Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American pop and rock singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the hit song 'A Thousand Miles', a single from her platinum-selling debut album Be Not Nobody (2002). Carlton's second album, Harmonium (2004), was a commercial failure, leading her to part company from her record label. She currently resides in San Francisco with her producer-boyfriend, Stephan Jenkins (lead singer of Third Eye Blind), and she began production on her third album in late 2005.
Carlton was born in Milford, Pennsylvania to Ed Carlton, a pilot, and Heidi, a piano teacher; she has two younger siblings, Gwen and Edmond. Her mother is Jewish, and although she was not raised in any religion, she has referred to herself as 'Jewish' and said she was 'spiritual'. She began playing the piano as a toddler, and received tutoring from her mother. After returning from Disneyland at the age of two, Carlton played 'It's A Small World' on the piano. This event inspired Carlton's mother to expose Carlton to various classical composers such as Mozart and Eric Satie. She went to ballet school in New York City beginning at age 12. The stress and rigid training in the ballet lessons proved too much for her, and she chose not to become a ballerina after graduating from the academy. She attended Columbia University and performed in bars and clubs all over Manhattan. Carlton met Peter Zizzo at a singer-songwriter circle and a few months later, Zizzo invited Carlton to his studio to begin recording a demo with instruments accompany Carlton's piano and vocals. Three months after recording the demo tape, Carlton was signed onto Interscope Records where she began recording the album Rinse, which was never released. Rinse has twelve tracks, including songs that later appeared on her debut album, Be not Nobody, in slightly reworked form, such as 'Ordinary Day', 'Rinse', 'Pretty Baby', 'Twilight', 'Interlude' (later entitled 'A Thousand Miles'); songs that remain unreleased in any form, except for Internet bootlegs (which exist for at least seven of the twelve tracks), such as 'All I Ask' and 'Superhero'; and one song, 'Carnival', which was later reworked as 'Dark Carnival' for the Sony PlayStation game Spy Hunter 2. According to an interview in the February 2006 Teen Vogue, she also recently completed the New York City ING marathon in 2005. She donated the pledge money she collected to Musicians on Call, a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to patients' bedsides
Carlton's debut CD, Be Not Nobody, was released on April 30, 2002. It included the hit Piano pop single 'A Thousand Miles', which reached the top five of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Follow-up singles 'Ordinary Day' and 'Pretty Baby', however, were less successful. In 2003, Carlton received Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year for 'A Thousand Miles'. Carlton also provided the descant vocals for the Counting Crows' cover of Joni Mitchell's 'Big Yellow Taxi', recorded for the film Two Weeks Notice.
Carlton's second album, Harmonium, was released on November 9, 2004, and yielded the single 'White Houses', which preceded the album. Harmonium debuted outside of the top thirty on the Billboard 200 album chart, and both album and single (which reached number eighty-six in the U.S.) were considered commercial failures. Carlton's record label, who had delayed Harmonium several times, decided not to release a second single from the album.
During her Harmonium tour, Carlton debuted three new songs on June 14, 2005 at The Living Room in New York City: 'Put Your Hands On Me', 'This Time', and 'The One'. While on tour with rock icon Stevie Nicks, Carlton has also debuted the song 'Best Behavior'.
In a post on her official site's forum, Carlton suggested to her fans – who often refer to themselves as 'nessaholics' – that she would be releasing a third album in 2006, although she added 'most people will know it as my second!' due to a perceived lack of commitment to Harmonium (or indeed any artistic empathy) at her current label 1. Her 2005 collaboration with the Italian rock and blues singer Zucchero along with Hayle Ecker on violin for the song 'Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime' was moderately successful, reaching the top forty in France. 2 In September 2005, Carlton entered the studio with producer Linda Perry to record her next album.
|Album information |
|Be Not Nobody #5 U.S. (platinum) #7UK, #13 AUS (Gold) |
- Released: June 13, 2002 (U.S.)
- 2002: 'A Thousand Miles' #5 U.S., #6 UK, #1 AUS (2x Platnium), #1 INDONESIA
- 2002: 'Ordinary Day' #30 U.S., #6 UK, #48 AUS, #3 INDONESIA3
- 2002' 'Pretty Baby' Failed to Chart in US, #20 INDONESIA
|Harmonium #33 U.S. (200,000 copies) |
- Released: November 9, 2004 (U.S.)
- 2004: 'White Houses' #86 U.S, #22 INDONESIA
- 2005: 'Who's To Say' #45 INDONESIA
Guest appearance on Films About Ghosts (Counting Crows album):
External links This biography is published under the GNU Licence