Vanessa Carlton

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Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Carlton promo photo (recoloured).jpg
Vanessa Lee Carlton

(1980-08-16) August 16, 1980 (age 38)
Residence Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active2001–present
John McCauley(m. 2013)
Musical career
Genres Pop, pop rock
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • tambourine
Associated acts

Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. Upon completion of her education at the School of American Ballet, Carlton chose to pursue singing instead, performing in New York City bars and clubs while attending college. Three months after recording a demo with producer Peter Zizzo, she signed with A&M Records. She began recording her album, which was initially unsuccessful until Ron Fair took over.

Pianist musician who plays the piano

A pianist is an individual musician who plays the piano. Since most forms of Western music can make use of the piano, pianists have a wide repertoire and a wide variety of styles to choose from, among them traditional classical music, jazz, blues, and all sorts of popular music, including rock and roll. Most pianists can, to an extent, easily play other keyboard-related instruments such as the synthesizer, harpsichord, celesta, and the organ.

The School of American Ballet (SAB) is an American classical ballet school and is the associate school of the New York City Ballet, a ballet company based at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The school trains students from the age of six, with professional vocational ballet training for students aged 11–18. Graduates of the school achieve employment with leading ballet companies worldwide, most notably in the United States with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.


Her debut single, "A Thousand Miles", reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002. Her debut album, Be Not Nobody , followed and received a platinum certification in the United States. Her subsequent albums, Harmonium (2004) and Heroes & Thieves (2007), failed to match the commercial success of the first. She produced a fourth album, Rabbits on the Run (2011), independently before seeking a record label to release it. Carlton released a holiday EP titled Hear the Bells in November 2012, and released her fifth studio album, Liberman , on October 23, 2015. [1] [2] [3]

A Thousand Miles Vanessa Carlton song

"A Thousand Miles" is the debut single written and recorded by American pop singer Vanessa Carlton. Produced by Curtis Schweitzer and Ron Fair, the song was released as the lead single for Carlton's album Be Not Nobody (2002). Her signature song, it became Carlton's breakthrough hit and one of the most popular songs of the year. To date, it remains Carlton's biggest hit in the United States, and her only single to reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

<i>Be Not Nobody</i> 2002 studio album by Vanessa Carlton

Be Not Nobody is the debut album by American singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, released on April 30, 2002, through A&M Records.

Life and career

Childhood and youth

Carlton was born in Milford, Pennsylvania, the first of three children of Edmund "Ed" Carlton, a pilot, and Heidi Lee, a pianist and school music teacher. [4] Her two younger siblings are a sister, Gwen, and a brother, Edmund. [5] [6] Carlton is Jewish on her mother's side. [7]

Milford, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Milford is a borough in Pike County, Pennsylvania, United States, and the county seat. Its population was 1,021 at the 2010 census. Located on the upper Delaware River, Milford is part of the New York metropolitan area.

Her interest in music began at an early age. At the age of 2, she visited Disneyland Park and played "It's a Small World" on the piano when she came home. Her mother then began to tutor her. [8] [9] She was introduced to classical music from a young age. By the age of 9, she had become passionate about ballet. In 1994, when Carlton was 14 years old, she enrolled at the School of American Ballet. Upon graduation, she put on vocal performances at nightclubs in the community, beginning to feel more comfortable and dynamic on the stage. Carlton was signed to A&M Records in 2001. [10]

Its a Small World Dark ride at Disney theme parks

It's a Small World is a water-based dark ride located in the Fantasyland area at the various Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide; these include: Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California; the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida; Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris; and Hong Kong Disneyland, with its inaugural version having originally premiered at the 1964 New York World's Fair before permanently moving to Disneyland. The ride features over 300 audio-animatronic children in traditional costumes from cultures around the world, frolicking in a spirit of international unity, and singing the attraction's title song, which has a theme of global peace. According to, the Sherman Brothers' song "It's A Small World" is the most publicly performed song of all time.

