Canada in Music
Twenty years ago Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" won three awards at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. So what's the emotionally driven Canadian singer-songwriter up to now? Here's the lowdown on the girl who perennially has one hand in her pocket.
Morissette was a big star when she was barely out of her teens: in 1995 she released Jagged Little Pill with Madonna's Maverick Records. The album, which sold 33 million copies, was an ode to her fraught emotions that was led by "You Oughta Know": a break-up distilled into lyrics laced with hatred and jealousy. All hail Morissette, queen of angsty alt rock.
Se resolved problems by writing them down and singing them aloud - in her distinctive raspy voice. Sure, she should have swatted up on the meaning of irony before confusing it with bad luck ("a black fly in your chardonnay") but we know what she meant.
Born in Ottawa in 1974 to teacher parents, Morissette grew up Catholic with brothers Chad and Wade. She started young, with her natural talent and dance lessons paving the way for appearances on Nikelodeon's You Can't Do That on Television. She released her dance-pop debut Alanis at 17. In the 1990s she moved to LA, hooked up with producer and songwriter Glen Ballard and from there on everything was fine, fine, fine.
Music in no longer enough to sate Morissette: aged 42, she now needs more than three-and-a-half minute bursts to get her point across. She makes podcasts, writes and advice column in the UK's Guardian and is hard at work on a memoire-com-self-help book. Attitude meets agony aunt.