Jack Antonoff

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Jack Antonoff
Antonoff at Radio Station.jpg
Antonoff in 2012
Background information
Birth name Jack Micheal Antonoff
Born (1984-{{padleft:03|2|0}-31) March 31, 1984 (age 34)
Bergenfield, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Guitar
  • vocals
  • drums
  • piano
  • bass guitar
  • mandolin
Years active 2000–present
Associated acts

Jack Micheal Antonoff (born March 31, 1984)<ref name=steeltrainbio /> is an American musician, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is best known as the lead singer and songwriter of Bleachers, and lead guitarist of the indie rock band Fun. He was previously the lead singer-songwriter of the band Steel Train. Antonoff has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award and has won three Grammy Awards. He also started his own music festival, Shadow of The City, which takes place annually in New Jersey.<ref>Spanos, Brittany (2015-06-09). "Jack Antonoff: Why I'm Starting a New Jersey Music Festival". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-09-26. </ref>

Early life

Antonoff was born in Bergenfield, New Jersey,<ref name=steeltrainbio>"Steel Train: Band Members", archived from the original on April 25, 2014.</ref> the middle of three children born to Shira (Wall) and Rick Antonoff.<ref>"CRUSH". Directors Notes. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2016-09-26. </ref> He is the younger brother of fashion designer Rachel Antonoff.<ref name=NYT2012>Swerdloff, Alexis. "Sibling Success: The Power of 2", The New York Times, July 4, 2012. Accessed January 2, 2013.</ref> His younger sister, Sarah, died of brain cancer at the age of 13 when Antonoff was a senior in high school.<ref name="Jada">Yuan, Jada. "Jack Antonoff, a Pop Star a Mother Could Love". Vulture. Retrieved 2014-07-15. </ref> The event had a profound effect on Jack who would go on to state in 2017 that "my whole career has been revisiting that through a different lens."<ref>Schnipper, Matthew. "Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff Is Your Favorite Pop Star’s Secret Weapon". Pitchfork. Retrieved 18 September 2017. </ref>

Antonoff grew up in New Milford, New Jersey, and Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, and attended elementary school at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County.<ref name=JS2010>Leichman, Joseph. "More powerful than a locomotive...", Jewish Standard, November 26, 2010. Accessed January 2, 2013. "Jack Antonoff of New Milford and Daniel Silbert of Tenafly first crossed paths in elementary school at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County in New Milford, where they also met Evan Winiker, whose family moved to Teaneck in time for him to begin the sixth grade at Schechter. ....</ref><ref>Aberback, Brian. "Pop-rock band Fun playing at Jingle Ball", The Record (Bergen County), December 5, 2012. Accessed January 3, 2012. "'The past year has been crazy in so many ways,' said guitarist Jack Antonoff, who grew up in New Milford and Woodcliff Lake."</ref> For high school, he and his sister commuted to Manhattan, to attend the Professional Children's School.<ref name=NYT2012 />

During his sophomore year of high school, he and several friends from elementary school formed a punk rock band called "Outline." When they were 15, Antonoff and his Outline bandmate used a DIY guide to book shows in numerous states, including Florida and Texas, and borrowed Antonoff's parents' minivan to travel in. During the tour, Outline played in venues such as anarchist bookstores, while the oldest member of the band drove because he was 18 years old. Antonoff explained in 2014: "Half the time no one would show up or the equipment would be too fucked up to play ... but that's when I fell in love with touring." The band lasted from 1998 to 2002.<ref name="Jada" /><ref name=JS2010 />


2002–12: Steel Train, fun., and "We Are Young"

In 2002, Antonoff and friend, Scott Irby-Ranniar, formed the band Steel Train—Antonoff was the lead singer,<ref>"AOL Radio – Listen to Free Online Radio – Free Internet Radio Stations and Music Playlists". Spinner.com. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref> and they recruited drummer Matthias Gruber. The band then convinced two of their friends from the band Random Task, Evan Winiker and Matthew Goldman, to drop out of college to join the new band.<ref name=JS2010 /> Steel Train secured a recording deal with Drive-Thru Records.<ref name=JS2010 />

