Eddie Jerome Vedder (born December 23rd, 1964) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He is best known as the lead vocalist and one of four guitarists of Pearl Jam, which is regarded as one of the most influential bands of the 1990s. Vedder is additionally known for his innovative, genre-spanning solo work, as well as his guest vocals with supergroup Temple of the Dog.
Vedder quickly turned to music as a creative outlet when he received a guitar as a gift for this twelfth birthday. After earning his GED in the early 1980s, Vedder worked various jobs while recording demo tapes. He had several stints in various San Diego area bands, including Indian Style, which included future Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave drummer Brad Wilk.
Vedder became the lead vocalist for progressive funk rock band Bad Radio in 1988, moving the band into a more alternative rock sound. In 1990, former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons gave Vedder a demo tape of Seattle band Temple of the Dog, who were looking for a singer. Vedder wrote lyrics to the songs inspired by his childhood (his mother lied to him about his paternity); these songs later became Pearl Jam’s “Alive,” “Once,” and “Footsteps.”
After hearing the tape, Temple of the Dog members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament invited Vedder to come to Seattle, where he auditioned for a part in the band. He continued to work on the debut Temple of the Dog project, which was released in 1991 and acted as a tribute to the late Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood.
Vedder was recruited by founding members of Pearl Jam Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready, who assembled the band in 1990. They signed to Epic Records in 1991, with their debut album Ten releasing later that year. Ten became one of the best-selling alternative albums of the 1990s, staying on the Billboard 200 chart for nearly five years and going 13x platinum in the United States.
Pearl Jam quickly became one of the definitive bands of the grunge movement of the 1990s, with their subsequent albums continuing to break records. The band also became known for their shunning of popular music industry practices, including making music videos and conducting interviews. They famously sued Ticketmaster in 1994, culminating in a three-year boycott and testifying before Congress.
In addition to his work in Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog, Vedder has contributed to various soundtracks and compilations, most notably for the 2007 film Into the Wild. His soundtrack for the film served as his debut album, netting him multiple Grammy nominations. He continued to promote the soundtrack with his first solo tour in 2008. He released his second solo album, Ukulele Songs, in 2011. His third solo album, Earthling, was released in 2022, garnering critical acclaim.