Alanis Morissette

The energetic and talented new singer on the radio is not what you would call laid-back. She is in

no way a "here today, gone tomorrow" singer. I believe, she has and will revolutionize the entertianment


The daughter of Alan and Georgia Morissette, Alanis, an Ottawa native, is one of three children in

the family. She has an older brother named Chad and a twin brother named Wade. Although the name

Alanis is Greek itself, Alanis Morissette has no Greek background whatsoever. As it turns out, Alan

Morissette wanted his daughter to have a female version of his name, but he wasn't particularly fond of the

name Alanna. One day, by chance, he spotted the name "Alanis" in a newspaper (Chaplin 21).

Alanis loved dancing and acting when she was young and probably still does. She started learning

ballet and jazz dancing at the age of 7 (Chaplin 21). She has also done a lot of stage and theater work,

including a part on the highly popular kids' television show "You Can't Do That on Television" when she

was 11 (Chaplin 21). Alanis also appeared in the TV movie "Just One of the Girls" in 1993, which starred

Corey Haim (Trynin).

Alanis also seems to be quite fond of teaching, as she once suggested that she might have been an

English or drama teacher if she hadn't been involved in show business (Willman 5).

She has been writing songs for fun since 9. Alanis admired the music and character of Olivia

Newton John from "Grease" tremendously when she was young, which is the main reason why she was,

and is so interested in music. She also loved the writing style of George Michael. With the help of a friend

of the family who was in the music business, Alanis released her first ever single at the young age of

eleven. The song was called "Fate Stay With Me", and it was independently produced with money coming

out of her own pocket. The song was not a hit by any means, but it got some air-play on Canadian radio

stations (Willman 5).

At age 13, Alanis met Leslie Howe, who did the group one-to-one, and they started writing

together. Eventually, she was signed to MCA, and she recorded her first album, "Alanis," in 1990 (Cuellar

G7). Released in 1991, the music on this album is mostly pop and dance, along the lines of Paula Abdul.

This recording proved to be a big hit in her homeland, as "Alanis" went platinum in Canada. She was

labeled as a teenager pop/dance sensation. Her success won her a Juno Award which is Canada's version of

the Grammy, as the most promising new female vocalist (Trynin).

Her sophomore album "Now Is the Time" was released by MCA in late 1992 (Trynin). "Now Is

the Time" is also a pop album, but this recording as a whole seems to be more mature than her first album

that sounds less like a dance album. "Now Is the Time" nevertheless went platinum in Canada (Trynin).

Despite being relatively well known in Canada, Alanis was a virtual stranger in the United States.

Her biggest gigs so far were singing the national anthem at the first Ottawa Senator's game and singing her

song "Too Hot" on the 1992 NHL Awards (Chaplin 21). This may all change after Alanis is signed to

Madonna's Maverick Label. After trying to co-write with hundreds of people and being disappointed each

time, Alanis finally met Glen Ballard through MCA publishing, and immediately the two enjoyed each

other's writing style.

Her third release, "Jagged Little Pill" showed a very different Alanis than in the previous two

albums. Instead of using MIDI machines, sequencers and other electronic gadgets, Alanis Morissette has

human band players (Willman 5). Also, the lyrics in this album are much more intelligent, meaningful, and

bitter. Alanis believes that the catalyst for her change in attitude and character was her move from Canada

to Los Angeles, where she learned to live independently in a big city. Alanis says that she is now mature

enough to tap into an honesty that she wasn't ready to deal with when she was younger. Most of the songs

on "Jagged Little Pill" are in one way or another autobiographical. People are loving her work, as her

album is now a big hit across the United States (Trynin).

To those who