John Shanks

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John Shanks
Birth nameJohn Matthew Shanks
Born (1964-12-18) December 18, 1964 (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OriginLos Angeles County, California, U.S.

John Matthew Shanks (born December 18, 1964) is an American songwriter, record producer and guitarist.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

John Matthew Shanks was born in New York City. Shanks moved to Los Angeles when he was 17 years old.[2] He was in a band called Line One with future author Bret Easton Ellis.[3]


Shanks began playing in Melissa Etheridge's band in 1988 and toured with her for several years.[4] 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.[5]

Shanks reunited with Etheridge in 1995 when he collaborated with her on songs for Your Little Secret.[6] He worked with her for several years and co-produced her subsequent album, Breakdown, in 1999.[7] Breakdown received four Grammy nominations, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album.[8]

In 2001, Shanks produced several tracks for the Stevie Nicks album Trouble in Shangri-La and co-wrote the first single, "Every Day", with Damon Johnson.[citation needed]

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.[9] In the fall of the same year, Shanks co-wrote Sheryl Crow’s single, "Steve McQueen".[10]

Shanks started working with Take That in 2005, on their comeback album Beautiful World, and he also produced their next album The Circus in 2008.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] 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".[14]

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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed].

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 rock band Van Halen on its first album with original lead singer David Lee Roth since the landmark LP 1984 (1984).[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Shanks produced Bon Jovi's fourteenth album, This House Is Not for Sale, and became the touring rhythm guitarist for Bon Jovi in 2016 to support the band's This House Is Not for Sale Tour.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Shanks has been married to Colleen Coffey since September 1994.

Songwriting discography[edit]


Producer discography[edit]



  1. ^ "More Mr. Nice Guy". Billboard. May 21, 2005. p. 24.
  2. ^ "John Shanks Interview". SongwriterUniverse. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  3. ^ Larry King Now, April 11 2019
  4. ^ Shaw, Dan (18 September 1994). "VOWS; Colleen Coffey and John M. Shanks". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "John Shanks Interview - Hit Producer and Songwriter". 2 May 2014.
  6. ^ "John Shanks Interview - Hit Producer and Songwriter". 2 May 2014.
  7. ^ "John Shanks Interview - Hit Producer and Songwriter". 2 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Rock on the Net: 42nd Annual Grammy Awards - 2000".
  9. ^ "The Spirit Room - Michelle Branch | Credits | AllMusic".
  10. ^ "John Shanks Interview - Hit Producer and Songwriter". 2 May 2014.
  11. ^ "The Circus - Take That | Credits | AllMusic".
  12. ^ "John Shanks | Discography".
  13. ^ "Autobiography - Ashlee Simpson | Credits | AllMusic".
  14. ^ "Anastacia - Anastacia | Credits | AllMusic".
  15. ^ "GRAMMYS 2005 : Nominees". Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  16. ^ "Interview: John Shanks Discusses Producing Van Halen's New Album, 'A Different Kind Of Truth'". Guitar World. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  17. ^ "Bon Jovi return gloriously with most honest album yet". 12 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
  18. ^ "John Shanks | Discography".
  19. ^ "John Shanks | Discography".

External links[edit]