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Missy Higgins (born Melissa Morrison Higgins on 19 August 1983) is an Australian singer-songwriter, best known for the hit singles "Scar", "The Special Two", "Steer" and "Where I Stood". Her second album, On a Clear Night, was released in April 2007. She has sold over 1 million records.

Career biography

Missy Higgins grew up in Melbournemarker, Victoria, Australiamarker and while at boarding school at Geelong Grammar Schoolmarker began her professional musical career in mid-2001. When she went home to visit her family she would occasionally sing in her brother's band. During this time she worked with the Kool Skools program and also won the Triple J Unearthed competition for her song "All For Believing". She had written this at 16 and included it in her first release.

After attracting the attention of manager John Watson, she released her first EP with his record label Eleven in November 2003. Her second EP Scar was released in August 2004, debuting at #1 on the Australian charts. Her first album, The Sound of White, was released in September 2004. Many of her songs feature her on piano or guitar.

The Sound of White was produced in the U.S.marker by John Porter with audio engineer Jay Newland, noted for his work with jazz singer Norah Jones.

Throughout 2004, Higgins had been touring as a support act with Pete Murray and The John Butler Trio, including solo performances at the Horden Pavilion, The Clarendon, and the Enmore Theatremarker. With the release of The Sound of White, Higgins began another national tour, her first as the headliner.

In 2004, Higgins was nominated in four categories at the ARIA Awards. These included "Best Female Artist" and "Single of the Year". At the awards ceremony on 17 October she received the award for "Best Pop Release".

Following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunamimarker, Higgins appeared as one of the headline acts of the WaveAid fundraising concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In 2005, Higgins was nominated for a further seven ARIA Awards, winning "Album of the Year" (for The Sound of White), "Best Female Artist", "Best Pop Release" (for The Sound of White), "Breakthrough Artist - Album Release" (for The Sound Of White) and "Highest Selling Album" (again, for The Sound of White).

Her single "Ten Days", co-written with Jay Clifford of Jump, Little Children, peaked at number 12 on the ARIA charts.

She released her third single, "The Special Two", to both critical and commercial acclaim. It became an instant hit on Australian radio and in the charts debuting and peaking at number 2 on the ARIA charts. "The Special Two" EP included Missy's cover of the Skyhooks classic, "You Just Like Me Cos I'm Good In Bed", which she recorded for Triple J's 30th anniversary. "You Just Like Me Cos I'm Good In Bed" was the first song played on Triple J in 1975. She continued touring in mid-2005 and released her fourth single, "The Sound of White", in August 2005. In late 2005 she teamed up with Ben Lee for a national tour.

In 2006, she toured the United Statesmarker, United Kingdommarker and South Africa along with her band before basing herself in Los Angelesmarker to record her second album with veteran producer Mitchell Froom. Her second album, On a Clear Night, was released on 28 April 2007. "Steer", the first single from the album was released on 4 April 2007.

On 7 July 2007, Higgins participated in the Australian leg of Live Earth performing her own set, as well as joining Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody and John Butler on stage for the song "From Little Things Big Things Grow." The song could have been considered "the event's anthem" and Rolling Stone cited it as a highlight, stating that the "whole crowd sung along – all eleven verses."

On Friday October 27th 2007, Missy with the Sydney Youth Orchestra headlined the second annual Legs 11 concert held in the Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Legs 11 is a twilight concert in support of breast cancer research, proceeds from the event are donated directly to National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia. Other acts that performed on the night include Paul Kelly, The Waifs, Lior, Expatriate, Blue King Brown, Bob Evans and many more.

“I just think it’s a good cause," says Missy. “Although I haven’t personally been touched by cancer, I do know a lot of people that have had cancer in their family or had breast cancer affect someone in their life – it’s more and more prevalent these days – it’s like everyone knows someone whose life’s been touched by cancer. And even though it’s not that common for someone of my age group – it’s becoming more and more common – so I think it’s important to draw attention to the issue.”

“Yeah I get to play with an orchestra – which is like one of my nerdy dreams – to hear my songs played in such a grandiose manner. I really wanted to do that. So when we were looking at ways to do this differently and Sydney Youth Orchestra had approached us to do it – I thought ‘Yeah’!”

Higgins said her July 2007 tour was carbon neutral.



