John Matthew Shanks was born in New York City. Shanks moved to Los Angeles when he was 17 years old.
Shanks began playing in Melissa Etheridge's band in 1988 and toured with her for several years. Shanks enjoyed his first writing success in the early 1990s with tracks for Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker and Tuck & Patti. He also landed his first publishing deal.
Shanks reunited with Etheridge in 1995 when he collaborated with her on songs for Your Little Secret. He worked with her for several years and co-produced her subsequent album, Breakdown, in 1999. Breakdown received four Grammy nominations, including Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album.
In 2001, Shanks produced several tracks for the Stevie Nicks album Trouble in Shangri-La and co-wrote the first single, "Every Day", with Damon Johnson.
In January 2001, Shanks began working with Michelle Branch. Together, they wrote four songs for the hit album The Spirit Room, including the first single, "Everywhere". He also produced the album. In the fall of the same year, Shanks co-wrote Sheryl Crow’s single, "Steve McQueen".
Shanks started working with Take That in 2005, on their comeback album Beautiful World, and he also produced their next album The Circus in 2008.
Shanks has also produced or written for other projects with Carlos Santana, Celine Dion, Sting, The Corrs, Chris Isaak, Hilary Duff, Keith Urban and Alanis Morissette. He produced Ashlee Simpson's hit 2004 album Autobiography and is credited with co-writing ten of the album's 12 songs with Simpson. On seven of those, Kara DioGuardi is also credited. That same year, Shanks produced three songs for Kelly Clarkson's hit album Breakaway, including the title track "Breakaway", and worked with Anastacia on two songs for her self-titled album, including the single "Welcome To My Truth".
Shanks won the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical in 2005 for his work on Autobiography, the Kelly Clarkson song "Breakaway", Hilary Duff's "Fly", Robbie Robertson's "Shine Your Light" and Alanis Morissette's album So-Called Chaos. Clive Davis described Shanks as “the father of that guitar-driven kind of pop sound”, as his work with Branch, Clarkson, Duff and Simpson employed many acoustic guitars in contrast to the synthesizer-heavy sound of the pop music of the period.
In 2005, Shanks regrouped with Ashlee Simpson, producing her second album, I Am Me, and co-writing all of its eleven songs with Simpson and DioGuardi. Shanks also worked on two major albums of 2005, the Backstreet Boys' Never Gone and Bon Jovi's ninth album, Have a Nice Day. In 2007, Shanks also worked to produced the Bon Jovi's tenth album, Lost Highway, and in 2009 he also worked and produced on Bon Jovi's eleventh album, The Circle..
In January 2011, Shanks stated that he began work with legendary rock band Van Halen on its first album with original lead singer David Lee Roth since the landmark LP 1984 (1984). Released in February 2012, Van Halen's A Different Kind of Truth debuted at #2 in the United States, and in the Top 10 on five continents. In 2013, Shanks produced Bon Jovi's twelfth album, What About Now.
In 2014, he produced Anthony Jasmin's EP Stick Together and also worked on Take That's album III. In 2015, Shanks with Jon Bon Jovi produced Bon Jovi's compilation album Burning Bridges and also performed as lead guitarist for the entire album.
Shanks produced Bon Jovi's thirteenth album, This House Is Not for Sale, and became the touring rhythm guitarist for Bon Jovi in 2016 to support the band's This House Is Not for Sale Tour.
Shanks has been married to Colleen Coffey since September 1994.Portrait by Cardiknox
White Light by The Corrs
Do It All for Love by Take That
Flaws by Take That
Get Ready for It by Take That
I Like It by Take That
Almost Home by Alex & Sierra
Here We Go by Alex & Sierra
Since I Saw You Last by Gary Barlow
Chapman Square by Lawson
Feels Like Home by Sheryl Crow
Magnetic by Goo Goo Dolls
What About Now by Bon Jovi
Child of the Universe by Delta Goodrem
Love Thy Will Be Done by Delta Goodrem
If the World Turned Upside Down by Goo Goo Dolls
Beautiful Day by Jon Bon Jovi
The Spirit Indestructible by Nelly Furtado
A Different Kind of Truth by Van Halen
Daydream by Katherine Jenkins
Tell me I'm Not Dreaming by Katherine Jenkins
Gravity by Katherine Jenkins
Can't Make This Over by Pixie Lott
Fearless Love by Melissa Etheridge
So-Called Chaos by Alanis Morissette
Can't Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus