Jason Mraz

born on 23/6/1977 in Mechanicsville, VA, United States

Jason Mraz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jason Thomas Mraz (/məˈræz/; born June 23, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter who first came to prominence in the San Diego coffee shop scene in 2000. In 2002, he released his debut studio album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which contained the hit single "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)". With the release of his second album, Mr. A-Z, in 2005, Mraz achieved major commercial success. The album peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 100,000 copies in the US. In 2008, Mraz released his third studio album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and was an international commercial success primarily due to the hit "I'm Yours". The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his first top ten single, and spent a then-record 76 weeks on the Hot 100. His fourth album, Love Is a Four Letter Word, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, his highest-charting album to date.

Mraz has won two Grammy Awards and received two additional nominations, and has also won two Teen Choice Awards, a People's Choice Award and the Hal David Songwriters Hall of Fame Award. He has earned Platinum and multi-Platinum certifications in over 20 countries, and has toured in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and parts of Africa. As of July 2014, Mraz has sold over seven million albums,[1] and over 11.5 million downloaded singles.[2] His musical style, from rhythmic feeling to his use of nylon string guitars, has been heavily influenced by Brazilian music.[3][4]

Early life

Mraz was born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia.[5] He is of Czech and Slovak descent through his grandfather, who moved to the United States from Austria-Hungary in 1915.[6] His surname is Czech for "frost".[6] (Czech: mráz) His parents, Tom (Tomáš) Mraz and June, divorced when he was five years old, but he maintains that he had an idyllic childhood, saying, "My hometown of Mechanicsville was very American. There were white picket fences, a church on every street corner, low crime and virtually no drug use. It was a good place to grow up."[7] After graduating from Lee-Davis High School, where he was a member of the cheerleading squad, Mraz attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City for about a year and a half, before returning to Mechanicsville and taking on a series of odd jobs.[8] He then enrolled at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, but instead of attending classes, headed west on a road trip that ultimately brought him to San Diego, where he decided to stay.[6][8]

Music career

Coffee house beginnings (2000-01)

Soon after moving to San Diego in 1999, Mraz became a roadie for the band Elgin Park. He met future band member Toca Rivera at the coffee house Java Joe's in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego, where he performed once a week for nearly three years, building a following in San Diego and online.[6][7][8] In 2001, Mraz released the live acoustic album Live at Java Joe's, performing with percussionist Rivera and bassist Ian Sheridan. The album featured Mraz's freelancing vocal style and several songs he would later re-release, including "1000 Things", "You and I Both" and "Halfway Home." The album was made available to download on iTunes on March 11, 2008, under the title Jason Mraz: Live & Acoustic 2001.

Waiting for My Rocket to Come (2002–04)

In 2002, Mraz signed a recording contract with Elektra Records.[8] That year saw the release of his first major label debut album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which peaked at number 55 on the Billboard 200.[9] The lead single, "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)", was co-written by music production team The Matrix, and became Mraz's first top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 3, becoming one of the biggest songs of 2003.[10] The song was inspired by a high school friend who was diagnosed with cancer.[8] On May 19, 2005, Waiting for My Rocket to Come was certified Platinum, for selling 1 million units.[11]

Mraz opened for Tracy Chapman in 2003 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.[12] In 2004, while on tour, Mraz released a live album with an accompanying DVD, Tonight, Not Again: Jason Mraz Live at the Eagles Ballroom. He performed with his touring band, including drummer Adam King, Rivera, Sheridan and keyboardist Eric Hinojosa, along with a guest appearance from Blues Traveler frontman John Popper.[13]

Mr. A–Z (2005–08)

On July 26, 2005, Mraz released his second major label album, Mr. A–Z, produced by Steve Lillywhite for Atlantic Records. The album's lead single, "Wordplay", was produced by Kevin Kadish,[14] and entered the Billboard 200 at number 5.[15] The album earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, while Lillywhite received a nomination for Producer of the Year.[16]

