Jenny Lewis

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For other people named Jennifer Lewis, see Jennifer Lewis (disambiguation).
Jenny Lewis
Lewis performing in 2008
Background information
Birth name Jennifer Diane Lewis
Born (1976-01-08) January 8, 1976 (age 40)[1]
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Origin San Fernando Valley, California, United States
Genres Indie rock, alternative country, Indie folk
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass, harmonica
Years active 1985–present (acting)
1998–present (music)
Labels Team Love, Warner Bros., Brute/Beaute, Saddle Creek, Barsuk
Associated acts Rilo Kiley
The Postal Service
The Watson Twins
Jenny and Johnny

Jennifer Diane "Jenny" Lewis (born January 8, 1976)[1] is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. She was the primary vocalist of the indie rock band Rilo Kiley,[2] and has released three solo albums.[3] She performed as part of the duo Jenny & Johnny with then-boyfriend Johnathan Rice.

Personal life[edit]

Lewis was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her mother, Linda, was a professional singer, and her father, Eddie Gordon, was a member of the Harmonica Gang.[4][5][6] Lewis is Jewish.[7][8]

Acting career[edit]

Lewis made her professional debut in a Jell-O commercial. She was featured in the short-lived 1986 Lucille Ball sitcom Life With Lucy, where she was cast as one of Lucy's grandchildren.[9] She also had small roles on TV shows, such as Murder She Wrote, The New Twilight Zone, Baywatch, The Golden Girls, Growing Pains, Just the Ten of Us, Roseanne, Mr. Belvedere, and Brooklyn Bridge.[9]

Lewis appeared in over a dozen teen movies, such as Troop Beverly Hills and The Wizard in 1989. She was featured in the 1996 made-for-TV movie Talk to Me with Yasmine Bleeth, as well as the films Foxfire, Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even, and Pleasantville.[9] She played the part of Evangeline "Eva" Saint Claire in the 1987 film version of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and also appeared in 1988 made-for-TV film set in Vienna at the start of the Holocaust, A Friendship in Vienna.[9] She played Beverly D'Angelo's daughter in the 1996 made-for-TV film, Sweet Temptation. She continued acting until 1998, although the last released film – Don's Plum, filmed 1995–96 – was not released until 2001.[9]


Rilo Kiley[edit]

In 1998, Lewis and friends Pierre De Reeder, Dave Rock and then-boyfriend Blake Sennett formed the band Rilo Kiley. (Rock was eventually replaced by Jason Boesel.) In an interview with NPR's All Songs Considered, Lewis remarked that she wanted to name the group Love's Way (after her parents' lounge act in Las Vegas), but Sennett "didn't go for it."[10] Originally asked to sing back-up vocals by Sennett, Lewis refused to join the band unless she was able to sing lead vocals.[11]

Beginning with a country sound, Rilo Kiley gravitated toward a downbeat indie rock sound, gaining the attention of Warner Bros., who signed the band for the release (via its own imprint, Brute/Beaute Records) of their 2004 album More Adventurous, which gained the band some success. Critics such as Pitchfork attributed this to the "wise" decision to emphasize Lewis's voice and presence more so than in previous albums.[12] The song "Portions for Foxes" was a hit. Rilo Kiley's 2007 album Under the Blacklight was released directly by Warner Bros.

It was announced on July 14, 2011 that Rilo Kiley had officially split up.[citation needed]

Solo career[edit]

Lewis in 2006

In 2004, Conor Oberst invited Lewis to record a solo record for record label Team Love. Described by Lewis as "a kind of soul record"[citation needed], Rabbit Fur Coat (released January 24, 2006) features contributions from Oberst, M. Ward, and Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine. Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie guests on a cover of The Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care." The Watson Twins provide accompaniment on the album, billed as Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins. Lewis toured with the Watson Twins in support of the album three times in 2006 and appeared with her band on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Later with Jools Holland. They also appeared on a Washington, D.C.-based children's music program called Pancake Mountain, performing the song "Fernando". The album received positive reviews, with Entertainment Weekly writing, "Consider Lewis the Emmylou Harris of the Silverlake set"[13] and Rolling Stone commenting that "her girlishly seductive vocals are more versatile than ever".[14] The Onion AV Club, Spin, and NPR music critic Meredith Ochs named it among the best albums of the year.[15][16][17]

In 2008, Lewis released a second solo album, this time without the Watson Twins, titled Acid Tongue.

