Chris Isaak is a rock musician who rose from a low and humble background to become a global personality. He is known for the hit songs Wicked Game and Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing. The theme of his songs center on love, heartbreak and loss which makes him a fan’s favorite. He has also acted in some movies and has also won awards. His career which began in the 80’s has seen him release several studio albums but fans wonder about his marital status and family life. You can find all about that as you read on…
Chris Isaak’s Biography
Mr. Joe Isaak and Dorothy Vignolo on June 26, 1956, gave birth to a son whom they named Christopher Joseph Isaak. He was born in the blue-collar town of Stockton in California. Growing up was tough for the family as his father, Joe was a forklift operator and his mother, Dorothy, worked in a potato chip production company. As broke as the family was, his older brother had a guitar, so he would borrow it to play sometimes and by so doing, Chris Isaak, the youngest of the three boys (the others being Nick and Jeff Issak) developed a passion for music and taught himself how to play the guitar.
His family couldn’t afford to buy new things so he settled for fairly used items and when he would accompany his mother to such shops, he would buy used rock ‘n’ roll records. Joe’s early influences for his enduring sound today include Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Hank Williams.
He attended Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in north Stockton and was the class captain for three years. In his senior year, he became the student’s president. Along with these, he was the valedictorian of his graduating class when he graduated in 1974. Moving on from high school, he enrolled for college in San Joaquin Delta Community College before he transferred to the University of the Pacific, Stockton and graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in English and communications arts. While an undergraduate, Isaak spent a few sessions in Japan as part of an exchange program and it was at this time he decided to settle for a career in music.
Upon his graduation from college, Chris Isaak formed his first music band which included James Calvin Wilsey as the lead guitarist, Rowland Salley as the bassist, Kenney Dale Johnson on the drums, while he functioned as the vocalist and also played the rhythm guitar. The band was formed in 1981 and it was called Silvertone. Chris Isaak is of a mixed ancestry. He is black sea German from his father’s side and Italian American from his mother’s side. However, his nationality is American being born in Stockton, California and he belongs to white ethnicity.
Chris Isaak’s music band started out by singing in clubs and bars to sell themselves but career path changed when he met Erik Jacobsen, who helped him blossom in his career. His first album was named after his music group Silvertone. It was released in 1985 after he got a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records through the help of Jacobsen. And even though the album was widely acclaimed, it did not do well with the sales. His sophomore album which was self-titled, Chris Isaak, was released in 1987 and like the first, it did so well in the charts and was certified gold in the US. His music began to grow and he was privileged to be the opening act on the tour of one of his early music influence, Roy Orbison.
In 1989, Isaak released his third album Heart Shaped World which was the straw that broke the camel of fame’s back for him. One of the songs on the album, Wicked Game, became a global hit when renowned film producer and director, David Lynch used the soundtrack in his 1991 film, Wild at Heart. DJ Lee Chesnut, who is a big fan of Lynch’s movies decided to play the vocal version of the song in his station and it became the most requested song in the radio station and by extension, other radio stations in the US. And so, three years after the song (album) was released, it began the journey of fulfilling its true potential by rising to an astonishing #6 and #10 in the US and UK Billboard pop charts respectively, in 1991.
The breathtaking music video for the song was orchestrated by director Herb Ritts and it became a hit and contributed in making Chris Isaak a sex symbol. He shot the video with supermodel Helena Christensen and it captured them in a beach with an erotic bond and sensual chemistry, creating an aura of love and romance. The song Don’t Make Me Dream About You, also on the Heart Shaped World album contributed in making the album multi-platinum in the US. Other Chris Isaak’s albums that followed include San Francisco Days (1993) and the Grammy-nominated Forever Blue (1995), which had the Grammy-nominated single “Somebody’s Crying.” The album also had the single “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing.” There was also Baja Sessions (1996), Speak of the Devil (1998), Always Got Tonight (2002), Christmas (2004), Mr. Lucky (2009), Beyond the Sun (2011) and First Comes the Night (2015).
As he achieved success on the music scene, Chris Isaak ventured into acting and his first work came in 1988 with a small part in the crime drama-comedy, Married to the Mob where he played the role of a clown. After that he featured again for Jonathan Demme in his Silence of the Lambs (1991) and the following year in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992). He also acted as the father of the main character in Little Buddha (1993). In 2001, he featured as himself along with his band members in The Chris Isaak Show which aired until 2004. Isaak also featured in John Waters’ A Dirty Shame (2004) and The Informers (2009).
Chris Isaak has had a very successful music career and can be said to be doing his bit in acting too. For his music career, his has seen so much success and has also received so many awards and nominations. He was awarded the Stockton Arts Commission STAR Award which is in recognition of all the hard work by his hometown in Stockton, California. Isaak net worth is estimated to be $21 million.
Is Chris Isaak Married, Who is His Wife?
The 1956-born singer has not been married and is not known to be getting married either. He does not have any kids and is focused on his career at the moment. The Wicked Game singer had dated several women in the industry but seem to still be looking for something he is yet to find – something he could only find in his high school sweetheart, Carole Lowe, who died of cancer. He has dated model Anka Radakovich, Minnie Driver, Margaret Cho, Bai Ling, and Caroline Rhea. There was also a rumor that he dated Helena Christensen, the model in his Wicked Game music video in 1991. Presently, Chris Isaak is not linked with any woman.