Phoebe Bridgers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phoebe Bridgers
Bridgers at Glastonbury Festival 2022
Background information
Born (1994-08-17) August 17, 1994 (age 29)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
Years active2007–present
Member ofBoygenius
Formerly of

Phoebe Lucille Bridgers (born August 17, 1994) is an American singer-songwriter. Her indie folk music typically centers around acoustic guitar and electronic production, with melancholic lyrical themes. She has received four Grammy Awards from eleven nominations.

Born in Pasadena, California, Bridgers has performed music since her youth and was a member of Sloppy Jane. She released her debut solo album Stranger in the Alps in 2017, followed by Punisher (2020), both of which received critical acclaim. She is also a member of the supergroup boygenius, with whom she released a self-titled EP in 2018, followed by their debut album and another EP in 2023. She was also a member of Better Oblivion Community Center with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, with whom she released one self-titled album as well as two singles.

A frequent collaborator, she has worked with various artists including Taylor Swift, the 1975's Matty Healy, Muna, SZA, Kid Cudi, Christian Lee Hutson, Shame, and the National. Bridgers holds progressive political views, and has advocated and fundraised for various causes.

Early life[edit]

Phoebe Lucille Bridgers was born in Pasadena, California, on August 17, 1994.[1][2] Her mother, Jamie, works in real estate and stand-up comedy, while her father was a film and television set builder. She has a younger brother named Jackson.[1] Her parents divorced when she was 19 years old.[3] She was raised in Pasadena, but also spent some of her childhood in Ukiah, California.[1][4] As a child, she made extra money by busking at the Pasadena Farmers Market,[3] and started playing guitar around the age of 13.[1] After graduating from the Sequoyah School, she began studying vocal jazz at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in 2009.[5][6] She was later accepted into the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but dropped out after orientation.[7]


2014–2018: Early beginnings and Stranger in the Alps[edit]

Bridgers performing as part of Sloppy Jane in 2013

Bridgers was a member of various groups while still in high school, including Einstein's Dirty Secret and Sloppy Jane, and frequently played shows around Los Angeles as a solo act.[8][9] After deciding not to attend college to focus on her career, her growing presence in the L.A. music scene led to her befriending producer Tony Berg, who began working with her on her first album for free.[10] Playing in an Apple commercial with Sloppy Jane had given her some financial security, so she planned to complete her record and then sell it to a label, rather than attempting to get signed first. This allowed her much more time and creative freedom to create what would become Stranger in the Alps.[11] Around this time, Bridgers met American singer-songwriter Ryan Adams through mutual collaborators, and he put out her EP Killer on his label PAX AM.[12][13][14][15][16] Bridgers also supported Julien Baker on her 2016 tour of the East Coast.[17][18]

In January 2017, Bridgers released the single "Smoke Signals" and opened for Conor Oberst on his European tour.[19] The two had met the previous summer at a secret showcase, organized by Oberst at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. He and his Bright Eyes bandmate, Mike Mogis, contributed vocals and production to Stranger in the Alps.[20] Bridgers joined The Joy Formidable and Ryan Adams for select dates on their respective U.S. tours before playing at South by Southwest in March 2017.[19] In June 2017, Bridgers signed to independent label Dead Oceans.

She released her debut studio album, Stranger in the Alps, in September 2017 to critical acclaim.[21][22] The album was produced by Tony Berg, Ethan Gruska and Rob Moose, all of whom would become consistent collaborators with Bridgers.[23] To promote the album, Bridgers performed on CBS This Morning and the NPR Tiny Desk.[24] Numerous songs from the record were featured in television productions throughout 2018, including Switched at Birth,[25] Castle,[26] Burden of Truth,[27] Lethal Weapon[28] and Trinkets,[29] among others.

Bridgers has been referred to as a "serial collaborator", and has either been featured on or co-released tracks with: Lord Huron, Fiona Apple, Matt Berninger and the National, Andrew Bird, Manchester Orchestra, the 1975, Maggie Rogers, Kid Cudi, Taylor Swift, and SZA, among others. In addition, she has participated in full-album projects with Conor Oberst, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.[30][31]

2018–2019: Boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center[edit]

Bridgers performing at the 2018 Haldern Pop Festival

In 2018, Bridgers teamed up with fellow indie singer-songwriters Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus to form the supergroup Boygenius, signed to Matador Records.[32] They released three songs in August 2018 and subsequently announced an eponymous EP, which was released on October 26, 2018, to widespread acclaim.[33][34] Pitchfork called the collaboration "magic".[35] The band toured the U.S. in November, appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers and the NPR Tiny Desk.[36]