On 31 October 2007, Higgins was a special guest at the TV music channel MAX's "The Max Sessions: Powderfinger, Concert For The Cure" singing lead vocals to "Sunsets" alongside front man Bernard Fanning and joined in with the encore of "These Days". The concert was a fundraiser and thank you to the "unsung heroes" of breast cancer with an invite-only audience of breast cancer survivors and their support networks. The concert closed Breast Cancer Awareness Month and was the brainchild of 20-year-old Nick Vindin, who lost his mother Kate to the disease a few years ago.

Higgins temporarily relocated to Los Angeles in August 2007 to concentrate on the US market and further her career. Higgins' second album, On a Clear Night, was released in the US on February 28, 2008 with a tour in March to coincide with the release. Her stay in LA, which lasted for the first half of 2008, was designed to get her music used in films and television shows. Higgins was not content with resting on her success in Australia, preferring to push for greater exposure overseas and reach a greater audience. Her success is steadily growing with her single "Where I Stood" recently featured in various popular US series including Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, Smallville, Lipstick Jungle, The Hills , One Tree Hill and So You Think You Can Dance.

In June 2008 Missy got voted #48 in The 2008 AfterEllen.com's Hot 100; a list made by gay and bisexual women. In April of 2009, Missy made the AfterEllen.com Hot 100 list again, this time coming in at #42. Higgins was also voted #16 on AfterEllen.com's 2009 Hottest Out Women list.

During the summer of 2008, Higgins joined piano and songwriter, Ben Folds, on his summer tour across the United States.

On January 16, 2009 it was announced that Higgins would embark on a headline tour of the USA from February through March playing larger venues to accommodate her growing US popularity.

Personal life

Higgins, the youngest of three children of a doctor and a childcare centre operator, was raised in Melbourne, Victoria and attended Geelong Grammar School for her secondary education. She currently lives with her sister Nicola in Melbourne.

She is a vegetarian, and in 2005 appeared in a marketing campaign for the animal rights group PETA promoting awareness of animal rights.

Higgins' sexuality has been the subject of speculation due to the content of her lyrics. In a 19 October 2007 interview with lesbian magazine Cherrie, under the headline "Missy Higgins on life, music and not being straight", when asked if she fell under the 'moniker' of ‘not-so-straight’ girls, she laughed and said, "Um, yeah, definitely". She then went on to say "I think sexuality is a fluid thing and it's becoming increasingly more acceptable to admit that you're that way", without elaborating on whether she is lesbian, bisexual, or otherwise. As a result of press coverage, Higgins chose to clarify her statement via her Myspace blog stating, "I’ve been in relationships with both men and women so I guess I fall most easily under the category 'bisexual'...Please rest assured that I am not, never have been, and never will be ashamed of my sexuality but also please respect the fact that when I do an interview I want it to be about my music and not about my love life!"

In a 5 March 2008 interview with SuicideGirls, she said "I don’t mind talking about my sexuality and I don’t mind it being known. I guess my only hesitation was that it would take over the music and—exactly, overshadow it. It was weird for me because I was so open about my sexuality with my friends and my family but it was also something that I was kind of discovering for myself. So when I started doing interviews for my songs and my album, I realized that I didn’t know how to talk about this kind of thing with strangers because it was something I was just figuring out myself." She went on to mention that she is much more open about discussing her sexuality now since she realized the impact it can possibly have on LGBT youth who may be struggling with their sexuality. She is quoted as saying "That definitely motivates me to be more open about it, especially because it’s something that I’m much more certain of now. I’ve never been ashamed of it, so if I can maybe influence other girls or guys who are going through the same thing to not be ashamed of it and to embrace their differences, and at the same time to know that they’re not alone, it’s a really beautiful thing and a beautiful opportunity that I’ve been given. I’m much more at ease with it these days."

In a March 2008 interview with AfterEllen.com, Missy revealed that her song "Secret" was written for an ex-girlfriend who was not comfortable going public with their relationship, stating "When we first started our relationship, she was not comfortable with bringing it out into the open, and I was so head over heels in love with her I kind of wanted to shout it out to the world, so it was just a song about keeping something under the covers and not being comfortable sharing something with the world, keeping it away locked in a little room."

