Michelle Branch

Last updated
Michelle Branch
Michelle Branch Centennial Concert.jpg
Branch performing in January 2010
Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch

(1983-07-02) July 2, 1983 (age 35)
Other names
  • Michelle Branch Landau
  • Michelle Landau
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active1999–present
Teddy Landau
(m. 2004;div. 2015)

Patrick Carney(m. 2019)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Associated acts The Wreckers
Website michellebranch.com

Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch (born July 2, 1983) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. During the early 2000s, she released two top-selling albums: The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper. She won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals with Santana for "The Game of Love".

<i>The Spirit Room</i> 2001 studio album by Michelle Branch

The Spirit Room is the major-label debut album by singer-songwriter Michelle Branch, released by the Maverick Recording Company and Warner Bros. Records in the United States on August 14, 2001. The album was recorded at Sunset Sound, Henson Recording Studios and Ananda Studios in Hollywood, California and mastered by Stephen Marcussen at Marcussen Mastering in Los Angeles, California.

<i>Hotel Paper</i> Studio album by Michelle Branch

Hotel Paper is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Michelle Branch which was released on June 24, 2003.

The Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals was an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, to recording artists for quality pop songs on which singers collaborate. Awards in several categories are distributed annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position."


In 2005, she formed the country music duo The Wreckers with friend and fellow musician Jessica Harp, and produced the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal-nominated single "Leave the Pieces". The Wreckers disbanded in 2007 to pursue their respective solo careers. Since then, she released extended plays in 2010 and 2011, and released her third solo album, Hopeless Romantic , on April 7, 2017.

Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as folk music and blues.

The Wreckers

The Wreckers were an American country duo formed in 2005 by Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp, both of whom had solo recordings before the duo's foundation. In 2006, the duo released its debut album Stand Still, Look Pretty, which produced a Number One single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs in its lead-off single "Leave the Pieces". The album accounted for a Top Ten hit on the same chart in "My, Oh My" as well. After its release, both Branch and Harp returned to being solo singers. Harp has since had Top 40 country success of her own with the single "Boy Like Me".

Jessica Harp American musician

Jessica Leigh Harp is an American songwriter and former country artist from Kansas City, Missouri. Between 2005 and 2007, Harp and Michelle Branch recorded and performed as The Wreckers, a duo that topped the country charts in 2006 with the Grammy-nominated "Leave the Pieces." After The Wreckers disbanded, Harp began a solo career on Warner Bros. Records, the same label to which The Wreckers were signed. Her solo second album single, "Boy Like Me," debuted in March 2009 and was a Top 30 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It was followed by her second album, A Woman Needs, in March 2010.

Early life and education

Branch was born on July 2, 1983, in Sedona, Arizona, [1] [2] [3] to David and Peggy Branch. [4] Her father is Irish, and her mother is of Dutch-Indonesian ("Indo") and French descent. [4] [5] Her siblings include an older half-brother named David and a younger sister named Nicole.

Sedona, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Sedona is a city that straddles the county line between Coconino and Yavapai counties in the northern Verde Valley region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 10,031.

Irish people Ethnic group with Celtic and other roots, native to the island of Ireland, with shared history and culture

The Irish are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to the island of Ireland, who share a common Irish ancestry, identity and culture. Ireland has been inhabited for about 12,500 years according to archaeological studies. For most of Ireland's recorded history, the Irish have been primarily a Gaelic people. Viking invasions of Ireland during the 8th to 11th centuries established the cities of Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork and Limerick. Anglo-Normans conquered parts of Ireland in the 12th century, while England's 16th/17th-century (re)conquest and colonisation of Ireland brought a large number of English and Lowland Scots people to parts of the island, especially the north. Today, Ireland is made up of the Republic of Ireland and the smaller Northern Ireland. The people of Northern Ireland hold various national identities including British, Irish, Northern Irish or some combination thereof.

