Stephen Victor Tallarico (born March 26, 1948), better known as Steven Tyler, is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and the frontman and lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, and occasional piano and percussion. He is also known as the “Demon of Screamin'” and is equally known for his on-stage acrobatics. During his high-energy performances, he usually dresses in bright, colorful outfits with his trademark scarves hanging from his microphone stand.
In the 1970s, Tyler rose to prominence as the frontman of Aerosmith, which released such milestone hard rock albums as Toys in the Attic and Rocks. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Tyler had a heavy drug and alcohol addiction, and the band’s popularity waned. He completed drug rehabilitation in 1986 and has subsequently maintained sobriety for over 20 years, aside from a painkiller addiction in the late 2000s, which he successfully received treatment for in 2009. After Aerosmith launched a remarkable comeback in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the albums Permanent Vacation, Pump, and Get a Grip, Tyler became a household name and has remained a relevant pop icon. As a result, he has since embarked on several solo endeavors including guest appearances on other artists’ music as well as film and TV roles (including as a judge on American Idol). However, he has continued to record music and perform with Aerosmith, after more than 40 years in the band. He recently was included among Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Singers. He was also ranked 3rd on Hit Parader’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time. In 2001 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Aerosmith, and he was the presenter when AC/DC was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
Early life (1948 – 1969)
Stephen Victor Tallarico was born March 26, 1948 in Harlem, New York City, to father Victor Tallarico, a classical musician, and mother Susan Blancha, a secretary. Tyler says that he grew “under his father’s piano”, and that from what his father played, he got “that emotional thing” that he has with music. When he was sixteen, he formed his first band, called The Strangeurs, later changed to Chain Reaction, where he was the drummer, and later the lead singer. Tyler also had been part of a few local bands, like William Proud and The Left Banke. He was expelled from Roosevelt High School due to his drug use. He graduated from the Leonard Quintano for Young Professionals School in 1966.
Formation and success of Aerosmith (1970 – 1983)
Before Aerosmith was formed, Tyler wrote what would become Aerosmith’s signature song, “Dream On“. In 1969, Tyler attended a local rock show in Sunapee, New Hampshire where he first saw future bandmates Joe Perry (guitars) and Tom Hamilton (Bass), who at the time were playing in a band called the Jam Band. Tyler later stated he was struck by their raw power and attitude. Around 1970, Tyler, Perry, and Hamilton decided to form a band. However, Tyler, who had typically performed drums in many of his previous bands insisted that he be the frontman and lead singer of this band. Joey Kramer, a friend of Tyler’s from New York, was recruited to play drums. They also added Tyler’s boyhood friend Ray Tabano as a second guitartist. The band moved to Boston, Massachusetts and shared a small apartment on Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton. Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford in 1971.
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After spending time on the Boston club circuit under the tutelage of their first manager, Frank Connelly, the band began working with New York managers Steve Leber and David Krebs. Leber describes the band as “the closest thing I’ve ever seen to theRolling Stones“. On October, 1971, the managers arranged the gig at the legendary night club Max’s Kansas City to showcase the group to record company executives. They subsequently signed a record deal with Columbia Records in 1971 and released their eponymous debut album in 1973. This was followed by Get Your Wings in 1974. Around this time, Aerosmith continued to tour wherever they could, and opened for bands like Mott the Hoople. The band had a minor hit in “Dream On”, which peaked at #59 in 1973, but it wasn’t until the back-to-back releases of Toys in the Attic (1975) and Rocks (1976) that Aerosmith broke into the mainstream. In 1975, they achieved their first Top 40 hit in “Sweet Emotion“. Soon after, “Dream On” was re-released and hit #6 in 1976, followed by another Top 10 hit “Walk This Way“. Soon, Aerosmith found themselves headlining huge stadiums and major festivals. 1977’s Draw the Line continued this success and they were catapulted to international fame and recognition, launching tours in Europe and Japan. A series of Hot 100 hits continued throughout the remainder of the decade. Aerosmith’s first five albums have also all since gone multi-platinum, and all five are considered to be among the greatest hard rock albums of all time. However, as the decade wore on, the fast-paced life of touring, recording, living together, and using drugs began to take its toll on the band.
Tyler and Perry often were called the Toxic Twins for their legendary intake of stimulants and heroin. Their relationship is well documented in many of Aerosmith’s video releases as well as in the Aerosmith Behind the Music.
In August 1979, after a huge fight at a concert in Cleveland, Perry left Aerosmith to begin his own band, the Joe Perry Project. Night in the Ruts was released that fall, and Aerosmith forged on with new guitaristJimmy Crespo.