In 2008, Nate Ruess (formerly the frontman of The Format) asked Antonoff to join him and Andrew Dost (formerly of Anathallo) in a new band, which became fun.<ref name="cuindependent.com">"Profile: Andrew Dost ‹ CU IndependentCU Independent". Cuindependent.com. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref> Antonoff was already well acquainted with Ruess and Dost, as their former bands had all toured together.<ref name="cuindependent.com" />

The new band released its debut album, Aim and Ignite, in 2009.<ref name="Grow" /> fun.'s second album, Some Nights (2012), produced the band's first number-one hit single, "We Are Young." The song was cowritten by Antonoff with Ruess, Dost, and Jeff Bhasker.<ref name="autogenerated1">"Fun. Find Breakout Anthem With 'We Are Young'". MTV.com. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref>

2013–present: "Brave," Taylor Swift, and Bleachers

The HBO series Girls released its Volume 1 soundtrack, featuring the fun. song "Sight of the Sun," in January 2013.<ref>"Girls, Vol. 1 (Music from the HBO Original Series) [Deluxe Version] Various Artists". iTunes Preview. Apple Inc. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2015. </ref>

Antonoff co-wrote the 2013 song "Brave" with Sara Bareilles, after they were introduced by Sara Quin of band Tegan and Sara. Bareilles said to Billboard: "We met for breakfast one day, and I was just so enamored with him and his personality ... The first day we sat down together was the day we wrote 'Brave.'" Antonoff wrote the song about a friend's struggle to speak openly about his sexuality, and it was later adopted as a gay anthem.<ref name="Phu">Hardeep Phull (January 23, 2014). "How well do you know the Grammy nominees?". New York Post. Retrieved January 11, 2015. </ref>

The quickly written song was released on April 23, and by the end of June, "Brave" had sold 160,000 digital copies and peaked at number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The music video for the song was viewed 1.1 million times on YouTube within a month of its release in May 2013, and by the start of 2015, had received nearly 39 million views.<ref>Jason Lipshutz (June 24, 2013). "Sara Bareilles' Blessed Unrest: Inside Her Personal & Professional Changes For New Album". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved January 11, 2015. </ref><ref>"Sara Bareilles – Brave" (Video upload). SaraBareillesVEVO on YouTube. Google Inc. May 14, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2015. </ref> "Brave" was used by Microsoft to advertise its Windows tablet technology device.<ref name="Sara">"SARA BAREILLES RACKS IN GRAMMY NOMINATIONS FOR "ALBUM OF THE YEAR" AND "BEST POP PERFORMANCE"". SARA BAREILLES. Sony Music Entertainment. January 26, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2015. </ref>

Also in 2013, "Sweeter Than Fiction," a song Antonoff co-wrote with Taylor Swift for the film, One Chance, was released. The song was written in Antonoff's New York City apartment after he and Swift shared a love of a particular snare drum sound from a Fine Young Cannibals song. They brainstormed ideas by email before starting the songwriting process.<ref name="Jada" /><ref name="Amy">Amy Kaufman (January 12, 2014). "Golden Globes 2014: Jack Antonoff of fun. talks Taylor and Lena". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 11, 2015. </ref>

fun. then played with musical heroes Queen in September 2013 at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, which was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, U.S. Antonoff played Brian May's guitar during the rehearsal, which he described as the "most surreal experience ever."<ref>Steve Baltin (September 21, 2013). "How Queen Hooked Up with Fun. at iHeartRadio". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 12, 2015. </ref> The band then released a free six-song EP in December 2013, titled Before Shane Went to Bangkok: fun. Live in the USA.<ref name="Grow">Kory Grow (December 18, 2013). "Fun. Ask 'What the F*ck' on Free Live EP". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 12, 2015. </ref>

