Michelle Branch

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Michelle Branch
Michelle Branch Centennial Concert.jpg
Branch in January 2010
Background information
Birth name Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch
Also known as Michelle Branch Landau
Michelle Landau
Born (1983-07-02) July 2, 1983 (age 31)
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Genres Pop, rock, pop rock, country, acoustic
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, actress
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1998–present
Labels Maverick Reprise Nashville
Associated acts Hanson, Santana, The Wreckers, Chris Isaak, Justincase, Timbaland
Website www.MichelleBranch.com
Notable instruments
Taylor 614ce
Gibson Hummingbird

Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch (born July 2, 1983) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. During the early 2000s, she released two top-selling albums, The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper. She won a Grammy with Santana for "The Game of Love".

In 2005, she formed the country music duo The Wreckers with friend and fellow musician Jessica Harp, and produced the Grammy-nominated single "Leave the Pieces". The Wreckers disbanded in 2007 to pursue their respective solo careers.

Life and career[edit]

A 24 second sample of Branch's debut single, "Everywhere".

Problems playing this file? See media help.
Branch in August 2003.
Branch performing in October 2003.
Michelle Branch (center) during a June 2007 concert with Jessica Harp (right) as The Wreckers.
Branch performing in August 2009.
Branch in August 2009.

1983–2000: Early life & Broken Bracelet[edit]

Branch was born on July 2, 1983, in Phoenix, Arizona,[1][2] to David and Peggy Branch, six months after they were married.[3] Her father is Irish, and her mother is of Dutch-Indonesian ("Indo") and French descent.[3][4] Her siblings include an older half-brother named David and a younger sister named Nicole.

Beginning to sing at the age of three, Branch enrolled in voice lessons at Northern Arizona University when she was eight,[3][5][6] and received her first guitar for her fourteenth birthday.[1][2][6] After teaching herself chords, she composed her first song "Fallen" within a week of receiving her guitar.[7] She initially attended Sedona Red Rock High School,[5] but finished the last two years of her high school education through home schooling so that she could focus on her music career.[6] To support Branch's interests, her parents helped her book local gigs in Sedona, Arizona, and later financed her independent album Broken Bracelet.[6] Her set list at these gigs included covers of songs by Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb, Jewel, and Fleetwood Mac.[7]

In June 2000, Branch self-produced Broken Bracelet,[3] a compilation of songs she wrote when she was 14 and 15;[4] the album was released on the independent record label Twin Dragon Records.[3][4] Its title was inspired from a bracelet made by pop singer Jewel, given to Branch by musician Steve Poltz at a Lisa Loeb concert she attended. Poltz told Branch that "when it breaks, you'll be famous."[3] The Broken Bracelet recordings were destroyed in the Nashville floods in May 2010.[8]

In December 1999, she posted two of her songs on the Rolling Stone website, which caught the attention of both pop rock band Hanson and former Rolling Stone writer and Los Angeles record producer Jeff Rabhan, eventually leading to two gigs opening for Hanson in 2000.[3]

2001–04: The Spirit Room[edit]

In 2001, Branch signed a recording deal with Maverick Records,[3][4][6] where she began working with John Shanks to produce her first album and major-label debut.[9] The album, The Spirit Room, was released in August 2001,[4][9] producing the hit single "Everywhere." The single was a commercial success, winning the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards Viewer's Choice Award.[10] "Everywhere" was later followed by singles "All You Wanted" and "Goodbye to You." In August 2001, she appeared on Total Request Live after "Everywhere" reached No. 4 on their charts. Due to the mainstream success of those released singles, The Spirit Room was certified Double Platinum by the RIAA for selling over two million copies in the United States. Michelle also sang in Hanson's 2004 album, Underneath in the song, "Deeper". VH1 released Branch's Pop-Up Video for her song "All You Wanted".

Branch met Justincase before her debut on Maverick Records, becoming friends over the Internet before meeting in Las Vegas for a music convention in 2000.[11] Justincase was signed to Maverick Records in late 2001 with the help of Branch.[12][13][14] A self-titled debut album on October 29, 2002 which included several collaborations with Michelle Branch—including the lead single, "Don't Cry for Us"—who promoted the album on MTV's Total Request Live.[15] In 2002, she teamed up with Santana, alongside songwriters Gregg Alexander and Rick Nowels to produce the song "The Game of Love,"[2][4][16] which went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.[1][10] She also earned a Grammy nomination in 2003 for Best New Artist,[10] which was won by Norah Jones.

