She started playing the piano at 2 years of age. At age 5, she won a scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, becoming the youngest person ever admitted. By the time she was 11, the school ousted her for suggesting they add contemporary music to the curriculum.
At 17, she changed her name to Tori Amos. Her name given at birth was Myra Ellen Amos. She nearly called herself Sammy Jaye until a friend's new boyfriend christened her Tori. "Then of course I found that it meant 'little chicken' in Japanese," she told Q magazine.
Her favorite pianos are Bosendorfers.
In 1988 she formed a band called "Y Kant Tori Read" (with Guns'n'Roses drummer Matt Sorum, among others) and they released their self-titled album. It did not do very well.
Aimee - Auckland, New Zealand, for all above
When she was 16, she played in a piano bar in Washington, DC, where she learned to play just about any song that was requested.
Amos told Event magazine that her earliest memory is, "Playing a black upright piano and not being able to reach the keys very well." She added: "My mother says I was two-and-a-half when I started playing. My father was a minister and when he went to church in the morning she would put on Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Cole Porter records. I'd crawl up on the piano stool, sit on a phone book and play. I played with both hands from the start."
Tori Amos was easily obsessed as a preteen. She recalled to The Metro: "I was crazy. I was writing long letters to basketball coaches. I had to take a step back."
Tori Amos spent was raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where her father had transplanted his Methodist ministry from its original base in Washington, D.C. Her first-ever single, "Baltimore
," released as a 7-inch when she was 16 under her middle name Elin Amos, is a cheerful tribute to the city.
She suffered three miscarriages in the late '90s. Her song "Spark
," from the album From The Choirgirl Hotel
, was inspired by the first loss.
On February 22, 1998 she married her longtime sound engineer, Mark Hawley. A year earlier, she relocated with him to his native Cornwall - an experience that would inspire her song "Welcome to England
" more than a decade later.
She gave birth to her daughter, Natashya, in 2000. Natashya's vocals can be heard on Amos' 2011 album, Night Of Hunters
, including the track "Cactus Practice
She had a brief romance with Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor, who contributed vocals to her 1994 single "Past The Mission." Apparently Courtney Love's meddling caused their breakup and allegedly inspired Amos' tune "Professional Widow (Its Got To Be Big)
Amos is good friends with fantasy author Neil Gaiman, who gets a mention in many of her songs, including "Space Dog
," where she asks, "Where's Neil when you need him?" Gaiman is also the godfather to the singer's daughter.
Despite eight nominations, Amos has never won a Grammy. Her first nod was for her sophomore solo album, Under The Pink, which was nominated for Best Alternative Music Performance in 1994.