Linda Perry

From Academic Kids

Linda Perry (born April 15 1965) is an American rock musician, songwriter, and record producer best known as the lead singer and primary songwriter of the San Francisco-based band 4 Non Blondes and as the writer/producer of hit songs by a number of female singers.

After some time spent paying dues as a solo singer at Bay Area clubs and coffehouses, Perry was recruited into the band by 4 Non Blondes founder Christa Hillhouse in 1990. After several years of playing locally and negotiating with various record companies, the band finally signed with Interscope Records and released its debut album, Bigger, Better, Faster, More! in late 1992; the album, featuring Perry as lead singer and dominated by her compositions, was as an immediate success and spawned a hit single, the Perry-penned "What's Up?".

The band struggled to come up with a follow up to Bigger, as Perry wanted to take their second album to a more underground experimental sound while the rest of the band sought to remain with the commercially appealing sound of Bigger, Better, Faster, More! Perry left the band in 1995 due to these creative differences. The band would record one last song and video, a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop."

With the band in disarray and the recording contract unfulfilled, Interscope reluctantly allowed Linda Perry to make a solo CD, while dropping the rest of the band. Interscope insisted on choosing the producer for the album, and the production team behind it was Bill Bottrell and members of the Tuesday Night Music Club who had recently been so successful producing Sheryl Crow's debut. Released in 1996 the CD, In Flight was an atmospherically appealing work: moody, mellow and at times dark, far removed from the sound of 4 Non Blondes. The release would receive critical acclaim but was a poor seller, perhaps due to Interscope's lack of promotion. Perry toured and promoted the cd with her own funds, including an appearance on the Howard Stern Show, where she participated in "lesbian dial-a-date" and performed "What's Up?" for Howard. Perry also took time out to host and appear at the 1997 and 1998 Bammies (Bay Area Music Awards.)

In 1997 Perry would take on two new ventures, producing a movie called "Pink as The Day She Was Born," which featured cameos by Les Claypool of Primus and comedian Margaret Cho. Perry was displeased with what she experienced in the music business so she also launched her own record label, Rockstar Records, for the primary purpose of releasing the cd of a band she loved called Stone Fox. In addition to Stone Fox, she signed another local San Francisco band, 2 Lane Blacktop. 1998 would see Perry appearing and performing on CNN as part of a special on music and the Internet—how independent artists are cutting out the major labels. In 1999 she released her second solo effort on Rockstar Records entitled After Hours. For the rest of 1999, she would tour behind After Hours, reuniting with 4 Non Blondes Bassist Christa Hillhouse and LA-based drummer Claudia Page.

In 2001 Perry would again return to music and touring. She had written new material and hoped to secure a major label contract. She had decided to go this route because as an independent artist most of her time was spent in the office instead of on the stage. She would write a handful of songs including "Beautiful" and "Cruz" which would eventually make their way on to Christina Aguilera's hit album Stripped. In 2001, she would close most of her shows with "Beautiful," a song she hoped would be her own comeback hit.

It was during this time Perry was first contacted by a young west-coast pop singer named Pink, seeking production and songwriting assistance on her second album. Perry co-wrote and produced much of Pink's smash album, M!ssundaztood, which catapulted Perry back in to the spotlight as one of the hottest producers in the music business. Perry would take full writing credits for the songs "Get the Party Started" and "Lonely Girl."

After success with Pink, Perry's next big project came in the form of providing Christina Aguilera with a career makeover and with the international hit "Beautiful." Since, she has gone on to work with many pop artists including Jewel, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Blaque, Sugababes, Lillix, Robbie Williams, Melissa Etheridge, Sierra Swan, Solange, Gina Gershon, Gavin Rossdale Juliette Lewis (and the Licks), Lisa Marie Presley, Fischerspooner, Unwritten Law, L.P., Kelly Osbourne, and Enrique Iglesias.

In 2002 Perry made a rare live performance at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, where she performed a set of original music and a set of Zeppelin covers. There she was cheered on by a full house of fans and critics, who witnessed Pink joining her for "Lonely Girl" and Christina Aguilera debuting "Beautiful."

In 2003 Perry was recognized with two awards by ASCAP (music publishing society) for her writing, and a Grammy Awards nomination for her song "Beautiful" as a contender for "Song of the Year."

With actress Gina Gershon, she wrote the song StupidStar for the movie Prey for Rock and Roll.

With Brooklyn rocker L.P. she co-wrote "The Darkside."

Linda Perry most recently made a live appearance at a DKNY benefit show in Los Angeles where she joined Slash on stage for a rocking version of "Whole Lotta Love."

For most of 2004 Perry remained behind the scenes, making another appearance with Camp Freddy, this time at LA's Live 103's Birthday Concert. She again belted some Zeppelin then joined Lisa Marie Presley on stage for a few songs they wrote together. Also appearing at the show was Juliette Lewis and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.

2004 also saw the release of Courtney Love's solo debut, America's Sweetheart, which Linda heavily contributed to. Although the album was mostly overshawdowed by Love's turbulant antics, Perry was critically appreciated both by the press and Love.

A song called "Boys & Girls", which was originally intended for Pink, but later recorded by Britney Spears, saw the light of day as a bonus track on Spears' European DVD release. The track marked Perry's foray into more electroclash inspired tunes.

She collaborated with art-dance darlings Fischerspooner on a few songs for their upcoming release, and ended the year with a few co-writing credits on Gwen Stefani's debut, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., including the hyper "What You Waiting For?" Additionally, her Atlantic distributed label, Custard Records, launched to promote two new acts, Sunshine and James Blunt. For Blunt, she produced a song called "No Bravery."

The year ended with Perry co-writing "Save Me" for Southern Cali punkrockers Unwritten Law, which helped build anticipation for the group's upcoming CD.

2005 will mark Linda Perry's first official set performance since 2002's Hollywood Knitting Factory Show. She's scheduled as a performer at ASCAP's showcase, this January at the Sundance Film Festival.

Releases this year will include Kelly Osbourne's second album, which was written and produced by Perry; an anticipated debut from Interscope Records' new signee Sierra Swan, and a couple songs for the new Enrique Iglesias album.

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