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Famous Like Me > Singer > P > Cat Power

Profile of Cat Power on Famous Like Me

Name: Cat Power  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 21st January 1972
Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Cat Power, a.k.a. Chan Marshall (born Charlyn Marie Marshall; January 21, 1972), is an American singer/songwriter known for her minimalist (yet often pastoral) music, for her sparse guitar and piano playing, and for her ethereal, Southern-styled vocals. She is often, but not always, accompanied by backing musicians on record and in concert.


The daughter of divorced parents, Chan (pronounced "Shawn") Marshall was born in Atlanta, but moved to New York City after dropping out of high school, where she began playing shows under the name Cat Power. While opening for Liz Phair in 1994, she met Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Tim Foljahn of Two Dollar Guitar, who encouraged her to record, and played on her first two albums, 1995's Dear Sir and 1996's Myra Lee. In 1996 she was signed to Matador Records, and released her third album, What Would the Community Think, which spawned a rare single and music video, "Nude As The News".

In 1998 came Moon Pix, which was recorded in Australia and featured backing musicians Mick Turner and Jim White of the Dirty Three. The album was well-received by critics, and along with the video for the song "Cross Bones Style," helped increase Marshall's profile in the indie rock scene. During the subsequent tours, however, she grew tired of her own material, and two years later released The Covers Record, a collection of cover songs recorded at various sessions in 1998 and 1999. In 2003 she resumed releasing original material with You Are Free, a diverse and critically applauded album which featured guest musicians such as Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and the Dirty Three's Warren Ellis.

The year 2004 saw the release of the critically polarizing DVD Speaking for Trees, which featured a single, nearly 2-hour static shot of Marshall performing in a woodland, and was accompanied by an audio CD containing the 18-minute song "Willie Deadwilder," featuring M. Ward on guitar. On June 22, 2005, Marshall performed in London as part of the annual Meltdown Festival, curated by punk pioneer, Patti Smith. On September 17 as a part of London's Don't Look Back Festival, Marshall performed The Covers Record in its entirety as well as other assorted covers including the traditional folk song "House of the Rising Sun."

A new record, called The Greatest, is scheduled for early 2006 (January 24).


  • Cat Power has garnered notoriety for her live shows, which often feature a chaotic lack of polish and structure. Songs are frequently cut short for no apparent reason, or "tail off" into what sounds like an extended period of guitar tuning. Some listeners are alienated by this apparent lack of direction, while others have been enchanted by the free-form nature of the performances.
  • Marshall's father, Charlie, was a blues musician and itinerant pianist.
  • Marshall loaned her vocals to track 'I've Been Thinking' on the 2004 Handsome Boy Modelling School album, White People.
  • Marshall has cited Gus Van Sant's 1997 film, Good Will Hunting, as an influence on You Are Free.



  • Dear Sir (1995, Plain Records)
  • Myra Lee (1996, Smells Like Records)
  • What Would the Community Think (1996, Matador Records)
  • Moon Pix (1998, Matador Records)
  • The Covers Record (2000, Matador Records)
  • You Are Free (2003, Matador Records)
  • The Greatest (2006, Matador Records)


  • "Headlights" (1994)
  • "Nude As The News" (1996)
  • "Undercover" (2000)
  • "He War" (2002)


  • Speaking for Trees: A Film by Mark Borthwick (2004)

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