Duncan Sheik (born November 18, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and composer. Initially finding success as a singer, most notably for his 1996 debut single "Barely Breathing", he later expanded to compositions for motion pictures and the Broadway stage, such as the successful musical, Spring Awakening. Sheik practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the US branch of the worldwide Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International.
After being raised by both his parents in Montclair, New Jersey and his grandparents in Hilton Head, South Carolina (of whom his Juilliard-trained grandmother taught him piano), and after graduating from Phillips Academy, Andover in 1988, Sheik studied semiotics at Brown University, and moved to Los Angeles. Playing for other artists, including Liz and Lisa (with Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell), Sheik also played on His Boy Elroy's 1993 album through his connections from fellow Brown alum, Tracee Ellis Ross. He is the half brother of Broadway actress Kacie Sheik.
In 1996, Sheik released his self-titled debut album, which was certified Gold and spawned the hit single, "Barely Breathing", which itself remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-setting 55 straight weeks, enjoying Top 20 success on Adult Contemporary radio and topping the Adult Top 40 charts. The song also garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
In 1998, Sheik released Humming, an experimental follow-up with meticulous string arrangements.
In 2001, Sheik released Phantom Moon, a Nick Drake-influenced album which was a collaboration with poet and writer Steven Sater.
In 2002, Sheik released Daylight, a brighter, more modern-sounding album which included the singles, "On A High" and "Half-Life".
In 2002, Sheik composed original music for the New York Shakespeare Festival production, Twelfth Night.
Read more about Duncan Sheik on Wikipedia.