Eddie Vedder

Eddie Jerome Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III; December 23, 1964) is an American musician, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter best known as the lead vocalist, one of three guitarists, and the lyricist of the American rock band Pearl Jam. He is known for his powerful baritone vocals. He also appeared as a guest vocalist in Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to the late singer Andrew Wood. Vedder has been ranked at number 7 on a list of "Best Lead Singers of All Time", compiled by Rolling Stone.[4]

Eddie Vedder
Vedder in October 2006
Background information
Birth nameEdward Louis Severson III
Also known asEddie Vedder, Eddie Mueller
Born (1964-12-23) December 23, 1964
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
  • Musician
  • Singer-songwriter
Years active1987–present
Associated acts

In 2007, Vedder released his first solo album as a soundtrack for the film Into the Wild (2007). His second album Ukulele Songs and a live DVD titled Water on the Road were released in 2011.

In 2017, Vedder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pearl Jam.[5]

Early life

Vedder was born Edward Louis Severson III in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, on December 23, 1964, to Karen Lee Vedder and Edward Louis Severson, Jr.[6][7] His parents divorced in 1965, when Vedder was an infant. His mother soon remarried, to a man named Peter Mueller. Vedder was raised believing that Mueller was his biological father, and he went by the name Edward Mueller for a time.[8] Vedder's ancestry includes Dutch, German and Danish.[6][7]

While living in Evanston, Vedder's family fostered seven younger children in a group home.[9] In the mid-1970s, the family, including Vedder's three younger half-brothers, moved to San Diego County, California. It was at this point that Vedder, who had received a guitar from his mother on his twelfth birthday, began turning to music (as well as surfing) as a source of comfort. He particularly found solace in the Who's 1973 album, Quadrophenia.[10] He said, "When I was around 15 or 16... I was all alone—except for music."[11] His mother and Mueller divorced when Vedder was in his late teens. His mother and brothers moved back to the Chicago area, but Vedder remained with his stepfather in California so he would not have to change schools.

After the divorce, Vedder learned the truth about his parentage: Mueller was really his stepfather. Vedder had met his biological father briefly as a child, but had believed that Severson was merely an old friend of his parents. By the time Vedder learned the truth, Severson had died of multiple sclerosis. During his senior year at San Dieguito High School, Vedder moved out to live on his own in an apartment, supporting himself with a nightly job at a drug store in Encinitas.[11] Because of the pressure of work and school, Vedder dropped out of high school.[11] He joined the rest of his family in Chicago, and it was at this time that he changed his name to Vedder, his mother's maiden name.

In the early 1980s, while working as a waiter, Eddie earned his high school GED, and briefly attended a community college near Chicago.[8][12] In 1984, Vedder returned to San Diego, with his girlfriend, Beth Liebling and his friend Frank. He kept busy recording demo tapes at his home and working various jobs, including a position as a contracted security guard at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla.[13] Vedder had several stints in San Diego area bands, including Surf and Destroy and the Butts.[9] One of those bands, called Indian Style,[14] included future Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave drummer Brad Wilk.[15] In 1988, Vedder became the vocalist for the San Diego progressive funk rock band Bad Radio. The music of the original incarnation of the band was influenced by Duran Duran; however, after Vedder joined Bad Radio, the band moved on to a more alternative rock sound influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[16]

Temple of the Dog

In the 1980s Vedder worked part-time as a night attendant at a local gas station.[17] Through the Southern California music scene, Vedder met former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons, who became a friend of Vedder and would play basketball with him.[18] Later in 1990, Irons gave him a demo tape from a band in Seattle, Washington, that was looking for a singer. He listened to the tape shortly before going surfing, where lyrics came to him.[19] Vedder wrote lyrics for three of the songs in what he later described as a "mini-opera" entitled Momma-Son. The songs tell the story of a young man who, like Vedder, learns that he had been lied to about his paternity and that his real father is dead, grows up to become a serial killer, and is eventually imprisoned and sentenced to death.[19] Vedder recorded vocals for the three songs, and mailed the demo tape back to Seattle. The three songs would later become Pearl Jam's "Alive", "Once", and "Footsteps".

After hearing Vedder's tape, former Mother Love Bone members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament invited Vedder to come to Seattle to audition for their new band. They were instantly impressed with his unique sound. At the time, Gossard and Ament were working on the Temple of the Dog project founded by Soundgarden's Chris Cornell as a musical tribute to Mother Love Bone's frontman Andrew Wood, who died of a heroin overdose at age 24. Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron and newcomer Mike McCready were also a part of the project. The song "Hunger Strike" became a duet between Cornell and Vedder. Cornell later said of Vedder that "he sang half of that song not even knowing that I'd wanted the part to be there and he sang it exactly the way I was thinking about doing it, just instinctively."[20] Vedder would provide background vocals on several other songs as well. In April 1991, Temple of the Dog was released through A&M Records. "Hunger Strike" became Temple of the Dog's breakout single; it was also Vedder's first featured vocal on a record.[21] Vedder said about the song in the 2009 book Grunge Is Dead; "I really like hearing that song. I feel like I could be real proud of it – because one, I didn't write it, and two, it was such a nice way to be ushered onto vinyl for the first time. I'm indebted to Chris [Cornell] time eternal for being invited onto that track."[22] On the 2011 documentary Pearl Jam Twenty, Vedder stated; "That was the first time I heard myself on a real record. It could be one of my favorite songs that I've ever been on – or the most meaningful."[23] Vedder and Cornell performed the song together for the last time on October 26, 2014 at the Bridge School Benefit.[24]

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam was formed in 1990 by Ament, Gossard, and McCready,[19] who then recruited Vedder and three different drummers in sequence.[9][25][26] The band originally took the name Mookie Blaylock, but was forced to change it when the band signed to Epic Records in 1991, instead calling their debut album Ten, after Blaylock's jersey number.

