Happy birthday to Dennis DeYoung of Styx!
Over the course of his time with Styx, Dennis DeYoung became legendary for his lead vocals and synthesizer solos.
DeYoung kickstarted his music career in Chicago, Illinois in the late ‘60s when he formed the Tradewinds with friends Chuck and John Panozzo , later adding James Young and John Curulewski . Two years and a name change later, Styx signed their first recording contract.
In 1974, the band struck gold when their song “Lady” reached no. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and their sophomore album (Styx II) reached no. 20 on The Billboard Hot 200.
From 1976 to 1979, DeYoung and Styx (with the addition of Tommy Shaw) would turn out four more albums that would earn at least a platinum certification and included hits like “Babe,” ”Blue Collar Man,” and “Fooling Yourself.” Their next album, Paradise Theater, sold more than 3 million copies and catapulted them to the height of their rock n’ roll fame.
But creative differences caused DeYoung to leave the band and pursue a solo career. On his own, he released two albums, both of which would chart on the Billboard Top 200. His third solo LP, Boomchild, came before he reunited with Styx in 1990, resulting in their Edge Of The Century album. After the group split for a second time, DeYoung released his fourth solo album 10 On Broadway, inspired by talents like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ira Gershwin.
Although the group reconnected in 1996 and toured in 1997, complications from the flu made DeYoung sensitive to sound and bright lights, and he was subsequently unable to join Styx on their second reunion tour in 1999. The tour continued without him, resulting in a lawsuit settled out of court.
Soon after, DeYoung took to the theater, composing and recording music for the stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and, in 2004, he debuted The Music of Styx – Live With Symphony Orchestra.
Currently, a healthy Dennis DeYoung is married with two children and tours with his solo band. They play Styx’s greatest hits, but DeYoung remains open to a Styx reunion, saying he “gave that band [his] life.”