John Grant started his music career as frontman of the Denver rock band The Czars. They released six studio albums, one EP, and three singles before breaking up in the mid 2000s.
The demise of The Czars led John Grant to abandon music for five years. His temporary occupation in the US during those years was interpreting medical Russian at a hospital. He told The Sun: "I wasn't very good at the beginning but I had the foundations to make it a profession."
Grant turned to recording and performing in 2010 with his debut solo LP Queen of Denmark, which was Mojo magazine's album of the year. While The Czars had just been a cult band, he has achieved as a solo act both chart success (Grey Tickles, Black Pressure went Top Five in the UK) and recognition from his peers (Grant was nominated for a Best International Male Solo Artist nomination at the 2014 BRITS alongside Eminem and Justin Timberlake).
John Grant had a difficult childhood growing up gay in an American God-fearing Midwestern town. He now sings openly, often with dark humor, about the landmark experiences that have shaped his life to date and the many relationship failures he has endured.
His music has been used in films such as Andrew Haigh's drama Weekend and Daisy Asquith's Queerama.
In 2016, Grant fronted BBC Radio 4's Reimagining The City, taking listeners around the Iceland's capital Reykjavik, where he has lived since 2012.
He is fluent in German, Russian, Spanish, and as a result of living there, Icelandic. Grant learned Russian in order to read all Dostoyevsky's works in their original form. He told Q magazine: "Russian is a stunning language. I don't have patience for a lot of things, but I do have patience when it comes to languages."
Asked by Q magazine if he collects anything, John Grant replied: "I collect interesting owls. Any type of owl, just not your run of the mill owl. I really like the tiny ceramic ones. I collect books about grammar and also collect fridge magnets."