Meredith Ann Brooks (born June 12, 1958) is an American singer/songwriter and guitarist best known for her 1997 hit song "Bitch", for which she was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Meredith Brooks was born in Corvallis, Oregon. Her parents divorced when she was young. She and her brother and sister grew up in Corvallis, Oregon raised by their mother. At 11 Brooks became fascinated with the guitar and soon learned how to play it.
Career Beginnings; See It Through My Eyes (1984) And The Graces (1989)
In 1976 Brooks and drummer Patti Drapela started a local all-girl rock band called Sapphire. Brooks was lead singer and guitarist from 1977 to 1981, playing at community colleges, private parties, and the Oregon State Fair as well as clubs in Portland, Salem, Eugene, and her hometown of Corvallis.
Brooks left the band in the late 1980s and performed solo at a number of clubs in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and in Washington, where she was popular with a broad range of fans. She often performed at the Last Hurrah and Eli's Hard Rock Cafe in Portland. She was managed by Denny Herman of Pacific Talent, her boyfriend at the time.
As 1986 approached she broke up with Herman and later moved to Los Angeles to further her career in music. In 1988 she recorded a one-hour TV show titled "Meredith Brooks and The Angels of Mercy: Recorded Live at the Starry Night",a one-hour TV show. The video production was headed up by Mark de Leon Martinez, an established young music video producer from Portland. She performed that night as the opening act for Jack Charles. She then moved to Los Angeles using the video as a promo, to further her career in music. At that time, she recorded some songs that later appeared on one of her later albums "See It Through My Eyes." In 1988, after two years no real success, Brooks was asked to join former GoGo's member Charlotte Caffey’s new band, The Graces, who recorded one album, "Perfect View", in 1989. They broke up in 1991.
Also in 1991 she met and married Russell Jackson.
Success With Blurring The Edges And "Bitch"
By 1995 Brooks landed a major label contract with Capitol Records. After three years her first single was finally released, "Bitch," and based on the success of the song she garnered nominations for the 1998 Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song. (The song was Brooks' only major hit on the charts.)
Her album Blurring the Edges achieved platinum sales and peaked at 22 on the Billboard 200 and 5 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was produced by David Ricketts, formerly of David and David (with David Baerwald), and he also played keyboards (among other instruments) on the album. Brooks toured in the US and Europe in 1997 and 1998 to support the album.
On March 30, 1998 in Argentina, she was opening for the Rolling Stones. The crowd demanded to see the Stones during her set and became violent, throwing bottles and other objects at the stage, hitting her several times. Brooks abandoned her set after two songs as the crowd yelled "Come on, Stones!" The next day Brooks showed reporters bruises to her eye and ankle and stated: "They have taken away my greatest moment. I was playing with the Stones, something I never imagined I would do... and now I think I'll cancel the rest of my shows in Latin America. I have no intention of continuing to expose myself to this kind of barbaric behavior... not me, not my band, not my crew."
Also in 1998 she divorced Jackson after seven years of marriage.
Deconstruction (1999) And Playing In The Lilith Fair
In 1999 Brooks recorded her second album, Deconstruction. It was a stylistic and thematic shift away from he first album. The album sold poorly and she only toured in Europe. One of the songs on the album, "Sin City", was recorded for the movie Snake Eyes.
In 2000 she was asked and then toured with fellow singer Sarah McLachlan's successful all-female tour the Lilith Fair.
Bad Bad One (2002), Label Independence And Producing
After being unceremoniously dropped from Capitol Records in 2002, Brooks was signed to independent label Gold Circle Records and worked on her third album, Bad Bad One. But the label folded immediately after releasing the album, then sued to prevent it from getting promoted or achieving significant sales.
Despite all the problems, the track "Shine" was still released as a single, but the label's demise interrupted her tour with singer Melissa Etheridge that summer, causing her and her band to return home early to Los Angeles. The single also did not chart.
In 2002, she began a new chapter in her life by producing record albums, and she produced Jennifer Love Hewitt's album BareNaked. That year she also appeared on the VH1 "Divas Las Vegas" program as a guest guitar soloist with Celine Dion and Anastacia.
In 2003, Brooks quietly remarried and by the next year adopted a boy named Troy. She also signed a new record deal with the SLG Records label and released her original material from the unreleased album Bad Bad One, re-titling it as Shine.
It also failed to make a rise in the charts, but was still popular enough that television talk-show host and psychologist Dr. Phil chose the song "Shine" as the theme music for his show.
If I Could Be... (2007) And Managing Becca
In 2007 Brooks completed a new children's album titled If I Could Be... and is continuing to develop new artists as a producer and songwriter.
Recently she is producing Sony Music Entertainment artist Becca, a pop/rock singer/songwriter from the Portland, Oregon area.