“I don't use simple words. I make games and puzzles with my songs.” Lisa Loeb
American singer/songwriter and actress Lisa Loeb hit the music industry in the late 1980s and released two independent albums with her pop group before developing a fan following in New York with her outstanding solo performances. However, the Maryland native did not hit the big time until she performed the song “Stay (I Missed You)” for the Ben Stiller-directed movie “Reality Bites” (1994), starring actor and friend Ethan Hawke. The song raced up the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at No. 1, a success that established Loeb as the only artist to achieve the spot before being signed to any record label. She has since scored five more Billboard's Hot 100 hits, including “Do You Sleep” (# 18) and “I Do” (# 17), from her debut album “Tails” (1995), and the Grammy nominee “Firecracker.” The disappointing “Cake and Pie” (2002), her new album since “Firecracker,” was re-launched later that same year under the name “Hello Lisa.” It was followed by the fifth studio album “The Way It Really Is” (2004), the greatest hit album “The Very Best of Lisa Loeb” (2006) and two children's music albums, “Catch the Moon” (2003) and “Camp Lisa” (2008). Outside music, Loeb is known for acting in such films as “Black Circle Boys” (1997), “The Rugrats Movie” (1998, as the voice of a newborn baby), “House on Haunted Hill” (1999) and “Serial Killing 4 Dummys” (2004) and in TV series like “The Nanny” (1997). She has also starred in her own reality TV show, “Dweezil & Lisa” (2004).
As for romantic life, 5' 2” Loeb was involved with Juan Patino (producer) when she lived in New York. The bond ended after six years. Patino produced many of her songs, including “Stay.” She next had another long-term relationship with Dweezil Zappa, but they broke up in May 2004 after having been together for six years. As of 2000, Loeb resides in Los Angeles. She is a devoted collector of Hello Kitty items and speaks Spanish fluently.
Childhood and Family:
Lisa Anne Loeb was born on March 11, 1968, in Bethesda, Maryland, to doctor Peter Loeb. Growing up in Dallas, Texas, she attended The Hockaday School, one of the most prestigious private all-girls schools in the U.S. and was a very active student. In addition to practicing her love of music and the arts, she participated in extracurricular activities, became a DJ for the school and took ballet, piano, tap, ice skating and music theory classes. She also performed in several school musicals. After graduating in 1986, Lisa enrolled at Brown University, from which she received a BA in Comparative Literature in 1990. She then attended Boston's Berklee School of Music, but dropped out after one semester to pursue a career in music.
Lisa has two brothers, Benjamin “Ben” Loeb and Philip Loeb, and a sister named Debbie Loeb. As a youngster, she was fan of Kiss and Olivia Newton-John and attended a concert by Elton John (another idol of hers) when she was only 10 years old.
“Some people train for certain sports and I want to train to be able to hold a super heavy electric guitar and carry luggage around myself because I always have to have 7,000 pairs of shoes. Who cares about sports?” Lisa Loeb
A longtime fan of pop music, Lisa Loeb formed her first band with roommate Elizabeth Mitchell while she was at Brown University. The pop group Liz and Lisa, which featured classmate and upcoming music star Duncan Sheik on guitar, released their first album, “Liz and Lisa,” in 1989 and a sophomore effort, “Liz and Lisa - Days Were Different,” a year later. Both albums were released independently. After leaving Brown and spending a semester at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, she headed to New York City to further chase her musical ambitions.
Once arriving in NYC, Loeb founded a new group called “Nine Stories” in 1990. Thanks to her impressive solo acoustic performances at a number of local coffeehouses, she collected a fan base and launched a solo album in 1992 called “The Purple Tape,” which was a collection of her songs. Released on audio cassette only, it was re-issued on CD sixteen years later in January of 2008.
“The Purple Tape” put Loeb under the radar of actor Ethan Hawke whom she met through mutual friends in the NYC theater community. It was Hawke that helped the singer bring a tape of her song “Stay (I Miss You)” to director Ben Stiller who was making the movie “Reality Bites” (1994). He invited Loeb to perform it on the soundtrack and the rest is a history.