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

2002–03: Be Not Nobody

Carlton first met songwriter/producer Peter Zizzo at a singer-songwriter circle. A few months later, Zizzo invited Carlton to his studio to record a demo. [11] Three months after recording the demo, Carlton was signed by Jimmy Iovine and began to record the album, Rinse. [12] It was never released, but a few tracks were reworked for Be Not Nobody . One song, "Carnival", was re-recorded as "Dark Carnival" for the video game SpyHunter 2 . Other tracks included in Rinse are "Interlude" (later known as "A Thousand Miles"), "Rinse", "Ordinary Days" (later known as "Ordinary Day"), "Twilight", "Pretty Baby", "All I Ask" and "Superhero". Of these, only the first five are included in her first album, Be Not Nobody. Other unreleased tracks from her early demo tapes include "Faces", "Meggie Sue", "Little Mary", "Burden", "Wonder", "Devil Dance" and "Last Fall".

Peter Eric Zizzo is an Emmy and Grammy Award winning American songwriter, music producer, musician and writer. Zizzo has written hits for artists such as Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez, Marit Larsen, O.A.R, Jason Mraz, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, M2M, Sir Cliff Richard, Clay Aiken, Howie Day, Kate Voegele, Jackie Evancho, Pixie Lott, Vanessa Carlton, and many others. He has been considered instrumental in developing the careers of artists Avril Lavigne, Vanessa Carlton in the US, and Pixie Lott in the UK. Recordings of his songs have collectively sold in excess of 100 million copies worldwide.

Jimmy Iovine American music executive

James Iovine is an American record producer best known as the co-founder of Interscope Records. In 2006, Iovine and rapper-producer Dr. Dre founded Beats Electronics, which produces audio products and operated a now-defunct music streaming service. The company was purchased by Apple Inc. for $3 billion in May 2014.

<i>SpyHunter 2</i> 2003 video game

SpyHunter 2 is a video game published by Midway in 2003 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. This game is the sequel to the 2001 remake of the 1983 game Spy Hunter. The player takes off his 1st mission in Russia, right where the last level left off from leaving Petra, Jordan and the NOSTRA organization completely decimated initializing a sequel from the 2001 remake; he begins his cooperation with Agent Duvelle. Traveling in various locations all around the planet including the United States, Asia, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, and Antarctica. The weapons van is brought back again and equipped this time with an automatic turret / machine gun being that the player can utilize in extreme vehicular combat resolutions. The newly acquired Interceptor SpyHunter vehicle can enter off-road mode and transform itself into a jet-ski, a snow-mobile, a motor-tricycle, and a speedboat. The player can also choose from an arsenal of weapons inspired by James Bond 007 and Mission Impossible. The various armament includes Mines, Smoke Screen, Oil Slick, Machine Guns, Rockets, Missiles, Lasers and Cannons. The soundtrack features the song "Dark Carnival" recorded by Vanessa Carlton.

With her previous unsuccessful recording efforts, Carlton felt there was a lack of direction at her label. [13] However, A&M president Ron Fair upon hearing her demo to "A Thousand Miles", began organizing recording sessions for the song, producing and arranging the song himself. [14] It became a hit, peaking inside the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 and went on to become the sixth-most-played song of the year, as well as garnering Grammy Award nominations for "Record of the Year", "Song of the Year", and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)". [15] Fair would produce the rest of the album. Be Not Nobody was subsequently released in April 2002 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart with 102,000 units sold. It went on to sell more than two million copies worldwide. [16] Two more singles, "Ordinary Day" and "Pretty Baby" were released. Carlton began touring in support of her debut album, opening for the Goo Goo Dolls and Third Eye Blind, before headlining her own tour at the end of 2002. She later toured Europe in 2003. [17]

A&M Records American historical record label

A&M Records was an American record label founded as an independent company by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 1962. Due to the success of the discography A&M released, the label garnered interest and was acquired by PolyGram in 1989 and began distributing releases from Polydor Ltd. from the UK. Throughout its operations, A&M housed well-known acts such as Gin Blossoms, Dishwalla, Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Captain & Tennille, Sting, Sergio Mendes, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supertramp, Bryan Adams, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, The Carpenters, Paul Williams, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Elkie Brooks, Carole King, Styx, Extreme, Amy Grant, Joan Baez, the Human League, The Police, CeCe Peniston, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, Duffy and Sheryl Crow.

