Vanessa Carlton

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Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Carlton promo photo (recoloured).jpg
Background information
Birth name Vanessa Lee Carlton
Born (1980-08-16) August 16, 1980 (age 34)
Milford, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Pop, pop rock, piano rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 1998–present
Labels A&M, The Inc., Razor & Tie, Victor Music
Associated acts Counting Crows, Stevie Nicks, Stephan Jenkins, Santana, Deer Tick
Website vanessacarlton.com

Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Upon completion of her education at the School of American Ballet, Carlton chose to pursue singing instead, performing in New York City bars and clubs while attending university. Three months after recording a demo with producer Peter Zizzo, she signed with A&M Records. She began recording her album, which was initially unsuccessful until Ron Fair took over.

Her debut single, "A Thousand Miles", reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002. Her debut album, Be Not Nobody, followed and received platinum certification in the United States. Her subsequent albums, Harmonium (2004) and Heroes & Thieves (2007), failed to exceed the commercial success of the first. She produced a fourth album, Rabbits on the Run (2011) independently before sourcing for a record label to release it. Since 2011, Carlton has released a holiday EP titled Hear the Bells, in November 2012, and is preparing to release her fifth studio album, Liberman, in 2015.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Childhood and youth[edit]

Carlton was born in Milford, Pennsylvania, the first of three children of Edmund "Ed" Carlton, a pilot, and Heidi Lee, a pianist and school music teacher.[3] Her two younger siblings are a sister, Gwen, and a brother, Edmund. Carlton is of half Russian Jewish and half Scandinavian ancestry.[4][5]

Her interest in music began at an early age. At the age of 2, she visited Disneyland Park and played "It's a Small World" on the piano when she came home. Her mother then began to tutor her.[6][7] She was introduced to classical music from a young age. By the age of 9, she had become passionate about ballet. In 1994, when Carlton was 14 years old, she enrolled at the School of American Ballet. Upon graduation, she put on vocal performances at nightclubs in the community, beginning to feel more comfortable and dynamic on the stage. Carlton was signed to A&M Records in 2001.[8]

2002–03: Be Not Nobody[edit]

Carlton first met songwriter/producer Peter Zizzo at a singer-songwriter circle. A few months later, Zizzo invited Carlton to his studio to record a demo.[9] Three months after recording the demo, Carlton was signed by Jimmy Iovine and began to record the album, Rinse.[10] It was never released, but a few tracks were reworked for Be Not Nobody. One song, "Carnival", was re-recorded as "Dark Carnival" for the video game SpyHunter 2. Other tracks included in Rinse are "Interlude" (later known as A Thousand Miles), "Rinse", "Ordinary Days" (later known as "Ordinary Day"), "Twilight", "Pretty Baby", "All I Ask" and "Superhero". Of these, only the first five are included in her first album, Be Not Nobody. Other unreleased tracks from her early demo tapes include "Faces", "Meggie Sue", "Little Mary", "Burden", "Wonder", "Devil Dance" and "Last Fall".

With her previous unsuccessful recording efforts, Carlton felt there was a lack of direction at her label.[11] However, A&M president Ron Fair upon hearing her demo to "A Thousand Miles", began organizing recording sessions for the song, producing and arranging the song himself.[12] It became a hit, peaking inside the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 and went on to become the sixth-most-played song of the year, as well as garnering Grammy Award nominations for "Record of the Year", "Song of the Year", and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)".[13] Fair would produce the rest of the album. Be Not Nobody was subsequently released in April 2002 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart with 102,000 units sold. It went on to sell more than two million copies worldwide.[14] Two more singles, "Ordinary Day" and "Pretty Baby" were released. Carlton began touring in support of her debut album, opening for the Goo Goo Dolls and Third Eye Blind, before headlining her own tour at the end of 2002. She later toured Europe in 2003.[15]

Carlton had collaborated with other artists before the release of her second album. She provided the descant vocals for the Counting Crows song "Big Yellow Taxi", played piano for Italian singer Zucchero, along with Haylie Ecker on violin, for the song "Indaco Dagli Occhi Del Cielo"[16] and provided backing vocals for "Moving On" by Kimya Dawson for her album Hidden Vagenda.