Ten brought the band into the mainstream, and became one of the best selling alternative albums of the 1990s, being certified 13x Platinum. The band found itself amidst the sudden popularity and attention given to the Seattle music scene and the genre known as grunge. The single "Jeremy" received Grammy Award nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Hard Rock Performance in 1993.[27] Pearl Jam received four awards at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards for its music video for "Jeremy", including Video of the Year and Best Group Video.[28] Ten ranks number 207 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time,[29] and "Jeremy" was ranked number 11 on VH1's list of the 100 greatest songs of the '90s.[30]

Following an intense touring schedule, the band went into the studio to record what would become its second studio album, Vs., released in 1993. Upon its release, Vs. set the record at the time for most copies of an album sold in a week,[32] and spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard 200. Vs. was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 1995.[33] From Vs., the song "Daughter" received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and the song "Go" received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.[34]

Feeling the pressures of success, with much of the burden of Pearl Jam's popularity falling on Vedder,[19] the band decided to decrease the level of promotion for its albums, including refusing to release music videos.[35] Vedder's issue with fame came from what he stated as "what happens when a lot of these people start thinking you can change their lives or save their lives or whatever and create these impossible fuckin' expectations that in the end just start tearing you apart."[36] In 1994, the band began a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster, which lasted for three years and limited the band's ability to tour in the United States.[37] Vedder faced what he called a "pretty intense stalker problem" during the mid-1990s. Vedder would refer to the issue in the song "Lukin" from No Code.

Later that same year the band released its third studio album, Vitalogy, which became the band's third straight album to reach multi-platinum status. It was at this time that Vedder began to be featured more on rhythm guitar, as well as on back up vocals and some drumming. The pressure of fame is a common theme of Vedder's songs on the album.[38] The album received Grammy nominations for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album in 1996.[39] Vitalogy was ranked number 492 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[29] The lead single "Spin the Black Circle" won a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Hard Rock Performance.[33] Although Dave Abbruzzese performed on the album Vitalogy, he was fired in August 1994, four months before the album was released.[40] The band cited political differences between Abbruzzese and the other members; for example, he disagreed with the Ticketmaster boycott.[40] He was replaced by Jack Irons, a close friend of Vedder and the former and original drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[9]

Regarding the approach Pearl Jam took after its initial success, Vedder stated, "We've had the luxury of writing our own job description...and that description has basically been cut down to just one line: make music."[41] The band subsequently released No Code in 1996 and Yield in 1998. In 1998, prior to Pearl Jam's U.S. Yield Tour, Irons left the band due to dissatisfaction with touring.[42] Pearl Jam enlisted former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron as Irons' replacement on an initially temporary basis,[42] but he soon became the permanent replacement for Irons. "Do the Evolution" (from Yield) received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.[43] In 1998, Pearl Jam recorded "Last Kiss", a cover of a 1960s ballad made famous by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. It was released on the band's 1998 fan club Christmas single; however, by popular demand, the cover was released to the public as a single in 1999. "Last Kiss" peaked at number two on the Billboard charts and became the band's highest-charting single.

In 2000, the band released its sixth studio album, Binaural, and initiated a successful and ongoing series of official bootlegs. The band released seventy-two such live albums in 2000 and 2001, and set a record for most albums to debut in the Billboard 200 at the same time.[44] "Grievance" (from Binaural) received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.[45] The band released its seventh studio album, Riot Act, in 2002. Pearl Jam's contribution to the 2003 film Big Fish, titled "Man of the Hour," was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2004.[46] The band's eighth studio album, the eponymous Pearl Jam, was released in 2006. The band released its ninth studio album, Backspacer, in 2009 and its tenth studio album, Lightning Bolt, in 2013.

Vedder uses the pseudonym "Jerome Turner" on Pearl Jam records for his non-musical contributions such as design and artwork. He has also used the pseudonym "Wes C. Addle" ("West Seattle").

Other musical projects

Soundtrack contributions

Vedder has contributed solo material to several soundtracks and compilations, including the soundtracks for the films Dead Man Walking (1995), I Am Sam (2001), A Brokedown Melody (2004), Body of War (2007), and Reign Over Me (2007). Vedder collaborated with Pakistani musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for his contributions to the Dead Man Walking soundtrack. He covered the Beatles' "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" for the I Am Sam soundtrack. Vedder wrote "Man of the Hour" that Pearl Jam recorded for Tim Burton's Big Fish Soundtrack (2003). Vedder wrote two songs for the 2007 feature documentary, Body of War, produced by Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue: "No More" (a song referring to the Iraq War) and "Long Nights". Vedder and the supergroup the Million Dollar Bashers, which includes members from Sonic Youth, Wilco, and Bob Dylan's band, covered Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" for the biopic film, I'm Not There (2007). Pearl Jam recorded a cover version of the Who's song "Love, Reign o'er Me" for the film Reign Over Me, which takes its title from the song. In 2010, Vedder recorded a new song, "Better Days", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2010 film Eat Pray Love.[47][48]

Into the Wild

Vedder contributed an album's worth of songs to the soundtrack for the 2007 film, Into the Wild. The soundtrack was released on September 18, 2007 through J Records. It includes covers of the Indio song "Hard Sun" and the Jerry Hannan song "Society".[49] Vedder said that having to write songs based on a narrative "simplified things". He said, "There were fewer choices. The story was there and the scenes were there."[50] Vedder's songs written for the film feature a folk sound. Thom Jurek of AllMusic called the soundtrack a "collection of folksy, rootsy tunes where rock & roll makes fleeting appearances."[51] Vedder won a 2008 Golden Globe Award for the song "Guaranteed" from Into the Wild.[52] He was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his contributions to the film's original score.[53] At the 2008 Grammy Awards, "Guaranteed" received a nomination for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.[54] "Guaranteed" was also nominated a 2008 World Soundtrack Award in the category of Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film.[55] At the 2009 Grammy Awards, "Rise" received a nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo.[56]

