He has been labeled a "new Dylan" and "the Kurt Cobain of alt-country." Like both, he claims he doesn't want stardom.
He first gained notoriety as the singer-guitarist for the North Carolina band Whiskeytown.
He recorded his first solo album with the help of some friends like Gillian Welch, Steve Earlem and Emmylou Harris. That album earned him more friends, like Elton John.
Adams makes a policy of stopping his recording at midnight. This allows him plenty of time to go out to bars before last call.
His first influence as a writer was Edgar Allen Poe. By the time he became a teenager, he was very into Jack Kerouac.
He used to buy CDs based on what band T-shirts his favorite skateboarders wore.
Before Whiskeytown, his first band was called the Patty Duke Syndrome. Patty Duke was an actress who won an Oscar in 1962 for her appearance as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. She briefly had her own TV show, called the Patty Duke Show.
In March, 2009, he married Mandy Moore in a secret ceremony. Mandy Moore filed for divorce in January 2015, citing irreconcilable differences.
Ryan Adams published Infinity Blues, a book of free verse about "how one person found himself, by losing himself" in 2009.
Ryan Adams was raised by his grandparents in the small town of Jacksonville, North Carolina. His life changed the day his grandparents took him to the Rose Brothers Furniture store, which also sold records. The youngster randomly discovered there Sonic Youth's 1987 album Sister. "I actually went into a weird depression from it," Adams told American Songwriter magazine. "It felt like I was on drugs."
Adams frequently makes reference to Jacksonville on his records, including the track "Jacksonville Skyline" with his former band Whiskeytown and the title of his 2005 album Jacksonville City Nights.
Ryan Adams shares a birthday with his namesake Bryan Adams. Both artists were born on November 5th (Bryan is 15 years Ryan's senior).
Working with artists like Liz Phair and Jenny Lewis, he developed a reputation as a creative sparkplug and ally to female musicians, but that image was shattered in 2019 when New York Times ran a story
claiming Adams was abusive and predatory toward some of the women he worked with. Karen Elson, Phoebe Bridgers, and Adams' ex, Mandy Moore, all leveled accusations against him. The fallout was swift: He lost his endorsements and his album release was called off.