Scott Alan Stapp (born August 8, 1973) is an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is also the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Creed, of which he is a founding member. His debut solo album, The Great Divide, was released in 2005. His second album, Proof of Life, was released on November 5, 2013.
Stapp has received several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Creed's song "With Arms Wide Open" and numerous RIAA certifications. In 2006, Hit Parader ranked Stapp as the 68th greatest heavy metal vocalist of all time.
Early life and education
Stapp was born Anthony Scott Flippen in Orlando, Florida to Lynda, a school teacher. Little is known about his biological father. He was adopted by Steven Stapp, a dentist who married Scott's mother, and decided to take his stepfather's last name. However, upon realizing that his initials would spell out the word "ass," he took his middle name as his first and took the name he is now known as, Scott Alan Stapp. Stapp grew up in a very religious household because his stepfather was a Pentecostal minister. When punished, he would be forced to copy passages from the Bible. At one point, he grew so desperate to seek freedom from the strict rules of his religious stepfather that he sneaked out of his home in the middle of the night and stayed at a friend's house for a month before finally returning home. In an attempt to impress his stepfather, he attended Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, but he was expelled for smoking marijuana. He subsequently attended Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida, Tallahassee Community College, and finally Florida State University.
Creed: 1993–2004, 2009–present
Stapp is a founding member and lead vocalist of the American hard rock band Creed. After developing an acquaintance with his future band mate Mark Tremonti at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Stapp reunited with Tremonti while both attended Florida State University, and they quickly developed a friendship based on their mutual passion for music. Stapp formed Creed with Tremonti in 1993 with fellow members Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips joining as bassist and drummer, respectively. Rhythm guitarist Brian Brasher was also briefly a member from 1993 until 1995 when the band was known by its original name, Naked Toddler. While often criticized and parodied, Creed is recognized by many as one of the major acts of the post-grunge movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Tremonti and Stapp have been collectively recognized as one of the most prolific songwriting teams in all of rock music.
The band released their debut album My Own Prison in 1997 to mainstream success, selling over six million copies. Four singles were released from the album: "My Own Prison", "Torn", "What's This Life For", and "One." Each of these songs reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, becoming the first band to do so with a debut album. The album was then followed in 1999 by Human Clay, which was an immediate success and certified diamond and eleven times platinum by the RIAA. Tension between Stapp and Marshall began to increase during this time, leading Marshall to ultimately leave the band to pursue other interests. He was temporarily replaced by touring bassist Brett Hestla, with Tremonti handling the bass parts in the studio. After a tour, the band released another multi-platinum selling album, Weathered, in 2001. The tour to support this record was overwhelmingly successful but ended with a considerably controversial concert in Chicago that ultimately led to the band's breakup. The band announced that they had disbanded in 2004, citing tension between Stapp and the other members. Creed released their Greatest Hits in November 2004.
After months of speculation, despite early claims from Tremonti that Creed would never return, it was announced that Creed had reunited with plans for a tour and a new album. The record, Full Circle, was released in October 2009. Creed supported the album by touring throughout North and South America, Canada, Europe, and Australia during the summers of 2009 and 2010. A fifth Creed album was expected in late 2011 or early 2012 according to Tremonti, which however did not materialise.
In March 2012, Stapp reconvened with his Creed band mates to rehearse for their current "2 Nights" tour, during which the band is performing its first two albums, My Own Prison and Human Clay, back to back in their entirety.
Solo career and contributions: 2004–present
After Creed announced its breakup, Stapp recorded the song "Relearn Love" with 7 Aurelius and The Tea Party for The Passion of the Christ: Songs, a collection of tracks inspired by the 2004 Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ. He then began working on his debut solo album. Titled The Great Divide, the record was released in the U.S. on November 22, 2005, peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard 200. "The Great Divide", "Justify", and "Surround Me" were released as singles. It was certified platinum on December 14, 2005. The Great Divide has since reached double platinum. His backing band for the record and live shows consisted of Aristides Rincon and John Curry on guitars, Mitch Burman on bass, and Mark Archer on drums. They are all members of the band Goneblind.