Ronald Fair is an American veteran A&R, record executive, musical arranger, recording engineer and conductor. In a career that has spanned over 30 years at major record labels he has produced and arranged hits for several artists, but he is best known as a "guru/mentor", guiding the careers of unknown artists and turning them into superstars. Among the artists he has mentored are Christina Aguilera, Vanessa Carlton, Keyshia Cole, The Black Eyed Peas and Fergie, and the Pussycat Dolls.

Grammy Award Accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.

Carlton had collaborated with other artists before the release of her second album. She provided the descant vocals for the Counting Crows song "Big Yellow Taxi", played piano for Italian singer Zucchero, along with Haylie Ecker on violin, for the song "Indaco Dagli Occhi Del Cielo" [18] and provided backing vocals for "Moving On" by Kimya Dawson for her album Hidden Vagenda .

2004–05: Harmonium

Carlton's second album, Harmonium was released in November 2004. Harmonium debuted at number 33 on the Billboard 200 [15] and descended quickly after; selling less than 150,000 copies as of February 2006, which was considered a disappointment after her successful debut. [19] It was produced by Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind, and included darker themes than those on her debut album. [20] Carlton and Jenkins met and began a relationship in mid-2002, when she and rock band Third Eye Blind, of which Jenkins is lead singer, were on tour together. After seeing Carlton perform live, Jenkins entered her dressing room and expressed interest in producing her music, and according to Carlton they "decided very quickly, that we had the same vision for the album". [21] Carlton credited Jenkins with helping her to withstand and protect herself from pressures the record label executives, who wanted to influence the recording process, placed on her. [22] According to Carlton, her label "wasn't very happy" about the decisions she made during the making of the album. [23]

Carlton stated that the album contained more of her own aesthetic as opposed to Be Not Nobody which was more influenced by Ron Fair. [24] A single, "White Houses", released to radio in late August 2004, peaking at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. [25] MTV censored and later banned the single's music video because of a controversial lyric in the song that refers to sexual intercourse. Carlton attributed the censoring of the song to the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy involving Janet Jackson which had occurred earlier that year. [26]

To support the album, Carlton embarked on a North American concert tour, which began on October 21, and concluded on November 21; her opening act was Low Millions. A second tour, with Cary Brothers and Ari Hest as supporting acts, ran from March 9 to April 30. Carlton left A&M Records in mid-2005 [27] as she felt that her nonconformist attitude would have created problems for her at the label in the future. [15] A&M Records had sent Carlton into the recording studio because they wanted to re-release Harmonium, whereas Carlton felt the album should be promoted as it was. During her studio time, in which she wrote songs with Linda Perry and The Matrix, [28] [29] she had what she called a "revelation" about leaving the label to find another record deal once promotion for Harmonium had ended. [30] In the same period she collaborated with the Italian singer Zucchero Fornaciari featuring his song Indaco Dagli Occhi Del Cielo (cover of the well known Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime ), together with the violinist Haylie Ecker, in the album Zu & Co.

2006–08: Heroes & Thieves

Carlton at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 Vanessa Carlton by David Shankbone.jpg
Carlton at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008

In August 2005, Carlton said she was to enter the recording studio the following month with producer Linda Perry, [31] with whom she had previously collaborated after executives at A&M Records sent her into the studio to record a re-release single for Harmonium. [28] The album was influenced by Carlton's breakup with its co-producer, Stephan Jenkins, and Carlton said that one of the reasons they remained friends was that "nothing took precedence over the music ... No matter what was going on in the emotional realm, all we cared about was the album. It created this kinetic environment that was kind of like Fleetwood Mac. It made for better music." [32]

Heroes & Thieves was released and greeted with generally positive reviews. [33] It debuted at number 44 on the U.S. Billboard 200, [34] "Nolita Fairytale" was the first single and peaked at number 26 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 Tracks chart. [35] To promote the album, Carlton embarked on the Haunted Club Tour, from November 2 to 24, 2007. [36] Second single "Hands on Me" was sent out to radio in February 2008 and reached number 30 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 Tracks chart. One song on the album was "Spring Street," based on Spring Street in SoHo in Manhattan. [37] Carlton parted amicably with The Inc. once her promotional commitments to Heroes & Thieves had passed.[ citation needed ]

She contributed a stripped-down version of the song "More than This" to Songs for Tibet , an album compiled in support of Tibet to underline its human rights situation. [38] On September 25, 2008, Carlton and several other musicians and scientists departed on a nine-day trip to the Arctic Circle. On behalf of the charity Cape Farewell, they worked alongside researchers for the purpose of studying climate change. [39] Carlton had been a part for PETA's Animal Birth Control Campaign; [40] she owns a long haired dachshund named Lord Victor.

