Dan Auerbach

Dan Auerbach Biography

Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter (1979–)
The Black Keys' guitarist Dan Auerbach and his drummer, Patrick Carney, won multiple 2013 Grammy Awards for their album El Camino and its hit track, "Lonely Boy."


Dan Auerbach was born on May 14, 1979, in Akron, Ohio. In 2002 he and drummer Pat Carney released their first album as the Black Keys, The Big Come Up. Auerbach released his first solo album, Keep it Hid, in 2009. In 2010 The Black Keys released Brothers, which won Grammy Awards and went gold. In 2013, their El Camino album brought home yet more Grammys, and Auerbach won in the "Producer of the Year" category.

Early Years

Dan Auerbach, guitarist and singer of the Black Keys, was born Daniel Quine Auerbach on May 14, 1979, in Akron, Ohio. Auerbach's family fostered his love of music at an early age. His mother, Mary Auerbach, was a classical piano teacher and hailed from a family of bluegrass musicians. His father was an antique dealer with a broad record collection, which could frequently be heard blaring on the family stereo. Although his father doesn't play an instrument, in recent years, he has successfully dabbled in song writing. Auerbach's cousin was respected rock guitarist Robert Quine, who passed away in 2004. Auerbach cites his uncle, James Quine, as an ongoing source of musical inspiration. But it was his father who encouraged him to get on stage.

In his youth, Auerbach began playing paid gigs with his three-piece band, the Barnburners, at local Akron venues four to five nights a week. He also played bass or second guitar for other musicians during this time.

The Black Keys

Auerbach met his future Black Keys drummer, Patrick Carney, when the two were still in high school. They performed their first gig together at an Akron club called the Lime Spider. About two years after Auerbach had begun working in the Akron blues club circuit, he and Carney went on tour to promote their first album together as the Black Keys, The Big Come Up. The duo recorded the album in Carney's basement and had managed to secure its 2002 release under the small record label, Alive Records.

The Black Keys continued to establish themselves as a rock 'n' roll force to be reckoned with. They became known for their considerable songwriting skills with the release of their next two albums: Thick Freakness (2003) and Rubber Factory (2004).

In 2006, the Black Keys signed with a division of Warner Brothers called Nonesuch Records, releasing their moody Magic Potion album that year. As their reputation spread, the Black Keys' concerts began drawing larger crowds, resulting in better bookings. The band released another moody album, Attack and Release, in 2008, which hit the Top 20.

The Black Keys teamed up with rappers Mos Def, Q-Tip and RZA to record the joint venture "Blakroc" in 2009. Concurrent with his success as the Black Keys' frontman, Auerbach has pursued musical projects independent of the band. Among them was the release of his first solo album, Keep it Hid, in 2009, which he recorded at his home studio in Akron. (Auerbach and Carney later relocated to Nashville, Tennessee.)

The following year, the Black Keys released Brothers, and the album quickly hit No. 3 on the charts. A certified gold record, Brothers earned the Black Keys 2010 Grammy Awards in the categories of "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" and "Best Alternative Music Album."

In 2013, the Black Keys' El Camino album brought home even more Grammys, including in the categories of "Best Rock Album," "Best Rock Song" (for their track "Lonely Boy") and "Best Rock Performance" ("Lonely Boy"). Auerbach also won the 2013 Grammy for producer of the year.

Personal Life

Auerbach has a daughter named Sadie Little from his marriage to Stephanie Gonis. In February 2013, sources close to the couple reported to U.S. Weekly that Auerback and Gonis had separated.

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