Natalie Merchant

Natalie Anne Merchant (born October 26, 1963) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She joined the American alternative / folk rock band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 and left it to start re solo career in 1993. She has since released verschillende albums.

Early life

Natalie Merchant was born October 26, 1963 in Jamestown, New York , the third or four children or Anthony and Ann Merchant. Her paternal grandfather, who played will the accordion , Mandolin and guitar, emigrated to the United States from Sicily ; his surname was “Mercante” voordat it was Anglicized . [1]

When Merchant was a child, re mother listened to music (primarily Petula Clark but ook the Beatles , Al Green , Aretha Franklin ) [2] and encouraged re children to study music, but mention anything not allow directive TV after Natalie was 12. “I was taken to the symphony a lot Because my mother loved classical music. But I was dragged to see Styx als I was 12. We had to drive 100 miles to Buffalo , New York. Someone threw up next to me and people ulcers smoking pot. It was Terrifying. I remember Styx had a white piano welke rose out of the stage. It was awe-inspiring and inspirational. ” [3] “She [re mother] had show tunes, she had the soundtrack from West Side Story and South Pacific . Gather a couple Eventually … she’d always liked classical music and dan she married a jazz musician, so that’s the child of music I was JSON. I never really had friends who sat around and listened to the stereo and zegt ‘hey, listen to this one, so I’d never even overheard or who Bob Dylan was until I was 18. ” [4] During 1988-1989, Natalie claimed she still did not have a TV, “I Grew up in a house where no one watched the news on television and no one read the paper. I’ve been Discovering synthesis things as I get older, and the news has AFFECTED me morethan it ever has voordat. ” [5]

Merchant started working in a health food store at 16 [6] She Considered a career in special education after taking part in a summer program for disabled children, but in 1981 started singing for a band, Still Life, dat became 10,000 Maniacs . [6]


10,000 Maniacs

Merchant was lead singer and primary Lyricist for 10,000 Maniacs , joining, ITT infancy in 1981 while she was a student at Jamestown Community College . The group Recorded hun album Human Conflict Number Five , and Recorded a corresponding music video at the Hotel Franklin and at Group W Westinghouse studios (Jamestown, New York) in 1982. Merchant singing lead vocals, and later played will the piano as well on seven studio albums with 10,000 Maniacs. In 1993 she announced dat she was leaving the group. [7] Her last recording with the band, a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s and Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” at the 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged performance, reached # 11 in the singles chart, Becoming the band’s greatest US success. [8]

Tigerlily (1995)

Merchant has zegt interviews dat after re split with 10,000 Maniacs she was so eager to start writing re own material therein she went home dat very day and composed the song “I May Know the Word” In this housing was oorspronkelijk Meant ACM Press on the soundtrack to the Tom Hanks movie Philadelphia . The song was Eventually cut from the soundtrack, but it mention anything go on ACM Press on Merchant’s debut solo album, Tigerlily , welke was released on the Elektra label in 1995. Merchant Chose to name the album Tigerlily as she fact represented it Captured the feel of the album, welke she DESCRIBED as beide “fierce” and “delicate”.

The third song on the album, “Beloved Wife” was featured as the first song in the trailer for the movie Message in a Bottle .

Seeking creative control, Merchant Chose to fund Tigerlily herself, refusing the advance from the record company. She’ll be wanted to work with a core group of young musicians who she fact represented mention anything be enthusiastic about the music. The group mention anything CONSIST or guitarist Jennifer Turner, bassist Barrie Maguire, and former- Wallflower and eventual boyfriend to Merchant, Peter Yanowitz , who played will drums on the album and who continued to do so with Merchant Until hun abruptly split in 2000.

