Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart (born September 13, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter. Her 1996 debut album Tidal received a Grammy Award for the song "Criminal".

Early life and family

Born in New York City, Apple is the daughter of singer Diane McAfee and actor Brandon Maggart. Her older sister, Amber, sings cabaret under the stage name Maude Maggart. Her half brother Spencer is a director and directed the video for her single "Parting Gift". Her half brotherGarett Maggart starred in the TV series The Sentinel. In addition, her maternal grandparents were Millicent Green, a dancer with the George White's Scandals, a series of 1920s musicalrevues similar to the Ziegfeld Follies, and Johnny McAfee, a multireedist and vocalist of the big band era; her grandparents met while touring with Johnny Hamp and his orchestra. She was raped at the age of 12, a trauma she would later allude to in songs such as "Sullen Girl".

Career

1994–1998
Apple was introduced to the music industry in 1994 when she gave a demo tape containing the songs "Never Is a Promise", "Not One of Those Times", and "He Takes A Taxi" to her friend who was the babysitter of music publicist Kathryn Schenker. Schenker then passed the tape along to Sony Music executive Andy Slater. Apple's contralto voice, piano skills and lyrics captured his attention, and Slater signed her to a record deal.

In 1996, Apple's debut album, Tidal, was released by Work. The album sold 2.7 million copies and was certified three times platinum in the U.S. "Criminal", the third single, became a hit and the song reached the top forty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song's controversialMark Romanek-directed music video — in which a scantily-clad Apple appeared in a '70s-era tract house — played on MTV. Apple later said: "I decided if I was going to be exploited, then I would do the exploiting myself." Other singles from Tidal included "Shadowboxer," "Sleep to Dream," and "Never Is a Promise."

During this period, Apple also made recordings of The Beatles' "Across the Universe" and Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love" for the soundtrack of the film Pleasantville.

In 1997, while accepting MTV Video Music Award for "Best New Artist" for her song Sleep to Dream, Apple said: "This world is bullshit, and you shouldn't model your life on what you think that we think is cool, and what we're wearing and what we're saying". The New Yorker and NYRock characterized her MTV Award show speech as ungrateful and "ridiculous". Apple was unapologetic saying: "I just had something on my mind and I just said it. And that's really the foreshadowing of my entire career and my entire life. When I have something to say, I'll say it."

Stand-up comedian Denis Leary included a satire of this speech on his album, Lock 'n Load, titled "A Reading from the Book of Apple". Janeane Garofalo parodied Apple's comments in light of the fact that her video for "Criminal" seemed to reinforce the same celebrity fixation on weight and appearance that Apple condemned. Apple responded to these criticisms in an article inRolling Stone in January 1998.

1999–2001: When the Pawn
Apple's second album, When the Pawn..., was released in 1999. Its full title is When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You'll Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You Know That You're Right. The title is a poem Apple wrote after reading letters that appeared in Spin regarding an article that had cast her in a negative light in an earlier issue. The title's length earned it a spot in the Guinness Book of Records for 2001. However, as of October 2007, it is no longer the longest album title, as Soulwax released Most of the Remixes, a remix album whose title surpasses When the Pawn...'s length by 100 characters.

The album was cultivated during Apple's relationship with film director Paul Thomas Anderson. When the Pawn... received a positive reception from publications such as The New York Times and Rolling Stone.
When the Pawn..., which was produced by Jon Brion, used more expressive lyrics, experimented more with drum loops, and incorporated both the Chamberlin and drummer Matt Chamberlain. It did not fare as well commercially as her debut, though it was an RIAA-certifiedplatinum album and sold 1 million copies in the U.S. The album's lead single, "Fast as You Can", reached the top 20 on Billboard'sModern Rock Tracks chart and became Apple's first Top 40 hit in the UK. The videos for two follow-up singles, "Paper Bag" and "Limp" (directed by then-boyfriend Anderson), received very little play.

2002–2007: Extraordinary Machine
Apple sang with Johnny Cash on a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water" that ended up on his album American IV: The Man Comes Around and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Country Collaboration with Vocals". She also collaborated with Cash on Cat Stevens's "Father and Son", which was included in his 2003 collection Unearthed.

