Gavin Shane DeGraw (born February 4, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He is probably most well-known for his songs "Chariot", "I Don't Want to Be", which is featured as the theme song for the TV drama One Tree Hill, and "In Love with a Girl".
DeGraw grew up in the Catskills, in South Fallsburg, New York. His father was a prison guard and his mother was a detox specialist, as mentioned in his song "I Don't Want to Be". DeGraw began singing and playing piano at the age of eight. He attended Berklee College of Music during the same year as artist John Mayer. He also has two siblings, both older, named Joey, and Neeka. It was at his brother's advice that he began writing his own songs. Joey DeGraw currently provides guitar and backing vocals for Gavin's band, as well as performing and touring to promote his own music.
Originally, DeGraw started in Manhattan clubs alongside local pianists Andrew West and Lenny Revell, drawing several of his home town fans. He got his big break when "I Don't Want to Be" was chosen as the theme song for the teen drama One Tree Hill. The song has also been performed on American Idol, Australian Idol, Canadian Idol and Idol (Norway and Sweden) by various contestants during different seasons. Two of DeGraw's other songs, "Follow Through" and "Chariot," have also achieved popularity and radio play. His song "We Belong Together" was also featured in the 2006 film Tristan and Isolde. In 2004, DeGraw released an acoustic version of his album Chariot called Chariot Stripped. DeGraw and his band recorded the album live in the studio, in only one take on the vocals, seeking an intimate effect.
Since 2004, his profile has grown, bringing him to other states as he tours the country. He made his television debut on Last Call with Carson Daly. DeGraw has also appeared on television shows such as The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Late Show With David Letterman, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Live with Regis and Kelly. Recently, he has been seen in cameos on Dead Like Me, What I Like About You, and American Dreams. He also appeared in One Tree Hill, singing "I Don't Want to Be" and "Chariot" at Karen's Cafe. DeGraw has released a number of music videos as well, including "I Don't Want to Be", "Follow Through" and "Chariot". The latter was directed by Zach Braff, who also directed music videos for Joshua Radin.
His brother Joey is also a recording artist who played guitar and sung with him on his tour to promote his album Chariot. DeGraw toured with such acts as Sister Hazel, Barenaked Ladies, Howie Day, Michael Tolcher, Butterfly Boucher, The Allman Brothers Band, Marc Broussard, Saving Jane, Jason Mraz and Maroon 5.
He and his brother opened The National Underground in December 2007, a New York City music venue that is a roots rock Americana music bar located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, at 159 East Houston Street between Allen Street and Eldridge Street. The venue offers music, food, and drink. The idea for the venue came about because the brothers wanted a place where they could hang out on a regular basis, and where other musicians could come in and listen and learn. "We were picky about the quality of musicians that played there," Gavin DeGraw says. "We wanted a place where the players were so good, other musicians were like, 'Wow! I really respect what they're doing.'"
According to DeGraw's official site, he returned to the studio on September 1, 2006 to begin recording his next album. Gavin DeGraw was released on May 6, 2008, peaking at #7 on the US Billboard Chart. The first single, "In Love with a Girl" was released on February 5th, 2008. The second U.S. single "Cheated On Me" was released in September 2008, while the rest of the world saw the release of "She Holds a Key". The worldwide third single is "I Have You to Thank".
Gavin Degraw's third album, Free was released March 31st, 2009. DeGraw made FREE in less than two weeks at the Brooklyn studio of his producer Camus Celli, The first single, "Stay", was released through DeGraw's website on March 11th.
DeGraw's song "Follow Through" (from his 2003 album release 'Chariot'), is featured on an advert for Carte D'or ice cream.