«Gavin DeGraw» - biography, albums, songs, video clips

Gavin Shane DeGraw (born February 4, 1977) is an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is known for his songs "Chariot", "Follow Through", "I Don't Want to Be" (which is the theme song for the television drama series One Tree Hill), "In Love with a Girl", "Not Over You", "Soldier", "Sweeter", and "Best I Ever Had". DeGraw has sold more than a million records in the US.

Early life

DeGraw grew up in the Catskills in South Fallsburg, New York. His mother, Lynne (née Krieger), was a detox specialist, and his father, Wayne DeGraw, was a prison guard; he referenced his father's and mother's occupations in the song "I Don't Want to Be". His father is of Irish descent and his mother's family is of Russian Jewish ancestry. DeGraw began singing and playing piano at the age of eight. He also has two older siblings, sister Neeka and brother Joey (born August 1973). It was at his brother's advice that he began writing his own songs.Joey DeGraw is also a musician.


DeGraw rose to fame in 2003, when "I Don't Want to Be" was chosen as the theme song for teen drama One Tree Hill. The song has also been performed on American Idol and Idol Sweden by various contestants during different seasons.

DeGraw released his debut album, Chariot, on July 22, 2003 under J Records.Chariot was recorded at Los Angeles' music studios, Sunset Sound and produced by Mark Endert. Chariot sold over a million copies and earned platinum certification. The album also featured three of DeGraw's singles: "I Don’t Want To Be", "Follow Through" and "Chariot". He then went on to release an acoustic version of the album called Chariot Stripped in 2004. Chariot Stripped contains a cover version of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come".

DeGraw's second album, the self-titled Gavin DeGraw, was released on May 6, 2008. Ahead of this, its single "In Love with a Girl" was released on February 12, 2008. The second U.S. single "Cheated On Me" was released in the US on September 30, 2008. This was followed by the Live From Soho album, released on Nov 7 2008, featuring mostly tracks from Gavin DeGraw.Gavin DeGraw debuted at No. 1 on the digital sales chart and ranked at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart.

Degraw's third album, Free, was released March 31, 2009. DeGraw made Free in less than two weeks at the Brooklyn studio of his producer, Camus Celli. DeGraw included some songs on the album that he wrote very early in his career and that have evolved over time, songs such as "Dancing Shoes" and "Glass". The debut single from the album, "Stay", was released on March 11, 2009. FREE has been described as "recorded versions of his live favourites".

DeGraw's fourth album, Sweeter, was set to release on August 9, 2011 but was pushed back to September 20, 2011. The album features many tracks co-written with other artists. The first single "Not Over You" was released on iTunes in June. The track was co-written and produced by Ryan Tedder and was said to be inspired by Kyle Craig. "Not Over You" is his first song to reach the top spot on the Adult Pop Songs.Sweeter contains collaborations from producers including Butch Walker, Eric Rosse, and Ron Aniello; alongside another co-written title track, "Sweeter" with Andrew Frampton. The album was recorded in many locations including Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Walker’s Space in Venice and the Henson Recording Studios.Sweeter is DeGraw's first album released under RCA Records, all three of his previous albums were released under J Records.

DeGraw went on to release an acoustic album based mostly on songs from Sweeter. The iTunes Session album features seven tracks and a 30 minute interview.

DeGraw provided vocals for a song by Colbie Caillat from her Christmas in the Sand album. The pair also wrote the song "We Both Know" for the soundtrack of the 2013 film Safe Haven.

On June 18, 2013, DeGraw released the first single from his fifth studio album, "Best I Ever Had".

During that year, he supported Train across their series of US shows; The Script also appeared in several of those shows.

Degraw's fifth, and most recent studio album, "Make A Move", was released on October 15, 2013.