Apple's third album, Extraordinary Machine, was originally produced by Jon Brion. Recording sessions began in 2002 at Ocean Way studios in Nashville, Tennessee, but later moved to theParamour Mansion in Los Angeles. Work on the album continued until 2003, and in May of that year it was submitted to Sony executives.

In 2004 and 2005, tracks were leaked on the Internet in MP3 format and played on U.S. and international radio. Subsequently, MP3s of the entire album went online. Although a website distributing the album was quickly taken offline, it soon reached P2P networks and was downloaded by fans. A fan-led campaign supported the album's official release.

It was revealed in April 2005 that Sony was initially unhappy with the work, and Apple and Brion sought to rework the album. Sony reportedly made caveats on the process, to which Apple balked. After a long period of waiting, she began an attempt to rework the album with close friend,electronica experimentalist Brian Kehew. Mike Elizondo, who had previously played bass onPawn, was brought back as co-producer to complete the tracks he had begun with Brion and Apple. Despite suggestions that the album had caused a rift between Brion and Apple, they regularly perform together at Largo, a club in Los Angeles, including a joint appearance with Elizondo on bass just before the news broke of an official release.

In August 2005, the album was given an October release date. Production had been largely redone by Elizondo and was co-produced by Kehew. Spin later reported the following: "Fans erroneously thought that Apple's record label, Epic, had rejected the first version ofExtraordinary Machine... in reality, according to Elizondo, Apple was unhappy with the results, and it was her decision to redo the record, not her label's." Two of the eleven previous leaked tracks were relatively unchanged, nine were completely retooled, and one new song was also included. According to Elizondo, "Everything was done from scratch." The final mastering of Extraordinary Machine was performed by Brian Gardner, and the released version has a far higher level of compression than any of Fiona's previous releases.

Extraordinary Machine debuted at number seven and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Pop Vocal Album". It was eventually certified gold and sold 462,000 copies in the U.S., though its singles ("Parting Gift", "O' Sailor", "Not About Love" and "Get Him Back") failed to enter any Billboard charts. Apple went on a live tour to promote the album in late 2005.

In June 2006, Apple appeared on the joke track "Come Over and Get It (Up in 'Dem Guts)" by comedian Zach Galifianakis. Galifianakis previously appeared in the music video for Apple's "Not About Love". The joke track is a complete departure from Apple's previous work, both lyrically and musically. It is a hip hop/dance track that features Apple singing lines such as "If you show me your fanny pack/I'll show you my fanny".

Apple recorded a cover of "Sally's Song" for the 2006 special edition release of the soundtrack for the Tim Burton film The Nightmare Before Christmas. In May 2006 Apple paid tribute to Elvis Costello on VH1's concert series Decades Rock Live by performing Costello's hit "I Want You"; her version was subsequently released as a digital single. Apple toured the East Coast during August 2007 with Nickel Creek.

2008–present
In 2008, Apple recorded a duet titled "Still I" with Christophe Deluy. In 2009, Apple covered "Why Try to Change Me Now" and "I Walk A Little Faster" for The Best Is Yet to Come - The Songs of Cy Coleman. In January 2010 Fiona Apple and Jon Brion performed together at "Love and Haiti, Too: A Music Benefit", a charity concert for the people hurt by the Haiti Earthquake. Fiona sang a cover of "(S)he's Funny That Way", composed by Neil Moret, lyrics by Richard Whiting, which is often associated with the singer Billie Holiday. In June 2010, Fiona released a song titled "So Sleepy" produced by Jon Brion written by children involved with the non-profit organization 826LA. The song will be included on a compilation album released by the organization titled Chickens in Love. Apple collaborated with Margaret Cho on her album Cho Dependent, which was released on August 24, 2010.

Billboard magazine confirmed that Apple will be releasing her new album in Spring 2011. In April 2011 a rumor surfaced on the internet that Apple will release a single in May 2011 and the new untitled-as-of-yet album in June 2011.

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