Mraz began a long-running tour in support of Mr. A–Z at the San Diego Music Awards on September 12, 2005. The tour featured several opening acts, including Bushwalla and Tristan Prettyman, with whom he had written the duet "Shy That Way" in 2002.[17] Mraz opened for Alanis Morissette during her 2005 Jagged Little Pill Acoustic tour,[14] and for the Rolling Stones on five dates during their 2005–06 world tour.[6] In March 2006, he performed in Singapore as part of the annual Mosaic Music Festival. That May, he toured mostly small venues and music festivals in the U.S., along with a few shows in the United Kingdom and Ireland where he supported James Blunt [18] The tour included a May 6, 2006 acoustic show with P.O.D., Better Than Ezra, Live, and The Presidents of the United States of America. Mraz was featured as a headlining guest of St. Louis's annual Fair St. Louis and performed a free concert at the base of the Gateway Arch on July 1, 2006. During this time, Mraz was also the opening act at several dates for Rob Thomas' Something to Be Tour.

In 2005, Mraz was one of many singers featured in the fall advertisement campaign for The Gap entitled "Favorites", singing a cover of Bob Marley's "One Love".[19] 2006 saw the release of Selections for Friends, the live, online-only album recorded during the Songs for Friends Tour. In 2007, "The Beauty in Ugly", an earlier track penned by Mraz originally titled "Plain Jane", was rewritten for the ABC television show Ugly Betty. The song was featured as a part of ABC's "Be Ugly in '07" campaign. Also that year, on American Idol, contestant Chris Richardson performed a cover of Mraz's "Geek in the Pink".[20]

We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. (2008–09)

On May 13, 2008, Mraz released his third studio album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. The album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200.[15] It broke into the top 10 of many international music charts, and reached number 3 in the US and Australia.[21] In March 2009, it was certified Platinum for selling 1 million units.[11] Mraz has said that the album title was taken from the work of Scottish artist David Shrigley.[6] Prior to its release, Mraz released three EPs, each with acoustic versions of songs from the album.[22]

The lead single, "I'm Yours", was written in August 2004 and originally released as a free acoustic B-side when Mr. A-Z came out. Through Mraz's live performances of the song, it gained in popularity with fans. When he played it at a festival in Sweden in 2007, the fans were ecstatic and singing along, after which Mraz realized the song's popularity and decided to make it the centerpiece of his next album.[6] "I'm Yours" became Mraz's first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #6 on September 20, 2008.[23] It ultimately spent 76 weeks on the Hot 100, longer than any other song in the magazine's 51-year history[24][25] (a record since broken by Imagine Dragons with "Radioactive" in 2014).[26] It was a major commercial success in the US, receiving a 7x multi-Platinum certification from the RIAA for digital sales of over seven million.[11] The song was also successful internationally, topping the charts in New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Sweden, and peaking in the top ten on the charts in 11 other countries.[27] By May 2012, it had gained over 125,000,000 hits on YouTube.[28] It was the first song to top the charts in four different radio formats: Mainstream Top 40, Adult Contemporary, Adult Top 40 and Triple A. It also made the Latin Pop and Smooth Jazz charts.[29]

Mraz won his first two Grammy Awards in 2010, for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance ("Make It Mine") and Best Pop Collaboration ("Lucky" with Colbie Caillat).[30] At the 2009 Grammy Awards, "I'm Yours" was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance,[31] and We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.[32] "I'm Yours" was also named ASCAP's 2010 Song of the Year.[33]

Mraz’s 2008 world tour took him all over the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. His personal photo travelogue from the world tour was published as a book, titled A Thousand Things (2008).[6] The book contains Polaroids from his time touring and backpacking around Europe, and was launched with a photo exhibition at Charles Cowles Gallery in New York City at the end of 2008.[8] Also in 2008, Mraz played with Eric Clapton to a crowd of 45,000 in Hyde Park, London, sold out London's Royal Albert Hall and performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo.[7][34] That year also marked his Music, Magic & Make Peace Tour with Bushwalla, The Makepeace Brothers, and magician Justin Willman. Mraz brought along the magician after picking up magic as a hobby during recording sessions for We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.[35] On January 31, 2009, Mraz was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, performing "I'm Yours" and "Lucky",[32] which peaked on the Hot 100 at number 82.[10]

In 2009, Mraz was awarded the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[36]

Love Is a Four Letter Word (2010–13)

In 2009, while preparing for his new album, Mraz recorded "The Way Is Love", an unreleased Roy Orbison song, as a duet with Willie Nelson. In November 2009, he released the live CD/DVD Jason Mraz's Beautiful Mess: Live on Earth, recorded in Chicago during the Gratitude Café tour. The following year, he went to Brazil to record "Simplesmente Todo" with Milton Nascimento, who sings in Portuguese while Mraz sings in English. He also did some writing with Dido, and recorded new material with producer Martin Terefe.[37] Mraz then released two live EPs: the Life Is Good EP on October 5, 2010, and the Live Is A Four Letter Word EP on February 28, 2012.

