Red Hot Chili Peppers
Vocalist, lyricist and occasional actor Anthony Kiedis is best known as the lead vocalist of the multiple Grammy winning American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, which he founded in 1983. With the band, he has enjoyed such successful albums as “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” (1991), “Californication” (1999), “By the Way” (2002) and “Stadium Arcadium” (2006). He and the band produced No. 1 hit singles on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks with “Give It Away” (1991), “Soul to Squeeze” (1993), “My Friends” (1995), “Scar Tissue” (1999), “Otherside” (2000), “Californication” (2000), “By the Way” (2002), “Can't Stop” (2002), “Dani California” (2006), “Tell Me Baby” (2006) and “Snow (Hey Oh)” (2006). Prior to achieving success in the music industry, Kiedis landed some acting jobs under the name Cole Dammett. His more recent acting credits include “Point Break” (1991), “The Chase” (1994) and “Married with Children” (1992).
Kiedis has one son named Everly Bear Kiedis (born in 2007) with model Heather Christie. He has been romantically involved with Ione Skye, Madonna, Melanie Chisholm of the Spice Girls, Sofia Coppola, Jessica Stam, Heidi Klum, Nina Hagen, Jaime Rishar, Jennifer Bruce, Carmen Hawk, Vicki Freeman, Argentinean singer Erica Garcia, and Hope Sandoval. Most of the songs on the 2002 album “By the Way” were written about his former girlfriend, fashion designer Yohanna Logan. According to Kiedis, he also dated singer Sinéad O'Connor and created the song “I Could Have Lie” about their relationship. Although O'Connor denied the reports, she did mention that they hung out together a few times.
Kiedis was a vegetarian from the 1980s to 2008 and named “Sexiest Vegetarian of 2008” by PETA. He is now a vegan. Kiedis is a follower of Kabbalah and practices yoga. Now a resident of Los Angeles, he is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. He once owned a home in New Zealand, but has since sold it.
Childhood and Family:
Anthony Joseph Kiedis was born on November 1, 1962, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to John Kiedis and Margaret Idema. After his parents divorced, he lived with his mother and three half siblings (Julie, Jenny and James) in Lowell, Michigan, until age 11. He then relocated to Los Angeles, California, to live with his father, who was a drug dealer. It was not long before Anthony began experimenting with drugs. By the mid 1970s, his father decided to try acting and worked under the pseudonym Blackie Dammett. Following in his father's footsteps, Anthony adopted the stage name Cole Dammett.
Anthony enrolled at Fairfax High School in Hollywood, where he met future band members Hillel Slovak, Flea, and Jack Irons. He played bass for Slovak's band, Anthym and Balzary, and served as a MC for some of their gigs. Despite his drug use, Anthony was a straight A student in school and eventually secured a place at UCLA. However, he left college at the beginning of his sophomore year.
On October 2, 2007, Anthony had a son, Everly Bear Kiedis, with his girlfriend Heather Christie. The couple broke up in June 2008.
Anthony Kiedis is known by the nicknames “The Swan” and “The Tuff Daddy.”
In 1982, after finding inspiration from the song “The Message,” Anthony Kiedis began a band with former high school friends Hillel Slovak (guitar) and Michael “Flea” Balzary (bass). The lineup was completed in 1983 with the addition of drummer Jack Irons. The foursome first performed under the moniker Tony Flow & the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem before eventually taking the name Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band became popular on the L.A. club scene, but dealt with change when Slovak and Irons left the band because of their commitment to the band What Is This. The band then hired guitarist Jack Sherman and drummer Cliff Martinez as their replacements.
The debut album “The Red Hot Chili Peppers” was released on August 10, 1984, under EMI Records. Although it failed to chart on the Billboard 200, the album received college airplay and MTV rotation and built the band's fan base. Kiedis co-wrote all the tracks on the album except “Why Don't You Love Me,” which was a cover of a Hank Williams song.