On December 5, 2018, Bridgers released a Spotify Singles session recorded at Spotify Studios NYC featuring a performance of "Scott Street" and a cover of the Cure's "Friday I'm in Love".[37][38]

Bridgers and Conor Oberst announced the formation of their band, Better Oblivion Community Center, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in January 2019. They released their debut album later that month through Dead Oceans.[39] The band appeared on CBS This Morning, and Bridgers appeared for the third time on NPR's Tiny Desk series.[40] Bob Boilen, creator of the Tiny Desk Concerts, said of their album: "It's that rare musical partnership where each injects vibrancy into the other's creative side."[41]

2020–2022: Punisher[edit]

On February 26, Bridgers released the single "Garden Song" alongside its music video.[42] In April, the 1975 released the song "Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America" with Bridgers, ahead of their studio album Notes on a Conditional Form, which features Bridgers on three tracks. She was slated to tour with them in summer 2020 before the tour's cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[43][44] On April 9, 2020, Bridgers released "Kyoto"[45] and announced on Instagram that her second album Punisher would be released on June 19, 2020. Bridgers released the album a day earlier than stated, stating: "I'm not [delaying] the record until things go back to 'normal' because I don't think they should. Here it is a little early."[46] The album received widespread positive reviews.[47] In July 2020, Bridgers released the music video for her single "I Know the End".[48] While working on Punisher, Bridgers also produced Christian Lee Hutson's album Beginners, which was released on Anti- Records in May 2020.[30] That September, she played to an all-virtual audience of 4 million at Red Rocks Amphitheatre as part of their Unpaused Concert Series. In October, Bridgers announced the formation of her own label Saddest Factory, an imprint of Dead Oceans.[49]

While awaiting the results of the 2020 United States presidential election on November 3, Bridgers tweeted that she would cover "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls if then-president Donald Trump lost. The cover, which was recorded as a duet with Maggie Rogers under the name Phoebe & Maggie, was released exclusively on Bridgers' Bandcamp page for one day only on November 13. The song received 28,000 downloads with proceeds going to Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight Action organization to promote fair elections both in the state of Georgia and nationwide.[50][51] On November 10, Bridgers announced an EP of four reworked tracks from Punisher, entitled Copycat Killer, in collaboration with Rob Moose. Copycat Killer was released digitally on November 20, 2020.[52] On November 23, she released a cover of Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December", with proceeds going to LA's Downtown Women's Center.[53]

Bridgers performing at the 2021 Shaky Knees Music Festival

Bridgers garnered four nominations at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards for Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song and Best Alternative Music Album.[54] In December 2020, she released a music video for the song "Savior Complex", directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and starring Paul Mescal. That same month Bridgers also featured on Kid Cudi's track "Lovin Me", on his album Man on the Moon III: The Chosen (2020), and sang backing vocals on two songs by Charlie Hickey.[55][56]

Bridgers was a musical guest on the eleventh episode of the 46th season of Saturday Night Live, playing "Kyoto" and "I Know the End" and closing the performance by smashing her guitar on a fake stage monitor.[57][58][59] On March 9, 2021, Bridgers released a second Spotify Singles session featuring a cover of John Prine's "Summer's End" and a version of "Kyoto" featuring vocals from Jackson Browne.[60] In August 2021 it was announced that Bridgers would appear on The Killers' album Pressure Machine on the track "Runaway Horses", released August 13.[61] That same month, she released a cover of Metallica's 1991 song "Nothing Else Matters"; the song appeared on the cover album The Metallica Blacklist released the following month as one of 12 covers of the song.[62] She also provided background vocals on five tracks from Lorde's third album, Solar Power, released on August 20.[63]

On September 3, 2021, Bridgers embarked on the Reunion Tour, starting in St. Louis, Missouri.[64] She featured on Muna's single "Silk Chiffon" released September 7 on Saddest Factory.[65] She also featured on the song "Atlantis" from Noah Gundersen's album, A Pillar of Salt, released in October 2021. On October 13, Bridgers' version of Bo Burnham's "That Funny Feeling" opened at No. 2 on both the Rock & Alternative Digital Song Sales, and Alternative Digital Song Sales charts.[66]

On November 12, 2021, Bridgers appeared on Taylor Swift's second re-recorded album Red (Taylor's Version) on the track "Nothing New".[67] The song debuted and peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Bridgers' highest-peaking entry on the chart.[68] On November 30, she released a cover of "Day After Tomorrow" by Tom Waits, continuing her tradition of releasing a cover for the holidays. Proceeds from the release were donated to an organization supporting refugees and human trafficking victims in California.[69] On December 15, 2021, Bridgers appeared on true crime comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder, to discuss with the hosts her "hometown" crime story: the murder of 16-year-old Marissa Mathy-Zvaifler at the Sunshine Theater.[70]

