Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you. At least that's what Alanis Morissette told us in the video for her 1996 single "Ironic." She was only 21 years old then, but already a wise storyteller with a killer voice and sense of musicality. Today, Morissette celebrates her 36th birthday, so if you happen to pass her in the street, be sure to hand her a cupcake from the Magnolia Bakery or a cup of peach oolong from Teany (she spends the bulk of her time in New York City).
Morissette has come a long way since the unbridled rage of Jagged Little Pill. Her breakthrough album was full of bile and featured post-riot grrrl arrangements that melded pop production with savage garage and punk rock. Jagged Little Pill ruled the pop universe for the better part of two years, as she just kept breaking singles (the album came out in the summer of 1995, and "All I Really Want" — the sixth single from the album — hit radio in February of 1997). She followed that album with the hotly-anticipated but cooly-received Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, which still managed to spawn the hit singles "Thank U" and "Unsent."
Since then, she has released three more albums and has greatly expanded her professional horizons. She spent the early part of her life as an actress on teen shows like "You Can't Do That on Television," so it's no surprise that she's comfortable in front of the camera. Her recent work includes a guest voice on the underloved animation series "Sit Down, Shut Up" and a run on "Weeds" as an obstetrician. Morissette has also spent a career at the front of music videos, where she has shined as an innovator with a keen sense of style and humor. She famously went nude for the "Thank U" clip and split herself into four personalities for "Ironic." Check out her sharp time-jumping in the lovely, anthemic "Hands Clean," from her 2002 album Under Rug Swept.