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Birth Name: Alanis Nadine Morissette
Date of Birth: June 1, 1974
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Height: 5' 4"
Best Known For: Her album Jagged Little Pill
|Alanis Morissette Biography
Alanis Morissette was born on June 1, 1974, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to a French-Canadian father and a Hungarian mother. She has an older brother named Chad and she is 12 minutes younger than her twin brother, Wade, who is a yoga instructor. Morissette attended Notre Dame High School followed by Glebe Collegiate Institute, both located in Ottawa.
In her childhood, Morissette learned to play the piano and began writing songs. At age 10, she joined the cast of the children's TV show You Can't Do That on Television. She used her payments from her work on the show to record her independent single, "Fate Stay With Me," which was released when she was 10. After leaving the show, Morissette knew she wanted a career in music and she earned a publishing contract at age 14.
The publishing contract led to a record deal with MCA Canada, and in 1991, she moved to Toronto and released her debut album, Alanis. The record saw success in Canada, selling over 100,000 copies. The album also landed Morissette a Juno Award for Most Promising Female Artist.
In 1992, Morissette released her next album titled Now is the Time, which was similar in sound to her debut album and also saw success in Canada, but failed to stretch overseas or into the United States. After Now is the Time, was on shelves, Morissette moved to Los Angeles, California, where she met Glen Ballard in early 1994. Ballard, who wrote "Man in the Mirror" for Michael Jackson, worked with Morissette to produce an edgy, alternative rock album and turn away from the pop recipe for success. Their work resulted in one of the best selling albums of all time, Jagged Little Pill.
Jagged Little Pill was released in 1995 and garnered attention after the release of the single "You Oughta Know," which was heard regularly on the radio and MTV. The album shot into the Top Ten and earned multi-platinum status. The second and third singles from Jagged Little Pill, "Hand in My Pocket" and "All I Really Want," kept the album in the Top Ten and spread the name Alanis Morissette throughout the United States. Three more singles were released from the album, "Ironic," "You Learn" and "Head over Feet," which kept Jagged Little Pill in the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 for over a year. In early 1996, Morissette earned six Grammy nominations. She walked away with statues for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song for "You Oughta Know," Best Rock Album and Album of the Year for Jagged Little Pill.
In 1998, Morissette recorded the song "Uninvited" for the City of Angels soundtrack. The song was never commercially released as a single, but was still heavily played on the radio in the United States. In 1999, the song won two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Later in 1998, Morissette released her next full album titled Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. The record includes the singles "Thank U," "Unsent" and "So Pure," and the album surprised fans and critics with is untraditional sound and her new approach to songwriting. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and sold seven million copies worldwide. "Thank U" and "So Pure" were nominated at the 2000 Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance respectively.
In 1999, Morissette released a live acoustic album titled Alanis Unplugged, which was recorded during her appearance on the television show MTV Unplugged. The album included three new songs, including one she wrote with her main guitar player, Nick Lashley, called "No Pressure Over Cappuccino." That same year, she teamed up with Dave Matthews Band and lent her voice to their songs "Don't Drink the Water" and "Spoon." She was also heard on the tracks "Mercy" and "Innocence" from Jonathan Elias's project The Prayer Cycle.
In 1999, Morissette returned to her acting roots, appearing in Kevin Smith's film Dogma playing the part of God. She teamed up with Smith again in 2001 for his film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. In 2004, Morissette was seen in the biopic film De-Lovely, in which she performed the song "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" and she has appeared in numerous guest spots on television shows including Sex and the City, Nip/Tuck and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She has also starred in the play The Vagina Monologues.
In 2002, after a 4 year break from the public eye, Morissette released her next album, Under Rug Swept, an album for which she was the only writer and producer. The album includes the hit single "Hands Clean" which received much radio play and the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Under Rug Swept sold one million copies in the U.S. alone, and Morissette won a Juno Award for Producer of the Year.
In December 2002, Morissette released a CD/DVD combination package, Feast on Scraps, which included live concert footage and eight previously unreleased songs from the Under Rug Swept recording sessions. The album was nominated for a Juno Award for DVD of the Year. In November the following year, Morissette appeared in the off-Broadway play The Exonerated as Sunny Jacobs.
In May 2004, Morissette released her album titled So-Called Chaos. She again wrote all of the songs and co-produced the album with Tim Thorney and John Shanks. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the lead single, "Everything," achieved major success on Adult Top 40 radio. Two other singles, "Out Is Through" and "Eight Easy Steps," failed to achieve the same success of "Everything," though "Eight Easy Steps" spawned a dance remix which reached top ten on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
In February 2005 Morissette became a naturalized citizen of the United States while maintaining her Canadian citizenship. That same year, she released an acoustic version of Jagged Little Pill, which sold 330,000 copies in the U.S. and one million worldwide. Morissette went on a two month tour during the summer of 2005 to promote the album, and during this time she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In late 2005, Morissette released her greatest hits album Alanis Morissette: The Collection, and her song "Wunderkind" appeared on the soundtrack for The Chronicles of Narnia. The song was also nominated for the Best Original Song Golden Globe Award.Morissette is currently writing for her 2007 album as well as for her upcoming memoir. She said of her book, "It will be all the wisdom I've accrued in the thirty-one years of my life... A lot about relationships, fame, travel, body-image issues, spirit -- with a lot of self-deprecating humor peppered throughout, 'cause I just can't help it."
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