In the fall of 1980, Tyler was injured in a serious motorcylce crash, that left him hospitalized for two months and unable to tour or record for much of 1981. When the band re-convened to begin recording, Tyler formed a writing partnership with Crespo, co-writing and producing the album Rock In A Hard Place (1982). Brad Whitford had left in 1981, shortly after recording the guitar parts for the album’s lead single, “Lightning Strikes”. Whitford was replaced by Rick Dufay and the band continued to tour into 1983. Tyler’s drug abuse increasingly became problematic and he collapsed on-stage at several shows throughout the early 1980s.
Reuniting and getting clean (1984 – 1986)
On February 14, 1984, Perry and Whitford, who left the band in 1979, showed up at an Aerosmith show. According to the band’s Behind the Music special on VH1, Tyler alleges he made the first phone call to Perry encouraging them to meet up again. Backstage, they all met and Perry and Whitford agreed to join the band once again. With the new reunion, the band also fired their managers Leber and Krebs and hired new manager Tim Collins (who was managing Joe Perry) and signed a new record contract with Geffen Records.
Aerosmith embarked on a reunion tour, “The Back in the Saddle Tour,” and proceeded to record once again, releasing Done with Mirrors in 1985. The band was still using drugs, however, especially Tyler, who collapsed at a show in Springfield, Illinois on the 1984 tour. In 1986, the band held a meeting in which the band members staged an intervention on Tyler and convinced him to enter a drug rehabilitation program.
After Tyler had successfully completed rehab, every other member of Aerosmith eventually followed suit; all had successfully exited their respective programs at various times in the mid-late 1980s.
Comeback and superstardrom (1986 – 1999)
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Aerosmith rose to prominence again when Tyler and Perry appeared on Run-DMC‘s cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” in 1986, a track which combined elements of hip-hop and rock, that broke down the barriers between the two genres, broke rap into the mainstream, and introduced Aerosmith to a new generation. The track hit #4 on the charts and launched a famous music video that saw heavy rotation. This paved the way for Aerosmith to mount a significant comeback. Tyler and Perry renewed their songwriting partnership but were now also working with outside songwriting collaborators brought in by the record company, like Desmond Child and Jim Vallance. In addition, to help give Aerosmith a slick sound that would be accessible to mainstream audiences, they were receiving help from producer Bruce Fairbairn and A&R man John Kalodner. Aerosmith released Permanent Vacation in 1987, which became a huge multi-platinum success and launched three Top 20 hits (“Dude (Looks Like a Lady)“, “Angel“, and “Rag Doll“). The band launched a tour with the emerging Guns N’ Roses opening many shows. Permanent Vacation was followed by 1989’s Pump, which was even more successful, selling 7 million copies and producing three Top 10 hits (“Love in an Elevator“, “Janie’s Got a Gun“, and “What it Takes“) and one Top 40 hit (“The Other Side“). Pump in particular saw Tyler expand his musical horizons, co-writing the innovative hit “Janie’s Got a Gun”, which won the band their first Grammy award. The band toured with many up-and-coming acts and toured in locations like Australia for the first time. In the late 1980s, Tyler also guested on albums by comedian Sam Kinison, Alice Cooper (a fellow 70s rocker also launching a successful comeback) and popular contemporaries Motley Crue. Around that time, Tyler and Perry also appeared at a Bon Jovi concert in Milton Keynes and performed “Walk This Way“.
With the twin successes of Permanent Vacation and Pump, the band became an MTV sensation and Tyler became a household name. The band were featured on a “Wayne’s World” sketch on Saturday Night Livein 1990, which is ranked as the #1 moment of all time on the show. In 1991, Aerosmith was also one of the first bands to be featured on The Simpsons. That year, the band also signed a $30 million record deal with their old label Columbia, which they would begin recording for later that decade. After a brief break, the band returned to the studio to record their next album. The band’s A&R man John Kalodner criticized some of the early material being considered for this album, targeting Tyler’s sexually profane lyrics in particular. As Tyler was no longer using drugs, many had believed Tyler had now become a sex addict. However, the band eventually began recording again and released Get a Grip in 1993, which became their most successful album worldwide, selling over 15 million copies and producing a series of hit singles (“Livin’ on the Edge“, “Cryin’“, “Amazing“, “Crazy“). While the album saw mixed reviews and received some criticism for over-using outside collaborators, Aerosmith won more awards during this time than any other, winning two Grammy Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, two American Music Awards, a People’s Choice award, and a Billboard Award. The band became well-known for their videos at this time, which featured film-like storylines and up-and-coming actors and actresses like Edward Furlong, Stephen Dorff, Jason London, Josh Holloway, and most notably Alicia Silverstone. Tyler’s daughter Liv made her acting debut in the band’s video for “Crazy” in 1994. The band also launched their biggest and most extensive tour yet, performing over 240 shows in nearly 30 countries, including touring Latin America for the first time and peforming in many European countries for the first time.
