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Davis performing with Korn in June 2016
|Jonathan Howsmon Davis|
January 18, 1971|
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
Jonathan Howsmon Davis (born January 18, 1971), also known as JD,JDevil, or J Devil, is an American singer and musician. He is best known as the lead vocalist and frontman of the nu metal band Korn.
Jonathan Howsmon Davis was born in Bakersfield, California on Monday, January 18, 1971, the son of Holly Marie (née Smith; born May 6, 1949) Chavez and Ricky Duane "Rick" Davis (born December 14, 1948). His parents married on February 27, 1970. Davis is of English, German, Scottish, Welsh, and Mexican descent. He has a sister, Alyssa Marie Davis (born February 8, 1974), a half-brother, Mark Chavez (lead singer of Adema; born November 15, 1978), and a half-sister, Amanda Chavez (born July 31, 1981), by his mother. His father was a keyboardist for Buck Owens and Frank Zappa, while his mother was a professional actress and dancer. His parents divorced when he was three years old and he was raised by his father and former stepmother in Bakersfield.
Davis suffered severe bouts of asthma as a child, and had survived a near-fatal asthma attack when he was five years old. He also spoke of having a horrible relationship with his former stepmother. He said she used to harass him and torture him, giving him tea mixed with Thai hot oil and jalapeño juice to drink when he was sick, lock him in cabinets and put cigarette burns on his arms. [dead link] Davis' father later divorced her.[dead link] He says the song "Kill You" was written about her.[dead link] Davis has said that his earliest musical inspiration as a child was the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar, and his favorite musical group was Duran Duran. He graduated from Highland High School in 1989, and worked at Toys R Us shortly after. He also attended the San Francisco School of Mortuary Science for a period of time. He was persistently harassed in Highland High School primarily by jocks for being different by wearing eyeliner, long clothes, and listening to new wave music. He was teased, harmed, and beaten. Davis also was constantly called homophobic names. The Korn song "Faget" was inspired by Davis' experience of being bullied. Davis' "HIV" tattoo on his upper left arm was also inspired by his experience of being bullied. Davis says even teachers were mean to him and sent him to the counselor for wearing eyeliner.[dead link]
Davis has a cameo in Queen of the Damned as a ticket scalper. Davis plays a minor role as Ricky, a crack dealer, in the film Seeing Other People. Davis also has a role as a store clerk in the independent film The Still Life.
He has also been featured in many other bands' music videos, sometimes with Korn and sometimes solo. He has appeared with Korn in the Limp Bizkit music videos for "Break Stuff" and "Faith". In 2009, Davis collaborated with Infected Mushroom, a psychedelic trance and electronic music group, appearing in the music video for their track "Smashing the Opponent", as well as with dubstep artist Datsik on "Evilution."
Davis and Korn voiced themselves in season 3 of South Park in the episode "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery", which features them as characters inspired by the cartoon Scooby-Doo, driving a van similar to the Mystery Machine and trying to solve a mystery about pirate ghosts.
He voiced Succulentus in an episode of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes titled "Know Your Mom". The character was based on Davis and a parody of Nu-Metal in general.
Jonathan Davis first began working on a solo album in 2007, forming the group Jonathan Davis and the SFA. Although he released two live albums with the group, no studio albums were completed and the band disbanded in 2014 after the death of guitarist Shane Gibson. However, in December 2017 Davis began announcing solo tour dates and festival appearances, and in January 2018 released his first solo single, What It Is. On May 25th, he released his debut solo album, Black Labyrinth on Sumerian Records.
JDevil is the EDM alter-ego of Jonathan Davis. He has been DJing since 1987 while he was still in high school. He began working for Pacific West Sound and spun at high school dances and parties on the weekends in Bakersfield. He used to spin New York freestyle, Miami bass, old school hip hop, goth, and industrial. In 2009, he began to DJ again and he introduced JDevil to the world in 2011 at Infected Mushroom appearances and as an opening act on Korn's Path of Totality Tour. Jonathan felt a need to use a unique name while making music. As he states in an interview, he has combined initials (JD), and 'evil' into 'JDevil'. He has nicknamed his wife, Deven, Devil, which also is a part of JDevil moniker. Jonathan says JDevil represents "indulgence and doing whatever you want to do and not ignoring your instincts, as long as you don't hurt anybody." JDevil's EDM style combines elements of dubstep, jungle, drum and bass, four-on-the-floor, and metal.