Vedder promoted the Into the Wild soundtrack with his first solo tour, which began in April 2008. The April leg of the tour, dubbed the "April Fools Tour", began in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at The Centre on April 2, 2008 and was composed of ten dates focusing on the West Coast of the United States.[57][58] Vedder continued the tour with a second leg in August 2008 composed of fourteen dates focusing on the East Coast and Canada.[59] The second leg of the tour began in Boston, Massachusetts at the Boston Opera House and ended in Chicago, Illinois at the Auditorium Theatre.[60] In June 2009, Vedder followed his 2008 solo tour with another solo tour composed of fourteen dates focusing on the Eastern United States and Hawaii, which began in Albany, New York at the Palace Theatre and continued through to Honolulu at the Hawaii Theatre.[61]

Ukulele Songs

Vedder released his second solo album titled Ukulele Songs, a collection of original songs and covers performed on the ukulele, on May 31, 2011. The first single from the album, "Longing to Belong", was released through digital retailers on March 21. A live DVD titled Water on the Road, featuring live performances from two shows in Washington, D.C. during Vedder's 2008 solo tour, was released the same day as Ukulele Songs.


In addition to playing with Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog, Vedder has performed or recorded with numerous well-known artists. He has appeared on albums by the Who, Ramones, Neil Young, R.E.M., Neil Finn, Bad Religion, Mark Seymour, Cat Power, Mike Watt, Fastbacks, Wellwater Conspiracy, Jack Irons, and John Doe, and has also recorded with the Strokes, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Supersuckers, Susan Sarandon, and Zeke. In the months of June and July 2006, Vedder made live performances jamming with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, singing on many tracks, including lead vocals on "The Waiting" and backing vocals on "American Girl". Vedder performed the songs "Break on Through (To the Other Side)", "Light My Fire" and "Roadhouse Blues" with the remaining members of the Doors at the 1993 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He also performed with R.E.M. at the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and with the Stooges at the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Vedder made a guest appearance at the Ramones' last show on August 6, 1996 at the Palace in Hollywood.[62] Vedder has also performed live on stage with some of the biggest names in music and film including Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Plant, Roger Waters, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Ramones, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, Chris Martin, Flea, Beyoncé, Bryan Adams, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Roger Daltrey, Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, Dave Grohl, Chad Smith, Perry Farrell, Cheap Trick, the Strokes, My Morning Jacket, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Jerry Cantrell, Andrew Stockdale, Josh Homme, Mike Ness, Neil Young, Guided By Voices, Ace Frehley, Dave Matthews, Elvis Costello, X, Natalie Maines, Tim Robbins, Johnny Depp, Adam Sandler, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Glen Hansard, Simon Townshend and Joe Elliott

In film

Vedder had a brief acting cameo in the 1992 movie, Singles, along with Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam. He appeared as himself, playing drums in lead actor Matt Dillon's backing band, Citizen Dick.[63] He was also interviewed for the 1996 grunge documentary, Hype! He appears in the 2003 Ramones documentary, End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones. In 2007, he made a cameo as himself in the comedy film, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. He appears in the 2007 Tom Petty documentary, Runnin' Down a Dream, the 2008 political documentary, Slacker Uprising, and the 2009 Howard Zinn documentary, The People Speak, based upon A People's History of the United States.[64] He was featured in the 2008 Greg Kohs documentary, Song Sung Blue, performing with Lightning and Thunder. He had a one-scene cameo in the second episode of the second season of the IFC television show Portlandia. He also appears in the 2012 documentary West of Memphis, protesting against the case. Vedder made an appearance in the season 3 episode 16 of David Lynch's Twin Peaks Aug 2017. He was referred to by his birth name, Edward Louis Severson.

The character of Jackson Maine in the movie 'A Star is Born' was influenced by Eddie Vedder. Bradley Cooper, who wrote the screenplay, produced, directed and starred in the film as Jackson Maine, hung out with Vedder for four or five days to get some tips from him about the character.[65]


Vedder is known for his social views. Discussing his views on current issues in the United States, Vedder said, "People on death row, the treatment of animals, women's right to choose. So much in America is based on religious fundamentalist Christianity. Grow up! This is the modern world!"[66] In 1992, Spin printed an article by Vedder, titled "Reclamation", which detailed his views on abortion.[67] Vedder and Pearl Jam have consistently supported abortion rights and performed at Rock for Choice in 1994.[68] During the band's appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1992, Vedder stood up on his stool during the instrumental break of the song "Porch" and wrote "PRO-CHOICE" on his left arm with a magic marker.[69]

Vedder was outspoken in support of Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader in 2000 and played at Green Party super rallies in Chicago and New York City.[70] Pearl Jam played a series of concerts on the 2004 Vote for Change tour, supporting the candidacy of John Kerry for U.S. President. Vedder told Rolling Stone magazine, "I supported Ralph Nader in 2000, but it's a time of crisis. We have to get a new administration in."[71] In 2005, during Pearl Jam's first South American tour, Vedder stated, to the immediate and effusive support from the crowd in Rio de Janeiro, that "next time we come to Brazil, the world will be a better place to live, as George Bush will no longer be the President of the United States." Vedder supported the candidacy of Barack Obama in 2008[72] and 2012,[73] and Bernie Sanders in 2016.

