Natalie Merchant

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Natalie Anne O'Shea Merchant (born October 26, 1963 in Jamestown, New York, U.S.) is a professional musician. She co-founded and fronted the band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981, but left the band in 1993 and started a successful solo career. Merchant plays the piano, produces and writes many of her songs.

Her debut solo album Tigerlily (1995) had three top-40 singles: 'Carnival', 'Jealousy' and 'Wonder'. This was followed in 1998 with her second solo album Ophelia, and her third in 2001 with Motherland.

Merchant has sung alongside Tracy Chapman, Michael Stipe, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel. She has also collaborated with Billy Bragg a number of times, including the 1998 album Mermaid Avenue. Like Bragg, her work touches on social and political themes; she has been active in promoting a number of campaigning issues in both her songs and through the causes to which she lends her name.

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