The Indo people or Indos are Eurasian people living in or connected with Indonesia. In its narrowest sense, the term refers to people in the former Dutch East Indies who held European legal status but who were of mixed descent, that are descendants of various indigenous peoples of Indonesia and Dutch settlers. In the broadest sense, an Indo is anyone of mixed European and Indonesian descent. Indos are associated with colonial culture of the former Dutch East Indies, a Dutch colony in Southeast Asia and a predecessor to modern Indonesia after its proclamation of independence shortly after World War II. The term was used to describe people acknowledged to be of mixed Dutch and Indonesian descent, or it was a term used in the Dutch East Indies to apply to Europeans who had partial Asian ancestry. The European ancestry of these people was predominantly Dutch, but also included Portuguese, British, French, Belgian, German, and others.

Beginning to sing at the age of three, Branch enrolled in voice lessons at Northern Arizona University when she was eight, [4] [6] [7] and received her first guitar for her 14th birthday. [2] [3] [7] After teaching herself chords, she composed her first song "Fallen" within a week of receiving her guitar. [8] She initially attended Sedona Red Rock High School, [6] but finished the last two years of her high school education through home schooling so that she could focus on her music career. [7]

Northern Arizona University public research university located in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public research university with its main campus in Flagstaff, Arizona. Governed by the Arizona Board of Regents and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the university offers 158 baccalaureate and graduate degree programs.

Sedona Red Rock High School is a high school in Sedona, Arizona. It is part of the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District.


1983–2000: Broken Bracelet

To support Branch's interests, her parents helped her book local gigs in Sedona, and later financed her independent album Broken Bracelet . [7] Her set list at these gigs included covers of songs by Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb, Jewel, and Fleetwood Mac. [8]

Sheryl Crow American musician and actress

Sheryl Suzanne Crow is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actress. Her music incorporates elements of pop, rock, country, and blues. She has released ten studio albums, four compilations, two live albums, and has contributed to a number of film soundtracks. Her songs include "All I Wanna Do", "If It Makes You Happy", "My Favorite Mistake" and the theme song for the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. She has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. Crow has garnered nine Grammy Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Lisa Loeb American singer-songwriter and actress

Lisa Anne Loeb is an American singer-songwriter, producer, touring artist, actress, author, and philanthropist who started her career with the platinum-selling number 1 hit song, "Stay " from the film Reality Bites, the first number 1 single for an artist without a recording contract. Her studio albums include two back-to-back albums that were certified Gold; these were Tails and the Grammy-nominated Firecracker.

Jewel (singer) American musician, producer, actress, and poet

Jewel Kilcher, known mononymously as Jewel, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, producer, actress, author, and poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2015, has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

In December 1999, she posted two of her songs on the Rolling Stone website, which caught the attention of both pop rock band Hanson and former Rolling Stone writer and Los Angeles record producer Jeff Rabhan, eventually leading to two gigs opening for Hanson in 2000. [4]

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

Pop rock is rock music with a greater emphasis on professional songwriting and recording craft, and less emphasis on attitude. Originating in the 1950s as an alternative to rock and roll, early pop rock was influenced by the beat, arrangements, and style of rock and roll. It may be viewed as a distinct genre field, rather than music that overlaps with pop and rock. The detractors of pop rock often deride it as a slick, commercial product, less authentic than rock music.

Hanson (band) American pop-rock band

Hanson is an American pop rock band from Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States, formed by brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac. Supporting members include Dimitrius Collins, and Andrew Perusi (bass) who have toured and performed live with the band since 2007. They are best known for the 1997 hit song "MMMBop" from their debut album released through Mercury, Polygram, Middle of Nowhere, which earned three Grammy nominations. Despite the enormous commercial success of Middle of Nowhere, the band suffered from the merger that eliminated their label, Mercury Records. The group was moved to Island Def Jam Music Group, which they eventually left after a conflict with the label. Hanson has sold over 16 million records worldwide and have had 8 top 40 albums and 5 top 40 singles in the US, as well as 8 top 40 singles in the UK. The band now records under its own independent record label, 3CG Records.

In June 2000, Branch self-produced Broken Bracelet, [4] a compilation of songs she wrote when she was 14 and 15; [5] the album was released on the independent record label Twin Dragon Records. [4] [5] Its title was inspired from a bracelet made by pop singer Jewel, given to Branch by musician Steve Poltz at a Lisa Loeb concert she attended. Poltz told Branch that "when it breaks, you'll be famous." [4] The Broken Bracelet recordings were destroyed in the Nashville floods in May 2010. [9]

2001–2005: The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper

Branch performing in October 2003. Michelle Branch in October 2003 mod.jpg
Branch performing in October 2003.

