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Glen Ballard

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Glen Ballard
Birth nameBasil Glen Ballard Jr.
Born (1953-05-01) May 1, 1953 (age 71)
Natchez, Mississippi, U.S.
GenresR&B, rock, pop
Occupation(s)Songwriter, lyricist, record producer
Instrument(s)Keyboards, 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 Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Ballard 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).

Ballard founded the production company Augury in 2011, focused on developing music-driven projects in film, television, and theater.[5] In collaboration with Alan Silvestri, he wrote the score for musical adaptation of Back to the Future, with film screenwriter Bob Gale returning to write the book. Ballard scored the music for the 2020 Netflix series The Eddy, centering around a jazz club in Paris.[6]


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.

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.[6][7] He wrote new songs with Alan Silvestri for the 2022 live-action film adaptation of Disney's Pinocchio.[8]

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 January 31, 2014, it was announced that a stage musical of the film Back to the Future was in production.[9] The show, which was co-written by original writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, premiered in Manchester, on February 20, 2020.[10] Ballard teamed 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".[11] After 35 preview performances, the musical opened on August 3, 2023 at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway.

In 2019, a stage musical based on the music from Jagged Little Pill (and with the same name) opened on broadway following a successful limited engagement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Ballard having provided much of the lyrics. The show ran for a month of previews and 3 months of performances before closing due to COVID-19; it reopened in October 2021 before officially closing only two months later in December. At the rescheduled Tony Awards for 2020, the show garnered 15 nominations in total, though only won two awards, in addition to winning the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. A subsequent Australian production, as well as a US tour followed shortly after, as well as the announcement of a London transfer.

Further reading[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hilburn, Robert (August 5, 2001). "A Calm Hand at the Controls". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2001.
  2. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 1, 1998). "Alanis Morissette Explores The Healing Power of Song". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Tyrangiel, 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. June 29, 2009. Archived from the original on September 16, 2010.
  5. ^ Dale Kawashima (August 27, 2015). "Renowned Writer/Producer Glen Ballard Talks About His Hits With Alanis Morissette And Michael Jackson, And His New Projects". Songwriter Universe. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "The Eddy, critics' reviews". Metacritic. April 28, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Scott, Fiona (November 26, 2021). "GLEN BALLARD Discusses THE ROSE Musical and PINOCCHIO Live-Action Remake on the Eleven Podcast". BroadwayWorld.com.
  9. ^ "Back to the Future musical announced". BBC News. January 31, 2014.
  10. ^ "Back to the Future: 80s movie gets musical makeover". The Guardian. January 31, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "Back to the Future musical set for West End in 2015". WhatsOnStage.com. January 31, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.

External links[edit]