Edwin Farnham Butler III (born April 14, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and multi-instrumentalist of the Montreal-based indie rock band Arcade Fire. His wife Régine Chassagne and younger brother Will Butler are both members of the band.
Butler was born in Truckee, California, and raised in The Woodlands, Texas, with a Mormon upbringing. He lived in Buenos Aires before his brother Will was born.
Butler's maternal grandfather was jazz steel guitarist Alvino Rey, a pioneer bandleader whose career spanned eight decades. His maternal 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 Rey, who also performed on the family TV show, plays jazz harp and sings. His father, Edwin Farnham Butler II, worked as a geologist for oil conglomerate Halliburton in Houston, Texas. They currently live on Mount Desert Island, Maine.
At the age of 15, Butler started attending the Phillips Exeter Academy preparatory school in New Hampshire, where he lived in Abbot Hall. There, he played varsity basketball and club softball, and performed with several student bands. 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. After graduation, he studied photography and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, but left after a year.
Butler moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 2000 to attend McGill University, where he met his future wife, Régine Chassagne, whom he married in 2003. Butler graduated from McGill in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in religious studies.
Butler participated in the 2005 UNICEF benefit project, "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?," along with Chassagne. The two also collaborated on the music for the Richard Kelly film The Box.
On April 2, 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its last concert before its disbandment. Arcade Fire performed on "North American Scum." During James Murphy's stumbling introduction to this song, Butler shouted out "shut up and play the hits!" Murphy immediately responded, "ladies and gentlemen, for our live record entitled 'Shut Up and Play the Hits'" and Butler's cry later became the title of the well-received documentary of the concert. In September 2011, Butler played in a charity basketball tournament in Toronto, Ontario, Canada known as "Rock The Court." Several other celebrities and athletes participated, such as Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs.
Régine Chassagne gave birth to the couple's first child, a son, on April 21, 2013.
On February 12, 2015, Win Butler participated in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and scored 8 points and had 12 rebounds. He returned to the event a year later in his home country. In his second stint, Butler won the MVP award of the event.
In March 2015, Butler, along with wife and Arcade Fire band mate Régine Chassagne, attended the launch of music streaming service Tidal, and revealed themselves, along with other notable artists, as shareholders in the company.