March 8, 1977, in Dayton, Ohio.
Hunt credits his diverse tastes to a mother who supported his early interest in music, to his "part-time painter/part-time pimp" father, and to the Southern Ohio soil where he was raised. A move from the Midwest to Atlanta in his early twenties allowed Hunt to hone his soul sound in the making. He took that eclectic sensibility to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College. He'd been playing guitar and writing songs since his teens, so naturally a career in music was on the horizon.
He began writing and producing for a new breed of soul artists including Joi, Raphael Saadiq, and Dionne Farris. Hunt was working with super-producer Dallas Austin until his manager, a pre-"American Idol" Randy Jackson, encouraged him to step forward as an artist, and brought him to Capitol Records. Capitol signed him in 2003 and his self-titled debut arrived in February 2004. The album wasn't a major hit, but did receive loads of critical acclaim.
Hunt's second album, "On the Jungle Floor," was released in April 2006. It's notable for its rock, punk, and blues influences, as well as Hunt's remake of "No Sense of Crime," which was originally recorded in 1977 by Detroit punk band the Stooges. Hunt wrote, played and arranged virtually all of On the Jungle Floor, though he did have help in the studio from producer Bill Bottrell.
"One day I heard music - maybe it was (Prince's) 'When Doves Cry' or 'Mary Jane' (by Rick James) something I really loved - and it opened a whole other world for me," says Van Hunt. "As a kid, the road is wide open, and that excitement is what I want from a record. That's who I make music for, that same kid in me." -- Van Hunt.
The Last Word:
"There is always a reason to celebrate wherever you are, no matter what you are doing. There is always something to celebrate. 'Stand in the place where you live,' as REM would say." -- Van Hunt.
2012: Live at the Troubador 2011
2011: What Were You Hoping For?
2006: On the Jungle Floor
2004: Van Hunt