World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Duncan Sheik

Article Id: WHEBN0000706566
Reproduction Date:

Title: Duncan Sheik  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Daylight (Duncan Sheik album), Stephen W Tayler, Duncan Sheik (album), Humming (album), Phantom Moon
Collection: 1969 Births, 20Th-Century American Singers, 21St-Century American Singers, Alternative Rock Singers, American Alternative Rock Musicians, American Buddhists, American Male Singer-Songwriters, American Pop Singers, American Rock Singers, American Rock Singer-Songwriters, American Rock Songwriters, American Singer-Songwriters, Atlantic Records Artists, Brown University Alumni, Grammy Award Winners, Living People, Members of Sōka Gakkai, Musicians from New Jersey, Musicians from South Carolina, People from Beaufort, South Carolina, People from Garrison, New York, People from Montclair, New Jersey, Phillips Academy Alumni, Singers from New Jersey, Songwriters from New Jersey, Tibet Freedom Artists, Tony Award Winners, Zoë Records Artists
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Duncan Sheik

Duncan Sheik
Background information
Birth name Duncan Sheik
Born (1969-11-18) November 18, 1969
Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres Rock, pop, alternative rock, acoustic rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, composer
Instruments Guitar, piano, vocals, electronics
Years active 1993-present
Labels Atlantic, Nonesuch, Elektra, Zoë, Rounder, Universal, Rhino Entertainment
Website .com.duncansheikwww
Grammy Awards
2008 Best Musical Show Album
Spring Awakening
Tony Awards
2007 Best Orchestrations
Spring Awakening
2007 Best Original Score
Spring Awakening

Duncan 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, where he won multiple Tonys and a Grammy. Sheik practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the US branch of the worldwide Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International.[1]


  • Early career 1
  • 2000s 2
  • Discography 3
  • Musicals 4
  • Singles 5
  • Film & television 6
  • Other appearances 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

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 I’m 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]

In 2013, Sheik wrote the music and lyrics to the musical adaptation of American Psycho,[11] which opened at the Almeida Theatre in London (and which will now be staged on Broadway in 2016[12]). That same year, Sheik wrote the music for the musical adaptation of the novel Because of Winn-Dixie, which opened at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.[13] Dixie was 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.

In 2015, Sheik wrote the New York Stage & Film musical thriller Noir, along with collaborator Kyle Jarrow. Inspired by live radio plays and classic film noir, the musical was directed by Rachel Chavkin.[14] In addition, Sheik will release a new studio album, titled Legerdemain, in October of this year.[15]

Currently, Sheik is composing the music for a feature-film adaptation of Spring Awakening, an adaptation almost a decade in the making.[16]


Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US Heat
1996 Duncan Sheik
  • Release date: June 1996
  • Label: Atlantic
83 1
  • US: Gold[19]
1998 Humming
  • Release date: October 6, 1998
  • Label: Atlantic
2001 Phantom Moon
  • Release date: February 27, 2001
  • Label: Nonesuch
2002 Daylight
  • Release date: August 22, 2002
  • Label: Atlantic
2006 White Limousine
  • Release date: January 26, 2006
  • Label: Zoë
2009 Whisper House
  • Release date: January 27, 2009
  • Label: RCA Victor
2011 Covers 80's
  • Release date: June 7, 2011
  • Label: Sneaky
2015 Legerdemain
  • Release date: October 9, 2015
  • Label:
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  • Twelfth Night - 2002
  • Nero (Another Golden Rome) - 2006
  • Spring Awakening - 2006, 2007—2009
  • The Nightingale - 2006 (based on The Nightingale)
  • Whisper House - 2010
  • Carson McCullers Talks About Love (with Suzanne Vega) - 2011
  • Alice by Heart - 2012
  • American Psycho[21] - In production


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Adult
US Dance
US Pop
1997 "Barely Breathing" 12 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" 21 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

  • "View from the Other Side", Friends
  • "A Body Goes Down", Jeff Buckley: Goodbye and Hello
  • "Now or Never", Boys and Girls
  • "Mama Who Bore Me", 90210
  • "Barely Breathing", Glee
  • "Barely Breathing", Girls

Other appearances

In 1998, Sheik recorded "Embraceable You" for 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,[28] as well as his 2012 follow-up.[29]

In 2000, Sheik wrote the foreword to The Way of Youth: Buddhist Common Sense for Handling Life's Questions, by Soka Gakkai International 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.[30]

See also


  1. ^ "SGI-USA Arts Division Conference". Soka Gakkai International News. February 8, 2008. 
  2. ^ Loveline, 1996-09-08.
  3. ^ Finn, Robin (July 2, 2002). "PUBLIC LIVES; Decisions, Decisions. Name Recognition or Nirvana?". The New York Times. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ article, "Broadway’s Hidden Treasures Revealed".
  6. ^ 'Playbill'' article"'". 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  7. ^ Miller, Michael H. "Duncan Sheik Cancels Tour Dates to Deal with Alcohol-Related Addiction | The New York Observer". Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  8. ^ Peter Vidani. "Duncan Sheik News Archive (Message + Song From Duncan)". Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik Workshopping New "Alice" Musical at London's National Theatre". 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  11. ^ 'American Psycho' musical takes shape Duncan Sheik to write music, Roberto Aguirre to pen adaptation
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  18. ^ "allmusic ((( Duncan Sheik > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  19. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - August 10, 2014: Duncan Sheik certified albums".  
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Duncan Sheik and Robert Aguirre-Sacasa Will Make American Psycho Sing". 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  22. ^ Canadian Top Singles peak Collections Canada
  23. ^ "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Dance/Club Play Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Duncan Sheik Album & Song Chart History - Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ E-Online (July 22, 2008) Sting, Matthews, Mayer Gamer for Tibet Than Beijing

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.