Eddie Vedder has served as Pearl Jam’s frontman, in addition to a guitarist and primary lyricist, since 1990. Inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 as a member of Pearl Jam, Vedder’s trademark vocal style inspired a generation. His energetic and unvarnished stage presence coupled with his honest conversations with the audience led Pearl Jam as pioneers in live performances and social justice.
Vedder’s signature ethos carries into his solo work. His first project came out in 2007 with the soundtrack album for the film Into the Wild and earned him a Golden Globe for the song “Guaranteed.” In 2012, Vedder’s sophomore solo album, Ukulele Songs, received a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album. Most recently, he collaborated with Glen Hansard for the Flag Day Original Motion Picture soundtrack and has released tracks off his forthcoming solo album Earthling.
Eddie Vedder was born in Evanston, Ill., on December 23, 1964 where he became a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan before moving with his family to San Diego County in the mid−1970s. It was in southern California that Vedder began to play guitar and learned to surf.
In 1990, Vedder received a tape of a band from Seattle that needed a singer. Vedder wrote lyrics for three of the songs, mailed it back to Seattle, and the songs ultimately became the Pearl Jam songs “Alive”, “Footsteps” and “Once”. Vedder moved north and was recruited by Ament, Gossard and McCready to join their new band, known then as Mookie Blaylock before becoming Pearl Jam.
Vedder’s lyrics address many of the key issues of our times including gun violence, racism, and climate change. In addition to the activism inherent to the music, Vedder is an outspoken advocate for several progressive, social, and political causes, most notably abortion access and the environment. A longtime supporter of Surfrider Foundation, Vedder has most recently been vocal in banning offshore drilling along the US coast.
“Though some may think there should be a separation between art, music and politics, it should be reinforced that art can be a form of nonviolent protest,” Vedder says.
In addition to his activism, Vedder and his wife Jill McCormick Vedder co-founded the EB Research Partnership, dedicated to finding a cure for epidermolysis bullosa, a family of rare genetic disorders that affects the skin. The Vedder family is active in supporting both the work of the organization and the children who are impacted by the disorder.
Vedder and his wife reside in Seattle with their two daughters.