Davis was born in Bakersfield, California to Rick Davis and Holly Chavez. He has a sister named Alyssa, a half brother, Mark Chavez, (the former lead singer for Adema) and half sister Amanda Chavez by his mother. His father was a keyboardist for Buck Owens and Frank Zappa, while his mother was a professional actress and dancer. His parents divorced when he was three years old and he was raised by his father and stepmother Lily in Bakersfield. Davis suffered severe bouts of asthma as a child and had survived a near-fatal asthma attack when he was five, when he was pronounced clinically dead for several minutes. He also spoke of having a seriously horrible relationship with his stepmother. He said she used to torture him, give him tea to drink, with Thai hot oil and jalapeño juice added into it, when he was sick and harass him. But later on his father divorced her. He says the song 'Kill You' was about her. Davis has said that his earliest musical inspiration as a child was the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar, and his favorite musical group was Duran Duran. He graduated from Highland High School in 1989. He also attended the San Francisco School of Mortuary Science for a period of time. He was harassed persistently in Highland High School primarily by jocks for being different by wearing eyeliner, long clothes, working in a Coroner Assistant's office and listening to new wave band Duran Duran. He was teased, harmed, beaten and he was constantly called homophobic names. He says even teachers were mean to him and even sent him to the counselor for wearing eyeliner. He says Mr. Rogers was responsible for making him a victim in his childhood.
He has a cameo in Queen of the Damned as a ticket scalper. Davis plays a minor role as Ricky, a crack dealer, in the film Seeing Other People. Davis also has a role as a store clerk in the indie film The Still Life Davis is billed to appear in the upcoming horror film Sin-Jin Smyth where he will be playing the lead role. According to Bloody-Disgusting, Jonathan Davis is currently working on a script with writer/director Clive Barker entitled Oblivion. Davis describes it as a "dark opera about the end of the world" and that it differs greatly from Korn's style of music. The project has been postponed for an indefinite period of time.
He has also been featured in many other bands' music videos, sometimes with Korn and sometimes solo. He has appeared with Korn in Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff", "Faith" and "Nobody Like You", Deadsy's "Brand New Love", Orgy's "Revival", Ice Cube's "Fuck Dying", Videodrone's "Ty Jonathan Down", Sugar Ray's "Answer the Phone", and Lil' Wayne's "Prom Queen" as a cameo appearance. He has also appeared in, Cold's "Give", and Busta Rhymes' "Fire." He has also worked with Infected Mushroom, a psychedelic trance and electronic music group, in the song (and video) titled "Smashing the Opponent" as well as "Evilution".
Davis and the rest of Korn appeared in a 2005 episode of the comedy-drama television series Monk, titled "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic". As well as appearing in Monk, Korn also made an appearance on The Man Show in which hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla claimed to be two members that were kicked out of the band in the style of a VH1Behind The Music special.
Davis and Korn voiced themselves in season 3 of South Park in the episode "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery", which features them as Scooby Doo-esque characters, driving a Mystery Machine-like van and trying to solve a mystery about pirate ghosts.
Davis' childhood is a big influence in Korn lyrics. The song "Daddy" gave rise to a rumor that Rick Davis (Jonathan's father) had abused his son, even though Jonathan has gone on the record in many interviews saying it was written about a family friend who sexually abused him. He said that, when he tried to turn to his family as a child to tell them about the abuse, they ignored him (Neither Jonathan or Rick will say who the person was, though both say it was a woman).
Davis has married twice, Renee Perez, in 1998 in a Medieval-themed ceremony. Together they had a son, Nathan Howsmon Davis who was born on Oct. 18, 1995., but divorced in 2001. On October 9, 2004, a decade after the release of Korn's first album he married again in Hawaii, this time to former pornographic actress Deven Davis. On March 18, 2005 his second child, Pirate Howsmon Davis, was born. Davis's third son, Zeppelin Howsmon Davis, was born on April 28, 2007.
Davis has not used alcohol or other drugs since 1998. On the band's Deuce DVD, Davis's bandmates all say they are proud of him for his sobriety.
Davis has stated that The Path of Totality is his favorite Korn album and that "Hollow Life" and "Do What They Say" are his favorite Korn songs (according to an interviews).
In late 2006, Davis was recognized and honored at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California, by Buddy Alan, son of the late Buck Owens.
While Korn performed at the Download Festival in 2006, Davis was unable to perform, as he had developed idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a rare bleeding disorder. This left him bedridden for days after his band's performance. Assorted other artists also at Download filled in singing for Korn during the performance including M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Matt Heafy of Trivium, Jesse Hasek of 10 Years, Benji Webbe of Skindred, Dez Fafara of Devildriver and Corey Taylor of Slipknot.