Released in 1994, “Stay (I Miss You)” became a No. 1 hit on both the U.S. Hot 100 Singles and U.S. Adult Top 40 as well as a Top 10 hit on the U.S. Modern Rock and U.S. Adult Contemporary charts. The song made Loeb the only artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart before scoring a record deal. Subsequently, Loeb became the target of many major labels and Geffen Records emerged as the eventual winner. “Tails,” her first major studio album, was released in September 1995 to a good response from both audiences and critics alike. In addition to “Stay (I Miss You”), the album also consisted of the top 20 hit “Do You Sleep” (# 18 on Billboard's Hot 100) and two fairly eminent radio hits, “Waiting for Wednesday” and “Taffy.” “Tails” received Gold status from RIAA in December 1995. Also in 1995, she received a Brit Award for International Breakthrough Act.
Loeb resurfaced two years later with her next album, “Firecracker” (1997), which went gold in America and Canada. Although the reception of the album was less than its predecessor, it did win Loeb her first Grammy nomination in 1999 in the category of Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The lead single, “I Do,” peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Adult Top 40 and No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, but missed the Top 20 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. The album also produced the single “Let's Forget About It,” which failed to reach the Top 50 on Billboard's Hot 100 and only peaked at No. 71 on the chart, and the song “How,” which was used in the films “Twister” and “Jack Frost” and in an episode of the hit series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” By this time, Loeb removed the name of Nine Stories, her backup band, and performed under her own name.
Also in 1997, Loeb appeared as Chloe in an episode of the TV series “The Nanny” and was featured as an angry woman in the movie “Black Circle Boy,” a thriller directed and written by Matthew Carnahan. The film marked her second outing since the 1985 comedy “Tabloid.” She next provided her vocals for the animated film “The Rugrats Movie” and played the Channel 3 reporter on the horror film “House on Haunted Hill” (1999), starring Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs and Peter Gallagher.
Loeb made her return to the music industry after five years with a new album from A&M Records, “Cake and Pie” (2002), for which she collaborated with such top names as Glen Ballard, Randy Scruggs, Peter Collins and then boyfriend Dweezil Zappa. It spawned a moderate radio hit with the lead single “The Way it Really Is” and the song “We Could Still Belong Together.” However, the album was considered a major commercial flop and Loeb was soon dropped from A&M. In late 2002, she found a new home with Artemis Records and re-issued “Cake and Pie” under the title “Hello Lisa,” which featured Sanrio's popular “Hello Kitty” on the cover. “Catch the Moon,” a children's album, followed in 2003. The album marked her reunion with former band mate Elizabeth Mitchell. Loeb also supplied her vocals for the video game “Grandia Xtreme” (2002), made a guest appearance in “The Andy Dick Show” (2002) and voiced Mary Jane Watson in the cartoon series “Spider-Man” (2003).
In 2004, Loeb released a new album called “The Way It Really Is” for the independent label Zoe/Rounder. The album was well received by critics. Also that same year, Loeb headlined her own reality TV show with former lover Dweezil Zappa titled “Dweezil & Lisa,” which debuted in January on the Food Network, and had a supporting role in the comedy film “Serial Killing 4 Dummys,” as Sasha Fitzgerald. She went on to appear as herself in such shows as “The Colbert Report” (2005), “The View” (2006) and E! Channel's “#1 Single” (8, episodes, 2006). “The Very Best of Lisa Loeb,” a first compilation album, was launched in January 2006. She also performed the duet song “Anti-Hero,” which was included in the Japanese group Rin album “Inland Sea” (2006).
Recently, Loeb had her second children's music album with “Camp Lisa” (2008), in addition to re-releasing “Lisa Loeb: The Purple Tape.” About her next projects, she said, “I’d like to write for a voice other than my own. Maybe write a book, produce more television shows, more acting, explore other ways of telling stories, family. It’s an ongoing process. Things are always changing.”
Brit Award: International Breakthrough Act, 1995