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.


Be the first to comment...

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")Songwriter Interviews

A top country songwriter, Barry talks about writing hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean.

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Is That Song Public Domain?Fact or Fiction

Are classic songs like "Over The Rainbow" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the public domain?

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.