Amanda Jo Abizaid (born December 28, Beirut, Lebanon) is a Lebanese American singer-songwriter. She is best known for performing the vocals on the theme song of the US TV series The 4400, Lifetime's Odd Girl Out and for composing and singing the theme song in the movies 3 Below and 13th Alley. She has also acted in a small number of independent films.
Amanda Abizaid was born in Beirut, Lebanon to an American mother and a Mexican/Lebanese father. She traveled the Middle East and Europe with her family before the age of ten, when she moved with her mother and brother to the United States. Along with her four sisters, she formed a band and developed a talent for harmonies. Her first exposure to music was Middle Eastern music combined with the late 1970s American influences of Alice Cooper, Elton John, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and The Beatles.
After moving to the US, she lived in Poughkeepsie, NY until moving to Great Falls, Virginia for high school. She later attended the Corcoran School of Art in Georgetown and then transferred to The Catholic University of America to study drama and music, while pursuing a career in hairstyling. She dropped out of college to work as a runway model with designers such as Jacques Fath, Nina Ricci, Oscar de la Renta, Alberta Ferretti, Badgley Mischka, Chloe and Bill Blass. She traveled to Paris and Germany and modeled for London designer Zandra Rhodes in the UK. Afterward, she returned to the US to live in Miami, Florida. In Miami, she met musician/songwriter Shane Soloski in the late 90's and decided to move to Los Angeles to form a band with him.
Their first gig was an open mic at Molly Malone's where she met and played with Todd Sucherman (drummer for Styx). After several open mics around Los Angeles, she and Soloski formed a band called Blue which included musicians Eric Dover (guitarist for Alice Cooper), Ron Dziubla (guitarist/saxophonist for Ricky Martin), Brian Head (drummer for Foreigner), Mike Mennell (bassist for Tom Jones) and Taylor Mills (singer for Brian Wilson). They played a series of shows in Los Angeles at The Gig and The Mint and broke up in 2001 just before releasing their first album. She then recorded and performed as a backup vocalist for Jennifer Stills and as a backup vocalist for Kathleen Bird York (known for her Oscar-nominated song "In the Deep" from Crash). Abizaid began recording vocal sessions for several TV shows with writers Stephen Phillips and Tim P. from Bosshouse Music, as well as two songs for the film Devious Beings in 2002, starring Patrick van Horn and Kevin Connolly. She was also the voice for Ally Sheedy and Charisma Carpenter on the TV show Strange Frequency starring Roger Daltrey in 2001, singing a vocal recorded duet with Sebastian Bach from the band Skid Row. Due to the success of Paramount's The 4400, New York Post author Adam Buckman wrote on August 28, 2005 "I'd like to thank two singers — one named Sia and the other named Amanda Abizaid — for making TV all the more memorable this summer."
Now an established artist in Los Angeles, Abizaid has performed as a solo artist releasing a single, two EPs and one LP working with musicians Eric Dover, Ron Dziubla, Mike Mennell, Tom Gimbel (keyboardist/saxophonist for Foreigner), Brian Head and Brian Tichy (drummer for Ozzy Osbourne). Abizaid has played shows around the Los Angeles area at The Gig, The Mint and The Rainbow, and other acoustic venues such as Genghis Cohen, Tangier and The Derby. She played at the Indiegrrl festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2012 and remains an avid supporter of women in music. She was on a compilation CD last year of women around the world called Females on Fire.
She has also written and sang songs for several independent feature films and starred in the short film Facing the Lion. As of 2013, she is working with writer/director and established editor Joe Plonsky and will be starring and performing her music in the Sci Fi trilogy Vex.
- Indiegrrl Compilation, Vol. 3 (2009, indiegrrlrecords.com)
- Females on Fire 3 (2008, Warrior Girl Music)
- Paramount's The 4400: Music from the Television Series (2007, Milan Records) featuring the theme song, "A Place in Time"
- The Great Plan, Vol. II (2005)
- In the Loop (2008)
- "Lebanon"/"Ata's Song" (2005)
- "High 5's"/"Undivided" (2005)
- The Great Plan, Vol. I (2004)