In 2001, Branch signed a recording deal with Maverick Records, [4] [5] [7] where she began working with John Shanks to produce her first album and major-label debut. [10] The album, The Spirit Room , was released in August 2001, [5] [10] producing the hit single "Everywhere". The single was a commercial success, winning the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards Viewer's Choice Award. [11] "Everywhere" was later followed by singles "All You Wanted" and "Goodbye to You". In August 2001, she appeared on Total Request Live after "Everywhere" reached No. 4 on the show's chart. Due to the mainstream success of those released singles, The Spirit Room was certified Double Platinum by the RIAA for selling over two million copies in the United States. [12] Michelle also sang on the song "Deeper" from Hanson's 2004 album Underneath . VH1 also released a Pop-Up Video for her song "All You Wanted".

Branch met Justincase before her debut on Maverick Records, becoming friends over the Internet before meeting in Las Vegas for a music convention in 2000. [13] Justincase was signed to Maverick Records in late 2001 with the help of Branch. [14] [15] [16] A self-titled album was released on October 29, 2002, and included several collaborations with Branch, including the lead single, "Don't Cry for Us". [17]

In 2002, Branch teamed up with Santana, alongside songwriters Gregg Alexander and Rick Nowels, to produce the song "The Game of Love", [3] [5] [18] which went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. [2] [11] She also earned a Grammy nomination in 2003 for Best New Artist, [11] which was won by Norah Jones.

Branch's second major label album, Hotel Paper , was released in 2003 and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA for selling over one million copies. [19] [20] However, the album was met with mixed reviews. The lead single, "Are You Happy Now?", was a chart success, earning Branch a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, [11] though the song lost to Pink's "Trouble". The following singles, however, "Breathe" and "'Til I Get over You", did not match the first single's success. Branching out into television, she appeared in several shows, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer , American Dreams , and Charmed . In June 2004, she hosted MTV's "Faking the Video" alongside Nick Lachey and JC Chasez. She also appeared in the Rob Schneider film The Hot Chick .

2005–2007: The Wreckers

Michelle Branch (center) during a June 2007 concert with Jessica Harp (right) as The Wreckers. The Wreckers on stage.jpg
Michelle Branch (center) during a June 2007 concert with Jessica Harp (right) as The Wreckers.

In July 2005, Branch began collaborating with her backup singer and longtime friend Jessica Harp. [3] [21] [22] [23] They were initially known as "The Cass County Homewreckers" as a joke by Branch's husband, [24] but they trimmed it down to The Wreckers. [21] Their album attempted to combine their respective genres—pop rock and country. It was originally slated for release in June 2005 but was delayed because of reasons surrounding Branch's pregnancy. [3] The duo's first single "Leave the Pieces" was released in February 2006, while their album Stand Still, Look Pretty was released in May. [21]

During this period, they contributed to Santana's album All That I Am , with the song "I'm Feeling You", [21] appearing on the American teen television drama One Tree Hill , [3] and joined country music stars Rascal Flatts on a U.S. tour. [22] [23] They initially toured with Gavin DeGraw, Tyler Hilton and Bethany Joy Galeotti, which was also written into the show during the second season. [21] The group was nominated for the 2006 CMA Awards Vocal Duo of the Year and for a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal [2] [11] for the song "Leave the Pieces" in December 2006. Stand Still, Look Pretty was certified Gold by the RIAA with sales of 851,000 copies as of March 2009. The Wreckers split in 2007. [2]

Branch sold her Calabasas, California home and moved to Nashville, Tennessee. [25] [26]

2008–2012: Unreleased albums

Branch performing in August 2009. Michelle Branch at The Grove Los Angeles, 19 August 2009 (5262371773).jpg
Branch performing in August 2009.

