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Famous Like Me > Singer > A > Laurie Anderson

Profile of Laurie Anderson on Famous Like Me

Name: Laurie Anderson  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 5th June 1947
Place of Birth: Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Laurie Anderson on the cover of her album Strange Angels. Photo by Robert Mapplethorpe.

Laurie Anderson (born June 5, 1947) is an American experimental performance artist and musician.

Anderson was born in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She attended Mills College in California, and eventually graduated from Barnard College magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, studying art history. In 1972, she obtained an MFA in sculpture from Columbia University.

She performed in New York through the 1970s, becoming more popularly known in 1981 with the single "O Superman", which reached number two on the national pop charts in Britain. "O Superman" was part of a larger stage work entitled United States and included on the following album Big Science. Her more recent stage work includes a multimedia presentation inspired by Moby-Dick. She starred in and directed the 1986 concert film, Home of the Brave, and also composed the soundtracks for the Spalding Gray films Swimming to Cambodia and Monster in a Box. Her varied career even included voice-acting in the animated film The Rugrats Movie. In 1994 she created a CD-ROM entitled Puppet Motel.

She wrote a supplemental article on the cultural character of New York City for the Encyclopædia Britannica and in the late 1980s hosted the PBS series, Alive from Off Center, for which she produced the short film, What You Mean We?.

Anderson has collaborated with William Burroughs, Mitchell Froom, Peter Gabriel, Perry Hoberman, David Sylvian and boyfriend Lou Reed. She also worked with comedian Andy Kaufman in the late 1970s (with a romantic involvement hinted at in some of her spoken word performances about him).

Anderson, who rarely revisits older work (though themes and lyrics occasionally reappear) went on tour performing a selection of her best-known musical pieces in 2001. One of these performances was recorded in New York City only a week after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and included a stirring performance of "O Superman" which contained lyrics that almost seemed to predict the events of 9/11. This concert was released in early 2002 as the CD, Live in New York, which remains her most recent album release.

In 2003, Anderson became NASA's first (and, she says, last) artist-in-residence, which inspired her most recent performance piece, The End of the Moon.

Rumors emerged of a possible new album release in the fall of 2004, but this turned out to be false as Anderson seems too busy mounting a succession of themed shows, as well as composing a piece for Expo 2005 in Japan.


(with U.S. chart positions)


  • Big Science (1982) #124
  • Mister Heartbreak (1984) #60
  • United States Live (box set) (1984) #192
  • Home of the Brave (soundtrack album) (1986) #145
  • Strange Angels (1989) #171
  • Bright Red (1994) #195
  • The Ugly One with the Jewels (spoken word) (1995)
  • Talk Normal (greatest hits) (2000)
  • Life on a String (2001)
  • Live in New York (2002)


  • "O Superman (For Massenet)" (1981)
  • "Big Science" (1981)
  • "Sharkey's Day" (1984)
  • "Language is a Virus" (1986)
  • "Strange Angels" (1989)
  • "In Our Sleep" (1994)
Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US Modern Rock US Mainstream Rock UK
1981 "O Superman (For Massenet)" - - - #2 Single
1989 "Babydoll" - #7 - - Strange Angels

Anderson also recorded a number of limited-release singles in the late 1970s, songs from which were included on a number of compilations, including Giorno Poetry Systems' The Nova Convention and You're the Guy I Want to Spend My Money With. She also performs on recordings by other musicians such as Peter Gabriel and Lou Reed.


  • ^  "Encyclopaedia Anderson", The New Yorker, July 16, 2001

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Laurie Anderson