|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (June 2010)|
Aaron performing in Toronto (1987)
|Birth name||Karen Lynn Greening|
July 21, 1962 |
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
|Genres||Hard rock, jazz|
Lee Aaron (born Karen Lynn Greening, July 21, 1962) is a Canadian rock and jazz singer. She had several hits in the 1980s and early 1990s such as "Metal Queen", "Whatcha Do to My Body" and "Sex with Love".
Lee Aaron was born in Belleville, Ontario, and began singing in school musicals at the age of five. She was discovered singing in a music production when she was fifteen years old, and was asked to join a local rock group called "Lee Aaron" while still in high school in Brampton, Ontario. Aaron sang, played alto saxophone and keyboards in this first incarnation of the band.
At age seventeen, Aaron's face was badly bruised and her nose broken in a car accident. No surgery was required, but years later, in a profile on Aaron, Canadian Musician Magazine mistakenly embellished the incident into Aaron requiring complete facial reconstruction. The magazine printed a retraction in the following month's issue.
Aaron's debut 1982 album The Lee Aaron Project on Freedom Records (later reissued on Attic) featured a who's who of the Toronto music scene, with members of Moxy, Riff Raff, Santers, and Triumph's Rik Emmett. The album, available in England only as an import, created a groundswell of interest that resulted in Aaron's appearance that year at the Reading Festival.
In late 1982, Aaron flew to New York and posed topless for the men's magazine OUI. The magazine's March 1983 issue featured Aaron on the cover and in an interview. Aaron later concluded that posing for the magazine damaged her musical credibility; she regretted the decision and assigned blame for it to pressure from her manager.
1984's recording of the album Metal Queen resulted in a multi-album deal with Attic Records. During the recording of Metal Queen, guitarist John Albani joined the band and he and Aaron formed a solid songwriting partnership that would last eleven years.
Between 1984 and 1992, Aaron toured almost non-stop, including over twenty European tours and appearances in Japan and the US. She released six albums on Attic Records in Canada, as well as international releases in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Benelux, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia and Japan. She has won three Toronto Music Awards for Best Female Vocalist, ten Juno nominations, and topped dozens of European music polls.
In 1992, Aaron left Attic Records to start her own label, Hip Chic Music, and released two more albums. On 1994's Emotional Rain (distributed by A & M Canada) Aaron worked with Don Short and Don Binns (Sons of Freedom), Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie's Tin Machine), and Knox Chandler (The Psychedelic Furs).
1995's 2preciious was a project record written with members of Sons of Freedom. It was critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful, as she tried to drop the name "Lee Aaron" entirely and use her real name, Karen.
In 1997, she began exploring jazz and blues.
In 2000, she released Slick Chick, again on her own imprint, Barking Dog Music (with distribution by Fusion 3). Aaron played extensively for this release, showcasing at The Top of the Senator in Toronto and numerous jazz festivals across Canada and Europe.
In 2002, Aaron was approached to audition with the Modern Baroque Opera Company. She was cast and appeared that year in an ALCAN Performing Arts Award-winning production called 101 Songs for the Marquis De Sade.
Her eleventh album, Beautiful Things, a pop-jazz hybrid, was released in 2004.
Lee Aaron continues to play both rock and selected jazz shows. On June 11, 2011, after 30 years in the business, she made her first appearance on Swedish soil when she played the Sweden Rock Festival.
- 1982: The Lee Aaron Project; Freedom Records
- 1984: Metal Queen; Attic
- 1985: Call of the Wild; Attic
- 1987: Lee Aaron; Attic
- 1989: Bodyrock; Attic
- 1991: Some Girls Do; Attic
- 1992: Powerline: The Best of Lee Aaron; Attic
- 1994: Emotional Rain; Hip Chic
- 1996: 2preciious; Spastic Plastic
- 2000: Slick Chick; Barking Dog
- 2004: Beautiful Things; Faithful Productions
- 2005: Museum: Videos, Clips and More 1997–2005
- 2008: Rarities, Studio & Live: 1981–2008
- 2012: Live in Sweden (DVD)
- 2012: Radio Hitz and More... (compilation)
- "Lee Aaron Official Biography".
- Canadian Musician (magazine) (Norris Publications). April 1987. ISSN 0708-9635.
- "CANOE JAM! Music - Pop Encyclopedia - Aaron, Lee". Jam.Canoe.ca. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
- Canadian Musician (magazine) (Norris Publications). May 1987. ISSN 0708-9635.
- "A Lee Aaron biography". MTS.net. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
- "Lee Aaron interview". Full In Bloom Music.com. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- "Juno Awards". junoawards.ca.
- "The Canadian Encyclopedia - Aaron, Lee". TheCanadianEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
- "Lee Aaron". LeeAaron.com.
- "Sweden Rock Festival". swedenrock.com.
- Official website
- Bio at CanadianBands.com CanConRox entry
- JAM! Music - Pop Encyclopedia
- Historical Reference Interview with Lee Aaron
- The Canadian Encyclopedia: Lee Aaron