“It’s better to burn out than to fade away” – at the latest with this line of text, quoted in Kurt Cobain’s farewell letter, the Canadian rock, country and folk singer Neil Young became a legend.
But not only the Nirvana singer, but many rock, folk and pop greats count Neil Young among their idols and decisive influences.
When you hear the name Neil Young, “Heart Of Gold” immediately comes to mind. But his work in his more than 50-year musical career goes far beyond this song and this phase.
Neil Young celebrated his first successes in the mid-60s with the band “Buffalo Springfield”, he also made a name for himself as a solo singer and songwriter. After a solo album “Neil Young” he founded the band “Neil Young & Crazy Horse”, which accompanies him until today.
The band’s first album contains rock classics like “Down By The River” and “Cowgirl In The Sand”. The long guitar solos were formative, for which the album was celebrated as the “first grunge album in history”.
Over the years, Neil Young has demonstrated a great musical mutability, which is also manifested in the large number of his releases. He played folk and country in constant alternation with rock music or experimental albums.
At times Neil Young played together with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash in the band “Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young”. With them Young played a highly acclaimed tour and performed at the legendary Woodstock-Festiival in 1969.
Neil Young reinvented himself again, even though he had been hostile to the use of synthesizers in the meantime. Rock albums alternated with experimental elements and country albums.
Since January 2020, Neil Young has held US citizenship in addition to Canadian citizenship. He applied for this citizenship so that he could vote against President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
During the US election campaign 2020 Trump used music by Neil Young several times. The latter forbade him to do so each time and wrote an open letter on July 6, 2020, after three of his songs had been used at an election campaign event in front of Mount Rushmore.
Neil Young had been struggling with illness since early adolescence, when he was five years old he contracted polio. As a result, he sustained permanent damage to his left side, which also resulted in his slightly limping gait. In the mid-60s he suffered from epilepsy and diabetes.
In March 2005, Young underwent surgery for a life-threatening brain aneurysm, after he was diagnosed with vision problems during admissions.
From 1968 to 1970, Young was married to Susan Acevedo. He had a relationship with the actress Carrie Snodgress from 1971 to 1975, from which a son was born. In 1978 he married Pegi Morton. He also has a son and a daughter with her. In July 2014 Neil Young filed for divorce from Pegi Young after 36 years of marriage. Since then he has been in love with the actress Daryl Hannah. They got married on August 25, 2018.
Neil Young he won the Grammy twice and was also twice (solo and with Buffalo Springfield) inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1994 Young was nominated for an Oscar for his contribution to the movie “Philadelphia”, which was won by Bruce Springsteen for the song “Streets Of Philadelphia”.