On April 15, 2022, Bridgers released "Sidelines", a song featured on Conversations with Friends, a Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel of the same name.[71] On July 8 of the same year she released a cover of the 1972 single "Goodbye to Love" by The Carpenters for the Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack,[72] and on July 12 was announced to be featured on a song titled 'Stonecatcher' on Marcus Mumford's new solo album, Self-Titled.[73] In August 2022, it was announced that Bridgers would be starring in I Saw the TV Glow, an A24 horror film directed by Jane Schoenbrun and produced by Emma Stone and Dave McCary.[74] Bridgers performed as an opening act on multiple shows of the US leg of Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour.[75] On November 18, 2022, she covered the Handsome Family's song "So Much Wine" on her tradition of releasing a cover for the holidays, with proceeds from the single to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center.[76] The song was provided with vocals from Andrew Bird, organist Ethan Gruska, guitarist Harrison Whitford and Bridgers' then-partner, actor Paul Mescal.[77] On December 9, 2022, Bridgers appeared on the track "Ghost in the Machine" with SZA, on her second album SOS.[78] The track would give her her first Grammy award, for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.[79] In the same month, she performed at two of Danny Elfman's concerts of The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, taking the part of Sally.[80]

2023–present: Reunion with Boygenius and The Record[edit]

In January 2023, Boygenius reunited and announced their debut album The Record, which was released on March 31, and released singles "$20", "True Blue", and "Emily I'm Sorry".[81] In February 2023, Bridgers featured on "Adderall" by English post-punk band and Dead Oceans labelmate Shame, the third single from their third album Food for Worms.[82] She was featured on the tracks "This Isn't Helping" and "Your Mind Is Not Your Friend" from the album First Two Pages of Frankenstein, by the National, released on April 28, 2023. She also features in the music video for the latter, directed by her brother, Jackson Bridgers. She also opened and performed with Taylor Swift in May 2023 in New Jersey.[83] On May 28, 2023, Bridgers released the single "Waiting Room", via Bandcamp, with all proceeds donated to Music Will.[84] Bridgers again collaborated with the National by featuring on the title track of their album Laugh Track, released on September 18, 2023.[85][86] On the 1st of February 2024, Boygenius announced at a secret show in Los Angeles that they are going on hiatus. They reportedly said that they were 'going away for the foreseeable future'.[87][88] She was the most awarded person at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, winning three for her work with Boygenius and one for her collaboration with SZA.[89] Following the Grammy's, Bridgers revealed she planned to step back and take a break for the remainder of 2024.[90]

Artistry and themes[edit]

Bridgers has cited Elliott Smith as one of her main musical influences

Bridgers' musical style has been described as mainly indie rock,[91][92] indie folk,[93][94] emo-folk,[95][96] and indie pop.[97] It often centers acoustic guitar, and incorporates atmospheric strings, production and electronic instrumentation. Her music has been described as "anxious", "melancholy" and "haunting". Themes include death, trauma, therapy, depression and strained relationships, "undercut by her dry wit" and "straightforward delivery."[98][1][99] Several of Bridgers' songs are about personal issues. For example, "Kyoto" was inspired by her relationship with her father, while "Motion Sickness" and "ICU" are about past breakups.[100][98] Her complex storytelling and use of evocative imagery, such as in "Garden Song", have also been commended.[101][102][99]

Bridgers has cited Elliott Smith as one of her favorite artists and the biggest influence on her songwriting and production style.[1][103][104] Her song "Punisher" explores her meeting Smith if he were still alive.[1] Other musical influences include bluegrass music, Bright Eyes, the Replacements, Blake Mills, Tom Waits, Avril Lavigne, the Beatles, Jackson Browne, Taylor Swift and Nine Inch Nails.[105][106][102][107][108] Her music often features a wide variety of popular culture references[109] — the writing of author Joan Didion, ASMR videos, television series Fleabag, and true crime podcast My Favorite Murder were all influential in the making of Punisher.[98][1][110][111]

Both of Bridgers' albums contain Halloween-themed visual motifs, with the album covers of Stranger in the Alps and Punisher containing ghost and skeleton imagery respectively. She is known for wearing variations of a skeleton onesie, inspired by her reported love for "creepy and corny stuff".[112] Her fans are often referred to as "Pharbs", a play on Nicki Minaj fans calling themselves "Barbs".[113]

Politics and activism[edit]

Bridgers is associated with American progressivism.[114][115] Bridgers, Fiona Apple, and Matt Berninger released a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's 1966 song "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night" updated to reflect events in 2019, including the murder of Botham Jean, the opioid epidemic in the United States, and the testimony of Mick Mulvaney in President Donald Trump's first impeachment trial.[116]

