Women Every Woman Needs to Know: Fiona Apple

Name: Fiona Apple

Occupation: Musician

Date of Birth: September 13, 1977

Birthplace: New York, New York

Zodiac Sign: Virgo

(Information provided by Biography.com, Notablebiographies.com, Imdb.com, and Wikipedia.)

  • Fiona Apple soared into the rock-world limelight with her 1996 triple-platinum debut album Tidal when she was only 19 years old. She captured a Grammy, then followed with 1999’s When the Pawn… Despite her talents, Apple gained more notoriety for her tormented life story than for her music. On-stage and during interviews she was so frank and temperamental that many in the music world refused to take her seriously and instead viewed her as a self-absorbed drama queen who was exploiting her deep-seated emotional wounds.

  • She began writing songs at age eleven.

  • She was raped in her apartment at age twelve, the trauma of which she would speak openly about during her professional career. She then developed an eating disorder, purposely slimming her body, which she saw as “bait.”

  • She went on to win a Grammy for “Criminal” in the Female Rock Vocalist category and also took home an MTV Music Video Award for Best New Artist. During her MTV acceptance speech, she cited Maya Angelou—a major influence on her writing—and profanely critiqued the celebrity industry, advising fans to be themselves rather than conform to what’s fashionable. The New Yorker and NYRock criticized her MTV award show speech. “When I have something to say, I’ll say it,” she said, responding to these criticisms in an article in Rolling Stone in January 1998.

  • Apple’s second album, When the Pawn…, was released in 1999. Its full title is a poem Apple wrote after reading letters that appeared in Spin regarding an article that had cast her in a negative light in an earlier issue. The title’s length earned it a spot in the Guinness Book of Records in 2001.
  • Apple’s songs are a distinctive fusion of pop, jazz, soul, and cabaret, containing a whimsy that belies her tendencies towards reflection, self-deprecation, and tenderness. Wit and wordplay are major components of her work.

  • She suffers from depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

  • She has declared herself somewhat of a recluse, though she is outspoken during interviews and has toured in support of her own solo projects as well as with Lilith Fair and the band Nickel Creek.

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Filed in: Music
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