Leon Bridges

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Leon Bridges
Bridges performing at Fair Park, Dallas, Texas in 2016
Bridges performing at Fair Park, Dallas, Texas in 2016
Background information
Birth nameTodd Michael Bridges
Born (1989-07-13) July 13, 1989 (age 31)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2014–present
LabelsColumbia
Night Time Stories
Associated actsKhruangbin, John Mayer
Websitewww.leonbridges.com

Todd Michael "Leon" Bridges (born July 13, 1989) is an American soul singer, songwriter and record producer from Fort Worth, Texas. He is best known for his 2015 song "Coming Home", which received regular airplay and was also a Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotify. Bridges' debut album, also titled Coming Home, was released on June 23, 2015, on Columbia Records and subsequently nominated for Best R&B Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

Early life[edit]

Todd Michael Bridges was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 13, 1989.[1] After one year, his family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where they spent a year before moving to Fort Worth, Texas, where Bridges grew up.[2]

Bridges learned to play the guitar by playing simple chords to accompany his lyrics.[3] While working at Del Frisco's Grille in Fort Worth, he played countless open-mics until he was signed by Columbia Records in December 2014.[4] It was his song "Lisa Sawyer", about his mother's conversion, that first defined his style.[3]

Career[edit]

2014–2015: Coming Home[edit]

Bridges began writing and performing 1950s and '60s-style soul music that was described by Austin 360 as "a transmission straight from the heart."[5] He began to attract followers, and his break into the music industry has been attributed to meeting guitarist Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block of White Denim.[3] It was Bridges' performance of "Coming Home" that caught the attention of the two.[3] Bridges worked on his first few tracks with Jenkins and Block as producers.[6] They recorded an album with vintage equipment, using local musicians affiliated with White Denim.[7] Bridges released two demo songs on Soundcloud in late 2014. "Coming Home" received airplay from local radio stations including KKXT.[7] It attracted the attention from several record labels with Bridges eventually signing with Columbia Records in December 2014.[7]

Bridges and his band at Webster Hall, Manhattan in October 2015

Bridges began his first national tour in January 2015, playing shows in Texas as well as playing support for Sharon Van Etten in New York City.[8][9] His first official single, "Coming Home", was released on Columbia Records in February 2015.[10] The song continued the success of the demo version and became a Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotify the same month as its release.[11] Bridges toured with Jenkins and Block until they resumed work with White Denim. He also played at the Sundance Film Festival[12] and played at the SXSW festival in 2015.[13]

His debut album was released in the summer of 2015 and has been referred to as a 2015 "Album to Look Forward to From Texans" by The New York Times.[14] Bridges made the cover of Fort Worth, Texas magazine in May 2015[15] for his vocal accomplishments and his distinctive retro style. "Coming Home" is featured in an Apple iPhone 6 commercial.[16] Bridges made his first appearance in the UK as an artist in May when he sold out the London Village Underground.[17] He went on to announce four July dates,[18] ending with a gig at Shepherd's Bush Empire on September 28.[19] Coming Home was nominated for Best R&B Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

Aside from his own shows, Bridges also supported Pharrell Williams at the Apple Music Festival on September 26. While opening at the intimate Roundhouse, he was able to perform hits such as "River", "Better Man" and "Lisa Sawyer" from his debut album Coming Home. Bridges was the featured musical guest on Saturday Night Live on December 5, 2015. He performed "Smooth Sailin'" with a full backup band, and sang "River" with only backup singers and organ, accompanying himself on guitar.[20]

2016–present: Good Thing[edit]

Bridges also participated in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's song "Kevin", which was released on the duo's second full-length album.[21]

On February 24, 2016, Bridges performed in Washington, D.C. as part of the series "In Performance at the White House" for President and Michelle Obama. He performed a song by Ray Charles as well as one of his own songs. [22]

On April 8, 2016,[23] Bridges was the live artist featured on BBC Radio London Robert Elms show. Elms interviewed Bridges briefly, and played track 8, "Pull Away", from the Coming Home album. Bridges was set up to play live with Colin O'Brien. Together they performed a live version of "River". The live track was so well received it was played again as "live track of the week" on the Elms Saturday show on April 9,[24] and again on April 11[25] during a program segment on the best-ever live performances on the Robert Elms show.

