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Alannah Myles

From Academic Kids

Alannah Myles (b. December 25, 1958 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian musician. She grew up in Toronto and Buckhorn, where her family owns a ranch and where she also learned to ride horses. She wrote her first song at the age of eight. A song called "Ugly Little Cabbage in the Garden", a song meant for her sister who she was teasing. Later in her life she sold her horse to buy an Ovation guitar to play in various clubs and coffee houses.

Influenced by other Canadian musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, she was deterred by her parents from entering a music career. When she was eighteen, she began performing in southern Ontario. She eventually met Christopher Ward, with whom she formed a band and performed cover songs from Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger and The Pretenders. She actually managed to get more gigs by tricking club managers into believing some of her own original songs were cover songs from other bands. Later she joined with David Tyson to complete her band.

In 1989, she released the song "Black Velvet" which was a hit in numerous countries, including Canada, where it went ten times platinum. In total, it sold five million records worldwide and won three Juno Awards and a Grammy Award. She toured for eighteen months straight, opening for various performers such as Robert Plant, Tina Turner and Simple Minds.

Myles had several other hits in Canada, including "Love Is" and "Song Instead of a Kiss", but "Black Velvet" was her only international hit.


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