Tori Amos
* August 22, 1963
United States
Solo Artist
Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. She is married to English sound engineer Mark Hawley. Together they have one daughter, Natashya "Tash" Lórien Hawley, born on September 5, 2000.

Amos was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and is noteworthy as one of the few modern pop music stars to use a piano as her primary instrument. She is known for lyrically opaque but emotionally intense songs that cover a wide range of subjects including sexuality, religion, patriarchy and personal tragedy. Some of her charting singles are "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Cornflake Girl", "Caught a Lite Sneeze", "Professional Widow", and "Spark". Other significant recordings include "Me and a Gun", "Winter", "God", "Playboy Mommy" and "A Sorta Fairytale".

Amos has experienced limited chart success in the United States and the United Kingdom, but has enjoyed a large cult following, selling around 12 million albums worldwide during her solo career. She is also known for making eccentric and at times ribald comments during interviews and in concerts, lending her a reputation as being highly individualistic.

Early years
Amos was the third child born to Rev. Dr. Edison and Mary Ellen Amos in Newton, North Carolina, during a trip from their home in Georgetown (Washington, D.C.) to North Carolina, at the Old Catawba Hospital in Newton. When Amos was 2½, her family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she began to play the piano. By age five, she had begun composing instrumental pieces on piano and at nine started to add lyrics to her pieces.

In 1968, while living in Rockville, Maryland, she won a full scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory of Music. At age five, she was the youngest person ever to attend the school. At age 11, her scholarship was discontinued and she was asked to leave. Amos has asserted that she lost the scholarship because of her interest in rock and popular music coupled with her dislike for reading from sheet music. Two years later, she began studying at Montgomery College and began playing at piano bars, chaperoned by her father, who was sending tapes of songs she had written to record companies.

She first came to local notice by winning a county Teen Talent contest in 1977, singing a song called "More Than Just a Friend". By the time she reached high school, she was well known in the Washington, D.C. area. During her years at Richard Montgomery High School, she was elected Homecoming Queen, Most Likely to Succeed (female), Most Talented (female), and Best All-Around (female). She also became involved with Black Maskers, the school's drama group. As a high school senior, Amos co-wrote "Baltimore" with her brother Mike Amos for a competition involving the Baltimore Orioles. The song won the contest and became her first single, released as a 7" single pressed locally for family and friends during 1980 with another Amos-penned composition as a b-side, "Walking With You". At around this time she adopted the name "Tori" after a friend told her that she looked more like a Tori than a "Myra Ellen".

Tori Amos' acting has been limited to fringe performances. She performed in a variety of musical theatre productions during high school; notably footage of her performance in "Gypsy" has been shown in television specials about her career. She has long been asked to audition for roles, notably the female lead in The Crow: City of Angels. She appeared in the telesoap Trial by Jury in 1987 as a woman who was accused of killing her married lover. Also in the late 1980s she appeared in a television commercial for Kellogg's Just Right, a breakfast cereal. Amos has commented on a variety of roles from this era that she auditioned for but did not receive; notably she was offered the role played by Lea Thompson in the notorious flop Howard the Duck, but the offer was retracted when Thompson expressed interest. (Amos was later offered the role of the keyboardist in Thompson's character's band but had other commitments.) She was also offered the role played by Andie McDowell in the film Groundhog Day. Most of her contributions to cinema have been musical. In 1998 she coordinated the soundtrack of the film version of Great Expectations, weaving breathy, ethereal vocals through the film's background. She made her first character appearance in the 2003 film Mona Lisa Smile as a big-band singer.
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