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Anthony Kiedis ( ; ); born November 1, 1962) is an American vocalist/lyricist and occasional actor best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Kiedis spent his youth in Grand Rapidsmarker, Michigan with his mother before moving to Hollywoodmarker, Californiamarker at the age of twelve to be with his father. Shortly after high school, Kiedis embarked on a short stint at UCLAmarker, but dropped out after losing interest because of substance abuse. After dropping out, Kiedis received an offer to be the opening act for a local band, and enlisted friends Flea, Hillel Slovak, and Jack Irons to assist, a line-up which eventually became the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Early life

Anthony Kiedis was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 1, 1962 to John Kiedis, a son of Lithuanianmarker immigrants, and Margaret "Peggy" Idema of Greek, Dutch, English, Irish, French, and Mohican ancestry. He was never given a middle name, as per his birth certificate. His parents divorced in 1965 when he was three. He has two half-sisters, Julie and Jenny and a half-brother James. Kiedis lived with his mother in Lowell, Michiganmarker until he was eleven years old, when he moved to Los Angelesmarker to live with his father. He attended Fairfax High School with future band-mates Michael Balzary, Hillel Slovak, and Jack Irons.

Drug addictions

Kiedis often battled with drug addiction, including lengthy addictions to heroin and cocaine, which started at a very young age. His father was also a drug addict, so Kiedis was constantly around his drug-using and dealing father, as well as his father's friends who engaged in the same activities. Some of his first drug use came from drugs he got from his father, including marijuana, which he first smoked when he was 12 years old. He abused drugs for years, even into the formation of the band, where other members were also using. He tried to get clean after the heroin overdose (specifically using the method of speedballing) death of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak on June 25, 1988, saying he would never shoot up again. He entered rehab and ended up staying clean for five years but relapsed in 1994 when he had a wisdom tooth removed. The dentist in Los Angeles felt novacain, a non-narcotic, would do to pull the tooth. However, the tooth ended up having to be cut out, so Kiedis was put under using liquid Valium. This sent him into a relapse. He went in and out of rehab over the next few years, but has reportedly avoided another relapse since December 24, 2000. "It’s easy to be a junkie," Kiedis said in the March, 2007, issue of Blender. "It’s not easy to be one of the greatest guitar players of all time, or one of the greatest writers."

Role in the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Kiedis supplies most of the Chili Peppers' lyrics. Starting with 1989's Mother's Milk album, John Frusciante and Flea have written all of the music (excluding melodies) for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with Kiedis supplying lyrics and melodies he hears during instrumental jams by his band mates; Kiedis said in 2006, "Somehow I find songs... in the bigness of what they're doing." His lyrical style has varied over the years. During the band's early years, Kiedis wrote many lyrics detailing his enjoyment of sex, drugs, and life in Los Angeles. As his musical tastes expanded and his outlook on life changed, and he matured, he began writing songs about a wider spectrum of subjects.

His early vocal style with the band primarily consists of rapping, which he could do quickly while keeping a consistent rhythm. On Mother's Milk (1989), Kiedis would write more melodic songs, rather than the basic rhythm and beat style of funk. The first song where Kiedis employed his new melodic style was "Knock Me Down". The melody was actually shaped and performed by guitarist John Frusciante. Upon joining the band, Frusciante sang lead vocals on the song along with Kiedis. Blood Sugar Sex Magik in 1991 still saw Kiedis rapping, but he also started singing more melodic ballads in songs such as "Under the Bridge", "Breaking the Girl", and "I Could Have Lied". Over the years, Kiedis grew to favor singing rather than rapping. Kiedis has had many vocal coaches, but none of them had helped him sing "well." In fact, it was not until 1999's Californication that he felt he could take full control of his voice while singing.

He has been a key figure in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Despite the band's varied lineup, Kiedis remained and tried to keep the group together whenever it was about to fall apart. However, Kiedis himself was fired for around a month somewhere in 1986, because of his drug addiction; he was brought back into the band and stayed sober for as he recalls 50 days, after which he began abusing cocaine and heroin again.

