Kaedy Kiely interviewed Dennis DeYoung of Styx about his new Live LP. Listen here [15:46]
Dennis DeYoung is a founding member of the rock group Styx. The Chicago-based band originated in 1962 when 14 year old DeYoung and brothers John and Chuck Panozzo joined Dennis in the basement of his childhood home to form one of America's most successful and enduring bands. Styx has sold over 35 million albums worldwide and DeYoung has written 8 of their 9 Top-10 singles. Styx was the only band to ever record 4 consecutive triple platinum albums.
For more than 4 decades, DeYoung has been a singer, songwriter, keyboardist and record producer. He wrote and sang several classics including: “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Best of Times,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Show Me the Way,” “Desert Moon,” “Don't Let It End” and the 1979 Peoples Choice Award winner, “Babe.” His singing talents have made his voice one of the most recognizable in the world. DeYoung has recorded 7 solo albums including Desert Moon, whose title track achieved Top-10 status. DeYoung continues to tour with his rock band around the world.
In 2007, DeYoung recorded his 7th solo album for DEP Universal Canada. The title track for this CD, “One Hundred Years From Now” was released as a single and reached #1 on the Pop, Rock and AC charts in Quebec. The following year the CD was released in the United States on Rounder Records and featured two additional tracks. In May of 2008 DeYoung's musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame was staged in Chicago at the Bailiwick Repertory Theater. In 2006, DeYoung performed live on CANADIAN IDOL. DeYoung also performed live on 3 episodes of the Fox Network's CELEBRITY DUETS with celebrity duet partner Hal Sparks. He was selected as one of 3 artists along with legends Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight for the finale. DeYoung was also selected to perform live on VH1's BIG IN 06 Awards show along with THE KILLERS, THE FRAY, FERGIE, and WEIRD AL.
In recent years DeYoung's songs have continued to enjoy remarkable popularity. His compositions have been featured in more than 30 television shows including: The Simpson's, Freeks & Geeks, Dharma and Gregg, E.R., King of Queens, Sex in the City, Will and Grace, Las Vegas, Cold Case, That 70's Show, Saturday Night Live and numerous others. The piece de resistance however was when Cartman sang Come Sail Away on the groundbreaking series South Park. DeYoung's songs have been featured in MANY major motion pictures including; Virgin Suicides, Big Daddy, Detroit Rock City, Disney's Atlantis, and The Wild, The Karate Kid II, the Shrek II DVD, Mr. Woodcock, , Underdog and Fun With Dick and Jane etc. Four songs of DeYoung's were used in The Perfect Man in which he also made a cameo appearance.
Volkswagen turned Mr. Roboto into a hit national commercial, featuring two Wayne's World like guys jamming to the words "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto." In 1999, Hippo Records released The Ultimate Collection, a compilation of select songs from DeYoung's solo albums “Desert Moon,” “Back to the Word” and “Boomchild.” In 2005, Universal Music re-released “Desert Moon” on CD and a DVD of DeYoung's videos entitled, “The Best Of Dennis DeYoung, The 20th Century Masters.” DeYoung made his Broadway debut in 1993, starring as Pontius Pilate in Andrew Lloyd Weber's Jesus Christ Superstar's 25th Anniversary Reunion Tour. His performance earned a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for best supporting actor in a musical. While performing in Superstar, DeYoung was approached by Atlantic Records to sing and produce “10 On Broadway” - a compilation of his favorite Broadway songs.
Deyoung's passion for American musical theater and composers like George Gershwin and Lerner and Lowe inspired him to write a musical based on Victor Hugo's classic novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Nashville Tennessee Repertory Theater mounted a full production of Hunchback in the fall of 1997 to glowing reviews. In 2006 DeYoung received the Just Plain Folks Music Awards for Best Theater Album (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame...A Musical”) and for Best Contemporary Song (“Who Will Love This Child”). DeYoung is a native of Chicago. He has been married to his high school sweetheart Suzanne for more than 40 years. He and Suzanne have raised two children and continue to live in the Chicago area.