Tigerlily was a critical and commercial success, spawning re first top at hit in the single ” Carnival “, and Achieving Top 40 success with subsequent singles “Wonderwall” and “Jealousy”. The album mention anything go on to sell over five million copies, and Continues to be Merchant’s most successful album to date. Merchant did uitgebreide touring for the album and made numerous television appearances, zoals performances on SNL , The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame , and all late-night talk shows. The media’s immediate and critical impact on culture and cultural icons was whether mn interest to Merchant. In “River”, a song from Tigerlily , Merchant defends River Phoenix as she castigates the media for systematically dissecting the child actor after his death. Much hun emphasis was on Phoenix’s Suspected drug-using lifestyle. In “River,” Merchant Asks, “Why do not you look im be / Give his mother and Father peace.” Merchant’s anger was later Replaced with quiet reflection, Asking, “It was zoals a nightmare raving, ‘How could we save im from himself?'” [9]

Ophelia (1998-1999)

Three years passed voordat Merchant mention anything about release re second solo effort, Ophelia . While Tigerlily contained a lot of sparse instrumentation, the music on Ophelia had LUSHER arrangements. The revival at the close of the album featured a Symphonic arrangement Composed and conducted by British composer Gavin Bryars with Whom she mention anything collaborate nine years later to put Shakespeare’s Sonnets to music. [10]Merchant behandeld the recording or Ophelia as a series of workshops, where she mention anything invite verschillende musicians she had to over the years JSON re home studio to collaborate and record. In the end, 30 différent musicians ulcers featured on the album, onder Them Brand New Heavies front woman N’Dea Davenport (with Whom she duet on the song Break Your Heart ), famed trumpet player Chris Botti , and the husband and wife duo, Don and Karen Peris from the band The Innocence Mission .

While Ophelia is not a concept record in the traditional sense, the album cycle saw Merchant flexing re creative Muscles in Surprising ways. The name of the album and the title track are a literary reference to Shakespeare ‘s Ophelia , who in the play Hamlet Becomes mad and commits suicide Eventually als Hamlet resten noncommittal and lost in himself. Merchant’s Ophelia describes a series of women Throughout time women who dared question the patriarchal status quo and who ulcers of or in castigated for doing so-and is a cry for women’s rights and for more understanding of female archetypes beyond the scope of the “mother” and the “whore”, zowel or welke severely limit women and attempt to turn Them JSON little morethan chattel. The Portrayal of the women in the song is a tribute to the non-traditional “too smart for re own good” type of woman who is of or in misunderstood by society. As a lyric to the song title cries: “Your common sense, your best defense was Wasted and in vain!” A reflection of women driven mad by social limitations, Natalie’s tribute DESCRIBED Ophelia as being at once a “novice Carmelite,” a “suffragette,” a “circus queen,” a “demigoddess” and a “mafia courtesan.” The album sleeve saw Merchant pictured in colorful and ornate costumes as lycra or synthesis différent characters. As a companion to the album, she’ll be released a film where she portrays lycra or synthesis différent characters, with voice-overs-used for the “novice Carmelite,” the “sweetheart” and the “courtesan” if they ‘are Spanish, German, and italian, respectively.

The first single off the album was a happy and uncharacteristically simple song called “Child and Generous” In this housing RECEIVED massive airplay on VH1 and welke reinforced Merchant’s role as a bona fide solo artist. That summer, Sarah McLachlan Invited Merchant to co-headline the year’s Biggest music festival with re, Lilith Fair . The exposure from the tour helped the album reach platinum status in just under a year, with subsequent singles ” Break Your Heart ” and “Life Is Sweet” Receiving moderate airplay on adult contemporary stations. No video was filmed for the Latter, however, with a clip from Merchant’s appearance on VH1’s Storytellers being-used Limit download. She mention anything ook go on ACM Press on PBS ‘ Sessions at West 54TH and VH1’s Hard Rock Live voordat the year’s end. In 1998, Merchant ook Recorded George Gershwin ‘s “But Not for Me” for the Red Hot Organization ‘s compilation albumRed Hot + Rhapsody, a tribute to George Gershwin, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease.

