AKA Michael Kenji Shinoda
Birthplace: Agoura Hills, CA
Race or Ethnicity: Multiracial
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Musician, Artist
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Singer/instrumentalist for Linkin Park
Mike Shinoda was raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura, where he resided for all of his pre-adult life. In his early teens Shinoda's musical interests found a source of encouragement in the person of guitarist Brad Delson, with whom he started to write and record songs in a makeshift studio set up in his home. Shinoda's first instrument had been the piano, for which he spent a decade studying both classical and jazz techniques, but during this formative period he added the guitar -- and, eventually, rap-style vocals -- to his repetoire. By the end of high school, drummer Rob Bourdon had become involved in their musical ventures; the trio formed the band Xero, and began to make a more serious attempt to pursue a career in the music industry.
After high school, Shinoda enrolled in the Art Center College of Design to study graphic design and illustration. It was here that he made the acquaintance of DJ Joseph Hahn, who, along with Delson's college-mate Dave Phoenix Farrell, was soon added to Xero's line-up. Shinoda eventually completed his college training with a degree in illustration, securing himself a job as a graphic designer right after graduation. It was just prior to this, in the final year of his studies, that the band (now called Hybrid Theory) brought in second vocalist Chester Bennington. Only one 6-song EP would be released under the new name before legal issues forced them once again to change it -- and thus it came to pass that Shinoda and his bandmates ultimately were to inflict themselves upon music consumers as Linkin Park.
Throughout 1999, Linkin Park continued to expand their following amongst L.A. club patrons. This growth in popularity made a record contract an even more urgent concern for the band, and Shinoda was forced to juggle his college finals with talent showcases for various major labels; while the former obviously went well for him, the latter failed to accomplish any positive results until the year was nearly over. Several labels had passed on the privilege until, finally, Warner Brothers made the decision to add the young band to its long list of musical hostages. The first fruits of this unwholesome union surfaced in the fall of 2000 as Hybrid Theory, sporting a cover designed by Shinoda himself; before long the album had found its way high into the charts, launching Linkin Park as one of the most popular exponents of the so-called "nu-metal" genre.
From the start Shinoda was closely involved in the technical aspects of the band's recordings, and over the subsequent releases that role continued to expand, with the singer tackling a fair amount of the production duties for the Hybrid Theory remix album Reanimation (2002). His musical role also evolved, and the sophomore release Meteroa (2003) saw him assuming a more prominent role as a guitarist. By the release of the Linkin Park/Jay-Z "mash-up" album Collision Course in 2004, he had his hands in every aspect of the release, from performing and producng to mixing and graphic design. Production and remix work for various other performers (including The X-ecutioners, Handsome Boy Modeling School and Depeche Mode was also undertaken from time to time.
Father: Leslie Shinoda
Brother: Jason Shinoda
Wife: Anna Marie Hillinger (m. 10-May-2003)
High School: Agoura High School, Agoura, CA
University: Pasadena Art College
Linkin Park Vocalist/Guitarist/Keyboardist 1999-present
Grammy Best Hard Rock Performance (2001) (with Linkin Park)
Japanese Ancestry Paternal
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Linkin Park: Live in Texas (17-Nov-2003) · Himself
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