Born August 9, 1960, in Richmond, VA. Education: attended Berklee School of Music. Addresses: Record company--DGC, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This was not only the essence of the great physicist Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion, it also seemed to be the governing principle of Aimee Mann's life. Her breakthrough success with 'Til Tuesday in 1985 eventually became a struggle against a label that wanted to mold her into the new flavor of the month. When she finally went solo, her debut albu was critically received but she soon became enmeshed in rather torturous negotiations to extricate herself from her now defunct label. She was signed to a new label and finally got the chance to release her sophomore effort and faced the rather dubious task of re-establishing herself in the minds of her fans. What kept Mann going was her song writing drive, as she commented on in her DGC web site, "at one point before Whatever {her debut solo album} came out, things were looking pretty grim and I was getting really depressed. I was talking to a friend and I said, 'I don't know how to get out of this hole.' He said, 'your job is to write songs. So you just keep doing your job.' You do it because there are people who will get it. You do it for them. And you do it just to say it. Just telling the truth has power and value. Whether or not anyone understands, just tell it. Just say it."

Mann was born August 9, 1960 in Richmond, Virginia. Her parents divorced when she was about three years old. She continued to live with her father after the divorce. When she was four, her mother absconded with her as Mann related to Billboard's Timothy White, "my mother and her new man concocted this plan to kidnap my brother and I and go off to Europe, with his kids from a previous marriage. They couldn't get my brother, but I went with them. My father, an advertising executive, was searching for me with private detectives for a year!" She was eventually reunited with her father after the ordeal and remained with him while she was growing up.

About with mononucleosis when she was about 12 turned young Mann's attention to music. She began to learn how to play her brother's guitar and while she was recovering, she struggled to master the songbooks of Neil Young and Elton John. Mann then practiced the guitar through out high school. After graduating from high school, Mann was undecided about what to do with her life. Her father suggested that a summer course at the Berklee School of Music in Boston might help her to sort out her vocational choices. The move to Boston and life in the big city changed Mann's life. She grew confident in her playing as she progressed from only knowing four Neil Young chords to identifying the structural compositions of songs.

Her newly acquired technical expertise enabled her to be accepted at Berklee as a vocal major. Mann swiftly changed her major to bass and related, on the DGC web site, her rational for changing her major, "no one could teach me how to sing, so I switched to bass. I didn't want to become a bass player necessarily--I wanted to learn how to read music. But guitar and piano didn't really interest me because it seemed that everybody else was just supposed to support those instruments. And I always liked the idea of how all the elements fit in with each other. Playing as one fourth of a band was much more interesting to me."

After a few years at Berklee, Mann left the school and joined up with a Boston area post punk outfit called the Young Snakes. Discord as opposed to harmony was the rule of the day for the Young Snakes. The band managed to garner attention in and around the local area before Mann decided to call it quits, citing her love of melody and music as opposed to chaotic noise.

Mann formed 'Til Tuesday in 1982 and by the following year they were signed to Epic Records. In 1985, 'Til Tuesday released their debut album, Voices Carry. The album, which went gold in America, catapulted 'Til Tuesday from Boston area favorites to new pop sensations and media darlings of the moment in a few short months. This was due to the break through success of their top ten single "Voices Carry." "Voices Carry" seemed to strike a nerve with 'Til Tuesday's audience as it detailed a relationship gone wrong and how the woman came to grips with it. The video for the song earned kudos as well earning the band MTV's Best New Artist in a Video Award in 1985.

1986 saw the relase of Welcome Home, which the follow up to Voices Carry. Although popular, Welcome Home failed to ignite the charts as its predecessor had done. By this time, Mann's savvy at writing pop songs had been noticed and remarked on by numerous critics, fans, and fellow musicians alike. She was developing a propensity to write somewhat scathing indictments on bad relationships and the pitfalls of life all under the guise of pure pop songs. As her critical acclaim grew her popularity among the populous waned so that by the time of 'Til Tuesday's third and final release, Everything's Different Now, they were critical darlings with an ever decreasing fan base. 'Til Tuesday had, in effect, disbanded by 1988 and the tour in support of Everything's Different Now became more of a solo outing for Mann than a full band venture.

For three years, Mann wrangled with Epic to either release her from her contract or to release her new solo work. The label finally relented and released her from her contract in 1992. Mann's manager helped to finance her debut solo album, Whatever. Whatever was finally released on Imago in 1993. It generated rave reviews and she started to win back some of her estranged fan base who, not knowing of the impasse between Mann and her old label, had thought that she had called it a day.

Much of 1994 was spent in London working on the sessions for her sophomore effort I'm With Stupid. The only real diversion from this task was when Mann was asked to contribute a song to the soundtrack for the television program Melrose Place. The resulting single "That's Just What You Are" grazed the Top 100 and became Mann's first semi-hit in quite some time.

After her London sojourn, Mann returned to Boston to record I'm With Stupid. During the recording, Mann's label Imago lost its distribution deal and was forced to file for bankruptcy. Imago's president, who owned Mann's contract, decided to pitch Mann's now completed album to the various major labels. As a personal favor to the president of Imago, Warner offered to release the album. Mann insisted that she would not promote the album if it was released on Warner because the label lacked a commitment to her and her album. Mann eventually extricated herself from this predicament and was able to sign with Geffen Records, who eventually released I'm With Stupid in early 1996. Despite the fact that I'm With Stupid was more guitar driven than her previous album, Mann still managed to release an album full of melodious pop. Also in 1996, Epic released the 'Til Tuesday retrospective Coming Up Close.

Honesty and openness, Mann told White, were the gifts she hoped to share with her audience. "Telling what you feel, trying to talk about what's important to you, does not make you weaker. That's the big secret nobody seems to get. I think the role of artists and song writers is to say 'maybe you can't do this, but I'll do it for you.' In other words, I'll try to sing, out loud, the truth of what you and I both feel. I have nothing but disdain for people who spend a lot of energy trying to protect their emotions."

by Mary Alice Adams

Aimee Mann's Career

Joined the Boston based Young Snakes c. 1980; left and formed 'Til Tuesday, 1982; signed with Epic and released Voices Carry, 1985; Welcome Home, 1986; released Everything's Different Now, 1988; disbanded 'Til Tuesday and pursued a solo career; signed with Imago and released Whatever, 1993; contributed to Melrose Place soundtrack, 1994; released Coming Up Close, 1996; signed with DGC and released I'm With Stupid, 1996.

Aimee Mann's Awards

Gold certification for Voices Carry, 1985; Music Television (MTV) Award for Best New Artist in a Video, 1985.

Famous Works

Recent Updates

February 8, 2006: Mann shared the Grammy Award for best recording package, for The Forgotten Arm, with Gail Marowitz. Source:,, February 9, 2006.

Further Reading



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