A singer and songwriter whose music is a potent, heartfelt fusion of soul, rhythm & blues, gospel, early rock & roll, and a dash of country, Anderson East was born in 1988 in Athens, Alabama, a small town not far from Huntsville. Born Michael Anderson, he grew up in a household where gospel music was favored and his grandfather was a Baptist preacher. By the time he was in seventh grade, Michael had formed a band with his friends and made his stage debut, performing at a school talent show. By 2009, Michael had turned professional and was performing with his band the Deputies, and as Mike Anderson, he released his first album, Closing Credits for a Fire. A year later, Michael had changed his stage moniker to Anderson East and released an EP, Fire Demos. Anderson traveled to Los Angeles to record his next album, 2012's Flowers of the Broken Hearted, which included backing from studio aces Waddy Wachtel, Rob Wasserman, and Don Heffington.