Bridges performing at Toyota Music Factory during tour for Good Thing, June 2018

In 2017 "River" received further recognition in the first season of the HBO series Big Little Lies. It was later included on the soundtrack for the show.[26][27]

The year 2018 was a busy one for Bridges. His song "Better Man" was featured in the film Pacific Rim: Uprising. He was the opening act on the South American and Mexican legs of Harry Styles' first solo tour.[28][29] Bridges' second album Good Thing was released on May 4, 2018.[30] He had a cameo appearance in Damien Chazelle's film First Man, playing singer Gil Scott-Heron. Bridges and Gary Clark Jr. appeared together on the song "Gone Away" from rapper Bun B's album Return of the Trill, with Bridges singing the hook and Clark on lead guitar. On May 18,[31] Bridges performed "Beyond" from the album Good Thing on an episode of the BBC series The Graham Norton Show.

In December 2019, Houston, Texas-based trio Khruangbin announced a collaboration and tour with Leon Bridges and released a single titled "Texas Sun" on December 6, 2019. The collaborative EP of the same name was released in February 2020.

On June 8, 2020 Bridges and Terrace Martin released a single titled "Sweeter" in response to the Killing of George Floyd on May 25 of that year.[32]

Bridges performed at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.[33]

Musical style[edit]

Artistry[edit]

Bridges's style is primarily soul, but resembling 1960s rhythm and blues.[10] The Wall Street Journal described him as a "throwback to '60s-soul a la Otis Redding and Sam Cooke."[34] Bridges performs in vintage clothing; Fort Worth Weekly described him as someone whose "music sounds like he looks."[7]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
[35]
AUS
[36]
BEL (Fl)
[37]
FRA
[38]
GER
[39]
NL
[40]
NZ
[41]
SPA
[42]
SWI
[43]
UK
[44]
Coming Home 6 8 104 61 89 10 13 49 35 8
Good Thing[49]
  • Released: May 4, 2018
  • Label: Columbia
  • Format: Digital download, CD, vinyl
3 8 17 93 22 13
[50]
47
[51]
40 20
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US
[35]
Louisiana Sun
  • Released: February 5, 2016
  • Label: Columbia (AL88875146291)
  • Format: Vinyl
Texas Sun
(with Khruangbin)
  • Released: February 7, 2020
  • Label: Dead Oceans
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
57
[52]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US
AAA

[53]
US
Adult

[54]
US
R&B

[55]
US
Rock

[56]
BEL
(Fl)
Tip

[37]
MEX
Air.

[57]
NL
Air.

[58]
NZ
Hot

[59]
2015 "Coming Home" 7 39 [A] [B] 48 Coming Home
"Smooth Sailin'" 1 [C] [D] 16
2016 "Better Man" 16 7
"River"[62] [E]
2018 "Bet Ain't Worth the Hand" 7 Good Thing
"Bad Bad News" 1 [F] 7 41
"Beyond"[63] 2 19 [G] [H]
"Liberated"[64]
(with Dej Loaf)
Non-album single
"If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)" 7 15 Good Thing
2019 "That Was Yesterday" 32 TBA
"Texas Sun"
(with Khruangbin)
17 20 3 34 37 Texas Sun
2020 "C-Side"
(with Khruangbin)
"Inside Friend"[65]
(featuring John Mayer)
[I] 11 TBA
"Sweeter"[66]
(featuring Terrace Martin)
39 19
"All About You"[67]
(with Lucky Daye)
2021 "Like a Ship" TBA
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Guest appearances[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Album
2016 "Katchi" Nick Waterhouse Never Twice
"On My Own" Lecrae The Birth of a Nation: The Inspired By Album
"Kevin" Macklemore & Ryan Lewis This Unruly Mess I've Made
"Present Without a Bow" Kacey Musgraves A Very Kacey Christmas
2017 "Across the Room" ODESZA A Moment Apart
2018 "Gone Away" Bun B, Gary Clark Jr. Return of the Trill
2016 "July" Noah Cyrus N/A
"God Is Love" Common Let Love
2020 "Interstellar Love"[68] The Avalanches We Will Always Love You

