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Natalie Merchant

After rising to fame at the helm of the popular folk-rock band 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant enjoyed even greater success as a solo artist during the mid-'90s. Her literate, socially conscious songs established her among the preeminent women in pop music, while her solo debut -- 1995's Tigerlily -- helped pave the way for a number of female performers in a pre-Lilith Fair market. She continued releasing albums well into the 2000s, often examining specific genres or subjects, although Tigerlily remained her biggest-selling record.

Born October 26, 1963, in Jamestown, NY, Merchant joined 10,000 Maniacs at the age of 17 and became the band's driving artistic force. After a pair of successful independent releases, they signed to Elektra in 1985 and briefly became one of the most popular acts in alternative rock, shooting into the Top 40 with 1987's In My Tribe and charting even higher with their follow-up effort, Blind Man's Zoo. Merchant's desire to launch a solo career increased alongside the band's growing reputation, however, and by the time the group sat down to record 1992's Our Time in Eden, she gave her bandmates two years' notice. Following the release of MTV Unplugged in 1994, she publicly announced she was leaving the group's ranks.

Merchant made her solo debut with 1995's Tigerlily, a self-produced album that debuted at number 13 and scored a Top Ten single with "Carnival." Two additional singles, "Wonder" and "Jealousy," also cracked the Top 40, prompting Tigerlily to sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone. It was followed in 1998 by Ophelia, another platinum-selling effort that was supported by Merchant's inclusion in the second Lilith Fair tour. Live in Concert, recorded at New York's Neil Simon Theatre, appeared a year later. A prominent social activist, Merchant also drew notice by campaigning in the name of such hot-button issues as animal rights, domestic violence, and homelessness.

Merchant launched a folk tour in 2000, with members of progressive folk band the Horse Flies joining her on the road. She then returned to her solo career with Motherland. Two years later, Merchant left Elektra's roster and formed her own independent label, Myth America, in order to issue House Carpenter's Daughter, a collection of traditional and contemporary folk music inspired by the 2000 tour. A long period of silence followed, during which a pair of greatest-hits releases -- the 10,000 Maniacs collection Campfire Songs and Merchant's own Retrospective: 1995-2005 -- kept fans relatively sated. As the decade drew to a close, though, Merchant signed with Nonesuch Records and began making plans for a new album, which eventually arrived in the form of 2010's Leave Your Sleep. ~ Jason Ankeny & Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Man. What a voice. She could sing a bit too ;-D. Been a fan for a long time
my skin.. favorite song ..
Wow! I didn't realize she was still touring. I'm going to have to look for something nearby! Ophelia is one of my all time very favorite albums. I never tire of hearing every single fantastic tune on that entire album.
Agree with Brown, great show in the Springs with the Fort Collins Symphony
I just saw her in Colorado Springs - played with a full orchestra! I was moved. She is truly one with her music. What a performer she is - and her voice just goes on...
bizzybodies2 8
Yeah...every time I hear Carnival that name comes to mind.... guh
msnikki864
AILEEN WUORNOS
My Skin is on her album Ophelia
How come they don't have her song called "My Skin"?
steveinbalto 2
Saw Natalie at a very small venue in Tokyo. It was so obvious that she loves what she does. She was soulful, playful and raw all in the same show. Liked her before, loved her since.
ThatKTMkid35 : Come back when you've managed to grow up...
best voice ever...bar none
themilroys3
I'm bound to thank you for all the gifts that you gave me. I want to thank you for all your incredibly crafted tunes that have managed to get me through. ❤��
So boring
Z
z
:I
Thank you for being you Natalie, for it has given me courage to grow into the me that I want to be.
"Kind and Generous" best song by Natalie to date. How can she top this one, ever?
My fav song by Natalie. She's one of a kind and not bad looking either. Wish she'd cut some more albums.
Love you Natalie
smichelle63
I never get tired of her voice!!! Perfect!!!
In my heaven they play her music on an endless loop and I get to live in the world her songs create
Love her!!
she rules!
sandra_medin a 9 2
ella es y su musica son como un carnaval...
The kindest and most humble of artists thank you for being inspirationa l
Love her music
Natalie Merchant reaches the depths of our souls.
Thank you Natalie for sharing your angelic voice with the world! I always feel lifted and at peace when I listen to you!
One of a kind voice. Classic
smichelle63
Natalie...to t a l l y Unique!!!!! I love you!!!! Thank you for sharing your Gift!!!!!! :-)
When will we get new music :(
Soo LOVE YOUR UNIQUE VOICE LYRICS AND MUSIC
NO OTHERS CAN DUPLICATE OR HOLD A CANDLE TO YOU !!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Natalie Merchant, one of a kind!
I love her voice and music!
awesome.
Natalina - a most beautiful mind among countless migrators. Grazie.
nancyhd0
yes indeed I love this artist
cherylconkli n 1
love it
Don't cry is one of her best songs with lyrics that chill ya to the bone. Great stuff.
bono-one
One of my favorite singers of all time. Been lucky to see her live twice, what a voice.
coolmusiczon e _ 3 3
Awesome artist
jrscannell
I love all of her songs! She has such an amazing strong voice!
Brilliant, beautiful, aspirational , spiritual, practical.
Natalie Merchant is not so heavenly-min d e d that she is of no earthly good.
wanda1329
I never get tire of listening to Ms Merchant. It's very difficult to choose any of her songs, but the sadness of melody and lyrics with the strong message of LIFE IS SWEET touches my heart every time I hear it, 'cause it's so true... life is sweet but also very short.
absolutely amazingly awesome!!!
Meh. 10,000 Maniacs were the most sympathetic (musically) backup band you'd ever want to hear. She traded them in for studio musicians, and it's been pablum and ego ever since.
Great voice, of course, and a fine lyricist. Just wish she'd skipped the solo turn.
love this song. her music is so soothing!!
rachelmturne r 0 4
Natalie is one of the most amazing poets of our generation. How lucky we are that such poetry is set to the music of her beautiful voice.
One of my all-time favorites. Her songwriting skills are fabulous and equal her singing. I love the small details in her lyrics. My Beloved Wife brings me to tears each time I hear it.
The best voice of our generation
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