2003–05: Hotel Paper[edit]

Her second album Hotel Paper was released in 2003, and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 charts and matched the commercial success of her debut album earning a Platinum certification by the RIAA for selling over a million copies.[17] However, the album was met with mixed reviews. The lead single "Are You Happy Now?" was a chart success, earning her a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance,[10] though she was ultimately edged out by Pink's "Trouble." The following singles, however, "Breathe" and "'Til I Get over You," did not match the first single's success. Branching out into television, she appeared in several shows, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Dreams, and Charmed. In June 2004, she hosted MTV's "Faking the Video" alongside Nick Lachey and JC Chasez. She also appeared in the Rob Schneider film The Hot Chick.

2005–07: The Wreckers[edit]

In July 2005, Branch began collaborating with her backup singer and longtime friend Jessica Harp.[2][18][19][20] They were initially known as "The Cass County Homewreckers" as a joke by Branch's husband,[21] but they trimmed it down to The Wreckers.[18] Their album attempted to combine their respective genres—pop rock and country. It was originally slated for release in June 2005 but was delayed because of reasons surrounding Branch's pregnancy.[2] The duo's first single "Leave the Pieces" was released in February, 2006, while their album Stand Still, Look Pretty was released in May.[18]

During this period, they contributed to Santana's album All That I Am, with the song "I'm Feeling You,"[18] appearing on the American teen television drama One Tree Hill,[2] and joined country music stars Rascal Flatts on a U.S. tour.[19][20] They initially toured with Gavin DeGraw, Tyler Hilton and Bethany Joy Galeotti which was also written into the show during the second season.[18] The group was nominated for the 2006 CMA Awards Vocal Duo of the Year and for a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal[1][10] for the song "Leave the Pieces" in December, 2006. Stand Still, Look Pretty was certified Gold by the RIAA with sales of 851,000 copies as of March 2009. The Wreckers split in 2007.[1]

Branch sold her Calabasas home and moved to Nashville.[22][23]

2008-12: Unreleased albums[edit]

Immediately thereafter, Branch wrote an unreleased song for Mandy Moore's 2007 album Wild Hope,[24] and also wrote "Together" for the soundtrack of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2; it was also featured as the final song ever played on the CBS TV soap opera, Guiding Light. In October 2007, she announced that she was working on a new solo album and later reported the title would be Everything Comes and Goes.[1] In June 2008, she played several live shows in preparation for the album's release with her sister Nicole singing backing vocals.

In early 2009, she sang the song "I Lose My Heart" in a duet with Chris Isaak on his new album Mr. Lucky.[25] A video for the first single from the album "Sooner Or Later" was released on July 28, 2009. Also in 2009, she recorded "A Case of You" (originally by Joni Mitchell) for the compilation Covered, A Revolution in Sound which commemorated Warner Bros. Records 50th anniversary.[26] A video was made for the song "This Way" and uploaded to Branch's official YouTube account in October 2009,[27] but it was not released as a single and did not chart. (The video was included on a limited edition DVD entitled The Video Anthology available on michellebranch.com.)[28] Everything Comes and Goes was finally released as a six-track extended play on July 16, 2010, via Branch's website and would be available at all retailers one month later.[29] In 2010, Branch and R&B/hip-hop producer Timbaland collaborated on a pop/R&B song entitled "Getaway" and released a video.[30]

In December 2010, Branch announced her return to her pop/rock roots for her new album,[31] which is titled West Coast Time.[32] In early 2011, Branch released three previously unreleased songs from Everything Comes and Goes including, "Texas In the Mirror", "Take a Chance on Me", and "Long Goodbye", the latter a duet with Dwight Yoakam. On March 22, 2011 in a video regarding updates on the third studio album uploaded via Branch's YouTube account, Branch confirmed that half the album is finished and added that "it's sounding really really good....it's all going well and it's all on time."[33] On April 14, 2011 it was announced that Branch had finished recording the album, she also added that "only mixing/mastering left. Michelle practiced and recorded a few tracks with Tilted Head and FIVE lead singer Joshua Barton, however it is still a work in progress."[34] On May 26, 2011, Branch hosted a live webchat with fans in which she previewed her new single "Loud Music", which was released to the iTunes Store on June 14, 2011. The song was co-written and produced by British writers Jim Irvin and Julian Emery who collaborated with Michelle on several songs on the album. In the webcast, Branch also mentioned songs on the album called "Mastermind" and "The Story Of Us" and also added that "Through The Radio" would be a hidden track on the CD. In a previous webcast, she premiered a song from the album called "Spark." During a live outdoor performance at the Warner Brothers building she performed another new song, dedicated to her husband Teddy Landau, "For Dear Life." In June 2011, she released the album's first single titled "Loud Music." It has charted on the Adult Pop Songs chart. On July 12, 2011, Branch performed "God Bless America" at the MLB All-Star Game, in Phoenix, Arizona. In September, a new song "Another Sun" was featured on Fox's TV series Terra Nova.[35] On October 29, 2011, she gave a small concert to approximately 200 fans at the Egyptian Room in downtown Indianapolis, as part of the Gravedigger's Ball. On December 12, 2011, Branch released a song titled "If You Happen to Call" for free download on the official website.[36]

