David John "Dave" Matthews (born January 9, 1967) is a South African-born American musician and actor. He is best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band. He performs with acoustic guitar and favors rhythm rather than solos in his playing.
Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the third of four children born to Americans John and Valerie Matthews. At two years old, Matthews' family moved to Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, New York, where his father, a physicist, started working for IBM.
In 1974, the family moved to Cambridge, England, for a year before returning to New York, where his father died from lung cancer in 1977. Biographer Nevin Martell argues that Dave's father's death may be an impetus for his "carpe diem" lyrics. At some point while residing in New York, Matthews attended his first concert when his mother took him to a performance by Pete Seeger. The family moved back to Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1977.