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Natalie Merchant

Real name: Natalie Anne Merchant
Birthdate: October 26, 1963
Status: N/A
Partner: N/A


Song Name Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Build A Levee Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Golden Boy Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Im Not Gonna Beg Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Just Cant Last Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Motherland Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Not In This Life Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Put The Law On You Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Saint Judas Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - Tell Yourself Listen Send to Phone
Natalie Merchant - The Worst Thing Listen Send to Phone

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Natalie Anne O'Shea Merchant (born October 26, 1963 in Jamestown, New York, U.S.) is a professional musician. She joined the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 and left it and began her solo career in 1993.

Her paternal surname Merchant is of Sicilian origin and was originally Mercanto before being Anglicised. The name O'Shea is on her maternal side; they are of Irish extraction.

As a child, her mother listened to music (Beatles, Al Green, Aretha Franklin) and encouraged her children to study music, but she wouldn't allow TV after Natalie was 12. "I was taken to the symphony a lot because my mother loved classical music. But I was dragged to see Styx when I was 12. We had to drive 100 miles to Buffalo, New York. Someone threw up next to me and people were smoking pot. It was terrifying. I remember Styx had a white piano which rose out of the stage. It was awe-inspiring and inspirational." "She had show tunes, she had the soundtrack from West Side Story and South Pacific. And then eventually... she'd always liked classical music and then she married a jazz musician, so that's the kind of music I was into. I never really had friends who sat around and listened to the stereo and said 'hey, listen to this one', so I'd never even heard of who Bob Dylan was until I was 18.". During 1988-1989, Natalie claimed she still didn't have a TV: "I grew up in a house where no one watched the news on television and no one read the paper. I've been discovering these things as I get older, and the news has affected me more than it ever has before." Her mother raised Natalie and her siblings alone, as Natalie's parents divorced in 1972. Her mother later remarried.

She is married and has a daughter. She likes gardening and painting. Some paintings can be seen at her official website.

She is vegetarian since 1980. She once said: "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.

Merchant was the lead singer of the band 10,000 Maniacs, joining in its infancy in 1981 while she was a student at Jamestown Community College.

She left the band in 1993 to pursue a successful solo career. Her debut solo album Tigerlily (1995) had three Top 40 singles in the U.S.: "Carnival", "Jealousy", and "Wonder". In 1997, she first performed "Planctus", a song for voice and piano written for her by Philip Glass. In 1998, Merchant released Ophelia, supported by co-headlining the concert tour Lilith Fair. The following year she released Live in Concert, containing covers and solo songs as well as a few songs from the 10,000 Maniacs-era.

In 2001, Merchant released her album Motherland and went on an extensive tour of North America and Europe. She parted ways with Elektra Records in 2003 and released a folk album of traditional songs called The House Carpenter's Daughter in September of that year on Myth America Records, her own label.

In 2005 Elektra Records released Retrospective: 1995-2005, a collection of her singles. It was also released as a limited edition two-CD package featuring rare and previously unreleased songs.


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