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Vanessa Carlton

Along with Michelle Branch and Nelly Furtado, Vanessa Carlton helped usher in a new era of female songwriters during the early 2000s. "A Thousand Miles," her first single, was one of the biggest songs of 2002, topping the pop charts in America and cracking the Top Ten in England. None of her subsequent singles came close to matching that song's success, but Carlton continued releasing albums into the following decade, fine-tuning a sweeping, cinematic pop sound that featured her vocals and piano skills at the forefront.

Raised in Milford, a tiny town in eastern Pennsylvania, Vanessa Carlton took piano lessons from her mother and composed her first song as an eight-year-old. Several years later, she was accepted into the School of American Ballet in New York. Despite being one of the best dancers in her class, she became frustrated with the strictness of the discipline and began to look elsewhere for inspiration, eventually winding up at the piano located inside her Manhattan dorm. Carlton began writing songs again, reaching beyond the classical music of her youth to incorporate influences from pop artists like Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. When it came time to graduate, she halted her dancing career and enrolled at Columbia University instead, where she continued to work on her songwriting.

Carlton spent a pair of years waiting tables in Lower Manhattan, living in Hell's Kitchen, and playing open-mike events before signing with A&M Records. Label president Ron Fair took particular interest in her music and agreed to produce Be Not Nobody, which became Carlton's major-label debut in early 2002. "A Thousand Miles" was the album's crown jewel, earning three Grammy nominations and dominating radio playlists throughout the year, while "Ordinary Day" also enjoyed success as a Top 40 hit. Carlton toured heavily in support of the platinum-selling album, sharing stages with bands like Third Eye Blind and Goo Goo Dolls along the way. She also began dating Third Eye Blind's frontman, Stephen Jenkins, and duetted with Counting Crowes on a popular cover of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi."

Carlton began recording her second album in June 2003, with Jenkins serving as her producer, collaborator, and background vocalist. Together, the two spent a year creating Harmonium, a confessional and somewhat dark album that was markedly different from her first record. Public response was different, too, and Harmonium dropped out of the Top 40 during its second week of release. By the end of 2004, it had barely sold more than 100,000 copies, which worsened Carlton's relationship with A&M and led to her exit from the label during the following summer.

Carlton continued writing songs with help from Linda Perry (a collaborator from the Harmonium sessions) and Jenkins. In a surprise move, she also signed a new recording contract with The Inc., a label owned by rap mogul Irv Gotti. Perry, Jenkins, and Gotti all shared production duties on 2007's Heroes & Thieves, a diverse album that received strong reviews but, like its predecessor, failed to sell well. Jenkins and Carlton ended their relationship soon after the album's release, and her tenure with The Inc. proved to be similarly short. By 2010, she had partnered with another label, Razor & Tie, and briefly decamped to the U.K. to record her fourth album. Rabbits on the Run was released the following year. ~ Andrew Leahey
full bio

Comments

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It's a shame she wasn't able to continue publishing albums. In my opinion, her music is amazing and she is a very talented person. :)
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No music career. What is this bulls**t? I'd rather jump off a building than hear either of you play the piano. Becky G is no better. In fact, tell her to change your diaper too because you're full of s**t
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I'm gonna see Becky G this October
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Play it girl. I used to play it on guitar with tabs.
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I play piano. I just don't want to play in front of others because of a thousand miles being on vine, but I should because I'm that girl who remains confident
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Who's to say
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ordinary day again
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I dont own a Piano. I own a Jackson power V guitar and a BC Rich Warlock guitar. I need a Tom Anderson guitar in white and a Marshall amp.
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Someone needs to slam the piano on her hands so we won't have to hear this vine helper now, and do the same to haohmaru too because he spams like a 10 year old
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I love this song
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white houses
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ordinary day
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Vanessa Loves 3 classical musicians and 70s rock. She likes Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.
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Vanessa is still hot
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I have a pic of Vanessa with an updo bun on her hair in sioloute withher baby. norma has a bigger chest.
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Vanessa is Cuter than Norma
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Ashley i have a pic of myself with my ex go to haohmaru of the wind on youtube. look for me and norma.
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This was the only singer I would look up to when I was younger, and I'm glad I did. FlyingHomo and FatSquirrel grew up with Rihanna and Taylor Swift, which lead them to ranting on here because it wasn't what they were familiar with. I'd be mad too if I listened to that all the time too.
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Sorry. I can't hear you. Too busy blocking out the haters
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Wow, an anime fan, Vanessa fan, and Fiona Apple fan. You get 3 thumbs down
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Fiona Apple is almost as hot as Vanessa
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Vanessa has Great vocals and Piano and Guitars.
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creed sucks
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These 2 girls f**got of the wind and Midnight Witch shouldn't be hitting each other on this page because they support usher's campaign to ruin music. Creed and Natasha Bedingfield will blow them out of the water.
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Wish this no talent hack would walk a thousand miles off the side of a cliff so we won't have to hear her dreadful singing.
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Vanessa is Rock.
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A thousand miles again. usher sucks.
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F**got of the wind and Midnight B**ch have it all wrong. Usher wrote their songs, and he sucks already as is. This is just a classic Nuisance Swift
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Vanessa and Ashely are hot. Michelle Branch is okay.
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good. the new iron maiden sucks.
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I look a lot like her, but I want to also sing like her. Vanessa is my favorite singer hands down
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Btw, forgive me for using those 2 in the same sentence
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Agreed. Why isn't she popular anymore though? All there is on mainstream now is Taylor Swift and other nonsense, compared to Vanessa Carlton.
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some rock is also pop. Vanessa is both rock and pop. Pop rock and rock pop.
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This is rock? No wonder she's so underrated. Mainstream goes after pop music. Her voice is amazing, and I would happily keep this radio
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Vanessa is rock and she she an orchestral. She's her own band.
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exceeds my expectations for a pop group, and is way underrated than it should. She deserves way more than 32k likes
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white houses yet again
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on now music 11
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san francisco
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ordinary day again
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a thousand miles again
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white houses again
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Ordinary day
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A thousand miles live
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white houses
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A Thousand Miles
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I love this song
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I can never take this song seriously ;D
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Home. Thousand miles. Whites house. She rocks all these songs. She inspires me the way i hope to inspire others. Search for the color in which you'll always remember. And remember only you can search for your color in which you'll always remember, because colors cannot change, as the same as you should not change yourself
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