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Director(s)
2015 "Coming Home"[69] Chip Tompkins
"Better Man"[70] David Nelson
"Smooth Sailin'"[71] Vern Moen[72]
"River"[73] Miles Jay
2018 "Bad Bad News" Natalie Rae
"Beyond" Josh Goleman

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 Coming Home Best R&B Album Nominated
2017 "River" Best Music Video Nominated
2019 Good Thing Best R&B Album Nominated
"Bet Ain't Worth the Hand" Best Traditional R&B Performance Won

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Coming Home" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
  2. ^ "Coming Home" did not enter the Rock Songs chart, but peaked at number 38 on the Rock Airplay chart.[60]
  3. ^ "Smooth Sailin'" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 23 on the R&B Digital Song Sales chart.[61]
  4. ^ "Smooth Sailin'" did not enter the Rock Songs chart, but peaked at number 36 on the Rock Airplay chart.[60]
  5. ^ "River" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 5 on the R&B Digital Song Sales chart.[61]
  6. ^ "Bad Bad News" did not enter the Rock Songs chart, but peaked at number 31 on the Rock Airplay chart.[60]
  7. ^ "Beyond" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 5 on the R&B Digital Song Sales chart.[61]
  8. ^ "Beyond" did not enter the Rock Songs chart, but peaked at number 38 on the Rock Airplay chart.[60]
  9. ^ "Inside Friend" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 12 on the R&B Digital Song Sales chart.[61]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Leon Bridges". GRAMMY.com. 2019-02-15. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  2. ^ Parrish, Charlie (2015-07-25). "Coming home with Leon Bridges: soul's new star on success, anxiety and denim". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  3. ^ a b c d Sharp, Katie (January 21, 2015). "40 Record Labels Tried to Sign This One Texan Dishwasher - With Good Reason". Music Mic. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  4. ^ Cory (January 13, 2015). "White Noise - Leon Bridges Gets Some London Love, Gas Monkey Hits Fort Worth and D Magazine Hires A New Critic". Central Track. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  5. ^ Stith, Deborah Sengupta (February 2, 2015). "SXSW artist Leon Bridges stuns with simple, silky soul". Austin 360. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  6. ^ Leonie Cooper (January 7, 2015). "Leon Bridges Interviewed: I Love the Realness and Simplicity of Soul". NME. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d Griffey, Eric (December 30, 2014). "Retro Rocket". Fort Worth Weekly. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Marino, Amy (January 19, 2015). "Bridges shows '60s style". The Crimson White. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Stanley, Sean (January 14, 2015). "Leon Bridges adds dates to his first tour of US". DIY Magazine. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Leon Bridges, 'Coming Home'". NPR Music. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  11. ^ "Spotify's Top 10 Most Viral Tracks". Mercury News. February 17, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  12. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (January 28, 2015). "Bomb Factory to (re)open in Deep Ellum in March with shows from Erykah Badu, Toadies". Dallas News. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  13. ^ Gage, Jeff (January 13, 2015). "Leon Bridges and A.Dd + Join SXSW Official Showcase Lineup". Dallas Observer. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  14. ^ Langer, Andy (December 27, 2014). "Albums to Look Forward to From Texans in 2015". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  15. ^ "Coming Home", Fort Worth, Texas magazine, April 22, 2015.
  16. ^ Shot on iPhone 6 by Araby P. June 1, 2015 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ "Live Review - Leon Bridges | TLE". TLE. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  18. ^ "Leon Bridges announces first UK tour | NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  19. ^ "Leon Bridges delivered a soulful performance at Shepherd's Bush Empire". The Independent. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  20. ^ "Watch Leon Bridges Bare His Soul for 'SNL'". Rolling Stone.
  21. ^ "Watch Macklemore, Leon Bridges Debut Emotional New Song 'Kevin'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  22. ^ https://www.star-telegram.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article62413607.html
  23. ^ BBC London Robert Elms Show April 8th, Segment starts 2:09:23.
  24. ^ BBC London Robert Elms Show April 9th, Segment starts 2:52:24.
  25. ^ BBC London Robert Elms Show April 11th, Segment starts 2:05:00.
