Duncan Sheik

born on 18/11/1969 in Montclair, NJ, United States

Duncan Sheik

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Duncan Sheik
Grammy Awards
2008 Best Musical Show Album
Spring Awakening
Tony Awards
2007 Best Orchestrations
Spring Awakening
2007 Best Original Score
Spring Awakening

Duncan Scott Sheik (born November 18, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and composer. Initially finding success as a singer, most notably for his 1996 debut single "Barely Breathing", he later expanded to compositions for motion pictures and the Broadway stage, such as the successful musical, Spring Awakening. Sheik practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the US branch of the worldwide Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International.[1]

Early career

After being raised by both his parents in Montclair, New Jersey and his grandparents in Hilton Head, South Carolina (of whom his Juilliard-trained grandmother taught him piano), and after graduating from Phillips Academy, Andover in 1988, Sheik studied semiotics at Brown University,[2] and moved to Los Angeles. Playing for other artists, including Liz and Lisa (with Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell), Sheik also played on His Boy Elroy's 1993 album through his connections from fellow Brown alum, Tracee Ellis Ross. He is the half brother of Broadway actress Kacie Sheik.

In 1996, Sheik released his self-titled debut album, which was certified Gold and spawned the hit single, "Barely Breathing", which itself remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-setting 55 straight weeks, enjoying Top 20 success on Adult Contemporary radio and topping the Adult Top 40 charts. The song also garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

In 1998, Sheik released Humming, an experimental follow-up with meticulous string arrangements.


In 2001, Sheik released Phantom Moon, a Nick Drake-influenced album which was a collaboration with poet and writer Steven Sater.

In 2002, Sheik released Daylight, a brighter, more modern-sounding album which included the singles, "On A High" and "Half-Life".

In 2002, Sheik composed original music for the New York Shakespeare Festival production, Twelfth Night.[3]

In 2004, Sheik composed the score for A Home at the End of the World, and, later, composed the score for Through the Fire.[4]

In 2006, Sheik released White Limousine, an album which included companion software on a DVD-ROM to remix individual tracks.

In 2006, Sheik wrote the music for Spring Awakening, another collaboration with Sater. Written over a period of eight years, the musical, which premiered off-Broadway in New York during the summer, opened on Broadway to critical acclaim later in the fall. Based on the controversial German expressionist play, The Awakening of Spring by Frank Wedekind, the musical won Tony Awards for "Best Orchestration" and "Best Original Score" (Music), as well as "Best Musical". The original cast recording album received the Grammy Award in 2008 for "Best Musical Show Album", and the guitar that Sheik used to compose songs for the Spring Awakening is currently on display at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.[5]

In 2008, Sheik was a judge at the 7th annual Independent Music Awards.

In 2009, Sheik released Whisper House, a concept album which provided the score for the musical of the same name.[6]

In 2011, Sheik released Covers 80's, which included covers of popular 1980s songs. Concert dates in support of the album were later canceled due to Sheik seeking treatment for alcohol addiction.[7] In a message to fans in his tumblr blog,[8] Sheik noted that he had entered a treatment center on the same day his latest album was released and had told his staff, "My record is coming out and Im checking in." A remixed version of the album was released the following year.[9]

In 2012, Sheik wrote Alice By Heart, an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, along with collaborator Sater. Directed by Jessie Nelson with musical direction by Lance Horne, the musical was workshopped at the Royal National Theatre and commissioned by the National Theatre Connections.[10]

Currently, Sheik is composing the music for the musical adaptation of American Psycho,[11] as well as collaborating with director McG on a feature-film adaptation of Spring Awakening, set to begin filming in 2013.[12]

Duncan Sheik is also working on the original musical score for Because of Winn Dixie opening at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre [1] the same day as American Psycho opens in London December 6, 2013. The project is a collaboration with Director John Tartaglia and Nell Benjamin who wrote the book and lyrics. The star is an Irish wolfhound trained and provided by William Berloni Theatrical Animals, Inc. if the show moves to Broadway, it will be the first play with a dog as the lead.


