Monday, May 5, 2008

Michelle Branch

Michelle Jacquet Branch-Landau (born July 2, 1983) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. She made her debut in 2000, and released the platinum-selling albums The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper in August 2001 and June 2003 respectively. During this period, she collaborated with Santana on the single "The Game of Love", which won a Grammy Award. In 2004, she formed the musical duo The Wreckers with fellow musician Jessica Harp.

She signed a record deal with Maverick Records while opening for Hanson in December 2000. Her first album under Maverick, The Spirit Room, was released in August 2001 and went on to sell over one million copies in the U.S. The single "Everywhere" became a worldwide top-twenty hit, and was followed by the U.S. top-ten hit "All You Wanted" and the top-forty single "Goodbye to You". Branch was frequently compared (both positively and negatively) to other singer-songwriters like Norah Jones, Avril Lavigne, and Vanessa Carlton who rose to prominence at around the same time as she. In 2002 Branch was the lead vocalist on Carlos Santana's song "The Game of Love", which became her first single to reach the U.S. top five; it went on to win a Grammy Award for "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals".

In 2003, she released her second full-length album, Hotel Paper, which became her second RIAA-certified platinum album but was met with mixed reviews. The lead single "Are You Happy Now?" became another top-twenty hit for Branch in the U.S., but follow-up singles "Breathe" and "'Til I Get over You" failed to achieve substantial success. In June 2004 she hosted MTV's Faking the Video alongside Nick Lachey and JC Chasez.

Branch married her bass player, Teddy Landau, 19 years her senior, in Mexico on May 23, 2004. On August 3, 2005, Branch gave birth to a 7lb. 12oz. (3.5 kg) baby girl named Owen Isabelle.

In July 2005, Branch announced the completion of an album with country singer Jessica Harp. The longtime friends and collaborators were dubbed "The Homewreckers" as a joke by Branch's husband, and they shortened it to The Wreckers. The album combined Branch's pop-rock sensibility with Harp's country-folk style. The album was originally due for release in June 2005 but was delayed because of promotional reasons surrounding Branch's pregnancy.

One of the songs Branch co-wrote with Harp for the album was featured on the original soundtrack to the WB television teen drama One Tree Hill. Branch and Harp made a brief appearance as themselves on One Tree Hill, and then went on a month-long concert tour with Gavin DeGraw. Branch has sung on the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer (in the episode "Tabula Rasa") and Charmed (in the episode "Centennial Charmed").

Branch closed down the message boards for The Wreckers' official website in December 2005 after being displeased by comments posted there.

The Wreckers' first single, "Leave the Pieces", was released in February 2006; the album Stand Still, Look Pretty was released that May. During this period, they joined country music stars Rascal Flatts and Gary Allan on a sold out U.S. tour.

In December 2006, the Wreckers were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song "Leave the Pieces".

Branch has written songs for other artists, including one for Mandy Moore's 2007 album Wild Hope. As of 2006, her biggest hits ("Everywhere", "All You Wanted", and "Are You Happy Now?") continue to be played in recurrent rotation on CHR and Hot AC radio stations.

As of early August 2007, Branch and Jessica Harp announced on the band's official message board that they were putting the band on hold while they went forward with solo albums.

On October 31, 2007, Branch announced that she was working on a new solo album. MTV has confirmed that the album will debut in summer 2008, followed by a tour.

On April 10, 2008, at her first solo concert in almost 4 years, Branch announced the title of her fourth studio album to be Everything Comes and Goes.


1 comment:

ChrisMooreMusic said...

I simply can't wait for Michelle Branch's new album -- the new song "Together" from the Sisterhood soundtrack might not be one of the best Michelle Branch songs ever, but I love it. I've been recording cover songs for a music blog and if only my vocal range was a little higher... I'm more in the Johnny Cash range! Still, can't wait for the new album!