Aimee Mann

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Aimee Mann
Mann singing into a microphone onstage, holding an acoustic guitar
Mann in concert in October 2008
Background information
Born (1960-09-08) September 8, 1960 (age 54)
Origin Richmond, Virginia, United States
Genres Rock, folk, pop rock, alternative rock, country rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar, guitar, keyboards
Years active 1982–present
Labels SuperEgo
Associated acts 'Til Tuesday, The Both, Rush

Aimee Mann (born September 8, 1960) is an American rock singer, singer-songwriter, bassist and guitarist.


After growing up in Bon Air, Virginia, and graduating from Open High School[1] in Richmond, Virginia, in 1978, Mann enrolled in Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She dropped out of Berklee and joined the Boston punk band The Young Snakes. In 1983, the band 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 the title track inspired by Mann's breakup with Hausman.[2] It won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist.

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

In 1987, she sang vocals with Geddy Lee on the single "Time Stand Still" by rock band Rush from their 1987 album Hold Your Fire. She also appeared in the music video for the song.[2]

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.[2]


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 second 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.


Mann in concert on October 15, 2005

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 features art by Seth. The following year she released Lost in Space Special Edition, which features 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, New York.

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, contains 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 Award 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 features Grammy-nominated artwork by Gary Taxali. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 32 and on the Top Independent Albums chart at number 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, features 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 film The Fighter (2010).


The Both in Philadelphia in May 2014

In 2011, Mann joined the ninth-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 features 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 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, Mann voice acted on Steven Universe, providing the voice of Opal in episode "Giant Woman".

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 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 1986 Mann performed backing vocals on the song "The faraway nearby" of the Cyndi Lauper second album "True Colors"

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]

On 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 series Community (originally aired on January 23, 2014) contained a cover by Mann of the Styx song "Come Sail Away".[25]

November 20, 2014, Mann appeared with Dana Gould and Nick Offerman on @Midnight on Comedy Central.


  1. ^ Freewheelin' 78 A Publication of the Open High School. p. 132.
  2. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 603. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  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 December 7, 2002. Retrieved August 13, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Aimee Mann & Michael Penn". Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ "How to Beat Up Singer Aimee Mann (with a rebuttal from Aimee)". How To Beat Up Anything (January 13, 2009). Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  7. ^ "Aimee Mann – Chart History". Billboard.
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "@#%&*! Smilers". AllMusic. Retrieved April 13, 2010. 
  9. ^ "31 Today". YouTube. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  10. ^ "Aimee Mann – The LA Snark Interview". September 22, 2009.
  11. ^ "Independent Music Awards". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  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 December 25, 2010.
  14. ^ "Independent Music Awards – Past Judges". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  15. ^ Adams, Gregory (February 21, 2013). "Ted Leo and Aimee Mann Team Up as #BOTH". Exclaim!. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Lawsuit Summary – Aimee Mann v. MediaNet Digital Inc. et al". Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Aimee Mann Sues an Invisible Distributor". Forbes. August 13, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  18. ^ Thompson, Stephen (April 6, 2014). "First Listen: The Both, 'The Both'". NPR. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  19. ^ [dead link] "iTunes - Music - Matthew Sweet". Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Aimee Mann". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Mann, Barenaked Ladies to Rock 'West Wing'". Billboard. October 6, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Portlandia: Season 1, Episode 3 Aimee (4 Feb. 2011)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  23. ^ "". Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Ben Gibbard, 'Bigger Than Love' (Feat. Aimee Mann) – [Listen]". September 25, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ "A.V. Club". Community: "Geothermal Escapism". Retrieved January 25, 2014. 

External links[edit]