In his spare time, Vedder is a surfer and active in surf-related conservation efforts, most notably The Surfrider Foundation.[74] Vedder shows his support for environmental activism by sporting an Earth First! tattoo on his right calf. The logo is of a pipe wrench crossed with a stone hammer.

Vedder was a longtime and outspoken supporter for the Free the West Memphis Three movement, a cause that advocated the release of three young men who were convicted in 1994 of the gruesome murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. In an interview with Larry King on December 19, 2007, Damien Echols, who was then on death row for the murders, said that Vedder had been the "greatest friend a person could have" and that he had collaborated with him while in prison.[75] The song "Army Reserve" on Pearl Jam's 2006 self-titled album features a lyrical collaboration between Vedder and Echols. On August 19, 2011, Vedder and Natalie Maines attended the release hearing and arranged a celebration party for them afterwards.

Musical style and influences

Critic Jim DeRogatis describes Vedder's vocals as a "Jim Morrison-like vocal growl".[76] Greg Prato of AllMusic said, "With his hard-hitting and often confessional lyrical style and Jim Morrison-esque baritone, Vedder also became one of the most copied lead singers in all of rock."[77] Vedder has inducted the Doors, Neil Young, the Ramones, and R.E.M. into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in his induction speeches he has cited them all as influences. Other influences that Vedder has cited include Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, U2, the Who, Pink Floyd, the Jackson 5, the Beatles, Frank Zappa, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Tom Waits, Huey Lewis, Bob Dylan, and the Pixies.[78][79]

Vedder was heavily inspired by the early Jethro Tull sound, stating that: "I'm a big fan of Jethro Tull, and I listen to this record [Stand Up] every night before I go on stage!"[80]

Vedder's lyrical topics range from personal ("Alive", from Ten; "Better Man", from Vitalogy) to social and political concerns ("Even Flow", from Ten; "World Wide Suicide", from Pearl Jam). His lyrics have often invoked the use of storytelling and have included themes of freedom, individualism, and sympathy for troubled individuals.[81] Other recurring themes include the use of water metaphors,[82] as well as the idea of leaving everything behind to start again (featured in such songs as "Rearviewmirror", from Vs.; "MFC", from Yield; "Evacuation", from Binaural; and "Gone", from Pearl Jam).

Although best known as a vocalist, Vedder also plays guitar on many Pearl Jam songs, beginning with the Vs. songs "Rearviewmirror" and "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town". When the band started, Gossard and McCready were clearly designated as rhythm and lead guitarists, respectively. The dynamic began to change when Vedder started to play more rhythm guitar during the Vitalogy era. McCready said in 2006, "Even though there are three guitars, I think there's maybe more room now. Stone will pull back and play a two-note line and Ed will do a power chord thing, and I fit into all that."[83] Vedder's guitar playing helped the band's sound progress toward a more stripped-down style; the songs "Rearviewmirror" and "Corduroy" (from Vitalogy) feature Vedder's raw, punk-influenced guitar playing. As he had more influence on the band's sound, Vedder sought to make the band's musical output less catchy. He said, "I felt that with more popularity, we were going to be crushed, our heads were going to pop like grapes."[78] He has also contributed performances on the ukulele, harmonica, accordion, and electric sitar to various Pearl Jam recordings.

'Weird Al' Yankovic wrote the song "My Baby's in Love with Eddie Vedder" for his album Running with Scissors. the Rugburns wrote the song "Me and Eddie Vedder" for their 1994 album Morning Wood. Local H also wrote a song involving Eddie simply named "Eddie Vedder" which appeared on their 1996 album As Good as Dead.

Live performances

Throughout Pearl Jam's career, Vedder has interacted with the crowd during the band's concerts. Early in Pearl Jam's existence, Vedder and the band became known for their intense live performances. Vedder participated in stage diving as well as crowd surfing. During the early part of Pearl Jam's career, Vedder was known to climb the stage lighting rig and hang from the stage roof. Looking back at this time, Vedder said, "It's hard for us to watch early performances, even though that's when people think we were on fire and young. Playing music for as long as I had been playing music and then getting a shot at making a record and at having an audience and stuff, it's just like an untamed force...a different kind of energy. And I find it kind of hard to watch those early performances because it's so just fucking, semi-testosterone-fueled or whatever. But it didn't come from jock mentality. It came from just being let out of the gates."[84]

Vedder began incorporating social commentary and political criticism into his lyrics and performances early in his career with Pearl Jam. He usually comments on politics between songs, often to criticize U.S. foreign policy. During Pearl Jam's 1992 appearance on MTV Unplugged, Vedder stood atop his stool, took out a marker pen, and wrote "pro-choice" down his arm in large letters when the band performed the song "Porch". During Pearl Jam's 2007 Lollapalooza headlining show, Vedder and the band played a song telling the crowd in Chicago to boycott the oil company B.P. Amoco because they had been polluting Lake Michigan.[85]


"I just love to hear Eddie sing. I think he's got such a distinctive, fabulous voice. He doesn't copy, so that's what I like; he does the Eddie Vedder version. It's never easy to do because most people will just try and copy what the Who have done. He's always himself."

