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Natalie Merchant

After rising to fame at the helm of the popular folk-rock band 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant enjoyed even greater success as a solo artist during the mid-'90s. Her literate, socially conscious songs established her among the preeminent women in pop music, while her solo debut -- 1995's Tigerlily -- helped pave the way for a number of female performers in a pre-Lilith Fair market. She continued releasing albums well into the 2000s, often examining specific genres or subjects, although Tigerlily remained her biggest-selling record. Born October 26, 1963, in Jamestown, New York, Merchant joined 10,000 Maniacs at the age of 17 and became the band's driving artistic force. After a pair of successful independent releases, they signed to Elektra in 1985 and briefly became one of the most popular acts in alternative rock, shooting into the Top 40 with 1987's In My Tribe and charting even higher with their follow-up effort, Blind Man's Zoo. Merchant's desire to launch a solo career increased and the band's reputation continued to grow. By the time the group sat down to record 1992's Our Time in Eden, she gave her bandmates two years' notice. Following the release of MTV Unplugged in 1994, she publicly announced she was leaving the group's ranks. Merchant made her solo debut with 1995's Tigerlily, a self-produced album that debuted at number 13 and scored a Top Ten single with "Carnival." Two additional singles, "Wonder" and "Jealousy," also cracked the Top 40, prompting Tigerlily to sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone. It was followed in 1998 by Ophelia, another platinum-selling effort that was supported by Merchant's inclusion in the second Lilith Fair tour. Live in Concert, recorded at New York's Neil Simon Theatre, appeared a year later. A prominent social activist, Merchant also drew notice by campaigning in the name of such hot-button issues as animal rights, domestic violence, and homelessness. Merchant launched a folk tour in 2000, with members of progressive folk band the Horse Flies joining her on the road. She then returned to her solo career with Motherland. Two years later, Merchant left Elektra's roster and formed her own independent label, Myth America, in order to issue House Carpenter's Daughter, a collection of traditional and contemporary folk music inspired by the 2000 tour. A long period of silence followed, during which a pair of greatest-hits releases -- the 10,000 Maniacs collection Campfire Songs and Merchant's own Retrospective: 1995-2005 -- kept fans relatively sated. As the decade drew to a close, though, Merchant signed with Nonesuch Records and began making plans for a new album, which eventually arrived in the form of the ambitious, double-disc neo-children's album, 2010's Leave Your Sleep. In 2013 she spearheaded the making of the protest concert film Dear Governor Cuomo with New Yorkers Against Fracking, which included actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, and filmmakers Jon Bowermaster and Alex Gibney. A year later, she directed and produced Shelter: A Concert Film to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence and returned to straight-ahead pop music making with a self-titled album. Over the next year, Merchant revisited the songs from Tigerlily (which sold over five million copies), rearranging and re-recording the material to reflect how it had evolved over two decades of performance. She also created a documentary about the original album's influence on friends, fans, and fellow musicians. In the fall of 2015, Nonesuch released the package as Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings. ~ Jason Ankeny & Andrew Leahey
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Stations Featuring
Natalie Merchant

    Female Focus

    Female Focus
    15 songs

    Coffeehouse Corner

    Coffeehouse Corner
    2 songs


    8 songs

    Adult Alternative

    Adult Alternative
    2 songs

    Adult Rock

    2 songs

    Lite Hits

    2 songs

    Late Night Mix

    1 song

    '90s Alternative

    1 song

Albums by
Natalie Merchant

Top Songs by
Natalie Merchant

  1.   Song
  2.   Wonder
  3.   Carnival
  4.   Kind & Generous
  5.   Jealousy
  6.   My Skin
  7.   Space Oddity
  8.   San Andreas Fault
  9.   River
  10.   Motherland
  11.   Not in This Life
  12.   The Living
  13.   King of May
  14.   After the Gold Rush
  15.   If No One Ever Marries Me
  16.   Build a Levee
  17.   Frozen Charlotte
  18.   Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience
  19.   Owensboro
  20.   Adventures of Isabel
  21.   Calico Pie
  22.   The Sleepy Giant
  23.   This House Is on Fire
  24.   Vain and Careless
  25.   Ladybird
  26.   The Letter
  27.   Topsyturvey-World
  28.   Children Go Where I Send Thee
  29.   Beloved Wife
  30.   Where I Go
  31.   Life Is Sweet
  32.   Break Your Heart
  33.   One Fine Day
  34.   Giving Up Everything
  35.   Come Take a Trip in My Airship
  36.   Ophelia
  37.   I May Know the Word
  38.   Because I Could Not Stop for Death
  39.   Bread And Circuses by Billy Bragg
  40.   The Worst Thing
  41.   Saint Judas
  42.   Just Can't Last
  43.   Effigy
  44.   Thick as Thieves
  45.   Cowboy Romance
  46.   Spring and Fall: To a Young Child
  47.   Bleezer's Ice-Cream
  48.   Seven Years
  49.   The End
  50.   Lulu (Introduction)
  51.   It's A-Coming
  52.   Black Sheep
  53.   Texas
  54.   Maggie Said
  55.   Learning the Game
  56.   The Walloping Window Blind
  57.   The Peppery Man
  58.   The Man in the Wilderness
  59.   The Land of Nod
  60.   The King of China's Daughter
  61.   The Janitor's Boy
  62.   The Dancing Bear
  63.   Sweet and a Lullaby
  64.   Maggie and Milly and Molly and May
  65.   It Makes a Change
  66.   Indian Names
  67.   I Saw a Ship A-Sailing
  68.   Griselda
  69.   Equestrienne by Meridian Arts Ensemble
  70.   Crying, My Little One
  71.   Autumn Lullaby
  72.   There Is No Good Reason
  73.   Party of God
  74.   She Devil
  75.   Which Side Are You On?
  76.   Sally Ann
  77.   Henry Darger
  78.   Golden Boy
  79.   Put the Law on You
  80.   I'm Not Gonna Beg
  81.   Tell Yourself
  82.   The Gulf of Araby
  83.   But Not for Me
  84.   When They Ring the Golden Bells
  85.   I Know How to Do It
  86.   Photograph
  87.   Gun Shy
  88.   Go Down Moses
  89.   The Blind Men and the Elephant
  90.   Dust Bowl
  91.   Seven Deadly Sins