Antonoff announced a solo project called "Bleachers" in February 2014.<ref name="Roll">Jon Blistein (February 19, 2014). "Fun.'s Jack Antonoff Talks 'Over-the-Top' Solo Project Bleachers". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 11, 2015. </ref> Antonoff explained in June 2014 that the project had been a consideration for around 10 years, and the name was inspired by the "disconnected, darker side" of suburban youth and John Hughes movies, which were "tied to a time when big songs were great songs." The songs for the debut Bleachers album were mostly written on Antonoff's laptop computer in hotel rooms during a fun. world tour.<ref name="Jada" />

The Huffington Post published a positive review of Bleachers' first single, "I Wanna Get Better"—released on February 18—calling it the "catchiest song of 2014,"<ref>"Twitter / HuffPostEnt: Jack Antonoff has released". Twitter.com. 2014-02-18. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref> while Time proclaimed, "[Bleachers] is more fun than fun."<ref>Cox, Jamieson (2014-02-18). "Bleachers "I Wanna Get Better": Jack Antonoff's New Band's Debut Track | TIME.com". Entertainment.time.com. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref> Antonoff revealed the intent behind the debut single in a Rolling Stone interview:

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Antonoff explained to Rolling Stone that, while the song might sound joyous, "it's very desperate" and, like many of the other songs on the album is about loss.<ref name="Roll" />

Antonoff worked with producers John Hill and Vince Clarke on the Bleachers studio album, as he sought to create "massive, beautiful pop songs that sound fuckin' cool." The completed album, Strange Desire, was released in July 2014, and "I Wanna Get Better" peaked at number one on the U.S. Alternative charts during the same week. In regard to Strange Desire, Antonoff said:

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"I Wanna Get Better" was eventually named number 18 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Songs of 2014, with the publication describing the song as "therapy rock" that is "as fun as it is cathartic".<ref>"50 Best Songs of 2014". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. December 3, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2015. </ref>

Antonoff co-wrote and co-produced three songs on Swift's 1989, including the single, "Out of the Woods," 'I Wish You Would,' and the bonus track "You Are In Love." Released in October 2014, 1989 became the biggest-selling album in the U.S. in 2014.<ref name="yearend">Keith Claufield (December 31, 2014). "Taylor Swift's '1989' Beats 'Frozen' As Top Selling Album of 2014". Billboard. Retrieved January 1, 2015. </ref> On the deluxe version of the album, Swift explains in a voice memo that the song "I Wish You Would" originated from a guitar track that Antonoff had recorded on his smartphone. After Swift first heard the track, she asked Antonoff if she could develop the idea further, and it eventually became an album track after both songwriters were satisfied with Swift's work.<ref>"1989 (Deluxe) Taylor Swift". iTunes Preview. Apple Inc. October 27, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2015. </ref>

Antonoff released "Bleachers" sophomore album "Gone Now" on June 2, 2017. Its lead single "Don't Take the Money" peaked at #2 on Alternative Radio.<ref> http://www.song-database.com/chhist.php?sid=60594&type=md.  Missing or empty |title= (help)</ref>

In 2017 Antonoff also co-wrote and produced Lorde's Melodrama which was released in June. USAToday described it as "the best pop album of 2017 so far".<ref>"Lorde's 'Melodrama' is 2017's best pop album so far". USA TODAY. Retrieved November 7, 2017. </ref> Rolling Stone's praises Jack's production specifically, noting that he uses "empty space to spectacular effect, [as] the arrangements veer from stark clarity to delirium."<ref>"Lorde's 'Melodrama' is 2017's best pop album so far". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-09-05. </ref>

