Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette stands as one of the most successful rock-pop recording artists of the '90s.

She was born June 1, 1974, in Ottawa, Ontario, and began her career at age 10, starring on the cable TV show "You Can't Do That on Television."

Morissette used only her first name on her recording debut, Alanis, which was issued by the Canadian division of MCA Records in 1991. Filled with simple electronic dance music similar to Paula Abdul, the album won a Canadian Juno Award for Most Promising Female Artist. The following year's Now Is the Time offered angrier dance-pop with such songs as "Big Bad Love."

Morissette began using her full name after moving to Los Angeles, where she teamed with producer/songwriter Glen Ballard. Ballard, who at the time had worked with Wilson Phillips and had written for Michael Jackson, helped Morissette procure a contract with Madonna's Maverick Records.

The first product of Ballard and Morissette's collaboration was 1995's Jagged Little Pill, an album that featured Morissette's angst set to catchy pop-rock accompaniments. The singer's angry, undisciplined delivery and vivid lyrics — exemplified by the hit "You Oughta Know" (RealAudio excerpt) — resounded with listeners.

Morissette won four 1995 Grammys, for Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Propelled by two other hits, "Hand in My Pocket" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Ironic," Jagged Little Pill became one of the best-selling albums in history.

Morissette won another Grammy two years later for "Uninvited," from the movie "City of Angels."

The singer reunited with Ballard for 1998's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. The album yielded the hit "Thank U" and culminated in a lengthy tour, a leg of which included dates with fellow female singer/songwriter Tori Amos.

Last year, Morissette made her feature film debut playing God in director Kevin Smith's "Dogma," for which she composed the song "Still." She performed at Woodstock '99 and released an "MTV Unplugged" album.

Earlier this year, Morissette appeared in the off-Broadway play "The Vagina Monologues." She is reportedly working on a screenplay and her next album.

Other birthdays Thursday: Pat Boone, 66; Ron Wood (Rolling Stones), 53; Graham Russell (Air Supply), 50; Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode), 41; Simon Gallup (Cure), 40; Mike Joyce (Smiths, Adult Net), 37; and Jason Donovan, 32.

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