Monday, August 18, 2008 12:24:19 AM
Alanis Nadine Morissette (born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-born singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has won 12 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, and has sold over 55 million albums worldwide. Morissette began her career in Canada, and as a teenager recorded two dance-pop albums, Alanis and Now Is the Time, under MCA Records. Her international debut album was the rock-influenced Jagged Little Pill, which remains the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S., and the highest selling debut album worldwide in music history, selling 30 million records worlwide. According to RIAA and United World Charts, Alanis is the biggest selling female rock artist in music. Her following album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998 and was a success as well. Morissette took up producing duties for her subsequent albums, which include Under Rug Swept, So-Called Chaos and latest release Flavors of Entanglement. In February 2005, Morissette became a naturalized citizen of the United States while maintaining her Canadian citizenship.
Alanis Morissette was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Georgia Mary Ann Feuerstein, a Hungarian-born teacher, and Alan Richard Morissette, a French-Canadian high school principal. Alanis has a twin brother, Wade, and an older brother, Chad. At the age of six, she began playing the piano and realized she wanted to express herself through the arts. In 1984, Morissette wrote her first song, "Fate Stay with Me", which she sent to a local folk singer, Lindsay Morgan, who recruited Morissette as his protégé. Morissette released "Fate Stay with Me" as a single via a label she founded with Morgan. A limited number of copies were pressed, and it received little airplay.
At a New York City audition, Morissette landed a spot on Star Search, a popular American talent competition on which she used the stage name of Alanis Nadine, her first and middle names. Morissette flew to Los Angeles to appear on the show, but lost after one round. In 1988, Morissette signed a publishing deal with MCA Publishing, which helped to fund her record deal with one of its independent subsidiary labels. During her high school years, she attended Immaculata High School and Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa.
In 1986, Morissette had her first stint as an actress: eighteen episodes of the children's television show You Can't Do That on Television. She appeared on stage with the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society in 1985 and 1988.
In 1993, she appeared in the film Just One of the Girls starring Corey Haim, which she called "horrible."
In 1999, Morissette delved into acting again, for the first time since 1993, appearing as God in the Kevin Smith film Dogma and contributing the song "Still" to its soundtrack. Smith, a fan of Morissette's, asked her to be in the film several times. She had to turn down the female lead, and by the time her schedule allowed her to participate in the film, only the role of God, which involves virtually no dialogue and only an appearance at the very end of the film, was left. She also appeared in the hit HBO comedies Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and starred in the plays The Vagina Monologues
In late 2003, Morissette appeared in the off-Broadway play The Exonerated as Sunny Jacobs, a death row inmate freed after proof surfaced that she was innocent. In April 2006, MTV News reported that Morissette would reprise her role in The Exonerated in London from May 23 through May 28.
She expanded her acting credentials with the July 2004 release of the Cole Porter biographical film De-Lovely, in which she performed the song "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" and had a brief role as an anonymous stage performer. In February 2005, she made a guest appearance on the Canadian television show Degrassi: The Next Generation with Dogma co-star Jason Mewes and director Kevin Smith.
In 2006, she guest starred in an episode of Lifetime's Lovespring International as a homeless woman named Lucinda, and three episodes of FX's Nip/Tuck, playing a lesbian named Poppy.
It was announced on Morissette's website that she will be starring in a film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel Radio Free Albemuth. Morissette will play Sylvia, an ordinary woman in unexpected remission from lymphoma. She said she was a "big fan" of Dick's books, which she called "poetic and expansively imaginative", and said she "feel
During 1993, Morissette dated Dave Coulier of television's Full House fame.
Between the ages of fourteen to eighteen, Morissette suffered from anorexia and bulimia nervosa, which were catalysed by "hardcore" professional pressure and managerial demands from her work towards making her first album. She recalled returning to the studio to re-record some vocals, only to be told that the person who summoned her there wanted to discuss her weight, and that she couldn't be successful if she was fat. She lived on a diet of carrots, black coffee and Melba toast, and her weight fluctuated by fifteen to twenty pounds. She subsequently began therapy, which she called "a long process to un-program [my brain]. I try to remember, whatever my body is, it's perfect the way it is."
By mid 2004, Morissette had become an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church, a religious organization that offers anyone semi-immediate ordination as a minister free of charge. In June, Morissette announced her engagement to actor, and fellow Canadian, Ryan Reynolds. During that time, she gave an interview to the British newspaper The Mirror in which she discussed her past homosexual relationships, having dated a twenty-nine year-old man at age fourteen and, briefly, her experiences with drugs. In the article, she was quoted as saying: "My addictions were work and food. I smoked pot once in a while, but I'm too much of a control freak to be a drug person."
In February 2005, Morissette became a naturalized citizen of the United States while maintaining her Canadian citizenship. Morissette refers to herself as a Canadian-American.
In a Rolling Stone interview she revealed that she was going to spend 2006 working on a memoir. She said of her book, "it will be all the wisdom I've accrued in the thirty-one years of my life [...] A lot about relationships, fame, travel, body-image issues, spirit — with a lot of self-deprecating humor peppered throughout, 'cause I just can't help it."
In June 2006, People magazine reported that Morissette had split from her fiancé, Ryan Reynolds, but neither party confirmed the report. The following month, a source said that they were together, Contact Music reported that their split was a "rumour", and they were pictured holding hands in Los Angeles. In February 2007, representatives for Morissette and Reynolds announced that they had mutually decided to end their engagement.
In June 2008, when asked about some revealing songs on her new album, she responded, "I’ve had so many rock bottom moments in my life. I’ve hit rock bottom, but I didn’t necessarily bounce up as high right after. This one was the biggest bounce."