Dave Matthews is an American singer/songwriter who is famous as the frontman and lead vocalist for the popular U.S band Dave Matthews Band, which was founded in 1991. He is a self-taught musician who started playing acoustic guitar as early as nine years old.
Below are all the other facts you should know about the South-African-born American singer and two-time Grammy award winner.
Dave Matthews was born on January 9, 1967, in Johannesburg, South Africa as David John Matthews. He is the third of four children born to John and Valerie Matthews.
At the age of two, Matthews’ family moved to Yorktown Heights Westchester County, New York, following his father’s employment at IBM. The family, however, moved back to Johannesburg after Dave’s dad died of lung cancer in 1977.
To avoid being enlisted in South Africa’s compulsory military service, after High School, the family again, left South Africa for New York, in the U.S in 1986. Back there, he worked for IBM for a short time, before joining his mom in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In Charlottesville, he did several jobs for survival; he was part of a local music community at a point, he even acted in various local production. It was during his days at a jazz club, working as a bartender that he began dreaming about forming his own band.
Dave soon began performing on stage with Tim Reynolds, after the two met through a mutual friend – Nic Cappon. After working with Reynold for some time, he was persuaded to record some of his own songs and this was what led to Dave’s first professional musical gig at a modern dance performance put together by the Miki Liszt Dance Company.
After writing several songs, including Recently, I’ll Back You Up, and The Song that Jane Likes, by 1991, he had fully hatched the idea of starting his own band and in early 1991, Matthews went ahead to form the Dave Matthews Band, alongside Peter Griesar (who left in 1993), Carter Beauford, Boyd Tinsley, Stefan Lessard and LeRoi Moore.
The band’s first performance was in March 1991, at Trax Nightclub in Charlottesville as part of a benefit for the Middle East Children’s Alliance.
Through the help of the band’s manager Coran Capshaw, who utilized grassroots marketing, the band soon moved to the national stage and soon began playing at frat houses and beach clubs around the country.
In 1994, the band released its first and major label debut, Under The Table And Dreaming, – which Dave dedicated to his older sister Anne who was murdered by her husband. The album ranked No. 11 on the Billboard 200. Their second album Crash came two years later and peaked at No. 2 on the chart.
Dave Matthews took some time off in 1997 only to return the following year with another studio album Before These Crowded Streets which debuted at No. 1. The next album didn’t come until 2000. Within the space of 10 years (2000 – 2010), the band sold more tickets and made more money than any other act in the whole of North America.
In 2012, the band released another album, Away from the World, which made them the only group to have six consecutive studio albums debut that peaked at number one on the Billboard charts.
Dave also tried his hands on acting and it turned out well too. His acting debut was in 2003 when he starred in Disney film Where the Red Fern Grows. In 2005, he starred in Because of Winn-Dixie, alongside Eva Marie Saint and Jeff Daniels. He was also in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Just Go with It among others.
He is a two time Grammy winner as Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group – So Much to Say (1997) and for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance – Gravedigger (2004).
Who Is Dave Matthews’ Wife, Kids, Sister, Family
Dave Matthews’ wife is Jennifer Ashley Harper, who he married in 2000 after they dated for almost a decade. The couple has three kids together (two daughters and a son). The girls (twins) named Stella Busina and Grace Anne were born August 15, 2001, and their son Oliver arrived in June 2007.
Dave, his wife Ashley and three kids live in Seattle, Washington. As earlier mentioned, the talented, singer, songwriter and actor had an older sister, Anne, who was murdered in 1994 by her husband (who committed suicide afterwards).
Anne was survived by her two children who Dave and his younger sister Jane took responsibility for after her (Anne’s) death.
Dave Matthews’ Height And Other Facts
Dave is really tall, he stands at 6″4. Information about his weight and other body measurements are not readily found online.
Matthews is also a farmer. He purchased more than ten acres of land in Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1999, which he named Blenheim Farm. He didn’t initially plan to turn the place into a farm but he decided to do so to preserve its historical significance and began planting grapes on the property.