Ted Leo performing at the 2006 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
|Birth name||Theodore Francis Leo|
|Born||September 11, 1970|
South Bend, Indiana
|Genres||Punk rock, hardcore punk, power pop, indie rock|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, guitarist|
|Associated acts||Citizens Arrest, Chisel, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Both|
Ted Leo is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is the frontman and lead guitarist of rock group Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and in 2013, he and Aimee Mann formed the indie rock duo the Both.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, Leo grew up in Bloomfield, New Jersey, where his family was from, and spent many formative years in the hardcore punk scene of New York City during the 1980s and early 1990s. He graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange in 1988 and the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1993 with a degree in English.
Leo was a founding member of the New York punk band Citizens Arrest in 1989. In the 1990s, Leo played in bands that included Chisel, Puzzlehead and the Sin-Eaters.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists was formed in 1999 in Washington, D.C. The group recorded six studio albums between 1999 and 2010. Leo has also maintained a consistent presence as a solo performer since the 1990s.
In early 2013, Leo and Aimee Mann formed a duo called the Both, after Leo had toured with Mann for several months as her supporting act. He and Mann began writing songs together, and in March 2013, the duo performed their first show together as the Both (originally formatted as the hashtag #BOTH). Their self-titled debut album, The Both, was released in April 2014.
Leo's debut solo album (and his first record without the Pharmacists), The Hanged Man, was released on September 8, 2017. The album was inspired by several years of career and personal hardships, including the loss of a daughter in 2011 due to a late-term miscarriage in which Leo's wife was forced to go into premature labor.
In 2019, he collaborated with Rebecca Sugar to write songs for Steven Universe: The Movie, in which he also voices Steg, a fusion of Steven Universe and Greg Universe, performing a duet with Aimee Mann in her role of Opal.
Leo grew up in New Jersey before moving to South Bend to attend Notre Dame, where he formed Chisel. He then moved to D.C., and briefly moved to Boston thereafter. Leo has lived in Rhode Island since 2005, and he also maintained an apartment in New York City until 2016.
Leo met his wife, musician and visual artist Jodi Buonanno, in the late 1990s when both were touring in bands. She is credited with clapping, whistle, and background vocals on the Hearts of Oak album.
Leo is a vegan, and has served as a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has made frequent radio appearances as a contributor to programs on WFMU, such as The Best Show with Tom Scharpling.
Bloomfield, Leo's hometown, is just west of New York City and just north of Newark.
It's virtually impossible to figure out how Ted Leo became, you know, Ted Leo. Born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Leo graduated from Seton Hall Prep and received a degree in English from Notre Dame. He is now a strict vegan and plays socially conscious punk music.
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