Stephen Fain "Steve" Earle (pronounced /ˈɜrl/; born January 17, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter known for his rock and country music as well as his political views. He is also a published writer, a political activist, an actor and has written and directed a play.
Earle was born on January 17, 1955, at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. He is the eldest son of Jack Earle, an air traffic controller, and Barbara Earle. Although he was born in Virginia where his father was stationed in the military, the family returned to Texas before Earle's second birthday. They moved often during his childhood, primarily within Texas, but he spent several of his formative years in Schertz, Texas. He dropped out of school in the 9th grade to move to Houston and learn more about the music business. Earle released his first album, Guitar Town, in 1986. His sister, Stacey Earle, is also a musician, having toured with Steve in the 1990s and sung on the song "When I Fall" on Steve's 2000 album Transcendental Blues.
Earle has been married seven times, including twice to the same woman. His wives were Sandra "Sandy" Henderson, Cynthia Dunn, Carol-Ann Hunter (with whom he had his first child, Justin), Lou-Anne Gill (with whom he had a second son, Ian), Maria Teresa Ensenat, Lou-Anne Gill a second time, and finally, in 2005, singer-songwriter Allison Moorer. His first son, Justin Townes Earle, is also a musician, and is named for Townes Van Zandt. Earle and Moorer had their first child together, John Henry Earle, on April 5, 2010.