Born in Jamestown, New York, singer, piano player and songwriter Natalie Anne Merchant, joined the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981. She left the group in 1993 to pursue a solo career.
As a child, Natalie's mother listened to popular and classical music and encouraged her children to study music. Her mother took her to the symphony often but also to rock concerts.
Natalie left school at 16, and worked in a health food store. In 1981 she started singing for a band called Still Life, which later became 10,000 Maniacs. Merchant was lead singer and primary lyricist for the group.
Merchant has said in interviews that after her split with 10,000 Maniacs she was so eager to begin writing her own material that she went home that very day and composed the song “I May Know The Word,” which was originally meant to appear on the soundtrack to the Tom Hanks movie, Philadelphia. The song was eventually cut from the soundtrack, but appeared on Merchant’s debut solo album, Tigerlily, which was released in 1995.
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Her latest album, Leave Your Sleep was released on April 13, 2010. It is a compilation of five years of inspiration from a "conversation" with her daughter over the "first 6 years of her life." The album debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at No. 17, Billboard Folk Albums at No. 1 and No. 3 on Amazon.com.
Tigerlily was a critical and commercial success, spawning her first top-ten hit in the single "Carnival,", and achieving top-forty success with subsequent singles "Wonder" and "Jealousy." The album sold over 5 million copies, and continues to be Merchant’s most successful album to date.
For more about Natalie, visit her Website at -