In February 2012, VH1 hosted the "100 Greatest Women In Music" special and she was nominated in both the "Pop" category and the "Greatest Female Artist of All Time." On April 3, 2012, Michelle Branch performed "Leave the Pieces" with Kelly Clarkson in Los Angeles as part of Clarkson's "Stronger Tour." On September 5, the singer premiered new pop-rock track "Mastermind" [37] In September 2012, Michelle Branch joined Chef Michael Mina as a co-host of Cook Taste Eat, an online cooking show that aims to teach viewers how to cook quality food at home.[38]

As with her previous album, Everything Comes and Goes, West Coast Time has seen numerous delays for, as yet, unknown reasons. Branch has confirmed on her Twitter that she knows as much as the fans do about this. In January 2011, Branch confirmed in an interview with Katie Krause from Hollywire.com that the album would be released later that year.[39] On June 1, 2011, Branch announced that the album is called West Coast Time and slated for a September 2011 release date. On December 25, 2012, Branch confirmed that West Coast Time was scheduled for release in Spring 2013, but the album has not yet been released.[40][41]

2013–present: New album[edit]

For much of 2013, Branch has been writing songs and moving on from the unreleased West Coast Time. On November 5, 2013, Branch announced that she has started recording a new album in London with Martin Terefe.[42] On February 2, 2014 she confirmed on Twitter that the rest of the album will be recorded in Nashville for a pop-rock sound.[citation needed]

Musical style and influence[edit]

She states that her music has been influenced by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, Lisa Loeb, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Fleetwood Mac and Cat Stevens.[3][43][44] Also she likes classical music and older country music.[16][20] Branch mainly uses a Gibson Hummingbird after retiring her blue Taylor 614ce.[45][46]

Personal life[edit]

Branch married her bass player Teddy Landau in Mexico on May 23, 2004,[1][18][47] and gave birth to a baby girl named Owen Isabelle on August 3, 2005.[48] Branch separated from her husband Teddy Landau in 2014 and is currently dating Chris Null, the bassist for Dead Sara [49]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

EPs

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Herself / Musical Guest Episode: "Tabula Rasa"
2002 American Dreams Lesley Gore Episode: "The End of the Innocence"
The Hot Chick DJ
2003 Charmed Herself / Musical Guest Episode: "Centennial Charmed"
2005 One Tree Hill Episode: "The Hero Dies In This One"
2010 Hell's Kitchen Herself Episode: "16 Chefs Compete"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Branch has won one award from four nominations.

Year Recipient Award Result
2003 Michelle Branch Best New Artist Nominated
"The Game of Love" Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Won
2004 "Are You Happy Now?" Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
2007 "Leave the Pieces" Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated

MTV Video Music Award[edit]

The MTV Video Music Awards were established in 1984 by MTV to celebrate the top music videos of the year. Branch received three nominations.

Year Recipient Award Result
2002 "All You Wanted" Best Female Video Nominated
Best Pop Video Nominated
"Everywhere" Viewer's Choice Won

Other awards[edit]

