East went to Athens High School in Athens, Alabama. East wrote his first song, called "Brains," which he played at his 7th grade talent show. Inspired by musician Ben Folds, East taught himself piano and started writing music in high school.
His grandfather was a Baptist preacher, his father sang in the church choir, and his mother played the piano in church when he was young.
East went to college in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, at Middle Tennessee State University, studying music engineering. He moved to Nashville 2 years later.
East opened for Holly Williams and ended up playing guitar and singing harmonies with her. He worked as both a session musician as well as a recording engineer to make ends meet.
East began his musical career in 2009, self-releasing an album titled Closing Credits for a Fire under the name Mike Anderson. He then began recording under the name Anderson East with the release of an EP titled Fire Demos.
East's self-released debut album, Flowers of the Broken Hearted in 2012, was made up of two records: one record which he recorded in Los Angeles with producer Chris Seefried and session players Charlie Gillingham, Don Heffington and Rob Wasserman and a second record recorded in Nashville with Tim Brennan and Daniel Scobey. The record is 15 songs long, and is made up of two CDs each with their own music genre: The White disc is made up of a progressive soul and Americana vibe, while the Red disc is darker and has more of a rock sound. He funded the record as a PledgeMusic project, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Water Aid, a nonprofit organization that brings water to communities that don't have clean drinking water.
East's major label debut album, Delilah, on Elektra Records, was released in July 2015. It was produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton) and features a song by George Jackson recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
In 2017, East appeared on the Fifty Shades Darker Soundtrack, performing the track "What Would It Take" which he co-wrote with Aaron Raitere. The soundtrack debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. He also covered the Brandi Carlile song "Josephine" for her charity album Cover Stories.
On August 15th, 2017, East released the first single from an upcoming album (of which the title has yet to be announced), "All On My Mind".
East lives in Nashville, Tennessee. On December 28, 2015, Us Weekly and People confirmed that East is dating country singer Miranda Lambert. He co-wrote two songs ("Getaway Driver" and "Well-Rested") with Lambert for her 2016 album, The Weight of These Wings, and he provides background vocals on another ("Pushin' Time").2010: Fire Demos
2011: Transitive Property