  26. ^ "The 10 Best Musical Moments on 'Big Little Lies'". Billboard. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  27. ^ Kornhaber, Spencer. "'Big Little Lies' Takes an Unusual—and Profound—Approach to Music". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  28. ^ Sacher, Andrew (June 8, 2017). "Warpaint, Kacey Musgraves & Leon Bridges opening Harry Styles' tour". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  29. ^ "Guess which Texans are opening for Harry Styles?". star-telegram. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  30. ^ "Leon Bridges Announces New Album Good Thing, Shares 2 New Songs: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  31. ^ "The Graham Norton Show". BBC One. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  32. ^ Shaffer, Claire (2020-06-08). "Leon Bridges, Terrace Martin Offer a Meditation on Racism in 'Sweeter'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
  33. ^ "Democratic National Convention Schedule (August 17–20)". 2020 Democratic National Convention. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  34. ^ Battaglia, Andy (February 17, 2015). "A Stax Singer and 1990s Headliners". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  35. ^ a b "Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  36. ^ "Discography Leon Bridges". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  37. ^ a b "Discografie Leon Bridges". Belgium (Flanders) Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  38. ^ "Discographie Leon Bridges". French Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  39. ^ "Discographie Leon Bridges". German Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  40. ^ "Discografie Leon Bridges". Dutch Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  41. ^ "Discography Leon Bridges". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  42. ^ "Leon Bridges > SP Charts". promusicae.es/. Productores de Música de España.
  43. ^ "Discographie Leon Bridges". Swiss Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  44. ^ "Leon Bridges > UK Charts". Officialcharts.com/. Official Charts Company.
  45. ^ "American certifications – Leon Bridges". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  46. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2018 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 2020-07-27. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  47. ^ a b "British certifications – Leon Bridges". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 27, 2020.Type Leon Bridges in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  48. ^ a b c "Canadian certifications – Leon Bridges". Music Canada. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  49. ^ Yoo, Noah (March 13, 2018). "Leon Bridges Announces New Album Good Thing, Shares 2 New Songs: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  50. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. May 14, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  51. ^ "Top 100 Albumes – Semana 19: del 4.5.2018 al 10.5.2018" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  52. ^ @billboardcharts (February 18, 2020). "Debuts on this week's #Billboard200 (1/2)" (Tweet). Retrieved February 19, 2020 – via Twitter.
  53. ^ "Leon Bridges – Chart History: Adult Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  54. ^ "Leon Bridges Chart History: Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  55. ^ "Leon Bridges – Chart History: Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  56. ^ "Leon Bridges – Chart History: Hot Rock & Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  57. ^ "Leon Bridges Chart History – Mexico Ingles Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  58. ^ "Netherlands Airplay Chart - January 18, 2020". Mega Charts. January 18, 2020. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  59. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  60. ^ a b c d "Leon Bridges – Chart History: Rock Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  61. ^ a b c d "Leon Bridges – Chart History: R&B Digital Song Sales". Billboard. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  62. ^ "River by Leon Bridges on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  63. ^ "Beyond / Leon Bridges TIDAL". Tidal. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  64. ^ "Liberated - Single by DeJ Loaf, Leon Bridges on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  65. ^ "Inside Friend (feat. John Mayer) - Single by Leon Bridges on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  66. ^ "Sweeter (feat. Terrace Martin) - Single by Leon Bridges on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  67. ^ "All About You - Single by Leon Bridges x Lucky Daye on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  68. ^ "The Avalanches Recruit Leon Bridges for New Song "Interstellar Love"". Rolling Stone. October 29, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  69. ^ Leon Bridges - Coming Home. March 3, 2015 – via YouTube.
  70. ^ Leon Bridges - Better Man. May 12, 2015 – via YouTube.
  71. ^ Leon Bridges - Smooth Sailin'. June 9, 2015 – via YouTube.
  72. ^ Servantes, Ian (June 9, 2015). "Watch Leon Bridges' "Smooth Sailin'" Video". Complex. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  73. ^ Leon Bridges - River. February 1, 2016 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]