Antonoff co-wrote and produced Swift's #1 single "Look What You Made Me Do", which was released on August 25, 2017. He also was a key contributor to her reputation album <ref>Aroesti, Rachel (November 9, 2017). "Taylor Swift producer Jack Antonoff: 'I'm drawn to female artists who are brutally honest'". the Guardian. Retrieved January 21, 2018. </ref> <ref>"Jack Antonoff: 'I feel as though I've had a few lives already'". November 8, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2018. </ref> He also contributed to Pinks Beautiful Trauma and St. Vincent's Masseduction album <ref>"How Jack Antonoff Became the Most Important Producer in Pop". Retrieved January 21, 2018. </ref>


Antonoff was nominated for a Golden Globe for his collaboration with Swift, "Sweeter Than Fiction."<ref name="Amy" />

He won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for writing "We Are Young" with Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost & Jeff Bhasker and also won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for his work on Taylor Swift's 1989.<ref>Greenburg, Zack O'Malley. "Grammy Winners 2016: The Full List". Forbes. Retrieved February 16, 2016. </ref>

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. Antonoff has earned three Grammys out of nine nominations.

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 Fun. Best New Artist Won
"We Are Young" Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Won
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Nominated
Some Nights Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
Album of the Year Nominated
2016 1989 Won
2018 Melodrama Pending
"I Don't Wanna Live Forever" Best Song Written for a Visual Media Pending

Personal life

When Antonoff first moved out of the family home near the end of 2012, he lived with his sister, Rachel, on the Upper West Side of New York City. Shortly afterward, he relocated to Brooklyn Heights to live with Lena Dunham, who he had started dating at the time.<ref name="Jada" /> Antonoff and Dunham remained together until January 2018, with representatives of both announcing their separation as "amicable".<ref>Jensen, Erin (January 9, 2018). "Lena Dunham, Jack Antonoff break up after spending more than five years together". USA Today. Retrieved January 9, 2018. </ref>

In June 2014, Antonoff said he was "desperate" for kids, explaining:

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Antonoff has spoken publicly about his struggles with depression, anxiety and obsessive–compulsive disorder. He claims that hearing of others' battles with depression made him feel "not better, but not alone" and "way less scared."<ref>"Jack Antonoff Opens Up About Depression: 'It's Manageable If You Know You're Not Alone'". Huffingtonpost.com. 2015-06-18. </ref> As of June 2014, Antonoff was seeing both a therapist and a psychopharmacologist, while also taking anti-anxiety medications. He has germophobia which was exacerbated by a bout of pneumonia that he suffered in 2011 while recording a studio album for his band FUN. His pulmonologist prescribed a daily run, but he explained that he hates it "more than anything" because it is "one of the most truly boring experiences on Earth."<ref name="Jada" />

Music is central to Antonoff's life and he explained in June 2014:

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Antonoff was once in a relationship with American actress Scarlett Johansson, his classmate at the Professional Children's School.<ref>"Lena Dunham Jokes About Jack Antonoff, Ex Scarlett Johansson Photo". usmagazine.com. February 22, 2014. </ref><ref>Lawson, Richard. "Scarlett Johansson Went to the Prom With Lena Dunham's Boyfriend". vanityfair.com. </ref><ref>"Lena Dunham discovers Scarlett Johansson once dated her boyfriend Jack Antonoff". nydailynews.com. </ref>

