Music News

Happy Birthday, Shirley Manson!

First brought to light by her unique voice and fetching good looks, this starlet continues to rise to prominence as she reaches her 45th birthday today. Much like the Highlands in her home country of Scotland, the first thought that can be attributed to Shirley Manson will always be, "There can only be one."

Manson is best-known for her work with '90s alternative band Garbage, but that is not where her work in music began. She began as a keyboardist and backup singer for the '80s/'90s rock group Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie. Even in those early days, she stood out from her compatriots, leading to her eventual signing to Radioactive Records as a solo artist under the name Angelfish.

While Angelfish did not last long, the endeavor was not fruitless. After touring with grunge-rock band Live, a music video for the song "Suffocate Me" was recorded.

The music video was aired on MTV's 120 minutes, where musician and producer Steve Marker saw the broadcast and decided that Manson would make a great singer for his newest project, Garbage.

Success did not come quickly for Manson. After bombing her first audition, she returned to Angelfish, where shortly after her return, they completely disbanded. She eventually returned to Garbage, commuting to the United States from her hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, to work on a handful of songs that eventually led to her becoming a full-time member of the band.

Their debut record, Garbage, went on to sell more than 4 million copies worldwide and generated numerous singles, including hits like "Queer," "Stupid Girl," and "Only Happy When It Rains."


"Stupid Girl":

As one can see, Shirley Manson has a definitively dark, seductive style. In her teenaged years, she became a fan of Siouxsie and the Banshees, stating that the songs on the records The Scream and Kaleidoscope were "massive loves" of her life. She also made no secret of her admiration for Siouxsie Sioux, whom she aspired to be. Manson would later write the foreword to Siouxsie & the Banshees: The Authorised Biography.

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Ryan Burk