John Oates

John Oates Headshot

Singer • Musician

Birth Name: John William Oates

Birth Date: April 7, 1948

Age: 76 years old

Birth Place: New York, New York

One-half of the beloved rock and soul hitmaking duo Hall & Oates, singer/songwriter John Oates parlayed a love of the gritty, vocal-driven R&B from his hometown of Philadelphia into a multiplatinum-selling recording career with numerous chart-topping and Top 10 singles, including "Sara Smile," "Kiss On My List," "You Make My Dreams Come True," "Private Eyes" and countless others.

Born in New York City but raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Oates began recording as a teenager before meeting fellow soul enthusiast Daryl Hall while the pair were students at Temple University. They launched their duo act in 1972. Their flawless, blue-eyed soul harmonies found a devoted audience in the midpoint of the decade, which blossomed into superstardom throughout the 1980s with more than 30 chart hits, minting them as the most successful rock duo in history. Like Hall, Oates struck out on his own on several occasions, though he found greater solo acclaim as a songwriter for Icehouse and other bands than with his own recordings.

Oates's work with Hall continued to earn the respect of their peers in the '90s and new millennium, as evidenced by numerous samples and covers of their songs by other artists, and reached a professional high point with their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. John Oates' professional partnership with Daryl Hall, forged in the earthy beauty and irresistible hooks of classic soul, made him one of the most accomplished performers and songwriters of the modern pop era.

Born John William Oates on April 7, 1949 in New York City, New York, he was the son of Italian and British-Spanish parents who raised him in North Wales, Pennsylvania. Oates began performing with bands as a teenager and recorded his first single, "I Need Your Love," with the Masters while still a student at North Penn High School in 1966. The following year, Oates enrolled in Temple University with the intention of earning a degree in journalism, but changed his career path after meeting fellow Temple student Daryl Hall, who was also performing with a band.

Their mutual interest in classic soul and R&B spurred them to try their hand at collaborating as a vocal duo, which was initially billed as Daryl Hall & John Oates. The strong current of classic Motown/Philly soul that ran through their songwriting and sound led to a contract with Atlantic Records, but the pair would not achieve chart success until their fourth album, Daryl Hall & John Oates (1975), which featured the Top 10 single "Sara Smile." Three years later, Hall & Oates scored their first No. 1 hit, "Rich Girl," which launched them to superstar status. Between 1980 and 1988, the duo scored six platinum albums and five No. 1 singles, including "Kiss on My List," "Private Eyes" and "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," one of many songs co-written by Oates with Hall and frequent songwriting collaborator Sara Allen.

Their presence on the "We Are the World" single and at the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia further cemented Hall & Oates as one of the major acts of the decade. From a public standpoint, Oates's role in Hall & Oates was harmony vocals with Hall and rhythm guitar, though he handled lead vocals on dozens of songs throughout their career, most notably their early hit "She's Gone" and a Top 20 cover of The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" in 1980. He also struck out on his own for several recordings for other artists, most notably as co-writer of the 1987 Top 10 single "Electric Blue" by Australian rock act Icehouse and producer/singer/songwriter on "Love is Fire," a single by Canadian group Parachute Club which reached the Top 40 in 1988.

Though Hall & Oates' tenure as pop hitmakers declined after the 1980s, the pair remained remarkably popular as a touring act and through albums of classic soul covers and Christmas songs. After more than three decades as a recording artist, Oates finally released a solo album, Phunk Shui, in 2002. Though not a chart success, it generated enough response to warrant three additional reissues, each with new material, including live tracks, in 2002, 2003 and 2006. Hall & Oates' long and celebrated career as a duo was celebrated with a 2008 BMI Icons award, the same year Oates released his second solo album, 1000 Miles of Life. He then scored a Top 40 hit on the Adult Contemporary charts as co-songwriter on Margo Rey's single "Let the Rain" in 2010, then released Mississippi Mile, a solo album of blues and folk material, the following year. Hall & Oates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

Credits

World of Guitar

Guest
Show
2020

Enormous: The Gorge Story

Self
Movie
2019

Daily Blast Live

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Show
2017

The Interview Show With Mark Bazer

Guest
Show
2016

Music City Roots: Live From the Factory

Music Performer
Show
2015

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Sara Smile

Music Performer
Show
2015

The Kate

Music Performer
Show
2015

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Live in Dublin

Music Performer
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2015

Songs at the Center

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Show
2015

Songs at the Center

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Show
2015

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

Music Performer
Talk
2014

The GoldbergsStream

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John
Series
2013

Steve Harvey

Guest
Talk
2012

CBS Evening News

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Show
2012

Live From Daryl's House

Music Performer
Reality
2011

Big Morning Buzz Live

Music Performer
Show
2011

The VoiceStream

Music Performer
Reality
2011

Hall & Oates: Our Kind of Soul Live

Actor
Show
2011

Access Hollywood Live

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Show
2010

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Live at the Troubadour

Music Performer
Show
2009

The Cleveland ShowStream

Guest Voice
Cleveland's Devil
Series
2009

Rachael Ray ShowStream

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Talk
2006

Rachael Ray ShowStream

Music Performer
Talk
2006

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Our Kind of Soul: Live

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2005

Dancing With the StarsStream

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Reality
2005

Tavis Smiley

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Talk
2004

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Music Performer
Talk
2003

Woodsongs

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2001

Will & GraceStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
1998

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Don't Hold Back Your Love

Music Performer
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1990

Daryl Hall & John Oates: So Close

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1990

Darryl Hall & John Oates: Missed Opportunity

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1988

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Maneater

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1982

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Private Eyes

Music Performer
Show
1981

Daryl Hall & John Oates: I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)

Music Performer
Show
1981

Daryl Hall & John Oates: You Make My Dreams

Music Performer
Show
1980

CBS News Sunday MorningStream

Guest
News
1979

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

The Merv Griffin Show

Guest
Talk
1965

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