On July 29, 2014, Lewis released The Voyager. The album took 5 years to complete and is a reflection on Rilo Kiley's break-up and the death of Lewis's father.[18] The release of the album was preceded by the single "Just One of the Guys".[19] The music video for "Just One of the Guys" was released on July 15, 2014 through GQ and stars Lewis, Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, Brie Larson, and Tennessee Thomas, former drummer of The Like (now disbanded).[20] Lewis also directed the music video.

Jenny and Johnny[edit]

In 2010, Lewis released the song "Scissor Runner" with then boyfriend Johnathan Rice under the moniker Jenny and Johnny. The song was made available for free download from the duo's official website, and is taken from their first studio album I'm Having Fun Now. In 2015, Jenny and Johnny wrote the song "Cold One" for the movie "Ricky and the Flash".

The Voyager Tour[edit]

On July 8, 2014, Lewis began her "The Voyager" tour at the Ottawa Bluesfest in Ontario, Canada. She then spent July touring the United States and released the album The Voyager on July 29. Her tour consists of many stops throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, including performances at Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the 2014 ITunes Festival in London, two performances at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas.

Other musical projects[edit]

Lewis performing in 2007

In 2002, Lewis was asked to contribute vocals for The Postal Service. Lewis performed in the video for the hit "We Will Become Silhouettes", and toured with the band in 2013.

In 2003, Lewis contributed vocals to several tracks on the Cursive album The Ugly Organ.

In 2005, Lewis contributed to the UNICEF benefit song "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?", along with Sennett and Jimmy Tamborello.

In 2006, Lewis made a cameo in Episode 25, Season 1 of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour, and six of her songs (three with the Watson Twins and three with Rilo Kiley) were featured in various episodes of the show.

In 2007, Lewis contributed vocals to various songs on Johnathan Rice's album Further North, and she appeared in the music video for "We're All Stuck Out In The Desert (And We're Gonna Die)". She provided vocals for a track on Dntel's Dumb Luck LP.

In 2008, Lewis contributed backing vocals to several songs on the Elvis Costello and the Imposters album Momofuku.

In 2008, Lewis voiced the role of the Assistant Director for Walt Disney Pictures' Bolt and provided the song "Barking at the Moon." [21]

In March and April 2009, Lewis traveled to Australia for the first time, as an act for the V Festival, as well as a supporting act for Snow Patrol and performing one solo Sydney show.

On April 18, 2009, Lewis performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.

On May 5, 2009, Lewis performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.[22]

Lewis makes an appearance on the track "Hard Enough", taken from the 2010 album Flamingo by fellow Las Vegan Brandon Flowers.

In 2013, Lewis created the music score for Tribeca Film's feature, Very Good Girls. She provided original music and also included older music from her previous band, Rilo Kiley, such as the song, "Go Ahead".[23]

In 2014, Lewis contributed an exclusive track to HBO's Girls, in collaboration with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij titled "Completely not Me". The song was featured in the Season 3 premiere "Females Only". The song is the second track on "Girls Volume Two: All Adventurous Women Do".[24]


Year Film Role Notes
1983 It's an Adventure, Charlie Brown Ruby (voice) TV
1985 The Twilight Zone Segment "If She Dies" (1 Episode) Sarah (ghost child) TV
1986 Convicted Shelley Forbes TV
1986 Life with Lucy Becky McGibbon TV series
1987 Trading Hearts Yvonne Rhonda Nottingham
1987 The Golden Girls Daisy (A Girl Scout) TV Series
1987 Uncle Tom's Cabin Evangeline 'Little Eva' St. Claire TV
1988 A Friendship in Vienna Inge Dournenvald TV
1988 Baby M Tuesday TV
1988 My Father, My Son Maya TV
1988 Who Gets the Friends? TV
1989 Shannon's Deal Neala Shannon TV
1989 The Wizard Haley Brooks Film
1989 Troop Beverly Hills Hannah Nefler Film
1990 Perry Mason: The Case of the Defiant Daughter Melanie Benson TV
1991 Brooklyn Bridge Katie Monahan TV series
1991 Daddy Melissa Watson TV
1991 Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story Ellie TV
1991 Runaway Father Marcia TV
1992 Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even Corinne
1994 Runaway Daughters Laura Cahn TV
1996 Foxfire Rita Faldes
1996 Sweet Temptation Jade Larson TV
1996 Talk to Me Kelly Reilly TV
1997 Little Boy Blue Traci Connor
1998 Pleasantville Christin
2001 Don's Plum Sara Filmed 1995–96
2008 Bolt Assistant Director Voice
2010 American Dad! Amy Voice (Merlot Down Dirty Shame)
2014 Comedy Bang Bang Herself Replacement for Reggie Watts
2015 A Very Murray Christmas The Waitress TV - Netflix Original


