Dave Matthews

On this date in 1967, Dave Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. After graduating high school, Matthews moved to the United States to avoid mandatory service in the South African Army. He moved to Charlottesville, Va., in 1986, where he began to hone his musical talents by playing guitar and singing on stage. In 1991, Matthews formed the Dave Matthews Band, a rock band with jazz influences, along with fellow musicians Carter Beauford, LeRoi Moore, Steffan Lessard, Peter Griesar and Boyd Tinsley. Matthews performs as the acclaimed band’s vocalist. Dave Matthews Band albums include “Under the Table and Dreaming” (1994), “Crash” (1996) and “Before These Crowded Streets” (1998). Matthews released a solo album, “Some Devil,” in 2003. Matthews and his wife, Ashley, were married in 2000. They have three children: twins Stella Busina and Grace Ann, born in 2001, and August, born in 2007.

Matthews was raised Quaker, but lost his faith in his teens after struggling with the idea that most of his loved ones, including his father, would end up in hell. “It would be safe to say that I’m agnostic,” Matthews said in a 2001 Boston Globe article. He elaborated on his agnostic beliefs in an Oct. 4, 2009 Q TV interview: “I can’t believe, in any way, in a god that cares about me. That makes no sense to me, a god that’s watching me and hoping that I make the right choices. That god is impossible.” In his interview with Q TV, Matthews spoke about the harm of religion, saying, “I think God is more often a dangerous idea. ... I think God is more often an excuse for not doing anything and more often an excuse for things that are wrong, to justify them. And that’s not good.” His song “What You Are” from the album “Everyday” (2001) contains the nonbelieving lyrics, “Hoping to God on high is like clinging to straws while drowning.”

“We owe a faith to the world and to ourselves. We owe a grace and gratitude to things that have brought us here. But I think it’s very ignorant to say, ‘Well, for everything, God has a plan.’ That’s like an excuse. Maybe the real faithful act is to commit to something, to take action, as opposed to saying, ‘Well, everything is in the hand of God.’ ” 

—Dave Matthews, Boston Globe, March 4, 2001

Compiled by Sabrina Gaylor; photo by Helga Esteb, Shutterstock.com

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