Jack Antonoff

Jack Antonoff Headshot

Musician • Singer

Birth Date: March 31, 1984

Age: 40 years old

Birth Place: Bergenfield, New Jersey

Spouses: Margaret Qualley

Partners: Lena Dunham

Famed as a member of Bleachers and Fun, Jack Antonoff also wrote hits for Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles and Lorde. Raised in different parts of New Jersey, Antonoff commuted to Manhattan to attend the Professional Children's School, a renowned performing-arts high school.

Two events during his teen years would be especially pivotal: One was the forming of his early punk band, Outline, when he was a sophomore in fall 1998. The second was the death of his sister Sarah from brain cancer, a tragedy that he claimed to have never fully gotten over.

Outline lasted four years as a productive DIY band, touring nationally despite the members all being in their teens; Antonoff immediately loved touring and borrowed his parents' minivan to help. His next band Steel Train was formed in 2002 with Scott Irby-Ranniar, who later originated the role of Young Simba in The Lion King on Broadway.

Carving out a unique territory between eccentric indie-pop and classic American roots-rock, Steel Train made three albums, played most of the major festivals, and collaborated with a number of notable artists (indie heroes Amanda Palmer and Tegan & Sara, along with Dead-associated mandolinist David Grisman) during their 11-year run. Their final show in New York in 2013 brought together every past member of the band.

That same year brought Antonoff two high-profile writing collaborations: "Brave," written with Sara Bareilles, had double success as a gay anthem and a Microsoft commercial. He also teamed with Taylor Swift to write "Sweeter Than Fiction" for the movie One Change; though not a huge chart hit (it peaked at #34), it earned a Golden Globe nomination as Best Original Song.

While Steel Train was still running, Antonoff teamed with Nate Ruess and Andrew Dost to form Fun (officially spelled as fun.), a pop group with a flair for emotive, anthemic hooks. Their 2009 debut Aim and Ignite was a cult and critical hit, but the 2012 followup Some Nights was a commercial smash, producing a Number One single in "We Are Young" (which featured R&B artist Janelle Monae) and a Number Three followup in the title track.

The album went triple platinum and "We Are Young" was both Record of the Year and Song of the Year in the 2013 Grammys (Fun was also named Best New Group, four years after they'd formed). Despite the success Fun went on hiatus in 2014 without producing a followup.

2014 brought the debut of Antonoff's solo project Bleachers, which teamed him with a few handfuls of notable collaborators (including Yoko Ono and Antonoff's famous girlfriend Lena Dunham). While Antonoff's claimed that the band was designed as an homage to the '80s-and specifically to the John Hughes films of that era-the songwriting style harks back to his most accessible moments in Fun.

Antonoff had a banner year in 2017, releasing the second Bleachers album Gone Now, co-writing and producing Lorde's Melodrama, and writing and producing Taylor Swift on her Number One hit "Look What You Made Me Do." In January 2018 he announced that he and Dunham had ended their five-year relationship.

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