Fiona Apple

Rocker Fiona Apple, who was born in

New York in 1977, can have her first legal drink in the United States today. Apple, who was at first thought to be another Alanis Morissette

wannabe, showed her talents as a pianist as well as a vocalist with her 1996 debut album, Tidal.

The daughter of an actor and a singer, Apple started playing the piano at

age 8 and began writing songs shortly after. She suffered in her early life when her parents split up and she was raped. At 16, Apple quit school and moved to Los Angeles to be with her father. While there, she cut a demo which gained the attention of Sony Music in 1995.

Andrew Slater produced Tidal, which effectively showcased the singer's throaty, dramatic delivery and candid lyric-writing. While it wasn't an instant smash like Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, Tidal benefited from Apple's touring and the MTV exposure of videos for her singles "Shadowboxer" and "Criminal," in which she was seen frolicking with a well-muscled man.

Apple won the Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Criminal"

after performing the song on the 1998 show. She canceled a planned tour this year, citing family problems.

"I'm so sick of people telling me what I am, and people thinking they

know what I should be," Apple said after a New Jersey show last year. "F---

them."

In February, Apple was the headlining entertainer at the Rock the Vote

ceremonies, sponsored by MTV and Playboy magazine, in New York City.

Reportedly at work on her new album, Apple was in the news this year when

she announced she would contribute a cover of the Beatles classic "Across

the Universe" to the soundtrack for the film "Pleasantville." Apple will

also record Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love" for the movie.

The video for "Across The Universe" will be directed by Apple's boyfriend, "Boogie Nights" director Paul Thomas Anderson.

Other birthdays: Dave Quincy (Manfred Mann's Earth Band), 59; David Clayton-Thomas (Blood,

Sweat and Tears), 57; Peter Cetera, 54; Don Was, 46; Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), 37; Steve Perkins (Jane's Addiction, Infectious Grooves), 31 ... Bill Monroe, 1911-1996.