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David Byrne was born on May 14, 1952 in Dumbarton, Scotland. He is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, best known for his years as the lead singer and guitarist of the American new wave band Talking Heads.
Byrne moved to Hamilton, Ontorio, Canada at the age of two and then to Arbutus, Maryland at the age of eight. He developed his interest in music at a very early age, having mastered the harmonica, guitar, accordion, and violin all before the time he reached high school. He attended Lansdowne High School in Baltimore, Maryland, and went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art before dropping out in 1972.
After moving to New York City in 1974, Byrne's music career finally took off after forming Talking Heads with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth (to be joined by Jerry Harrison in 1977). The new wave band shot to fame and released a total of eight studio albums between 1977 and 1988. The band would finally disband following the 1991 reunion track "Sax and Violins" and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
As a solo artist, Byrne has released seven studio albums and three collaboration albums (two with Brian Eno and one with St. Vincent) and, over the years, he has also found time to work on various projects for theatre, film, and television. He won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and a Grammy for his original score for the 1987 film The Last Emperor, and his other notable screen credits include the films True Stories (1986) and Young Adam (2003) and the HBO television series Big Love.
In theatre, Byrne is perhaps best known as the Drama Desk, Obie, and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning composer and lyricist of Here Lies Love. The acclaimed, immersive production, which charted the life of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, played two sold-out engagements at The Public Theater in New York City in 2013 and 2014 (winning five Lucille Lortel Awards) and a London production at the National Theatre in 2014 (earning three Olivier Award nominations, including Best New Musical). It was also recently seen in Seattle, Washington in a 2017 revival. His other notable stage credits include the 1981 Broadway production of The Catherine Wheel, 1984's the CIVIL warS: a tree is best measured when it is down, The Forest in 1991, In Spite of Wishing and Wanting in 1999, and the 2017 Public Theater production of Joan of Arc: Into the Fire.
Byrne released the acclaimed studio album American Utopia on March 9, 2018, hitting the #3 spot on the U.S. Billboard charts. He has toured the album in a unique theatrical event named David Byrne's American Utopia across 27 countries since then. The production, which mixes elements of music, theatre, poetry, and dance, transferred to Broadway to play an extended limited engagement at the Hudson Theatre from October 4, 2019 through February 16, 2020. The production is playing another limited Broadway run from September 2021 to March 2022.