Liz Phair

April 17, 1967
  • She was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but was raised by her adoptive parents in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Winnetka, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
  • Phair attended Oberlin College, a liberal arts school in Ohio, with the intent of becoming a visual artist. Songwriting was a popular pastime for many of the students, so Phair picked it up alongside her drawing. She recorded her early efforts under the moniker Girly Sound and caught the attention of the indie label Matador, who offered her a record deal.
  • Her debut album, Exile In Guyville, skewered Chicago's male-dominated alt rock scene with songs like "6'1," "Never Said," and "Stratford-On-Guy."
  • She earned further acclaim with the release of two more indie rock albums, Whip-Smart and Whitechocolatespaceegg, but found her biggest commercial success with her 2003 self-titled album through Capitol Records, a pop effort in collaboration with the production team The Matrix, who crafted confections for Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, and Hilary Duff. Critics, however, were aghast at Phair's airy pop turn, with hits like "Extraordinary," and accused the once-groundbreaking singer of selling out. But for Phair, the reaction was fitting: "This is so me, you know?" she told Yahoo! Music. "Getting in trouble. Always getting in trouble."
  • She earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the 1994 single "Supernova," but lost to Melissa Etheridge for "Come to My Window."
  • She married film editor Jim Staskauskas in 1995. The pair welcomed a son, James, the following year and divorced in 2001.
  • She is also a TV composer whose credits include Swingtown, 90210, In Plain Sight, The Client List, and The 100.
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