John Clayton Mayer (born October 16, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter and producer. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and raised in nearby Fairfield. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, but disenrolled and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997 with Clay Cook. Together, they formed a short-lived, two-man band called Lo-Fi Masters. After their split, Mayer continued to play local clubs—refining his skills and gaining a following. After his appearance at the 2001 South by Southwest Festival, he was signed to Aware Records, and then Columbia Records, which released his first EP, Inside Wants Out. His following two full-length albums—Room for Squares (2001) and Heavier Things (2003)—did well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for the single “Your Body Is a Wonderland”.
In 2011, Mayer says was listening to Pandora and happened upon by a song by the Grateful Dead; he claims it was soon all he would listen too. In February 2015, while Mayer was guest hosting the The Late Late Show, he invited Grateful Dead guitar player Bob Weir to join him in a studio performance. A bond developed between the two, and while Weir and the rest of the surviving members of the Grateful Dead were preparing for their 50th anniversary shows, dubbed Fare Thee Well, Mayer began practicing the band’s large catalog of songs. That August, Mayer, Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann formed the group Dead & Company, along with Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge. The group began a fall tour in the United States.