Neil Young Biography

Neil Young photo

Born: November 12, 1945


Date of Birth: November 12, 1945

Neil Young is one of the most influential Canadian singer-songwriters of his generation. In addition, he's a producer and director.

Born and raised in Toronto, Young began playing music in high school. He frequently performed in garage groups, such as The Esquires, in local folk clubs and coffeehouses. At the age of 21, he moved to California where he co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay. They were later joined by David Crosby and Graham Nash, but unfortunately the group disbanded in 1968. Young seized this opportunity to establish himself as a solo performer. He hired Elliot Roberts as his manager and signed with Reprise Records. His first solo album was originally released in November 1968; however, Young was unhappy with the sound quality, so he remixed it and re-released it in January 1969. Since then, his career has lasted over 40 years, resulting in 34 studio albums.

Following his first album, Young worked with local groupCrazy Horse, whose members include Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot, and Ralph Molina. The group supported him on his second album, entitled Everybody Knows this is Nowhere, which featured hits songs "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down by the River." Shortly after his second album release, Young went on to join the group Crosby, Stills, & Nash in 1970 for their album Déjà Vu. Although he was now part of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSN&Y), he continued his career as a solo artist simultaneously, releasing his album After the Gold Rush in August of 1970. Young's popularity grew through his association with CSN&Y.

Over the course of his career, Young continually explored and experimented with various types of music. His two primary styles are folk and country and rock, but he soon branched out trying rockabilly, swing, grunge, alternative rock, blues, and electronic music. Young's work is characterized by his distinctive guitar work, personal lyrics, and high tenor singing voice. This multi-talented musician also accompanies himself on various different instruments, such as the piano and harmonica.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has recognized Young as "one of rock and roll's greatest songwriters and performers," inducting him as a solo artist in 1995 and as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997. Young was also inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1982. He has won two Grammy Awards, one in 2010 for Best Art Direction on a Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package and one in 2011 for Best Rock Song ("Angry World").

In addition to his musical accomplishments, Young is also a film producer and director under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey. Young has produced such films as Year of the Horse (1997),Neil Young: Silver and Gold (2000), Greendale (2003), Neil Young: Heart of Gold(2006) and Neil Young Journeys (2011). Films he has either directed or co-directed includeJourney through the Past (1974), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Human Highway (1982), Greendale(2003) and CSNY/Déjà Vu (2008). Young has also had the opportunity to perform in small roles in films such as Made in Heaven (1987), '68 (1988), and Love at Large (1990).

Young is an advocate of environmental issues as well as the welfare of small farmers. In 1985, he co-founded Farm Aid, a benefit concert. The following year he founded The Bridge School, an educational organization for children with severe verbal and physical disabilities that holds annual benefit concerts.

Young lives on a ranch in La Honda, California with his wife Pegi Young, with whom he has two children, Ben and Amber Jean. Young's first child, Zeke, is from a relationship with actress Carrie Snodgress.


Neil Young Journeys (2011)
Neil Young Trunk Show (2010)
Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006)
Greendale (2003)
Neil Young: Silver and Gold (2000)
Love at Large (1990)
'68 (1988)
Made in Heaven (1987)
Human Highway (1982)
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