Jennifer Diane "Jenny" Lewis (born January 8, 1976) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. She is best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the indie rock band Rilo Kiley.
Lewis performing in 2008
|Birth name||Jennifer Diane Lewis|
January 8, 1976 |
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
|Origin||San Fernando Valley, California, United States|
|Genres||Indie rock, alternative country, indie folk|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass, harmonica|
|Years active||1983–present (acting)
|Labels||Team Love, Warner Bros., Brute/Beaute, Saddle Creek, Barsuk|
|Associated acts||Rilo Kiley
The Postal Service
The Watson Twins
Jenny and Johnny
Nice as Fuck
Lewis first gained prominence in the 1980s as a child actress, appearing in films such as Troop Beverly Hills (1989) and The Wizard (1989) and the television series Brooklyn Bridge (1991-93). In the mid-1990s, Lewis semi-retired from acting to focus on her musical career, and formed Rilo Kiley in 1998 with fellow former child actor Blake Sennett. Rilo Kiley released four albums before they officially disbanded in 2014. Lewis has released three solo albums: Rabbit Fur Coat (2006), Acid Tongue (2008) and The Voyager (2014). In addition to Rilo Kiley and her solo career, Lewis has also been a member of the bands The Postal Service, Jenny & Johnny and Nice As Fuck.
Lewis made her professional debut in a Jell-O commercial. She later appeared in commercials for Mattel's Barbie and Baby Skates dolls, Toys "R" Us toy stores, the Black & Decker Popcorn Maker, General Mills' Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Kellogg's Corn Pops, among others. She was featured in the short-lived 1986 Lucille Ball sitcom Life With Lucy, where she was cast as one of Lucy's grandchildren. She also had small roles on TV shows, such as Murder She Wrote, The New Twilight Zone, Baywatch, The Golden Girls, Growing Pains, Just the Ten of Us, Roseanne, Mr. Belvedere, and Brooklyn Bridge. She appeared on a Kids' week episode of the game show Card Sharks on August 6, 1987, at age 11, and won $500 but did not win her match. 
Lewis appeared in over a dozen teen movies, such as Troop Beverly Hills and The Wizard in 1989. She was featured in the 1996 made-for-TV movie Talk to Me with Yasmine Bleeth, as well as the films Foxfire, Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even, and Pleasantville. She played the part of Evangeline "Eva" Saint Claire in the 1987 film version of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and also appeared in 1988 made-for-TV film set in Vienna at the start of the Holocaust, A Friendship in Vienna. She played Beverly D'Angelo's daughter in the 1996 made-for-TV film Sweet Temptation. She continued acting until 1998, although the last released film – Don's Plum, filmed 1995–96 – was not released until 2001.
In 1998, Lewis and friends Pierre De Reeder, Dave Rock and then-boyfriend Blake Sennett formed the band Rilo Kiley. (Rock was eventually replaced by Jason Boesel.) In an interview with NPR's All Songs Considered, Lewis remarked that she wanted to name the group Love's Way (after her parents' lounge act in Las Vegas), but Sennett "didn't go for it." Originally asked to sing back-up vocals by Sennett, Lewis refused to join the band unless she was able to sing lead vocals.
Beginning with a country sound, Rilo Kiley gravitated toward a downbeat indie rock sound, gaining the attention of Warner Bros., who signed the band for the release (via its own imprint, Brute/Beaute Records) of their 2004 album More Adventurous, which gained the band some success. Critics such as Pitchfork attributed this to the "wise" decision to emphasize Lewis's voice and presence more so than in previous albums. The song "Portions for Foxes" was a hit. Rilo Kiley's 2007 album Under the Blacklight was released directly by Warner Bros.
A retrospective of Lewis's career by Jessica Roy in 2016 commented that Lewis was a style icon to music-loving young people in the 2000s. Roy commented:
For a particular brand of suburban girl who fancied herself cooler than her peers, Jenny was a fire-haired figure of worship. With her endless supply of cool sunglasses, vintage dresses, and hats...she was a beacon of hope for introspective teens...as a microgenerational sad-girl touchstone, many of us have our own Jenny Lewis Anecdote, our lives touched by her magnificent tweeness in different ways.
