Kevin Griffin

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Kevin Griffin
Griffin in 2010
Griffin in 2010
Background information
Birth nameKevin Michael Griffin[1]
Born (1968-10-01) October 1, 1968 (age 54)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.[2]
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Years active1988–present
Member ofBetter Than Ezra

Kevin Michael Griffin[1] (born October 1, 1968) [3] is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Better Than Ezra.[4]

His songs have been performed and recorded by artists such as Taylor Swift,[5][6][7] Train,[6] Sugarland,[8][9][10][6][11] James Blunt,[6] Dierks Bentley, The Record Company, Wilder Wood, Moon Taxi,[12] Saint Motel, Andy Grammer, Christina Perri,[11] Trombone Shorty,[13] Howie Day,[5][14][12] Barenaked Ladies,[6][11] Tom Morello, Boys Like Girls, Blondie,[6][12] Chase Rice,[15][16] The Struts,[12][7] Andrew McMahon, Matt Nathanson, Meat Loaf, Missy Higgins, and many others.

Griffin also works in music publishing, artist management, and lectures internationally on the subject of creativity to companies and organizations such as Live Nation, Which Wich?, Novation, and YPO-WPO. His first book is slated to be released in the fall of 2022.

He is a co-founder and partner of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival in Franklin, Tennessee.[17][18][19][20] Rolling Stone's review of the festival's inaugural year was positive, saying it had "an A-list lineup (arguably the best curated of the year)" [17] and "established itself as a festival to watch."[17] Performers at the festival have included Justin Timberlake,[21][20] Foo Fighters,[22] Willie Nelson,[23] Chris Stapleton,[24] The Killers,[25] Dave Matthews Band,[26][23] Maren Morris,[26][23] The Black Keys,[23][16] Cage the Elephant,[26] and Black Pumas.[26]

Griffin formed the alternative rock band Better Than Ezra in 1988.[20] They had platinum success in the 1990s with hits such as "Good", "In the Blood", and "Desperately Wanting", and have continued in the 2000s with hits such as "Extra Ordinary", "A Lifetime", and "Juicy". The band continues to tour and produce new recordings, the most recent of which is All Together Now, released in September 2014. As a performer, Griffin is known for singing in falsetto, inviting audience members onstage to play guitar, and interrupting his own songs with verses of well-known rock songs. He is also a mimic, imitating singers such as Aaron Neville, Bruce Springsteen, and Dave Matthews.[27][28]

His first solo album, Anywhere You Go,[29][30] was released on October 4, 2019.[12] Griffin also performs as part of Ezra Ray Hart with Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray and Emerson Hart of Tonic.[31][32]

Personal life[edit]

Griffin was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up in Monroe, Louisiana. He attended River Oaks School, where he met his bandmate Jim Payne.[33][14] He received a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in political science[20] from Louisiana State University in 1990.[4] He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He took the LSAT with the intention of attending law school and working in entertainment law.[4] He then took a job with Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles during the early 1990s,[4] before Better Than Ezra achieved commercial success.

Griffin and his family largely resided in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005.[34] He purchased a home in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles in July 2006[34] and in 2011, he sold his house and moved to Franklin, Tennessee, with his family.[35]


Griffin has produced, written, and co-written platinum albums and songs that have sold more than thirty million copies.[14][12]

He has had eleven songs in the Top 40 charts,[citation needed] and his songs have been streamed more than a billion times.[citation needed]

Griffin's first number-one with Better Than Ezra was the 1995 song "Good",[36] and it stayed on top of the Alternative Chart for seven weeks. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, No. 3 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.[36]

His other number-one songs are Howie Day's "Collide"[5][14] and Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue" in 2011,[5][9][14] which became the eleventh most-downloaded song in country music history.[citation needed]

In 2010, his song "Breathless" was covered by Taylor Swift at the Hope for Haiti telethon,[5][6] the most widely distributed telethon in history.[37][38][39]

Griffin has won numerous BMI pop and country awards,[12] and his song "Scar", with Missy Higgins, won Song of the Year at the Australian ARIA Awards.[12]

In 2018, he was an adjunct professor at NYU's Clive Davis School of Recorded Music.[20] Currently, he serves on the GRAMMY's Songwriter and Composer Wing Committee.[citation needed]

As a music publisher, Griffin has co-published Florida Georgia Line's No. 1 song "May We All" and Morgan Wallen's No. 1 "Chasin' You".

