(Myra Ellen Amos)
Birthplace: Newton, North Carolina
Born Myra Ellen Amos, singer/songwriter/pianist Tori Amos' haunting, sexually charged compositions are credited with reviving the female singer/songwriter tradition and restoring the piano's prominence as a rock instrument. The daughter of a conservative Christian minister, she began composing music at age 4, and entered Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory at age 6—the school's youngest entrant ever. She was expelled at age 11 for playing “radical” music by the likes of John Lennon and The Doors. In 1984, Amos moved to Los Angeles and was signed by Atlantic Records. Her first recording, Y Kant Tori Read (1987), was a weak and predictable dollop of '80s-style hard rock and met with well-deserved failure. Immediately Amos reinvented herself as a confessional singer/songwriter/pianist. In 1991 she released the LP Little Earthquakes to widespread critical acclaim. The album included “Me and a Gun,” a harrowing depiction of her rape. Throughout the 1990s, Amos inspired her devoted and loyal fan base with stark and difficult, yet commercially successful albums like Under the Pink (1994) and Boys for Pele (1996). In 2005, she released The Beekeeper.