Who is Johnny McDaid?

Irish singer-songwriter and record producer John McDaid was born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland on 24 July 1976, making Leo his zodiac sign. He’s probably known best for being a member of the popular British rock ‘n’ roll band Snow Patrol, while he’s also written songs for various successful musicians, including Robbie Williams, P!nk, and Ed Sheeran.

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Education and early life

Johnny was raised alongside his five siblings in ‘Derry, by their father John McDaid and mother Pauline; not many details have been shared about Johnny’s family, because they prefer to stay away from media.

He became interested in music while attending St Brigid’s Primary School, and was 11 when his parents enrolled him at music school, where Johnny learned to play the guitar and sing. He enrolled at St Columb’s College (high school) in 1990 and was mostly into sports during his time there, playing soccer and basketball for school teams, and was also into acting, appearing in several school plays.

He matriculated in 1994, and then focused on music, rather than pursuing a college degree.

Career beginnings and Vega4

Johnny worked various jobs for around four years after he matriculated from St Columb’s, and the year 1999 saw him form the alternative rock ‘n’ roll band Vega4, together with Bryan McLellan on the drums, Gavin Fox on bass and Bruce Gainsford on guitar.

They were signed to the indie label Taste Media in 2000, and their debut extended play (EP) “Caterpillar” came out in the following year; also in 2001, Vega4 released their debut studio album “Satellites”. The album wasn’t successful, and the band was thus on an hiatus until the second half of 2006, when they released their second album “You and Others”; they haven’t since released any new music.

Further career and Snow Patrol

British rock ‘n’ roll band Snow Patrol was founded in 1994 by Michael Morrison, Mark McClelland and Gary Lightbody; Johnny began writing songs for the band and touring with them in 2010, and became a full time member of Snow Patrol in the first half of 2012.

He and Lightbody performed alongside in Johnny’s hometown of ‘Derry in January 2013, marking the opening of the UK City of Culture year; Johnny and British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran then moved together to Nashville, Tennessee USA to work on Ed’s second album. The two became close friends and eventually moved to Los Angeles, California together to continue working on Ed’s album; Ed eventually uploaded a picture onto his Instagram account, revealing that it had taken them two years to finish the album. The album “X” was released on 20 June 2014, and Johnny was credited with co-writing the songs “Photograph” and “Bloodstream”, both of which became hits: the former won a BMI Pop Award and was certified platinum by RIAA, while the latter was nominated for two Ivor Novello Awards. “X” was nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year, marking Ed’s first Grammy nomination.

Johnny spent the year 2016 working on Ed’s third album, although he also co-wrote the song “Love My Life” for Robbie Williams’ album “The Heavy Entertainment Show”. The song “Shape of You”, which he co-wrote with Ed became a hit, and has since become the most streamed song of all time (three billion streams), while it also won an Ivor Novello Award for Most Performed Work and a BMI Award for Pop Song of the Year.

The year 2017 saw Johnny co-write the single “The Rest Of Our Life” for Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, the song “All On My Mind” for Anderson East, and “Can’t See Straight” for Jamie Lawson; he then also co-wrote the hit single “What About Us” for P!nk’s album “Beautiful Trauma”.

In November 2017, the University of Liverpool made Johnny their Honorary Fellow of The Institute of Irish Studies.

The following year saw him co-write the song “Parallel Line” for Keith Urban and the song “Fallin’ All In You” for Shawn Mendes; Johnny continued performing with Snow Patrol during all these years, and their seventh album “Wildness” was released in 2018, peaking at #2 on the UK Album Charts.

He co-wrote the song “Broke & Beautiful” for Kelly Clarkson in 2019, and the songs “Authors Of Forever” and “Underdog” for Alicia Keys.

Johnny spent the years 2020 and 2021 working on Ed Sheeran’s new album “=”; he was credited with co-writing 10 and producing nine songs, including co-writing and producing the hit single “Bad Habits”, which topped the UK charts.

Love life and relationships

Johnny can rarely be heard speaking about his love life in public, but it’s known that he and famous American actress and moviemaker Courteney Bass Cox have been together for nearly 10 years now.

The two met in October 2013, and it’s widely believed that they were introduced by a mutual friend at a house party; Courteney’s probably known best for starring as Monica Geller in the critically acclaimed sitcom “Friends”, which aired from 1994 through 2004, but she’s also known for playing Gale Weathers in the 1996 horror mystery movie “Scream”.

Johnny and Courteney became engaged on 26 June 2014, but called it off in 2019, although staying in a relationship.

There are no other women whom Johnny’s been with, that we know about; he’s in a relationship with Courteney Cox as of July 2023, hasn’t married and doesn’t have children.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Johnny has the writing “Nuair is gá dom filleadh abhaile, is tú mo réalt eolais” tattooed on his left arm, meaning ‘When I need to get home, you’re my guiding light’. It’s an Irish translation of Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance’s song “Guiding Light”, which Foy and Ed Sheeran wrote and performed together for Johnny’s late father, who passed away in July 2011; Ed, Foy and Johnny’s younger sister Maev have the same tattoo.

Johnny splits his time between London, England and Los Angeles, in the latter mostly because Courteney lives there.

Johnny’s followed by more than 25,000 people on Instagram but hasn’t uploaded a single picture or video onto the social media network.

Al Pacino’s one of his favorite actors, while some of Johnny’s favorite movies include “Scent of a Woman”, the trilogy “The Godfather”, and “The Pirates of Somalia”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Johnny’s age is 46. He has light blue eyes and brown hair, is 5ft 6ins (1.67m) tall and weighs about 155lbs (70kgs).

Johnny’s net worth’s been estimated at over $5 million, as of July 2023.

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