2004–05: Harmonium[edit]

Carlton's second album, Harmonium was released in November 2004. Harmonium debuted at number 33 on the Billboard 200[13] and descended quickly after; selling less than 150,000 copies as of February 2006, which was considered a disappointment after her successful debut.[17] It was produced by Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind, and included darker themes than those on her debut.[18] Carlton and Jenkins met and began a relationship in mid-2002, when she and rock band Third Eye Blind, of which Jenkins is lead singer, were on tour together. After seeing Carlton perform live, Jenkins entered her dressing room and expressed interest in producing her music, and according to Carlton they "decided very quickly, that we had the same vision for the album".[19] Carlton credited Jenkins with helping her to withstand and protect herself from pressures the record label executives, who wanted to influence the recording process, placed on her.[20] According to Carlton, her label "wasn't very happy" about the decisions she made during the making of the album.[21] Carlton stated that the album contained more of her own aesthetic as opposed to Be Not Nobody which was more influenced by Ron Fair.[22] A single, "White Houses", released to radio in late-August 2004, peaking at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100.[23] MTV censored and later banned the single's music video because of a controversial lyric in the song that refers to sexual intercourse. Carlton attributed the censoring of the song to the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy involving Janet Jackson which had occurred earlier that year.[24]

To support the album, Carlton embarked on a North American concert tour, which began on October 21, and concluded on November 21; her opening act was Low Millions. A second tour, with Cary Brothers and Ari Hest as supporting acts, ran from March 9 to April 30. Carlton left A&M Records in mid-2005[25] as she felt that her nonconformist attitude would have created problems for her at the label in the future.[13] A&M Records had sent Carlton into the recording studio because they wanted to re-release Harmonium, whereas Carlton felt the album should be promoted as it was. During her studio time, in which she wrote songs with Linda Perry and The Matrix,[26][27] she had what she called a "revelation" about leaving the label to find another record deal once promotion for Harmonium had ended.[28]

2006–10: Heroes & Thieves[edit]

Carlton at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008

In August 2005, Carlton said she was to enter the recording studio the following month with producer Linda Perry,[29] with whom she had previously collaborated after executives at A&M Records sent her into the studio to record a re-release single for Harmonium.[26] The album was influenced by Carlton's breakup with its co-producer, Stephan Jenkins, and Carlton said that one of the reasons they remained friends was that "nothing took precedence over the music ... No matter what was going on in the emotional realm, all we cared about was the album. It created this kinetic environment that was kind of like Fleetwood Mac. It made for better music."[30]

Heroes & Thieves was released and greeted with generally positive reviews.[31] It debuted at number 44 on the U.S. Billboard 200,[32] "Nolita Fairytale" was the first single and peaked at number 26 adult.[33] To promote the album, Carlton embarked on the Haunted Club Tour, from November 2 to 24, 2007.[34] Second single "Hands on Me" was sent out to radios in February 2008 and reached number nine. One song on the album was "Spring Street," based on Spring Street in SoHo in Manhattan.[35] Carlton parted amicably with The Inc. once her promotional commitments to Heroes & Thieves had passed.[citation needed]

She contributed a stripped-down version of the song "More than This" to Songs for Tibet, an album compiled in support of Tibet to underline its human rights situation.[36] On September 25, 2008, Carlton and several other musicians and scientists departed on a nine-day trip to the Arctic Circle. On behalf of the charity Cape Farewell, they worked alongside researchers for the purpose of studying climate change.[37] Carlton had been a part for PETA's Animal Birth Control Campaign;[38] she owns a long haired dachshund named Lord Victor.

2011–12: Rabbits on the Run and Hear the Bells[edit]

Carlton performing live in August 2011

Carlton's fourth studio album Rabbits on the Run was released on July 26, 2011 under Razor & Tie, the third record label she signed with.[39] Before recording the album, Carlton was unsure whether she wanted to make another record or pursue film scoring instead.[40] After deciding to try again, she decided that she needed to record in the ideal environment, choosing to record at Real World Studios Box, England.[41][not in citation given] She chose the title for the symbolism often depicted by rabbits – 'time slipping, mind floating' – which is something she has been relating to for the past few years.[42] The album was further inspired by Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and Richard Adams's Watership Down. The dreamy, fantastical sound of the album was achieved by recording direct to tape and features production by Steve Osborne.[40] First single, "Carousel" was released on May 3.[43] On September 19, a tweet in Carlton's account made by her management stated that "I Don't Want to Be a Bride" would be the next single off the record. Via Twitter, Carlton announced that her label wouldn’t produce a video for "I Don't Want to Be a Bride," instead producing one for "Hear the Bells".[44] The music video, which Carlton describes as her most revealing to date, was released on June 7, 2012.

