Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963 in Newton, North Carolina, USA) is an American singer-songwriter. She is married to her English sound engineer Mark Hawley, and they have one daughter together, Natashya "Tash" Lorien Hawley, born on September 5, 2000.
Amos was one of a number of confessional female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and is noteworthy as one of the few modern popular music stars to utilize a piano as her primary instrument. She is known for lyrically opaque but emotionally intense songs that tackle a wide range of subjects, including sexuality, religion, patriarchy and personal tragedy. Some of her charting singles include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Me and a Gun", "Cornflake Girl", "A Sorta Fairytale", "Professional Widow" and "Spark".
Amos has experienced limited chart success in the United States and the United Kingdom but has also enjoyed a large cult following. She is also known for making eccentric comments during interviews and in concerts.
At age 21, Amos moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music career. While there she managed to get several acting jobs, including a Kellogg's Just Right cereal commercial (for which role she beat out a then-unknown Sarah Jessica Parker). (Amos says that she got the job because she could actually play the piano, whereas Parker could not.) After playing a bar one night, she gave a ride home to a patron, who sexually assaulted her—an experience that would feed into her emotionally-charged song "Me and a Gun." She also met Steve Caton, who played guitars on her albums through To Venus and Back (1999).
After touring throughout 1992 in support of Little Earthquakes, Amos went to New Mexico to write her second solo record, Under the Pink. It debuted at #1 in the UK and #12 in the US charts on its release in January 1994. It disappointed some critics, however, who considered it a step sideways rather than forwards from Little Earthquakes (but was voted among the greatest albums of the 1990s by Rolling Stone magazine some years later). In February, she began the "Under the Pink" tour. Four tracks were released as singles: "God", "Cornflake Girl" (a #4 single in the UK), "Pretty Good Year" and "Past the Mission", which featured the vocal contribution of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. A limited edition release of the album commemorating the Australian tour included a second disc entitled "More Pink", a collection of B-Sides.
Around this time an Australian tabloid managed to take "up-skirt" photographs of Amos during a live performance at which she was not wearing panties. Amos did not comment on this until eleven years later, citing it as her impetus to not return to Australia during a tour between 1995 and 2005.
Amos also contributed the song "Butterfly" to the soundtrack for the 1994 movie Higher Learning as well as a cover of the R.E.M song "Losing My Religion".
In June, 1994, Amos co-founded RAINN, The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. RAINN is a toll-free help line in the US which connects callers with their local rape crisis center. In 1995, Amos, duetting with Robert Plant, contributed the song "Down by the Seaside" to the Led Zeppelin tribute album Encomium.
Amos performed a highly publicized television concert called "The Concert for RAINN" in late 1996. This coincided with "National RAINN Day", and during the concert all cable and network television stations aired Amos' public service announcement about the organization. During this concert Amos performed a song with her friend Maynard James Keenan of the band Tool. During this year she also co-wrote/performed a song called "It Might Hurt a Little Bit" with singer Michael Stipe of the band R.E.M.. It was intended for the soundtrack to the film Don Juan DeMarco but was not used and has never been released.