In 2004, Conor Oberst invited Lewis to record a solo record for record label Team Love. Described by Lewis as "a kind of soul record", Rabbit Fur Coat (released January 24, 2006) features contributions from Oberst, M. Ward, and Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine. Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie guests on a cover of The Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care." The Watson Twins provide accompaniment on the album, billed as Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins. Lewis toured with the Watson Twins in support of the album three times in 2006 and appeared with her band on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Later with Jools Holland. They also appeared on a Washington, D.C.-based children's music program called Pancake Mountain, performing the song "Fernando". The album received positive reviews, with Entertainment Weekly writing, "Consider Lewis the Emmylou Harris of the Silverlake set" and Rolling Stone commenting that "her girlishly seductive vocals are more versatile than ever". The A.V. Club, Spin, and NPR music critic Meredith Ochs named it among the best albums of the year.
In 2008, Lewis released a second solo album, this time without the Watson Twins, titled Acid Tongue.
On July 29, 2014, Lewis released The Voyager. The album took 5 years to complete and is a reflection on Rilo Kiley's break-up and the death of Lewis's father. The release of the album was preceded by the single "Just One of the Guys". The music video for "Just One of the Guys" was released on July 15, 2014 through GQ and stars Lewis, Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, Brie Larson, and Tennessee Thomas, former drummer of The Like (now disbanded). Lewis also directed the music video.
Jenny and JohnnyEdit
In 2010, Lewis formed the duo Jenny and Johnny with her then-boyfriend, musician Johnathan Rice, and the pair released an album titled I'm Having Fun Now on Warner Bros. Records. In 2015, Rice and Lewis wrote the song "Cold One" for the film Ricki and the Flash.
The Voyager TourEdit
On July 8, 2014, Lewis began her "The Voyager" tour at the Ottawa Bluesfest in Ontario, Canada. She then spent July touring the United States and released the album The Voyager on July 29. Her tour consisted of many stops throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, including performances at Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the 2014 ITunes Festival in London, two performances at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas.
Other musical projectsEdit
In 2006, Lewis made a cameo in Episode 25, Season 1 of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour, and six of her songs (three with the Watson Twins and three with Rilo Kiley) were featured in various episodes of the show.
In 2007, Lewis contributed vocals to various songs on Johnathan Rice's album Further North, and she appeared in the music video for "We're All Stuck Out In The Desert (And We're Gonna Die)". She provided vocals for a track on Dntel's Dumb Luck LP.
In 2013, Lewis created the music score for Tribeca Film's feature, Very Good Girls. She provided original music and also included older music from her previous band, Rilo Kiley, such as the song, "Go Ahead".
In 2014, Lewis contributed an exclusive track to HBO's Girls, in collaboration with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij titled "Completely Not Me". The song was featured in the Season 3 premiere "Females Only". The song is the second track on Girls Volume Two: All Adventurous Women Do.
In 2016, the trio Nice As Fuck comprising Lewis, Erika Forster (of Au Revoir Simone), and Tennessee Thomas (of The Like) debuted at a Bernie Sanders benefit. The group opened on a number of tour dates for M. Ward.
