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|Birth name||John Matthew Shanks|
December 18, 1964|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Origin||Los Angeles County, California, U.S.|
|Occupation(s)||Guitarist, songwriter, record producer|
|Associated acts||Bon Jovi|
Early life and education
Shanks began playing in Melissa Etheridge's band in 1988 and toured with her for several years. Shanks enjoyed his first writing success in the early 1990s with tracks for Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker and Tuck & Patti. He also landed his first publishing deal.
Shanks reunited with Etheridge in 1995 when he collaborated with her on songs for Your Little Secret. He worked with her for several years and co-produced her subsequent album, Breakdown, in 1999. Breakdown received four Grammy nominations, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album.
In January 2001, Shanks began working with Michelle Branch. Together, they wrote four songs for the hit album The Spirit Room, including the first single, "Everywhere". He also produced the album. In the fall of the same year, Shanks co-wrote Sheryl Crow’s single, "Steve McQueen".
Shanks has also produced or written for other projects with Carlos Santana, Celine Dion, Sting, The Corrs, Chris Isaak, Hilary Duff, Keith Urban and Alanis Morissette. He produced Ashlee Simpson's hit 2004 album Autobiography and is credited with co-writing ten of the album's 12 songs with Simpson. On seven of those, Kara DioGuardi is also credited. That same year, Shanks produced three songs for Kelly Clarkson's hit album Breakaway, including the title track "Breakaway", and worked with Anastacia on two songs for her self-titled album, including the single "Welcome To My Truth".
Shanks won the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical in 2005 for his work on Autobiography, the Kelly Clarkson song "Breakaway", Hilary Duff's "Fly", Robbie Robertson's "Shine Your Light" and Alanis Morissette's album So-Called Chaos. Clive Davis described Shanks as “the father of that guitar-driven kind of pop sound”, as his work with Branch, Clarkson, Duff and Simpson employed many acoustic guitars in contrast to the synthesizer-heavy sound of the pop music of the period.
In 2005, Shanks regrouped with Ashlee Simpson, producing her second album, I Am Me, and co-writing all of its eleven songs with Simpson and DioGuardi. Shanks also worked on two major albums of 2005, the Backstreet Boys' Never Gone and Bon Jovi's ninth album, Have a Nice Day. In 2007, Shanks also worked to produced the Bon Jovi's tenth album, Lost Highway, and in 2009 he also worked and produced on Bon Jovi's eleventh album, The Circle..
In 2010 and 2011, Shanks collaborated with Irish vocal group Westlife with their albums Gravity and Greatest Hits where it charted at the top of UK and Irish Albums Charts. He also produced (with Steve Robson), Everybody Hurts a charity single for Helping Haiti.
In January 2011, Shanks stated that he began work with legendary rock band Van Halen on its first album with original lead singer David Lee Roth since the landmark LP 1984 (1984). Released in February 2012, Van Halen's A Different Kind of Truth debuted at #2 in the United States, and in the Top 10 on five continents. In 2013, Shanks produced Bon Jovi's twelfth album, What About Now.
In 2014, he produced Anthony Jasmin's EP Stick Together and also worked on Take That's album III. In 2015, Shanks with Jon Bon Jovi produced Bon Jovi's compilation album Burning Bridges and also performed as lead guitarist for the entire album.
Shanks has been married to Colleen Coffey since September 1994.
- Safe by Westlife
- Closer by Westlife
- Tell Me It's Love by Westlife
- I Get Weak by Westlife
- No One's Gonna Sleep Tonight by Westlife
- Difference in Me by Westlife
- Too Hard To Say Goodbye by Westlife
- Lighthouse by Westlife
- Beautiful World by Westlife
- Over and Out by Westlife
- Wide Open by Westlife
- Poet's Heart by Westlife
- Portrait by Cardiknox
- White Light by The Corrs
- Do It All for Love by Take That
- Flaws by Take That
- Get Ready for It by Take That
- I Like It by Take That
- Almost Home by Alex & Sierra
- Here We Go by Alex & Sierra
- Since I Saw You Last by Gary Barlow
- Chapman Square by Lawson
- Feels Like Home by Sheryl Crow
- Magnetic by Goo Goo Dolls
- What About Now by Bon Jovi
- Child of the Universe by Delta Goodrem
- "Every Day" by Stevie Nicks
- Love Thy Will Be Done by Delta Goodrem
- If the World Turned Upside Down by Goo Goo Dolls
- Beautiful Day by Jon Bon Jovi
- The Spirit Indestructible by Nelly Furtado
- A Different Kind of Truth by Van Halen
- Gravity by Westlife
- Greatest Hits by Westlife
- Everybody Hurts by Various Artists
- Daydream by Katherine Jenkins
- Tell me I'm Not Dreaming by Katherine Jenkins
- Gravity by Katherine Jenkins
- Can't Make This Over by Pixie Lott
- Fearless Love by Melissa Etheridge
- So-Called Chaos by Alanis Morissette
- Can't Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus
- "More Mr. Nice Guy". Billboard. May 21, 2005. p. 24.
- "John Shanks Interview". SongwriterUniverse. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
- "GRAMMYS 2005 : Nominees". VH1.com. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
- "Interview: John Shanks Discusses Producing Van Halen's New Album, 'A Different Kind Of Truth'". Guitar World. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
- "Bon Jovi return gloriously with most honest album yet". Metro.co,uk. Retrieved 2016-10-21.