While on a short break from touring with Korn in July 2012, JDevil had a short four-day club tour which consisted of The Junkyard in Nashua, New Hampshire, Pufferbellies Entertainment Complex in Hyannis, Massachusetts, Lizard Lounge in Dallas, Texas, and The Garden in El Paso, Texas.
In July 2012, JDevil had signed on to perform at select Identity Festival dates throughout North America. He only performed at two shows, Comcast Center (amphitheater) in Mansfield, Massachusetts and Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia.
In August 2012, it was announced that JDevil would open for Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson on their Twins of Evil Tour at select dates in North America. However, before the tour began, JDevil had to drop out of the tour due to exhaustion.
JDevil's stage presence is one that thrives on chaos and disorder. He has said that he wants to entertain the crowd and make it insane.
"I make people drop their jaws because I'm just up there telling them to go fuck themselves. No one's ever done that at an EDM show and crowds are loving it. It's not like I'm offending anyone, people are like 'Yeah, fuck you too!'"-- Jonathan Davis
Davis created an original fighting game, Pop Scars, which pits popular musical personalities against each other in one-on-one combat. Participants include members of Limp Bizkit, Staind, Marilyn Manson, and Korn itself. Each celebrity has its own personality and sports character designs sketched by comic book artist Marty Emond, while stages feature environmental traps that impede opponents as they fight. Pop Scars never made it past the early design stages, as Davis himself pulled the plug on the project in late 2004.
Davis' childhood is a major influence on Korn lyrics. The song "Daddy" gave rise to a rumor that he was molested by his father, Rick Davis. However, Jonathan has gone on record in many interviews saying he wrote the song about a female family friend who sexually abused him. He said that when he tried to turn to his family as a child to tell them about the abuse, they shrugged it off and didn't believe him.
Davis has been married twice. His first marriage was to his high school sweetheart Renee Perez. They were married on November 28, 1998 in a Medieval-themed ceremony. Together they had a son, Nathan Howsmon Davis, who was born on October 18, 1995. The couple divorced in 2000. A decade after the release of Korn's first album, on October 10, 2004, Davis married in Hawaii, this time to former porn star Deven Davis. Davis' second child, Pirate Howsmon Davis, was born on March 18, 2005. Davis' third son, Zeppelin Howsmon Davis, was born on April 28, 2007. Deven Davis died on August 17, 2018 at the age of 39 of an accidental overdose. Deven's cause of death was a fatal mixture of cocaine, heroin, clonazepam, topiramate and fluoxetine in her system at the time of her death.
In the early 2000s, Davis began collecting serial killer art and memorabilia, publicly displaying selected items while on the Ozzfest 2003 tour. In 2005, he was considering starting a serial killer museum with Arthur Rosenblatt but pulled out of the deal, leading Rosenblatt to sue him. The litigation was ultimately resolved successfully by Ed McPherson, Davis' attorney. Davis later denounced the items and got rid of them.
While Korn performed at the Download Festival in 2006, Davis was unable to perform, as he had developed idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a rare bleeding disorder. This left him bedridden for days after his band's performance. Assorted other artists also at Download filled in singing for Korn during the performance including M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Matt Heafy of Trivium, Jesse Hasek of 10 Years, Benji Webbe of Skindred, Dez Fafara of Coal Chamber and Corey Taylor of Slipknot. The songs "Starting Over" and "Hold On" were inspired by the illness.
In 2006, Davis explained his political views, saying, "I'm political to a point where it affects human life, from global warming to abortion issues to my gun rights", but expressed disinterest in issues like taxation, saying, "I don't really care. Obviously even going out and voting doesn't really count, it's all based down to these Electoral College votes." Davis has expressed support for same-sex marriage and transgender people.
Davis has expressed support for libertarian Republican Party candidates Ron Paul and Rand Paul. Davis once described Barack Obama as an "Illuminati puppet" and told Billboard that Obama had "basically dragged this country down into the worst it's ever been." In 2014, Davis said that the United States was becoming a "police state".
