Born Michael Rosenburg in 1984 in East Sussex, Passenger cultivated a love of music early on in his life. As a boy, Passenger's parents encouraged him to play the guitar from his early teenage years. By the time he was 16, he had dropped out of school to pursue this passion, making a living off of busking in his hometown of Brighton. In 2003, he formed a busking band known as /Passenger. With four of his best friends, Rosenburg toured around England, busking on the streets and playing in small, local venues as much as possible. This band broke up a few years later, but Rosenburg maintained the name Passenger as his stage name without the backslash. Inspired by legendary folk artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, Passenger has reshaped what the typical folk audience looks like and who the music is geared toward.
From Busking to Worldwide Phenomenon
Passenger's career really and truly kicked off when he began touring in late 2012 as the opening act for his good friend Ed Sheeran. Seemingly overnight, he went from performing in small venues and local spots to stadiums and arenas. Touring with Sheeran allowed Passenger to create a wider fanbase and one that spanned internationally. By 2014, he was performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Since then, his music, specifically his song "Let Her Go" has been featured in Super Bowl commercials, television episodes and even in popular video games such as Guitar Hero Live.
Where can I buy Passenger tickets?
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What are some must-listen albums by Passenger?
There are two albums in Passenger's discography that are quintessential works. The first is the certified platinum album All the Little Lights. This album was released in 2012 and contains the majority of Passenger's most recognized and celebrated hits, such as the well-known and well-loved single, "Let Her Go" as well as the hit song "Holes." His fifth studio album, Whispers, peaked at No. 12 on the US Billboard 200 and helped him grow in popularity as a folk performer. If you are planning on seeing Passenger live in the near future, you will want to be familiar with these songs.
What are some of the songs Passenger performs at his shows?
Songs such as "Fairytales & Firesides," "Life's for the Living," "Hell or High Water," "I Hate," 27," "Holes" and of course the track that put him on the map, "Let Her Go," are the songs Passenger performs the most at his live shows.
What are some things I can expect at a Passenger concert?
Passenger knows how to make even a stadium feel like an intimate basement venue. He plays several of his songs purely acoustic and pauses throughout his set to connect with the audience. He has been known to preface his performances with the stories that inspired his music, so everyone feels included and involved - even newer fans or guests who didn't realize they were about to become fans. He switches back and forth from upbeat banger to stripped-down, guitar-driven folk songs, so you can expect a nicely paced concert from Passenger.
Has Passenger been nominated for any awards?
Some of Passenger's awards and nominations include Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song at the 2013 Independent Music Awards for his song, "Let Her Go," which he won. He was also nominated for a Brit Award in 2014 for the same song and a nomination for the same song at the 2014 Ivor Novello Awards. In 2019, his album Runawaywas nominated for the Album of the Year Award at the Pop Awards.
What are some artists and performers who are similar to Passenger?