Michelle Branch performing in Toronto, October 2003.
|Birth name||Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch|
|Born||July 2, 1983|
|Origin||Sedona, Arizona, United States|
|Genres||Alternative, pop rock, acoustic, country|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, musician, actress|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, keyboard, percussions, piano, accordion, cello, harmonica, mandolin|
|Labels||Maverick, Warner Bros. Nashville|
|Associated acts||Santana, The Wreckers, Jessica Harp|
During the early 2000s, she released two top-selling albums, The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper, and was subsequently nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2003. In 2005, she formed the country music duo The Wreckers with friend and fellow musician Jessica Harp, and produced the Grammy-nominated single "Leave the Pieces." However, The Wreckers disbanded in 2007 to pursue their respective solo careers. As of 2009, Branch has been working on a new album, entitled Everything Comes and Goes, though no release date has yet been set.
Branch was born on July 2, 1983, in Sedona, Arizona, to David and Peggy Branch. Her father is of Irish descent, and her mother is of Dutch Indonesian and French descent. Her siblings include an older half-brother named David and a younger sister named Nicole. She went to grade school at then St. Mary's Catholic School in Flagstaff, Arizona where her passion for music was sparked by Sr. Yolanda at the Friday school masses at Nativity Church.
Beginning to sing at the age of three, Branch enrolled in voice lessons at the University of Arizona when she was eight, and received her first guitar for her fourteenth birthday. After teaching herself chords, she composed her first song "Fallen" within a week of receiving her guitar. She initially attended Sedona Red Rock High School, but finished the last two years of her high school education through home schooling so that she could focus on her music career. To support Branch's interests, her parents helped her book local gigs in Sedona, AZ, and later financed her independent album Broken Bracelet. Her set list at these gigs included covers by Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb, Jewel, and Fleetwood Mac.
In June 1998, Branch self-produced Broken Bracelet, a compilation of songs she wrote when she was 14 and 15; the album was later released on the independent record label Twin Dragon Records in June 2000. Its title was inspired from a bracelet made by pop singer Jewel, given to Branch by musician Steve Poltz at a Lisa Loeb concert she attended. Poltz told Branch that "when it breaks, you'll be famous."
In December 1999, she posted two of her songs on the Rolling Stone website, which caught the attention of both pop rock band Hanson and former Rolling Stone writer and Los Angeles record producer Jeff Rabhan, eventually leading to two gigs opening for Hanson in 2000.
In 2001, Branch signed a recording deal with Maverick Records, where she began working with John Shanks to produce her first album and major-label debut. The album, The Spirit Room, was released in August 2001, producing the hit single "Everywhere." The single was a commercial success, winning the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards Viewer's Choice Award. "Everywhere" was later followed by singles "All You Wanted" and "Goodbye to You." In August 2001, she appeared on Total Request Live after "Everywhere" reached No. 4 on their charts. By 2003, The Spirit Room had sold over 2 million copies.
In 2002, she teamed up with Santana to produce the song "The Game of Love," which went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. She also earned a Grammy nomination in 2003 for Best New Artist, but was edged out by Norah Jones.
Her second album Hotel Paper was released in 2003, and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 charts. However, the album was met with mixed reviews. The lead single "Are You Happy Now?" was a chart success, earning her a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, though she was ultimately edged out by Pink's "Trouble." The following singles, however, "Breathe" and "'Til I Get over You," did not match the first single's success. Branching out into television, she appeared in several shows, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Dreams, and Charmed. In June 2004, she hosted MTV's "Faking the Video" alongside Nick Lachey and JC Chasez. She also appeared in the Rob Schneider film The Hot Chick.
