Tyler Glenn
Glenn in 2018
Background information
Birth nameTyler Aaron Glenn
Born (1983-11-28) November 28, 1983 (age 37)
OriginTemecula, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • guitars
Labels
Associated acts

Tyler Aaron Glenn (born November 28, 1983) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He is known as the lead vocalist and keyboardist of the American rock band Neon Trees and as a solo artist.

Biography

As a teenager, Glenn attended Chaparral High School in Temecula, California.[1] He is a former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[2][3][4] After high school, he served a Latter-day Saint mission in Nebraska.[5]

Neon Trees' origins lay in Southern California in 2004 after Glenn's father suggested he play music with guitarist Chris Allen, the son of one of Glenn's father's friends.[2] In 2005, they moved to Provo, Utah and formally founded Neon Trees, adding bassist Branden Campbell and drummer/backing vocalist Elaine Doty (who is now Elaine Bradley) in 2007.[6] The band became well known in the music scene around Provo and Salt Lake City.

Tyler Glenn singing at Edgefest in Frisco, Texas, 2011.
Tyler Glenn singing at Edgefest in Frisco, Texas, 2011.

In 2007, Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drummer for The Killers), who knew Campbell from a previous band, saw Neon Trees playing at a small venue in Las Vegas and was impressed. As such, in 2008, The Killers invited the band to open for them during their North American tour.

Neon Trees released their first full-length album, Habits, in 2010. One song from that album, "Animal", which Glenn co-wrote, hit number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. A second song co-written by Glenn, "Everybody Talks" from their 2011 album Picture Show, was also a top 10 hit in 2012.

In 2014, Glenn was featured as lead vocalist on "Born to Run," a song on Afrojack's debut studio album, Forget the World.

In 2015, Glenn joined the holiday music supergroup Band of Merrymakers for their album Welcome to Our Christmas Party.

On April 28, 2016, Glenn released his debut single as a solo artist, the electro pop single "Trash." The video for the song was premiered on Rolling Stone the next day. In the video, Glenn is seen drinking from a bottle of alcohol, spitting on an altered image of Joseph Smith, making the LDS church's temple tokens with his hands, and painting a red 'X' on his face. The video immediately generated controversy among Mormons, many of whom found it offensive.[7]

Glenn released a solo album entitled "Excommunication" on October 21, 2016.[8][9] Glenn said on the LGBTQ&A podcast that the lyrics, "I tried to kill myself and I'm not the only one" on the song, "G.D.M.M.L. GRLS", speaks to how anti-gay policies enacted by the LDS Church in 2015 affected himself and other queer people.[10]

On April 11, 2018, Glenn announced on his Twitter that he would be making his Broadway debut playing Charlie Price, in Kinky Boots on May 6, 2018 and will play a limited run through July 15, 2018.

Personal life

In the April 10, 2014, issue of Rolling Stone, Glenn revealed he was gay and discussed keeping his sexuality a secret throughout his life.[11] Glenn said he had known he was gay since he was a young child. "I had my crushes on guys throughout high school, but it was never an overwhelming thing until my twenties," he admits. "Then I'd be dating girls and in love with my straight friend and it was the worst feeling in the world," he said to Rolling Stone.

Regarding his Mormon faith, Glenn stated in a 2012 interview: "The way I was raised and being a questioner, and getting a lot of my curiosities out early with drugs and alcohol, I think it’s helped me maintain a more even keel where I’m not out of control."[12] It had been widely reported that Glenn and the other members of Neon Trees do not drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.[13] The LDS Church has had a longstanding policy against same-sex marriage. In November 2015, the LDS Church announced children of same-sex married couples could not be baptized until those children are 18 years of age. This policy has since been changed, allowing children of same sex couples to join the church.[14][15][16] The 2015 announcement shocked Glenn. He no longer self-identifies as Mormon[17] and later resigned his membership in the church.[18] His 2016 solo album, Excommunication, is about his experience with the LDS Church and his frustration with their policies.[19]

Songwriting credits

Year Artist Song Co-written with U.S.

