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Famous Like Me > Composer > B > Glen Ballard

Profile of Glen Ballard on Famous Like Me

Name: Glen Ballard  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 1st May 1953
Place of Birth: Natchez, Mississippi, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Glen Ballard (born 1953 in Natchez, Mississippi, USA) is the producer of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill. Glen Ballard is a veteran songwriter/record producer. Glen started playing the piano as soon as he could crawl. Later, he added the guitar to his list of accomplishments. Glen was ten years old when he wrote his first song, and he was in local rock bands beginning in the fifth grade.

Ballard has a love for diverse musical styles. When Glen was younger, Jerry Lee Lewis lived within ten miles of his Natchez home, and young Ballard grew up watching him perform. Glen’s favorites included southern rhythm and blues singer Irma Thomas, Memphis-based soul singer Al Green, and nearly all of the great blues and jazz singers emerging from New Orleans. When the Beatles became popular, Ballard’s appreciation of popular music expanded.

Glen Ballard attended the University of Mississippi, where he studied English, political science, and journalism and he graduated with honors. He had the option of attending either graduate or law schools, but Ballard was intent upon a career as a songwriter. Within a week of graduation (1975), he packed his bags and moved to the West coast.

After moving to the West coast, Ballard immediately joined Elton John’s organization in Los Angeles. Starting out as a lower level assistant, Ballard eventually ended up playing piano for Kiki Dee. He was writing constantly, and when Dee recorded his song “One Step" in 1978, Ballard had his first charted single. This success enabled him to secure a professional songwriting job at MCA Music Publishing. Even though Ballard was only earning $100 a week, he was occupied full-time with the work he loved.

During the ‘70's and ‘80's, Ballard composed scores of songs, including "What’s on Your Mind," a Quincy Jones produced hit for George Benson, along with many others for various artists. Jones saw promise in Ballard and took him under his wing. Thanks to his connection with Jones, Ballard’s “Try Your Love Again” appeared on James Ingram’s 1983 debut album, It's Your Night. Along with Clif Magness, Glen co-wrote and produced two tracks for Patti Austin entitled “Its Gonna Be Special” and “Shoot the Moon.” By the time Austin’s album came out in 1985, Ballard was writing and producing full time for his mentor, Quincy Jones, at Quest Records. Once Ballard learned to apply his wide-range of musical sensibilities, he produced for rhythm and blues artist Evelyn “Champagne” King, Teddy Pendergrass, and Jack Wagner. Ballard and Magness wrote “All I Need” for Wagner, and it soared to number 2 on Billboard's pop chart.

Spurred by his success, Ballard went independent. He had a number one hit for George Strait, “You Look So Good in Love." which became the 1986 country song of the year. The same year he co-wrote “Man in the Mirror,” which appeared on Bad, Michael Jackson’s acclaimed sequel to Thriller. “Man in the Mirror” was also produced by Quincy Jones, and it featured Ballard’s synthesizer arrangement and keyboards. This song raced to the top of the rhythm and blues charts and today it remains one of Jackson's most popular songs.

Ballard has worked with some of the most revered names in the industry: Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, George Strait, Dave Matthews, and Barbra Streisand, just to name a few. He is also credited with launching the debuts by Curtis Stigers, Jack Wagner, Paula Abdul, Wilson Phillips and the multi-grammy winner Alanis Morissette. Ballard co-wrote and produced “Jagged Little Pill” for Morissette. This combination of talent resulted in three Grammies on five Grammy nominations. He has followed this collaboration with Morissette by producing the upcoming Aerosmith album (their first for Sony due this fall). Once the work on this album is complete, Ballard heads back to the studio for Alanis Morissette’s new album. He has performed on or produced the following: Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (2005), Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (1998), Jagged Little Pill (1995), My Cherie (1995), Naked And Sacred (1995), Time Was (1995), Alone In A Crowd (1993), Greatest Hits: Songs From An Aging Sex Bomb (1993), Lea Salonga (1993), Love Come Down: The Best Of Evelyn "Champagne" King (1993), Shadows And Light (1992), Trey Lorenz (1992), Curtis Stigers (1991), Shut Up And Dance (1990), Forever Your Girl (1989), Bad (1987), Workin' It Back (1985), Break Out (1983), All I Need, and Lighting Up The Night .

Ballard wrote the screenplay for Clubland, an ill-received music-driven film about an aspiring musician in Los Angeles. He has written songs in half-a-dozen films including The Slugger’s Wife, Navy Seals, and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

The self-described “musical chameleon” currently resides in Encino, California, where he runs a recording studio called Java.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Glen Ballard