Ryan Adams got his musical start playing punk rock before he was old enough to drive. Dropping out of high school in North Carolina, he decided music was his calling. Adams got his first taste of real success fronting the alt-country band Whiskeytown, describing punk as “too hard to sing.” After three successful albums, the band came to an end and Adams struck out as a solo artist. While not a commercial success, his first release, ‘Heartbreaker,’ gained critical praise. With his second album, ‘Gold,’ Adams received more widespread attention thanks to the single, ‘New York, New York.’ Adams’ label, Lost Highway Records, refused to release several of his albums, opting instead to make Adams’ third solo release, ‘Demolition,’ a mix of songs chosen from the unreleased albums. In 2004, Adams started his own label, Pax Americana, to release what Lost Highway wouldn’t. When his contract with Lost Highway expired, Adams started releasing everything through his own label. He fronted the Cardinals from 2005 until the band split in 2009. Since then, he’s released numerous songs, put together a punk band called Pornograph, and recorded a handful of solo albums.
- Selected Discography: ‘Heartbreaker’ (2000), ‘Gold’ (2001), ‘Love is Hell’ (2004)
- Further Reading: 10 Most Underrated Ryan Adams Songs, Who is the Last True Rock Star?, The Top 10 Albums of 2014