Paula Cole

Paula Cole

Infobox musical artist

Name = Paula Cole
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Paula Cole
Alias =
Born = Birth date and age|1968|4|5|mf=y
Origin = Rockport, Massachusetts
Instrument(s) = Vocals Piano/Keyboard
Genre = Adult contemporary, Rock
Occupation = Singer, Songwriter
Years_active = 1992—present
Label = Imago / Warner Bros. (1993–2003) Columbia (2003–2005) Decca (2006–)
Associated_acts =
URL = [ Paula Cole Official Site]

Paula Cole (born April 5, 1968 in Rockport, Massachusetts) is an American singer/songwriter. Her single "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone" reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997, and the following year she won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Early life

Cole was born to Stephanie, a visual artist, and Jim Cole, a polka-playing entomologist. She has a sister named Irene. She lived in Rockport, MA with her parents, where she attended elementary school Fact|date=June 2007. She was an active and popular student in middle school and high school, holding offices as class president and student counselor. In addition, she was very active in the school's theatre arts program, starring in many productions, among them "Flower Drum Song" and "Whose Life Is It Anyway?". She was a French Club member and traveled to France as part of a well-established exchange program founded by Foreign Language department head Mary Hayes. Cole entered the Berklee College of Music in Boston when she was 18, where she studied jazz singing and improvisation.

Recording career

Cole got her first big professional break when she was invited to perform on Peter Gabriel's 1993-1994 Secret World Live tour. Shortly after this, she was signed on with her first record company Imago Records. Through this record company, she released her first album "Harbinger" in 1994. Within that year of "Harbinger"'s release, Imago Records went out of business. This prevented Cole's album from getting radio exposure. However, she wasn't left without a record company for long. In 1995, she was signed on to Warner Bros. Records. The record company reissued "Harbinger" in the Fall of 1995.


Cole released her debut album, "Harbinger", in 1994 with Imago Records. She appeared with Melissa Etheridge to sing a duet on VH1 though she was not well-known at the time.

"Harbinger" featured songs dwelling on Cole's personal thoughts on discrimination and unhappiness. The songs were musically lush but driven and bleak. The accompanying artwork featured photographs of Cole with a boyishly short haircut, wearing loose fitting black sweatclothes, combat boots and nose ring. Unfortunately the Imago label folded and promotion of "Harbinger" was limited, affecting its sales. A single, "I Am So Ordinary", was released with a bleak, low-budget black and white video that reflected the album's artwork.

"This Fire"

In late 1996, Cole released her second album on Warner Bros. Records, "This Fire", which was entirely self-produced. The albums's debut single, "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone", became an instant smash radio (reaching #8 on Billboard magazine's pop chart) and MTV hit. The follow up single, "I Don't Want to Wait", was a #11 pop hit single, thanks in part to the fact that it was made the theme song to the popular teen drama "Dawson's Creek". The song was played so much that it was lampooned on various sketch comedy shows. Memorably, a sketch on "MTV Movie Awards" that spoofed "Dawson's Creek" had Samuel L. Jackson burst in on a romantic scene and destroy a radio playing the song. The single "Me" (#35) was also released. The title "Hush, hush, hush", a duet with Peter Gabriel talks about AIDS and about a young gay man dying in his father's comforting arms. "Feelin' Love" was included in the City of Angels soundtrack.

Cole toured with the Lilith Fair and garnered even more critical acclaim for her live performances. Cole was nominated for several Grammy awards in 1997. Among them was "Producer of the Year" (Cole was the second woman to ever be nominated in this category); she did not win it, but did win "Best New Artist".


Cole took a hiatus to have and begin raising her daughter Sky. In 1999 Cole released "Amen" with the newly formed "Paula Cole Band". The album's debut single "I Believe In Love" was initially not a success but was remixed by producer Steven Miller into a successful dance song. The album failed to match the success of "This Fire." A fourth album was recorded but the label refused to release it; in 2005 Cole uploaded one of the tracks, "Singing Out My Life," to her own website to get her sound out there. She also recorded a song called "It's My Life" during these sessions, which can be heard in Mercury automobile commercials. Cole also made a home recording of a politically charged song called "My Hero Mr. President".Fact|date=May 2007


Cole returned in June 2007 with her fourth studio album "Courage", which was released on Decca Records with strong critical praise. The album is in stark contrast to "This Fire" and "Amen" the sound is more relaxed and smooth sounding than Cole's previous albums.

Current status

Cole performed a two hour set at Berklee Performance Center in Boston, Massachusetts on February 16, 2007 during which she debuted several songs from her then yet to be released fourth studio album, "Courage". The set began with a solo piano version of "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone" which was replayed toward the end of the concert by the full band. Her performance was reviewed favorably in "The Boston Globe" on February 19, 2007. [Rodman, Sarah (February 19, 2007). "Returning to the limelight, Cole is as striking as ever". "The Boston Globe", Living/Arts [] ] In March 2007, her official [ myspace] previewed three new songs from "Courage", which include "Comin' Down", "El Greco", and the album's first single entitled "14".

On July 10, 2007 Cole sang "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch of the 2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. [ [ press release from MLB] ] [ [ this article from Broadcast News] ]

In August 2007, Cole toured with Mandy Moore, playing mid-size venues in the western United States.Updateneed

On June 17, 2008 she sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Boston. []

Audio Sample



*"Harbinger" (1994)
*"This Fire" (1996) U.S. #20
*"Amen" (1999) U.S. #97
*' (2006"')
*"Courage" (2007) U.S. #163



External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Paula Cole dotNet (a Paula Cole fansite)]
* [ Paula Cole Experiments With Rap, Stars In Indie Film]

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