Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb was born in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 11, 1968. Loeb became famous in 1994, when her song "Stay (I Missed You)" appeared in the film Reality Bites. "Stay" shot to the top of the pop charts before Loeb was even signed to a label. She went on to produce more hit albums, and has made several appearances on television, including her own reality show.
Singer-songwriter Lisa Anne Loeb was born on March 11, 1968, in Bethesda, Maryland, and grew up as the second oldest of four siblings. Her family moved to Dallas, Texas, when she was still young. Loeb was raised in a Jewish and musically inclined home. "My folks sent me to music lessons when I was a little girl, piano lessons as well as piano theory," she once said of her childhood. "We listened to music all the time in the house, from the standards my father played on the piano every night and Sunday mornings, to classical music on records or live—my older brother was a classical pianist from a young age."
Loeb attended an all-girls private school for 11 years, and went to sleep-away camps in the summers—an experience she remembers as highly important in her childhood.
Making a Hit: 'Stay'
Music continued to have a strong presence in Lisa Loeb's life, even after she left home for college. Loeb attended Brown University, where she formed a band called Liz and Lisa with classmate Elizabeth Mitchell, who also went on to make a career as a musician. Classmate Duncan Sheik, who eventually gained recognition as a musician as well, played guitar for the duo. The two developed a following on campus and played in New York City coffeehouses.
After college, Loeb briefly attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston, but soon returned to New York City. In 1990, she started a band that she named Nine Stories after the J.D. Salinger short fiction collection. Loeb also started recording songs with Juan Patiño, a record producer who would eventually become her boyfriend.
After several years of struggling to be noticed, Loeb caught a break when her friend and neighbor, actor Ethan Hawke, asked her to contribute a song to the soundtrack of his new film, Reality Bites. Loeb contributed the track "Stay (I Missed You)," which she describes as autobiographical. The song was released as a single and hit No. 1 on the pop charts, which was unprecedented for a singer who wasn't signed to a record label. Loeb got a record deal and a Grammy nomination shortly afterwards.
Loeb's 1995 first album, Tails, reached gold on the charts, as did her 1997 follow-up Firecracker, which spawned the single "I Do." Her third album, 2002's Cake and Pie, was not well promoted by the label, so Loeb took matters into her own hands. She purchased the rights to the masters and re-released the album with new songs and a new title, Hello Lisa, on Artemis Records. In 2003, she partnered with her old friend Elizabeth Mitchell on Capture the Moon, a collection of children's songs.
By the early 2000s, Lisa Loeb had branched out into acting, guest starring in several television shows and taking small parts in films. In 2004, she and then-boyfriend Dweezil Zappa starred in a reality show, Dweezil and Lisa, for the Food Network. The following year, a newly single Loeb starred in an E! reality show, #1 Single, about her search for a marriage partner. "I felt like it was something that I did have to offer to other people, because I feel like ... when I watch certain TV shows or movies, when I relate to the people in the shows, I feel like I'm not alone, and I feel like I learn a lot through other people's experiences," she once stated. "And I thought, you know, there's not a lot of people who represent what my friends and I represent who are on TV."
Though the show was unsuccessful both in ratings and in its quest for a long-term romance, things would soon fall into place. Loeb met Roey Hershkovitz, a music supervisor for The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian, in late 2006, and the couple married in January 2009. They have one daughter, Lyla, who was born in November 2009.
Loeb wrote a second children's album based on her own childhood experiences, Camp Lisa, and started a foundation (also named Camp Lisa) to send underprivileged children to summer camp. She also co-created a musical based on the album, called Camp Kappawanna. Loeb, who is unable to wear contact lenses, is also well known for her trademark tortoiseshell glasses. In 2010, she started her own line of designer glasses, called Lisa Loeb Eyewear.
With a career that spans more than two decades, Lisa Loeb is still recording and touring. She has acknowledged that she will likely always be known as the "Stay" singer, but doesn't begrudge the title. "When the song came out ... I had been playing music since I was a little kid and I'd had gigs since high school, and I'd been making recordings for almost 10 years at that point," she once said. "I didn't realize what an impact having a No. 1 single would have. It connects me with people of different ages, and I get to travel all over the world. And it still lures people to come see me play sometimes. If they're not already fans, it might lure them in to be more interested in my other projects as well."
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