Alannah Myles

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Alannah Myles
Alannah Myles(2).jpg
Background information
Birth name Alannah Byles
Born (1958-12-25) December 25, 1958 (age 56)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Rock, Pop, Blues
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actress
Years active 1989–to date
Labels Atlantic Records

Alannah Myles (born December 25, 1958)[1][2][3][4][5] 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.

She changed her surname to Myles at age 19 after deciding to pursue a career in entertainment. Appearances in TV commercials paid for music demos which weathered countless rejections from homeland, Canada until she recorded masters for three songs; "Who Loves You" and a video demo for "Just One Kiss" directed by photographer Deborah Samuel. With matched financing from songwriting collaborator, Much Music (City TV) DJ and program director Christopher Ward and FACTOR, she signed her first record contract with Atlantic Records in 1987.

In 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 which garnered a seven-eight year contract from Atlantic Records (WMG) sight unseen by head of A&R Tunc Erim and Atlantic label founder Ahmet Ertegun. Myles quit a lucrative acting career, co-wrote and recorded the remainder of her first album with collaborator Christopher Ward and producer David Tyson. In 1989, Atlantic Records released her self titled debut album and Myles 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.

Myles' eponymous debut album achieved top 10 hits in several countries around the world beginning with "Love Is", "Still Got This Thing For You", The only single to hit number one in 1990 in Canada was "Lover of Mine". Alannah's fourth American 1990 single, "Black Velvet." hit number one for two weeks with a bullet on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 Chart to become a worldwide classic radio hit.[6] It also won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.[7]

In 1992, Myles was nominated for a second Grammy award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the title track "Rockinghorse", the flip side of lead off single, "Song Instead Of A Kiss" from her second CD Rockinghorse. "Song Instead Of A Kiss" was a 60-piece orchestrated ballad that reached number one on several radio stations around the globe but was met with little response in America, whose audiences were accustomed to "that slow southern style" of Black Velvet.[citation needed]


Myles began writing songs around the age of nine, performing in a songwriting group for the Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto at age 12. At 18 she began performing solo gigs in Southern Ontario, 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 her mid-twenties, she and Ward collaborated with David Tyson to produce the eponymously 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 and was featured in several TV and film productions as a guest host and actor prior to becoming a recording artist.[citation needed]

In May 1989, Warner Music in Canada released Alannah Myles which produced four Top 40 hits, including "Love Is", "Lover Of Mine", "Still Got This Thing" and her number-one classic rock hit, "Black Velvet". Atlantic Records' 1989 debut album release was ineligible for Grammy nominations until the early 1990 U.S. single release, "Black Velvet" became a number-one hit claiming ASCAP's most played song on radio for 1989 and 1990. By 2000, it had received ASCAP Millionaire Award for over five million radio airplays.[citation needed] "Black Velvet" won Myles the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance in 1991 and three Juno Awards.[8]

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,[9] "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".[citation needed]

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, she 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 2014 with 100% copyright reversions returned to Alannah Myles by 2015 and re-released on Myles' independently owned label, Fascinate inc.[citation needed]

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.[10]

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.[11] She discussed the subject of financing and co-producing her own album in May 2008 in an interview with Evan Solomon on CBC News: Sunday Night.[12]

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.[13] 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."[14]

Her song Black Velvet was one of four selected to be covered on the CBC Television reality television show Cover Me Canada.[15]

After terminating a 6-year lease with Canadian indie label, Linus Entertainment in August 2013, Myles' "Black Velvet" album was retitled "85bpm", repackaged for her 25th Anniversary with new images photographed by fellow Canadian, Deborah Samuel. A newly recorded song written by Anne Peebles, produced by Michael Borkosky, "Can't Stand the Rain" was added to "85bpm" featuring a solo played by Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey, re-released on Myles' independently owned label, Fascinate inc., digitally distributed by, with audio CDs and a 25th Anniversary live concert DVD, both distributed by in the USA. Myles intends one day to create a fundraising campaign to record a contemporary vintage-styled blues CD featuring collaborations co-written during nine 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[25]
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. ^ Profile,; accessed July 17, 2015.
  2. ^ "Alannah Myles – Discover music, concerts, stats, & pictures at". Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  3. ^ Barry Grills (December 25, 1958). "Alannah Myles". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-02-28. b Toronto 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Alannah Myles music". 1958-12-25. Retrieved 2013-02-28. born December 25, 1958, Toronto, Ontario 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "Alannah Myles". Past winners search. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  8. ^ Crenna, Carol. "Meaning of Success: Canadian Singer Alannah Myles". Vista Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  9. ^ New, William H (2002). Encyclopedia of literature in Canada. University of Toronto Press. p. 902. ISBN 978-0-8020-0761-2. OCLC 47689945. 
  10. ^ "Melodifestivalen 2005 – Deltävling 3 [Third Semi-Final]". Gylleneskor. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  11. ^ "Alannah Myles reclaims 'Black Velvet' with modern reworking". The Telegram. The Canadian Press. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  12. ^ "Alannah Myles". CBC News: Sunday Night. CBC News. 2008-05-11. Archived from the original on July 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  13. ^ "Previous winners". International Songwriting Contest. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  14. ^ "2010 Results". USA Songwriting Competition. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  15. ^ "New CBC reality contest to focus on Canadian music". CBC News. 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  16. ^ "Search Results – RPM – Alannah Myles Top Albums". RPM (magazine). Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  17. ^ "allmusic ((( Alannah Myles > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  18. ^ "Chart Stats – Alannah Myles". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  19. ^ " – Australian charts portal". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  20. ^ " – New Zealand charts portal". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  21. ^ " – Norwegian charts portal". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  22. ^ " – Swedish charts portal". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  23. ^ " – Austria Top 40". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  24. ^ "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  25. ^ a b "Canadian Recording Industry Association Search Results". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  26. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – March 14, 2010: Alannah Myles certified albums". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  27. ^ a b "BPI Search Results". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  28. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – July 24, 2010: Alannah Myles certified singles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 

External links[edit]