Glen Ballard’s love of music production and songwriting had their roots in his youth in Natchez, Mississippi. Born there in 1953, Ballard started playing piano soon after he could crawl and eventually added guitar to his repertoire. He wrote his first song before his 10th birthday and was a familiar face in local rock bands beginning in the fifth grade.
Ballard’s first job in the industry was an entry-level position at Elton John’s company in Los Angeles where he eventually wound up playing piano for Kiki Dee. Constantly writing songs, he had his first chart single when Dee recorded his “One Step” in 1978.
Spurred by this success, Ballard went independent, penning George Strait’s #1 Country hit, “You Look So Good In Love,” named the 1986 Country Song Of The Year. The same year, his co-written “Man In The Mirror” was heard on Jackson’s eight times platinum Bad. Produced by Quincy Jones and featuring Ballard’s synthesizer arrangement and keyboards, the recording raced to the top of the R&B charts, and today remains one of Jackson’s--and Ballard’s--most popular songs. His golden touch continued with 1988’s “State Of Attraction” for Paula Abdul. Her Forever Your Girl album would go seven times platinum, the biggest-selling debut in history--to that date.
In 1990, Ballard took home his first GRAMMY for Best Rock Song, for arranging “The Places You Find Love,” sung by Chaka Khan and Siedah Garrett. That same year, he also worked with Wilson Phillips on their 1990 album which was certified five times platinum, earned three GRAMMY nominations for co-writer/producer Ballard, and resulted in three #1 pop singles, “Hold On,” “Release Me” and “You're In Love" (the first two going gold).
Although he had already worked with some of the most revered names in music, it was Ballard’s collaboration with then-unknown and unsigned Alanis Morissette, which catapulted them both to national prominence. Brought together by their music publisher, they wrote and recorded the songs that became Jagged Little Pill in his studio (Aerowave), one of the biggest hit albums of the past decade. The 1995 chart-topping album has been certified 16 times platinum in the U.S. (worldwide sales in excess of 30 million copies) and remains one of the best-selling albums in history.
His other credits include Morissette’s Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (1998), which reached #1 and triple platinum, and Dave Matthews Band’s Everyday (2001), which entered the charts at #1 and is also triple platinum. He has produced tracks on No Doubt’s platinum Return Of Saturn (2000) and Best Of Van Halen, Vol. 1 (1996), including the hit “Me Wise Magic,” and wrote and produced songs on Shelby Lynne’s lauded Love, Shelby (2001).
With six GRAMMY Awards, sales of nearly 150 million records and #1 hits across the charts--Pop, Modern Rock, Jazz, Adult Contemporary, Country and R&B--Glen Ballard ranks as one of today’s most acclaimed and successful songwriter-producers.