Glen Ballard

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Glen Ballard
Birth nameBasil Glen Ballard Jr.
Born (1953-05-01) May 1, 1953 (age 68)
Natchez, Mississippi, U.S.
GenresR&B, rock, pop
Occupation(s)Songwriter, lyricist, record producer
InstrumentsKeyboards, synthesizer, guitar
Years active1971–present

Basil Glen Ballard Jr.[1] (born May 1, 1953) is an American songwriter, lyricist, and record producer. He is best known for co-writing and producing Alanis Morissette's 1995 album Jagged Little Pill,[2][3] which won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album and Album of the Year, and was ranked by the Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. He is also well known for his collaborations with composer Alan Silvestri. He was involved in the recording and writing of Michael Jackson's albums Thriller, Bad and Dangerous.[4] As a writer, he co-wrote songs including "Man in the Mirror" (1987) [4] and "Hand in My Pocket" (1995). He is the founder of Java Records. He won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for "Believe" (The Polar Express).[5]

In 2011, Ballard founded his own production company known as Augury, focused on developing music-driven projects in film, television, and theater.[6] He was involved in the development of the eight-part TV series The Eddy, centering around a jazz club in Paris, which aired on Netflix in May 2020.[7]


He has performed on or produced the following:

Film and television[edit]

Ballard wrote the screenplay for Clubland, a music-driven film about an aspiring musician in Los Angeles. He has written songs in half a dozen films, including The Slugger’s Wife, Navy Seals, The Polar Express, and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.[8]

Ballard was involved in the development of the TV series The Eddy, broadcast by Netflix in May 2020. Ballard also co-wrote the music for the series and served as an executive producer.[7][9] He will be writing new songs with Alan Silvestri for the upcoming live-action film adaptation of Disney's Pinocchio.[10]

Musical theatre[edit]

Ballard co-wrote the music and lyrics for Ghost the Musical with David A. Stewart and Bruce Joel Rubin, which opened in London's West End on July 19, 2011 and opened on Broadway in the spring of 2012.

On 31 January 2014, it was announced that a stage musical of the film Back to the Future was in production.[11] The show, which is being co-written by original writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, premiered in Manchester, on February 20, 2020.[12] Ballard will team with Alan Silvestri to compose a new score, with the addition of original songs from the film, including "The Power of Love", "Johnny B. Goode" and "Earth Angel".[13]

Further reading[edit]

  • Glen Ballard songbook. Alfred Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. ISBN 0-7935-5254-0.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hilburn, Robert (5 August 2001). "A Calm Hand at the Controls". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 5, 2001.
  2. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 1, 1998). "Alanis Morissette Explores The Healing Power of Song". New York Times.
  3. ^ Tyrangiel/Los, Josh (April 10, 2000). "Music: Two-Hit Wonders". TIME. Archived from the original on February 25, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Michael Jackson's lyrics tell a hard story". MSNBC. 2009-06-29. Archived from the original on 2010-09-16.
  5. ^ Zemeckis, Robert; Zemeckis, Leslie; Deezen, Eddie; Gaye, Nona (2004-11-10), The Polar Express, retrieved 2017-01-09
  6. ^ "Renowned Writer/Producer Glen Ballard Talks About His Hits With Alanis Morissette And Michael Jackson, And His New Projects". Songwriter Universe | Songwriting News, Articles & Song Contest. 2015-08-27. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  7. ^ a b Gompertz, Will (May 2, 2020). "The Eddy: Will Gompertz reviews Netflix drama directed by Oscar-winning Damien Chazelle". BBC News. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  8. ^ "Glen Ballard". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  9. ^ "The Eddy, critics' reviews". metacritic. April 28, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  10. ^ Shuler, Skyler (December 11, 2020). "Exclusive: Alan Silvestri to Compose Disney+'s 'Pinocchio' With Glen Ballard Writing New Songs". TheDisInsider. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  11. ^ "Back to the Future musical announced". BBC News. 31 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Back to the Future: 80s movie gets musical makeover". The Guardian. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Back to the Future musical set for West End in 2015". Whats On Stage. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.

External links[edit]