|1983||It's an Adventure, Charlie Brown||Ruby (voice)||TV|
|1985||The Twilight Zone Segment "If She Dies" (1 Episode)||Sarah (ghost child)||TV|
|1986||Life with Lucy||Becky McGibbon||TV series|
|1987||Trading Hearts||Yvonne Rhonda Nottingham|
|1987||The Golden Girls||Daisy (A Sunshine Cadet)||TV series|
|1987||Uncle Tom's Cabin||Evangeline 'Little Eva' St. Claire||TV|
|1988||A Friendship in Vienna||Inge Dournenvald||TV|
|1988||My Father, My Son||Maya||TV|
|1988||Who Gets the Friends?||TV|
|1989||Shannon's Deal||Neala Shannon||TV|
|1989||The Wizard||Haley Brooks||Film|
|1989||Troop Beverly Hills||Hannah Nefler||Film|
|1990||Perry Mason: The Case of the Defiant Daughter||Melanie Benson||TV|
|1991||Brooklyn Bridge||Katie Monahan||TV series|
|1991||Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story||Ellie||TV|
|1992||Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even||Corinne|
|1994||Runaway Daughters||Laura Cahn||TV|
|1996||Sweet Temptation||Jade Larson||TV|
|1996||Talk to Me||Kelly Reilly||TV|
|1997||Little Boy Blue||Traci Connor|
|2001||Don's Plum||Sara||Filmed 1995–96|
|2010||American Dad!||Amy||Voice (Merlot Down Dirty Shame)|
|2014||Comedy Bang Bang||Herself||Replacement for Reggie Watts on "Zach Galifianakis Wears a One-Armed Jacket", season 3, episode 5; June 5, 2014|
|2015||A Very Murray Christmas||The Waitress||TV - Netflix Original|
- The Initial Friend (1999)
- Take-Offs and Landings (2001)
- The Execution of All Things (2002)
- More Adventurous (2004)
- Under the Blacklight (2007)
- Rkives (2013)
Jenny & JohnnyEdit
- I'm Having Fun Now (2010)
Nice As FuckEdit
- Bright Eyes – Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002 · Saddle Creek)
- Cursive – The Ugly Organ (2003, Saddle Creek)
- The Postal Service – Give Up (2003, Sub Pop)
- The Good Life – Album of the Year (2004, Saddle Creek)
- The Watson Twins – Southern Manners (2006)
- Dntel – Dumb Luck (2007, Sub Pop)
- Whispertown 2000 – Livin' in a Dream (2007)
- Elvis Costello and the Imposters – Momofuku (2008, Lost Highway Records)
- Whispertown 2000 – Swim (2009)
- Brandon Flowers – Flamingo (2010, Island/Vertigo)
- Wavves - Afraid of Heights (2013)
- EZTV - Calling Out (2016)
- She & Him - Christmas Party (2016)
- Rilo Kiley – "The Frug" (1999, directed by Morgan J. Freeman)
- Rilo Kiley – "Wires and Waves" (2001 unreleased, 2007 released, directed by Morgan J. Freeman)
- The Postal Service - "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" (2003) (Backing Vocals)
- Rilo Kiley – "Portions for Foxes" (2004, directed by Brian Lazzaro)
- Rilo Kiley - "It's a Hit" (2005, directed by Andrew Bruntel, Matt Enlow)
- The Postal Service – "We Will Become Silhouettes" (2005, directed by Jared Hess)
- Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – "Rise Up With Fists!!" (2006, directed by Autumn de Wilde)
- Rilo Kiley – "The Moneymaker" (2007, directed by Autumn de Wilde)
- Rilo Kiley – "Silver Lining" (2007, directed by Autumn de Wilde)
- Jenny Lewis – "Black Sand" (2009, directed by Justin Mitchell)
- Jenny Lewis – "See Fernando" (2009, directed by Alan Tanner)
- Jenny Lewis - "Carpetbaggers" (2009, directed by Justin Mitchell)
- Jenny and Johnny - "Big Wave" (2011, directed by Autumn de Wilde)
- Rilo Kiley - "Let Me Back In" (2013, directed by Rilo Kiley)
- Rilo Kiley - "Emotional" (2013, directed by Austin Nagler)
- Jenny Lewis - "Just One Of The Guys" (2014, directed by Jenny Lewis)
- Jenny Lewis - "She's Not Me" (2015, directed by Jenny Lewis)
- Nice As Fuck - "Door" (2016, directed by Jenny Lewis)
- Nice As Fuck - "Guns" (2016, directed by Luke Rathborne)
- "Jenny Lewis". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Rilo Kiley biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
- Strauss, Matthew. "Jenny Lewis's Band Nice as Fuck Surprise Release New Album | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- "Jenny Lewis Biography (1977-)". Filmreference.com. 1977-01-07. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
- Ayers, Michael D. "Jenny Lewis Is Tired of Being in a Band | Blogs". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
