About Tori Amos
With her bold stage presence and penchant for dynamic stylistic shifts, Tori Amos revolutionized how piano intersected with popular music. After becoming a key figure in the ’90s alt-rock boom with striking, unadorned meditations such as “Pretty Good Year,” she gradually expanded her vision to absorb electronic-leaning dance music (“Raspberry Swirl”), trip-hop (“Bliss”), and heavy guitar-based rock (“Precious Things”). Born Myra Ellen Amos, she started studying piano at the prestigious Peabody Preparatory Institute at age five. As a teenager, she turned her focus away from classical music, performing covers at a gay bar and releasing a single, “Baltimore,” in 1980. After moving to L.A., Amos fronted an ill-fated glossy piano-rock band called Y Kant Tori Read before striking out on her own with 1992’s piercing Little Earthquakes, home of confessional and vulnerable songs such as “Silent All These Years” and “Crucify.” Support from radio and MTV followed throughout the ’90s, particularly for the mysterious “Cornflake Girl” and the religion-questioning “God,” as Amos established herself as a feminist and an advocate for sexual-assault survivors. Her lyrics and aesthetic continued to expand and evolve post-2000 to encompass gender-bending (the 2001 covers album Strange Little Girls) and detail-rich songs that felt like historical short stories (the next year’s Scarlet’s Walk). Amos has continued down her unique road, with 2017’s Native Invader and a 2020 memoir called Resistance reaffirming her inquisitive songwriting style and courage to stand up for what’s right.
BORNAugust 22, 1963