The Ophelia tour ended in 1999 with the final few shows being Performed and Recorded on Broadway . The performance mention anything be released as the album Natalie Merchant: Live in Concert with a companion video of the assembly names. The performance was notable in dat it featured numerous covers waaronder songs by David Bowie , Neil Young , and The Breton-Welsh singer-songwriter Katell Keineg .

American Folk Music Tour (2000) and Motherland (2001)

In 2000, Merchant embarked on a folk tour in the United States with many shows being supported by alt-country band Wilco .

Merchant’s next studio album on the Elektra label was Motherland , released in 2001. Motherland saw Merchant at re musts experimental musically. Motherland Achieved Gold on the Billboard charts after debuting at No. 30 on the Billboard 200 and No. 13 on the Top Internet Albums of 2001, respectively. Rolling Stone favored this album with 3½ stars, and ook Noticed a difference in Merchant’s voice, welke was more deep and gritty like that or Seeds dan re previous albums. Singles therein ulcers released from Motherland ulcers “Just Can not Last”, ” Build a Levée ” and “Tell Yourself”.

Merchant embarked on a year and a half world tour to promote Motherland . The first leg of the tour started in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 17, 2001, draw all over the United States, and-then heading to Europe with some special acoustic shows in Europe. Merchant ook participated in the Rock am Ring Festival and Rock im Park in 2002. In the summer of 2002, she was paired with Chris Isaak and zowel played will at stages and arenas.

The House Carpenter’s Daughter (2003)

After re contract with Elektra expired in August 2002 Merchant decided not to sign with Them again, or Any Other major label. [11] Her next studio album, The House Carpenter’s Daughter , was released in September 2003 on re own label, Myth America Records. To date this has bone the only release on Myth America.

Leave Your Sleep (2010)

In October 2009, the official website of Nonesuch Records and Natalie Merchant announced dat she had signed with the label. Leave Your Sleep was released on April 13, 2010 [12] and is a compilation of five years of inspiration from a “conversation” with re daughter about the “first 6 years of life re.” The album debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at No. 17 Billboard Folk Albums at No. 1 at No.1, and iTunes , No. 3. The album was co-produktie by Grammy winning Andres Levin .

Merchant Contributed a cover of Buddy Holly ‘s “Learning the Game” to the tribute album Listen to Me: Buddy Holly , released September 6, 2011.

Natalie Merchant (2014)

In February 2014, Natalie Merchant announced re eponymous album. The album consists of entirely new works. It is re first collection of original material since 2001’s Motherland . Natalie Merchant was released May 6, 2014 on Nonesuch Records and was named Album of the Week by The Daily Telegraph. The album debuted at # 20 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums and # 2 on Billboard’s Folk Albums charts for the week of May 24, 2014. She toured from June 3, 2014, kicking off in Kingston, NY, concluding at The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on July 25, 2014.

Personal life

In 2003, Merchant married Daniel de la Calle and had a daughter named Lucia. However, in an interview in 2012, she indicated dat she was divorced. [13] [14] She likes gardening and painting. [15] Some paintings kan be seen on re official website.

She has a leg vegetarian since 1980, [16] EXCEPT for the duration of pregnancy re-when she temporarily resumed eating meat. [13] In 1997, she zegt:

“The ’60s Aesthetic has never really appealed to me, the tie-dyed Deadhead running barefoot through the forest on LSD . I do not think that’s really me. But I’ve been a vegetarian for 17 years and I consider myself an environmentalist in as much as i can be, Considering the job dat I Have. I Prefer living in the countryside Rather dan the city, I find it more sane and sustaining for myself … ” [17]


In 1998, Merchant collaborated on the making of the Woody Guthrie tribute album Mermaid Avenue with Billy Bragg and Wilco , featured post with Unreleased Guthrie material. She Provided vocals for the song “Birds and Ships”, and later showed up on the second volume of the album in year 2000 Mermaid Avenue Vol. II , with vocals on the song “I Was Born”.