TV appearances

As well as being a musician, DeGraw has acted on TV, where his first appearance was on Real Magic TV. He then went on to appear on: The Sharon Osbourne Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, American Dreams, TRL and Rove Live. During Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2004, DeGraw is credited as a performer. After this, he was seen on What I Like About You alongside Dutch TV shows Barend & Van Dorp and Clement Behrendt Kjersgaard. DeGraw performed "I Don't Want to Be" during the 2005 Radio Music Awards. He was also a musical guest on The VIP, Jensen!, New York 360º and Entertainment Tonight. DeGraw has appeared on multiple episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live! with Kelly and Michael, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Last Call with Carson Daly, performing tracks from whichever album he was promoting. DeGraw is credited as a presenter for the 2011 American Music Awards and can mostly be seen presenting footage from backstage. Recently he appeared during an episode of Conan; the episode was aired on January 9, 2012.

DeGraw was a contestant on season 14 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars which premiered on Monday March 19, 2012. DeGraw and his partner Karina Smirnoff were eliminated from the competition during week 5, following a Dance Duel with cast-mate Jaleel White and his partner Kym Johnson. Gavin made many appearances on the hit series which first helped him rise to fame, One Tree Hill.

Soundtrack credits

DeGraw's songs have been played on 13 titles across TV and film.

"Follow Through" was part of the soundtrack for 2004 film Laws of Attraction and an episode of Scrubs called My Self-Examination, aired on 27 April 2004. The song has also been featured on One Tree Hill and on British and Italian TV advertisements for Carte D'or.

"Chariot" features as an uncredited part of the soundtrack for the American-Canadian TV series Dead Like Me. The song features in a 2004 episode called Always and is portrayed by DeGraw. DeGraw plays a non-recurring small role as street singer, Pete Anderson. The song also features on the TV series Boston Legal in a 2006 episode named Helping Hands, it is played during Denise and Daniel's dinner. The song can also be heard during a 2007 episode of Cold Case called Knuckle Up.

During the wedding episode of the TV show What I Like About You, he performed his songs "Follow Through" and "More Than Anyone" off his album Chariot.

His song "We Belong Together" was also featured in the 2006 film Tristan and Isolde.

DeGraw has performed a cover of Smokey Robinson's love ballad, "The Tracks of My Tears", which is played during Chaos Theory, an episode of The Cleaner aired on August 5, 2008.

During a Christmas special of TV series House called "Joy to the World", a cover of "The Christmas Song" performed by DeGraw was played.

TV dance competition and reality show So You Think You Can Dance utilized three of DeGraw's tracks across four shows and also features a cover performed by DeGraw. "Belief", "More Than Anyone" and "We Belong Together" are used as background tracks across the 2006, 2008 and 2009 series respectively. During the first part of the 2007 finale, a cover of "We Are the Champions", performed by DeGraw, is used.

DeGraw's songs are contained in the soundtracks of 11 episodes of One Tree Hill. Throughout he is uncredited. However, tracks such as "Belief", "More Than Anyone", "Chariot", "We Belong Together" and "Jealous Guy" all feature in the show. During the second season of the show, an unreleased live version of "Chariot" is played during the episode "Something I Can Never Have". He also played "Chariot" in a season 1 episode set at Karen's cafe. The scene featured Nathan and Haley. During a special of the TV show The Bachelor called The Bachelor: Jason & Molly's Wedding, DeGraw's song "Follow Through" is played.

Acting credits

He has appeared in an on-screen role in three One Tree Hill episodes. His first appearance was in 2004, during ("You Gotta Go There to Come Back"); he was seen singing "I Don't Want to Be" at Karen's Cafe. His second appearance was in the season 5 finale, ("What Comes After the Blues") where he was seen singing "I Don't Want to Be" with Jamie Scott (Jackson Brundage), and then performed one last time during the series' final episode, in which he sang "Belief", "Soldier" and "I Don't Want to Be" at TRIC's 10th Anniversary party.

He also appeared in one episode of Dead Like Me.


DeGraw has released a number of music videos as well, including "I Don't Want to Be", "Follow Through" and "Chariot". The latter was directed by Zach Braff, who also directed music videos for Joshua Radin. "More Than Anyone" was selected by fans of One Tree Hill through a Cingular Wireless contest as the first wedding dance song for Nathan & Haley in the 3rd season finale "The Show Must Go On."