2009–12: Rabbits on the Run and Hear the Bells

Carlton performing live in August 2011 Vanessa Carlton 2011.jpg
Carlton performing live in August 2011

Carlton's fourth studio album Rabbits on the Run was released on July 26, 2011 under Razor & Tie, the third record label she signed with. [41] Before recording the album, Carlton was unsure whether she wanted to make another record or pursue film scoring instead. [42] After deciding to try again, she decided that she needed to record in the ideal environment, choosing to record at Real World Studios Box, England. [43] [ not in citation given ] She chose the title for the symbolism often depicted by rabbits – 'time slipping, mind floating' – which is something she has been relating to for the past few years. [44] The album was further inspired by Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and Richard Adams's Watership Down . The dreamy, fantastical sound of the album was achieved by recording direct to tape and features production by Steve Osborne. [42] First single, "Carousel" was released on May 3. [45] On September 19, a tweet in Carlton's account made by her management stated that "I Don't Want to Be a Bride" would be the next single off the record. Via Twitter, Carlton announced that her label wouldn’t produce a video for "I Don't Want to Be a Bride," instead producing one for "Hear the Bells". [46] The music video, which Carlton describes as her most revealing to date, was released on June 7, 2012.

On November 10, a tweet made by Carlton's management announced the upcoming release of her holiday EP titled Hear the Bells on November 21. [47] The EP consists of four tracks, two of which are acoustic versions of Carlton's songs Hear the Bells and A Thousand Miles. [48]

Late 2012–Early 2017: Liberman, Blue Pool, Liberman Live and Earlier Things Live

Carlton performing live at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood (Los Angeles) California on Thursday January 21, 2016 Vanessa Carlton live at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood (Los Angeles) California 05 (cropped).jpg
Carlton performing live at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood (Los Angeles) California on Thursday January 21, 2016

Carlton announced that she had returned to Real World Studios in late 2012 to commence work on a new album related to euphoria. She has since clarified on Twitter that "Euphoria" is not the actual name of the new album, nor is it straightforward electronically fabricated. [49]

In late 2013 on a small tour, Carlton teased new songs "Willows", "House Of Seven Swords", "A Matter Of Time", "Take It Easy" and "Unlock The Lock".

On February 28, 2014, Carlton announced that she has finished recording the new album, which is ten tracks in length and will be titled Liberman . [2] On April 11, 2014, Carlton stated that Liberman was being mastered. [50] Carlton's 2014 summer tour supported the Barefoot Wine Beach Project, which encourages people to clean the beach and keep it safe for wildlife. She performed a track to promote the events for Fox New York TV titled "Willows", which she said is about the trees she loved when growing up. She also revealed that her album Liberman would be released in 2015. [51] In an interview with CBS News published on June 11, 2014, Carlton called the album "kind of lush, trippy and beautiful...You really feel like you're falling into a rabbit hole of sounds." About the album, she said: "It's pretty short. It's 10 songs. It's meant to be listened through your headphones." [3]

On April 20, 2015, it was announced that Carlton has signed with Dine Alone Records for the release of Liberman, which would be released in October 2015. [1] Esquire premiered "Young Heart", a song not expected to be included on the album but released as a "pre-release single." [52] On June 15, 2015, Carlton released the song "Blue Pool" through Nylon Magazine's website. The song is included on the Blue Pool EP, released digitally on July 24, 2015. The songs included on the EP will be part of a deluxe version of her full-length album, Liberman. On August 3, 2015, Southern Living premiered the official music video for "Blue Pool." [53] On August 27, 2015, USA Today premiered the official lyric video for "Willows." The album artwork for Liberman was also revealed along with its release date of October 23, 2015. [54]

Vanessa released 'Liberman Live' on October 21, 2016. [55] The album consists of 8 live tracks recorded while on tour in Nashville, TN.

