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Back in early 2010 after a huge media backlash, John Mayer seemed to disappear. Now, after almost two years, Mayer has returned in an unexpected way.
John Mayer first came on the music scene with the success of his first album Room for Squares in 2001. Songs such as “No Such Thing,” and “Your Body is a Wonderland” gained popularity and even resulted in a Grammy Award win for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Since then, Mayer has been nominated for 18 Grammys and has won seven. He has collaborated with Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, B.B. King, Kanye West and other notable celebrities.
Mayer’s accomplishments, however, have often been looked past by his relationships with famous women such as Minka Kelly and Jessica Simpson, among many others. As a result, Hollywood has dubbed him a “womanizer.”
In February 2010, John Mayer’s infamous Playboy interview became a heated topic as he discussed his controversial feelings on race, past relationships with Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Anniston, and homosexuality. Readers and fans of Mayer found more information than they wanted whereas his toughest critics found more ammunition.
Almost immediately, numerous groups such as GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) called on Mayer to apologize after he used anti-gay slurs. Notable movie critic, Roger Ebert called Mayer out on his twitter, “To John Mayer regarding black women: What’s not to like?”, as the musician said he said he wouldn’t open up himself to dating black women.
Many people were offended by Mayer’s remarks and he expressed regret concerning the interview. “Maybe I need to take a break from trying to be clever… I quit the media game. I quit the sound byte game,” Mayer said to a Nashville, TN crowd as he took an emotional break during his concert shortly after the interview was released.
Mayer also took to his Twitter account to apologize for the interview and the actions he has taken in the past few years to his 3.7 million followers. Since then, he has deleted his account and moved to Tumblr. His last tweet, “What does this button do?” was posted in September of 2010.
Since then, Youtube videos have surfaced of Mayer performing surprise concerts at small cafés. His hair is grown out with plenty of facial hair and wearing a fedora, a look that resembles Johnny Depp. Even at the 2011 Grammy Awards where the musician performed a short version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” with Norah Jones and Keith Urban, Kanye West tweeted,“I didn’t know Johnny Depp played guitar.”
Despite all of the heartache, Mayer seems to be coming back in the spotlight. Rollin’ With Zach is a new television show on Oprah Winfrey’s Network, OWN, where John Mayer lends his talents for the show’s opening theme song. Zach Anner, the host of the show, is a stand up comedian with cerebral palsy who travels across the United States to historic cities.
Anner won Winfrey’s competition, Your OWN Show in early 2011 with the help of Mayer. People were able to go online and vote for their favorite contestant. However, Anner was lacking in votes until his favorite musician posted a video encouraging fans to vote for the aspiring television host. A day after the video was posted, Anner was well into the lead and won by a large gap this past January.
Rollin’ With Zach airs every Monday on OWN at 8pm.
“Let the Boy,” the title song for the show’s theme, is the first official song John Mayer has released in over two years.
After the song was recorded, Mayer was diagnosed with granuloma, a serious throat condition in which an enlarged nodule sits just above the vocal cords. The granuloma was taken out in late October, but it hindered his upcoming album being released. “I am now on complete vocal rest for a month or more,” Mayer wrote on his Tumblr and also added, “I stay in at night…dreaming of playing on the big stage.”
The Grammy-winner’s fifth studio album, Born and Raised, is set to be released in early 2012.