The iconic singer performed his hit song “One Day,” which he wrote about the tragic death of his friend and fellow musician Daniel Tashman, during the Billboard Music Awards show in Las Vegas on Sunday night. He sang it solo, accompanied by just a keyboard player, and he brought out his bandmates to sing harmonies later in the performance.
Matisyahu was born on June 30th, 1979, in Westchester County, New York, and raised in White Plains, NewYork. His parents are Judy and Michael Miller, both teachers, and he has one older sister named Rachel. His father is Jewish and his mother is Christian.
Miller grew up in a secular household; his parents divorced when he was young, and he describes himself as having been raised without religion. He had no formal religious training until he went to Israel in 1995.
In 1996, while attending the Alexander Muss High School, he began studying Judaism under Rabbi Chaim Levin. He later enrolled in Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Business, majoring in finance. While at Stern, he performed in several plays, including Hallelujah Junction, a musical about the Hasidic movement. He graduated from Stern in 2001.
After graduating from college, Miller worked as a stockbroker for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter for three years. During this period, he continued to study Kabbalah. He now works as a financial consultant.
Miller began performing music when he was 12 years old. He grew up in Portland, Oregon where he lived with his mother and stepfather. His father died when he was young. After graduating high school, he attended college at the University of Oregon. While there, he played bass guitar in several bands. One of these groups, called The Good Life, recorded a demo tape that caught the attention of producer Steve Albini. This led to him joining the band Big Black.
In early 2003, Miller left Big Black and joined the alternative rock group, Rilo Kiley, replacing founding member Jenny Lewis. During this period, he worked on solo projects such as, a collection of acoustic recordings.
On August 27, 2004, Miller announced via MySpace that he had signed with JDub Records. He released his debut studio album,, on October 13, 2004. The album peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200 chart. His second album,, was released on January 26, 2005. Its lead single, “When I Pretend”, became one of Miller’s most successful singles. It reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 5 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. A third album, titled,. was released on September 21, 2006. The album debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold approximately 50,000 copies in its first week.
In April 2007, Miller went on tour with Nine Inch Nails. He supported the band during their North American spring tour and later served as opening act for Marilyn Manson. Miller subsequently toured with British post-punk band Bloc Party throughout summer 2007.
After touring with Bloc Party, Miller returned home to Portland, Oregon where he collaborated with local musicians and friends to record his fourth full-length album, entitled. The album was released on July 24, 2008. In 2009, Miller embarked on a short European tour with fellow musician Jack White.
During 2010, Miller spent much of his time recording his fifth full-length album, tentatively titled. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that Miller finally finished the album. Titled, it was released on May 4, 2012.
In 2013, Miller formed a side project called S.U.V., along with members of the bands Guster, The New Amsterdams, and The Walkmen. Their self-titled EP was released on November 11, 2013.