Plain White T's (read as "plain white tees") is an American pop punk band from Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 1997 by high school friends Tom Higgenson, Dave Tirio, Ken Fletcher and Steve Mast. The group had a mostly underground following in Chicago basements, clubs, and bars in its early years.
The band is best known for the number-one hit song "Hey There Delilah", which achieved platinum status in 2007 and earned two Grammy nominations, as well as "1, 2, 3, 4" and "Rhythm of Love", which were certified platinum in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
The Plain White T's formed in Lombard, IL in the fall of 1997. The group began as a trio, with Higgenson as singer and guitarist, Fletcher on bass and Tirio on drums. They played mostly local punk shows around Chicago's suburbs, eventually landing gigs at the famed Metro in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood. As the band began to establish itself in the local scene, they recruited a fourth member, Steve Mast, who joined playing lead guitar and singing backup vocals.
Higgenson suffered a car crash in 1999, breaking several vertebrae in the accident, while driving the band's van. He was in a back brace for three months and had to learn to walk again. Higgenson changed his song-writing process, choosing songs that were more meaningful to him, and the band began taking their music career more seriously.
Come On Over, Stop, and Mast's and Fletcher's departure (2000–03)
In 2000, the band recorded their first album titled Come On Over. In 2002, the band self-financed the recording of Stop, a full-length album that drew the attention of Fearless Records. While the band toured in support for the album, both Fletcher and Mast left the band and were replaced by Tim Lopez and Mike Retondo. Shortly after, Tirio decided to switch from drummer to rhythm guitarist, and the new drummer named De'Mar Hamiltion was added to the lineup.
All That We Needed and Every Second Counts (2004–06)
The 2005 release All That We Needed was the first studio effort from the reformed lineup.Hey There Delilah was first released on their third album All That We Needed in 2005. They recorded Every Second Counts that year, on which "Hey There Delilah" was added in order to allow it a chance on mainstream radio. "Delilah" would go on to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and hold the spot for two weeks. The song was written for track star Delilah DiCrescenzo, whom Higgenson had met in 2002. The song earned two Grammy nominations, and Every Second Counts was certified Gold. In early 2006, the band teamed with Motion City Soundtrack for a Winter/Spring tour.
"Big Bad World" (2007–09)
In 2008, they released the album Big Bad World. The album had two hit singles: "1, 2, 3, 4" and "Natural Disaster". Both were on the AT40 at numbers 1 and 2 for three consecutive weeks. By late 2008, the band had joined the Rock Band Live tour with Panic! at the Disco, Dashboard Confessional and The Cab. Later that year, the band played at the Give It a Name festival in the UK. In 2007, they performed the single Our Time Now on an episode of the Nickelodeon television series, iCarly. Our Time Now was also the theme song on the ABC Family dramedy series Greek.
Wonders of the Younger (2010–12)
The band's single Rhythm of Love was the first to be released from their 2010 album The Wonders of the Younger. The song reached number five on the Hot AC chart, and was in the top ten in 2010 as well. In 2012, the band also covered The Ramones' "Pet Sematary" for the song soundtrack of the 2012 Tim Burton film Frankenweenie.
American Nights (2013–present)
The EP Should've Gone to Bed, released on April 9, 2013, features 4 songs: Should've Gone To Bed, The Giving Tree, Helium, and Haven't Told Her.
- Tom Higgenson — Lead vocalist, keyboard instrument, acoustic guitar (1997–present)
- Dave Tirio — Rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist (2003–present), Drummer (1997–2003)
- Tim Lopez — Lead guitarist, Lead vocalist (2002–present)
- Mike Retondo — Bass guitarist, backing vocalist (2002–present)
- De'Mar Hamilton — Drummer, backing vocalist (2003–present)
- Steve Mast — Lead guitarist, singing (1997–2002)
- Ken Fletcher — Bass guitarist (1997–2002)
- Come on Over (2000)
- Stop (2002)
- All That We Needed (2005)
- Every Second Counts (2006)
- Big Bad World (2008)
- Wonders of the Younger (2010)
- American Nights (2014)
- Hey There Delilah (2006)
- Hate (Really Don't Like You) (2007)
- Our Time Now (2008)
- Natural Disaster (2008)
- Rhythm Of Love (2010)
- Should've Gone to Bed (2013)
The following list includes a selection of television appearances made by the band and performances used by those and other shows:
- Greek – The band provides "Our Time Now" written by Mia Koo, Tom Higgenson and Mike Daly, as the theme for commercials and trailers for the show. They appear playing the song as well as "Hey There Delilah" in the episode "The Rusty Nail". They play the songs "Friends Don't Let Friends Dial Drunk" and "Making a Memory" in the episode "Friday Night Frights", and they also play the songs "Come Back to Me", "You and Me" and "Let Me Take You There" in the episode "A New Normal". Two members of the band also appear in the episode "The Great Cappie" as members of the Kappa Tau fraternity.
- iCarly – The band appears as a special guest for the webshow in the episode "iRue the Day", singing their song "Our Time Now".
- "Making a Memory" was featured in the final episode to feature Katy Fox (Hannah Tointon) in the UK soap opera Hollyoaks, symbolizing what should be happening rather than what was happening.
- "Revenge" is used as the theme song to the NYC TV show Secrets of New York.
- "1,2,3,4" and "Gimme a Chance" were featured in the teen drama 90210.
- "1,2,3,4" is featured in a Hallmark Cards commercial for Valentine's Day 2010.
- "1,2,3,4" was music video appeared in Beavis and Butthead 8th season.
- "Rhythm of Love" was featured in a fall 2010 promo for the season two premiere of Parenthood on NBC.
- "Rhythm of Love" was featured in One Tree Hill.
- "Rhythm of Love" was featured in a fall 2010 promo for the season premiere of Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family.
- "Rhythm of Love" was featured in a TV advertisement for a rental DVD company in the UK called LoveFilm.
- "Rhythm of Love" was featured in the closing credits of the 2011 film No Strings Attached.
- "Rhythm of Love" was featured in a TV advertisement for Estée Lauder Pleasures Eau Fraîche. 2012
- Lead guitarist Tim Lopez is a bachelor contestant on NBC's newest reality show, Ready For Love.
- The song "Dance Off Time" was played in Season 3, Episode 8 of Switched at Birth.
- Grammy Awards
- Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "Hey There Delilah" – nominated in 2008
- Song of the Year for "Hey There Delilah" – nominated in 2008
- Teen Choice Awards
- Choice Summer Song for "Hey There Delilah" – won in 2007
- American Music Awards
- Best New Artist – nominated in 2007
- MTV Video Music Award
- Monster Single of the Year – nominated in 2007
- MTV Woodie Award
- The Breaking Woodie (Best Emerging Artist) – nominated and won in 2006
- on Myspace