1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Plain White T's sing on TODAY

By By Mike Celizic
TODAY contributor
updated 7/24/2007 11:51:20 AM ET 2007-07-24T15:51:20

Ten years after Tom Higgenson formed a teen garage band playing covers in Villa Park, Ill., a chance encounter with a woman named Delilah has vaulted him and his band, Plain White T’s, to stardom.

“There was a real woman, real girl — whatever you want to call her — called Delilah,” he told TODAY’s Ann Curry before performing the hit single, “Hey There Delilah,” live in the TODAY studio.

“We never got together,” he told Curry. “I met her and I thought she was real pretty. I wrote the song, but nothing ever happened. But we’re No. 1 now.”

He wrote the song in 2005 and it has long been a favorite of the band’s fans, but it vaulted to No. 1 on Billboard 100, iTunes and Hot Digital Songs and No. 2 on Pop 100 when it was released on the Plain White T’s new album, “Every Second Counts.”

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. See this family take photos with Santa for 60 straight years

      Many kids will take their pictures with Santa Claus for a few winters, but four siblings in Seattle, Washington, have kept...

    2. Doctor, 103, shares secrets to longevity: 'Pick the right spouse'
    3. Steal this easy holiday party trick for a stunning veggie platter
    4. Check that crazy cat person off your list with these purrfect gifts
    5. Quiz: Which Christmas movie family is most like yours?

Higgenson’s mop of dark hair and formally casual attire of striped sweater, purple shirt open at the collar and tie made him look as if he’d fallen into a time warp in 1964 Liverpool and popped out in 2007 New York.

The song is gentle and haunting and lyrical, a tale of the unrequited love that characterizes much of Higgenson’s music. Asked once about his love life, he joked, “It's more of a ‘like’ life, as in, the ones I like never like me.”

Higgenson was inspired to be a musician by a trip to the Chicago rock club Metro. He recruited a group of high-school friends and formed a band, practicing in his parents’ home and playing covers.

Plain White T’s have worked hard to get where they are, touring constantly, playing the Nintendo Fusion tour and playing in whatever venue would have them.

The band’s members have changed over the years. They now include Dave Tirio on guitar, Mike Retondo on bass, De’Mar Hamilton on drums and Tim Lopez on guitar.

Getting personal
Higgenson’s own songwriting took a dramatic turn in 1999, after he survived a car crash that broke several vertebrae and forced him to wear a back brace and learn to walk again.

“It was one of those life-changing things," he has said. “And that was when I started writing songs that meant a little more to me. Instead of writing songs just to write songs, I was writing songs that were a little more personal and actually meant something to me.”

Recalling that time with Curry, he elaborated: “When I got more personal with the songs, they probably meant more to people. As weird as it is, the more personal you get in what you write about, the more people have probably gone through those same things, so they can relate to it.”

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

More on TODAY.com

  1. Courtesy of the Wilson family co

    See this family take photos with Santa for 60 straight years

    12/17/2014 11:10:30 PM +00:00 2014-12-17T23:10:30
  1. North Korea is behind Sony hack, US officials say

    U.S. officials now say they believe North Korea was behind the computer hacking attack on Sony Entertainment.

    12/17/2014 11:20:01 PM +00:00 2014-12-17T23:20:01
  1. AFP-Getty Images file

    Prince William dares to call Kate's dream hair a 'nightmare'

    12/17/2014 5:34:33 PM +00:00 2014-12-17T17:34:33
  1. Handout / Reuters

    'Glorious day': Freed American Alan Gross says it's good to be home

    12/17/2014 7:35:11 PM +00:00 2014-12-17T19:35:11