Davis created an original fighting game, Pop Scars, which pits popular musical personalities against one another in one-on-one combat. Participants include members of Limp Bizkit, Staind, Marilyn Manson, and Korn itself. Each celebrity has its own personality and sports character designs sketched by comic book artist Marty Emond, while stages feature environmental traps that impede opponents as they fight. Pop Scars never made it past the early design stages, as Davis himself pulled the plug on the project in late 2004.
In the United States presidential election, 2012, Davis has spoke out that he supports Ron Paul.
In 2012, Jonathan began visiting United States Armed Forces stationed in Europe. On March 16, 2012, Jonathan made his first visit to Ramstein Air Base, Germany where he visited with personnel assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel showed him how to operate the bomb disposal robot and how to render safe an improvised explosive device wearing a Bombsuit. Firefighter personnel showed how to use the water cannon in the new Stryker fire apparatus. Readiness and Emergency Management personnel showed a variety of Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) detection and protection equipment. He also did a meet and greet signing autographs for the troops and their families at the AAFES Military Mall (Kaiserslautern Military Community Center). He visited wounded warriors from all over the world at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the USO Wounded Warriors Center. JD Visits Ramstein Air Base Clip 1 Video JD Visits With Injured Soldiers at Ramstein Air Base Video Jonathan Davis Visits Ramstein AB - American Forces Network News Report
On August 11, 2012, Jonathan made another trip to Ramstein Air Base, Germany to visit with personnel assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing, 37th Airlift Squadron, and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. During this visit, he was able to get a tour of a C-130J, Hercules and Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel demonstrated a "Hollywood shot" explosive and the destruction a small amount of explosive can do to a car. Again, he visited the wounded warriors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the USO Wounded Warriors Center. A documentary of his experiences, "Wounded Warriors" was submitted to the 1st Annual GI Film Festival Hollywood and won Audience Choice Award on November 10, 2012. "Wounded Warriors" Trailer "Wounded Warriors" short film
JDevil is the EDM alter-ego of Jonathan Davis. He has been DJing since 1987 while he was still in high school. He began working for Pacific West Sound and spun at high school dances and parties on the weekends in Bakersfield. He used to spin New York Freestyle, Miami bass, Old school hip hop, Goth, and Industrial. In 2009, he began to DJ again and he introduced JDevil to the world in 2011 at Infected Mushroom appearances and as opening act on Korn's Path of Totality World Tour. Jonathan felt a need of unique name while making music. As he states in an interview, he has combined initials (JD), and 'evil' into 'JDevil'. He has nicknamed his wife, Deven, Devil, which also is a part of JDevil moniker. Jonathan has always been fascinated by the devil and JDevil's persona embraces the idea of being the "antichrist of EDM". An anagram of JDevil is live DJ. Jonathan says JDevil represents "indulgence and doing whatever you want to do and not ignoring your instincts, as long as you don't hurt anybody."JDevil's EDM style combines elements of dubstep, Jungle, drum and bass, four-on-the-floor, and metal.
Live Performances/Tours as JDevil
JDevil was one of the opening acts for Korn on their The Path of Totality Tour from November 2011 - July 2012 in North America and Europe.
While on a short break from touring with Korn in July 2012, JDevil had a short four day club tour which consisted of The Junkyard in Nashua, New Hampshire, Pufferbellies Entertainment Complex in Hyannis, Massachusetts, Lizard Lounge in Dallas, Texas, and The Garden in El Paso, Texas.
In July, 2012, JDevil had signed on to perform at select Identity Festival dates throughout North America. He only performed at two shows, Comcast Center (amphitheater) inMansfield, Massachusetts and Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia.
In August, 2012, it was announced that JDevil would open for Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson on their Twins of Evil Tour at select dates in North America. However, before the tour began, JDevil had to drop out of the tour due to exhaustion.
JDevil's stage presence is one that thrives on chaos and disorder. He has said that he wants to entertain the crowd and make it insane.
I make people drop their jaws because I'm just up there telling them to go fuck themselves. No one's ever done that at an EDM show and crowds are loving it. It's not like I'm offending anyone, people are like 'Yeah, fuck you too!'— Jonathan Davis
In 2002, Jonathan revealed a microphone stand art piece called 'The Bitch', which was created by Swiss artist H.R. Giger. He has used the art piece in public appearances since. Previously, Davis used a normal microphone stand. Jonathan is endorsed by Shure and has currently been using the Beta 57a Wireless model. In the studio, Davis uses various microphones where endorsements are minimal.