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Alanis Nadine Morissette (/ˌmɒrɪˈsɛt/; born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian alternative rock singer, songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actress. Known for her powerful and emotive mezzo-soprano voice, Morissette began her career in Canada in the early 1990s with two mildly successful dance-pop albums.[1][2][3] Afterwards, she moved to Holmby Hills, Los Angeles and in 1995 released Jagged Little Pill, a more rock-oriented album which sold more than 33 million copies globally and is her most critically acclaimed work.[4][5][6][7] Her follow-up album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998.

Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette 5-19-2014.jpg
Morissette performing at Saban Theater in
Beverly Hills, California, in May 2014
Born Alanis Nadine Morissette
(1974-06-01) June 1, 1974 (age 43)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Residence Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Citizenship Canadian and American (dual)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • actress
Spouse(s) Mario Treadway (m. 2010)
Children 2
Relatives Wade Morissette (twin brother)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • guitar
  • flute
  • harmonica
Years active 1983–present
Associated acts

Morissette assumed creative control and producing duties for her subsequent studio albums, including Under Rug Swept (2002), So-Called Chaos (2004), and Flavors of Entanglement (2008). Her eighth studio album and most recent to date, Havoc and Bright Lights, was released in 2012. Morissette has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and has been dubbed the "Queen of Alt-Rock Angst" by Rolling Stone.[8][9][10][11]


Early lifeEdit

Morissette was born June 1, 1974, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,[12] to teacher Georgia Mary Ann (née Feuerstein) and high-school principal and French teacher Alan Richard Morissette.[13] She has two siblings: older brother Chad is a business entrepreneur,[14] and twin brother (12 minutes older) Wade is a musician.[15][16] Her father is of French and Irish descent and her mother has Hungarian ancestry. Her parents were teachers in a military school and due to their work often had to move. From 1977 to 1980 Morissette spent three years of her childhood in Lahr, Germany. When she was six years old, she returned to Ottawa and started to play the piano. In 1981, when she was seven years old, she began dance lessons.[17][18][19] Morissette had a Catholic upbringing.[20] She attended Holy Family Catholic School for elementary school[21] and Immaculata High School for Grades 7 and 8[22] before completing the rest of her high school at Glebe Collegiate Institute (Ottawa). She appeared on the children's television show You Can't Do That on Television for five episodes when she was in elementary school.[23]

Music careerEdit

1987: First demoEdit

Morissette recorded her first demo called Fate Stay with Me, produced by Lindsay Thomas Morgan at Marigold Studios in Toronto, engineered by Rich Dodson of Canadian classic rock band The Stampeders.[24]

1991–92: Early careerEdit

In 1991 MCA Records Canada released Morissette's debut album, Alanis, in Canada only. Morissette co-wrote every track on the album with its producer, Leslie Howe. The dance-pop album went platinum,[25] and its first single, "Too Hot", reached the top twenty on the RPM singles chart. Subsequent singles "Walk Away" and "Feel Your Love" reached the top 40. Morissette's popularity, style of music and appearance, particularly that of her hair, led her to become known as the Debbie Gibson of Canada;[26] comparisons to Tiffany were also common. During the same period, she was a concert opening act for rapper Vanilla Ice.[27] Morissette was nominated for three 1992 Juno Awards: Most Promising Female Vocalist of the Year (which she won),[28] Single of the Year and Best Dance Recording (both for "Too Hot").[29]

In 1992, she released her second album, Now Is the Time, a ballad-driven record that featured less glitzy production than Alanis and contained more thoughtful lyrics.[26] Morissette wrote the songs with the album's producer, Leslie Howe, and Serge Côté. She said of the album, "people could go, 'Boo, hiss, hiss, this girl's like another Tiffany or whatever.' But the way I look at it ... people will like your next album if it's a suck-ass one."[27] As with Alanis (1991), Now Is the Time (1992) was released only in Canada and produced three top 40 singles—"An Emotion Away", the minor adult contemporary hit "No Apologies" and "(Change Is) Never a Waste of Time". It was a commercial failure, however, selling only a little more than half the copies of her first album.[26][30] With her two-album deal with MCA Records Canada complete, Morissette was left without a major label contract.

