Origin: Heidelberg, Germany
Genre: Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock, Soft Rock
Years Active: 1948-Present
Born in Heidelberg, West Germany, Jackson Browne and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was three years old, and by the time he was a teenager, Browne had developed an interest in folk music. He began playing guitar and writing songs, which he sang at local folk clubs. Early in 1966, he was invited to join the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, whom he had met through the L.A. folk circuit.
While the majority of his classic '70s work was unflinchingly personal, it nevertheless provided a touchstone for a generation of maturing baby boomers coming to terms with adulthood. He was the quintessential sensitive California singer/songwriter of the early '70s. Released in the fall of 1974, “Late for the Sky” expanded Browne's audience significantly, peaking at number 14 on the charts and going gold by the beginning of the following year. Browne's first wife, Phyllis, committed suicide in the spring of 1976, but in the wake of the tragedy he recorded his commercial breakthrough album, The Pretender. The record climbed into the Top Ten upon its fall 1976 release
During the late '70s and early '80s, he was at the height of his popularity, as each of his albums charted in the Top Ten. In the summer, Browne launched an extensive tour, recording a new album while he was on the road. The resulting record, Running on Empty (1977), was a bigger success, peaking at number three and launching the hit singles "Running on Empty" and "Stay/The Load-Out." With his career riding high, Browne began to pursue political and social causes, most notably protesting the use of nuclear energy.
The success of Hold Out, the 1980 follow-up to Running on Empty, was evidence of Jackson Browne's popularity. In the summer of 1982, "Somebody's Baby," from the soundtrack of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, became Browne's biggest hit, climbing to number seven on the U.S. charts. Divided between love songs and political protests, Lawyers in Love was another hit due to success of the hit singles "Lawyers in Love," "Tender Is the Night," and "For a Rocker." Browne continued to write primarily political songs on 1989's World in Motion, but the record became his first album to not go gold. Browne made a series of political protest records that caused his audience to gradually shrink, but when he returned to introspective songwriting with 1993's I'm Alive, he made a modest comeback.
In 2002, he released The Naked Ride Home. Two years later the two-disc The Very Best of Jackson Browne hit the shelves as Browne was being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by fellow Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen. Around this time Browne took to the road and played intimate acoustic shows around the globe