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Natalie Merchant Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (18)  | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (4)

Born in Jamestown, New York, USA
Birth NameNatalie Anne Merchant
Nicknames Whirling Dervish
Gnat
Height 5' 1" (1.55 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Natalie Anne Merchant was born on October 26, 1963 in Jamestown, New York, USA. The third of four children, Natalie displayed a love for music at an early age, though she never thought of it as a career choice. Natalie originally wanted to become a teacher, but that changed when she met Robert Buck in 1981 and became the lead singer for 10,000 Maniacs. The band release eight albums together: Human Conflict Number Five (1982), The Secrets of the I Ching (1983), The Wishing Chair (1985), In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man's Zoo (1989), Hope Chest (1990), Our Time in Eden (1992) and MTV Unplugged (1993). Despite their commercial success, Natalie grew apart from the band and announced her departure in 1991, though she stayed until 1993 and was replaced by Mary Ramsey. Determined to do things her way, Natalie wrote and produced the album "Tigerlily" (1995). The album, highlighted by Natalie's beautiful vocals and piano playing, sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Even though Natalie was tearing up the charts, she released "Ophelia" in 1998 and proved that musical integrity is more important than record sales. The album sold well, thanks to the hit "Kind and Generous". Natalie released "Live in Concert" in 1999 and embarked on a folk tour in 2000 to adoring audiences. In November of 2001, Natalie released "Motherland" and has just wrapped up an almost year long tour. Though best known for her music, Natalie has volunteered as a children's arts and crafts teacher at numerous homeless shelters in Harlem, and has donated money for various women's and children's causes.

The year 2003 proved to be a great milestone for Natalie -- she turned forty, got married for the first time, and gave birth to her first child all in the same year. In the summer, she and her personal photographer-husband Daniel de la Calle and their daughter Lucia live in a small mountainside village outside Malaga in Southern Spain where her husband is from, winter is spent in Hawaii, and springtime is spent in Japan appreciating the blossoms in Kyoto - Merchant's "favorite city in the world". They spend the rest of the year in Upstate New York where Merchant grew up.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous 1+2 (with edit by anonymous CSBS)

Spouse (1)

Daniel de la Calle (2003 - 2012) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Barefoot dancing,,,the queen of college pop/rock

Trivia (18)

Took piano and voice lessons
Solo albums: Tigerlily (1995), Ophelia (1998), Live in Concert (1999), Motherland (2001)
Joined 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 and released 8 albums with them; the name of the band was inspired by the film Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964).
Has an older brother and sister and a younger brother
Natalie has also contributed to a colouring book for Crayola. The book was based on the lyrics of "Come Take a Trip in My Airship".
Natalie is planning on releasing a folk album in early 2003. She has also teamed up with her former 10,000 Maniacs members and they are going to release a retrospective album sometime in 2003. The album will contain one CD of popular singles and one CD of rare b-sides. Also, Natalie will be designing the cover of the CD and will be contributing to the 48-page booklet.
Her childhood hero was Leonardo da Vinci. She is able to write left-handed, upside-down and backwards, as da Vinci did.
Her favourite song by 10,000 Maniacs is "Dust Bowl".
Dropped out of high school at age 16 and attended Jamestown Community College of The State University of New York (SUNY). She got an Associate's degree instead of a GED.
Worked as an "arts and crafts lady" teaching art to homeless kids for a homeless shelter in Harlem during her hiatus from 10,000 Maniacs.
Is Irish-Italian. Her father's original Italian family name was "Mercante", but it was Americanized into "Merchant". Her mother's side is Irish -- O'Neill or O'Neal or O'Shea.
Garry Shandling wanted to cast her in a recurring role on the final season of The Larry Sanders Show (1992) but she turned the part down.
Natalie Merchant was the first musical guest to be asked back by David Leterman to perform for a second night in a row.
Her mom owns a shop in Greenville, South Carolina called Time Warp which sells vintage clothing and retro items and accessories.
Has a daughter named Lucia de la Calle (b.2003) with her ex-husband Daniel de la Calle.
Natalie is working on her new folk album entitled "The House Carpenter's Daughter". The album will be available on her site and in some retail stores later this year. [February 2003]
Recently released Retrospective 1990-2005 - a collection of her best work. She is currently in Spain, and doing her part in raising money for Hurrican Katrina victims. [October 2005]
Released "The House Carpenter's Daughter" on August 12. [August 2003]

Personal Quotes (10)

I've found out how overwhelming the media is and the way it drills things into your head, it's almost like a mind control. If I could control prople's minds, I'd like to put something useful in.
I don't want to live in a culture of despair. I'd like to live in a culture of hope.
People always tell me that my live shows differ greatly from my albums, which are a little more meticulous and subdued. People come see me live, and I'm cracking jokes and dancing around like a savage, and it's truly unpredictable. There should be a record of that.
A lot of things are personal experiences disguised as other people's experiences. I can't remove the autobiographical slant from the things I write. You always bring yourself into what you're writing.
Britain was the first place I ever travelled outside the United States so when I arrived in London at the age of 19, everything was exciting - the sense of history and all these cute guys with British accents.
One of the things I'm trying to do as an artist is comfort people. Tell them, 'You're not alone.'
Sometimes I've lamented that, because I've written songs that were angry but I could never sound as angry as I felt. But at other times I feel really happy that I have this voice, because it seems to soothe people and draw them close to me. Children really love my voice. I've been noticing a lot of really young kids at the show - like, 12 and under - lately, and I'm really excited. Because if I were 12 years old, going to a concert, it would be a choice between either the Backstreet Boys or me. I'm just glad it's me.
The '60s aesthetic has never really appealed to me, the tie-dyed Deadhead running barefoot through the forest on LSD. I don't think that's really me. But I've been a vegetarian for 17 years and I consider myself an environmentalist inasmuch as I can be, considering the job that I have. I prefer living in the countryside rather than the city; I find it more sane and sustaining for myself. - Interview - October 24, 1995
It's very odd to think of the places my music can go once it leaves my hands.
I think of myself as a musician and not a celebrity. Celebrity status is something you have to deliberately pursue - I couldn't imagine myself seeking that. (Interview with The Providence Journal-Bulletin - February 13, 1996.)

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