Jakob Luke Dylan is an American singer and songwriter who gained fame as the lead singer of the Wallflowers, a popular American rock band. Also the primary songwriter of the band, he wrote the hit song 'One Headlight' which went on to win two Grammys. It also stood at the 58th position in Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs. Dylan began his career in the late 1980s after forming his band 'The Apples'. Shortly after, the band’s name was changed to 'The Wallflowers'. Their first self-titled album wasn't much of a success. Their second album 'Bringing Down the Horse' became a huge success, and peaked at the 4th position on the US Billboard 200. It has been the band's most successful album till date. It was also nominated for multiple Grammys. Along with his band, Dylan has released a total of six albums. In addition, he has released two solo albums 'Seeing Things' and 'Women + Country'. Throughout his career, he has also made guest appearances in several albums such as Willie Nile's 'Streets of New York' and Holly Williams' 'The Highway'. He is also known for his philanthropic activities such as promoting diabetes awareness. He has received the Father of the Year award from the American Diabetes Association.
Childhood & Early Life
Jakob Luke Dylan was born on 9 December 1969 in New York City, New York, United States. His father is the famous Bob Dylan, a popular American singer, songwriter, painter, and writer. His mother Sara Dylan is also a successful singer and songwriter. Both of them are Jewish.
Jakob, the youngest of five siblings, spent the early years of his childhood in Greenwich Village, in Lower Manhattan, in New York. At the age of three, he, along with his family, moved to Los Angeles. In 1977, when he was of eight years of age, his parents divorced. Though he was mainly brought up by his mother, he also shared a good relationship with his father.
He grew up listening to English rock records, and soon developed a huge liking for the English rock band ‘The Clash’. After his high school graduation, he moved to New York City where he studied art at the Parsons School of Design. Later he dropped out in order to pursue a full-time career in music.
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In 1989 Jakob Dylan, along with his childhood friend Tobi Miller, formed a rock band named ‘The Apples’. Later, the name was changed to ‘The Wallflowers’. The band soon signed with Virgin Records. In 1992, the band released their self-titled debut album. It received positive reviews, but didn’t do well commercially.
In 1995, three years after the release of their first album, their second album ‘Bringing Down the Horse’ was released. The album was a huge hit. It peaked at fourth position on the US Billboard 200. It was also nominated for multiple Grammys.
Following the release of their second album, Dylan, along with his band, toured for nearly two years. After taking a short break, they started working on their third studio album ‘Breach’, which was released in October 2000. It stood at number 13 on the US Billboard 200. It received mostly positive reviews.
After the band released two more albums ‘Red Letter Days’ (2002) and ‘Rebel, Sweetheart’ (2005), Dylan decided to pursue a solo career. He started doing shows without his band. He released his first solo album ‘Seeing Things’, in June 2008. It stood at 24th position on the US Billboard 100.
He collaborated with several other renowned singers and made guest appearances in their albums which included Willie Nile’s ‘Streets of New York’ (2005), Jesse Malin’s ‘Glitter in the Gutter’ (2007), Shawn Colvin’s ‘All Fall Down’ (2012) and Holly Williams’ ‘The Highway’ (2013).
His second solo studio album ‘Women + Country’ was released in 2010. The album debuted at No. 12 on the US Billboard 200.
The band reunited to work on their sixth studio album ‘Glad All Over’. It was released in 2012 and stood at No. 48 on the US Billboard 200.
In 2013, Dylan recorded an album in collaboration with several popular singers including Dave Matthews and Charles Sexton. The album is yet to release.
‘Bringing Down the Horse’, Jakob Dylan’s second album with his band ‘The Wallflowers’, can be regarded as his most successful studio album till date. The album was a huge commercial success. With singles such as ‘One Headlight’, ‘6th Avenue Heartache’, ‘Three Marlenas’ and ‘Invisible City’, the album peaked at the 4th position on the US Billboard 200, and at the 6th position on the Canadian Albums Chart.
‘One Headlight’, a song written by Dylan, is one of the best songs of his career. The song was listed on Rolling Stone and TV’s list of ‘100 Greatest Pop Songs of All Time’. It also won two Grammy Awards. It topped several charts in the US as well as the Canadian Top Singles chart.
‘Seeing Things’, Jakob Dylan’s first solo album was released in June 2008. It included tracks such as ‘Valley of the Low Sun’, ‘Will it Grow’, ‘On up the Mountain’, and ‘War is Kind’. The album debuted at number 24 on the US Billboard 200. It received mostly favorable reviews from critics.
He has also worked in several albums of other popular singers, one of them being ’Ghost on the Canvas’, an album by the famous American singer and songwriter Glenn Campbell. The album included tracks, such as ‘A Better Place’, ‘In My Arms’, and ‘Nothing but the Whole Wide World’. The album stood at 24th position on the US Billboard 200. It mostly received mixed reviews.
Awards & Achievements
‘The Wallflowers’ won two Grammys for the hit song ‘One Headlight’ in 1998.
Jakob Dylan received an honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Idaho State University in May 2011.
In 1992, Jakob Dylan married his girlfriend Paige, who is a screenwriter. The couple has four sons.
He supports creating awareness about medical conditions like diabetes, Crohn's and colitis. He actively participates in certain events of Connecting to Cure, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness Crohn's and colitis.