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Win Butler

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Biography

Win Butler (born April 14, 1980) is the California-born lead vocalist and songwriter of the Montreal-based indie rock band Arcade Fire. His wife Régine Chassagne and his brother William Butler are both members of the band.

Born Edwin Farnham Butler III and raised in The Woodlands, Texas with a conservative Mormon upbringing. Butler is the grandson of jazz guitarist Alvino Rey, a pioneer band leader whose career spanned eight decades. His grandmother, Luise, was a member of the King Sisters, who starred in a weekly variety program on ABC called The King Family Show. His mother, Liza, plays harp and sings.

At the age of 15, Butler started attending the Phillips Exeter Academy preparatory school in New Hampshire. There he played varsity basketball and club softball, and performed with several student bands, including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He also worked with the administration to establish “Winter Thaw,” in which students got a long weekend’s worth of rest in the middle of typically cold, grueling New England winters. Butler was “popular”; a special section was allotted to him in Exeter’s yearbook, which he filled with a poem about Exeter and a photograph of him clasping the hand of Principal Tyler C. Tingley. After graduation he studied photography and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, but he left after a year.

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