Jonathan Howsmon Davis (born January 18, 1971) is the lead vocalist and frontman for the nu metal band Korn. As well as being Korn's lead singer, he has also recorded and played drums, guitar, and bagpipes in many of Korn's albums. Davis was ranked 16th on Hit Paraders list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists"
Davis was born in Bakersfield, California on January 18, 1971 to Rick Davis and Holly Chavez. His father was a keyboardist for musician Buck Owens, while his mother was a professional actress and dancer. His parents divorced when he was three years old, and was raised by father and stepmother in Bakersfield. Davis suffered severe bouts of asthma as a child, and had survived a near-fatal asthma attack when he was five. He also spoke of having a horrible relationship with his stepmother. Davis has said that his earliest musical inspiration as a child was the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Jesus Christ Superstar", and his favorite musical group was Duran Duran. He graduated from Highland High School in 1989. His stepmother also used to lock him up in closets, give him cigarette burns on his arms, and when he was sick she would give him Thai hot oil and make him drink it all. He also got bullied a lot in high school. He was called homophobic names and thats where the song "Faget" came from.
Davis worked as a mortician's assistant at one time, and was the last member to join the band. James 'Munky' Shaffer and Brian 'Head' Welch discovered him in a bar, initially intending to only stay for a few minutes. Upon seeing Davis performing with his then-band Sexart, however, they were compelled to stay for the whole set. Later Reginald 'Fieldy' Arvizu called Jonathan over the phone and asked him to join their then band L.A.P.D. In the early years of Korn, he was known for wearing a variety of normal and customized Adidas tracksuits onstage. The sports brand has become a kind of "trademark" for all Korn fans.
Korn released their self-titled debut in 1994. It peaked at #72 on the billboard. To date they have released eight studio albums, with a ninth in the making. Each of the first eight have achieved Platinum certification, with the exception for their newly released Untitled Korn album. Davis is the older half brother of Adema and now defunct Midnight Panic vocalist, Mark Chavez.
Jonathan's personal issues are a big influence in Korn lyrics. Songs such as "Daddy" from Korn's self-titled album are an example how Davis puts all kinds of feelings like anger and sadness in the creation of songs. The song "Daddy" caused many to assume Rick Davis (Jonathan's father) had raped his son. It's a source of embarrassment for him, though his son has gone on the record in many interviews saying it was written about a family friend who sexually abused him. When a 12-year-old Jonathan tried to turn to his family, he said, they ignored him. (Neither Jonathan nor Rick will say who the person was, though both say it was a woman.)
Davis has married twice, marrying his high school sweetheart, Renee Perez, on November 28, 1998 in a Medieval themed ceremony. Together they had a son, Nathan Howsmon Davis, but were divorced in 2000. On October 10, 2004, a decade after the release of Korn's first album he married again in Hawaii, this time to former pornstar actress Deven Davis. On March 18, 2005 his second child, Pirate Howsmon Davis, was born. Davis's third son, Zeppelin Howsmon Davis, was born on April 28, 2007.
Davis has been sober from alcohol and other drugs since August 22, 1998. He has stated that he gave them up. On the band's Deuce DVD, Davis's bandmates all speak of how they were proud of him for his sobriety.
Jonathan has stated that Untouchables is his favorite Korn album and that "Do What They Say" and "Hollow Life" are his favorite Korn songs.
In late 2006, Davis was recognized and honored at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace, Bakersfield, CA, by Buddy Alan, son of the late Buck Owens. Both Buck Owens and Davis are considered by many among their hometown fans as heroes to the sound of Bakersfield, each having their own pioneer sound, contributing to mainstream music worldwide over years past.
While Korn performed at the Download Festival in 2006, Davis was unable to perform with them, as he had developed idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a rare bleeding disorder. This left him bedridden for days after his band's performance. Assorted other artists also at Download filled in singing for Korn during the performance including M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Matt Heafy of Trivium, Benji Webbe of Skindred, Dez Fafara of Devildriver and Corey Taylor of Slipknot.
In 2009, Davis appears in rapper Lil Waynes video for Prom Queen, as the drummer at his show. This was likely due to Wayne being impressed with Davis' cover of his song Got Money.
He has a cameo in Queen of the Damned as a ticket scalper. Davis plays a minor role as Ricky, a crack dealer, in the film Seeing Other People. Davis also has a role as a store clerk in the indie film The Still Life. Davis is billed to appear in the upcoming horror film Sin-Jin Smyth where he will be playing the lead role. According to Bloody-Disgusting, Jonathan Davis is currently working on a script with writer/director Clive Barker entitled Oblivion. Davis describes it as a "dark opera about the end of the world" and that it differs greatly from Korn's style of music.
He has also been featured in many other bands' music videos, sometimes with Korn and sometimes solo. He has appeared with Korn in Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff", Deadsy's "Brand New Love", Ice Cube's "Fuck Dying",Sugar Ray's "Answer the Phone", and Lil' Wayne's "Prom Queen" as a cameo appearance. He has also appeared in Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff", Videodrone's "Ty Jonathan Down" (which he sings in), Cold's "Give", Busta Rhymes' "Fire."
Davis and the rest of Korn appeared in a 2005 episode of the comedy-drama television series Monk. The episode in which they appeared was the season 3 episode, "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic". As well as appearing in Monk. Korn also made an appearance on "The Man Show" in which Jimmy Kimmell and Adam Carolla claimed to be two members that were kicked out of the band in the style of a "VH1 Behind The Music" special.
Davis and Korn voiced themselves in season 3 of South Park in an episode named Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery which features them as Scooby Doo-esque characters, driving a Mystery Machine like van and trying to solve a mystery about Pirate Ghosts, similar to the actual Scooby Doo series.
Davis is usually seen with a microphone stand that was designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger during Korn's live performances and in their music videos. For his solo tour and the most recent "Escape From The Studio" tour dates, Davis has not used the Giger stand.
An original fighting game created by Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis, Pop Scars pits popular musical personalities against one another in one-on-one combat. Participants include members of Limp Bizkit, Staind, Marilyn Manson, and Korn itself. Each celebrity has its own true life personality and sports character designs sketched by comic book artist Marty Emond (Sunglasses After Dark), while stages boast environmental traps that impede opponents as they fight. Pop Scars never made it past the early design stages as Davis himself pulled the plug on the project in late 2004.
Davis' solo career started during his high school years as he had a solo project known as "Buck Naked", which featured musicians of what would later become Sexart. His music took influence from the new romantic movement. In 1993, Jonathan got together with Human Waste Project to record a cover of The Go-Go's song "This Town".
In 2002, Jonathan began composing the musical score for the movie adaptation of Queen Of The Damned with Richard Gibbs. He also performed six songs for the movie's soundtrack, although his performances were not allowed on the retail release, due to his contract with Sony. He also composed the theme music for the 2002 revival of The Twilight Zone and performed a cover of Neil Diamond's "Love On The Rocks" for the movie Wonderland.
Jonathan Davis announced in October 2007 that he would be embarking on an acoustic solo tour called Alone I Play in November 2007. He performed songs from the Queen of the Damned soundtrack, cover songs, rarely-performed Korn songs, and Korn classics. The tour was completely produced by Richard Gibbs. Davis also played a solo set at the 2008 Download Festival at Donington Park, where he played the Queen of the Damned soundtrack in its entirety and a few Korn classics.
Jonathan Davis and the Simply Fucking Amazings is:
- Jonathan Davis - vocals
- Ray Luzier – drums, percussion
- Shane Gibson – guitar
- Miles Mosley – upright bass
- Zac Baird – keyboards
- Shenkar – violin
A CD–DVD package was released in 2007 titled Alone I Play. It is available at invisiblearts.com.
Davis will be bringing his solo tour to Europe. Once that concludes, he will release a studio album with the exact same band. They will be recording new, original songs and cover songs for this upcoming release. It was announced on Kornspace that Davis is referring to his solo band as The Simply Fuckin' Amazings.
In April 2008, Davis canceled numerous dates on his previously announced "Alone I Play" European tour slated to begin in late May due to "personal reasons". Some of the canceled shows included those in Sweden, Belgium, France, and most of the UK and Ireland leg of the tour.
Jonathan played at Ozzfest in August 2008 with The Simply Fuckin' Amazings, playing a variety of songs played on the Alone I Play tour. The following month Davis released a cover version of Lil Wayne's "Got Money" featuring Jim Root on guitar and Ray Luzier on drums. While there has been no official news with regards to his solo album, in an interview at Ozzfest 2008, Jonathan said that he hoped to have it out by November or December 2008, and that a world tour would follow.
It has been confirmed by Jonathan that he has postponed work on his solo album so he could get into the studio to work on the new Korn album.
|2003||"Love on the Rocks"||Wonderland soundtrack|
|2007||"Careless (Akasha's Lament)"||Non-album single|
|2008||"Got Money" (feat. Jim Root)|
As featured performerEdit
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1996||"Sleepy Hollow" (Deadsy feat. Jonathan Davis)||—||—||Deadsy|
|1999||"Ty Jonathan Down" (Videodrone feat. Jonathan Davis)||—||—||Videodrone|
|2000||"Year 2000" (Xzibit feat. Jonathan Davis)||76||28||Black and White soundtrack|
|2002||"The Key to Gramercy Park" (Deadsy feat. Jonathan Davis)||—||—||Commencement|
|"1stp Klosr" (Linkin Park Humble Brothers feat. Jonathan Davis)||—||—||Reanimation|
|2003||"Cut Throat" (Marz feat. Jonathan Davis)||—||—||Gorilla Pimpin'|
|2009||"Jerry Bruckheimer" (The Changing feat. Jonathan Davis)||—||—||For Obvious Reasons|
|"Smashing the Opponent" (Infected Mushroom feat. Jonathan Davis)||—||—||Legend of the Black Shawarma|
|"The Enabler" (Chuck Mosley feat. Jonathan Davis)||—||—||Will Rap Over Hard Rock for Food|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|