Love Is a Four Letter Word was released on April 13, 2012. It reached number 2 on the Billboard 200,[38] and the top 20 in 10 other countries.[39] The lead single, "I Won't Give Up", debuted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 1 on the Digital Songs chart.[40] It charted in 15 countries in total,[41] and in October 2013 was certified 4x multi-platinum, for selling in excess of 4 million units.[11] Mraz premiered the track live during his 2011 tour, before an official version had been released. It began to receive a lot of attention through live performances, as well as online. The official lyric video gained over 2.5 million views in its first 10 days on YouTube.[40]

Love Is a Four Letter Word was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Mraz won a 2013 People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Artist.[42] He performed at Farm Aid 2011 in Kansas City.[43] In 2012 he played sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles,[44] Madison Square Garden in New York[45] and the O2 Arena in London,[46] and performed at President Barack Obama and family's lighting of the national Christmas tree at the White House;[47] a noted Obama supporter, he has also performed at numerous other events involving Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.[48][49] Also in 2012, he performed "You Did It" at the presentation ceremony for the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, won that year by Ellen DeGeneres.[50]

Yes! (2014)

Mraz's fifth studio album, Yes!, was released on July 15, 2014.[51] It is his first acoustic album, and was recorded with all-female folk rock band Raining Jane.[52][53] They had previously co-written "A Beautiful Mess" for Mraz's 2008 album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.[54] Aside from a cover of the Boyz II Men song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday", every song on Yes! was written by Mraz and Raining Jane.[55] The lead single, "Love Someone", was released on May 19, 2014, with Mraz performing an acoustic version of the song for Time.[51] On June 20, 2014, he released We Can Take the Long Way, a music video trilogy for the first three songs on Yes! – "Love Someone", "Hello, You Beautiful Thing" and "Long Drive". It premiered on the USA Today website.[56]

Waitress (2017)

On September 27, 2017, it was announced that Mraz would make his Broadway debut in the musical Waitress. He took on the role of Dr. Pomatter on November 3, 2017 for a 10-week run. He had previously sung “Bad Idea” and “You Matter to Me” on Sara Bareilles' 2015 album (based on the show's music) What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress.[57][58]

Personal life

Mraz was engaged to singer-songwriter and long-time close friend Tristan Prettyman on Christmas Eve 2010; they broke off the engagement six months later.[59]

Mraz lives a health-conscious lifestyle and has said that he eats mostly raw vegan foods. His vegan diet has also influenced his music.[60] He owns a five-and-a-half acre avocado farm in Oceanside, California.[61][62] He is an investor at Café Gratitude, a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, and named his 2011 tour Gratitude Café in its honor.[63] His hobbies include surfing, yoga and photography.[5][8]

On October 25, 2015, Mraz announced his secret marriage to girlfriend, Christina (Tina) Carano, in a post on his Facebook page.[64][65]

Social activism and philanthropy

Mraz is a social activist whose philanthropic efforts span wide-ranging issues, including the environment, human rights and LGBT equality. In 2009, he participated in a rescue mission to Ghana with members of Free the Slaves, an global nonprofit working to liberate children sold into slavery.[5] In 2012, he was featured as the first-ever straight man on the cover of Instinct magazine in recognition of his efforts in support of LGBT rights.[66]

The Jason Mraz Foundation was established in 2011, with a mission to support charities in the areas of human equality, environment preservation and education.[67] Organizations supported by the foundation include VH1's Save The Music Foundation, MusiCares, Surfrider Foundation, Free the Children, Life Rolls On, the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the True Colors Fund, which promotes LGBT equality.[67][68][69]

Mraz was named the 2010 Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Humanitarian of the Year.[70] He also received the Clean Water Award in 2010 from the Surfrider Foundation, for helping to preserve the world's oceans and beaches.[71] That same year, he teamed up with The Nature Conservancy and created a PSA using his song "I'm Yours" to raise awareness about the nonprofit organization's efforts to protect the earth.[72]