On February 17, 2017, Carlton released another live-album entitled Earlier Things Live via her own Victor Music label. The set includes 6 songs from albums that were released pre-Liberman and played live during her Liberman Tour throughout 2015-2016.

2017–present: Cover Songs, Love Is An Art and Broadway debut

Carlton has performed a song titled "Love Is An Art" throughout 2017, and has stated that it may be the title of her new album. As of June 28, 2017, she has begun writing songs for it. [56] On December 25, 2018 she posted on Instagram saying that she would be entering the studio to record her new album on January 23, 2019. [57]

In March 2018, Carlton began to release one cover song a month while worked on her sixth album. The first of six songs, a cover of "Call Your Girlfriend" by Robyn, was released digitally March 23, 2018. The second, a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" was released April 20, 2018. The third, a cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" was released May 18, 2018. The fourth cover, Fred Neil's "Little Bit of Rain" was released on June 15, 2018. The fifth cover, "Needle in the Hay" by Elliott Smith was released on July 20, 2018. The sixth and final cover song, "Lonely Girls" by Lucinda Williams was released on August 10, 2018. She later confirmed that the covers EP would be released as a triple vinyl collection along with the Liberman Live and Earlier Things Live EPs on November 23, 2018. [58]

In May 2019, Carlton's Instagram page revealed that she would be taking over the lead role in the Carole King musical Beautiful for a limited season from June 27. This marks Carlton's Broadway debut. On May 27, 2019, Carlton announced via her Instagram that her sixth album is titled Love Is an Art and that it was produced by Dave Fridmann. The album was mastered the same day of the announcement. [59]

Personal life

As a teenager, Vanessa Carlton suffered from depression and developed anorexia after completing high school. She sought therapy and overcame her eating disorder before her first single debuted and managed her depression with medication. [60]

On June 19, 2010, Carlton came out as bisexual while headlining Nashville Pride. [61] She stated to the attending audience, "I've never said this before, but I am a proud bisexual woman." [62]

On October 9, 2013, at a live performance in Bay Shore, New York, Carlton announced that she was expecting her first child with her fiance John McCauley (of the band Deer Tick) [63] and was very early on in her pregnancy. In November, she announced she had experienced an ectopic pregnancy, in which she later suffered a ruptured tube and internal bleeding. After surgery, her entire right fallopian tube was removed. [64] [65] On December 27, 2013, Carlton and McCauley married in a ceremony officiated by Stevie Nicks. [66]

On June 26, 2014, Carlton announced via Facebook that the release of Liberman would be delayed until the summer of 2015 because she was expecting another child with McCauley. [67] On January 13, 2015, Carlton gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Sidney. [68]

Charity work

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.


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Victoria Loren Kelly is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. Kelly first gained recognition after posting videos on YouTube as a teenager, and appeared as a semi-finalist on the ninth season of American Idol in 2010. Thereafter, she independently released her self-produced debut EP in 2012, Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly. In 2013, after Scooter Braun became her manager, Kelly signed with Capitol Records. Her second EP and first major-label release, Foreword (2013), followed soon after. Kelly's debut studio album Unbreakable Smile (2015) peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States with its lead single, "Nobody Love", marking her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Cam (singer) American country music singer and songwriter

Camaron Marvel Ochs, known professionally as Cam, is an American country music singer and songwriter. Her music incorporates elements taken from contemporary pop music. She began her career as a songwriter, composing material for several artists including Sam Smith and Miley Cyrus. In 2010, she released her debut studio album Heartforward on an independent record label. In 2015, she released her official album Untamed on Arista Nashville. She has shared the stage with major artists including Smith, Harry Styles, George Strait, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Maren Morris American country singer, songwriter, and record producer

Maren Larae Morris is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. She has released two studio albums. Her 2015 extended play, Maren Morris, charted on two Billboard charts. Her major label debut album, Hero, reached number five on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the Top Country Albums chart.


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