Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963) is a pianist and singer-songwriter. She is married to English sound engineer Mark Hawley, with whom she has one child, Natashya “Tash” Lórien Hawley, born on September 5, 2000.
Amos was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument. She is known for her emotionally intense songs that cover a wide range of subjects including sexuality, religion and personal tragedy. Some of her charting singles include “Crucify”, “Silent All These Years”, “Cornflake Girl”, “Caught a Lite Sneeze”, “Professional Widow”, “Spark”, and “A Sorta Fairytale,” her most commercially successful single in the U.S. to date.
As of 2005, Amos had sold 12 million records worldwide. Having a history of making eccentric and at times ribald comments during concerts and interviews, she has earned a reputation for being highly idiosyncratic. As a social commentator and sometimes activist, some of the topics she has been most vocal about include feminism, religion, and sexuality.
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After releasing two albums and embarking on two tours in rapid succession, Amos took a break from both touring and recording in 2000 to devote to another pregnancy. Amos became a mother, giving birth to her daughter, Natashya, in September 2000. Inspired by the songs she heard on the radio while looking after her daughter at her second home in Florida, Amos hatched the idea to produce a covers album, recording songs written by men about women and turning them around to suit the female perspective. That idea grew into the covers album Strange Little Girls, which was released in September 2001. The unique album garnered substantial press attention, as did the artwork featuring Amos photographed in character of the women portrayed in each song. Amos would later reveal in Piece by Piece that a stimulus for the album was to end her contract with Atlantic Records without giving them new original songs; Amos felt that since 1998, the label had not been properly promoting her and had trapped her in a contract by refusing to sell her to another label.
In several interviews while promoting A Piano, Amos revealed details about her ninth studio album. The thematic nature of and the concepts behind the next album were revealed in an interview early in 2007, with Amos stating she was “jumping ship” from her previous work and that A Piano was the summation of her previous work and the end of an era. The album, recorded with new microphones, pianos, and a Yamaha CS80 synth keyboard, was released under the title American Doll Posse on May 1, 2007, in the US. The “Posse”, a group of girls who are used as a theme of alter-egos in the album, consists of Amos in five guises. In conjunction with the tour, Amos released the Legs & Boots series, complete shows from the North American leg of her American Doll Posse tour available for download. A total of 27 shows were recorded as part of the Legs & Boots series.