Alanis Nadine Morissette was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She has won 16 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and has been considered for an Academy Award nomination.
When she was a teenager, Morissette recorded two dance-pop albums for MCA Records Canada. In 1991 they released Morissette's debut album, Alanis, in Canada only. Morissette co-wrote every track on the album. When it was released, she was credited simply as Alanis. The dance-pop album went platinum, and its first single, "Too Hot,” reached the top twenty on the RPM singles chart.
Subsequent singles "Walk Away" and "Feel Your Love" reached the top forty. Morissette's popularity, style of music and appearance, particularly that of her hair, led her to become known as the Debbie Gibson of Canada. The album garnered three 1992 Juno Awards nominations; Single of the Year and Best Dance Recording - both for "Too Hot" – and Most Promising Female Vocalist of the Year which she won.
In 1992, she released her second album, Now Is the Time, a simpler, ballad-driven record. As with Alanis, Now Is the Time was released only in Canada and produced three top forty singles—"An Emotion Away,” the minor adult contemporary hit "No Apologies" and "(Change Is) Never a Waste of Time.” It only sold about half as many copies as her first album. Morissette was left without a major label contract and was little known outside of Canada.
After graduating from high school, Morissette moved from Ottawa to Toronto to help her develop as a song writer and performer. After she met producer and songwriter Glen Ballard, he let her use his studio. The two wrote and recorded Morissette's first internationally released album, Jagged Little Pill, and by the spring of 1995, she had signed a deal with Maverick Records - the only recording company that expressed interest in her.
Maverick released Jagged Little Pill internationally in 1995. When a DJ from KROQ, an influential Los Angeles modern rock radio station, began playing "You Oughta Know,” the album's first single, The song's scathing, explicit lyrics generated immediate attention. A music video of the song went into heavy rotation on MTV and MuchMusic.
After the success of "You Oughta Know,” the album's other hit singles helped send Jagged Little Pill to the top of the charts. "All I Really Want" and "Hand In My Pocket" followed, but the fourth U.S. single, "Ironic,” became Morissette's biggest hit.
"You Learn" and "Head over Feet,” the fifth and sixth singles, respectively, kept Jagged Little Pill in the top twenty on the Billboard 200 albums chart for more than a year.
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According to the RIAA, Jagged Little Pill is the best-selling international debut album by a female artist, with more than 16 million copies sold in the U.S.; 33 million worldwide. It became the third biggest selling album by a female artist, and the biggest selling debut album old internationally.
Morissette and the album won six Juno Awards in 1996: Album of the Year, Single of the Year ("You Oughta Know"), Female Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Best Rock Album. At the 1996 Grammy Awards, she won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song (both for "You Oughta Know"), Best Rock Album and Album of the Year.
Morissette recorded the song "Uninvited" for the soundtrack to the 1998 film City of Angels. Although the track was never officially released as a single, it received widespread radio airplay in the U.S. At the 1999 Grammy Awards, it won in the categories of Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, and was nominated for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
Later in 1998, Morissette released her fourth album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. Since then, she has released three more albums, Under Rug Swept in 2002,
So-Called Chaos in 2004, and Flavors of Entanglement in 2008.
It has been announced on Morissette's website that she will be starring in a film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel Radio Free Albemuth.