After the 18-month long Get a Grip Tour ended in December 1994, the band took a break in 1995 to spend time with their families. This break was needed due to the grueling lifestyle of the previous 10 years under the helm of manager Tim Collins, who helped orchestrate much of the band’s comeback and sustained success. Tyler and Perry also began writing for a new album and the band performed a couple one-off shows in Boston to try out the new material, and vacationed together with their families in Florida. Aerosmith, however, almost broke up after the band’s manager spread rumors that band members were saying bad things about each other and that Tyler was being unfaithful to his wife and using drugs again during recording sessions in Miami. The band subsequently fired Collins in 1996 in the middle of recording for their next album. In 1997, they released Nine Lives, which went double platinum, launched three hits (“Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)“, “Hole in My Soul“, and “Pink“), and won the band their fourth grammy for “Pink”. They toured for over two years in support of the album. In 1997, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were featured in a commercial for the GAP. That fall, the band’s tell-all autobiography was released.
In 1998, while on tour in support of Nine Lives, Tyler suffered a ligament injury when his mic stand came crashing into his knee. Tyler and the band finished the show, but they had to cancel several dates, and Tyler had to wear a leg cast while filming the video for “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing“. The song was the band’s first #1 hit and the only song to date by a rock band to debut at #1 on the Hot 100. It has since become a slow-dance staple and at the time, introduced Aerosmith and Steven Tyler to yet another new generation. The song was written for the film Armageddon, which featured Tyler’s daughter Liv.
In 1999, Tyler and Perry joined Kid Rock and Run-DMC to perform “Walk This Way” at the MTV Video Music Awards. Earlier that year, the band saw the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith open at Walt Disney World.
In early 2001, Aerosmith played at the Super Bowl XXXV Halftime Show, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band also released the album Just Push Play, which featured the Top 10 hit “Jaded“. The band went on tour again in the summer of 2001 and since then, Aerosmith has toured every year, except 2008. After theSeptember 11, 2001, attacks, the band performed at the benefit concert “United We Stand” in Washington, D.C. Tyler donned a full-length jacket featuring the American flag, and the band performed a brief set including the numbers “Livin’ on the Edge” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”. The band flew back to Indianapolis to perform a show that same night.
In 2002, Aerosmith’s two-hour long Behind the Music was released, chronicling the band’s tumultous history and current activities and touring. They were also honored as MTV Icons. In the summer, they released the compilation O, Yeah! The Ultimate Aerosmith Hits, which went double platinum and included the new track “Girls of Summer“, which spawned a namesake tour with Kid Rock and Run-DMC opening.
In 2003, Tyler received an honorary degree from Berklee College of Music, and, in 2005, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Boston. In 2003, Tyler also inducted AC/DC into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tyler sang with AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson for a performance of “You Shook Me All Night Long“. Later in the year, Tyler went on tour with Aerosmith for the Rocksimus Maximus Tour with KISS.
In 2004, Aerosmith released the blues cover album Honkin’ on Bobo and launched a brief tour with Cheap Trick, focused on smaller markets. Later that year, Tyler sang the National Anthem to kick off the 2004 World Series at Fenway Park. The 2004 film The Polar Express featured Tyler singing “Rockin’ on Top of the World” alongside a group of computer-animated elves resembling Aerosmith.
In 2006, after recovering from throat surgery and the grueling Rockin’ the Joint Tour, Steven Tyler performed with Joe Perry and the Boston Pops Orchestra for the orchestra’s annual Fourth of July concert, his first major public appearance since the surgery. During the concert, which was broadcast nationally on CBS, Tyler, Perry, and the orchestra performed a medley of “Walk This Way”, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and “Dream On“. That year, Tyler also recorded a duet with country music artist Keith Anderson, titled “Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll”. The song, a remixed version of a song found on Anderson’s debut album, was released as a single on the U.S. Hot Country Songs charts.