-Roger Daltrey discussing Vedder's singing.[86]

Vedder has been ranked at number 7 on a list of "Best Lead Singers of All Time", compiled by Rolling Stone.[4] Loudwire put him at number 35 on their Top 66 Hard Rock + Heavy Metal Frontmen of all time.[87] He has been ranked at number 5 on a list of "Singer with the Most Unique Voice", compiled by Rolling Stone.[88] Other singers like Roger Daltrey of the Who[89] and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden have praised him for his singing ability.[90] Hit Parader magazine placed him at number 23 on their list of the "Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time".[91]

Personal life

Vedder attended San Dieguito High School, now called San Dieguito Academy. Vedder donated proceeds from a 2006 Pearl Jam concert in San Diego toward the construction of a theater for the school in the name of his former drama teacher, Clayton E. Liggett. Liggett was Vedder's mentor in high school. Vedder wrote the song "Long Road" (from Merkin Ball) upon hearing of Liggett's death in 1995.[92] While living in the basement of Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis' house in Seattle in the early 90s, Vedder was roommates with Alice in Chains guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell.[93] Vedder was also friends with Alice in Chains' lead singer Layne Staley, and wrote the song "4/20/02" (from Lost Dogs) in the night that he found out about Staley's death, on April 20, 2002.[94] Vedder also paid tribute to Staley during a Pearl Jam show in Chicago on August 22, 2016, which would be Staley's 49th birthday; "It's the birthday of a guy called Layne Staley tonight, and we're thinking of him tonight too. 49 years old", Vedder told the crowd before dedicating the song "Man of the Hour" to his late friend.[95]

In 1994, Vedder married Hovercraft bass player Beth Liebling. The couple divorced in 2000.[96] Vedder's music style transformed around this same period with more focus on ukulele and deeper lyrics.[97] Vedder married his longtime girlfriend, model Jill McCormick, on September 18, 2010.[98][99] They have two daughters, Olivia and Harper.[100] In 2011, McCormick appeared on the music video for Vedder's solo single, "Longing to Belong".[101] In 2014, Vedder and McCormick co-founded the EB Research Partnership,[102] a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for the genetic skin disorder Epidermolysis bullosa.[103] To date, they have raised $12 million to fund research to find a cure.[104]

Vedder was a close friend of late Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman, Chris Cornell. Cornell was one of the first people Vedder met outside his Pearl Jam bandmates after moving to Seattle in 1990. The two were neighbors for a while and had shared vocal duties in Temple of the Dog. Soundgarden manager Susan Silver recalled in the 2009 book Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, that Cornell walked Vedder onstage at Pearl Jam (then named Mookie Blaylock)'s second show in Seattle, "Alice in Chains filmed the show at Moore theatre in 1990 and that was the show this new band [Mookie Blaylock] opened for them. Everyone was still reeling from Andy [Andrew Wood]'s death... and they hadn't really played out yet. The band came on and Chris carried Eddie onto the stage – he was on his shoulders. It was one of those super powerful moments, where it was all a big healing for everybody. He came out as this guy who had all the credibility in the world – in terms of people in Seattle – and Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone were loved bands. Andy was such an endearing personality. It was a hard thing to do – to show up after people die. And Chris bringing Eddie out, and pointing at him, as much to say, 'This is your guy now'.[105][106] Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready said about their friendship; "Ed was from San Diego and he felt very intimidated in Seattle. Chris really welcomed him. Ed was super, super shy. Chris took him out for beers and told him stories. He was like, "Hey, welcome to Seattle. I love Jeff [Ament] and Stone [Gossard]. I give you my blessing." From then on he was more relaxed. It was one of the coolest things I saw Chris do."[107] In a 2009 interview with Uncut magazine, Vedder stated that Cornell is "the best singer that we've got on the planet".[108] About the impact that Cornell had in his life, Vedder told a crowd in Alpine Valley before performing "Hunger Strike" with him in September 2011; "I had no idea how he would affect my life and my views on music and my views on friendship and what a big impact he would have. These guys [the other members of Pearl Jam] know him much longer than me and his impact is profound".[109][110] The friendship between Vedder and Cornell is also featured in the 2011 documentary Pearl Jam Twenty.[111][112] During his solo concert in London on June 6, 2017, Vedder talked for the first time about Cornell since his death on May 18, 2017, saying that "he wasn't just a friend, he was someone I looked up to like my older brother" and "I will live with those memories in my heart and I will love him forever".[113]

Vedder is a friend of Who guitarist Pete Townshend, who discouraged Vedder from retiring in 1993.[114] In late 2007, Vedder wrote the foreword to a new Pete Townshend biography, Who Are You: The Life of Pete Townshend. The book was published in the UK in March 2008 and in the U.S. in October 2008. Vedder was a close friend of the late Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone, with Vedder being at his side when he died. Since Ramone's death, Vedder and Pearl Jam have played the Ramones' "I Believe in Miracles" regularly at live shows. While driving home from Ramone's funeral, Vedder wrote the lyrics for the Pearl Jam song "Life Wasted" (from Pearl Jam).[78] He is also a friend of famed surfers Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, and fellow musicians Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. He was featured with Laird Hamilton in an episode of the documentary series Iconoclasts in 2006. While surfing with Tim Finn in New Zealand on March 25, 1995,[115] Vedder was carried 250 feet (76 m) off the coast and had to be rescued by lifeguards.[116] He also has paddled outrigger canoes on occasion and in 2005 was nearly lost at sea trying to paddle from Moloka'i to Oahu.[117]

Eddie Vedder's August 3, 2007 Wrigley Field visit

Vedder is a Chicago Bulls and Chicago Bears fan and a long-time, die-hard fan of the Chicago Cubs.[118] He attended many of the Cubs' 2016 playoff games and was in attendance during the Cubs' historic Game Seven victory in the 2016 World Series. Vedder also became a fan of the Seattle SuperSonics while he was living in Seattle, and could be spotted at KeyArena many nights attending Sonics games, prior to their relocation in 2008. He is friends with several Chicago sports figures, including former White Sox pitcher Jack McDowell, former Bulls player Dennis Rodman, former Blackhawks player Chris Chelios, Cubs GM Theo Epstein and former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood. Vedder occasionally wears a Walter Payton jersey while performing onstage. Vedder was wearing a White Sox hat given to him by McDowell during Pearl Jam's 1992 Saturday Night Live and MTV Unplugged appearances.