Year Organization Award[10] Result
2003 IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music Awards Top 10 Best Selling Foreign Albums (as Hotel Paper) Won
2006 Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year (as The Wreckers) Nominated
2007 MusicRow Awards Major Label Breakout Artist of the Year (as The Wreckers) Won
R&R Readers' Poll Best New Performer (as The Wreckers) Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Official bio, retrieved December 2, 2009 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Remz, Jeffrey (November 2006), The Wreckers clean up, Country Standard Time, retrieved December 2, 2009 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fried, Paul. "Michelle Branch". Red Rock Review.com. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Mike Kai (November 25, 2003). "A Conversation with Michelle Branch". asianconnections.com. 
  5. ^ a b Music Review: The Spirit Room, Michelle Branch 
  6. ^ a b c d e Melissa Worden (September 14, 2001). "Breakout: Michelle Branch". USA Today. 
  7. ^ a b Prato, Alison (April 2010), "Homeward Bound", Inked Magazine: 59–62 
  8. ^ Tim Nudd (May 5, 2010), Nashville Floods Claim Grand Ole Opry, Benny Labamba, retrieved May 6, 2010 
  9. ^ a b "Billboard Biography: Michelle Branch". Billboard. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Michelle Branch. "Awards and nominations of Michelle Branch". Michellebranch.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ Singer, Kristi (October 25, 2002). "Three siblings ready to rock", The Star-News, p. 12.
  12. ^ McCartney, Kelly. "Justincase: Review", Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  13. ^ (November 26, 2002). "Early family lifestyle influences rock band: Although the teen group justincase can cite many musical influences on their career, one of the strongest is from their tight family and the music they heard at home", Charlottetown Guardian, p. C6.
  14. ^ Campbell, Chuck (November 15, 2002). "justincase: justincase", Knoxville News Sentinel, p. 18.
  15. ^ Menconi, David (March 1, 2003). "North Carolina boasts a host of artists, labels and studios that have gained national attention and hope to attract more", Billboard 115 (9): 17–18.
  16. ^ a b Rollingstone.com[dead link] Rolling Stone magazine, June 17, 2003 Retrieved on 02-24-08
  17. ^ "Billboard Chart History: Hotel Paper". Billboard. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f Tecson, Brandee (March 14, 2005), Michelle Branch No Longer Wrecking Homes, MTV Network 
  19. ^ a b Finan, Eileen (June 12, 2006), "The Wreckers Michelle Branch & Jessica Harp", People (Time Inc.), retrieved December 2, 2009 
  20. ^ a b c CMT.com: Marty Robbins: The Wreckers Won't Stand Still [dead link]
  21. ^ Print Email This (2009-04-30). "Band Name Stories: The Wreckers". The Boot. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  22. ^ "Singer, songwriter and guitarist Michelle Branch sells her five-bedroom, 5,296-square-foot (492.0 m2) house in Calabasas, CA for $2.94M; now lives in Nashville, TN". Big Time Listings. November 7, 2007. Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2008. 
  23. ^ Wood, E. Thomas (February 5, 2008). "Headline homes: Nashville's top 10 sales, January 2008". NashvillePost.com. Retrieved February 5, 2008. [dead link]
  24. ^ Orzeck, Kur (2007-06-19), White Stripes Look To Crush Mandy Moore's Wild Hope, In New Releases, retrieved March 16, 2010 
  25. ^ "Chris Isaak's New Album Features Michelle Branch, Trisha Yearwood", CMT (MTV Networks), February 23, 2009 
  26. ^ "Warner Acts Go Covers Crazy For Compilation". Billboard. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  27. ^ "". "Michelle Branch – "This Way" Official Music Video". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  28. ^ The Video Anthology Limited Edition DVD, retrieved August 6, 2010 
  29. ^ Millegan, Lisa (2010-07-02). "Singer-songwriter Michelle Branch has spread her musical wings to country – Life". Modbee.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  30. ^ Timbaland & Michelle Branch (2010-06-08). "Getaway". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  31. ^ new-album[dead link]
  32. ^ Billboard: Michelle Branch, The Making of New Album 'West Coast Time'
  33. ^ "YouTube – Michelle Branch – Thanks for the Tweets‏". Youtube. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  34. ^ Published Thursday, Apr 14, 2011, 5:56 am EDT (April 14, 2011). "Michelle Branch finishes third solo album – Music News – Digital Spy". Digitalspy.ca. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  35. ^ TERRA NOVA - Michelle Branch "Another Sun" Music Video 
  36. ^ "Happy Holidays - Download "Happen To Call"". December 12, 2011. 
  37. ^ Michelle Branch is back with "Mastermind" 
  38. ^ Katz, Lena (7 December 2012). "Cook Taste Eat | Cooking Lessons From Celebrity Chef Michael Mina". JustLuxe. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  39. ^ "Michelle Branch: New Album June 2011 – Exclusive!". Hollywire.com. January 25, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  40. ^ "NewMusic2013". December 26, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Michelle's Facebook page". December 26, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Working with Martin". November 5, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Breakout: Michelle Branch". USA Today. 2001-09-13. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  44. ^ "Michelle Branch – Videos, song clips, and pictures". Kids.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  45. ^ Michelle Branch throws Gibson Hummingbird to the waves in new video "Breathe", retrieved March 16, 2010 
  46. ^ Soundings: Random Signals from the Taylor Guitars Universe, retrieved March 16, 2010 
  47. ^ Susman, Gary (July 1, 2004), "Game of Love", Entertainment Weekly, retrieved December 2, 2009 
  48. ^ "Michelle Branch Has a Baby Girl", People (Time Inc.), August 3, 2005, retrieved December 2, 2009 
  49. ^ http://www.wwd.com/eye/parties/marc-by-marc-jacobs-throws-la-bash-7752464?src=twitter/share

External links[edit]