In April 2008, Stapp uploaded a cover of "Running to Stand Still" by U2 to his Myspace page. On August 8, 2008, he posted an acoustic version of "Broken" which was on his previous record.
Stapp announced on his Myspace page after Creed's 20-10 Tour with Skillet he will embark on a solo acoustic tour. August 18, 2010, he wrote, "I'm stripping down all the Creed hits, as well as my solo material, in a manner fans have never heard before but have long been screaming for." Creed's touring rhythm guitarist Eric Friedman joined Stapp on the acoustic tour. The short solo acoustic tour began September 28, 2010, and concluded November 20, 2010.
In the spring of 2010, Stapp recorded an anthem for the National League baseball team the Florida Marlins titled "Marlins Will Soar," a rewrite of Stapp's song "You Will Soar," using different lyrics and a slightly different melody in the verses. "Marlins Will Soar" was met with extremely negative reviews according to The Huffington Post. In April 2010, Stapp released (free to fans via scottstapp.com) a new remix of "Broken," featuring rapper Ma$e, and 2 B-side tracks, "Somber" and "Criminal".
Stapp appeared on Carlos Santana's solo album Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time, a cover album on which Stapp sings on the cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Fortunate Son". The album was released on September 21, 2010.
Stapp confirmed in 2010 that his tentative second album, named Between Lust and Love, would be a double album, with each disc devoted to the topics of lust and love. Stapp told The Salt Lake Tribune: "It's been the dichotomy of my life over the last three-and-a-half, four years. [It has] characters that describe [my] life and times … It's two sides of the coin." The album was produced by Stapp with veteran producer Desmond Child. Eleven tracks from the album were recorded in late 2010, and Stapp thought to record ten more songs in next year. In 2011, album title was changed to Somewhere in the Middle of Lust and Love, however due to the Creed reunion and tour in 2012, Stapp postponed the record to 2013, but finally was shelved indefinitely. A song from this unreleased album, "A Prayer For Sunrise", was released in 2012 to promote his autobiography titled Sinner's Creed.
In September 18, 2013, Stapp has confirmed that his definitive second album will be Proof of Life. It was produced by Howard Benson and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge. On October 8, 2013 the song "Slow Suicide" went to radio, it is available digitally and several pre-order options also are offered on Stapp’s website. His backing band for Proof of Life Tour consists of Andy Wood and Travis Comer on guitars, former Daughtry touring bassist Andy Waldeck, and Breaking Benjamin and Black Label Society drummer Chad Szeliga.
Stapp is involved in various philanthropic activities. In 2000, Stapp founded the With Arms Wide Open Foundation, a nonprofit organization "dedicated to helping underprivileged children and families around the world." He has donated over US$1 million of his own record sales to support the foundation's worldwide humanitarian efforts. In 2006, Stapp embarked on a solo tour and provided over 244,000 meals to several local food banks affiliated with America's Second Harvest throughout the United States, and in early 2010 he joined with the Wheelchair Foundation and DC3 Music Group to assist in the "Plane to Haiti" project, a humanitarian mission to help the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Over three tons of medical supplies were donated, and Stapp, along with other artists including New Kids on the Block, Alter Bridge, Tom Morello, and David Archuleta, together helped raise over $1 million for the cause.
In early 2012, to provide musical therapy and promote fundraising for victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Stapp and his wife, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, IsraAid, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the United Service Organizations, traveled to Japan and visited with victims of the tsunami in affected towns including Sendai and Ishinomaki along Japan's northeast coastline. Stapp also performed an acoustic show on board the USS George Washington at the Yokosuka Naval Base for U.S. troops stationed in Japan to thank and express his appreciation for them.
