The Truth About Blue's Clues Star Steve Burns' Music Career

A generation before "PAW Patrol" hit TV screens, the must-see dog-centric kids' show was "Blue's Clues." As any millennial can tell you, the iconic Nickelodeon show charmed its preschool audience with its sweet characters, simple animation, and focus on basic problem-solving. (What kind of Valentine's Day gift could Blue be thinking about when she leaves paw prints on a photo, a box of macaroni, and a heart?) As Blue's companion, Steve Burns provided just the right mixture of wonder and low-key enthusiasm as he helped viewers find and solve the pup's puzzles. But after six seasons, Burns grew tired of speaking to unseen characters in front of a green screen (the animation was edited in later) and wanted to pursue other projects. Plus, as he put it in a "Blue's Clues" special (seen here on YouTube), he was going prematurely bald, and "I refused to lose my hair on a kids' TV show."

After his departure, wild rumors swirled that Burns had suffered a tragic death, either due to a car wreck or a heroin overdose (via Snopes). Neither was true, of course, but Burns finally had to appear on Rosie O'Donnell's show to prove he was alive and well. The truth was much less sensational; Burns was pursing a music career. As he told Fatherly in an interview, he had a friend who knew the Flaming Lips' producer, so "I cashed in every favor I had to send the guy a CD of my music ... he was kind of impressed and called me and asked if I wanted to work together." 

Steve Burns is still entertaining kids everywhere

Aided by Lips' member Steve Drozd, the former puppy pal released two solo albums. Alas, they weren't exactly chartbusters. But Steve Burns' music career found a new direction when Nickelodeon asked him to write a song for "Jack's Big Music Show." He and Drozd collaborated on "I Hog the Ground (Groundhog Song)" (via YouTube). As he told Fatherly, "The song came together so joyously we decided we had to write a children's record together." 

As the band STEVENSTEVEN, Burns and Drozd released  "Foreverywhere" in 2017. It's a collection of "everybody music for everyone," as they explained on their website. The album includes such numbers as "The Unicorn and Princess Rainbow," "A Fact Is a Gift That You Give Your Brain," and "The Happy Then Sad Then Triumphant Spider." Like the successful children's albums of They Might Be Giants, STEVENSTEVEN blends catchy alt-rock sound with clever, educational lyrics. No "baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo" here; instead, they have "Mimic Octopus" with lines like "We're amazed by you, Mimic Octopus/Secret wizard of the sea/You've got crazy skills, Mr. Octopus/Camouflage and mimicry" (via

It's been an unusual journey for Steve Burns, who began his career as a classically trained theater actor. But he seems pleased with his decision to continue bringing joy to young audiences. "It's always been my opinion that children's entertainment is too often limited to the "Yay!" spectrum of kids' emotions," he told Fatherly. "Kids I've met are highly complex emotional beings."