Childhood & Early Life
Tyler Joseph was born on December 1, 1988, in Columbus, Ohio, US as the eldest child among four children of Kelly and Chris Joseph. His three siblings are brothers, Zack and Jay, and sister, Madison.
His father was a school principal remained basketball coach of ‘Worthington Christian High School’ from 1996 to 2005. His mother used to teach mathematics in Olentangy school district before taking basketball coaching of ‘Olentangy Orange High School’ in 2013.
Joseph, who was initially homeschooled by his mother, attended ‘Olentangy High School’ and graduated in 2005. He started playing basketball early and played for Worthington Christian in the point guard position. In 2008, his team attained second position in the Division IV state tournament.
Inspired by the performance of a songwriter at a High Street club, he turned down Otterbein University’s offer for a basketball scholarship and instead resolved to pursue a career in music.
He started off playing music with an old keyboard he received years back from his mother as a Christmas present. He would mimic radio melodies, compose songs and practice singing. However, his actual exposure to music happened in 2006 through DC Talk, a Christian hip hop group.
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While still in high school he started working on his solo music career and released an EP titled ‘No Phun Intended’. He recorded the EP in his basement during his senior year in high school from 2007 to 2008. Till 2015 it was available on his PureVolume account.
Some tracks of ‘No Phun Intended’ were redone into fresh songs for ‘Twenty One Pilots’. For instance ‘Save’ was reworked and made available as free download for sometime on official website of the band. Again, the track ‘Trees’, re-worked later, found place on the albums ‘Vessel’ and ‘Regional At Best’.
He conceived the idea of forming a band and in this pursuit founded ‘Twenty One Pilots’ with his high school friends, Chris Salih and Nick Thomas in Columbus, Ohio in 2009. He named the band inspired by ‘All My Sons’, a 1947 play by Arthur Miller.
The band released its self-titled debut album ‘Twenty One Pilots’ independently on December 29, 2009. The album, all the fourteen tracks of which were written by Joseph, climbed at #139 in the US Billboard 200 chart and sold 115,000 copies.
Following the release of ‘Twenty One Pilots’, the band toured across Ohio. It was the only album that saw contributions from Salih and Thomas as they left the band in 2011.
Joseph was then joined by Josh Dun, an American musician who eventually became the full-time drummer of the band quitting his job at Guitar Center.
Joseph and Dun released the second independent album of the band titled ‘Regional at Best’ on July 8, 2011 to little success. The album could garner sale of only 3000 copies.
The duo gradually gained fame and recognition by doing shows and featuring in several videos of Mark C. Eshleman, a friend and producer of several music videos of the band. The last show of the duo as an unsigned band was before a crowd of 1800 in Columbus Ohio’s Newport Music Hall.
Joseph, a devote Christian has also remained associated with the Five14 Church. He was the main star of ‘The (moderately inspiring tale of the) Longboard Rodeo Tango’, a 3 episode mockumentary of Five14 Church in 2011. Many of the songs written by Joseph are influenced by his faith.
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In April 2012, the musical duo signed with American record label ‘Fueled by Ramen’ owned by ‘Warner Music Group’. The duo’s major-label debut album ‘Vessel’ with ‘Fueled by Ramen’ came out next year on January 8, 2013. ‘Vessel’ received positive reviews and garnered a sale of more than 569,000 copies as of 2016. It made its way to several international charts including peaking at #3 on the US Billboard Vinyl Albums and the US Billboard Catalog Albums apart from climbing at #21 on the US Billboard 200.
He was part of Five14 Church's variety show ‘Christmas With the Stars’ held on December 24, 2013 in New Albany, Ohio including singing the Christian hymn ‘O come, O come, Emmanuel’ and also taking part in the magic segment along with David McCreary, the host and emcee of the church.
The worship albums of Five14 Church which were created by the gospel band, ‘Whittaker’ also has contributions from Joseph in some of the tracks.
The fourth studio album of the band, and the second with ‘Fueled by Ramen’ released on May 17, 2015. It was titled ‘Blurryface’ and surpassed its predecessor by leaps and bounds. It remained 2016’s eighth best-selling album and till April 2017, it sold 1.5 million copies in the US.
'Blurryface’ succeeded in debuting at the top of the Billboard 200 chart while two of its singles ‘Stressed Out’ and ‘Ride’ peaked at #2 and #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart respectively. The album earned several certifications including a triple-platinum from the ‘Recording Industry Association of America’ (RIAA).
Meanwhile, the musical duo embarked on ‘Blurryface Tour’, an international concert focussing on the ‘Blurryface’ album. It started in Glasgow, Scotland, on May 11, 2015 and after performing 113 shows around the world concluded in Bunbury, Western Australia on May 7 2016.
They then commenced on the ‘Emotional Roadshow World Tour’, yet another international tour predominantly focusing on the ‘Blurryface’ album. The tour that comprise of 123 shows started at the U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati on May 31, 2016 and is planned for a finish in Columbus, Ohio on June 25, 2017.
Both the tours succeeded in skyrocketing the fame and popularity of the music duo. Such fame only soared when the duo won the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance award at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony held on February 12, 2017.