He is active with Better Than Ezra's foundation, MusiCares, and St. Jude.[40][41] In 2020, through a series of livestream acoustic performances, he was able to raise more than $220K for various charities helping those adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.[40][41]

Songwriting credits[edit]

Year Artist Song Album Credit
2021 Barenaked Ladies "Flip" Detour de Force Co-writer
"Good Life" Co-writer
"New Disaster" Co-writer
"Roll Out" Co-writer
Tom Morello "Raising Hell" The Atlas Underground Flood Co-writer
The Record Company "How High" Play Loud Co-writer
Moon Taxi "The Beginning" Silver Dream Co-writer
King Calaway "Homegrown" Midnight Co-writer
Chase Rice "American Nights" The Album Co-writer
Saint Motel "Bullet" The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Co-writer
Hurricane Fall "Another One More Time" Another One More Time Co-writer
Wax Owls "Carry Me" Carry Me Co-writer
Daniel Powter "Fall in Love" Essential Daniel Powter Co-writer
2020 Kyd the Band "Corridors" Season 3: The Realization Co-writer
Chaz Cardigan "Live a Little" Live a Little Co-writer
Dierks Bentley & Sheanandoah "Every Road" Every Road Co-writer
2019 Patrick Droney "Stand and Deliver" Patrick Droney EP Co-writer
Wilder Woods "Feel" Wilder Woods Co-writer
2018 The Struts "Freak Like You" Young & Dangerous Co-writer
Mike Love "Must Be Christmas" Reason for the Season Co-writer
Phillip Phillips "Miles" Collateral Co-writer
"Don't Tell Me" Co-writer
Moon Taxi "Good As Gold" Let the Record Play Co-writer
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear "Hell and Back" The Radio Winners Co-writer
The Night Game "American Nights" The Night Game Co-writer
Lennon Stella "Without Warning" Nashville Soundtrack vol. 6 Co-writer
2017 Barenaked Ladies "Canada Dry" Fake Nudes Co-writer
"Bringing It Home" Co-writer
"Lookin' Up" Co-writer
"You + Me vs. the World" Co-writer
Trombone Shorty "Where It At?" Parking Lot Symphony Co-writer
2016 Violent Femmes "Issues" We Can Do Anything Co-writer
2015 Barenaked Ladies "Get Back Up" Silverball Co-writer
"Duct Tape Heart" Co-writer
David Cook "Home Movies (Over Your Shoulder)" Digital Vein Co-writer
Andrew McMahon "Canyon Moon" Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness Co-writer
2014 Christina Perri "Lonely Child" Head or Heart Co-writer
"One Night" Co-writer
JT Hodges "Already High" Non-album single Co-writer
Megan and Liz "Night of Our Lives" Simple Life Co-writer
2013 A Rocket to the Moon "Whole Lotta You" Wild & Free Co-writer
"You're My Song" Co-writer
Barenaked Ladies "Did I Say That Out Loud?" Grinning Streak Co-writer
"Gonna Walk" Co-writer
"Odds Are" Co-writer
James Blunt "Kiss This Love Goodbye" Moon Landing (deluxe edition) Co-writer
"Telephone" Co-writer
2012 Boys Like Girls "Crazy World" Crazy World Co-writer
Daniel Powter "Cupid" Turn On the Lights Co-writer
"The Day We Never Met" Co-writer
Missy Higgins "Hello Hello" The Ol' Razzle Dazzle Co-writer
Tristan Prettyman "My Oh My" Cedar + Gold Co-writer
2011 Augustana "Counting Stars" Augustana Co-writer
David Cook "Fade into Me" This Loud Morning Co-writer
Howie Day "Ceasefire" Ceasefire EP Co-writer
"Isn't It Obvious" Co-writer
"Oxygen" Co-writer
Il Volo "This Time" Il Volo (international version) Co-writer
2010 Taylor Swift "Breathless" Hope for Haiti Now Writer
James Blunt "I'll Be Your Man" Some Kind of Trouble Co-writer
Sugarland "Stuck Like Glue" The Incredible Machine Co-writer
"Tonight" Co-writer
2009 Howie Day "Be There" Sound the Alarm Co-writer
"Longest Night" Co-writer
"Sound the Alarm" Co-writer
"Undressed" Co-writer
Train "I Got You" Save Me, San Francisco Co-writer
2008 David Cook "Avalanche" David Cook Co-writer
I Nine "Don't Wanna" Heavy Weighs the King Co-writer
Joshua Radin "Free of Me" Simple Times Co-writer
Lenka "Knock Knock" Lenka Co-writer
Tristan Prettyman "Madly" Hello...x Co-writer
2007 Graham Colton "New Year's Resolution" Here Right Now Co-writer
Ingram Hill "Four Letter Word" Cold in California Co-writer
"Impossible" Co-writer
Jeremy Lister "Fit" Just One Day EP Co-writer
"Just One Day" Co-writer
Jon McLaughlin "Human" Indiana Co-writer
2006 Val Emmich "Absolutely Still" Sunlight Searchparty Co-writer
2005 Josh Kelley "Lover Come Up" Almost Honest Co-writer
2004 Graham Colton Band "Cigarette" Drive Co-writer
"Cut" Co-writer
"First Week" Co-writer
"How Low (Breakdown)" Co-writer
"Morning Light" Co-writer
Missy Higgins "Don't Ever" The Sound of White Co-writer
"Scar" Co-writer
"Unbroken" Co-writer
2003 Blondie "Good Boys" The Curse of Blondie Co-writer
Howie Day "Collide" Stop All the World Now Co-writer
"Perfect Time of Day" Co-writer
"Sunday Morning Song" Co-writer
Meat Loaf "Testify" Couldn't Have Said It Better Writer


