Alanis Morissette's Bio

                 How popular is Alanis Morissette??? To quote her first hit song, "you oughta know." For those who don't, here are some clues. Her record-breaking album, Jagged Little Pill, held the number one chart position longer than any other album in 1996. So far, it has sold 13 million copies in the U.S. and another six million worldwide. That makes it the biggest-selling album by a female in history!!!

                 Alanis has won four Grammy Awards, a Juno Award, plus a pair of MTV video awards. Her concerts are always sell-outs and her videos are often played up to 30 times in a single day.

         What makes Alanis so successful??? In a word - communication. Alanis Morissette has something to say - she says it in her music - and everyone relates to it.

                 Although Alanis is only 24 years old, she isn't an overnight success. She has been on the road to superstardom since she was a kid.

                 Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Alanis is the daughter of Hungarian emigrants. Her parents, both teachers, took jobs at a military school, but Alanis and her two brothers went to Catholic school.

                 Alanis's gift for music was obvious from the get-go. She listened to all kinds, but her favorite singer was Olivia Newton-John. Inspired, little Alanis began to test her own vocal cords when she was only eight years old. At nine, she began composing original tunes. "I started writing songs when I was really little because there were things I could say through songs that I couldn't verbailze any other way. Writing was something I had to do," she remembers.

                 Self-expression was very important, but people who "knew her back when" say that Alanis was also ambitious. In 1984, when she was 10 years old, she auditioned for a part in the Nickelodeon TV show, You Can't Do That on Television. A sketch-comedy series, hosted by two boys, Alanis played the girlfriend next door. Although the show was a hit, Alanis left after two seasons. She had plans of her own, and they involved music. At 14, using the money she'd earned on the TV show, she set up her own recording company, and started making her own records. Two years later, she signed with a major record label in Canada.

         The albums she released in her teen years sound very different from Jagged Little Pill. Instead of from-the-heart emotions, they were filled with move-your-feat pop. Her albums were sucessful in Canada, but Alanis was not happy.

         "Back then I was a lot more worried about people's perceptions of me. I wanted approval, so I came across as happy. But really, I was quite insecure and not as prepared to share as much of myself with people as I am now." Because "it felt fake" Alanis eventually decided to stop making those kinds of records.

         In 1993, when she was 19, Alanis moved to Los Angeles. She was determined to make it as a singer/songwriter, with songs that were an honest reflection of her real emotions. Initially, she met with failure and rejection. But one year later, Alanis got her luckly break. Armed with demo tapes of her songs, she was signed to Maverick Records, a new label started by Madonna. Jagged Little Pill, released in 1995, was an instant hit. The first single, "You Oughta Know", "became the most popular song of the season, easily vaulting to number one. Her follow-ups, including "Hand in My Pocket" and "Ironic", established Alanis Morissette as the hot new voice in rock.

         Off-stage, Alanis remains very private. She grants few interviews and when she does, little emerges about her personal life. She even skipped the MTV Awards party in her own honor. "The whole celebrity thing is not something I'm overly interested in," she explains. "I just don't pop up at parties. It's just not my thing."

         She may be guarded about her personal life, but Alanis speaks volumes through her music. She is heard, and repeated, by millions of fans who sing along at her concerts. That doesn't surprise her. "I think everyone's hungry for the truth," she tells. Her lyrics describe perfectly what a lot of girls feel. The hurt and anger at being dumped by a guy is clear in "You Oughta Know." Alanis says her song, "Perfect," is "an open letter I'd like to send to everyone who's had low self-esteem."

         Are her songs biographical??? "Most of my music is at least partly auto-biographical, but no one song is all of me," Alanis explains. "Each one is just a piece."

         What does the future hold for Alanis Morissette??? Her next album is due November of 1998. Can it possibly come close to the sucess of Jagged Little Pill??? Alanis doesn't really care. As long as she can create music that's honest, and she can "grow as a musician and as a writer, that's enough."

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