Slovak returned for the band's sophomore effort, “Freaky Styley,” which was released on August 16, 1985. The album sold about 500,000 units and Kiedis co-wrote the singles “Jungle Man,” “American Ghost Dance” (with Flea, Slovak and Martinez) and “Catholic School Girls Rule” (with Flea and Martinez). During this time, Kiedis heavily used heroin and cocaine, which led to his discharge from the band for a while. After getting off drugs in Michigan, he returned to Los Angeles and his band, but did not stay sober long.
The four original members of Red Hot Chili Peppers (Kiedis, Flea, Slovak and Irons) were reunited for the album “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan.” Released on September 29, 1987, the album became the band's first entry into the Billboard 200, where it peaked at No. 148. It has since achieved RIAA gold status. The foursome co-wrote all songs on the album, except a cover of Bob Dylan's “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” “Walkin' on Down the Road” (also with Martinez) and “Behind the Sun" (also with Beinhorn). The band embarked on an extensive tour to promote the album and in an attempt to become clean, Kiedis and Slovak decided to stop taking heroin and help each other stay away from drugs. Sadly, Slovak was found dead by police in his Hollywood apartment in June 1988 of a heroin overdose. After this tragedy, Irons quit the band and Kiedis wanted to get sober. He entered a rehabilitation center and stayed clean until 1994. He continued using on and off for six years and since December 2000, has reportedly stayed sober.
With guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith, Kiedis and Flea launched the album “Mother's Milk” on August 16, 1989. The album rose to No. 52 on the Billboard 200 and became a gold record. It has since received platinum certification in the U.S., and produced hit singles on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart with “Knock Me Down” (#6) and “Higher Ground” (#11).
Kiedis and the band enjoyed worldwide success with their subsequent release “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” (1991), their first album with Warner Bros. Records. Released on September 24, 1991, the album rose to No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The album went 7x platinum in the U.S. and has sold over 13 million copies worldwide. It produced the popular singles “Give It Away,” which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and earned the group a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocals, and “Under the Bridge,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The sixth studio album, “One Hot Minute,” followed on September 12, 1995. Recorded with guitarist Dave Navarro, who replaced John Frusciante after he quit in 1992, the album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and generating the hit singles “Warped,” “My Friends” (#1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks) and “Aeroplane.” It was Navarro's only album with the band because he was fired in 1998 due to creative differences.
Kiedis, Flea and Smith were reunited with Frusciante for the album “Californication,” which was released on June 8, 1999. It became their most commercially successful studio release with over 15 million units in worldwide sales. It rose to No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and was certified 5x platinum by RIAA. The album spawned several hits for the band, including “Otherside,” “Californication” and the Grammy Award winning “Scar Tissue.”
On July 9, 2002, the Peppers released the album “By the Way,” which rose to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. It also went double platinum in the U.S., and produced No.1 hits with “By the Way” and “Can't Stop.”
The next album, “Stadium Arcadium,” was released on May 5, 2006. It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and won Grammys for Best Rock Album and Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. It was also certified double platinum in the U.S. The album generated the hit singles “Dani California,” “Tell Me Baby” and “Snow (Hey Oh).” “Dani California” won a Grammy for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
In late 2007, Red Hot Chili Peppers went on a break with Kiedis citing exhaustion as the primary reason. Two years later, Frusciante left the band to focus on his solo career. He was officially replaced by guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who had served as a second guitarist for the band on their “Stadium Arcadium” tour.
In addition to music, Kiedis has acted in several projects. As Cole Dammett, he appeared in the films “F.I.S.T” (1978), “Jokes My Folks Never Told Me” (1978) and “Less Than Zero” (1987) and in the TV series “ABC Afterschool Specials” (1978). He has since acted in the films “Point Break” (1991) and “The Chase” (1994), in an episode of “Married with Children” called “The Gas Station Show” (1992), and the TV series “Gadget's Electric Garage” (2008).
Kiedis published a memoir called “Scar Tissue” in 2004. It rose to No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Grammy: Best Rock Album, “Stadium Arcadium,” 2007
Grammy: Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, “Stadium Arcadium,” 2007
Grammy: Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, “Dani California,” 2007
Grammy: Best Rock Song, “Scar Tissue,” 2000
Grammy: Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocals, “Give It Away,” 1992