Alannah Myles

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Alannah Myles
Alannah Myles(2).jpg
Background information
Born (1958-12-25) December 25, 1958 (age 56)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Origin Irish-English
Genres Rock, Pop, Blues
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter, Actress
Years active 1997–to date
Labels Atlantic Records

Alannah Myles (born December 25, 1958)[1][2][3][4][5][6] is a Canadian singer-songwriter and the daughter of Canadian broadcast pioneer William Douglas Byles (1914–1988), who was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in 1997. When she decided to pursue a career in entertainment at the age of 19 she changed her last name to Myles. After more than a decade of modelling and acting in TV commercials to pay for music demos, she weathered countless rejections in her home country of Canada before recording masters for three songs. Those songs included "Who Loves You" accompanied by a video of "Just One Kiss," directed by photographer Deborah Samuel, and matched financing from songwriting collaborator and Much Music (City TV) DJ and program director, Christopher Ward and FACTOR. Ward and Myles were involved romantically for some time but had only a professional relationship during their search for major label support. She signed her first record contract with Atlantic Records in 1987.

In the early fall of 1987, Warner Music Canada's director of artists and repertoire (A&R) Bob Roper sent the three-song video package to all of Warner Music Group's U.S. affiliates and, sight unseen, a coveted seven-year contract (with an option for eight) was offered from Atlantic Records (WMG) by head of A&R Tunc Erim and Atlantic label founder Ahmet Ertegun. Myles opted out of a lucrative acting career by co-writing and recording the remainder of her first album with collaborator Christopher Ward and producer David Tyson. In 1989, she released her self titled debut album and toured internationally for 18 months. Her first album was awarded the Diamond Award for sales of over one million units; she is the only Canadian debut artist to attain that award. Her first album was reported to have sold upwards of six million copies internationally and remains a classic-selling album to date.

Her first record, Alannah Myles, achieved top 10 hits in several countries around the world beginning with "Love Is," "Still Got This Thing for You," and her only number one 1990 hit in Canada, "Lover of Mine." Her entire repertoire, spanning 60 multi-faceted recordings, has not outshone the popularity of her fourth American 1990 single, "Black Velvet." It remained at number one for two weeks (with a bullet) on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 Chart and became a worldwide hit.[7] It also won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.[8]

In 1992, Myles was nominated for a second Grammy award for Best Rock Vocal Performance Female for the title track "Rockinghorse," which was on the flip side of her first single, "Song Instead of a Kiss," from her second CD "Rockinghorse." "Song Instead Of A Kiss" was a 60-piece orchestrated ballad that went to number one on several radio stations around the globe but was met with little response in America, which may have grown accustomed to the slow southern style of Black Velvet.


Myles began writing songs around the age of nine. She performed in a songwriting group for the Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto at age 12 and began performing solo gigs in Southern Ontario in her teens, eventually meeting Christopher Ward, a WMG recording artist and songwriter. With Ward's help, she formed her own band and performed cover versions of rock and blues songs, while polishing her own material. By the time she was in her mid-twenties, she and Ward collaborated with David Tyson to produce her self-titled debut album, "Alannah Myles." She appeared in a 1984 episode of the television series "The Kids of Degrassi Street," in which she played the role of an aspiring singer and single mother. She was featured in several other TV and film productions as a guest host and actor prior to and after her success as a recording artist.

In May 1989, Warner Music in Canada released Alannah Myles. It produced four Top 40 hits, including "Love Is", "Lover of Mine", and "Still Got This Thing", and the number-one hit "Black Velvet". In early 1990, Atlantic Records released "Black Velvet" in the U.S., making her first album ineligible for possible Grammy nomination. For Myles, "Black Velvet" became a number-one hit worldwide and was named the most played song on radio for 1989 and 1990. By 2000, it had received the ASCAP Millionaire Award for receiving airplay over five million times on the radio.[citation needed] "Black Velvet" won Myles a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance in 1991 and three Juno Awards.[9]

The year 1992 brought the follow-up album Rockinghorse, which included the hit singles "Song Instead Of A Kiss," written and composed by Myles, Nancy Simmonds, and Canadian poet Robert Priest,[10] "Our World, Our Times", and "Sonny, Say You Will." She received a Grammy nomination for Rockinghorse and several global awards, including a Juno and Much Music's People's Choice Award for "Our World, Our Times."

In 1995, Myles released her final album on Atlantic Records before being released from the label, granting Warner/Atlantic a Best Of CD after only three records. The A-lan-nah album, which contained no Top 40 singles, included two tracks which made it into the Top 100 – "Family Secret" and "Blow Wind, Blow."

In 1997, Myles terminated her 8-record contract with Atlantic Records with the help of her then-manager Miles Copeland III, who immediately signed her to his own Ark 21 Records. On Ark 21, she released A Rival, which contained the Top 40 hit "Bad 4 You," written and recorded by Myles, Desmond Child, and Eric Bazilian at Copeland's Castle Songwriting Retreat at Grand Brassac, France. The "A Rival" album agreement with Miles Copeland III, Ark 21 Records was successfully terminated in fall, 2014 with 100% copyright reversions returned to Alannah Myles by 2015 and re-released on Myles' independently owned label, Fascinate inc., digitally distributed by, with audio CDs distributed by

In February 2005, together with the Swedish band Kee Marcello's K2, she participated in the third semi-final of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Their selection, "We Got It All," scored very few points and finished seventh out of eight songs, yet it managed to dominate the leading newspaper and media headlines in Sweden.[11]

