Tyler James Hilton is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Hilton began his professional career in music in 2000. Rolling Stone Magazine compared him to his contemporary, Howie Day, while others have compared Hilton to Elton John, both vocally and instrumentally. Since the release of his debut album, Hilton has ventured into acting, guest starring on The CW's television show One Tree Hill as the talented but somewhat pompous Chris Keller, and playing the role of Elvis Presley in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, he also appeared in the music video of Taylor Swift's "Tear Drops on my Guitar" as Drew-her crush.
Hilton was born in Palm Springs, California, the son of Kristy and Robert Hilton. Raised in Bermuda Dunes, CA, Hilton grew up around music and began teaching himself Elvis Presley songs at an early age. After a brief stint in Northern California, his family moved back to the Palm Springs area, where he wrote his first song about a girl with whom he attended school. Hilton's family made another move back to Coachella Valley for high school, where, at La Quinta High School, he started a band with some of his classmates. The band didn't go anywhere, so Hilton began to enter open mic nights and went to local coffee shops to play his own music. He is not related to socialite Paris Hilton.
Hilton heard a local radio station was giving away Jonny Lang concert tickets and called into the Mark & Brian radio show on KLOS in Los Angeles at the age of 16. While on the phone, he sang an a cappella version of Jonny Lang's song "Breakin' Me." Mark & Brian were so impressed with Hilton's performance that they gave him a spot at the station's Christmas concert. Word of Hilton caught the ear of Maverick Records, who signed him up with a record deal shortly after. Work started on Hilton's debut major label record, The Tracks of Tyler Hilton, and the songs were recorded quickly. The album was released on September 28, 2004. After the release of his album, Hilton joined the likes of Avril Lavigne, Jet, 50 Cent, and Josh Groban as an artist chosen by AOL Breaker for his star potential. Over the past several years Hilton has opened shows for Michelle Branch, Gavin DeGraw, The Wreckers, The Neville Brothers, Hilary Duff, Blues Traveler and the Goo Goo Dolls . Hilton plays various venues for live shows, and allows attendees to tape his performances. These performances are available on the internet, and Archive.org.
After his stint as Chris Keller on One Tree Hill, Hilton went on to appear in the Academy Award-winning film Walk the Line as a young version of Elvis Presley. For the part, Hilton was given the opportunity to cover two Elvis songs for the film, "Milk Cow Blues" and "That's All Right." Both songs are featured on the film's award-winning soundtrack.
Hilton appeared in the 2008 film Charlie Bartlett and can currently be seen playing the love interest in country music artist Taylor Swift's music video for her song "Teardrops on My Guitar".
In addition to these solo albums, Hilton has also appeared on each of the three different One Tree Hill soundtrack albums, usually with a track or two that have not been released anywhere else. Most notably, the cover of the Ryan Adams song "When the Stars Go Blue," which was arranged into a duet with One Tree Hill star Bethany Joy Galeotti for the show; also, a cover of "Missing You" by John Waite and the original track "You'll Ask For Me."
Hilton released a self-titled EP on April 6, 2004. All four songs were included on his first album The Tracks of Tyler Hilton released on September 28, 2004.