Although he rarely plays instruments, he has been known to play drums during some of the bands jam sessions in live performances, such as the video found on Youtube at the Pinkpop festival in 2006. He also used to play a very basic guitar riff during early 90's performances of Give It Away.

Other projects

Using the stage name Cole Dammett (adapted from his father's stage name, Blackie Dammett), Kiedis landed a number of small roles in television and film as a teenager in the late 1970s. His early credits include F.I.S.T. and the 1978 ABC Afterschool Special It's a Mile from Here to Glory. Resuming his acting work in the 1990s, Kiedis appeared in the 1991 Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze vehicle Point Break playing Tone, a surfer. The Chase, a 1994 movie starring Charlie Sheen as an estranged man trying to escape the cops with a young woman he kidnapped, had Flea and Kiedis playing metalheads who chase Sheen's character in a 4x4 truck and end up crashing.

In 2004, Kiedis published a memoir titled Scar Tissue, which peaked at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. He also organized the New American Music Union, a two-day summer music festival set for August 2008 in Pittsburghmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker. He has assembled a lineup of musicians including Bob Dylan, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, The Roots, and a second stage featuring college bands. (The lineup did not include Kiedis or the Red Hot Chili Peppers.)

Upcoming television series

Kiedis is developing a series for HBO based on his unconventional upbringing in Los Angeles. The show is expected to be loosely based on much of Kiedis's autobiography. He has partnered with Catapult 360 partners Marc Abrams and Michael Benson to create the series, titled Spider and Son. Abrams and Benson are scouting for a writer to pen the script, which will center on Kiedis's relationship with his father, Blackie, who sold drugs and mingled with rock stars on the Sunset Strip, all while aspiring to get into show business. The show is scheduled to premiere in late 2010 at the very earliest.

Personal life

Kiedis's now ex-girlfriend, model Heather Christie, gave birth to the couple's first child, Everly Bear, on October 2, 2007. Kiedis split with Christie in June 2008. Kiedis previously dated Ione Skye, Sofia Coppola, Jessica Stam, Sinéad O'Connor, Heidi Klum, Nina Hagen, Yohanna Logan (also referred to as "Claire Essex" in later version of his bio, Scar Tissue), Jaime Rishar, Jennifer Bruce, Carmen Hawk, Argentinian singer Erica Garcia, and Hope Sandoval. He has also been linked to Madonna and Melanie C of the Spice Girls.

He has been an on-off vegetarian since the 1980s and became vegan in 2008.. World Entertainment News Network Ltd., 2008. Anthony Kiedis and Leona Lewis Voted Sexiest Vegetarians. [Online] [[World Entertainment News Network|WENN]],, Celebrities, 19 Jun. Available at []. [Accessed 5 April 2009].

Kiedis regularly practices Vipassana meditation and is a follower of Kabbalah.He is also a fan and collector of Robert Williams. He bought "Mirror Image with Varicose Eyeballs" which also appeared in the seminal Art show Helter Skelter at the Los Angeles MOCA in 1992 and referred to him in the song "Mellowship Slinky In B-Major".

Selected discography

Red Hot Chili Peppers


  1. Kiedis, Anthony; with Larry Sloman (2004). Scar Tissue. London: Time Warner Books. ISBN 0-316-72672-9. Spider and Son
  3.,,20274341,00.html - "Anthony Kiedis's Red-Hot Roommate? His Son" - retrieved 23-04-2009
  4. [1]
  5. Anthony Kiedis Opens Up About Being a Dad - Birth, Anthony Kiedis :
  6. Anthony Kiedis & Girlfriend Split - Breakups, Anthony Kiedis :
  7. Anthony Kiedis: The Pursuit of Happiness Article on Blender :: The Ultimate Guide to Music and More
  8. International Vegetarian Union - Famous Vegetarians - Musicians - Rock, Pop and Classics

External links

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