John William Oates (born April 7, 1949) is an American rock, R&B and soul guitarist, musician, songwriter and producer best known as half of the rock and soul duo Hall & Oates (with founder/lead vocalist/occasional instrumentalist Daryl Hall).
Though he was a primary guitarist, he also co-wrote 8 Billboard Number One songs such as: "Sara Smile" (with Daryl Hall - a song that refers to Hall's then-girlfriend, Sara Allen), "You Make My Dreams" (with Sara Allen & Daryl Hall), "She's Gone" (with Daryl Hall), "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" (with Sara Allen & Daryl Hall), "Maneater" (with Sara Allen & Daryl Hall), "Out of Touch" (with Daryl Hall), and "Adult Education" (with Daryl Hall & Sara Allen). He also sang lead vocals and has written or co-written a few less popular singles that did not make it to the Billboard's Top 10 such as: "How Does It Feel to Be Back", "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" (which was a remake of the 1965 song performed by The Righteous Brothers, it was written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil that it peaked #12 in November 1980, and shared lead vocals with Hall) and "Possession Obsession" (with Sara Allen & Daryl Hall). In addition to his work with Hall, Oates co-wrote and sang back-up on the song "Electric Blue" by the band Icehouse which was a Billboard Top Ten hit.
Oates was born in New York City, New York. He was raised in Philadelphia's suburb of North Wales, Pennsylvania, and attended North Penn High School in suburban Philadelphia. He is married to Aimee Oates, and his son Tanner John Oates was born on June 19, 1996.