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Paula Cole

Paula Cole was one of the many female singer/songwriters who rose to prominence in the mid-'90s in the wake of alternative's commercial breakthrough. Drawing heavily from the ethereal, pretty sound of Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos, she created songs that relied equally on dreamy melodies and poetic, introspective lyrics. Although she continued recording music during the 2000s, Cole's career reached its peak in 1997, when both "I Don't Want to Wait" and "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone" cracked the Top 20.

Cole was born and raised in Rockport, Massachusetts, the daughter of an amateur musician and a visual artist. Following her high-school graduation, she went to the Berklee College of Music to study jazz singing and improvisation. After she graduated from Berklee, Cole became a professional musician in order to make a living; she continued to write original material on the side.

Her first big break arrived when Peter Gabriel invited her to perform on his 1992-1993 world tour. Shortly afterward, she signed to Imago Records, where she released her debut album, Harbinger, in 1994. Imago went out of business within a year of the album's release, though, which prevented the record from getting exposure on radio and in the press. In 1995, she signed a new contract with Warner Bros., which reissued Harbinger in the fall of that year. Cole returned with her second album, This Fire, in October 1996. The album and its accompanying single, "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?," became word-of-mouth hits and eventually broke into the mainstream during the spring of 1997. That summer, Cole participated in the first Lilith Fair, a traveling festival that had been designed by Sarah McLachlan to showcase female artists. Cole was one of the performers to receive a significant boost in profile from the tour, and was the subject of many articles in the mainstream press.

In 1998, Cole won the Grammy for Best New Artist, despite the fact that she released her debut album in 1994 and, therefore, was technically ineligible. That same year, she scored another hit with the single "I Don't Want to Wait," popularized as the theme to the television hit Dawson's Creek. Her much-anticipated third album, Amen, followed in 1999 and broadened Cole's sound with electronica and hip-hop textures. It wasn't nearly as popular as This Fire, though, prompting Cole to drop out of the limelight and focus on raising her daughter.

Eight years passed before she returned with a new single, "14," and a new album, 2007's Courage. Although only modestly popular, Courage represented something of a stylistic return for Cole, who had settled into an eclectic, jazz-influenced adult contemporary vein. She began recording and touring on a more regular basis, releasing her fourth album, Ithaca, in 2010. Cole undertook a crowdfunding project to complete and self-release her next recording, Raven, which was issued in the spring of 2013. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: I Don't Want To Wait

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Track List: Music In Me (Radio Single)

Comments

ttaryan
Makes me miss Dawson's Creek... Paula got me through that rough transition from college to professional life.
Love all of Paulas music. She's soulful in a way only a frmale songwriter can be. Thank you Paula!
Paula Cole another gem of the 90's.
k_crunkleton 9
What an incredibly powerful and beautiful song.
Paula Cole - Feelin Love rocks!!!!
bknoska
There is no mention of Peter Gabriel's tour in her private life . . . . and that plays a part in what has trasnpired . . . .
where have all the cowboys gone my favorite
npadulsky
I think she shaves now, but whatever, really....to t a l l y irrelevant.
npadulsky
Awesome, true to her feelings, inspiring to mine!
I found the cowboys, they are all on Brokeback Mountain.
Be Someone....I love it!!
Hush, Hush, Hush is about a man dying with AID.
Me....that song has deep meaning. I love it.
She is great song writer.
(Papi you are sad)
"i beleive in love" has to be my favorite paula cole song.
j3dresse
lol, it is a little funny
Sounds like the lead singer/elect r i c violinist Valerie Vagoda of Groovelily.. . . I know...who are they? Just see them live in concert or at one of their musical "plays". W. coast or NY usually, but we saw 2x in Ks. and, like Paula Cole, were great.
drc63
Feelin' Love is perhaps the sexiest song ever written!
gee, it's so nice when people judge a musician on what they look like (armpit hair, really?) instead of their musical talent!
That was a little harsh.
paula skeptics need to listen to her song: 'i believe in love'. if it don't grab you, you may be dead!
SO what armpit hair, it's natural, just like her beautiful voice, deal with it.
Paula is a great vocalist
Paula Cole is BRILLIANT!!! Her voice goes straight through you and reaches the core of one's soul.

Elle
RavingOn
LOL@armpit hair ..
A song request...Pl e a s e . . . " C o m i n g Down" off COURAGE. Thank You
86753092

Armpit hair

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