Elliott Smith

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About Elliott Smith

Singer-songwriter Elliott Smith decided at age five that he wanted to be a musician, inspired by The Beatles’ White Album. ∙ While studying philosophy and political science in college, Smith formed the alt-rock band Heatmiser, which released three studio albums and two EPs before breaking up in 1996. ∙ NME ranked his 1997 album, Either/Or, at No. 149 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. ∙ “Miss Misery,” which he wrote for the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, won Smith a Best Original Song nomination, and he performed it live at the 1998 Oscars ceremony. ∙ Smith was inspired to call his 2000 album Figure 8 by a song of the same name from ’70s children’s TV program Schoolhouse Rock. ∙ From a Basement on the Hill, released a year after his death, reached No. 19 on the Billboard 200—the highest chart position of any of his albums. ∙ In 2016, Frank Ocean sampled Smith’s song “A Fond Farewell” for his R&B hit “Seigfried.”

Omaha, NE, United States of America
August 6, 1969

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