  1. ^ a b "Kevin Griffin - Biography, Albums, Streaming Links - AllMusic". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "Pilgrimage co-founder Kevin Griffin talks solo album, act, at this year's festival".
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d Seastrand, Andrea (June 19, 2009). "Interview with Better Than Ezra: Better Than Solo". The Aquarian Weekly. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Better Than Ezra: Taylor Swift Sure Thinks They're 'Good'". Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "617: Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin on songwriting, ripping off Buffalo Tom and living in Boston". Vanyaland. May 19, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin Says Songwriting for Others Led to Solo LP | Q104.3". Out Of The Box. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  8. ^ Anderson, Sara D. "Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin Is Thankful Sugarland's 'Stuck Like Glue' Went No. 1". Taste of Country. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue:" A Sassy Song To Make You Feel Good". July 22, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  10. ^ Duvall, Erin. "Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin Goes Country". The Boot. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c Paulson, Dave. "Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra plays solo in Nashville". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kevin Griffin Releases Solo Album". Rutherford Source. August 7, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  13. ^ Fox-Smith, James (July 2, 2013). "Favorite Up-and-Coming Louisiana Musician: Trombone Shorty". Country Roads Magazine. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  14. ^ a b c d e Ward, Steven. "Better Than Ezra frontman plans 'fun, rocking, silly good time' in Jackson". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  15. ^ Freeman, Jon (January 24, 2020). "Chase Rice Surprise Releases New Project 'The Album Part I'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  16. ^ a b "5 Things You Didn't Know About Chase Rice". American Songwriter. May 28, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  17. ^ a b c Hudak, Joseph; Moss, Marissa R. (September 28, 2015). "10 Best Things We Saw at Pilgrimage Music Festival". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  18. ^ "Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival 2017". Consequence. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  19. ^ Paulson, Dave. "To create Pilgrimage Festival, rocker Kevin Griffin had to set his ego aside". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  20. ^ a b c d e Pereira, Cindy C. A. "Better than Ezra frontman won't divulge secret behind band's name". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  21. ^ West, Emily R. "Justin Timberlake's hometown inspires new stage area at Pilgrimage Festival". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  22. ^ Moss, Marissa R.; Crawford, Robert (September 23, 2019). "Pilgrimage Festival 2019: 5 Best Things We Saw". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  23. ^ a b c d Leimkuehler, Matthew. "Pilgrimage Festival lineup: Dave Matthews Band, Black Keys, Maren Morris top 2021 bill". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  24. ^ Billboard Staff (March 27, 2018). "Jack White, Chris Stapleton & Lionel Richie to Headline 2018 Pilgrimage Festival". Billboard. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  25. ^ Leimkuehler, Matthew. "Pilgrimage 2019: The Killers pay tribute to late Cars frontman Ric Ocasek in Tennessee". The Tennessean. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  26. ^ a b c d Wanser, Brooke. "Pilgrimage Festival lineup announced". Williamson Herald. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  27. ^ Andy Argyrakis (January 9, 2016). "The songwriter (and comedic) side of Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin". Chicago Concert Reviews. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  28. ^ Schoof, Dustin (January 18, 2015). "Kevin Griffin again proves formidable as singer, entertainer in Bethlehem - REVIEW". lehighvalleylive. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  29. ^ Milano, Brett. "Kevin Griffin, Anywhere You Go (BMG)". OffBeat Magazine. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  30. ^ Ryan, Jim. "Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra on Debut Solo Album Anywhere You Go". Forbes. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  31. ^ Mosolgo, Bob. "Decade of Difference: Tonic". WNRN. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  32. ^ "What to do Monday at the Minnesota State Fair". Twin Cities. August 30, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b "Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin's move colors new 'Paper Empire' |". January 10, 2012. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  35. ^ "Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin anticipates busy year in Nashville and beyond".
  36. ^ a b "Artist Search for "better than ezra"". AllMusic. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  37. ^ Kaufman, Gil. "'Hope for Haiti Now' Draws 83 Million Viewers in U.S." MTV News. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  38. ^ Harris, Compiled by Rachel Lee (January 24, 2010). "'Hope for Haiti' Takes in $57 Million". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  39. ^ "Airdate: Hope for Haiti Now | TV Tonight". Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  40. ^ a b Ryan, Jim. "Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin Raises $130K Amidst COVID-19 Via 'Alone Together' Living Room Concerts". Forbes. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  41. ^ a b "MusiCares". Retrieved January 27, 2022.

External links[edit]