Benjamin Chase Harper (born October 28, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Harper plays an eclectic mix of blues, folk, soul, reggae, and rock music and is known for his guitar-playing skills, vocals, live performances, and activism. He has released twelve regular studio albums, mostly through Virgin Records and has toured internationally.
Harper is a three-time Grammy Award winner and seven-time nominee, with awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album in 2004 and Best Blues Album in 2013.
At the 40th Blues Music Awards ceremony, Harper's joint composition with Charlie Musselwhite, "No Mercy In This Land", was named as 'Song of the Year'.
In 1996, Harper married his first wife, Joanna. They have two children together, son Charles (born circa 1997) and daughter Harris (born circa 2000). Harper and Joanna separated in 2000, and were divorced in 2001.
Harper began dating actress Laura Dern after they met at one of his concerts in fall 2000. Harper and Dern married on December 23, 2005 at their home in Los Angeles. They have two children, son Ellery Walker (born August 2001) and daughter Jaya (born November 2004).
In October 2010, Harper filed for divorce from Dern, citing irreconcilable differences. They briefly reconciled and attended the 2012 Golden Globe Awards together, but Dern reactivated the divorce by filing a legal response in July 2012. The divorce was finalized in September 2013.
Harper married his third wife, social advocate Jaclyn Matfus, on January 1, 2015. Their son Besso was born in June 2017.
Harper is a skateboarder who has trained with Rodney Mullen and he also owns a warehouse for his personal skateboarding. Harper co-owns the skateboarding brand Roller Horror with professional skateboarder Mike York. In September 2016, Harper appeared on The Nine Club skateboard podcast, hosted by Chris Roberts, where he discussed his relationship and history with skateboarding. On The Nine Club, he also reveals that he went to school and began skateboarding with Chris Miller in Pomona, California.
Harper's cousin is Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez.
Harper supports Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit organization that works to restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged U.S. public schools. In 2013, he donated items to their San Francisco Bay Area benefit concert.
On Dec 11, 2016 he played an acoustic benefit concert at Bimbos in San Francisco supporting New Light India's "Boys Home Project". Founded in 2000 by Urmi Basu, New Light India provides shelter, educational opportunities, recreational facilities, healthcare and legal aid for the girls and women in Kalighat, notorious for its red light district.
Profile: American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born October 28, 1969 in Pomona, California, USA. He was married to Laura Dern from 2005 to 2013. Sites: benharper.net, Wikipedia, Bookogs
In Groups: Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Ben Harper And Relentless7, Fistful Of Mercy, The Dub Brothers
Variations: Ben Harper; B. Harper, Ben, Ben C. Harper, Ben Thomas Harper, Harper, ベン・ハーパー