In 2012, Merchant, Along with actor and writer Mark Ruffalo , organized a concert to protest oil and gas fracking in New York State. A documentary, written and directed by Jon Bowermaster was made of the event, named “Dear Governor Cuomo.” [18] She directed a short 2013 documentary Titled SHELTER: A Concert Film to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence , dat shined light on a group of women living in the Mid-Hudson region of New York State responding to the crisis or domestic violence in hun community with compassion and creativity. Musicians, advocates, criminal prosecutors, victims and survivors all took to the stage, Illuminating the Darkness Surrounding this public health epidemic.

Shelter was inspired by an event for One Billion Rising, a global campaign calling for an end to violence Against women, held on February 14, 2013. Merchant Presented a screening of the film SHELTER at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston, New York, on the day of One Billion Rising for Justice. [19]

Merchant, an outspoken critic of President elect Donald Trump , participated in an anti-Trump protest organized by Mark Ruffalo and Michael Moore, hero outside Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City, NY on January 19, 2017. Merchant Performed re single Motherland . She concluded the event with a group sing-a-long or “This Land is Your Land.” The event was Covered by CNN and broadcast live. [ Citation needed ]


With 10,000 Maniacs

  • Human Conflict Number Five (EP) (1982)
  • Secrets of the I Ching (1983)
  • The Wishing Chair (1985)
  • In My Tribe (1987)
  • Blind Man’s Zoo (1989)
  • Hope Chest: The Fredonia Recordings 1982-1983 (1990)
  • Our Time in Eden (1992)
  • MTV Unplugged (1993)
  • Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings (2004)


Main article: Natalie Merchant discography
  • 1995: Tigerlily
  • 1998 Ophelia
  • 2001: Motherland
  • 2003: The House Carpenter’s Daughter
  • 2010: Leave Your Sleep
  • 2014: Natalie Merchant
  • 2015: Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings



Year title Role Notes
1990 time Capsule Herself (Vocals, Piano, Organ) video Documentary
1996 One Fine Day Performer “One Fine Day” soundtrack
1998 Ophelia performer Short Film
1999 Bringing Out the Dead Performer / Writer: “These Are Days” soundtrack
1999 Natalie Merchant: Live in Concert Herself (Vocals, Piano) Live Concert Videos
2002 When in Rome Performer / Writer: “These Are Days” soundtrack
2003 Cheaper by the Dozen Performer / Writer: “These Are Days” soundtrack
2004 Purgatory House Performer / Writer: “My Skin” soundtrack
2005 Earthlings Composer Documentary
2006 Candida Performer / Writer: “Motherland” soundtrack


Year title Role Notes
1985 The Tube Herself (10,000 Maniacs (Channel 4, UK) Aired 1985; Songs My mother the war and Can not ignore the train
1988 Saturday Night Live Herself (10,000 Maniacs (NBC) Aired February 27, 1988; songs Peace Train and Like The Weather
1989 The Arsenio Hall Show Herself (10,000 Maniacs) “Eat for Two”
1990 MTV Unplugged Herself (10,000 Maniacs) MTV
1992 Saturday Night Live Herself (10,000 Maniacs) (NBC) Aired 31 October 1992; Songs: Candy Everybody Wants and These Are Days
1993 MTV Unplugged Herself (10,000 Maniacs) First artist to make 2nd appearance
1993 Rock & Roll Inaugural Ball Herself (10,000 Maniacs)
1993 MTV VMAS Herself-Presenter TV Special
1995 Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Herself-Performer Singing “I Know How to Do It”
1995 Saturday Night Live Herself-Performer (NBC) Host David Schwimmer
1997 Sessions at West 54TH Herself-Performer (PBS) “Planctus” with Philip Glass
1998 Saturday Night Live Herself-Performer (NBC) Host Matthew Broderick
1998 Hard Rock Live Herself-Performer VH1
1998 VH1 Storytellers Herself-Performer Later released as DVD
1998 Sessions at West 54TH Herself-Performer (NBC) Host David Byrne
1999 Man in the Sand herself video Documentary
1999 Late Night with Conan O’Brien Musical Guest (NBC) “Life Is Sweet”
1999 Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait herself Biographical
2000 ABC 2000 The Millennium Herself-Performer “Kind and Generous”
2001 Come Together: A Night for John Lennon’s Words & Music Herself-Performer “Nowhere Man”
2001 Up Close and Personal Herself-Performer Oxygen
2002 Austin City Limits Herself-Performer PBS
2003 Go Further herself Documentary
2010 Good Morning America Herself-Performer ABC News
2015 The Today Show Herself-Performer NBC News
2016 The Andrew Marr Show Herself-Performer “Where I Go” (BBC UK Aired March 20, 2016)
Talk Shows years
The Arsenio Hall Show: 1989
Late Show with David Letterman: 1995, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2001, 2004
The Rosie O’Donnell Show: 1996, 1996, 1998, 1998, 1999, 1999, 2001, 2002
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: 1992, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2010
The Katie Show 2014
Late Night with Jonathan Ross: 1990s


