According to Us Weekly, Lambert and East have only been seeing each other for about a month, but they apparently share a lot of the same interests and are planning on spending New Year's together. "They are really enjoying each other’s company,” a source reportedly told the magazine. So who exactly is East? Here are 10 things to know about him.
East, who grew up in the town of Athens, Alabama, took on the stage name in 2010, but his real name is actually Michael Cameron Anderson. He released an album under the name Mike Anderson in 2009, before changing it about a year later.
East has released three studio albums (one under the name Anderson) and two EPs since 2008. The most recent full-length record, Delilah, produced the single "Satisfy Me," which was released in March 2015 and received consistent radio airplay.
East has been showcasing since musical skills since a young age. He wrote his first song, called "Brains," for a seventh-grade talent show.
Part of East's musical talents developed via his religious background. His father sang in the church choir and his mother reportedly played the piano in church. His grandfather was also a Baptist preacher.
East's first major label release, Delilah, dropped in July of this year. The singer says the album name was reportedly inspired by the story of Sampson and Delilah in the Book of Judges. "That’s kind of the thread through the record: the woman that saved the crumbled man," he told Pop Matters.
East went to college in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to study music engineering. He moved to Nashville two years later.
Per Us Weekly, East shares Lambert's love of hunting. Case in point? In a Thanksgiving picture posted to his Instagram, Anderson posed while holding a hunting rifle.
East is currently based out of Nashville and has spoken extensively about his appreciation for the talented community of singers and songwriters based in the area. "I think Nashville, in general, the best music in the world comes through there, whether it's going to see a show or whatever," he told The Bluegrass Situation."I genuinely feel like, with few exceptions, the best musicians in the world are in that town right now. You see so much greatness every day to where you're in some small town and somebody rolls through and your mind's just blown."
Anderson's influences range from Led Zeppelin to Snoop Dogg. He also credits Michael Jackson for sparking his interest in music production.
Anderson first learned how to play guitar in middle school, after he saw his best friend's older brother with one. In high school, he was inspired by musician Ben Folds and taught himself how to play the piano.
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