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Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa Carlton (1980) is a Jewish-American pop and rock singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the hit song A Thousand Miles, a single from her platinum-selling debut album Be Not Nobody (2002). Carlton's second album, Harmonium (2004), was a commercial failure, leading her to part company from her record label. She currently resides in San Francisco with her producer-boyfriend, Stephan Jenkins (lead singer of Third Eye Blind), and she began production on her third album in late 2005.

Early life

Carlton began playing the piano as a toddler. After returning from Disneyland at the age of two, Carlton played It's A Small World on the piano. This event inspired Carlton's mother to expose Carlton to various classical composers such as Mozart and Eric Satie. She went to ballet school in New York City beginning at age 12. The stress and rigid training in the ballet lessons proved too much for her, and she chose not to become a ballerina after graduating from the academy. She attended Columbia University and performed in bars and clubs all over Manhattan. Carlton met Peter Zizzo at a singer-songwriter circle and a few months later, Zizzo invited Carlton to his studio to begin recording a demo with instruments accompany Carlton's piano and vocals. Three months after recording the demo tape, Carlton was signed onto Interscope Records where she began recording the album Rinse, which was never released. Rinse has twelve tracks, including A Thousand Miles (which was titled Interlude on the album), with a few songs that do not appear on her debut album, Be Not Nobody. The tracks shared between the two albums are differently produced. Some of the tracks included lyrical changes from their Be Not Nobody counterpart, most notably Ordinary Day, which on the Rinse album, had the divide-and-conquer lyrics. Rinse also contained songs such as Superhero, All I Ask and Carnival.

Professional career

Carlton's debut CD, Be Not Nobody, was released on April 30, 2002. It included the hit Piano pop single A Thousand Miles, which reached the top five of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Follow-up singles Ordinary Day and Pretty Baby, however, were less successful. In 2003, Carlton received Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year for A Thousand Miles. Carlton also provided backup vocals for the Counting Crows' cover of Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, recorded for the film Two Weeks Notice.

Carlton on the Harmonium (2004) album cover.Carlton's second album, Harmonium, was released on November 9, 2004, and yielded the single White Houses, which preceded the album. Harmonium debuted outside of the top thirty on the Billboard 200 album chart, and both album and single (which reached number eighty-six in the U.S.) were considered commercial failures. Carlton's record label, who had delayed Harmonium several times, decided not to release a second single from the album.

Less than two months before Carlton went on tour in support of Harmonium, she appeared on Punk'd after being tricked by Ashton Kutcher during a rehearsal for an appearance on The Tonight Show. During her Harmonium tour, Carlton debuted three new songs on June 14, 2005 at The Living Room in New York City: Put Your Hands On Me, This Time, and The One. While on tour with rock icon Stevie Nicks, Carlton has also debuted the song Best Behavior.

In a post on her official site's forum, Carlton suggested to her fans who often refer to themselves as nessaholics that she would be releasing a third album in 2006, although she added most people will know it as my second! due to a perceived lack of commitment to Harmonium (or indeed any artistic empathy) at her current label. Her 2005 collaboration with the Italian rock and blues singer Zucchero along with Hayle Ecker on violin for the song Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime was moderately successful, reaching the top forty in France. In September 2005, Carlton entered the studio with producer Linda Perry to record her next album.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Vanessa Carlton Facts

Birth NameVanessa Lee Carlton
OccupationMusician
BirthdayAugust 16, 1980 (37)
SignLeo
BirthplaceMitford, Pennsylvania, USA
Height5' 6" (1m68)  How tall is Vanessa Carlton compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.