Hot 100

U.S.

Pop

Songs

U.S.

Rock

Songs

Canadian

Hot

100

Australian

Singles

U.K.

Singles

2009 Neon Trees "Animal" Tim Pagnotta, Chris Allen, Branden Campbell, Elaine Bradley 13[20] 7[21] 2 29 25 40[22]
2010 "1983"  – 28 76  –
"Your Surrender" S*A*M and Sluggo  – 38[21] 50  –
2011 "Everybody Talks" Tim Pagnotta 6[23] 3[21] 11 35 10 164
2012 Kaskade ft. Neon Trees "Lessons in Love" Ryan Raddon, John B. Hancock, Finn Bogi Bjarnson, Chris Allen, Branden Campbell, Elaine Bradley  – 40[21] 26  –
2014 Neon Trees "Sleeping with a Friend" Tim Pagnotta 51[24] 20[21] 8 69  –
"I Love You (But I Hate Your Friends)"
"First Things First"
"Text Me in the Morning"
2015 "Songs I Can't Listen To"  – 48  –
2016 Poppy "American Kids" Poppy, Titanic Sinclair, Sir Nolan, Tim Pagnotta

Discography

Neon Trees

Main article: Neon Trees discography

Solo artist

Singles

Title Year Album
"Somebody To Tell Me" 2020 Songs from "Love, Victor" (Original Soundtrack)

Featured artist

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Born To Run" 2014 Afrojack Forget The World
"Ender" Cory Layton Ender
"Wild" 2015 Santana Non-album single

References

  1. ^ Inc., Fanpop. "Neon Trees Photo: Tyler Glenn High School Yearbook photo". Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Doyle, Patrick (July 29, 2010). "Artist of the Week: Neon Trees". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  3. ^ Ganz, Caryn (October 7, 2016). "Popcast: Tyler Glenn, a Gay Mormon Pop Star at the Crossroads". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  4. ^ "631-633: Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees". Mormon Stories. April 14, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Pat Reavy, "Provo-based Neon Trees serve it up ‘Animal’ style", Deseret News, Oct. 28, 2010.
  6. ^ Clayton Perry, "Interview: Tyler Glenn (of Neon Trees)", Seattle PI, Apr. 26, 2011
  7. ^ Spanos, Brittany (April 29, 2016). "Watch Neon Trees' Tyler Glenn Slam Mormon Church in New Solo Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  8. ^ "Excommunication by Tyler Glenn on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  9. ^ "Tyler Glenn Bares His Mormon Soul in 'Excommunication'". October 21, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Tyler Glenn on 15 Years of Neon Trees: I Felt Like I Had to Hide". www.advocate.com. August 25, 2020. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  11. ^ Ganz, Caryn (March 25, 2014). "Neon Trees' Tyler Glenn: Gay, Mormon and Finally Out". Rolling Stones. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  12. ^ Bryan Reesman, "Interview with Tyler Glenn from Neon Trees: Retroactive Bliss", The Aquarian Weekly, May 2, 2012
  13. ^ See, e.g., Francesca Tay, "When the Neon Lights Go Down...", theurbanwire.com, July 28, 2011
  14. ^ Shill, Aaron (November 5, 2015). "LDS Church reaffirms doctrine of marriage, updates policies on families in same-sex marriages". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  15. ^ "Elder Christofferson: Context on Handbook Changes Affecting Same-Sex Marriages". www.mormonnewsroom.org. November 6, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  16. ^ "Understanding the Handbook". www.mormonnewsroom.org. November 13, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  17. ^ "631-633: Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees". April 14, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  18. ^ "Neon Trees' Tyler Glenn welcomes Mormon backing of LGBTQ concert, but says 'PR move' doesn't atone for church policies". August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  19. ^ "On 'Excommunication,' Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn finds freedom from fear, details struggles with his Mormon faith". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  20. ^ Billboard.com
  21. ^ a b c d e "Neon Trees – Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  22. ^ Official Chart Company
  23. ^ Billboard.com
  24. ^ "Neon Trees – Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved January 18, 2017.