Lead singer, keyboardist and (principal) songwriter for Styx. Born 18 February, 1947, Dennis Acan DeYoung grew up in the Pullman community of Chicago’s south side. DeYoung’s home was just down the street from that of Chuck and John Panozzo, who would be his future bandmates. DeYoung started playing keyboards at 16, and demonstrated considerable talent.

When the Panozzo brothers started their garage band, Tradewinds, DeYoung joined and soon the group was getting small bookings. Along with James Young and John Curulewski, the ensemble changed the name to TW4 in 1970. They changed the name once more, to Styx, and were signed with a minor record label.

DeYoung’s theatrical interests and uncompromising personality often clashed with his fellow bandmates. Young helped play peacemaker, but there were reportedly some pretty bitter clashes between DeYoung and Tommy Shaw.

DeYoung has exceptional skill in composing music which is as catchy as it is intricate. His keyboard talent, lyrical songwriting and composing skill went into creating some of the biggest hits of the late 1970’s and early 1980s. He also co-wrote with Tommy Shaw and James Young.

In 1984, while Styx was on hiatus, DeYoung made his first solo album, Desert Moon. That was followed by Back to the World and Boomchild. DeYoung recorded his fourth solo album, entitled 10 on Broadway, in 1994. This was a tribute to his heroes in the musical theatre.

When Styx got together once again in 1996, he played and sang on the album Return to Paradise, but did not join them on tour, as a very serious viral illness caused light sensitivity for him. He attempted to use legal action to block the band from using the Styx name, but that was not successful and the suit was settled out of court in 2001.

In 1999 he did not tour with the re-formed Styx, as his theatrical interests were occupying too much of his time. Since that time, DeYoung has been concentrating on musical theatre. He has created a musical version of Victor Hugo’s the Hunchback of Notre Dame and starred as Pontius Pilate in a touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

References:
The Grand Illusion - Styx site -www.thegrandillusion.com
Styx history online -http://66.78.41.56/dwfh/styx/history.html
Allmusic biography site - http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?P=amg&sql=B8a967uq0h0j3
Styxworld site -Styxworld.com

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