Immediately thereafter, Branch wrote an unreleased song for Mandy Moore's 2007 album Wild Hope , [27] and also wrote "Together" for the soundtrack of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 ; it was also featured as the final song ever played on the CBS TV soap opera, Guiding Light . In October 2007, she announced that she was working on a new solo album and later reported the title would be Everything Comes and Goes. [2] In June 2008, she played several live shows in preparation for the album's release with her sister Nicole singing backing vocals.

In early 2009, she sang the song "I Lose My Heart" in a duet with Chris Isaak on his new album Mr. Lucky . [28] A video for the first single from the album "Sooner Or Later" was released on July 28, 2009. Also in 2009, she recorded "A Case of You" (originally by Joni Mitchell) for the compilation Covered, A Revolution in Sound which commemorated Warner Bros. Records 50th anniversary. [29] A video was made for the song "This Way" and uploaded to Branch's official YouTube account in October 2009, [30] but it was not released as a single and did not chart. (The video was included on a limited edition DVD entitled The Video Anthology available on michellebranch.com.) [31] Everything Comes and Goes was finally released as a six-track extended play on July 16, 2010, via Branch's website and would be available at all retailers one month later. [32] In 2010, Branch and R&B/hip-hop producer Timbaland collaborated on a pop/R&B song entitled "Getaway" and released a video. [33]

In December 2010, Branch announced her return to her pop/rock roots for her album, West Coast Time. [34] [35] In early 2011, Branch released three previously unreleased songs from Everything Comes and Goes including, "Texas In the Mirror", "Take a Chance on Me", and "Long Goodbye", the latter a duet with Dwight Yoakam. On March 22, 2011 in a video regarding updates on the third studio album uploaded via Branch's YouTube account, Branch confirmed that half the album is finished and added that "it's sounding really really good....it's all going well and it's all on time." [36] On April 14, 2011 it was announced that Branch had finished recording the album, she also added that "only mixing/mastering left. Michelle practiced and recorded a few tracks with Tilted Head and FIVE lead singer Joshua Barton, however it is still a work in progress." [37] On May 26, 2011, Branch hosted a live webchat with fans in which she previewed her new single "Loud Music", which was released to the iTunes Store on June 14, 2011. The song was co-written and produced by British writers Jim Irvin and Julian Emery who collaborated with Michelle on several songs on the album. In the webcast, Branch also mentioned songs on the album called "Mastermind" and "The Story Of Us" and also added that "Through The Radio" would be a hidden track on the CD. In a previous webcast, she premiered a song from the album called "Spark". During a live outdoor performance at the Warner Brothers building she performed another new song, dedicated to her then-husband Teddy Landau, "For Dear Life". In June 2011, she released the album's first single titled "Loud Music". It has charted on the Adult Pop Songs chart. On July 12, 2011, Branch performed "God Bless America" at the MLB All-Star Game, in Phoenix, Arizona. In September, a new song "Another Sun" was featured on Fox's TV series Terra Nova. [38] On October 29, 2011, she gave a small concert to approximately 200 fans at the Egyptian Room in downtown Indianapolis, as part of the Gravedigger's Ball. On December 12, 2011, Branch released a song titled "If You Happen to Call" for free download on the official website. [39]

In February 2012, VH1 hosted the "100 Greatest Women In Music" special and she was nominated in both the "Pop" category and the "Greatest Female Artist of All Time". On April 3, 2012, Michelle Branch performed "Leave the Pieces" with Kelly Clarkson in Los Angeles as part of Clarkson's Stronger Tour. On September 5, the singer premiered a new pop-rock track "Mastermind". [40] In September 2012, Michelle Branch joined Chef Michael Mina as a co-host of Cook Taste Eat, an online cooking show that aims to teach viewers how to cook quality food at home. [41]

As with her release, Everything Comes and Goes, West Coast Time has seen numerous delays for, as yet, unknown reasons. Branch has confirmed on her Twitter account that she knows as much as the fans do about this. In January 2011, Branch confirmed in an interview with Katie Krause from Hollywire.com that the album would be released later that year. [42] On June 1, 2011, Branch announced that the album is called West Coast Time and slated for a September 2011 release date. On December 25, 2012, Branch confirmed that West Coast Time was scheduled for release in Spring 2013, but the album has not yet been released. [43] [44]