On November 10, a tweet made by Carlton's management announced the upcoming release of her holiday EP titled Hear the Bells on November 21.[45] The EP consists of four tracks, two of which are acoustic versions of Carlton's songs Hear the Bells and A Thousand Miles.[46]

2013–present: Liberman[edit]

Carlton announced that she had returned to Real World Studios in late 2012 to commence work on a new album related to euphoria. She has since clarified on Twitter that "Euphoria" is not the actual name of the new album, nor is it straightforward electronically fabricated.[47]

In late 2013 on a small tour, Carlton teased new songs "Willow" "House Of Seven Swords" "A Matter Of Time" "Take It Easy" and "Unlock The Lock".

On February 28, 2014, Carlton announced that she has finished recording the new album, which is ten tracks in length and will be titled "Liberman".[1]

On April 11, 2014, Carlton stated that "Liberman" was being mastered.[48]

Carlton's 2014 summer tour will support the Barefoot Wine Beach Project, which encourages people to clean the beach and keep it safe for wildlife. She performed a track to promote the events for Fox New York TV titled "Willows", which she said is about the trees she loved when growing up. She also revealed that her album "Liberman" will be released in 2015.[49]

In an interview with CBS News published on June 11, 2014, Carlton called the album "kind of lush, trippy and beautiful...You really feel like you're falling into a rabbit hole of sounds." About the album, she says: "It's pretty short. It's 10 songs. It's meant to be listened through your headphones."[2]

Personal life[edit]

On June 19, 2010, Carlton came out as bisexual while headlining Nashville Pride.[50] She stated to the attending audience, "I've never said this before, but I am a proud bisexual woman".[51]

On October 9, 2013, at a live performance in Bay Shore, New York, Carlton announced that she was expecting her first child with her then-fiance John McCauley (of the band Deer Tick),[52] and was very early on in her pregnancy. Unfortunately, in November, she announced she had experienced an ectopic pregnancy, in which she later suffered a ruptured tube and internal bleeding. After surgery, her entire right fallopian tube was removed.[53][54] On December 27, 2013, Carlton and McCauley married in a ceremony officiated by Stevie Nicks.[55]

On June 26, 2014, Carlton announced via Facebook that the release of "Liberman" would be delayed until the summer of 2015 because she is expecting another child with McCauley.[56]

Charity work[edit]

In 2005, Carlton completed the New York City Marathon and donated the pledge money she collected to Musicians on Call, a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to patients' bedsides.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Awards[edit]

