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Canadian musician Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album Jagged Little Pill established her as one of alternative rock's foremost female vocalists of the 1990s.
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Musician Alanis Morissette was born June 1, 1974 in Ottawa, Canada. Morissette began studying piano at age 6 and composing at 7; she wrote her first songs at 9. By age 10 she was acting in a series on Nickelodeon. She used her earnings to cut her first single. In 1995, her album Jagged Little Pill established her as one of alternative rock's foremost female vocalists of the 1990s.
"Cry when you need to cry, talk when you need to talk and stop when you need to stop."
''The more vulnerable and the more confused the song is, the equal and opposite effect is how I feel after having written it and the deeper I go admitting fear, admitting the confusion, the clearer I usually feel."
Musician Alanis Nadine Morissette was born on June 1, 1974, in Ottawa, Canada, to Alan and Georgia Morissette. Both of her parents worked in education, but from an early age, Morissette showed an aptitude for music. At age 6, she began taking piano lessons, and by the time she was 9, she was writing her own songs.
When she was 11, Morissette joined the cast of a Nickelodeon children's show called You Can't Do That on Television, and saved up her earnings. In 1987, she used them to self-release her first track, "Fate Stay With Me." Despite her young age, Morissette's music touched on themes of loneliness and heartache from the start: "Fate Stay With Me" is about lost love.
The song caught the attention of record label MCA Canada; at age 14, Morissette signed a contract with the company. She released a self-titled album, Alanis, in 1991. The young singer then got her first taste of success: the album went platinum, and even garnered her a Canadian Juno Award for Most Promising Female Artist. Quickly following up on her first win in the dance-pop world, Morissette released Now Is The Time (1992) a year later, though it did not reach the same level of popularity.
Morissette's career blossomed once again when she made it to the United States. At age 18, she had moved to Toronto, but in 1994 she made a much bigger move—to Los Angeles. There, she began a search for a team of producers and collaborators to help her make a comeback from her commercially disappointing second album. Morissette teamed up with industry veteran Glen Ballard, and she began to approach songwriting more organically.
Soon, she had moved away from the more conventional dance-pop songs she began with. "It was the beginning of a new way to approach songwriting altogether," Morissette explained. "I was old enough to be able to write autobiographically and stand by the philosophical subject matter in my songs."
The result of Morissette's collaboration with Ballard was Jagged Little Pill, which was released in 1995 by Maverick Records. With its edgy, alternative sound, the single "You Oughta Know" struck a strong chord with listeners. MTV was in its heyday, and the single received heavy airplay; demand for subsequent singles from Jagged Little Pill was steady. In 1996, the album won several Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
While the mid-1990s saw no shortage of outspoken female rock stars, Morissette seemed particularly to appeal to teenage audiences, who felt she had given them a genuine voice for their angst and frustration.
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