Note: All certifications based on current data from RIAA's website: http://www.riaa.com

Year Album Billboard Top 200
1996 Duncan Sheik 83
1998 Humming 163
2001 Phantom Moon -
2002 Daylight 110
2006 White Limousine -
2009 Whisper House 181
2011 Covers 80's -
  • At the Reservoir EP (1997, Atlantic)
  • Humming Along EP (1998, Atlantic)
  • White Limousine EP (2005, Zoë)
  • Brighter/Later: A Duncan Sheik Anthology (2006, Rhino)
  • Brighter: A Duncan Sheik Collection (2007, Rhino)
  • On Stage at World Café Live: Duncan Sheik DVD (2007)
  • Whisper House EP (2008)
  • 80s Covers EP (2010, Sneaky Records Inc.)
  • Music from the Motion Picture 'Harvest' EP (w/ David Poe) (2011)[13]


  • Twelfth Night - 2002
  • Nero (Another Golden Rome) - 2006
  • Spring Awakening - 2006, 2007-2009
  • The Nightingale - 2006 (based on The Nightingale)
  • Whisper House - 2010
  • Alice by Heart - 2012
  • American Psycho[14] - In production


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Adult
US Dance
US Pop
1997 "Barely Breathing" 16 19 2 10 Duncan Sheik
"She Runs Away" 24
"Reasons for Living" 3
1998 "Wishful Thinking" 103 Great Expectations (soundtrack)
"Bite Your Tongue" Humming
1999 "That Says It All"
2001 "A Mirror in the Heart" Phantom Moon
2003 "On a High" 1 Daylight
2006 "White Limousine" White Limousine
"The Dawn's Request"
2009 "Earthbound Starlight" Whisper House
"Play Your Part"
"" denotes releases that did not chart

Film & television

  • "Barely Breathing", Party of Five
  • "Reasons for Living", ER
  • "In The Absence of Sun", The Saint
  • "Serena", Fall
  • "Wishful Thinking", Great Expectations
  • "Alibi", Teaching Mrs. Tingle
  • "That Says It All", Three to Tango
  • "View from the Other Side", Friends
  • "A Body Goes Down", Jeff Buckley: Goodbye and Hello
  • "Now or Never", Boys and Girls
  • "On a High", Birds of Prey
  • "Half Life", What a Girl Wants
  • "Beyond the Sea" (performed as Bobby Darin), American Dreams
  • "A Body Goes Down", Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley
  • "Something Somewhere"/"There's a Home", A Home at the End of the World
  • "I Am a Pilgrim", Transamerica
  • "Barely Breathing", Cold Case
  • "I Wouldn't Mind"/"As Shadows Do", The Cake Eaters
  • "Mama Who Bore Me", 90210
  • "Barely Breathing", Glee
  • "Barely Breathing", Girls

Other appearances

In 1998, Sheik recorded "Embraceable You" for Red Hot + Rhapsody, a George Gershwin tribute to increase AIDS awareness, and also recorded "Songbird" for another tribute, Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

In 1999, Sheik produced singer/songwriter Micah Green's debut album,[20] as well as his 2012 follow-up.[21]

In 2000, Sheik wrote the foreword to The Way of Youth: Buddhist Common Sense for Handling Life's Questions, by Soka Gakkai leader Daisaku Ikeda.

In 2006, Sheik recorded the song, "A Purple Trail", for Other Songs and Dances, Vol. 1

In 2008, Sheik participated in Songs for Tibet: The Art of Peace, an initiative to support Tibet, Dalai Lama and Tenzin Gyatso.[22]

See also

  • List of number-one dance hits (United States)
  • List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart


  1. SGI-USA Arts Division Conference, Soka Gakkai International News, February 8, 2008.
  2. Loveline, 1996-09-08.
  3. Finn, Robin, PUBLIC LIVES; Decisions, Decisions. Name Recognition or Nirvana?, The New York Times, July 2, 2002.
  4. http://duncansheik.com/projects.html
  5. www.broadway.tv article, "Broadways Hidden Treasures Revealed".
  6. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  7. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  8. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  9. http://www.dallasvoice.com/duncan-chic-1013-2949.html
  10. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  11. 'American Psycho' musical takes shape Duncan Sheik to write music, Roberto Aguirre to pen adaptation
  12. http://broadwayworld.com/article/BWW-EXCLUSIVE-SCOOP-Duncan-Sheik-Teases-SPRING-AWAKENING-Movie-Filming-in-Spring-2013-2012-1116
  13. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/150247-Music-from-Harvest-Film-With-a-Score-by-Duncan-Sheik-David-Poe-Due-May-3
  14. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  15. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  16. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  17. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  18. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  19. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  20. http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/bio/micah-green/1195802
  21. http://www.duncansheik.com/duncan-sheik-produced-micah-greens-latest-album-i-know-i-know-i-know-due-out-tuesday-august-28th-via-mrisneaky-records
  22. E-Online (July 22, 2008) Sting, Matthews, Mayer Gamer for Tibet Than Beijing

External links

  • Duncan Sheik official website
  • Duncan Sheik at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Duncan Sheik at the Internet Movie Database
  • Rounder Records Group artist page on Duncan Sheik

This page was last modified 22.04.2014 09:19:56

This article uses material from the article Duncan Sheik from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.