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Later that year, the Aerosmith compilation Devil’s Got a New Disguise was released, which included two new tracks. Tyler hit the road with Aerosmith again for the Route of All Evil Tour with Motley Crue and also made several more public appearances. He made a cameo appearance on the sitcom Two and a Half Men, playing himself. On October 14, 2006, Tyler sang “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at Game #3 of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. On November 24, he volunteered by serving Thanksgiving dinner to the needy at a restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida before an Aerosmith show there.
On May 21, 2008, Tyler checked into Las Encinas Hospital rehabilitation clinic, in Pasadena, California, to recover from multiple leg surgeries. He made a public statement saying that “The ‘foot repair’ pain was intense, greater than I’d anticipated. The months of rehabilitative care and the painful strain of physical therapy were traumatic. I really needed a safe environment to recuperate where I could shut off my phone and get back on my feet.”  In June 2008, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, was released, the franchise’s first video game based solely around one band and the most successful game based around a band. On July 14, 2008, Tyler’s mother, Susan Ray Tallarico, died at the age of 84. On July 18, 2008, Steven Tyler appeared with Billy Joel at the last concert to be played at Shea Stadium. Backed by Joel’s band, he sang lead vocals on “Walk This Way”. In August 2008 HarperCollins won an auction to publish Tyler’s autobiography. That same month, Tyler performed with trumpeter Chris Botti in Boston. In December 2008, Tyler made a surprise appearance at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts at Nassau Coliseum (December 12, 2008) and the Izod Center (December 13, 2008). At the Izod Center, he collaborated with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on “Dream On” and “Sweet Emotion”.
Recent events (2009–present)
On August 5, 2009, while on the Guitar Hero Aerosmith Tour, Tyler fell off a stage near Sturgis, South Dakota, injuring his head and neck and breaking his shoulder. He was airlifted to Rapid City Regional Hospital. Aerosmith was forced to cancel the rest of their 2009 tour, except for two shows in Hawaii in October. Back in 2007, Aerosmith had to cancel their first concert in Maui, which resulted in a class action lawsuit involving 8,000 plaintiffs. Attendees received tickets and, in some cases, reimbursements for out of pocket expenses. The band also performed in early November at an auto race in Abu Dhabi.
On November 9, 2009, it was reported that Steven Tyler had no contact with the other members of Aerosmith and that they were unsure if he was still in the band. On November 10, 2009, Joe Perry confirmed that Steven Tyler had quit Aerosmith to pursue a solo career and was unsure whether the move was indefinite. No replacement was announced. Despite rumors of leaving the band, and notwithstanding Perry’s comment as reported earlier the same day, Tyler joined The Joe Perry Project onstage November 10, 2009, at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza and performed “Walk This Way.” According to sources at the event, Tyler assured the crowd that despite rumors to the contrary, he is “not quitting Aerosmith.” On December 22, 2009, Rolling Stone reported that Tyler had checked into rehab for pain management and an addiction to painkillers.
In 2010, Steven Tyler embarked on the Cocked, Locked, Ready to Rock Tour with Aerosmith, which saw them perform over 40 concerts in 18 countries. On September 16, 2010, it was reported that Tyler would have his first solo project. He wrote ‘Love Lives,’ which serves as a theme song for the Japanese sci-fi movie Space Battleship Yamato (2010 film). The song was based on the English translated script, as well as on some clips of the film itself. The single was released on November 24, a week before the movie was released.  A preview of the single can be heard in the movie’s trailers. On September 22, 2010, Foxconfirmed that Tyler would join American Idol as a member of the judging panel for the program’s tenth season, alongside Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. In December 2010, Tyler performed at the Kennedy Center Honors, honoring Paul McCartney by performing several tracks from Abbey Road.
As of 2011, Tyler is juggling many projects, including serving as talent judge on American Idol, working on new material with Aerosmith, and writing his autobiography Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?.
