Eddie Vedder is an American musician and singer-songwriter who is best known for being the lead singer and one of three guitarists of the alternative rock band Pearl Jam.
- December 23, 1964 (age 47), Evanston
- Jill McCormick (m. 2010), Beth Liebling (m. 1994-2000)
- Music groups
- Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Bad Radio, Hovercraft
Eddie Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III; December 23, 1964) is an American musician and singer-songwriter who is best known for being the lead singer and one of three guitarists of the alternative rock band Pearl Jam. Known for his powerful vocals, he is widely considered an icon of alternative rock. He has been ranked at #7 on a list of "Best Lead Singers of All Time", compiled by Rolling Stone. He is also involved in soundtrack work and contributes to albums by other artists. In 2007, Vedder released his first solo album as a soundtrack for the film Into the Wild (2007). His second album, Ukulele Songs, along with a live DVD titled Water on the Road, was released on 31 May 2011
Vedder was born Edward Louis Severson III in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, son of Karen Lee Vedder and Edward Louis Severson, Jr. His parents divorced in 1965, when Vedder was one year old. His mother soon remarried a man named Peter Mueller, an attorney, and Vedder was raised believing that Mueller was his biological father. His adopted name became Edward Mueller. While living in Evanston, Vedder's family fostered seven younger children in a group home. In the mid-1970s, the family, including Vedder's three younger half-brothers, moved to San Diego County, California. It was at this point that Vedder, who had received a guitar from his mother on his twelfth birthday, began turning to music (as well as surfing) as a source of comfort. He particularly found solace in The Who's 1973 album, Quadrophenia. He said,
"When I was around 15 or 16... I felt all alone... I was all alone-except for music."
His mother and Mueller divorced when Vedder was in his late teens. His mother and brothers moved back to the Chicago area, but Vedder remained with his stepfather in California so he would not have to change high schools.
After the divorce Vedder met Uncle Scott and learned the truth about his parentage, that Mueller was really his stepfather. Vedder had met his biological father briefly as a child, but had believed that Severson was merely an old friend of his parents. By the time Vedder learned the truth, Severson had died of multiple sclerosis. By his senior year at San Dieguito High School, Vedder was on his own, living in an apartment and supporting himself with a nightly job at a drug store in Encinitas. He eventually dropped out of high school in his senior year due to the pressures of balancing school with working. He joined the rest of his family in Chicago, and it was at this time that he changed his name to Eddie Vedder, Vedder being his mother's maiden name.
In the early 1980s, Vedder worked as a waiter, earned his high school GED, and briefly attended a community college near Chicago. In 1984, Vedder returned to San Diego, California, with his girlfriend, Beth Liebling. He kept busy recording demo tapes at his home and working various jobs, including a position as a contracted security guard at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla. Vedder had several stints in San Diego area bands, including Surf and Destroy and The Butts. One of those bands, called Indian Style, included future Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave drummer Brad Wilk. In 1988, Vedder became the vocalist for the San Diego progressive funk rock band Bad Radio. The music of the original incarnation of the band was influenced by Duran Duran; however, after Vedder joined Bad Radio, the band moved on to a more alternative rock sound influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.