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Leona Naess

Real name: Leona Kristina Naess
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Naess was born in New York City and raised in London. She is the daughter of Filippa Kumlin D'Orey, a Swedish-Brazilian interior designer and Arne Næss Jr., a Norwegian mountaineer and business magnate. She has an older brother, Chris, and a sister, Katinka, from that marriage. Naess was 7 years old when her parents divorced in 1982. She attended school in the Chelsea neighbourhood of London while growing up, and later attended the Purcell School in Hertfordshire, where she studied music composition. Her father married American entertainer Diana Ross in 1986 and had two boys, Ross and Evan. Naess would often travel to their Connecticut home. She has 8 half-siblings and step-siblings from her parents' different marriages.

At the age of 18, Naess moved to New York City to study music at New York University, she later switched her major, receiving a degree in anthropology. A resident of Greenwich Village, she began performing with her guitar at open mikes and was soon performing regularly in coffeehouses, bars and clubs like The Bitter End around Lower Manhattan, even busking at times. A friend, who was an intern at Sony Records, invited an executive to see Naess perform. Soon, a number of record companies were interested in signing her. She signed with producer Scott Litt's record label, Outpost, at the age of 22, shortly after graduating from NYU.

Naess began work on her first album in 1998. It was completed in June 1999. A series of business mergers postponed the album, meanwhile the Outpost label went out of business. The head of MCA Records, another division of the Universal Music Group of which Outpost had become part of, brought her contract over to MCA. Naess's first album Comatised was released in March 2000. Naess continued to develop as a performer during the delays. Comatised produced the single "Charm Attack" (which was also featured in the teen comedy film Whatever It Takes) and the song "Lazy Days". She appeared as a model for Calvin Klein prior to the release of the album. Naess soon released her second album, I Tried to Rock You But You Only Roll (2001), produced by Swedish producer Martin Terefe.

Naess signed with Geffen Records and released her third album, Leona Naess (2003), produced by Ethan Johns. The album was a new direction for Naess with its stripped-down instrumentation. A song from this album, "Ballerina", appeared in the first season of the Showtime program, Weeds (2005), in the episode entitled "Dead in the Nethers". Another song from her third album, "Christmas", also appeared in The O.C. on the episode, "The Debut", and the soundtrack Music from the OC: Mix 3.

Naess has toured with Eagle-Eye Cherry, David Gray, The Barenaked Ladies, Travis, Ryan Adams, Emm Gryner, Hem, Josh Rouse, Ben Lee, Badly Drawn Boy and Ray Lamontagne.

Naess lives in New York City and frequently travels back to London. She was engaged to singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, the engagement ended in 2003.


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