|1986||“Walk This Way“||Run-D.M.C. featuring Steven Tyler and Joe Perry||Raising Hell|
|1988||“Wild Thing“||Sam Kinison; guest performers include Steven Tyler||Have You Seen Me Lately?|
|1989||Various tracks||Alice Cooper; guest performers include Steven Tyler||Trash|
|1989||“Slice of Your Pie”||Mötley Crüe; guest performers include Steven Tyler||Dr. Feelgood|
|1989||“Sticky Sweet”||Mötley Crüe; guest performers include Steven Tyler||Dr. Feelgood|
|1999||“Roots,Rock,Reggae”||Bob Marley featuring Steven Tyler||Chant Down Babylon|
|2001||“Misery”||Pink featuring Steven Tyler and Richie Sambora||Missundaztood|
|2002||“Sing for the Moment“||Eminem featuring Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (uncredited; Dream On sample used; New recording not done)||The Eminem Show|
|2004||“I’m a King Bee“||Steven Tyler and Joe Perry||Lightning in a Bottle Soundtrack|
|2005||“Just Feel Better“||Santana featuring Steven Tyler||All That I Am|
|2006||“Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll”||Keith Anderson featuring Steven Tyler||Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll|
|2009||“Cryin’” and “Smile”||Chris Botti featuring Steven Tyler||Chris Botti in Boston|
|2010||“Love Lives”||Steven Tyler||Love Lives – Single|
|1978||Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band||Member of the Future Villain Band !|
|1990||Saturday Night Live: Musical guest; “Wayne’s World” sketch||Himself|
|1991||The Simpsons: “Flaming Moe’s” episode||Himself (voice)|
|1993||Wayne’s World 2||Himself|
|1993||Saturday Night Live: Musical guest; “Bad Dancer” sketch||Himself|
|1997||Saturday Night Live: Musical guest; “Mary Katherine Gallagher” sketch||Himself|
|2001||Saturday Night Live: Musical guest||Himself|
|2003||Lizzie McGuire||Father Christmas/Himself|
|2004||The Polar Express||Elf Lieutenant / Elf Singer|
|2004||Goodnight Joseph Parker||Sammy|
|2006||Two and a Half Men: two episodes||Himself|
|2009||Chris Botti in Boston||Himself|
|2011||American Idol||Judge (Himself)|
Awards and nominations
Dirico Motorcycles (formerly Red Wing Motorcycles)
On September 15, 2007, at New Hampshire International Speedway, Steven announced the launch of Dirico Motorcycles (formerly Red Wing Motorcycles). Dirico’s bikes are designed by Steven Tyler, engineered by Mark Dirico, and built by AC Custom Motorcycles in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Steven has been a long time motorcycle fan and riding enthusiast. About the new Dirico Motorcycles Tyler said, “You get on one of these bikes and you can ride for days. These bikes are slick, rugged, and just damn cool. And they’re amazing to look at.”
Tyler had a brief relationship with fashion model Bebe Buell, during which he fathered actress Liv Tyler (Buell initially claimed that the father was Todd Rundgren to protect her daughter from Tyler’s drug addiction). In 1978, he married Cyrinda Foxe  an ex-Warhol model, and the former wife of New York Dolls‘ lead singer David Johansen, and fathered model Mia Tyler. He and Foxe divorced in 1987; in 1997, she published Dream On: Livin’ on the Edge With Steven Tyler and Aerosmith, a memoir of her life with Tyler. Cyrinda Foxe died from brain cancer in 2002. He has one grandson, Milo William Langdon (born December 14, 2004, in New York City), from daughter Liv’s marriage to British musician Royston Langdon.
In 1988, he married clothing designer Teresa Barrick. In February 2005, the couple announced that they were separating due to personal problems. In January 2006 the divorce was official. With Barrick, he fathered a daughter, Chelsea Anna Tallarico (March 6, 1989), and a son, Taj Monroe Tallarico (January 31, 1992). Tyler currently has a relationship with Erin Brady, since 2006.
On March 22, 2006, the Washington Post reported that Tyler would undergo surgery for an “undisclosed medical condition.” A statement from Tyler’s publicist read in part, “Despite Aerosmith’s desire to keep the tour going as long as possible, [Tyler’s] doctors advised him not to continue performing to give his voice time to recover.” Aerosmith’s remaining North American tour dates in 2006 on the Rockin’ the Joint Tourwere subsequently cancelled.
The surgery, to correct a popped blood vessel in his throat, was a success. In the words of Tyler: “He just took a laser and zapped the blood vessel.” After a few weeks of rest, Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith entered the studio on May 20, 2006 to begin work on their new album.
On July 3–4, 2006, Tyler and Joe Perry performed at the Boston Waterfront with the Boston Pops Orchestra and sang the songs “Dream On”, “Walk This Way”, and “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” as part of the Boston 4 July Fireworks Spectacular. The concert was notable as Tyler’s first public performance since the surgery. A tour launched later in fall 2006 with Mötley Crüe, titled the Route of All Evil Tour.
Steven Tyler’s throat surgery was featured in 2007 on an episode of the National Geographic Channel series, Incredible Human Machine.
Battle with Hepatitis C
In a September 2006 interview with Access Hollywood, Steven Tyler revealed that he had been suffering from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C for the past 11 years. He was diagnosed with the disease in 2003 and had undergone extensive treatment from 2003–2006, including 11 months of interferon therapy, which he said was “agony.”