David Ryan Adams, 44, is a singer-songwriter from Jacksonville, N.C. Adams grew up in a dysfunctional family, raised by his grandparents. He became famous with his group Whiskeytown, which broke up in 2000. Adams had a solo career that soured because of drugs and alcohol abuse. In 2019, seven women accused him of being psychologically abusive. They said he dangled career opportunities to have sex with them.

Who is Ryan Adams? What you need to know about the singer-songwriter

David Ryan Adams is a 44-year-old singer-songwriter born in Jacksonville, N.C. He has had a long career across multiple genres and musical acts.

He is also the subject of a New York Times expose on numerous accusations he psychologically abuses women.

Background

Adams first came on the music scene in an alt-country band he founded called Whiskeytown. The group released three major albums, making it big with “Strangers Almanac” in 1997.

The group split in 2000, after what a Guardian story called a “particularly gruesome Michigan show.”

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Solo career

Adams’ first solo album, “Heartbreaker,” was a hit, especially with critics. A Pitchfork review called it “a startling 15-song masterpiece.”

His follow-up, “Gold,” was also a hit and earned him three Grammy nominations.

However, as the Guardian article put it, “Then something went askew… (he) got a reputation for being a boozy, druggy brat.”

At one point, Adams left a scathing message with profanities on the answering machine of the music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Since then he has performed with the band The Cardinals and done more solo work.

He is known for his 2015 release “1989,” a song-for-song alt-country cover album of Taylor Swift’s album “1989.”

He is a prolific producer, working with Willie Nelson and Fall Out Boy. He has also worked with Weezer, Norah Jones and Counting Crows.

Abuse allegations

On Wednesday, the New York Times published a story detailing allegations of abuse against Adams.

“In interviews, seven women and more than a dozen associates described a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex,” Joe Coscarelli and Melena Ryzik wrote.

For example, 20-year-old musician Phoebe Bridgers told the Times that Adams invited her to his studio. She said he praised her music, and the two had a short relationship.

However, she said, when she broke off the relationship, Adams rescinded an offer to be the opening act on his European tour.

One of the women who talked to the Times was Adams’ ex-wife, actress and singer Mandy Moore. She said he psychologically abused her and blocked her progress as a musician. They divorced in 2016.

Megan Butterworth, who was engaged to Adams recently, also called him “controlling and emotionally abusive.” She told the Times he tried to isolate her “socially and professionally.” They broke up in 2018.

Adams allegedly corresponded with a fan as well, starting when she was 14. She said he exposed himself during video calls on Skype. 

According to texts reviewed by the Times, Adams questioned her about her age and sometimes she gave a false, older one. 

In one text, he told the girl,” And tell me that your mom is not gonna kill me if she finds out we even text.” 

Adams called the article “inaccurate.”

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