He and his brother opened The National Underground in December 2007, a New York City music venue that is a roots rock Americana music bar located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, at 159 East Houston Street between Allen Street and Eldridge Street. The venue offers music, food, and drink. The idea for the venue came about because the brothers wanted a place where they could hang out on a regular basis, and where other musicians could come in and listen and learn. "We were picky about the quality of musicians that played there," Gavin DeGraw says. "We wanted a place where the players were so good, other musicians were like, 'Wow! I really respect what they're doing.'"

On February 7, 2013, Carlos Pena, member of the boyband Big Time Rush, announced on his Twitter that Gavin will be guest starring on their same-titled Nickelodeon-show. He also might be featured on the next album of the popular vocal group.

Personal life

On August 8, 2011, DeGraw was hospitalized after being assaulted by several people in New York City. Police said a group of men attacked DeGraw early Sunday morning at 6th Street and First Avenue in the East Village, near The National Underground. He suffered a broken nose, a concussion, two black eyes and lacerations to his face. Only minutes after the attack, DeGraw was then struck by a taxi. He was admitted to Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital Center for treatment. He had to cancel his scheduled August 9 performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, located in Saratoga Springs, New York.

DeGraw says his family "motivated me to continue to pursue music and pursue passion versus just a job" during the interview attached to his iTunes session. He also says that he "didn't necessarily want to learn to play the piano [at a young age]". DeGraw has said that his ultimate goal is "to leave this world a better person, and for me to not be the only one who knows it." He has also been a contestant on 2012 season of Dancing with the Stars, paired with Karina Smirnoff. They landed in 9th place.

Band members


  • Billy Norris – Musical Director, guitar, background vocals (since 2009)
  • Ian O'Neill – drums, background vocals (since 2011)
  • James Cruz – bass (since summer 2012)
  • David Maemone - keyboards (since spring 2014)



Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
  • Release date: July 22, 2003
  • Label: J
56 1 6 23 43 48 21 2
  • US: Platinum
Gavin DeGraw
  • Release date: May 6, 2008
  • Label: J
7 21 3 8 36 44 23 13 35
  • Release date: March 31, 2009
  • Label: J
19 29 76 96
  • Release date: September 20, 2011
  • Label: RCA
8 41 6 6 19 29 25
Make a Move
  • Release date: October 15, 2013
  • Label: RCA
10 19 21 18 55 39


Title Album details Peak chart positions
iTunes: Live from Soho
  • Release date: 2008

Other albums

  • 2001: Gavin Live


Year Title Chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
2004 "I Don't Want to Be" 10 9 1 27 25 19 30 21 6 15
  • US: 2x Platinum
2005 "Chariot" 30 5 17 114 12 27 19
  • US: Platinum
"Follow Through" 22 33 56 12
  • US: Gold
2006 "Just Friends" 26
2007 "Meaning"
2008 "In Love with a Girl" 24 5 10 32 40 Gavin DeGraw
"She Holds a Key" 29
"Cheated on Me" 30
2009 "I Have You to Thank"
"Stay" Free
"Dancing Shoes"
2011 "Not Over You" 18 1 9 23 37 8 16 12
  • US: Platinum
  • NZ: Gold
  • AUS: Platinum
2012 "Sweeter" 18 76
"Soldier" 26 59 30
2013 "Best I Ever Had" 75 14 48 80 44
Make a Move
"Make a Move" 23

Awards and nominations

Year Award
2005 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top Soundtrack Single of the Year ("I Don't Want to Be")
2005 Radio Music Award nomination for Song of the Year/Mainstream Top 40 Radio ("I Don't Want to be")
2012 Grammy Award nomination for Ryan Tedder as Producer of the Year Non Classical ("Sweeter") & ("Not Over You")
2013 Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media ("We Both Know")

See also

Biography portal
Music portal
  • List of Berklee College of Music alumni
  • List of Ithaca College alumni
  • List of people from New York
  • List of singer-songwriters



  • – retrieved March 15, 2009.

External links

  • , DeGraw's official website
  • at the Internet Movie Database
  • at the Internet Archive's live music archive
  • at AOL Video
  • at OurStage.com