1993–97: Move to Los Angeles and Jagged Little PillEdit

In 1993, Morissette's publisher Leeds Levy at MCA Music Publishing introduced her to manager Scott Welch.[31] Welch told HitQuarters he was impressed by her "spectacular voice", her character and her lyrics. At the time she was still living at home with her parents. Together they decided it would be best for her career to move to Toronto and start writing with other people.[31] After graduating from high school, Morissette moved from Ottawa to Toronto.[26] Her publisher funded part of her development and when she met producer and songwriter Glen Ballard, he believed in her talent enough to let her use his studio.[26][31] The two wrote and recorded Morissette's first internationally released album, Jagged Little Pill, and by the spring of 1995, she had signed a deal with Maverick Records. In the same year she learned how to play guitar. According to manager Welch every label they had approached had passed on Morissette apart from Maverick.[31]

Maverick Records released Jagged Little Pill internationally in 1995. The album was expected only to sell enough for Morissette to make a follow-up, but the situation changed quickly when KROQ-FM, an influential Los Angeles modern rock radio station, began playing "You Oughta Know", the album's first single.[32] The song instantly garnered attention for its scathing, explicit lyrics,[26] and a subsequent music video went into heavy rotation on MTV and MuchMusic.

After the success of "You Oughta Know", the album's other hit singles helped send Jagged Little Pill to the top of the charts. "All I Really Want" and "Hand in My Pocket" followed, but the fourth U.S. single, "Ironic", became Morissette's biggest hit. "You Learn" and "Head over Feet", the fifth and sixth singles, respectively, kept Jagged Little Pill (1995) in the top twenty on the Billboard 200 albums chart for more than a year. According to the RIAA, Jagged Little Pill sold more than 16 million copies in the U.S.; it sold 33 million worldwide,[33] making it the second biggest selling album by a female artist (behind Shania Twain's Come On Over).[34][35] Morissette's popularity grew significantly in Canada, where the album was certified twelve times platinum[25] and produced four RPM chart-toppers: "Hand in My Pocket", "Ironic", "You Learn", and "Head over Feet". The album was also a bestseller in Australia and the United Kingdom.[36][37]

Morissette's success with Jagged Little Pill (1995) was credited with leading to the introduction of female singers such as Shakira, Meredith Brooks, and in the early 2000s, Pink, Michelle Branch, and fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne.[38] She was criticized for collaborating with producer and supposed image-maker Ballard, and her previous albums also proved a hindrance for her respectability.[26][39] Morissette and the album won six Juno Awards in 1996: Album of the Year, Single of the Year ("You Oughta Know"), Female Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Best Rock Album.[40] At the 1996 Grammy Awards, she won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song (both for "You Oughta Know"), Best Rock Album and Album of the Year.[41]

Later in 1996, Morissette embarked on an 18-month world tour in support of Jagged Little Pill, beginning in small clubs and ending in large venues. Taylor Hawkins, who later joined the Foo Fighters, was the tour's drummer. "Ironic" was nominated for two 1997 Grammy AwardsRecord of the Year and Best Music Video, Short Form[42]—and won Single of the Year at the 1997 Juno Awards, where Morissette also won Songwriter of the Year and the International Achievement Award.[43] The video Jagged Little Pill, Live, which was co-directed by Morissette and chronicled the bulk of her tour, won a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Long Form.[44]

Following the stressful tour, Morissette started practicing Iyengar Yoga for balancing, and after the last December 1996 show, she headed to India for six weeks, accompanied by her mother, two aunts and two friends.[45]

1998–2000: Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie and Alanis UnpluggedEdit

Morissette was featured as a guest vocalist on Ringo Starr's cover of "Drift Away" on his 1998 album, Vertical Man, and on the songs "Don't Drink the Water" and "Spoon" on the Dave Matthews Band album Before These Crowded Streets. She recorded the song "Uninvited" for the soundtrack to the 1998 film City of Angels. Although the track was never commercially released as a single, it received widespread radio airplay in the U.S. At the 1999 Grammy Awards, it won in the categories of Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, and was nominated for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.[46] Later in 1998, Morissette released her fourth album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, which she wrote and produced with Glen Ballard.

