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Apple's GarageBand Celebrates Its 15th Birthday

On Sunday, January 6th, Apple celebrated the 15th anniversary of GarageBand, its extremely popular music making app and DAW for Mac and iOS. The app, originally introduced onstage at Macworld '04 by Steve Jobs and John Mayer, has grown to be the most widely used music app in the world — and is now on over 1 billion iPhones, iPads, and Macs globally.

Apple says its vision for GarageBand was to democratize music making for everyone, and since its release the app has helped novice and professional musicians alike bring their passion for music making to life. Educators around the world are also using GarageBand in their classrooms to inspire and empower young people to create music for the first time.

GarageBand Milestones:

  • January 2004: GarageBand debuted at Macworld by Steve Jobs with John Mayer
  • April 2005: NIN release “The Hand That Feeds” as GarageBand project file that fans can remix
  • December 2005: T-Pain creates his first album, "Rappa Ternt Sanga" in GarageBand for Mac
  • March 2007: Rihanna “Umbrella” built with GarageBand bundled drum loop “Vintage Funk Kit 03”
  • March 2007: Fall Out Boy records “Thnks fr th Mmrs” in GarageBand for Mac
  • November 2007: Duran Duran releases GarageBand version of “Nite-Runner” that fans can remix
  • February 2008: Usher “Love in This Club” built with GarageBand bundled synth loop “Euro Hero Synth 02”
  • February 2008: Ting Tings record “Great DJ” on GarageBand for Mac
  • April 2008: Radiohead release “Nude” as GarageBand project file that fans can remix
  • 2008: It Might Get Loud documentary shows Edge from U2 using GarageBand on his laptop
  • 2009: Learn to Play and Artist Lessons announced on GarageBand for Mac
  • May 2009: St. Vincent creates “Actor” album in GarageBand
  • March 2011: GarageBand for iPad announced
  • November 2011: GarageBand for iPhone announced
  • October 2013”. GarageBand 10 for Mac with new design announced
  • August 2014: Haim records "My Song 5" in GarageBand
  • June 2015: Marc Maron interviews President Obama in a podcast recorded in his garage using GarageBand for Mac
  • January 2016: Live Loops feature added to GarageBand for iOS
  • May 2016: GarageBand for Greater China announced with traditional Chinese instruments
  • April 2017: Steve Lacey produces the Kendrick Lamar song “PRIDE" using GarageBand for iOS

GarageBand was first unveiled during Steve Jobs' keynote speech at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco on Jan. 6, 2004. There to provide a demonstration was blues-pop star and guitarist John Mayer. You can watch the presentation below:

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.