In November 1993, Vedder and McDowell were involved in a bar room brawl in New Orleans, Louisiana that resulted in Vedder being arrested for public drunkenness and disturbing the peace.[119] The Pearl Jam song "Black, Red, Yellow" (from the "Hail, Hail" single) is about the Rodman/Michael Jordan/Phil Jackson-era Chicago Bulls teams.[120] The middle of the song features a voice-mail message Rodman left for Vedder asking Vedder to return his call. Vedder sang the national anthem before the third game of the 1998 NBA Finals in Chicago,[121] and has sung "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at six Cubs games, including Game 5 of the 2016 World Series. In 2007, a few days before performing with Pearl Jam in Chicago for Lollapalooza, he threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs.[122] Vedder wrote a song at the request of former Cubs shortstop and first baseman Ernie Banks paying tribute to the Cubs called "All the Way".[123][124] On September 18, 2008, the song was made available for digital download via Pearl Jam's official website for US$0.99.[125] The day after the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, the Cubs' official Twitter account posted a montage video backed by Vedder's song in a tribute to Cubs fans.[126] Vedder identifies as an atheist and frequently writes and sings lyrics that question religious authority.[127]


Solo discography

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2007 Into the Wild
  • Released: September 18, 2007
  • Label: J
  • Format: CD, LP
11 39 31 68 6 30 34 89 28 183
2011 Ukulele Songs
  • Released: May 31, 2011
  • Label: Monkey Wrench
  • Format: CD, LP
4 6 64 18 6 13 32 23 5 49
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Temple of the Dog discography

Year Title Label Track(s)
1991 Temple of the Dog A&M "Hunger Strike", "Wooden Jesus", "Pushin Forward Back", "Your Saviour", and "Four Walled World"

Pearl Jam discography


Year Single Peak chart positions Album



2001 "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" 28 30 40 I Am Sam soundtrack
2007 "Hard Sun" 13 23 Into the Wild soundtrack
2010 "Better Days" Eat Pray Love soundtrack
2011 "Longing to Belong" Ukulele Songs
"Can't Keep"
"Without You"
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Music videos

  • "Hard Sun" (2007)
  • "Guaranteed" (2008)
  • "No More" (2008)
  • "Better Days" (2010)
  • "You're True" (2011)
  • "Longing to Belong" (2011)
  • "Can't Keep" (2011)
  • "Sleeping by Myself" (2012)

Contributions and collaborations

Year Group Title Label Track(s)
1993 Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready with G. E. Smith The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration Sony "Masters of War" (live)
Bad Religion Recipe for Hate Epitaph/Atlantic "American Jesus" and Watch It Die
1995 Mike Watt Ball-Hog or Tugboat? Columbia "Big Train" and "Against the 70's"
Neil Young Mirror Ball Reprise "Peace and Love"
1996 Eddie Vedder with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Dead Man Walking: Music from and Inspired By the Motion Picture Sony "Face of Love" and "Long Road"
Fastbacks New Mansions in Sound Sub Pop "Girl's Eyes"
Gary Heffern Painful Days Y-records "Passin' Thru'"
Crowded House Recurring Dream Capitol "Everything Is Good for You"
1997 Eddie Vedder with Hovercraft Kerouac – kicks joy darkness Rykodisc "Hymn"
Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready Tibetan Freedom Concert Capitol "Yellow Ledbetter" (live)
Ramones We're Outta Here! MCA "Any Way You Want It"
1999 Pete Townshend Pete Townshend Live: A Benefit for Maryville Academy Intersound "Magic Bus" (live) and "Heart to Hang Onto" (live)
Eddie Vedder and Susan Sarandon Cradle Will Rock: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack RCA "Croon Spoon"
2000 Supersuckers with Eddie Vedder Free the West Memphis 3 Koch "Poor Girl"
2001 Wellwater Conspiracy The Scroll and Its Combinations TVT "Felicity's Surprise"
Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready with Neil Young America: A Tribute to Heroes Interscope "Long Road" (live)
2002 Eddie Vedder I Am Sam: Music from and Inspired By the Motion Picture V2 Ada "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
Neil Finn 7 Worlds Collide Nettwerk "Take a Walk" (live), "Stuff and Nonsense" (live), "I See Red" (live), and "Parting Ways" (live)
2003 Eddie Vedder & Zeke We're a Happy Family - A Tribute to Ramones Columbia "I Believe in Miracles" and "Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)"
Cat Power You Are Free Matador "Good Woman" and "Evolution"
The Who The Who Live at the Royal Albert Hall Steamhammer US "I'm One" (live), "Gettin' in Tune" (live), "Let's See Action" (live), and "See Me, Feel Me" (live) (with Bryan Adams)
2004 Pete Townshend Magic Bus – Live from Chicago Compendia "Magic Bus" (live) and "Heart to Hang Onto" (live)
Jack Irons Attention Dimension Breaching Whale "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"
Red Whyte with Eddie Vedder The 5th Symphony Document: Soundtrack Folklore "Lucky Country"
2005 Eddie Vedder and the Walmer High School Choir The Molo Sessions Ten Club "Long Road", "Love Boat Captain" and "Better Man"
2006 Eddie Vedder Dead Man Walking: Dead Man Walking: Music from and Inspired By the Motion Picture: Legacy Edition Sony "Face of Love" (with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), "Long Road" (with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), and "Dead Man"
Eddie Vedder A Brokedown Melody: Music from and Inspired By the Film Brushfire "Goodbye"
Eddie Vedder with the Strokes and Josh Homme You Only Live Once single RCA "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)"
2007 Eddie Vedder ahd the Million Dollar Bashers I'm Not There: Original Soundtrack Columbia "All Along the Watchtower"
Crowded House Seattle, WA January 9, 2007 Kufala "World Where You Live" and "Something So Strong"
2008 Eddie Vedder with Ben Harper Body of War: Songs that Inspired an Iraq War Veteran Sire "No More" (live)
John Doe The Golden State Independent "The Golden State Remix" (with Corin Tucker)
Crowded House Surf Aid – The Music Loop "World Where You Live"
2010 Eddie Vedder Eat Pray Love Monkeywrench Records "The Long Road" (with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) and "Better Days"
2011 R.E.M. Collapse into Now Warner Bros. "It Happened Today"
2012 Jimmy Fallon Blow Your Pants Off[142][143] Warner Bros. "Balls in Your Mouth"
2013 Neil Finn Crucible - The Songs of Hunters and Collectors Liberation Music "Throw Your Arms Around Me"
2013 Glen Hansard Drive All Night (EP) Epitaph Records "Drive All Night" (with Jake Clemons)
2019 The Who Concert at Rogers Arena, Vancouver [] "[]"



Performer and actor
YearTitleRoleNotesOriginal air date
1992The Late Showperformer*song: "Alive" (season 4, episode 2)February 4, 1992
Saturday Night Liveperformer*songs: "Alive" and "Porch" ("Sharon Stone/Pearl Jam"; season 17, episode 17)[144]April 11, 1992
MTV Unplugged: Pearl Jamperformer*(season 3, episode 4)[145]May 13, 1992
MTV Video Music Awardsperformer*song: "Jeremy"[146][147]September 9, 1992
1993MTV Video Music Awardsperformer**songs: "Animal" and "Rockin' in the Free World" with Neil Young[148]September 2, 1993
Bob Dylan: 30th Anniversary Concert Celebrationperformersongs: "Masters of War" with Mike McCready and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" with entire ensemble (tribute concert for Bob Dylan)[149]October 16, 1993
199424 Hours in Rock and RollhimselfMTV documentary about one day in the life of rock and roll[150]March 13, 1994
Headbangers Ballhimself"Kurt Cobain Tribute Special" (season 8, episode 3)[151]April ?, 1994
Saturday Night Liveperformer*songs: "Not for You", "Rearviewmirror" and "Daughter" ("Emilio Estevez/Pearl Jam"; season 19, episode 18)[152]April 16, 1994
1996Late Show with David Lettermanperformersong: chorus to "Black" with Paul Shaffer & the CBS Orchestra[153]February 27, 1996
38th Grammy AwardshimselfPearl Jam won Best Hard Rock Performance for the song, "Spin the Black Circle"^[153]February 28, 1996
Late Show with David Lettermanperformer*songs: "Hail, Hail" and "Leaving Here"[153]September 20, 1996
1998Late Show with David Lettermanperformer*song: "Wishlist"[153]May 1, 1998
Late Show with David LettermanhimselfBehind the Music parody about Paul Shaffer[153]May 21, 1998
1999Late Show with David Lettermanperformersongs: "Heart to Hang Onto" and "Magic Bus" with Pete Townshend[153][154]July 28, 1999
2000Late Show with David Lettermanperformer*song: "Grievance"[153]April 12, 2000
2001America: A Tribute to Heroesperformersongs: "Long Road" with Mike McCready & Neil Young and "America the Beautiful" with Willie Nelson, et al. (benefit concert for the victims of the September 11 attacks)[155][156]September 21, 2001
2002Late Show with David Lettermanperformer*song: "I Am Mine"[153]November 14, 2002
Late Show with David Lettermanperformer*song: "Save You"[153]November 15, 2002
2004Late Show with David Lettermanperformer*song: "Masters of War"[153]September 30, 2004
National Anthem: Inside the Vote for Change Concert Tourperformer*Vote for Change finale concert and tour documentary[157]October 11, 2004
2006Saturday Night Liveperformer*song: "World Wide Suicide" and "Severed Hand" ("Lindsay Lohan/Pearl Jam"; season 31, episode 16)[158]April 15, 2006
Late Show with David Lettermanperformer*song: "Life Wasted"[153]May 4, 2006
Later with Jools Hollandperformer*songs: "Severed Hand", "World Wide Suicide" & "Alive" (season 27, episode 1)May 5, 2006
VH1 Storytellers: Pearl Jamperformer*(season 9, episode 1)[159]July 1, 2006
Iconoclastshimself"Eddie Vedder & Laird Hamilton" (season 2, episode 1)[160]October 26, 2006
2008VH1 Rock Honors: The Whoperformer*songs: "Love, Reign o'er Me" and "The Real Me" (tribute ceremony for the Who)[161]July 17, 2008
2009Pearl Jam: Ten RevisitedhimselfVH1 Classic documentary about Pearl Jam's debut album, Ten[162][163]March 22, 2009
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Artsperformersong: "My City of Ruins" with gospel choir (tribute ceremony for Bruce Springsteen)[164]December 29, 2009
2010Saturday Night Liveperformer*songs: "Just Breathe" & "Unthought Known" ("Jude Law/Pearl Jam"; season 35, episode 17)March 13, 2010
2011True Crime with Aphrodite Joneshimself"West Memphis Three" (season 2, episode 6)May 5, 2011
Late Show with David Lettermanperformersong: "Without You"[165]June 20, 2011
Late Night with Jimmy Fallonperformersong: "Balls in Your Mouth" with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots[166]September 8, 2011
2012Portlandiahimself"One Moore Episode" (season 2, episode 2)[167]January 13, 2012
Change Begins Withinperformersongs: "Rise" (solo) / "Under Pressure" with Ben Harper and Relentless7 / "It Don't Come Easy" and "Boys" with Ben Harper and Relentless7 & Ringo Starr / "Yellow Submarine" with Ben Harper and Relentless7, Ringo Starr & Sheryl Crow (benefit concert founded by David Lynch for the promotion of Transcendental Meditation)[168][169]April 29, 2012
2015Late Show with David Lettermanperformersong: "Better Man"May 18, 2015
2016 Beat Bugs Jasper the Grasshopper sings eponymous "Magical Mystery Tour"
2017 Twin Peaks: The Return Edward Louis Severson III song: "Out of Sand" (Season 1, episode 16)[170] August 27, 2017