Privately, the label hoped to sell a million copies of the album on initial release;[47] instead, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 469,000 copies—a record, at the time, for the highest first-week sales of an album by a female artist.[48] The wordy, personal lyrics on Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie alienated many fans, and after the album sold considerably less than Jagged Little Pill (1995), many labelled it an example of the sophomore jinx.[26][49] However, it received positive reviews, including a four-star review from Rolling Stone.[50] In Canada, it won the Juno Award for Best Album and was certified four times platinum.[25][51] "Thank U", the album's only major international hit single, was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance; the music video, which featured Morissette nude, generated mild controversy.[47][52] Morissette herself directed the videos for "Unsent" and "So Pure", which won, respectively, the MuchMusic Video Award for Best Director and the Juno Award for Video of the Year.[51]</ref>Ramirez, Maurice. [

Morissette hosted the Juno Awards of 2004 dressed in a bathrobe, which she took off to reveal a flesh-colored bodysuit, a response to the era of censorship in the U.S. caused by Janet Jackson's breast-reveal incident during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.[53] Morissette released her sixth studio album, So-Called Chaos, in May 2004. She wrote the songs on her own again, and co-produced the album with Tim Thorney and pop music producer John Shanks. The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 chart to generally mixed critical reviews, and it became Morissette's lowest seller in the U.S.[54] The lead single, "Everything", achieved major success on adult top 40 radio in America and was moderately popular elsewhere, particularly in Canada, although it failed to reach the top 40 on the U.S. Hot 100. Because the first line of the song includes the word asshole, American radio stations refused to play it, and the single version was changed to include the word nightmare instead.[53] Two other singles, "Out Is Through" and "Eight Easy Steps", fared considerably worse commercially than "Everything" Morissette performed at a gig for The Nightwatchman, a.k.a. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame, at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles in April 2007. The following June, she performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "O Canada", the American and Canadian national anthems, in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks in Ottawa, Ontario.[55] (The NHL requires arenas to perform both the American and Canadian national anthems at games involving teams from both countries.) In early 2008, Morissette particip

2011–14: Havoc and Bright LightsEdit

On November 20, 2011, Morissette appeared at the American Music Awards. When asked about the new album during a short interview, she said she had recorded thirty-one songs, and that the album would "likely be out next year, probably [in] summertime".[56] On December 21, 2011, Morissette performed a duet of "Uninvited" with finalist Josh Krajcik during the performance finale of the X-Factor.

Morissette embarked on a European tour for the summer of 2012, according to In early May 2012, a new song called "Magical Child" appeared on a Starbucks compilation called Every Mother Counts.[57]

On May 2, 2012, Morissette revealed through her Facebook account that her eighth studio album, entitled Havoc and Bright Lights, would be released in August 2012, on new label "Collective Sounds", distributed by Sony's RED Distribution.[58] On the same day, Billboard specified the date as August 28 and revealed the album would contain twelve tracks. The album's lead single, "Guardian", was released on iTunes on May 15, 2012, and hit the radio airwaves four days prior to this.[59] The single had minor success in North America, charting the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles in the US and almost reaching the top 40 in Canada. However, the song did become a hit in several countries in Europe. "Receive", the second single off the album, was released early December the same year.[citation needed]

Morissette received the UCLA Spring Sing's George and Ira Gershwin Award on May 16, 2014 at Pauley Pavilion. On her website starting in the summer of 2014, in celebration of her fortieth birthday, the LP record for her song "Big Sur" was offered for sale, which was previously available on the Target edition of her 2012 album, Havoc and Bright Lights. July 25, 2014, was the start of the ten-show Intimate and Acoustic tour.

2015–2017: Jagged Little Pill 20th AnniversaryEdit

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the release of Jagged Little Pill, a new four-disc collector's edition was released on October 30, 2015. The four-disc edition includes remastered audio of the original album as well as an entire disc of 10 unreleased demos from the era, handpicked by Morissette from her archives, offering a deeper and more personal look at the classic album. Also included is a previously unreleased concert from 1995 as well as 2005's Jagged Little Pill Acoustic.[60]

On October 27, 2017, Alanis premiered a new song entitled "Rest" at the Linkin Park and Friends – Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington memorial concert.