Branch decided to collaborate with her backup singer and longtime friend Jessica Harp on a new project in July, 2005. They were initially known as the "The Cass County Homewreckers" as a joke by Branch's husband, but they trimmed it down to The Wreckers. Their album attempted to combine their respective genres, pop rock and country. It was originally slated for release in June, 2005 but was delayed because of reasons surrounding Branch's pregnancy. The duo's first single "Leave the Pieces" was released in February, 2006, while their album Stand Still, Look Pretty was released in May. During this period, they contributed to Santana's album All That I Am, with the song "I'm Feeling You," appeared in the American teen television drama One Tree Hill, and joined country music stars Rascal Flatts on a U.S. tour. They initially toured with Gavin DeGraw. The album did not satisfy some of her fans, who voiced their displeasure on the message boards for The Wreckers' official website, which had to be shut down. Despite the negative backlash, the group was nominated for the 2006 CMA Awards Vocal Duo of the Year and for a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song "Leave the Pieces" in December, 2006. Stand Still, Look Pretty was certified Gold by the RIAA with sales of 851,000 copies as of March 2009. As of early August, 2007, Branch and Jessica Harp announced on the band's official message board that they were putting the band on hold while they moved forward with solo albums. Subsequent press statements have made it clear that The Wreckers, at least as a partnership between Branch and Harp, is no more.
Immediately thereafter, Branch wrote an unreleased song for Mandy Moore's 2007 album Wild Hope, and also wrote "Together" for the soundtrack of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2; it was also featured as the final song ever played on the CBS TV soap opera, Guiding Light. In October 2007, she announced that she was working on a new solo album and later reported the title would be Everything Comes and Goes. In June 2008, she played several live shows in preparation for the album's release with her sister Nicole singing backing vocals. She was also quoted in Billboard as saying the album would retain a country flavor.
In early 2009, she sang the song "I Lose My Heart" in a duet with Chris Isaak on his new album Mr. Lucky. The first single from the album "Sooner Or Later" was released on July 28, 2009. Although the album has no official release date, it is expected to be released sometime in 2010.
Branch owns at least fourteen guitars, but mainly uses a Gibson Hummingbird after retiring her blue Taylor 614ce. In 2009, she began using a custom-made Hummingbird which is the only white one in existence. In addition to the guitar, she also plays other instruments such as the piano, drums, and mandolin.
She states that her music has been influenced by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Aerosmith, Patsy Cline, Cat Stevens, Stevie Nicks, and Joni Mitchell, but also enjoys listening to more contemporary artists such as Incubus, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Metallica, Silverchair, Madonna, Lisa Loeb, Sheryl Crow, and Patty Griffin. Her other interests include classical music and older country music.
Branch married her bass player Teddy Landau in Mexico on May 23, 2004, and gave birth to a baby girl named Owen Isabelle on August 3, 2005. Prior to meeting her husband she dated guitarist Sean Woolstenhulme of Lifehouse and The Calling.
|Year||Film / Show||Role||Episode|
|2001||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Herself / Musical Guest||Tabula Rasa|
|2002||American Dreams||Leslie Gore||The End of the Innocence|
|2002||The Hot Chick||DJ|
|2003||Charmed||Herself / Musical Guest||Centennial Charmed|
|2005||One Tree Hill||Herself / Musical Guest||The Hero Dies In This One|
|2002||MTV Video Music Awards||Best Female Video ("All You Wanted")||Nominated|
|Best Pop Video ("All You Wanted")|
|Viewer's Choice ("Everywhere")||Won|
|2003||Grammy Awards||Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals —("The Game of Love" with Santana)|
|Best New Artist||Nominated|
|2004||Best Female Rock Vocal Performance — ("Are You Happy Now?")|
|2006||Country Music Association||Vocal Duo of the Year (as The Wreckers)|
|2007||Grammy Awards||Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal — ("Leave the Pieces" as The Wreckers)|
|Music Row Awards||Major Label Breakout Artist of the Year (as The Wreckers)||Won|
|R&R Readers' Poll||Best New Performer (as The Wreckers)|
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| File:Michelle Branch in October 2003|
Michelle Branch performing at Toronto, October 2003.
|Birth name||Michelle Jacquet Branch-Landau|
|Born||July 2, 1983|
|Origin||Sedona, Arizona, USA|
|Genres||Pop rock, country|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, cello, accordion, harmonica, kazoo, piano, mandolin|
|Associated acts||The Wreckers|
Michelle Jacquet Branch-Landau (born July 2, 1983) is a singer from the United States. She writes songs and plays the guitar. She made her first appearance in 2000, and released the platinum-selling albums The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper in August 2001 and June 2003 respectively. During this period, she worked with Santana on the single "The Game of Love", which won a Grammy Award. In 2004, she formed the musical duo The Wreckers with fellow musician Jessica Harp.