Performer and actor
1992Singleshimself – Citizen Dick drummer (uncredited)acting debut
1996Hype!himselfdocumentary about the popularity of the grunge movement
1997We're Outta Here!performersong: "Any Way You Want It" with the Ramones (documentary and concert film of the Ramones)
1998Not in Our Name: Dead Man Walking - The Concertperformersongs: "Face of Love" and "Long Road" with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (benefit concert film for the Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation)
Pearl Jam: Single Video Theoryhimselfdocumentary about the making of Pearl Jam's Yield album
2000The Who & Special Guests: Live at the Royal Albert Hallperformersongs: "I'm One" & "Let's See Action" with the Who^^ and "See Me, Feel Me"/"Listening to You" with Bryan Adams & the Who (concert film of the Who with musical guests at the Royal Albert Hall)
20017 Worlds Collide: Neil Finn & Friends Live at the St. Jamesperformersongs: "Take a Walk", "Stuff and Nonsense", "I See Red" & "Parting Ways" with 7 Worlds Collide (concert film of 7 Worlds Collide in Auckland, New Zealand)
Pearl Jam: Touring Band 2000performer*concert film of Pearl Jam's Binaural Tour
Last Party 2000himselfdocumentary about the last six months of the 2000 presidential election
2003End of the Century: The Story of the Ramoneshimselfdocumentary about the Ramones
Brian Wilson: On Tourperformerconcert film of Brian Wilson with musical guests
Pearl Jam: Live at the Showboxperformer*concert film of Pearl Jam's Showbox Theatre show
Pearl Jam: Live at the Gardenperformer*concert film of Pearl Jam's Madison Square Garden show
2004Ramones: Rawhimself (deleted scenes)documentary about the Ramones
2006Too Tough to Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramoneperformersongs: "I Believe in Miracles" & "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" (tribute/benefit concert film for Johnny Ramone and cancer research)
2007Amazing Journey: The Story of The Whohimselfdocumentary about the Who
Pearl Jam: Immagine in Cornice – Live in Italy 2006performer*concert film of Pearl Jam's Italian leg of their 2006 World Tour
Slacker Uprisinghimselffootage from Michael Moore's 60-city college campus tour
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Storyhimself
2008Song Sung Bluehimselfdocumentary about Mike Sardina and Claire Sardina (Neil Diamond and Patsy Cline impersonators)
Into the Wild: The Experiencehimselfdocumentary short film about the making of Into the Wild
Into the Wild: The Story, the Charactershimselfdocumentary short film about the making of Into the Wild
2009Kôkua 2008: 5 Years of Changeperformersong: "Constellations" with Jack Johnson & Kawika Kahiapo (concert film of the Kôkua Festival)[171]
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live: Whole Lotta Shakin'himselfcollection of some of the best speeches, performances and backstage moments of the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live: Come Togetherhimselfcollection of some of the best speeches, performances and backstage moments of the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies
The People Speakperformersong: "Masters of War" (documentary about America's struggles with war, class, race and women's rights)
2011Conan O'Brien Can't StophimselfConan O'Brien's comedy tour footage and documentary
Water on the Roadperformerconcert film of Vedder's Ukulele Songs tour
Off the Boulevardhimselfdocumentary about the journey and struggle of seven different artists
Pearl Jam Twentyhimself/performer*documentary about the first twenty years of Pearl Jam
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatoryhimselfdocumentary about the West Memphis Three
2013Cosmic Psychos: Blokes You Can Trusthimself (rumored)documentary about the band Cosmic Psychos
Jay-Z: Made in Americahimself/performer*Ron Howard documentary which follows the musical acts at the Jay-Z founded Budweiser Made in America Festival held on Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia of 2012
  • *denotes performance with Pearl Jam
  • **note: "Animal" performed with Pearl Jam and "Rockin' in the Free World" performed with Neil Young & Pearl Jam
  • ^note: In the acceptance speech, Eddie notoriously states, "I don't know what this means, I don't think it means anything."
  • ^^note: Vedder also performed the songs: "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand" and "Getting in Tune" with the Who, but they were not released on the DVD.

Awards and nominations

AwardYearNominated workCategoryResult
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards2008"Guaranteed" from Into the WildBest Song[172]Nominated
SIMA Waterman's Honorees2007Eddie VedderEnvironmentalist of the Year[173]Won
Golden Globe Awards2008"Guaranteed" from Into the WildBest Original Song[52]Won
Into the Wild (with Michael Brook and Kaki King)Best Original Score[52]Nominated
Grammy Awards2008"Guaranteed" from Into the WildBest Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media[174]Nominated
2009"Rise"Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo[56]Nominated
mtvU Woodie Awards2008Eddie VedderThe Good Woodie[175]Nominated
Satellite Awards2007"Rise" from Into the WildBest Original Song[176]Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards2008Into the Wild (with Michael Brook and Kaki King)Best Original Score[177]Nominated
World Soundtrack Awards2008"Guaranteed" from Into the WildBest Original Song Written Directly for a Film[55]Nominated


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