring. Durst announced that they had begun to record a new album, Gold Cobra.[37] The album was released on June 28, 2011, receiving mixed reviews.[38] It peaked at number 16 on the Billboard 200.[30]

In 2012, Durst appeared on the Insane Clown Posse cover album Smothered, Covered & Chunked on a cover of AMG's "Bitch Betta Have My Money".[39] In February 2012, Lil Wayne announced in a radio interview that Limp Bizkit had signed to his label, Cash Money Records, which Durst confirmed on his Twitter page.[40] A few months later Durst was featured alongside Lil Wayne and Birdman on the Kevin Rudolf song "Champions", which peaked in the top 10 on iTunes.

Originally, Durst was to direct and produce the film Pawn Shop Chronicles, starring Paul Walker;[41] but Wayne Kramer was later chosen to direct the film.[42][43] In 2014, Durst shot three commercials for the website Eharmony,[44] In February 2018, Durst began filming The Fanatic, starring John Travolta.[45]

Personal life[edit]

Durst has a daughter named Adriana Durst. She was born on June 3, 1990 to Durst and his then-wife Rachel Tergesen. He also has a son named Dallas (born August 30, 2001) with ex-girlfriend, actress Jennifer Thayer.[46][47]

In 2009, Durst married Esther Nazarov and split after three months.[48] Durst married his third wife,[49] make-up artist Kseniya Beryazina,[50] in 2012.[49] They filed for divorce in September 2018.[50]

In 2015, Durst stated his interest in obtaining a Russian passport and spending half of the year in Crimea.[51] He wrote a letter in which he stated that Vladimir Putin is "a great guy with clear moral principles and a nice person."[52] Following that, Durst was banned by the Security Service of Ukraine from entering Ukraine for five years "in the interests of guaranteeing the security" of the country.[53] Soon thereafter, all Limp Bizkit sales on the territory of Ukraine were prohibited.[54]

During the 2018 California wildfires, Durst's house burned down and lost a majority of his possessions. His bandmate, Wes Borland, also lost several pieces of equipment in the fire. These were stored in Durst's house as they were scheduled to record the day after the fire.[55]


Durst performing in 2013

Durst was accused of insulting fans of the band Slipknot in 1999 by referring to them as "fat, ugly kids". Slipknot singer Corey Taylor responded during a concert in Sydney by claiming that the fans of Slipknot "for the most part, enjoy all kinds of music, like Limp Bizkit, maybe." Taylor went on to claim that insulting the fans of Slipknot could also be insulting the fans of Limp Bizkit themselves.[56]

A feud between Limp Bizkit and Placebo began at a show Durst was compering at Irving Plaza in December 1998.[57] A sidestage spat with Placebo singer Brian Molko led to Durst asking the crowd to chant "Placebo sucks!" prior to Placebo's performance.[57] Molko later commented that nobody had told him that Durst would be compering the show and that Placebo would have to follow opening act Kid Rock.[58] The feud was reignited during Big Day Out 2001, on which Placebo were billed below Limp Bizkit.[57] By 2004, the feud had ended.[59]

Durst also fell out with rapper and former friend Eminem regarding Eminem's feud with Everlast. This resulted in Eminem creating a diss track against Durst called "Girls" released on his D12 group's 2001 album Devil's Night.[60]

On October 6, 2018, Shaggy 2 Dope from the hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse attempted to dropkick Durst during their performance of the song "Faith". DJ Lethal from Limp Bizkit responded on Instagram Live calling Shaggy a "clout chaser".[61] According to 2 Dope, who is a pro wrestler with years of experience, he did not intend to cause Durst any harm and the motive for the kick stemmed from a dare he had with a security guard that let him on the stage after Durst announced "I need some people on stage."[62]


Limp Bizkit


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album

Main. Rock


"Counterfeit" / "Nobody Loves Me"[A] 1997 Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$
"Sour"[74] 1998
"Faith" 28 33
"Nookie" 1999 80 3 6 13 36 33 Significant Other
"Re-Arranged" 75 1 8 35
"Crushed" 31 End of Days soundtrack
"N 2 Gether Now"[B]
(featuring Method Man)
70 28 95 184 Significant Other
"Break Stuff"[B][C] 2000 123 14 19 41
"Take a Look Around"[D] 115 8 15 28 4 4 7 29 7 3 10 Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack
"Rollin'" 65 4 10 11 10 10 18 14 21 1 23 Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water
"My Generation" 18 33 31 19 23 14 23 15 23
"My Way" 2001 75 3 4 57 51 38 56 41 99 6
"Boiler" 30 44 50 68 57 18
"Faith" / "Fame"[79]
(featuring Everlast)
New Old Songs
"Eat You Alive" 2003 20 16 30 16 13 36 31 10 Results May Vary
"Red Light-Green Light"[80]
(featuring Snoop Dogg)
"Behind Blue Eyes" 71 18 11 4 3 2 5 5 5 18 13
"Build a Bridge"[83] 2004
"Almost Over" 33 37
"Bittersweet Home" 2005 43 44 45 96 Greatest Hitz
"Shotgun"[84] 2011 34 Gold Cobra
"Gold Cobra"[85]
"Ready to Go"[86]
(featuring Lil Wayne)
2013 41 Stampede of the Disco Elephants
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"All in the Family"[89]
(Korn featuring Fred Durst)
1998 Follow the Leader
(Soulfly featuring Fred Durst and DJ Lethal)
8 88 Soulfly
"Get Naked"
(Methods of Mayhem feat. Fred Durst, Lil' Kim, Mixmaster Mike, and George Clinton)
1999 Methods of Mayhem
"Them Girls"
(Run-D.M.C. feat. Fred Durst)
2001 Crown Royal
(Rock feat. Fred Durst)
2004 Veteranz Day – The Best of Rock Volume 2
"Here We Are (Champions)"
(Kevin Rudolf featuring Limp Bizkit, Birdman and Lil Wayne)
2012 Rich Gang
(Corey Feldman featuring Fred Durst)
2016 Angelic 2 the Core
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


List of films and TV shows appeared in
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Zoolander Himself
2003 Pauly Shore is Dead Himself
2005 Revelations Ogden TV miniseries
2005 Sorry, Haters Evan Jealous
2006 Population 436 Deputy Bobby Caine
2008 House M.D. Bartender Episode: "House's Head"
Episode: "Wilson's Heart"
2009 Play Dead Ledge
2018 Mostly 4 Millennials DJ Durst Recurring character
List of films and commercials directed
Title Year
The Education of Charlie Banks 2007
The Longshots 2008
EHarmony[90] 2014
The Fanatic [91] 2019

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2020 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Director The Fanatic Nominated [92]


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External links[edit]