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Jann Arden Bio
Born in Calgary, Jann
Arden grew up
listening to Petula Clark, Carly Simons, Sam Phillips, Syd Straw and Lyle
Lovett. But her idol was Karen Carpenter whom she emulated while strumming along
to guitar which she had learned to play by listening to John Denver records.
Jann Arden cut a solo 7" single as Jann Richards (her real name) when she was 17
and soon became a fixture on the grimy Calgary music scene often stuck in the
back of a van with five guys who would, night after night, play Tina Turner, Led
Zeppelin, Nazareth and Foreigner covers (quite badly too).
Arden also played trumpet in a band called Hiphugger, but gave that up quickly
and busked with her guitar on the streets of Vancouver until someone punched her
in the head, knocking her unconscious and scooping up $4 in revenue from the
guitar case. Much of this, and a tense homelife led to an abusive bought with
alcohol (which she would give up by age 26).
Music Works Management's Rudi LeValley and Neil MacGonigill, first saw Arden
performing Olivia Newton-John covers and country twang in a lounge. MacGonigill
trailed Jann Arden around Calgary following her every move and urging her on. She
finally signed a management deal 6 months later.
Through some demo tapes sent to A & M Records, the management team convinced
A & R man Alan Reid to come to Calgary and check out 'the voice' in a small
40 seat theatre. She was signed in the summer of 1992 to a reciprocal deal on A
& M in Canada and the US.
Jann Arden recorded her first album, 'Time For Mercy', in Los Angeles with
collaborator Ed Cherney (Eric
Clapton, Bonnie Raitt). The album spawned several
hit singles letting Jann Arden go on to win two Junos in 1993 for Best Solo Performer
and Best Video. The album has sold an impressive 250,000 copies to date.
Jann Arden's second album, 'Living Under June' (also recorded in LA with Ed Cherney),
sold six-times platinum in Canada and 500,000 in the US (despite a snubbing from
their AAA formatted radio stations) for total world-wide sales of 1.3 million.
The single "Insensitive" went Top 10 globally, including #1 in
Australia and would be used in an Italian TV commercial.
In a tour supporting Chris Isaak earlier in the year, the venues ranged from a
couple of hundred people to several thousand and larger. But a tour of the U.S.
sent her back to low-rent bars and dives like in her formative years playing
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