- "Jenny's junior showtime | Music | The Observer". Theguardian.com. 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
- Will Hermes (2006-01-29). "MUSIC - Don't Tell the Indie Fans - Jenny Lewis Likes Country Music - NYTimes.com". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
- "Interview: Jenny Lewis | The Jewish Chronicle". Thejc.com. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
- The first "We Girls Can Do Anything" Barbie slogan commercial, YouTube
- Vintage '80s Baby Skates commercial with Jenny Lewis and Emily Schulman, YouTube
- Jenny Lewis as a kid in Toys "R" Us commercial, YouTube
- Vintage '80s Black & Decker Popcorn Maker commercial with Jenny Lewis, YouTube
- Vintage '80s Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercial with Jenny Lewis, YouTube
- Vintage '80s Corn Pops "Gotta Have My Pops" commercial with Jenny Lewis, YouTube
- "Jenny Lewis". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Card Sharks - Jenny Lewis (Aug. 6, 1987), YouTube, December 17, 2016
- "The Blue-Eyed Soul of Jenny Lewis". NPR.org. 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Saroyan, Strawberry. Solid Gold. SPIN Magazine. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
- Dahlen, Chris (August 15, 2004). "Rilo Kiley More Adventurous > Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
- Fitzmaurice, Larry. "Rilo Kiley Seem to Have Broken Up | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- "Jenny Lewis talks breaking up the band, messaging Ryan Adams on Twitter and dealing with insomnia". National Post. 2014-07-30. Archived from the original on 2014-08-06. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
- Roy, Jessica. "I Like That Bitch's Life: How Jenny Lewis Was a Twee Teen's Dream". New York. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Michael Endelman (2006-01-27). "Jenny Lewis". EW. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
- Hiatt, Brian (February 9, 2006). "Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins Rabbit Fur Coat > Review". Rolling Stone (993). p. 62. Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2012. Posted on February 7, 2006.
- Battaglia, Andy; Christopher Bahn; Jason Heller; Josh Modell; Keith Phipps; Kyle Ryan; Marc Hawthorne; Nathan Rabin; Noel Murray; Scott Gordon; Sean ONeal; Steven Hyden (2006-12-19). "Best Music Of 2006". The Onion A.V. Club. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Ochs, Meredith (2006-12-05). "Top Ten CDs of 2006". NPR.org. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- "The 40 Best Albums of 2006 The SPIN Staff". spin.com. 2006-12-14. Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
- McEvers, Kelly. "Rainbow in the Dark: Jenny Lewis on staring down sadness". NPR. NPR. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- "iTunes - Music - The Voyager by Jenny Lewis". Itunes.apple.com. 1977-01-08. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- "Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart Breakdance for Jenny Lewis Video 'Just One of the Guys' - Video". Rolling Stone. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- "Pop & Hiss goes to the movies: Jenny Lewis gets a dose of Disney optimism with 'Bolt'". Pop & Hiss. 2008-11-25. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
- "YouTube video". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- Choi, Sarah (2014-06-26). "Jenny Lewis Scores for the Screen in 'Very Good Girls' (Now out on VOD!)". tribecafilm.com. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
- "Listen: Jenny Lewis' new song "Completely Not Me", from HBO Girls' soundtrack"". Chris Coplan. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
- "Jenny Lewis Forms New Band". Pitchfork. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- "Jenny Lewis Forms New Band NAF (Nice As Fuck) With Members Of Au Revoir Simone, The Like". Stereogum. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- "Jenny Lewis's Band Nice as Fuck Surprise Release New Album". Pitchfork. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
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