Stapp has committed himself to sobriety. He shaved his head, which he used to demonstrate his "changed" personality. He said,"I wanted my wife to perceptually and visually see me as changing, that I was not what I used to be." Stapp's Creed band mate, guitarist Mark Tremonti, said that he was "surprised as hell at Scott's new attitude towards music and life in general." Tremonti elaborated, saying: "It seems as though, over the last six years, he'd done a lot of maturing and reflecting; he has his head on straight. And he realizes how truly important Creed was to him. Not just as a monetary enterprise, but as a band, a group of people. Creed was an important thing for him to be a part of. Right there, in our first meeting, he made us realize that we felt the same way." He went on to say, "From the second we started playing again, he was very complimentary towards what we were all doing musically. He had a lot of nice things to say about my guitar playing, and to hear him say to Brian Marshall that he thought he was a great bass player was very cool." He also said in terms of Creed's 2004 breakup: "Falling apart was probably the best thing that could have happened to us."
Stapp has written an uncensored memoir which he describes as a "first-hand narrative of the journey from my roots – from the day I was born to the present." It is titled Sinner's Creed and it was released on October 2, 2012 by Tyndale House.
In 1997, Stapp married Hillaree Burns. They were married for 16 months and divorced in 1998. She later gave birth to their son, Jagger. Creed's song "With Arms Wide Open" is about their son.
On February 11, 2006, Stapp married Miss New York USA 2004 winner, children's literature author, and model Jaclyn Nesheiwat. Their daughter, Milán Hayat Stapp, was born on January 4, 2007. The Stapps welcomed son, Daniel Issam, on July 4, 2010. He has two sisters, Amanda and Amie. Stapp and his family currently reside in Boca Raton. He is a Christian.
In July 2002, he was detained by Florida police and charged with reckless driving after he drove his SUV off the road before swerving back into the proper lane. He was released from custody after posting $500.
He was also arrested February 12, 2006, one day after his second marriage, for suspected intoxication.
On May 20, 2007, he was charged with felony assault stemming from a domestic violence incident; upon returning home after a night of partying, Stapp was questioned by his wife Jaclyn and got defensive and threw a bottle of Orangina at her. She called the police and her husband was taken into custody and charged with one count of assault; Stapp was later set free on supervised release. Stapp apologized to his wife and the public on May 23, 2007, and the charge was later dropped.
A sex tape of Stapp and Kid Rock receiving oral sex from a group of women on a tour bus in 1999 became public in 2006. In an interview about the 45-minute video, Stapp said he did not believe oral sex was actual sex. Stapp says he and Kid Rock have not spoken since the tape became public.
In 2003, he contemplated suicide after drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. He retrieved two MP5s from his collection, put the guns to his head, but did not pull the triggers after looking at a picture of his son, Jagger. He stated in an interview with Rolling Stone that he was convinced that anyone involved with Creed wanted him dead so he would become a "Kurt Cobain martyr-type" and increase record sales. Says Scott, "I had crazy thoughts going through my head." He later said that instead of killing himself, he fired a few rounds in his home. He said, "I was in the throes of prednisone coming out of my body [...] I shot a few rounds off and instantly was like, 'What the hell am I doing?' So I put the guns away and ran out to the garage and got the putty and patched the holes."
In a promotional appearance in support of his new memoir, Stapp explained on a VH-1 television show that he had attempted suicide in Miami and that the rapper T.I. had saved him. It is not immediately clear when this occurred, though Stapp implied it had taken place well after 2004.
Stapp was ranked as the 68th greatest heavy metal vocalist of all time by Hit Parader in 2006.
- Solo albums
- The Great Divide (2005)
- Proof of Life (2013)
- Solo singles
- "Relearn Love" – (2004)
- "The Great Divide" – (2005)
- "Justify" – (2006)
- "Surround Me" – (2006)
- "Slow Suicide" – (2013)
- Official website
- Scott Stapp on Myspace
- Scott Stapp on Twitter
- Passion Breeds Followers
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