ORU Grad Ryan Tedder Wins First Grammy

Ryan Tedder
OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, a producer on Adele's Grammy winning album "21," poses with a Grammy award at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Ryan Tedder has steadily gained fame as the frontman for the band OneRepublic, but it’s his work behind the scenes as a producer for some of music’s most famous voices that earned the Oral Roberts University alumnus his first Grammy Award last Sunday in Los Angeles.

Tedder, 32, was nominated for two Grammys this year and won for his collaboration on British-born pop sensation Adele’s album 21, which was named Album of the Year.

Tedder was born in Tulsa, Okla., and learned to play piano at age 3. He began singing at age 7. He moved to Colorado during high school, and later Tedder returned to Tulsa to complete his degree in mass media communications at ORU. He graduated in 2001.

“Right from the get-go, I think he was interested in producing because he was really interested in writing. That’s what he loves to do,” Tedder's mother, Marlene Cunningham, told Tulsa TV station News on 6 before the 54th annual Grammy Awards show.

Not only a talented musician and active producer, Tedder penned many songs that have topped the charts for music artists like Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston. His roster includes Adele, 23, who won six Grammy Awards this year.

While Tedder won with 21, he was additionally nominated for Producer of the Year but lost to Paul Epworth, who also helped produce Adele’s music. Epworth also won a 2012 Grammy for Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” which was named Song of the Year.

Tedder’s musical career took off soon after college when he decided to move to Los Angeles with some friends to start a band, which would later be called OneRepublic. The group’s first single, “Apologize,” was written and produced by Tedder with his studio equipment. The song was posted on MySpace, and it shortly went viral.

Tim “Timbaland” Mosley remixed “Apologize” for his album, and after the success of the remix, OneRepublic was signed to Timbaland’s label Mosley Music Group in 2006. OneRepublic’s first album, “Dreaming Out Loud,” debuted the following year.

Tedder, who was raised Pentecostal, said in numerous interviews that he did not pursue a career in contemporary Christian music because he felt called to the secular music industry where he could live out his faith.

This year holds big things for Tedder. He is set to produce for Beyonce and plans two new projects for the year. Tedder previously worked with Beyonce on “Halo” and “I Was Here.”

After his big night at the Grammys, Tedder is back with the band and working on OneRepublic’s new album. He said in an interview after the Grammys that the album should be released sometime this fall. OneRepublic announced on Twitter that a new single was “hopefully (coming in) April/May.”

OneRepublic performed at the Grammys after-party Sunday night in Los Angeles. Once their album is finished, the band hopes to be touring again by August.

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