About the Author
A dozen years after the breakthrough debut of Jagged Little Pill, an album which earned four Grammys and spawned a dedicated worldwide fan base, Alanis Morissette remains not only an enduringly popular artist, but one whose success stems from a fierce commitment to authenticity and, to an equal extent, vulnerability. Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, and Germany, Alanis Morissette played piano, wrote songs and discovered a love of words and dance at an early age. At ten she joined the cast of "You Can't Do That On Television," a popular children's television program. She used some of the money she made on that show to start a record company with a friend and fund an independent single called "Fate Stay With Me." When her time on the show was over, Morissette signed a publishing contract and eventually a record deal with MCA Canada, releasing the album Alanis in 1991, for which she won Canada's Juno Award for Most Promising Female Artist. Her follow-up album, Now Is The Time, was released the following year.
Then came Jagged Little Pill, the result of much introspection and soul-searching, which earned the female rocker three Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Best Female Vocal Performance for "You Oughta Know" and Best Rock Album (out of a total of 6 Grammy nominations). The album also set the record for the best-selling US debut by a female solo artist, a record previously held by Whitney Houston.
After the phenomenal success of Jagged Little Pill, Alanis took some time off to contribute a single to the City of Angels soundtrack, and appear as God in the film Dogma. She also went to India to do some soul-searching of a different kind, this time to find inner peace. The result of this hiatus was the follow up to Jagged Little Pill, entitled Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. With singles such as "Thank U", "Unsent" and "So Pure", listeners were treated to another side to the former "Jagged Pill": a much softer, less edgy one. Although the album did receive critical acclaim, it did not see as much success as Jagged Little Pill (which was a tough act to follow). Alanis showed that she is no longer angry, and that she is more dimensional than the alternative rocker we once knew. She was finally at peace, having found herself, and the album had a sense of closure and renewal.
Among a breadth of charity work, Morissette especially finds time to support environmental causes and organizations, such as Reverb, a non-profit that helps musicians and music fans to achieve environmental sustainability through carbon-neutral initiatives. Morissette was one of the first artists to have her Feast on Scraps CD and DVD materials on recycled paper. Initially she paid for this out of her own pocket, but now it's becoming an industry standard. Her passions also include women's issues and artists' rights, on behalf of which she has written several articles as well as spoken to congress. Morissette currently resides in Los Angeles and is working on her forthcoming studio album, Flavors of Entanglement.