Liz Phair

Liz Phair was one of the most critically acclaimed female rockers to emerge in the '90s.

Born Elizabeth Clark Phair on April 17, 1967 in New Haven, Conn., she was adopted and raised in Winnetka, Ill.

Phair studied at Ohio's Oberlin College. She hung around Chicago in the early '90s, where she made homemade records under the name Girly Sound. Her college friend, guitarist Chris Brokaw, a member of the band Come, gave a copy of Phair's tapes to his band's indie label, Matador Records.

Her 1993 debut, Exile in Guyville, featured confessional songs with tough lyrics sprinkled with four-letter words. Rock critics immediately embraced Phair's original style, and she became one of the emerging stars of alternative rock in the U.S. Major rock media hailed the LP as one of the best albums of the year.

Whip-Smart (1995) featured the singles "Supernova" and "Jealousy." whitechocolatespaceegg (1998) included such tracks as "Polyester Bride" (RealAudio excerpt), "Johnny Feelgood" and "Big Tall Man."

Other birthdays Monday: Alexander Graves, (Moonglows), 70; Roy Ralph Estrada (Mothers of Invention), 57; Pete Shelly (Buzzcocks), 45; Matt Chamberlain (Edie Brickell and New Bohemians), 33; and Billy Fury, 1941–1983.