John Mayer isn't just any white guy from Connecticut. With a resume chock full of pop hits, the singer also has street credibility with an eclectic mix of music legends — and talent to match.
Mayer's songs may climb the pop charts while legions of teeny-boppers swoon at his matinee idol looks, but his lyrics are revered in the music industry and songs like "Your Body Is a Wonderland" and "Daughters" have won him critical acclaim.
At just 29 years old, Mayer is already a respected songwriter and a celebrated guitarist. He's held his own with blues heavyweights like Eric Clapton and B.B. King. Clapton will perform with Mayer on "Good Morning America" Friday.
Adding to the excitement, the duo will each play a brand new Fender Crossroads Stratocaster, designed by Clapton himself. Only 100 of the custom made pieces were made, and the guitar goes on sale Friday at www.fender.com exclusively.
Mayer was fortunate enough to score the first guitar for his "GMA" performance, so only 99 guitars remain. All money raised from the sale of the collectible guitars will go to Clapton's Crossroads Centre in Antigua.
The singer, writer, blogger, stand-up comedian and shoe designer has also become a bona fide heartthrob. Since bursting onto the music scene in 2001 with his first major studio album, "Room for Squares," Mayer has sold millions of albums, won five Grammys and broken hearts — sometimes famous hearts — in both hemispheres.
That first album featured the hit "Your Body Is a Wonderland," rumored to have been inspired by then-girlfriend Jennifer Love-Hewitt. It won him a Grammy for best male pop vocal performance.
Singing the Blues
After releasing his second album, "Heavier Things," in 2004, Mayer decided it was time to change musical directions and formed the John Mayer Trio with drummer Steve Jordan and bassist Pino Palladino, focusing on his bluesy side. The trio toured together in 2005, performing as the opening act in several shows with the Rolling Stones.
Mayer released his third and most recent album, "Continuum," in 2006. Part blues, part political statement, "Continuum" features the hit "Waiting on the World to Change," in which Mayer vows to stop being idle, take action politically and think green.
The journey from music-school dropout to pop idol to respected musician and philanthropist did not go unnoticed by the world. This year Mayer was named one of Time Magazine's Top 100 most influential people in the world — the magazine recognized his earnest lyrics, powerful friends and his promising future as a blues artist.
"Mayer may never have seen the inside of a juke joint, but he knows that the blues are less about melanin than about truth and technique," said Time.
Chart Topper to Tabloid King
Despite all of that success, it wasn't until he was linked with the pop-star bombshell Jessica Simpson that his face started to wallpaper celebrity magazines and gossip blogs across cyberspace. But the seemingly unlikely connection with Simpson got him just as much flak as it did face time.
Longtime fans had a hard time accepting the respected artist's tabloid-fueled relationship with the notoriously ditzy Simpson, the one-time star of MTV's "Newlyweds" along with her former husband, boy-band alum Nick Lachey.
"It was harder for his fan base to accept the relationship, but he did a great job of defending her on his blog," said Molly Goodson, the editor of Popsugar.com.
Goodson added that it was, in fact, Simpson who had benefited from that love affair.
"I think it was good for her image to be associated with [Mayer], who is generally thought of as a talented musician and a pretty smart guy," she said.
The couple's on-again, off-again 10-month relationship was off as of last month. Mayer is flying under the radar once again, though "every now and again you'll hear about him meeting girls at the bar," Goodson said.
But he may not have time for love anytime soon — he has a host of tour dates all across the country between now and the end of the summer.
Visit his Web site for more info: http://www.johnmayer.com/home.