On December 16, 2012, Mraz headlined the Milestone Concert in Myanmar to raise awareness about human trafficking, making him the first foreign artist to play an open-air concert in Myanmar. The concert was organized by MTV EXIT and held in the People's Square in Yangon, with over 70,000 people in attendance, as part of an initiative to raise awareness about human trafficking in Myanmar.[73][74] Also in 2012, Mraz spent a week in Antarctica with a group of environmentalists, scientists and researchers on a mission led by Al Gore, to learn about the effects of climate change.[75]


Studio albums

  • Waiting for My Rocket to Come (2002)
  • Mr. A–Z (2005)
  • We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. (2008)
  • Love Is a Four Letter Word (2012)
  • Yes! (2014)

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2009 "I'm Yours" Song of the Year Nominated
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
2010 "Make It Mine" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Won
"Lucky" (with Colbie Caillat) Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Won

Other awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2002 Jason Mraz San Diego Music Awards for Best Acoustic Won
2002 Jason Mraz San Diego Music Awards for Artist of the Year Won
2009 Jason Mraz Best Male Artist Won
2009 We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. Teen Choice Award for Best Album (Male Artist) Won
2009 Jason Mraz American Music Award for Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist Nominated
2009 Jason Mraz Songwriters Hall of Fame Hal David Starlight Award Won
2010 Jason Mraz People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Artist Nominated
2010 "I'm Yours" ASCAP Song of the Year Won
2010 Jason Mraz Surf Industry Manufacturers Association Humanitarian of the Year Won
2010 Jason Mraz Surfrider Foundation Clean Water Award Won
2012 "I Won't Give Up" Best Love Song Nominated
2012 MVPA Awards for Best Adult Contemporary Video Nominated
2012 Jason Mraz ASCAP Foundation Champion Award Won
2013 Jason Mraz People's Choice Award for Pop Male Artist Won
2013 Jason Mraz MTV Europe Music Award For Best World Stage Nominated
2014 Jason Mraz San Diego Music Awards for Artist of the Year Won
2014 Jason Mraz – "Love Someone" San Diego Music Awards for Best Music Video by a San Diego Artist Won


  • A Thousand Things (2008, I Love Books)


Year Title Role Notes
2012 The Big Fix Himself Produced/ Documentary Film
2015 Unity Narrator Documentary

Television appearances (selected)

  • American Music Awards (2003)
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien (2003)
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (2003, 2005, 2008)
  • New Year's Rockin' Eve (2004)
  • The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2004, 2005, 2009, 2012)
  • EBS Space Gonggam(EBS 스페이스 공감) (2006)
  • Late Show with David Letterman (2008, 2009, 2012)
  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert (2008)
  • Rachael Ray (2008)
  • American Idol (2009)
  • Saturday Night Live (2009)
  • The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (2009)
  • Grammy Awards (2009, 2010)
  • Family Guy (2010)
  • The Jay Leno Show (2010)
  • Sesame Street (2010)
  • Chelsea Lately (2012)
  • Conan (2012)
  • Dancing With the Stars (2012)
  • The Fresh Beat Band (2012)
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2012)
  • Opening Act (2012)
  • Today (2012)
  • VH1 Storytellers (2012)
  • Watch What Happens: Live (2012)
  • Live from Daryl's House (2012)
  • American Restoration (2015)
  • Live from the Artists Den (2014)
  • K-pop Star 4 (케이팝 스타 4) (2015)


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  49. ^ Patrick Gavin, "More Stars Added to Obama Rally," Politico, April 20, 2011.
  50. ^ PBS "Jason Mraz Performance"
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  74. ^ "70,000 Fans Attend MTV EXIT Live in Myanmar Featuring Jason Mraz". Archived from the original on 2013-07-04. 
  75. ^ Jason Mraz, "Global Warming Is No Longer a Future Problem, It’s a Now Event," Huffington Post, April 28, 2012.

External links

  • Official website
  • Jason Mraz on IMDb
  • Jason Mraz at AllMusic
  • Jason Mraz collection at the Internet Archive's live music archive
  • Playlist: Jason Mraz – Nightline 07/17/09 – Reggae to rock, Mraz reveals his musical influences.
This page was last modified 05.02.2018 22:22:15

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