Born Clarence Greenwood, Citizen Cope is an American songwriter and producer. His eclectic
mix of blues, laid-back rock, soul, and folk has a large and profoundly dedicated
following, built over the past decade of touring due to solid word of mouth.
Born in Memphis, Greenwood spent parts of his childhood in Texas and Mississippi,
ultimately ending up in Washington, DC, where he was primarily raised. While living there,
Cope began writing songs rooted in his own poetry on the guitar and the drum machine. He
made his first demo recordings and performed at open-mic events in the DC area. Cope moved
to Brooklyn in the late 1990s, where he currently resides.
Cope was signed to Capitol Records in 1997. In 2000, he signed with DreamWorks and
released a self-titled album two years later, including the gold-certified "Let the Drummer
Kick." Soon after, Arista Records pursued the songwriter, prompting Cope to buy his way out
of his DreamWorks contract. In 2004, he released The Clarence Greenwood
Recordings, which he also produced. Every Waking Moment followed in 2006
(also self-produced). In 2010, Cope decided to found and run his own record label,
Rainwater Recordings. The move allowed him to exert full creative control over his music
and career, free from the marketing entreaties of the major record labels. He released
The Rainwater LP that year, producing the entire album himself and garnering the
attention of newfound fan Ellen DeGeneres.
A critically acclaimed songwriter, Cope's work has been recorded by a number of vastly
different musical artists-a testament to the indefinable genre he has created. In 2002,
Carlos Santana requested Cope's song, "Sideways," for his Shaman album. Cope sang
on the track and produced it as well. Shaman has since sold more than five million
copies worldwide. Sheryl Crow asked to record the song with Cope in 2010 for her 100
Miles from Memphis album, and invited him to join her in concert on several occasions,
including the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago before an audience of 27,000. At the
same festival, Eric Clapton brought Cope onstage to perform "Hands of the Saints" with him.
Corey Taylor, front-man for alt-metal band Slipknot, has also recorded a version of the
song. In 2008, Cope wrote and recorded "Burnin' Love" with Dido for her Safe Trip
Home album. That same year, folk legend Richie Havens released his version of Cope's
"Hurricane Waters" and Chicago-based hip-hop artist Rhymefest recorded "Bullet."
Cope's songs have been licensed to appear in numerous films and commercials. His work is
included on a number of soundtracks, including Trust the Man, Ghost Town,
Accepted, The Lincoln Lawyer, and Fracture. His "Bullet and a
Target" appears in both 2006's The Sentinel and Alpha Dog. Cope's songs
have also been included in such television shows as Scrubs, One Tree
Hill, Entourage, So You Think You Can Dance, and on the soundtrack
to the critically acclaimed Smallville. A new song, "One Lovely Day," will appear
in the upcoming film Battleship, scheduled for release in May 2012.
Citizen Cope has toured incessantly throughout his career, building a dedicated following
that returns to his concerts time and time again. He now headlines tours year-round in
major markets across the US, while also taking note to regularly perform in secondary
markets where a great deal of his fan base resides. Cope performs an average of 100
concerts annually at clubs and major festivals alike.