In 2012, Jonathan began visiting United States Armed Forces stationed in Europe. On March 16, 2012, Jonathan made his first visit to Ramstein Air Base, Germany where he visited with personnel assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel showed him how to operate the bomb disposal robot and how to render safe an improvised explosive device wearing a Bombsuit. Firefighter personnel showed how to use the water cannon in the new Striker ARFF fire apparatus. Readiness and Emergency Management personnel showed a variety of Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) detection and protection equipment. He also did a meet and greet signing autographs for the troops and their families at the AAFES Military Mall (Kaiserslautern Military Community Center). He visited wounded warriors from all over the world at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the USO Wounded Warriors Center.
On August 11, 2012, Jonathan made another trip to Ramstein Air Base, Germany to visit with personnel assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing, 37th Airlift Squadron, and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. During this visit, he was able to get a tour of a C-130J, Hercules and Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel demonstrated a "Hollywood shot" explosive and the destruction a small amount of explosive can do to a car. Again, he visited the wounded warriors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the USO Wounded Warriors Center. A documentary of his experiences, "Wounded Warriors" was submitted to the 1st Annual GI Film Festival Hollywood and won Audience Choice Award on November 10, 2012. As a result of these trips, once Barack Obama awarded Captain Florent Groberg the Medal of Honor, he mentioned how Davis visited Groberg in Germany, and joked that "I am not the lead singer from Korn". While Davis had been a vocal critic of Obama, he expressed shock at the mention, particularly as it was a compliment: "The President of the United States gave me props for being there for a Medal of Honor recipient. Groberg went through hell."
In 2002, Jonathan unveiled a microphone stand art piece dubbed "The Bitch", which was created by Swiss artist H.R. Giger. As of 2014, Davis has been seen using wireless Shure Beta 87a and SM87 microphones for live performances. In the studio, Davis uses various microphones, most prominently the Sanken CU-44x.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
(featuring Jim Root)
|"Silent Hill"||2012||--||--||--||--||Silent Hill: Downpour soundtrack|
|"What It Is"||2018||--||5||47||21||Black Labyrinth|
|"--" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
(Xzibit featuring Jonathan Davis)
|2000||--||76||28||Black and White soundtrack|
|"Smashing the Opponent"
(Infected Mushroom featuring Jonathan Davis)
|2009||--||--||--||Legend of the Black Shawarma|
(Chuck Mosley featuring Jonathan Davis and John 5)
|--||--||--||Will Rap Over Hard Rock for Food|
(Datsik and Infected Mushroom featuring Jonathan Davis)
(Islander featuring Jonathan Davis)
(Motionless in White featuring Jonathan Davis)
(SKYND featuring Jonathan Davis)
|"--" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
(Rev Theory featuring Jonathan Davis)
(Sepultura featuring Jonathan Davis, Mike Patton and DJ Lethal)
(Deadsy featuring Jonathan Davis)
(Orgy featuring Jonathan Davis)
|"Ty Jonathan Down"
(Videodrone featuring Jonathan Davis)
|"Nobody Like You"
(Limp Bizkit featuring Scott Weiland and Jonathan Davis)
|"Take It Back"
(Snot featuring Jonathan Davis)
|"Just for Now"
(Fieldy's Dreams featuring Jonathan Davis)
|2002||Rock'n Roll Gangster|
(Linkin Park featuring Jonathan Davis and The Humble Brothers)
|"Love on the Rocks"||2003||Wonderland soundtrack|
(Marz featuring Jonathan Davis)
|"Witness the Addiction"
(Suicide Silence featuring Jonathan Davis)
|2011||The Black Crown|
|"Silent So Long"
(Emigrate featuring Jonathan Davis)
|2014||Silent So Long|
|"Starting to Turn"
(Tech N9ne featuring Jonathan Davis)
|"Whatever Goes Up"
(Bone Thugs featuring Jonathan Davis)
|"Hear Me Now" (Jonathan Davis Remix)||2011||Hollywood Undead||American Tragedy Redux|
|"Thunder Kiss '65" (JDevil Number of the Beast Remix)||2012||Rob Zombie||Mondo Sex Head|
|"The Kids Will Have Their Say" (JDevil Catholic Nun Remix)||Steve Aoki, Sick Boy||The Kids Will Have Their Say EP|
|"Bug Party" (JDevil Catholic Nun Remix)||Huoratron||Non-album song|