Vanessa Carlton

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Vanessa Carlton
Background information
Birth name Vanessa Lee Carlton
Born August 16, 1980 (age 26)
Milford, Pennsylvania
Genre(s) Piano pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, producer, instrumentalist
Years active 2001 – present
Label(s) MCA, Interscope,
A&M, The Inc.

Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American pop singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the single "A Thousand Miles" from her platinum-selling debut album, Be Not Nobody (2002). Carlton's second album, Harmonium (2004), was a commercial failure, which led her to part company from her record label A&M, though she still holds a dedicated fanbase. She currently resides in San Francisco with her producer-boyfriend Stephan Jenkins (lead singer of Third Eye Blind), and her third album is slated for a spring 2007 release on Irv Gotti's record label The Inc.


[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

Carlton was born in Milford, Pennsylvania to Ed Carlton, a pilot, and Heidi, a piano teacher; she has two younger siblings, a sister named Gwen, and Edmund, who attends St. Andrew's School in Delaware. She is of Scandinavian descent on her father's side, and of Russian Jewish descent on her mother's.[1] Although she was not raised in any religion, she has referred to herself as "Jewish" and said she was "spiritual".[2] She began playing the piano as a toddler, and received tutoring from her mother. After returning from Disneyland at the age of two, Carlton played "It's a Small World" on the piano. This event inspired Carlton's mother to expose Carlton to various classical composers such as Mozart and Eric Satie. She attended the School of American Ballet in New York City beginning at age fourteen. The stress and rigid training of the ballet lessons proved too much for her, and she chose not to become a dancer upon graduation.

She attended Columbia University and performed in bars and clubs all over Manhattan. Carlton met Peter Zizzo at a singer-songwriter circle and a few months later, Zizzo invited Carlton to his studio to begin recording a demo with instruments accompanying Carlton's piano and vocals. Three months after recording the demo tape, Carlton was signed onto Interscope Records where she began recording the album Rinse, which was never released, with Zizzo. Rinse has twelve tracks, including songs that were reworked for her debut album Be Not Nobody, such as "Ordinary Day", "Rinse", "Pretty Baby", "Twilight", "Interlude" (later entitled "A Thousand Miles"); songs that remain unreleased in any form, except for internet bootlegs (which exist for at least seven of the twelve tracks), such as "All I Ask" and "Superhero"; and one song, "Carnival", which was re-recorded under the title "Dark Carnival" for the 2003 Sony PlayStation game, and Microsoft Xbox game, Spy Hunter 2.

[edit] Professional career

Carlton's debut album, Be Not Nobody, was produced by Ron Fair and released in April 2002. It included the hit piano pop single "A Thousand Miles", which peaked inside the top five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Follow-up single "Ordinary Day", however, was less successful, and the final single, "Pretty Baby", failed to chart on the U.S Hot 100. In 2003 Carlton received Grammy Award nominations for "Record of the Year", "Song of the Year", and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)" for "A Thousand Miles". She provided the descant vocals for the Counting Crows' cover of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi", recorded for the film Two Weeks Notice.

Carlton on the Harmonium (2004) album cover
Carlton on the Harmonium (2004) album cover

Carlton's 2004 collaboration with the Italian rock and blues singer Zucchero, along with Haylie Ecker on violin, for the song "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" (a cover of The Korgis' song) was moderately successful, reaching the top forty in France.[3] She provided backing vocals for a song on anti-folk singer Kimya Dawson's 2004 album Hidden Vagenda.

She began recording her second album, Harmonium, at Skywalker Ranch near San Francisco. Harmonium was released in November 2004 and yielded the single "White Houses", which preceded the album. Produced by Stephan Jenkins, Harmonium debuted outside the top twenty on the Billboard 200 album chart, and both album and single (which failed to reach the top forty in the U.S.) were considered commercial failures.

In a post on her official site's forum, Carlton said to her fans – whom she, and they, often refer to as "nessaholics" – that she would be releasing a third album in 2006, although she added "most people will know it as my second!" because of a perceived lack of commitment to Harmonium at her label.[4] During her Harmonium tour, Carlton debuted three new songs in June 2005 at The Living Room in New York City: "Put Your Hands on Me" (Now called Hands On Me), "This Time", and "The One". While on tour with rock singer Stevie Nicks in 2005 and 2006, Carlton premiered the songs "Best Behavior" and "All Is Well". In September 2005 Carlton entered the studio with producer Linda Perry to record her next album, and in May 2006 a studio version of "This Time" premiered on the website PromoSquad, leading to speculation among fans that it would be the album's lead single.[5] Irv Gotti announced in October 2006 that he had signed Carlton to The Inc. Records. She wrote on her website that the title of the album is Heroes and Thieves, and according to the News-Times it will be released in spring 2007.[6] Two of Carlton's new songs are "Heroes and Thieves" and "House". Irv Gotti co-produced the album with 7 Aurelius, Rick Rubin and Stephan Jenkins, and Carlton is a featured artist on 7's debut single, "M-A-K-E L-O-V-E T-O M-E".[7]

[edit] Personal life

Carlton's boyfriend and producer is Stephan Jenkins of rock band Third Eye Blind. Jane magazine in the U.S. named Carlton one of the "eleven people you'd most like to see naked"; she posed for the magazine's July 2005 issue.

Ashton Kutcher Punk'd Carlton in November 2004 during a rehearsal for a performance on The Tonight Show. In 2005 Carlton completed the New York City Marathon and donated the pledge money she collected to Musicians on Call, a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to patients' bedsides.

[edit] Discography

[edit] Albums

Album information
Be Not Nobody
  • Released: April 30, 2002 (U.S.)
  • Chart positions: #5 U.S., #7 UK, #13 AUS
  • Certifications: Platinum (U.S.), gold (Australia)
  • U.S. sales: 1.38 million[8]
  • Worldwide sales: 2.3 million[9]
Heroes and Thieves[6]
  • Release date: Spring 2007 (U.S.)
  • Chart positions: TBR
  • Sales: TBR

[edit] Singles

Year Single Chart positions Album
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. AC UK AUS IDN
2002 "A Thousand Miles" 5 1 6 1 1 -- Be Not Nobody
"Ordinary Day" 30 -- 53 48[11] 3 --
"Pretty Baby" -- 94 -- 20 --
2003 "Big Yellow Taxi"
(Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton)
42 5 15 3 -- -- Hard Candy
(Counting Crows)
2004 "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime"
(Zucchero featuring Vanessa Carlton)
n/a ZU & CO
"White Houses" 86 -- -- -- 22 -- Harmonium
"Private Radio" -- -- -- -- -- 9
2005 "Who's to Say" -- -- -- -- 45 --
2007 "M-A-K-E-L-O-V-E-T-O-M-E"
(7 Aurelius featuring Vanessa Carlton)
Channel 7
(7 Aurelius)

[citation needed] for Indonesia charts.

[edit] Other songs

[edit] Notes

[edit] External links