Tori Amos is an American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer. She was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument. Some of her charting singles include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "God", "Cornflake Girl", "Caught a Lite Sneeze", "Professional Widow", "Spark", "1000 Oceans", and "A Sorta Fairytale".
Amos has recorded and released a total of 12 solo studio albums, multiple live releases, three compilation albums, and numerous singles and EPs. Amos has contributed to numerous film soundtracks as well. She has sold 12 million albums worldwide and has been nominated for 8 Grammy Awards.
In 1986, Amos formed a music group, Y Kant Tori Read, and in July 1988, the Y Kant Tori Read's self-titled debut album was released. Although its producer has stated that Amos was very happy with the album at the time, it is now out of print and Amos has expressed no interest in reissuing it. Following the album's commercial failure and the group's subsequent disbanding, Amos began working with other artists as a backup vocalist.
Amos' solo career began in October 1991 with the UK release of the Me and a Gun EP. The following month, after the first track on the EP was receiving more airplay than the title track, the label reissued the EP with the same artwork, but changed the title to Silent All These Years. Although the second version of the EP reached only #51 on the UK charts, BBC Radio 1 picked it as "Record of the Week", which helped Amos get her initial exposure.
Her debut solo album, Little Earthquakes, was released two months later and recounts her religious upbringing, sexual awakening, struggle to establish her identity, and sexual assault. This album became her commercial and artistic breakthrough. The album peaked at #14 on the UK Top 40 and at #54 on the Billboard 20.
Amos' sophomore effort, Under the Pink, cdebuted in February 1994 at #12 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the UK Top 40. Boys for Pele, Amos' third solo album and the first album that was self-produced, debuted in January 1996 at #2 on both the US and UK charts, making it her highest simultaneous trans-Atlantic debut. From the Choirgirl Hotel debuted in May 1998 at #5 on the Billboard 200 and at #6 on the UK Top 40. The following year, To Venus and Back, a double album of studio and live material debuted in September 1999 at #12 in the US and at #22 in the UK. In September 2001, Strange Little Girls, a covers album debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 and at #16 on the UK Top 40.
Over the next five years, Amos released three albums through the Epic Records label: Scarlet's Walk in October 2002, The Beekeeper in February 2005 and American Doll Posse in May 2007. All three albums debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200, placing Amos in an elite group of women who have secured five or more Top 10 album debuts.
In early 2009, Amos signed a distribution deal with Universal Republic Records, which granted her greater creative control over her work than traditional recording contracts. Amos released two albums her first year under the contract: Abnormally Attracted to Sin in May 2009 and the seasonal album Midwinter Graces, featuring reworked Christmas carols and some original songs, in November 2009. Abnormally Attracted to Sin is Amos's seventh album to debut on the US Top 10 on the Billboard 200.Amos followed up with her first classical music album, Night of Hunters, recorded with Andreas Ottensamer of the Berlin Philharmonic and the award-winning string quartet, Apollon Musagète. Night of Hunters was released in September 2011. With Night of Hunters, Amos made Billboard history by being the first female artist to have an album place in the Top 10 of the Classical, Alternative, and Rock charts simultaneously.