Artist of The Day: Marianne Faithfull

posted by Shane German on 03/28/2019

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Thursday, March 28th: MARIANNE FAITHFULL

Marianne Faithfull is an English singer, songwriter and actress.

Faithfull began her career in 1964 when she was discovered while attending a Rolling Stones party. After the release of her hit single "As Tears Go By", she became an international star almost overnight.

From 1966 to 1970, she had a highly publicized romantic relationship with Mick Jagger. Her popularity was further enhanced by her film roles in “The Girl on a Motorcycle” and “Hamlet.” However, her popularity was overshadowed by personal problems in the 1970s, during which she was anorexic, homeless, and a heroin addict.

Noted for her distinctive voice, Faithfull's previously melodic and higher registered vocals (which were prevalent throughout her career in the 1960s) were affected by severe laryngitis, coupled with persistent drug abuse during the 1970s, permanently altering her voice, leaving it raspy, cracked and lower in pitch. This new sound was praised as "whisky soaked" by some critics for helping capture the raw emotions expressed in her music.

After a long commercial absence, Faithfull made a comeback with the 1979 release of her critically acclaimed album “Broken English.” The album was a commercial success and marked a resurgence of her musical career. “Broken English” earned Faithfull a  Grammy Award Nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and is often regarded as her "definitive recording."

Highly regarded as a true Rock & Roll survivor, she often collaborates with artists who consider her an iconic legend.  Most notably: Blur, Beck, PJ Harvey, and Sly & Robbie.

She received the World Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Women's World Awards and was made a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of France’s highest cultural honors.

Her latest release, “Negative Capability,” features collaborations with Nick Cave and Ed Harcourt and was recently added to WYCE’s library.

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