Rilo Kiley[edit]


Jenny & Johnny[edit]

Other appearances[edit]


  • Rilo Kiley – "The Frug" (1999)
  • Rilo Kiley – "Wires and Waves" (2002, unreleased)
  • Rilo Kiley – "Portions for Foxes" (2003)
  • The Postal Service – "We Will Become Silhouettes" (2005, directed by Jared Hess)
  • Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – "Rise Up with Fists" (2006)
  • Rilo Kiley – "The Moneymaker" (2007)
  • Rilo Kiley – "Silver Lining" (2007)
  • Jenny Lewis – "Blacksand" (2009)
  • Jenny Lewis – "See Fernando" (2009)
  • Jenny Lewis - "Just One Of The Guys" (2014)
  • Jenny Lewis - "She's Not Me" (2015)


  1. ^ a b "Jenny Lewis". Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Rilo Kiley biography". Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  3. ^ "Jenny Lewis Discography". Star Pulse. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  4. ^ "Jenny Lewis Biography (1977-)". 1977-01-07. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  5. ^ Ayers, Michael D. "Jenny Lewis Is Tired of Being in a Band | Blogs". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  6. ^ "Jenny's junior showtime | Music | The Observer". 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  7. ^ Will Hermes (2006-01-29). "MUSIC - Don't Tell the Indie Fans - Jenny Lewis Likes Country Music -". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  8. ^ "Interview: Jenny Lewis | The Jewish Chronicle". 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Jenny Lewis". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  10. ^ "The Blue-Eyed Soul of Jenny Lewis". 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  11. ^ Saroyan, Strawberry. Solid Gold. SPIN Magazine. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  12. ^ Dahlen, Chris (August 15, 2004). "Rilo Kiley More Adventurous > Review". PitchforkMedia. Retrieved 3 June 2008. 
  13. ^ Michael Endelman (2006-01-27). "Jenny Lewis". EW. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  14. ^ Hiatt, Brian (February 9, 2006). "Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins Rabbit Fur Coat > Review". Rolling Stone (993). p. 62. Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2012.  Posted on February 7, 2006.
  15. ^ Battaglia, Andy; Christopher Bahn, Jason Heller, Josh Modell, Keith Phipps, Kyle Ryan, Marc Hawthorne, Nathan Rabin, Noel Murray, Scott Gordon, Sean ONeal, and Steven Hyden (2006-12-19). "Best Music Of 2006". The Onion A.V. Club. Retrieved 2009-05-21.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  16. ^ Ochs, Meredith (2006-12-05). "Top Ten CDs of 2006". Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  17. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2006 The SPIN Staff". 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  18. ^ McEvers, Kelly. "Rainbow in the Dark: Jenny Lewis on staring down sadness". NPR. NPR. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Voyager by Jenny Lewis". 1977-01-08. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  20. ^ "Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart Breakdance for Jenny Lewis Video 'Just One of the Guys' - Video". Rolling Stone. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  21. ^ "Pop & Hiss goes to the movies: Jenny Lewis gets a dose of Disney optimism with 'Bolt'". Pop & Hiss. 2008-11-25. Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  22. ^ "YouTube video". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  23. ^ Choi, Sarah (2014-06-26). "Jenny Lewis Scores for the Screen in 'Very Good Girls' (Now out on VOD!)". Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  24. ^ "Listen: Jenny Lewis' new song "Completely Not Me", from HBO Girls' soundtrack"". Chris Coplan. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 

External links[edit]