Gregg Alexander (born Gregory Aiuto, 4 May 1970) is an American singer/songwriter and producer, best known as the frontman of the New Radicals, who scored the international hit "You Get What You Give" in late 1998. Earlier in life he recorded two solo albums, Michigan Rain and Intoxifornication. He dissolved the New Radicals in 1999 to focus on production and songwriting work, winning a Grammy for the song "The Game of Love" in 2003.
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Early life and career
Gregg Alexander was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and was raised in a conservative Jehovah's Witness household. He quickly developed into a multi-talented musician after receiving his first guitar at the age of 12 and teaching himself to play several instruments. At the age of fourteen Gregg joined the band The Circus, with fellow classmates George Snow, John Mabarak, along with Gregg's older brother Stephen Aiuto. They played the 1984 highschool Battle of the Bands competing against the now famous John Lowery (John 5). By the age of 16, he signed his first recording contract with A&M after playing his demo tapes to producer Rick Nowels. He released his debut album Michigan Rain in 1989 at the age of 19, to little notice. In 1992 he signed to Epic and released Intoxifornication, which consisted largely of re-released songs from Michigan Rain and was again ignored.
In the mid-1990s, Alexander settled into writing songs for other artists such as Belinda Carlisle, Melanie Williams and The Bangles, spending his royalty cheques travelling around Europe and America. During this time he would often busk in Tompkins Square Park and Central Park.
Main article: New Radicals
In 1997, Alexander formed the New Radicals, a revolving-door band with no permanent members other than Alexander and long-term collaborator Danielle Brisebois. They released the album Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too in October 1998 which went on to sell over a million copies. The single "You Get What You Give" was released in April 1999 and was a smash hit internationally. The song's unique sunny production sound became a template for much of Alexander's future production work.
It was not long after the New Radicals' success that Alexander became tired of the constant media attention and exhaustive touring schedule. In July 1999, "Someday We'll Know" was announced as the band's second single. However, several days later Alexander announced he was disbanding the New Radicals to focus on production work. He said that "the fatigue of traveling and getting three hours sleep in a different hotel every night to do boring 'hanging and schmoozing' with radio and retail people is definitely not for me." Despite disagreements with MCA, Alexander finally agreed to shoot a video for "Someday We'll Know"; but with the band now defunct, the song got little attention and the New Radicals became known as a one hit wonder.
Post New Radicals
Since disbanding the group in summer 1999, Alexander has written and produced songs for artists including Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Enrique Iglesias, Hanson, Geri Halliwell, Melanie C, M??nica Naranjo and fellow ex-New Radical Danielle Brisebois. Most noteworthy was the song "The Game of Love" by Santana and Michelle Branch, which earned Alexander a Grammy in 2003.
Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine described him as "the catchiest, smartest professional mainstream pop songwriter of the early 2000s."
In 2003 a new Alexander track, "A Love Like That", was released uncredited on the Internet. It was suspected to be a New Radicals outtake, as parts of the lyrics were found in the booklet for Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too.
A new song entitled "Why Can't We Make Things Work" written by Alexander (and Rick Nowels) was released by Any Dream Will Do winner Lee Mead in November 2007, on his self-titled album.
Gregg Alexander co-wrote and produced "The Game of Love" by Santana and Michelle Branch as well as four songs on Enrique Iglesias' album 7 under the pseudonym Alex Ander.
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo released a cover of the song "The World We Love So Much" in his 2007 release "Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo"