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Linda Perry


BMI How I Wrote That Song
Araya Diaz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Linda Perry's Early Career:

Linda Perry was born April 15, 1965 in Springfield, Massachusetts. She grew up in an artistic and musical household and demonstrated talent from an early age. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1980's and began serious pursuit of a career in music. After becoming well-known on the coffehouse and club circuit in the San Francisco area, she was recruited into the band 4 Non Blondes in 1990 by bassist Christa Hillhouse.

Worldwide Success With 4 Non Blondes:

4 Non Blondes were signed to a recording contract by Interscope Records and released their debut album Bigger, Better, Faster, More! in 1992. The album wasn't an instant success, but its lead single "What's Up?" crossed over to the pop mainstream in 1993 after success on modern rock radio stations. The song became a fixture on pop radio and remains one of the best pop songs of 1993.

Quote from Linda Perry:

From 2005 interview with the Washington Post:

"I'm very open. I'm very wise with people. I allow an artist to be an artist. They have managers and label people telling them they don't know how to write a song. . . . I'm like, 'Why don't you play me some songs you've written?' Once they do, I'll be like, 'You don't need a writer! You're a wonderful writer.' . . . I nurture people's talents because at the end of it, that's what they're left with. They're left with themselves."

Linda Perry Solo:

4 Non Blondes struggled to put together a follow-up to their successful first album. Artistic disagreements between Linda Perry and the rest of the band ensued. Eventually, the band broke up and Interscope reluctantly agreed to support a Linda Perry solo project. The album In Flight, released in 1996, was put together by Sheryl Crow's producer Bill Bottrell, but it failed to find an audience and was a commercial failure.

Linda Perry Works With Pink:

A second solo album, After Dark, appeared in 1999 and Linda Perry toured as a solo artist, but commercial success continued to elude her. In 2001 she wrote and began performing the song "Beautiful" live with hopes it may eventually be a comeback single.

Meanwhile, she was contacted by pop singer Pink to provide backing vocals on a few tracks. Eventually, Linda Perry ended up co-writing and producing much of the smash album Missundaztood.

"Beautiful" Music With Christina Aguilera:

With her new career as producer and songwriter in high gear, Linda Perry was brought in to help with Christina Aguilera's album Stripped released in October 2002. She contributed her song "Beautiful" to the project and it became an international smash hit earning Aguilera a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal. Linda Perry moved on to work with a wide range of other artists including co-writing Gwen Stefani's "What You Waiting For" from the album Love, Angel, Music, Baby.

Top Linda Perry Songwriting and Production Hits:

  • 2001 - Pink - "Get This Party Started" (Listen)
  • 2002 - Christina Aguilera - "Beautiful" (Listen)
  • 2004 - Gwen Stefani - "What You Waiting For" (Listen)
  • 2005 - Kelly Osbourne - "One Word" (Listen)

Linda Perry's Custard Records:

Linda Perry owns and operates the Custard Records label. She has a distribution deal with major label Atlantic Records of the Warner Music Group. The label took off in 2005 with the success of James Blunt's Back to Bedlam on the Custard label. Among other artists recording for the label are Sierra Swan and Linda Perry herself.

Trivia Fact About Linda Perry:

The final recording Linda Perry did with the group 4 Non Blondes was a version of Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop."

'Back to Basics' and the Future:

Linda Perry was again thrust into the spotlight in August, 2006 with the release of Christina Aguilera's album Back to Basics. The entire second disc of the album is co-written by Aguilera and Linda Perry as well as being produced by Linda Perry. Positive reviews of the work mentioned Perry's contributions prominently.

Linda Perry is in high demand in the music industry for her songwriting and production talents. Future projects in the works include albums by Vanessa Carlton and Courtney Love as well as songwriting projects with Cheap Trick and Ziggy Marley.

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