2013–present: New record deal and Hopeless Romantic

Branch performs at Slim's in San Francisco, July 21, 2017 Michelle Branch 07 21 2017 -12 (36960062282).jpg
Branch performs at Slim's in San Francisco, July 21, 2017

For much of 2013, Branch wrote songs and moved on from the unreleased West Coast Time. On November 5, 2013, Branch announced that she had started recording a new album in London with Martin Terefe. [45] On February 2, 2014, she confirmed on Twitter that the rest of the album would be recorded in Nashville for a pop-rock sound.[ citation needed ] In October 2014, she recorded a cover of Radiohead's "Creep" which was subsequently used in an episode of Stalker. [46]

On July 17, 2015, Branch announced that she had signed with Verve Records. [47] In May 2016, she appeared on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee to sing "Goodbye Ted Cruz", a reworking of her song "Goodbye to You", as a tongue-in-cheek lament to the suspension of Ted Cruz's US presidential campaign. [48]

In December 2016, Entertainment Weekly announced Branch's new album, Hopeless Romantic , which was released on April 7, 2017. [49] [50] Branch announced in September 2017, that she had parted ways with Verve Records. [51]

Branch and Patrick Carney performed a cover of the song "A Horse with No Name" for the season 4 episode of BoJack Horseman titled "The Old Sugarman Place", where the title character drives through the desert. This version also appears on the soundtrack album of the series. [52]

Musical style and influence

Branch has stated that her music has been influenced by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, Lisa Loeb, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Fleetwood Mac and Cat Stevens. [4] [53] [54] She also likes classical music and older country music. [18] [23] Branch mainly uses a Gibson Hummingbird after retiring her blue Taylor 614ce. [55] [56]

Personal life

Branch married her bass player Teddy Landau in Mexico on May 23, 2004, [2] [21] [57] and gave birth to a girl named Owen on August 3, 2005. [58] Branch separated from Landau in 2014, [59] and their divorce was finalized in November 2015. [60] [61] In 2015 Branch met Patrick Carney of The Black Keys at a Grammy party and the two started dating during the production of Hopeless Romantic . [62] [63] In 2017, Branch and her daughter moved into Carney's home in Nashville. [64] In February 2018, it was announced that Branch and Carney were expecting their first child. [65] The baby was born on August 28, 2018, named Rhys James Carney. [66] [67] The couple live in Nashville with their children and two Irish wolfhounds, Charlotte and Darla. Branch and Carney were married on April 20, 2019.


Studio albums



2001 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Herself / Musical GuestEpisode "Tabula Rasa"
2002 American Dreams Lesley Gore Episode "The End of the Innocence"
The Hot Chick DJ
2003 Charmed Herself / Musical GuestEpisode "Centennial Charmed"
2005 One Tree Hill Episode "The Hero Dies In This One"
2010 Hell's Kitchen HerselfEpisode "16 Chefs Compete"

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Branch has won one award from four nominations.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2003 Michelle Branch Best New Artist Nominated
"The Game of Love" (with Santana) Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Won
2004 "Are You Happy Now?" Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
2007 "Leave the Pieces" Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated

MTV Video Music Awards

The MTV Video Music Awards were established in 1984 by MTV to celebrate the top music videos of the year. Branch received three nominations.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2002 "All You Wanted" Best Female Video Nominated
Best Pop Video Nominated
"Everywhere" Viewer's Choice Won

Teen Choice Awards

The Teen Choice Awards is an annual awards show first aired in 1999 by Fox Broadcasting Company. Branch received four nominations.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2002 Michelle BranchChoice Breakout ArtistNominated
"All You Wanted" Choice Love Song Nominated
Choice Summer SongNominated
2003 "The Game of Love" Choice Hook Up Nominated

Other awards

YearOrganizationAward [11] ResultRef
2003IFPI Hong Kong Top Sales Music AwardsTop 10 Best Selling Foreign Albums (as Hotel Paper)Won
Clear Top 10 Awards (Indonesia)Amazing International HitmakerNominated [68]
2006 Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year (as The Wreckers)Nominated
2007 MusicRow AwardsMajor Label Breakout Artist of the Year (as The Wreckers)Won
R&R Readers' PollBest New Performer (as The Wreckers)Won

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