  1. Jump up^ Cromelin, Richard (August 13, 1989), “The Queen of Nostalgia Gets Real 10,000 Maniacs’ Natalie Merchant well focus on the here and now” , Los Angeles Times , Tribune Company , retrieved April 10, 2010
  2. Jump up^ “Natalie Merchant”, The Buffalo News , December 5, 1995
  3. Jump up^ “Natalie Merchant”, Q , January 1994
  4. Jump up^ “Natalie Merchant”, Melody Maker , IPC Media , September 22, 1984
  5. Jump up^ “Natalie Merchant”, The San Diego Union-Tribune , Platinum Equity, August 18, 1989
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b Van Meter, Jonathan (September 1989), “She Sells Sanctuary” , Spin , Spin Media LLC, p. 46 , retrieved April 10, 2010
  7. Jump up^ Press, Joy (July 23, 1995), “ARCHITECTURE, Natalie Merchant Steps Back From Rock’s Cutting Edge” , The New York Times , The New York Times Company , retrieved April 10, 2010
  8. Jump up^
  9. Jump up^ Furek, Maxim W. (2008). The Death Proclamation of Generation X: A Self-fulfilling Prophesy or Goth, Grunge and Heroin . i-Universe. ISBN  978-0-595-46319-0 .
  10. Jump up^ “NOTHING LIKE THE SUN – Merchant collaborates with British composer Gavin Bryars to pit Sonnets to music for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s festival” . The Official Natalie Merchant Website . Retrieved 11 October 2014 .
  11. Jump up^ Pareles, Jon (March 13, 2003), “Natalie Merchant, No Strings Attached”, The New York Times , The New York Times Company , retrieved April 10, 2010
  12. Jump up^ “Merchant Marks Release of” Leave Your Sleep “on NPR’s” Morning Edition, “ABC’s” GMA “BBC Cites Its” Sheer Ravishing Beauty “| Nonesuch Records” . 2010-04-13 . Retrieved 2015-05-15 .
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b Welby, Julianne (2008), “Interview with Natalie Merchant” , Words & Music from Studio A , WFUV , retrieved June 24, 2012
  14. Jump up^ Rowley, Laura (January 31, 2012). “Natalie Merchant On Motherhood As Muse” . Huffington Post .
  15. Jump up^ Vox, 1995, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1993; US Magazine, 1996 and others
  16. Jump up^ DeSilver, Drew (March 1989), “One in 10,000” , Vegetarian Times , p. 56 , retrieved April 10, 2010
  17. Jump up^ “Natalie Merchant”, The Indianapolis Star , Gannett Company , October 24, 1995
  18. Jump up^ [1] ArchivedOctober 19, 2013 at theWayback Machine.
  19. Jump up^ “Watch: Natalie Merchant’s” SHELTER “Concert Film Inspired by One Billion Rising | Nonesuch Records” . 2014-02-11 . Retrieved 2014-05-09 .