Born on September 8, 1960, in Richmond, Virginia, Aimee Mann dropped out of the Berklee College of Music to join a punk band. Soon she would co-found 'Til Tuesday, a new-wave band that found success with its first album, Voices Carry. The title track would become an MTV favorite, propelling Mann and the band into the spotlight. It wasn't long before Mann struck out on her own, though, leaving the band behind for a solo career. Mann's song "Save Me" from the Magnolia soundtrack was nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy, and she went on to record several solo albums including The Forgotten Arm and Charmer.
Early Years and Early Bands
Aimee Mann was born on September 8, 1960, in Richmond, Virginia. She grew up in the nearby town of Bon Air and later attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. With music more than music school in her blood, she dropped out to become the singer in a punk band called the Young Snakes.
A few years later, in 1983, Mann and Berklee classmate and boyfriend Michael Hausman formed the new wave band 'Til Tuesday, and they hit it big two years later with their first album, Voices Carry. The title song went into heavy rotation on MTV, winning the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and putting Mann and the band on the map. 'Til Tuesday followed up that success with two more albums, Welcome Home (1986) and Everything's Different Now (1988), works that found Mann writing more and more of the material. Between those two albums, Man struck out as a solo artist a bit, guesting on the 1987 Rush song "Time Stand Still," which went to No. 3 on the Billboard rock chart.
Perhaps it was the number of songs she was writing, and perhaps a taste of the solo life contributed, but in 1990 'Til Tuesday broke up and Mann ventured out on her own. It would be three years until she released her first solo album, but when Whatever came out, it was met with critical praise. Unfortunately, her record label disintegrated, so promotion for the album, a folk-inspired work, was weak, and sales followed suit. It spent a few weeks on the charts but topped out at the No. 127 spot.
Her next record came two years later with 1995's I'm With Stupid, this time put out through Geffen Records. As though caught in a loop, the album met with the same critical reception as had Whatever, but sales were similarly anemic. The album did spawn something of a hit in "That's Just What You Are," which got some help from appearing on the Melrose Place soundtrack.
Mann's next high-profile album came when her friendship with director Paul Thomas Anderson led to Mann contributing eight songs to the soundtrack of Anderson's film Magnolia. The song "Save Me" was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Grammy, and introduced Mann to a new audience.
Mann seemed to gain some strength from her Magnolia experience and began recording more regularly, first with Lost in Space (2000) and then with 2004's Live at St. Ann's Warehouse (a live album and DVD) and the concept album The Forgotten Arm (2005). The art associated with The Forgotten Arm led to a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.
In 2005, veering farther off the beaten path, Mann released a Christmas EP, following it up in 2006 with One More Drifter in the Snow, a full-length Christmas album. Her eighth solo studio album, Charmer, came out in 2012.
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