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Eagle-Eye Cherry

Eagle-Eye Cherry

With his breakthrough hit "Save Tonight," singer/songwriter Eagle-Eye Cherry garnered recognition for his melodic, folky blend of alternative rock. The song hit number one on both the Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Alternative Songs charts and helped take his album, 1997's Desireless, to number 45 on the Billboard 200 and number two in his native Sweden. The song's success made him the latest member of his family to stir the music world: his father was avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, and his sister was alternative rap pioneer Neneh Cherry. He has remained a creative presence in Sweden, where albums like 2000's Living in the Present Future and 2003's Sub Rosa charted in the Top 40, as did singles like "Are You Still Having Fun?" and "Dream Away" (with Darin). In 2012, he released his fourth album, Can't Get Enough, followed by 2018's Streets of You. In 2021, he returned with the single "I Like It," as the first song off 2023's Back on Track.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1971, Cherry was christened Eagle-Eye (yes, his real name) because the first time he looked at his father, he did so with only one eye open. Cherry spent most of his early childhood in Sweden and on the road with his father, and at age 14, when his family moved to New York, he studied acting at the New York School of Performing Arts. He also took up the drums, playing in several bands for fun, and later played around with keyboards and songwriting. Acting remained his primary focus for the time being, though, and after school, he made a living appearing in plays, commercials, and the occasional television pilot; he also guested on The Cosby Show. In the meantime, seeking more control over his own creative expression, Cherry began playing guitar and writing songs again.

Don Cherry passed away in 1995, and a grief-stricken Eagle-Eye moved back to Stockholm with his girlfriend to clear his head. It was there that he began to earnestly concentrate on songwriting and took some time to hone a set of original material modeled on the acoustic singer/songwriter tradition, with touches of blues and light funk. Deciding to try his luck in Sweden before the more competitive American marketplace, Cherry recorded his debut album, Desireless, and gave it a low-key release on the Swedish label Diesel in 1997. Gradually, thanks in part to the singles "Save Tonight" and "Falling in Love Again," the album became a hit -- first in Sweden, then Scandinavia, then all across Europe. Desireless was picked up by Sony's Work Group division for American distribution and was released in the summer of 1998. "Save Tonight" soon began a steady climb up the charts, and buoyed by support from the VH1 set, it eventually peaked in the Top Five. Cherry was red-hot, and Desireless went platinum in the States, selling a total of four million copies worldwide. In the summer of 1999, he appeared on Carlos Santana's vaunted comeback album Supernatural, singing the duet "Wishing It Was."

Cherry toured the world in support of Desireless, and during the massive promotional jaunt, his relationship dissolved. The breakup informed his second album, Living in the Present Future, which was released in Europe in 2000, hitting three in Sweden, six in Switzerland, and 12 in the U.K. The album also spawned several well-received singles, including "Feels So Right" and a duet with sister Neneh on "Long Way Around." Remixed for American release, the album was retitled Present/Future, sported a different running order with several different tracks, and wasn't released in the U.S. until late 2001.

In 2003, he released his third full-length, Sub Rosa, which featured production by a handful of contributors, including Al Stone, Cameron McVey, and Klas Åhlund. It reached the Top 40 on the Swedish and Swiss charts and spawned the singles "Skull Tattoo" and "Don't Give Up," the latter of which was also included on the soundtrack to the Disney film Holes. Producer Åhlund was also at the helm for 2012's Can't Get Enough, which also featured contributions by Max Martin. Over the next few years, Cherry kept busy releasing non-album tracks, including "As One" with Tomas Ledin and 2014's "Dream Away" with Darin. In 2018, he returned with his fifth album, Streets of You, his first released on his own Papa Cherry label. Creatively reinvigorated, Cherry had hoped to follow quickly with a sixth album, but his work was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He spent much of the lockdown working on material and, in 2023, delivered the full-length Back on Track. Heralded by the single "I Like It," the album found him drawing inspiration from many of the post-punk and new wave bands of his youth, like Talking Heads, Blondie, the Clash, and more. ~ Matt Collar & Steve Huey

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