Discography

Studio albums

Album Information Singles
The Sound of White Released: 6 September 2004
On a Clear Night Released: 28 April 2007


Singles



Year Title Chart positions Album
AUS NZ UK US US AC
2004 "Scar" 1 20 246 - - The Sound of White
"Ten Days" 12 39 133 - -
2005 "The Special Two" 2 - - - -
"The Sound of White" 22 - - - -
2007 "Steer" 1 - - - - On A Clear Night
"Where I Stood" 10 - - 107 10
"Peachy" - - - - -
2009 "More Than This" 52 - - - - Single Release Only


EPs



Compilations and contributions



DVDs

  • If You Tell Me Yours, I'll Tell You Mine - (2005) AUS #1 (1 week)
  • On A Clear Night Limited CD & DVD Tour Edition - (2007)


Filmography



Awards and nominations

Awards

  • 2007 ARIA Awards, Best Female Artist for "On A Clear Night"
  • 2005 ARIA Awards, Album Of The Year for The Sound Of White
  • 2005 ARIA Awards, Best Female Artist for The Sound Of White
  • 2005 ARIA Awards, Highest Selling Album for The Sound Of White
  • 2005 ARIA Awards, Best Pop Release for The Sound Of White
  • 2005 ARIA Awards, Breakthrough Artist - Album for The Sound Of White
  • 2005 APRA Awards, Song Of The Year for "Scar"
  • 2005 APRA Awards, Breakthrough Award for "Scar"
  • 2005 MTV Australia Video Music Awards, Breakthrough Artist of the Year
  • 2004 ARIA Awards, Best Pop Release for "Scar"


Nominations

  • 2007 ARIA Awards, Best Female Artist for "On A Clear Night"
  • 2007 ARIA Awards, Best Pop Release for "On A Clear Night"
  • 2006 ARIA Awards, Best Female Artist for "The Sound of White"
  • 2006 MTV Australia Video Music Awards, Best Female Artist
  • 2005 ARIA Awards, Single Of The Year for "The Special Two"
  • 2005 ARIA Awards, Highest Selling Single for "The Special Two"
  • 2005 ARIA Awards, Song Of The Year for "Ten Days"
  • 2004 ARIA Awards, Single Of The Year for "Scar"
  • 2004 ARIA Awards, Best Female Artist for "Scar"
  • 2004 ARIA Awards, Breakthrough Artist - Single for "Scar"
  • 2004 ARIA Awards, Best Video for "Scar"


Transcribed music

  • Higgins, Missy (2004) Scar [music] written by Missy Higgins and Kevin Griffin ; transcribed by Ray Smith. Richmond, East Vic.: Allans Publishing. ISBN 1863674772
  • Higgins, Missy (2004) The Sound Of White [album] written by various writers ; transcribed by Ray Smith. Richmond, East Vic.: Allans Publishing. ISBN 1863674799
  • Higgins, Missy (2007) On A Clear Night [album] written by Missy Higgins ; transcribed by Jared Haschek. Richmond, East Vic.: All Music Publishing and Distribution. ISBN 1863675468


Notes

  1. AskMen.com - Missy Higgins pics
  2. And today's lesson is how to write a catchy chorus - National - smh.com.au
  3. The Geelong Advertiser
  4. EMI MUSIC Australia, Missy Steers Towards New Album. Top40 Charts, February 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  5. Crowded House Stars As Live Earth Begins In Sydney
  6. Musicians take the bus to Live Earth | The Australian
  7. Rolling Stone : International Report: Live Earth Sydney
  8. Live Earth - Gig Reviews - Music - Entertainment - smh.com.au
  9. Sydney Morning Herald, Missy's American Dream January 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  10. Missy Higgins tackles LA | Herald Sun
  11. After Ellen's Hot Top 100
  12. http://www.afterellen.com/people/2009/hot100?page=0%2C8
  13. http://www.afterellen.com/people/2009/outwomen
  14. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/377992/missy_higgins_interview
  15. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/food-fight-sam-takes-on-missy/2006/03/11/1141701737149.html Theage.com Retrieved on 05-17-07
  16. http://suicidegirls.com/interviews/Missy+Higgins/
  17. http://www.afterellen.com/people/2008/4/missyhiggins?page=0%2C0 Interview with Missy Higgins
  18. "Missy Higgins chart peaks for Australia". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  19. "Missy Higgins chart peaks for New Zealand". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  20. "Chart Log UK - H & Claire – Hysterix". zobbel.de. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  21. [1]. Retrieved March 19, 2009.


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