In 2020, Bridgers expressed support for and encouraged people to give donations to racial justice charities via her website and called for the abolition of police during Punisher's release amid the George Floyd protests[117] and released her and Maggie Rogers' cover of "Iris" as a single specifically to raise money for Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight Action, having vowed to release the cover if Trump lost the 2020 United States presidential election.[50][51]

In October 2020, Bridgers performed as part of the virtual fundraiser festival "Village of Love" benefiting Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles and New York.[118] At SXSW in 2022, Bridgers and Caleb Hearon criticized Greg Abbott's position on gender-affirming care for children and invited progressive politician Greg Casar to the stage.[119] At a May 2022 concert in Florida, following the passage of Florida House Bill 1557, Bridgers repeatedly expressed disdain for Ron DeSantis.[120]

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, Bridgers shared a post from another account on Instagram which mourned the victims of colonialism during the monarch's reign.[121]

While performing with Boygenius at Coachella in April 2023, the band spoke in support of trans rights following bills proposed in states like Florida and Missouri.[122] Bridgers also added "And abortion rocks, and fuck Ron DeSantis."[123]

Bridgers advocates for reproductive rights. In an interview with Teen Vogue in 2022, she expressed disdain for the overturning of Roe vs. Wade.[124]

After winning multiple awards at the 66th Grammy Awards, Bridgers called out Neil Portnow, ex-president of the Recording Academy, criticizing his remarks towards women musical artists and highlighting accusations he engaged in sexual violence. In closing her statement she said "to him, I'd like to say I know you're not dead yet, but when you are, rot in piss."[125]

Personal life[edit]

Bridgers and Vore performing at The Crocodile in 2018

Bridgers started a relationship with American musician Ryan Adams in 2014. They broke up at an unknown date. Her song "Motion Sickness" is about their relationship.[3][126][127] Bridgers and six other women accused Adams of emotional abuse in a 2019 report by The New York Times.[100] Bridgers later dated American musician Marshall Vore, who works as her touring drummer and has collaborated with her on other music; they co-wrote her single "ICU" about their relationship,[128] and remain friends and collaborators.[98] From 2020 until 2022, Bridgers was in a relationship with Irish actor Paul Mescal.[129] Since 2022, Bridgers has been dating comedian Bo Burnham.[130][131]

Bridgers identifies as bisexual,[132] which initially caused a rift between her and her mother, though they later reconciled and her mother became an advocate for LGBT rights.[133] Bridgers was a pescetarian for many years, something her school peers would mock her about,[134] but is now vegan.[135]

Bridgers has spoken about her struggles with depression and anxiety, for which she has sought therapy.[107] In May 2022, following the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, she revealed that she had an abortion in October 2021 and said that everyone should have the right to do so.[136][137]


Solo studio albums

Better Oblivion Community Center






Year Association Category Nominated Work Result Ref
2018 AIM Awards Independent Album of the Year Stranger in the Alps Nominated [139]
Independent Track of the Year "Motion Sickness" Nominated
Independent Breakthrough of the Year Herself Won
Libera Awards Best American Roots & Folk Album Stranger in the Alps Nominated [140]
2019 AIM Awards Best Independent Album Better Oblivion Community Center Nominated [141]
2020 Libera Awards Marketing Genius Nominated [142]
2021 Grammy Awards Best New Artist Herself Nominated [143]
Best Alternative Music Album Punisher Nominated
Best Rock Performance "Kyoto" Nominated
Best Rock Song Nominated
UK Music Video Awards Best Alternative Video – International "I Know the End" Nominated [144]
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Breakthrough Artist Punisher Nominated [145]
Libera Awards Record of the Year Won [146][147][148]
Best Alternative Rock Record Won
Marketing Genius Nominated
Video of the Year "Savior Complex" Nominated
Best Live/Livestream Act Herself Won
AIM Awards Best Independent Album Punisher Nominated [149]
2022 Libera Awards Best Sync Usage "I Know the End" in Mare of Easttown episode 6 Won [150]
2023 Libera Awards Best Live/Livestream Act Glastonbury 2022 Nominated [151]
2024 Grammy Awards Album of the Year the record[a] Nominated [152]
Best Alternative Music Album Won
Record of the Year "Not Strong Enough"[a] Nominated
Best Rock Song Won
Best Rock Performance Won
Best Alternative Music Performance "Cool About It"[a] Nominated
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance "Ghost in the Machine" (with SZA) Won
Brit Awards[a] International Group boygenius Won [153]


  1. ^ a b c d Nominated as a member of boygenius.


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