Aimee Mann

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Aimee Mann
Mann singing into a microphone onstage, holding a bass guitar
Aimee Mann in concert on October 15, 2005.
Background information
Born (1960-09-08) September 8, 1960 (age 53)
Origin Richmond, Virginia, United States
Genres Rock, folk, Alternative rock, Country rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, bass guitar, keyboards
Years active 1982–present
Labels SuperEgo
Associated acts 'Til Tuesday, The Both

Aimee Mann (born September 8, 1960) is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist and bassist. In the 1980s, Mann sang in the Boston new wave band 'Til Tuesday until she left to begin a solo career in the early 1990s.[1] In 1999, Mann recorded original songs for the soundtrack to the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia, for which she was nominated for Academy Award and Grammy Award nominations. She has released seven solo albums.


After growing up in Bon Air, Virginia, and graduating from Open High School[2] in Richmond, Virginia in 1978, Mann enrolled in Berklee College of Music in Boston. She dropped out of Berklee and joined the Boston punk band The Young Snakes. In 1983 they released the EP Bark Along with The Young Snakes. In 1983 she co-founded the new wave band 'Til Tuesday with Berklee classmate and boyfriend Michael Hausman (who went on to manage her solo career).

In 1985 the band released Voices Carry, the debut album with a title track inspired by Mann's breakup with Hausman.[1] It won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist.

In 1986 the band released Welcome Home, their sophomore album.

In 1987 she sang vocals with Geddy Lee on the song Time Stand Still by rock band Rush from their 1987 album and tour Hold Your Fire.

In 1988 the band released Everything's Different Now, their third and final album. Shortly after its release, Mann said that she was much more pleased with it than the debut, primarily because she felt it made more of a personal statement about her life.[3] The band broke up in 1990 when Mann left to start her solo career.[1]


In 1993 Mann released Whatever, her debut solo album, which sold modestly but met with critical praise. In 1995 Mann released I'm with Stupid, her sophomore album, through Geffen Records[4] which, like her debut, garnered positive reviews but modest commercial success.

In 1997 Mann married songwriter Michael Penn (brother of actors Sean Penn and Chris Penn), whom she met in the 1980s. They courted while Mann was recording Whatever.

In 1999 Mann recorded original material for the soundtrack to the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia, which earned both Academy Award and Grammy Award nominations for the song "Save Me." She also negotiated a contract release from David Geffen and founded her own label, SuperEgo Records.


In 2000, Mann released Bachelor No. 2, released on SuperEgo, which included some songs from Magnolia and new material. Also that year, she and her husband formed a concept called Acoustic Vaudeville, a mixture of music and stand-up comedy; among the comedians joining them for shows were Janeane Garofalo, Patton Oswalt, and David Cross.[5]

In 2001, she joined the judging panel for the 1st Annual Independent Music Awards.

In 2002 Mann released Lost in Space, an album which featured art by Seth. The following year she released Lost in Space Special Edition, which featured a second disc containing six live recordings (including a version of Coldplay's "The Scientist") as well as two B-sides and two previously unreleased songs.

In 2004 Mann released Live at St. Ann's Warehouse, a live album and DVD recorded at a series of shows in Brooklyn.

In 2005 Mann released The Forgotten Arm, a concept album set in the 1970s about two lovers who meet at the Virginia State Fair and go on the run. The Joe Henry-produced album, which was recorded mostly live with few overdubs, contained illustrations which reflected Mann's interest in boxing. She trained with the boxing trainer Freddie Roach;[6] the album's title is derived from a boxing move in which one arm is used to hit the opponent, causing him to "forget" about the other, which is then used to deliver a harsher blow. The following year Mann received a Grammy for "Best Recording Package" for the album's artwork (shared with Gail Marowitz).

In 2006 Mann released One More Drifter in the Snow, a Christmas album featuring both covers and new songs. The album's iTunes version replaced "Christmastime" (a duet with husband Michael Penn) with a cover of Joni Mitchell's "River" and "Clean Up for Christmas" from The Forgotten Arm; an updated version of the CD was released two years later with the Joni Mitchell cover.

In 2008 Mann released @#%&*! Smilers, which featured Grammy-nominated artwork by Gary Taxali. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at #32 and on the Top Independent Albums chart at #2.[7] @#%&*! Smilers was met with mostly praise, with Billboard stating that it "pops with color, something that gives it an immediacy that's rare for an artist known for songs that subtly worm their way into the subconscious... Smilers grabs a listener, never making him or her work at learning the record, as there are both big pop hooks and a rich sonic sheen."[8] The music video for the song "31 Today," directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, featured comedienne Morgan Murphy.[9]

In 2009 Mann announced that she was working on a musical based on her album The Forgotten Arm[10] but later stated that it was put on hold owing to similarities to The Fighter.


In 2011 Mann joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to promote independent musicians.[11][12][13] She was also an inaugural member of the panel in 2002.[14]

In 2012 Mann released Charmer, an album which featured a duet with James Mercer of The Shins.

In February 2013 Mann and Ted Leo started playing together in a collaborative project called #BOTH and have scheduled shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco.[15]

On July 22, 2013 Mann filed a lawsuit against MediaNet Digital Inc. seeking damages for copyright infringement.[16] If successful she could be awarded as much as $18 million in statutory damages.[17]

In 2014, she appeared as the character 'Opal', a hybrid Crystal Gem of Pearl and Amethyst, in the cartoon series Steven Universe.

In April 2014, her collaboration with Ted Leo, The Both, released their first album.[18]


Other appearances[edit]

In 1986, Mann provided backing vocals to Inside, the debut album of Matthew Sweet.[19] In 1987, Mann provided backing vocals to the song "Time Stand Still" on the Rush album Hold Your Fire and also appeared in the song's music video.[1] In 1995 she recorded "One" on the album For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson and in 1996 "Baby Blue" on the Badfinger tribute album Come and Get It. In 1997 Mann recorded "Nobody Does It Better" on the album Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project. In 1998 Mann appeared in the film The Big Lebowski as a German nihilist who sacrificed her green nail polished right little toe.[20]

In 2002, Mann and her band appeared as themselves in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, performing her songs "This Is How It Goes" and "Pavlov's Bell" at The Bronze. She has one line in the episode: "Man, I hate playing vampire towns"; the latter song also appears on the Buffy soundtrack album Radio Sunnydale. Also that year, she and her band appeared on The West Wing, where they performed a cover of James Taylor's "Shed a Little Light" at a Rock the Vote concert.[21]

In 2004, Mann contributed vocals to the song "That's Me Trying" from William Shatner's album Has Been (co-written and produced by Ben Folds). In 2005 Mann joined Artists Against Piracy, a group formed to act against the illegal downloading and file sharing of copyrighted music from the internet. Mann, Penn, and Hausman took their experience with SuperEgo to found the independent music collective United Musicians, which is based on the principle that every artist should be able to retain copyright ownership of the work he or she has created, in contrast to normal music industry contracts.[citation needed]

In 2006, Mann appeared on an episode of the television series Love Monkey. In 2007, she contributed two original songs, "The Great Beyond" and "At the Edge of the World," for the soundtrack to Arctic Tale.[citation needed]

In 2008, Mann appeared in the Comedy Central series Lewis Black's Root of All Evil in a comedic interview conducted by comedian Paul F. Tompkins.

In 2009, her song "Wise Up" was used in "Spanish 101", episode 1.02 of the NBC sitcom Community.

In 2011, she appeared (as a cleaning woman version of herself) on the Independent Film Channel series Portlandia.[22]

In Steve Vai's 2012 album The Story of Light, she is featured on vocals with Vai on the song "No More Amsterdam".

In 2012, Mann contributed vocals on the song "Two Horses" for the film Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. That same year, she contributed lyrics and vocals on the song "No More Amsterdam" for the Steve Vai album The Story Of Light. Her song "Wise Up" was used for an organ donor campaign in Ontario.[23] She contributed vocals to the song "Bigger Than Love" on Ben Gibbard's album Former Lives.[24]

In 2013, she had a cameo on the April 8 episode of The Daily Show in a mock appeal to preserve the "habitat" of the crab louse, in a comedy segment about pubic shaving.

In 2014, Mann voice acted on Steven Universe , providing the voice of Opal in episode "Giant Woman".

The season 5 episode entitled "Geothermal Escapism" of the television show Community (originally aired on January 23, 2014) contained a cover by Mann of the Styx song "Come Sail Away".[25]


  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 603. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ "Freewheelin' 78 A Publication of the Open High School," p. 132
  3. ^ Baldwin, Dawn (January 1987)"Aimee Mann Not Waiting 'Til Tuesday," Nine-O-One Network Magazine, pp. 7-9
  4. ^ "Aimee Mann – Current Activities". United Musicians. Archived from the original on 2002-12-07. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  5. ^ "Aimee Mann & Michael Penn". Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  6. ^ How To Beat Up Singer Aimee Mann (with a rebuttal from Aimee). How To Beat Up Anything (2009-01-13). Retrieved on 2010-12-25.
  7. ^ – Artist Chart History – Aimee Mann,
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "@#%&*! Smilers". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "31 Today". YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-12-25.
  10. ^ Aimee Mann – The LA Snark Interview, 22 September 2009
  11. ^ "Independent Music Awards". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ She & Him, The Black Keys, Mark Hoppus, Aimee Mann And Bettye LaVette Join Judging Panel For The 9th Annual Independent Music Awards @ - Songs from 49 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 30 Countries. Retrieved on 2010-12-25.
  14. ^ "Independent Music Awards – Past Judges". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  15. ^ Adams, Gregory (2013-02-21). "Ted Leo and Aimee Mann Team Up as #BOTH • News •". Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  16. ^ "Lawsuit Summary - Aimee Mann v. MediaNet Digital Inc. et al". Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  17. ^ "Aimee Mann Sues An Invisible Distributor". Forbes. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  18. ^ Thompson, Stephen (2014-04-06). "First Listen: The Both, 'The Both'". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  19. ^ "iTunes - Music - Matthew Sweet". 1964-10-06. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  20. ^ "Aimee Mann". Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  21. ^ "Mann, Barenaked Ladies To Rock 'West Wing'". Billboard. 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  22. ^ "Portlandia: Season 1, Episode 3 Aimee (4 Feb. 2011)". Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  23. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  24. ^ "Ben Gibbard, ‘Bigger Than Love’ (Feat. Aimee Mann) – [Listen]". 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  25. ^ "A.V. Club". Community: "Geothermal Escapism". Retrieved 25 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

American rock singer-songwriters]]