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Ben Harper

Real name: Benjamin Chase Harper
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Harper was born in Claremont, California, U.S. (in California's Pomona Valley). He began playing guitar as a child in Claremont. He eventually specialized in the acoustic slide guitar (Weissenborn guitars). As a young man, he recorded an LP (Pleasure and Pain) with fellow folk guitarist Tom Freund. After this limited edition record, Harper got a record deal with Virgin Records, who released his debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World (1994).

This was followed by the incendiary Fight For Your Mind (1995) which became a college radio favorite and generated an abundance of songs which still fill his set list to this day.

In October 2004, Harper participated in the Vote for Change concert tour organised to benefit Moveon.org and encourage people in the swing states to vote during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Also in October, Harper contributed a live recording of the song "Oppression" to the For The Lady benefit album for jailed Nobel Prize winner and Burmese pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Over the summer of 2005, when the Zooma tour scheduled with Trey Anastasio and various side stage performers was canceled, Harper engaged in a tour of more private clubs/venues such as the Avalon Ballroom in Boston, the Tabernacle in Atlanta, and a full-band acoustic performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. This series of concerts saw the debut of a number of new Harper songs, such as "Get It Like You Like It" and "Dressed In Black."

In 2006, Harper released the double album Both Sides of the Gun which debuted at #7 on the Billboard charts.

He has become a big success in Brazil, because of his collaboration "Boa Sorte/Good Luck" with Brazilian singer Vanessa da Mata, which peaked at #1 in the Brazilian top 100.

Harper's father, Leonard, was African-American with some Cherokee Indian ancestry, while his mother, Ellen Chase, is of Russian Jewish descent. His parents divorced when he was a child.

On December 23, 2005 Harper married his girlfriend of five years, actress Laura Dern. They have two children together, son Ellery Walker and daughter Jaya.

Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival Easter 2007 - Harper and the Innocent Criminals played a two hour spot to close the Annual Bluesfest. The huge crowd in and around the massive tent were treated to an awesome set featuring songs from old and new albums as well as some covers. Bonnie Raitt, John Butler, Piers Facinni and Jack Johnson made guest appearances throughout the set to perform songs with Ben and the band.

In July 2006 Harper supported the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their Stadium Arcadium tour, playing dates at venues including the Madejski Stadium in Reading and Pride Park stadium, home of Derby County Football Club, Derby. He then commenced upon a Stateside tour, along with supporting artist Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley. Subsequent to this, he toured Europe, including France, the nation that was one of the first to embrace his earliest musical offerings.


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