In April 2009, she released her fifth studio album Black Velvet, which featured a new recording of her song of the same name, in addition to 10 new studio recordings.[12] She discussed the subject of financing and co-producing her own album in May 2008 in an interview with Evan Solomon on the TV program CBC News: Sunday Night.[13]

In the spring of 2009, Myles released the CD Black Velvet on Linus Entertainment, which resulted in a staggered release internationally while the indie label merged with Canada's True North Records, followed by a video for the song "Trouble" featuring a jug band performance. "Trouble" was awarded an 'Honourable Mention' as a finalist in the blues category at the 2009 International Songwriting Contest.[14] Myles won the 15th annual USA Songwriting Competition for both Best Rock/Alternative Song as well as grand prize finalist for a selection, written and composed jointly with Nancy Simmonds for her "Black Velvet" CD, titled "Give Me Love."[15]

Her song Black Velvet was one of four selected to be covered on the CBC Television reality television show Cover Me Canada.[16]

After terminating her 5-year lease with Canadian indie label, Linus Entertainment in August 2013, Myles' album was retitled "85bpm" and repackaged in celebration of her 25th Anniversary in music with photo images by renowned Canadian photographer/director Deborah Samuel. A newly recorded song written by Anne Peebles and produced by Michael Borkosky and Alannah Myles, "Can't Stand The Rain," was added to 85bpm featuring a guitar solo played by the Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey, re-released on Myles' independently owned label, Fascinate inc., digitally distributed by, with audio CDs distributed by Indie Pool, Canada and a 25th Anniversary live concert DVD distributed by in the USA. Myles plans to create a fundraising campaign to record a contemporary vintage-styled blues CD featuring collaborations co-written during her 9 years of "Songwriting Mondays".


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
1989 Alannah Myles
  • Release date: March 28, 1989
  • Label: Atlantic
1 5 3 2 5 1 2 2 1
1992 Rockinghorse
  • Release date: December 19, 1992
  • Label: Atlantic Records
9 65 23 40 16
  • CAN: 2× Platinum[26]
1995 A-lan-nah
  • Release date: August 15, 1995
  • Label: Atlantic Records
47 40
1997 A Rival 40
2009 Black Velvet
  • Release date: November 18, 2009
  • Label: Linus Entertainment/True North Records
2014 85 BPM
  • Release date: April 29, 2014
  • Label: Linus Entertainment/True North Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
1999 Alannah Myles: The Very Best Of
  • Release date: April 6, 1999
  • Label: Ark 21 Records/WMG Canada/Universal Music


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
1989 "Love Is" 16 36 19 61 25 12 Alannah Myles
"Black Velvet" 2 1 1 7 2 3 3
1990 "Still Got This Thing" 28
"Lover of Mine" 2 1 78 61 47
1992 "Song Instead of a Kiss" 1 1 89 35 Rockinghorse
"Tumbleweed" 51
1993 "Our World, Our Times" 27
"Living on a Memory" 31
"Sonny Say You Will" 23 15
1995 "Family Secret" 10 8 A-lan-nah
1996 "Blow Wind Blow" 64 11
"You Love Who You Love" Two If By Sea (soundtrack)
1997 "Bad 4 You" 45 A Rival
"What Are We Waiting For? (with Zucchero) Prince Valiant (soundtrack)
2000 "Like Flames" Non-album song
2008 "Comment Ca Va" Black Velvet
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

See also[edit]


  1. ^,%2010.3.2011%20.pdf
  2. ^ "Alannah Myles – Discover music, concerts, stats, & pictures at". Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  3. ^ Barry Grills. "Alannah Myles". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-02-28. b Toronto 25 Dec 1958 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Alannah Myles | Biography". 1958-12-25. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  6. ^ "Alannah Myles music". 1958-12-25. Retrieved 2013-02-28. born December 25, 1958, Toronto, Ontario 
  7. ^ Mann, Brent (2003). 99 Red Balloons…and 100 Other All-Time Great One-Hit Wonders. New York City: Citadel Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN 978-0-8065-2516-7. OCLC 56794239. 
  8. ^ "Alannah Myles". Past winners search. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  9. ^ Crenna, Carol. "Meaning of Success: Canadian Singer Alannah Myles". Vista Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  10. ^ New, William H (2002). Encyclopedia of literature in Canada. University of Toronto Press. p. 902. ISBN 978-0-8020-0761-2. OCLC 47689945. 
  11. ^ "Melodifestivalen 2005 – Deltävling 3 [Third Semi-Final]". Gylleneskor. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  12. ^ "Alannah Myles reclaims 'Black Velvet' with modern reworking". The Telegram. The Canadian Press. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  13. ^ "Alannah Myles". CBC News: Sunday Night. CBC News. 2008-05-11. Archived from the original on 29 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  14. ^ "Previous winners". International Songwriting Contest. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  15. ^ "2010 Results". USA Songwriting Competition. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  16. ^ "New CBC reality contest to focus on Canadian music". CBC News. 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  17. ^ "Search Results – RPM – Alannah Myles Top Albums". RPM (magazine). Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  18. ^ "allmusic ((( Alannah Myles > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  19. ^ "Chart Stats – Alannah Myles". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  20. ^ " – Australian charts portal". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  21. ^ " – New Zealand charts portal". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  22. ^ " – Norwegian charts portal". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  23. ^ " – Swedish charts portal". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  24. ^ " – Austria Top 40". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  25. ^ "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  26. ^ a b "Canadian Recording Industry Association Search Results". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  27. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – March 14, 2010: Alannah Myles certified albums". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  28. ^ a b "BPI Search Results". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  29. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – July 24, 2010: Alannah Myles certified singles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 

External links[edit]