Gavin DeGraw Rocks Bryant Park

Most people know Gavin DeGraw from his hit single "I Don't Want to Be," the theme song of the WB show "One Tree Hill."

But the 26-year-old soulful singer promises to be much more than a one-hit wonder. His 2003 debut album, "Chariot," has gone platinum, and "I Don't Want to Be" hit No. 1 on the Top 40 charts and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Always a "Good Morning America" favorite, DeGraw delighted a legion of fans -- who braved a rainy morning -- with his performance in New York's Bryant Park as part of the "GMA" Summer Concert Series.

DeGraw, who for years scraped by playing various New York City clubs and bars, said he never imagined he'd be performing in Bryant Park.

"I used to come here on Monday night and watch the free movies," he said. "I never thought I'd be playing here."

Soulful Singing Beyond His Years

Growing up in the Catskill Mountains region of upstate New York, DeGraw was surrounded by music. His father, a prison guard, sang and played guitar for years in a group called the People's Band

DeGraw started out playing piano when he was 8, and as a teen he played in a cover band with his older brother, Joey. Joey was the one who encouraged DeGraw to start writing original music.

Focusing on his songs, and not his classwork, got DeGraw into trouble at Ithaca College. He dropped out after one semester and moved to Boston to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

Berklee, however, didn't work for DeGraw either. He left after a year, working odd jobs before moving to Manhattan in March 1998.

DeGraw was popular among chic New York clubs like Wilson's and Joe's Pub, and he eventually attracted the attention of major labels. But he held out until he was offered a deal by Clive Davis and his J Records imprint.

Asked about his soulful singing that belies his young years, DeGraw joked it was thanks to "pain, agony and hunger."

DeGraw is going hungry no more. He is on tour throughout the United States this summer. For more information on the album or tour dates, you can visit www.gavindegraw.com.

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