2018-present: Ninth studio albumEdit

After a six-year hiatus, Morissette is due to release her ninth studio album some time in 2018.[61]

Acting careerEdit

In 1986, Morissette had her first stint as an actor: five episodes of the children's television show You Can't Do That on Television. She appeared on stage with the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society in 1985 and 1988.[62]

In 1999, Morissette delved into acting again, for the first time since 1993, appearing as God in the Kevin Smith comedy Dogma and contributing the song "Still" to its soundtrack. Morissette reprised her role as God for a post-credits scene in Smith's next film, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, to literally close the book on the View Askewniverse. She also appeared in the hit HBO comedies Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm, appeared in the play The Vagina Monologues, and had brief cameos playing herself in the Brazilian hit soap operas "Celebridade" and Malhação.

In late 2003, Morissette appeared in the Off-Broadway play The Exonerated as Sunny Jacobs, a death row inmate freed after proof surfaced that she was innocent. In April 2006, MTV News reported that Morissette would reprise her role in The Exonerated in London from May 23 until May 28.[63]

She expanded her acting credentials with the July 2004 release of the Cole Porter biographical film De-Lovely, in which she performed the song "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" and had a brief role as an anonymous stage performer. In February 2005, she made a guest appearance on the Canadian television show Degrassi: The Next Generation with Dogma co-star Jason Mewes and director Kevin Smith. Also in 2005, Morissette, then Ryan Reynolds's fiancée, made a cameo appearance as "herself" as a former client of Reynolds' character in the film Just Friends. This scene was deleted from the theatrical release, and is only available on the DVD.

In 2006, she guest starred in an episode of Lifetime's Lovespring International as a homeless woman named Lucinda, three episodes of FX's Nip/Tuck, playing a lesbian named Poppy, and the mockumentary/documentary Pittsburgh as herself.

Morissette has appeared in eight episodes of Weeds, playing Dr. Audra Kitson, a "no-nonsense obstetrician" who treats pregnant main character Nancy Botwin.[64] Her first episode aired in July 2009.

In early 2010, Morissette returned to the stage, performing a one night engagement in An Oak Tree, an experimental play in Los Angeles. The performance was a sell out. In April 2010 Morissette was confirmed in the cast of Weeds season six, performing again her role as Dr. Audra Kitson.[65]

Morissette also starred in a film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel Radio Free Albemuth. Morissette plays Sylvia, an ordinary woman in unexpected remission from lymphoma. Morissette stated that she is "...a big fan of Philip K. Dick's poetic and expansively imaginative books" and that she "feel[s] blessed to portray Sylvia, and to be part of this story being told in film".[66]

She appeared as Amanda, a former bandmate of main character Ava Alexander (played by Maya Rudolph), in one episode of NBC's Up All Night [67] on February 16, 2012. Rudolph officiated as minister for Morissette's wedding with both performing the explicit version of their hit hip-hop song, "Back It Up (Beep Beep)".

In 2014, Morissette played the role of Marisa Damia, the lover of architect and designer Eileen Gray, in the film The Price of Desire, directed by Mary McGuckian.[68]

Other workEdit

Conversation with Alanis Morissette features conversations with different individuals from different schools and walks of life discussing everything from psychology to art to spirituality to design to health and well-being, to relationships (whether they be romantic or colleagueship or parent with children relationships).[69] The monthly podcast is currently available to download on iTunes.

In January 2016 she began an advice column in The Guardian newspaper.[70]

In May 2018, American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, MA), will premiere Jagged Little Pill, a musical with music by Morissette and Glen Ballard, lyrics by Morissette, book by Diablo Cody, and directed by Diane Paulus.

