Michael Fitzpatrick (musician)

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Michael Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick in 2014
Fitzpatrick in 2014
Background information
Birth nameMichael Sean Fitzpatrick
Also known asFitz
Born (1970-07-21) 21 July 1970 (age 50)
Montluçon, France
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresIndie pop, neo-soul
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, piano, keyboard
Years active2008–present
Associated actsFitz and the Tantrums, Band of Merrymakers

Michael Sean "Fitz" Fitzpatrick (born 21 July 1970) is an American musician and singer-songwriter, who is the lead vocalist of the indie pop/neo-soul band Fitz and the Tantrums.

Fitz and the Tantrums were heralded as a "band to watch" in an April 2011 profile in Rolling Stone.[1] Their 2010 debut full-length album Pickin' Up the Pieces received critical acclaim and reached #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.[2]


Born in Montluçon, France,[3][4] Fitzpatrick grew up in Los Angeles. His father, Robert Fitzpatrick, is Irish American and his mother, Sylvie, is French. He attended the L.A. County High School for the Arts, studying vocal music and then studied experimental film at the California Institute of the Arts,[5] where he met fellow band member James King. Although he now composes primarily on the piano and organ, he only had formal piano training later in life. He has said, "I'd always been a decent singer, but I got frustrated by my inability to play piano by anything more than by ear. I took piano lessons when I was 32, and it opened up a whole new vocabulary for me."[6] Fitzpatrick grew up mostly listening to classical music, as he was discouraged from listening to other music styles in the household. One concession, however, was being allowed to listen to a local oldie radio station in the car driving to and from school.[7]

After college he worked for many years behind the scenes as a sound engineer for producer Mickey Petralia, who produced Beck, Ladytron, Flight of the Conchords, and The Dandy Warhols.[8]

In late 2008, Fitzpatrick received a call from an ex-girlfriend to tell him about a neighbor who needed to unload or sell a church organ for $50.[1] Fitzpatrick told her to pay the neighbor the $50 and arranged to have the organ moved to his apartment that same day. That evening, inspired by the organ, he wrote the song "Breakin' the Chains of Love". He has stated, "I immediately knew it was the best song I'd written. I could astral plane out and hear myself, like, 'wow!' Not bad!".[1] Fitzpatrick decided to form a band, and contacted friend and saxophonist James King. Through phone calls they assembled the band, with King recommending singer Noelle Scaggs and drummer John Wicks, and Wicks in turn bringing in bassist Ethan Phillips and keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna.[6] The band met for its first rehearsal a week later and instantly clicked.

In interviews he has emphasized his eclectic musical tastes. He has said, "We [the band] all have a love affair with soul and funk music. For me, it’s obviously Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, all that stuff. My musical taste runs the gamut from Radiohead to Zeppelin to Major Lazer. My older brother was really into '80s new wave, so a lot of the first records I got to borrow and steal were his."[9]

Personal life[edit]

In May 2013, it was announced that Fitzpatrick was expecting a child with then-girlfriend actress Kaylee DeFer.[10] DeFer gave birth to their son in September 2013.[11] Fitzpatrick and DeFer married on 25 July 2015.[12] They welcomed their second son in April 2017[13] and a third son was born on 26 May 2019.[14]




  • Head Up High

With Band of Merrymakers[edit]

With Fitz and the Tantrums[edit]


As solo artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"Head Up High"[16] 2020 17 Head Up High
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album


"Broken Drum"
(Cash Cash featuring Fitz)
2016 44 Blood, Sweat & 3 Years
(ZZ Ward featuring Fitz)
2017 24 The Storm
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Album
"Not Leaving You Tonight"
(LL Cool J featuring Eddie Van Halen and Fitz)
2013 Authentic
"That's What I Like"
(Flo Rida featuring Fitz)
2015 My House
"Jacked Up" (Remix)
(Weezer featuring Nadya of Pussy Riot and Fitz)
2016 Weezer
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b c "Band to Watch: Fitz and the Tantrums Put a Modern Spin on Motown". Rolling Stone. 12 Apr 2011. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011.
  2. ^ Fitz & the Tantrums at Billboard.com
  3. ^ Fitz and the Tantrums [@FitzAndTantrums] (21 July 2010). "Its Fitz's Birthday Today! Send him your Happys !" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ "File-O-Facts: Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz And The Tantrums". AltSounds. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Method of modern love - Deconstructing the soul-fueled fervor for Fitz & the Tantrums". Colorado Springs Independent. Colorado Springs. 2 Jun 2011. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Fitz & the Tantrums: Finding plenty of soul mates". Buzz Bands. Los Angeles. 17 Jun 2010. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011.
  7. ^ "Fitz and The Tantrums Interview With UTARadio.com". 6 Dec 2009. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011.
  8. ^ Korina Lopez (February 13, 2011). "On the verge: Fitz & the Tantrums channel the Motown spirit". USA Today. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011.
  9. ^ ""Fitz and the Tantrums' Music Draws a Lot from Motown." - Interview". Zoiks Online. 22 Jun 2011. Retrieved 22 Jun 2011.
  10. ^ Eggenberger, Nicole (May 8, 2013). "Kaylee DeFer Pregnant: Gossip Girl Actress, 26, Expecting First Child With Boyfriend Michael Fitzpatrick, 42". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  11. ^ Takeda, Allison (September 21, 2013). "Kaylee DeFer Gives Birth to Baby Boy With Boyfriend Michael Fitzpatrick!". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  12. ^ "Fitz on Instagram: "One year ago today I got to marry this incredible woman. I love you @kayleedefer I'm the luckiest guy in the world."". Instagram.
  13. ^ "Fitz on Instagram: "Sebastian Danger Fitzpatrick Born April 11th at 2:27pm. 7pounds 15 ounces. Mama @kayleedefer and her boy squad!"". Instagram.
  14. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx-bGyeA4e7/
  15. ^ "Fitz Chart History – Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  16. ^ "Head Up High - Single by FITZ on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  17. ^ "Fitz & the Tantrums Chart History – Adult Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "Fitz & the Tantrums Chart History – Hot Dance/Electronic Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2020.

External links[edit]