Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple

Infobox musical artist
Name = Fiona Apple

Img_capt = Fiona Apple at a concert in Seattle
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart
Born = birth date and age|1977|9|13
Manhattan, New York, United States
Origin =
Genre = Piano rock
Alternative rock
Baroque pop
Occupation = Singer-songwriter, musician
Voice_type = Contralto [ [ New Yorker] Apple’s robust contralto, though sometimes heavy on vibrato, gave her line readings a pleasingly sinister feel.] [ [,com_sdca/target,9fed826f-2ed4-4454-8c38-e3bf21043923/ San Diego Arts] Though most of her lyrics are sung in a straightforward pop contralto, she judiciously adds vibrato, sudden jumps into her head voice, and rapid reiterations of the same pitch (what academics in the classical music field call a "Monteverdi vibrato").]
Instrument = Piano, Optigan, vocals
Years_active = 1996–present
Label = Epic
URL = []

Fiona Apple (born Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart on September 13, 1977) is a Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter. She gained popularity through her 1996 album "Tidal", especially with the single "Criminal", and because of the music video made for it. Her music is rooted equally in early jazz, pop, and alt-rock and is fundamentally based on very personal poetic verses backed up with progressive production often featuring instruments such as the french horn, optigan or even a full orchestra. Apple is a vegan and a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Early life

Apple's family has roots in entertainment. Born in New York City, she 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 brother Garett 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 musical revues 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.

Apple's parents put her in therapy when she was 11, after she joked to a friend that she was going to kill her sister Amber and herself. [] The following year, she was raped on her way home from school; she would allude to the trauma years later in such songs as "Sullen Girl". []


Apple's break into the music industry came in 1994, when Apple gave a demo tape of three songs to a friend who was the babysitter for music publicist Kathryn Schenker. Schenker passed the tape along to producer and manager Andy Slater. [ [ Images - Fiona Apple ] ] Apple's rich alto voice, piano skills and lyrics got the attention of Sony Music executive Andy Slater, [ [ The Key to Success Lies in the Mix ] ] who signed her to a record deal.


In 1996 Apple's debut album, "Tidal", was released by Epic, a subsidiary of Sony. The album went on to sell 2.7 million copies [ "Loyal fans helped free Fiona Apple's CD"] . Associated Press/MSNBC Entertainment. October 5 2005.] and was certified three times platinum in the U.S. [ "Gold and Platinum Searchable Database"] .]

"Criminal", the third single, became Apple's breakthrough hit. The song reached the top forty on the U.S. "Billboard" Hot 100, while the controversial Mark Romanek-directed music video — in which a scantily-clad Apple cavorted in a '70s-era tract house — became very popular on MTV. Apple later said: "I decided if I was going to be exploited, then I would do the exploiting myself" [ Spin Magazine] . Spin Magazine, October 1997.]

Other singles from "Tidal" included "Shadowboxer", "Slow like Honey" , "Sleep to Dream", "The First Taste" and "Never Is a Promise". Her public image was tempestuous; Most notoriously, while accepting the 1997 MTV Video Music Award for "Best New Artist" for "Sleep to Dream", she proclaimed: "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", referring to the mainstream music industry. Host Chris Rock would comment on her speech later on during the program, saying, "That Fiona Apple was mad, huh? Fiona X was up here". [ [,,289482_2,00.html THE HOT ROCK | Chris Rock | Pop Culture News | News | Entertainment Weekly | 2 ] ] Though her comments were generally greeted with cheers and applause at the awards ceremony, the media backlash was immediate.

She was unapologetic, however: "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." [" The caged Bird Sings] .] 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 reacted to this parody, including the reference to her figure and her eating disorder in an article in Rolling Stone, January 1998. ["] .]

During this period Apple contributed covers of The Beatles' "Across the Universe" and Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love" to the soundtrack of the film "Pleasantville".


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 the readers' letters that appeared in "Spin" after an article had cast her in a negative light in an earlier issue. [iTunes Originals Interview, 2006] 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. [ [ Soulwax remixes] . The full title of the Soulwax compilation is "Most of the remixes we've made over the years except for the one for Einstürzende Neubauten because we lost it and a few we didn't think sounded good enough or just didn't fill in length-wise. But including some that are hard to find because either people forgot about them or simply because they haven't been released yet. A few we really love. One we think is just OK. Some we did for free. Some we did for money. Some just for ourselves without permission and some for friends as swaps but never on time and always at our studio in Ghent."]

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 Chamberlin and drummer Matt Chamberlain. [Citation
title = Seattle Weekly: Matt Chamberlain Talk About Recording With Apple
url =
accessdate = 2008-09-17
] It did not fare as well commercially as her debut, though it was an RIAA-certified platinum 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"'s Modern 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.

