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Long before ever catching a tune, Jack Johnson was learning how to catch a wave. He became a prolific surfer at a very young age and at 17 was the youngest competitor ever in the Pipeline Masters competition. A few years prior, Johnson had picked up a guitar for the first time and began to show talents outside of surfing. In a 2008 interview he told Rolling Stone that the competitiveness of surfing was too much and spurred his transition into music. He left Hawaii for the mainland, where he attended the University of Southern California Santa Barbara and graduated with a degree in film. It was there that he started to more strongly pursue a career in music and entertainment. He helped to produce the surfing movies Thicker Than Water and The September Session; the films showed Johnson's talents both in music and film.
Johnson swung his music career into high gear in 2001 with his debut album Brushfire Fairytales. The record featured the smooth and lazy blues style that is now a Jack Johnson signature and became a Top 40 album reaching #34. The following albums, On and On and In Between Dreams, continued Johnson's rise in popularity. The latter album's single "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" is a fan favorite and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2006. Johnson's big break was in 2006 when he released Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George. The album was Johnson's first #1 record in the U.S. and also spawned his first top 40 single "Upside Down." 2008's Sleep Through the Static also reached #1. Johnson is a frequent collaborator with Ben Harper, ALO, and G. Love & Special Sauce. Johnson released his latest album, To the Sea, on June 1, 2010.