Nominations

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Carlton, Vanessa (February 28, 2014). "Twitter / Vanessa Carlton: Started in England, finished in Nashville...". Twitter. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Moraski, Lauren (2014-06-11). "Vanessa Carlton on her dreamy new album - CBS News". CBS News. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  3. ^ "Key Whiz". people.com. 2002-07-15. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  4. ^ Lamb, Christopher (2002-04-29). "Vanessa Carlton: A Thousand Miles To Here". TeenMusic.com. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  5. ^ "Singer-Songwriter Vanessa Carlton Indeed Loves Ruby's in the Afternoon". grubstreet.com. 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  6. ^ Interview by Teenmusic (April 29, 2002)
  7. ^ "Vanessa Carlton Bio". YFly.com. Retrieved August 19, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Vanessa Carlton". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  9. ^ "handwritten Vanessa Carlton Bio". blackvulture.com. Retrieved April 17, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Billboard interview". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved April 17, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Sarah Parkin Bio". musicianguide.com. Retrieved April 16, 2008. 
  12. ^ "The Making of A Thousand Miles". mtv.com. Retrieved April 17, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b c Petrie, Saidah. "Vanessa Carlton". complex.com. Retrieved December 2, 2009 
  14. ^ "Vanessa Carlton". Variety. July 9, 2003. 
  15. ^ "Artist Bio". Rock on the net.com. Retrieved April 20, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Top 40 chart overview". Top40 Charts. Retrieved August 19, 2006. 
  17. ^ Hasty, Katie. "Billboard Bits: Pearl Jam, Vanessa Carlton, Don Caballero". Billboard. February 24, 2006. Retrieved August 2, 2006.
  18. ^ D'Angelo, Joe and Pak, SuChin. "Vanessa Carlton Recalls Her Days As A Naughty Ballerina". MTV News. October 25, 2004. Retrieved February 11, 2007.
  19. ^ Sculley, Alan. "Vanessa Carlton strips back studio gloss". The Morning Call. October 20, 2004. Retrieved September 21, 2006.
  20. ^ "Vanessa Carlton".
  21. ^ Corneau, Allison. "Carlton maintains musical integrity despite label pressures of conformity". Quinnipiac Chronicle. April 6, 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2006.
  22. ^ Miserandino, Dominick A. "Vanessa Carlton – Singer/Songwriter". TheCelebrityCafe.com. Retrieved September 21, 2006.
  23. ^ "Vanessa Carlton – White Houses". MusicSquare. Retrieved September 16, 2006.
  24. ^ Dionne, Bethany. "Not just an 'ordinary night' with Vanessa Carlton". Quinnipiac Chronicle. April 6, 2005. Retrieved June 10, 2006.
  25. ^ Cinquemani, Sal. "Vanessa Carlton: A Pop Princess in Her Living Room". Slant. June 14, 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2006.
  26. ^ a b Sclafani, Tony. "Don't Call It a Comeback: Vanessa Carlton". Express. November 20, 2007.
  27. ^ "The Projects That Time Forgot". MTV News. January 31, 2005.
  28. ^ Fuoco-Karasinski, Christina. "Live Review: Vanessa Carlton in Scottsdale, AZ". liveDaily. November 5, 2007.
  29. ^ Carlton, Vanessa. "next chapter". vanessacarlton.com (official Vanessa Carlton website) via NESSAholics.com. August 2, 2005.
  30. ^ Vaziri, Aidin. "POP QUIZ: Vanessa Carlton". San Francisco Chronicle. November 4, 2007.
  31. ^ "Heroes & Thieves by Vanessa Carlton". Metacritic.
  32. ^ Harris, Chris. "Kid Rock's Jesus Overpowers Bruce Springsteen's Magic On Billboard Chart". MTV News. October 17, 2007.
  33. ^ Frayed Irv. Entertainment Weekly. December 14, 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
  34. ^ Universal Motown. "Vanessa Carlton Announces 'Haunted Club Tour' in Support of Highly Anticipated New Album, Heroes & Thieves". Business Wire. October 8, 2007.
  35. ^ "CD review: Vanessa Carlton; Heroes Thieves". Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  36. ^ Finn, Natalie (July 22, 2008). "Sting, Matthews, Mayer Gamer for Tibet Than Beijing". E-Online. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  37. ^ d'Estries, Michael (September 8, 2008). "KT Tunstall and Vanessa Carlton Head to Arctic to Study Climate Change". Ecorazzi, LLC. Retrieved December 2, 2009 
  38. ^ "Vanessa Carlton Tips Her Hat to Animal Birth Control" (Press release). PETA. 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  39. ^ "vanessa carlton signs razor tie | Razor & Tie". Razorandtie.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  40. ^ a b Amar Toor. "Vanessa Carlton, 'Rabbits on the Run' – 2011 New Album Preview". Aol radiodate=2011-03-10. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Vanessa Carlton: Songs, Albums, Pictures, Bios". Amazon.com. August 16, 1980. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Niet compatibele browser". Facebook. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Carousel: Vanessa Carlton: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  44. ^ "Vanessa Carlton Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Vanessa Carlton to release new EP, Hear the Bells, on November 21st". muenmagazine.com. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Hear The Bells EP: Vanessa Carlton: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Twitter / VanessaCarlton: @Fool_4_Music hey! euphoria". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  48. ^ Carlton, Vanessa (April 11, 2014). "Liberman getting mastered today!!!". Instagram. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Vanessa Carlton - New York News". myfoxny.com. June 9, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  50. ^ Bendix, Trish (June 19, 2010). "Vanessa Carlton comes out as bisexual". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  51. ^ Staff (June 20, 2010). "Vanessa Carlton: I'm Bisexual And Proud". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  52. ^ Hughes, Hilary (2013-07-29). "Deer Tick John McCauley Interview". esquire.com. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  53. ^ "First four November tour dates cancelled!". facebook.com. 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  54. ^ Paylor, Juliet (2013-11-06). "Baby heartbreak for Vanessa Carlton as she undergoes emergency surgery following ectopic pregnancy". London: dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  55. ^ Ehrich Dowd, Kathy (December 28, 2013). "Vanessa Carlton Marries John McCauley – and Stevie Nicks Officiates". people.com. 
  56. ^ Bradley, Tyler (June 26, 2014). "Vanessa Carlton Announces Pregnancy, New Album In 2015". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 

External links[edit]