4 Non Blondes Fronter
"I'm not afraid of Courtney Love. Christina doesn't scare me. None of these women scare me. If you push me, I'll push back. Your little diva attitude and your spoiled ways and your being late - that's not going to happen in my studio. Check your ego at the door." Linda Perry.
Former lead singer and primary songwriter of alternative rock band “4 Non Blondes,” with whom she scored a hit with "What's Up" (1993), Linda Perry has gone solo and has released two solo albums, "In Flight" (1996; re-released in 2005) and "After Hours" (1999).
She has founded two record labels, Custard Records and Rockstar Records, and has become one of the most in-demand songwriter/producers in the industry. She has worked on Christina Aguilera's songs "Beautiful" (2002), "Hurt" (2006), "Candyman" (2007), and "Keeps Gettin' Better" (2008), Pink's hit single "Get the Party Started" (2001), Gwen Stefani's first single from her debut album, "What You Waiting For?" (2004), Courtney Love's debut single as a solo artist, "Mono" (2004), Kelly Osbourne's "One Word" (2005), and Alicia Keys' "Superwoman" (2008).
This 5' 3" Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter also has collaborated with such artists as Jewel, Sugababes, Lillix, Robbie Williams, Melissa Etheridge, Solange Knowles, Gavin Rossdale, Lisa Marie Presley, Vanessa Carlton, James Blunt, and Enrique Iglesias.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of parents with Portuguese and Brazilian heritage, Linda Perry was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on April 15, 1965. Raised in a large family, Perry has five brothers, Jay, Solomon, Mark, Marcel, and John, and one sister, Sally. Her Brazilian-born mother, Marluce Perry, worked as a model, designer, and private detective, while her Portuguese-American father, Alfred Xavier Perry (1928–2005), worked as both an engineer and a musician.
Perry spent her youth struggling with kidney disease and then addiction before focusing on music. She has been openly lesbian since promoting "4 Non Blondes" song "What's Up" (1993) on “ Late Night with David Letterman,” where she displayed a "dyke" sticker prominently plastered on her guitar.
Raised in an artistic and musical household, Linda Perry has displayed musical talent and interest from an early age and had her first song, "Pity Girls," at the age of 15. After spending her teenage years playing the guitar and auditioning for all-girl cover bands in San Diego, a 21-year-old Perry moved to San Francisco in early 1987. There, she supported herself by waiting tables, doing coat check, and working at a pizzeria, while continuing to play her guitar and sing her own songs out on the street in the city. She also paid dues as a solo singer at San Francisco's Bay Area clubs and coffeehouses.
Perry, who own a big voice, composed her first professional song, called "Down On Your Face," and was recruited as vocalist into the alternative rock band “4 Non Blondes.” Under Interscope Records, the group that also consisted of bassist Christa Hillhouse, guitarist Shaunna Hall, and drummer Wanda Day (she was fired from the band because of drug use shortly before the making of their debut album; she died in 1997; Wanda Day was replaced by Dawn Richardson), released its debut album, "Bigger, Better, Faster, More!" in late 1992.
The album was as an immediate success and the band hit the charts in 1993 with the album's second single, "What's Up," which was written by Perry. The song received considerable airplay success and climbed at #14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It also went gold, but peaked higher throughout the rest of the world, peaking at #1 in Germany and Ireland and #2 in the United Kingdom and Australia. On the United World Chart, it went to #1 and stayed at the top spot for two weeks in 1993.
Following a solo appearance in Roger Daltrey's production, album and video "A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who" in February 1994, Perry left "4 Non Blondes" in 1995. The band would record one last song and video, a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop" with Dave Navarro on guitar, and the remaining members disbanded soon thereafter.
Interscope reluctantly allowed Perry to make a solo CD and her debut solo album, "In Flight," which was released on September 16, 1996. The album, which was produced by Bill Bottrell, who has worked for Sheryl Crow and Michael Jackson's albums, received critical acclaim but was a poor seller, probably because of Interscope's lack of promotion. Perry would later promote her CD with her own funds, including an appearance on "The Howard Stern Show" and at the 1997 and 1998 Bammies (Bay Area Music Awards). On October 11, 2005, she re-released the album on her own record label Custard Records.
She commented, "My gut feeling that I relied on failed me. . . . I was devastated."
Perry, who was displeased with what she experienced in the music business, took on two new ventures, producing a rock-n-roll sex comedy movie called "Pink as the Day She Was Born" (1997), which featured cameos by Les Claypool of Primus and comedian Margaret Cho, and launching her own record label, Rockstar Records, for the primary purpose of releasing the CD of a band she loved called "Stone Fox." She also signed another local San Francisco band called "2 Lane Blacktop."
On February 20, 1999, Perry released her second solo album, "After Hours," through her own record label Rockstar Records and would spent the rest of the year promoting the album on tour.
"....I felt that it was a big hit but it didn't suit me. Pink was the right person for the song." Linda Perry (on writing the song "Get the Party Started" years before she introduced it to Pink).
Since the new millennium, Perry has produced songs on hit albums by various artists, including Pink's "Get the Party Started" from her album "M!ssundaztood" (2001), which reached #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #2 in the UK, and Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" from her album "Stripped" (2002), a gentle cello-driven, classically-flavored ballad which reached #1 in several countries, won Augilera a 2004 Grammy Award for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance," and earned Perry a 2004 Grammy Award nomination for Song of the Year.
Perry also co-wrote "Tomorrow" (2003), the final single from the girl rock band Lillix from their debut album "Falling Uphill," "What You Waiting For?," Gwen Stefani's electro-pop song from her debut solo album "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." (2004) which went gold in the United States and was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 47th Grammy Awards, and "Mono," the debut single released by Courtney Love as a solo artist.
After producing Kelly Osbourne's "One Word" (2005), the first single from her second album "Sleeping in the Nothing," Perry collaborated with Christina again, this time for third studio album, "Back to Basics" (2006), in the songs "Hurt," a pop ballad that peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #11 on the UK Singles Chart, and "Candyman," a swing jazz that received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
She also co-wrote Alicia Keys' song "Superwoman," a soul–R&B from Keys' third studio album "As I Am" (2007) that peaked at #12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, worked with Vanessa Carlton on her third studio album, “Heroes and Thieves” (2007), as well as co-wrote and did session work on many of the songs on Sierra Swan's solo album, “Ladyland” (2007).
During this time, Perry collaborated with Hip-Hop chanteuse Kelis and worked in a couple of songs for the new Enrique Iglesias album. She was also recognized with an award from the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy for her contribution to the world of music.
Most recently, Perry produced and co-wrote Christina Aguilera's first single "Keeps Gettin' Better" from her upcoming greatest hits album, "Keeps Gettin' Better - A Decade of Hits." Because of heavy download sales, the song peaked #7 on Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on Canadian Hot 100.