Personal lifeEdit

Morissette was raised in a devout Roman Catholic family.[71] She became a US citizen in 2005, while maintaining her Canadian citizenship.[72]

Throughout her teen years and her 20s, Morissette suffered from depression and various eating disorders. She went on to recover from them and started to eat a healthier diet.[73] In 2009, she ran a marathon promoting awareness for the National Eating Disorders Association.[74]

Over a period of 7 years, Morissette's business manager stole over $5 million from the singer. He admitted his guilt in April 2017 and was sentenced to 6 years in jail.[75]


Morissette dated actor and comedian Dave Coulier for a short time in the early 1990s.[76] In a 2008 interview with the Calgary Herald, Coulier claimed to be the ex-boyfriend who inspired Morissette's song "You Oughta Know".[77] Morissette, however, has maintained her silence on the subject of the song.[78]

Morissette met Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds at Drew Barrymore's birthday party in 2002, and the couple began dating soon after.[79] They announced their engagement in June 2004.[80] In February 2007, representatives for Morissette and Reynolds announced they had mutually decided to end their engagement.[81] Morissette has stated that her album Flavors of Entanglement was created out of her grief after the break-up, saying that "it was cathartic".[82]

On May 22, 2010, Morissette married rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway in a private ceremony at their Los Angeles home.[83] They have a son, Ever Imre Morissette-Treadway (born 2010),[84] and a daughter, Onyx Solace Morissette-Treadway (born 2016).[85]




Year Title Role Notes
1993 Anything For Love Alanis Uncredited
1999 Dogma God
2001 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Post-credit scene
2004 De-Lovely Unnamed singer Sang "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love"
2005 Fuck Herself Documentary
Just Friends Uncredited (DVD Only)
2006 The Great Warming[87] Narrator for film
2010 Radio Free Albemuth Sylvia
2016 The Price of Desire Marisa Damia


Year Title Role Notes
1986 You Can't Do That on Television Herself
1996 Malhação Brazilian tv series
2000 Sex and the City Dawn Episode "Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl"
2002 Curb Your Enthusiasm Herself Episode "The Terrorist Attack"
2003 Celebridade Brazilian soap opera
2004 American Dreams Singer in the Lair Episode "What Dreams May Come"
2005 Degrassi: The Next Generation Principal Episode "Goin' Down the Road: Part 1"
2006 Lovespring International Lucinda
Nip/Tuck Poppy 3 episodes
2009–2010 Weeds Dr. Audra Kitson 8 episodes
2012 Up All Night Amanda Episode "Travel Day"
2018 Top Wing Sandy Stork Episode "Top Wing's Eggcellent Rescue"


Year Title Role
1999 The Vagina Monologues
2004 The Exonerated Sunny Jacobs
2010 An Oak Tree


Opening act

  • To the Extreme Tour (1991) (opening act for Vanilla Ice)
  • 1999 Summer Tour (1999) (opening act for Dave Matthews Band–Denver)



See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ Sanders, Mark (October 11, 2012). "Alanis Morissette at the Paramount, 10/10/12". Westword. Retrieved March 10, 2018. 
  3. ^ Allen, Eric (September 5, 2012). "Alanis Morissette: Havoc and Bright Lights". American Songwriter. Retrieved March 10, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Alanis Morissette: You ask the questions". London: The Independent. April 21, 2005. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Alanis Ties For Highest-Selling Debut Ever". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. August 5, 1998. Retrieved June 12, 2011. Morissette's 1995 bow is now tied with Boston's self-titled 1976 album as the best-selling debut of all time 
  6. ^ Caulfield, Keith. "Ask Billboard: Missy Elliott, Hot 100 And The Best Selling Album Of All Time". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 9, 2011. We're including Morissette's "Jagged," as it was her U.S. major label debut 
  7. ^ "Alanis Morissette". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  8. ^ Beech, Mark (June 2, 2008). "Alanis Morissette Marries Sexy Electrobeats, Heartbreak, Anger". Bloomberg L.P. Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2011. she has shifted about 60 million CDs in total 
  9. ^ Patch, Nick (June 7, 2010). "Alanis Morissette marries rapper Souleye". MSN News. Canada: MSN. Retrieved May 22, 2011. She's sold more than 60 million albums and has won seven Grammy Awards and 12 Junos 
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