John Mayer is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Born on October 16 1977 in Bridgeport, CT, Mayer grew up in nearby Fairfield. At age 13 he got his first guitar, inspired by the performance of “Johnny B. Goode” in the 1985 film Back to the Future.
His early inspirations came from blues artists, particularly Stevie Ray Vaughan. Mayer became obsessed with the instrument, working for over a year after high school to buy a Vaughan’s signature model, and intended to forgo college for a music career. Persuaded by his parents, he attended Berklee College of Music, but left after only one year of study to become a professional musician along with college friend Clay Cook, forming the duo LoFi Masters.
After playing several local venues, the two grew apart due to musical differences, so Mayer began his solo career. He released the independent EP Inside Wants Out in 1999, which contained many songs co-written by Cook.
In 2000 he began to receive more recognition, and signed with Aware records, leading to the release of his first full-length album, Room For Squares, in early 2001. Through a deal Aware had made with Columbia Records, Mayer was picked up by the recording giant, who re-mixed and re-released Room For Squares, adding a new track and including four from Inside Wants Out. The album landed hits “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “Why Georgia.” At the Grammys in 2003, Mayer won Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Your Body is a Wonderland.”
Later that year Mayer released his second studio album Heavier Things to positive critical reviews, although it did not match the commercial success of his first album. It did land him his first #1 single with “Daughters,” which would go on to win Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 2005 Grammy Awards. Feeling that his song was undeserving, Mayer gave the top piece of the award to Alicia Keys for her nominated “If I Ain’t Got You.”
At this time Mayer began to move away from his acoustic, pop-oriented style and began to collaborate with highly-regarded blues artists such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton. At the same time he formed the John Mayer Trio with Pino Palladino and Steve Jordan, creating a much different sound from Mayer’s solo efforts. The trio released one live album Try! and proceeded to take a break in mid 2006, although they have worked together since and plan to make another album in the future.
In September 2006 Mayer released his third solo album, Continuum, highlighted by songs such as “Waiting on the World to Change,” “Gravity,” and “Heart of Life.” In 2007 he was nominated for five Grammys, and came out with wins in Best Pop Song with Vocal (“Waiting on the World to Change”) and Best Pop Album.
Mayer was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2007 along with John Frusciante and Derek Trucks in a story called “New Guitar Gods,” highlighting Mayer’s blues playing along the lines of Vaughan and Clapton.
His most recent album, Battle Studies, was released in November 2009, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Charts and receiving gold certification less than a month after the release. He is currently on a world tour in support of Battle Studies, culminating this June at the Rock in Rio in Madrid, Spain.