Songwriting credits

Year Artist Song Co-written with U.S. peak
U.K. peak
2011 Fun "We Are Young" Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jeff Bhasker 1<ref name="autogenerated1" /> 1<ref>"fun. hold off The Wanted to score first UK No.1 single – Music News". Digital Spy. 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref>
2012 "Some Nights" Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jeff Bhasker 3<ref>"Fun. – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref> 7<ref>"2012-10-06 Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive". Official Charts. 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref>
Carly Rae Jepsen "Sweetie" Carly Rae Jepsen, Sara Quin, Klas Åhlund
2013 Tegan and Sara "How Come You Don't Want Me" Sara Quin, Tegan Quin<ref>"Tegan and Sara / Heartthrob Press Kit" (PDF). Warner Bros. Records. Retrieved January 23, 2013. </ref>
Sara Bareilles "Brave" Sara Bareilles<ref name="Brave Webisode">"Brave Webisode". Sony Music Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013. </ref> 23 48
"Chasing the Sun" Sara Bareilles<ref name="Brave Webisode" />
Taylor Swift "Sweeter Than Fiction" Taylor Swift<ref>Bamigboye, Baz (August 2013). "Taylor-made for a maestro: Pop singer Swift so moved by film charting BGT's Paul Potts's rise to unlikely maestro she penned song for it". London: Mail Online. </ref> 34 45<ref>"Taylor Swift". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 3, 2016. </ref>
2014 Christina Perri "I Don't Wanna Break" Christina Perri<ref>"Brave Girls". Thelodgemastering.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-03-07. </ref>
Taylor Swift "Out of the Woods" Taylor Swift 18 136
"I Wish You Would"
"You Are in Love" 83
2015 Grimes, Bleachers "Entropy" Claire Boucher<ref>"Listen: Grimes and Bleachers Share New 'Girls' Song 'Entropy'". </ref>
Troye Sivan "Heaven" Troye Sivan, Alex Hope, Claire Boucher
Rachel Platten "Stand by You" Rachel Platten, Joy Williams, Matthew Morris 37 115
2016 St. Lucia "Help Me Run Away" Jean-Philip Grobler<ref>"St. Lucia / About". Retrieved January 29, 2016. </ref>
Sia "House on Fire" Sia Furler<ref>Lindsay, Zoladz. "Sia's This Is Acting Is Full of Hits, Misses, and Some Great What-Ifs". Vulture. Retrieved January 29, 2016. </ref>
Brooke Candy "Changes" Brooke Candy, Jesse St. John
Fifth Harmony "Dope" Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter
How to Dress Well "Lost Youth/Lost You" Tom Krell
Zayn, Taylor Swift "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" Taylor Swift, Sam Dew<ref>Legaspi, Althea. "Taylor Swift, Zayn Team Up for Sultry 'I Don't Wanna Live Forever'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 15, 2016. </ref> 2<ref>Trust, Gary (February 21, 2017). "Ed Sheeran Tops Hot 100, Katy Perry Debuts at No. 4 & Bruno Mars, Rihanna & The Weeknd All Hit Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2017. </ref> 5<ref>"2017-02-17 Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts. Retrieved February 18, 2017. </ref>
2017 Lorde "Green Light" Ella Yelich-O'Connor, Joel Little 19<ref name="LORDE_BB_HOT100">"Lorde – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved August 13, 2017. </ref> 20<ref>"2017-04-14 Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts. Retrieved 2017-04-14. </ref>
"Sober" Ella Yelich-O'Connor
"The Louvre"
"Liability" 78<ref name="LORDE_BB_HOT100" /> 84
"Hard Feelings/Loveless"
"Sober II (Melodrama)"
"Writer in the Dark"
"Liability (Reprise)"
"Perfect Places" 95<ref>"2017-06-09 Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts. Retrieved 2017-06-28. </ref>
Banks "Crowded Places" Jillian Banks, Tim Anderson
St. Vincent "New York" Annie Clark<ref>"Hear St. Vincent's Melancholy New Song 'New York'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-09-05. </ref>
"Los Ageless" Annie Clark - -
"Happy Birthday, Johnny" Annie Clark - -
Taylor Swift "Look What You Made Me Do"<ref>"Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift". Qobuz. </ref> Taylor Swift, Richard Fairbrass, Fred Fairbrass, Rob Manzoli 1 1
"Getaway Car"<ref name=":0">""reputation" by Taylor Swift on iTunes". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2017-11-09. </ref> Taylor Swift -- --
"Dress"<ref name=":0" /> -- --
"This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things"<ref name=":0" /> -- --
"Call It What You Want"<ref name=":0" /> -- --
"New Year's Day"<ref name=":0" /> -- --
Pink "Beautiful Trauma" Alecia Moore 95 25
"Better Life" Alecia Moore, Sam Dew -- --



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Steel Train



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