In 2000, at a concert at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, Apple became dissatisfied with the venue's sound and broke down on stage, berating music critics and the audience with vulgar language, before ending her set early and storming off stage. [cite news
title=Extraordinary Machines: Fiona Apple's new album
author=Sasha Frere Jones
publisher=The New Yorker
] cite news
title=Worst Onstage Meltdowns
publisher=Blender magazine
month=August | year=2006


Apple sang with Johnny Cash on a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water" that ended up on Cash's album "" and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Country Collaboration with Vocals". She also collaborated with him on Cat Stevens's "Father and Son", which was included on Cash's 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 the Paramour 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, believed to have been produced by Brion (although he later claimed the leaked tracks were "tweaked" beyond his own work citequote), went online. Although a website distributing the album was quickly taken offlineFact|date=October 2007, they soon reached P2P networks and were downloaded by fans. A fan-led campaign, Free Fiona, was launched in support of the album's official release.

In August 2005, the album was given an October release date. Production had been largely redone by Mike Elizondo, who had previously played bass on "Pawn", and co-produced by electronica experimentalist Brian Kehew. "Spin" later reported: "Fans erroneously thought that Apple's record label, Epic, had rejected the first version of "Extraordinary 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".citequote 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".citequote

The final mastering of Extraordinary Machine was performed by Brian Gardner, the released version has a far higher level of compression than any of Fionas' previous releases.

"Extraordinary Machine" became the highest-charting album of Apple's career in the U.S. on its release (debuting 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.

It was revealed in late 2005 New York Times [ " Interview: The lost Apple"] .] 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 Kehew. Elizondo 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.Fact|date=October 2007

Apple went on a live tour to promote the album in late 2005, and from early 2006 supported Coldplay on their tour of North America.

Other projects

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 "Baby, show me your fanny pack/I'll show you my fanny". [ [ Listen to this come over and get it] "" Retrieved on 05-09-07 ]

Apple recorded a cover of "Sally's Song" for the special edition release of the soundtrack, released in 2006, 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"; [ [ Decades Rock Live] ] her version was subsequently released as a digital single.

Apple toured the East Coast during August 2007 with Nickel Creek, after which she will begin studio work on her fourth studio album. [Hasty, Kate. [ "Apple, Nickel Creek Teaming For Tour"] . "Billboard". May 18 2007.] [Madison, Tjames. [ "Fiona Apple joins Nickel Creek's 'farewell' tour"] . "LiveDaily". May 17, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2008.]




Other recordings

* "Use Me" (Bill Withers) - Live version from "Bad Girl", an Apple bootleg recorded at the Phoenix Concert Theater in Ontario (1997)
* "Angel" (Jimi Hendrix) - live version from "Bad Girl"
* "Sitting in Limbo" (Jimmy Cliff) - live version from "Bad Girl"
* "Across the Universe" (Lennon/McCartney) - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture "Pleasantville" (1998, Sony), lead vocalist
* "Please Send Me Someone to Love" (Percy Mayfield) - Soundtrack to the Motion Picture "Pleasantville" (1998, Sony), lead vocalist
* "Bridge over Troubled Water" (Paul Simon) - duet with Johnny Cash from "" (2002)
* "Father and Son" (Cat Stevens) - duet with Johnny Cash from "Unearthed" (2003)
* "Frosty the Snowman" - from "Christmas Calling" (2003)
* "I Want You" (Elvis Costello) - live version from VH1's Live for Decades Rock Live!, released as an iTunes single (2006)
* "Sally's Song" (Catherine O'Hara) - from "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" Special Edition Soundtrack (2006)

Awards and nominations


* MTV Video Music Award for "Best New Artist" for "Sleep to Dream".


* MTV Video Music Award for "Best Cinematography" for "Criminal" (shared with Harris Savides).
* MTV Video Music Award nomination for "Best Female Video" for "Criminal".
* Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Criminal".
* Grammy Award nomination for "Best New Artist".
* Grammy Award nomination for "Best Rock Song" for "Criminal".


* California Area Music Award for "Best Female Vocalist" for "When the Pawn...".


* Grammy Awards nomination for "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance" for "Paper Bag", and "Best Alternative Music Album" for "When the Pawn".


* Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for "Bridge over Troubled Water" (shared with Johnny Cash).


* Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album for "Extraordinary Machine".
* New Pantheon Award nomination for "Extraordinary Machine".
* mtvU Woodie "Alumni Award" nomination for "Extraordinary Machine"




* [ "Fiona Apple's "Machine" Finally Turned On"] . "Spin". August 15, 2005.
* Luck, Otto. [ "Fiona Apple Suffers for Her Sins (and So Do We)"] . "NY Rock". November 1997. Retrieved September 23, 2005.

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Fiona Apple in Concert] rare pictures at The Grixer Music Mag
* [ 15 Minutes with Fiona Apple — fan interview]
* [ MTV Fiona Apple page]
* [ Rock on the Net: Fiona Apple]
* [,,289482_2,00.html Chris Rock on the MTV Video Music Awards]
* [ "Fiona Apple's Criminal: Video Voyeurism for the '90s"]
* [ "Fiona Apple Live a resource for concerts, television, and radio performances"]

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