Who is Alannah Myles?
Alannah Myles can be termed as one of the most ‘phenomenal’ musicians that Canada has ever produced. Although she struggled for a long time to make her mark in the music industry, Myles achieved great success towards the later part of life. During her younger years, Myles had even tried modelling and acting. Before she became a popular name in the Canadian music circles, Alannah performed at various venues such as nightclubs, bars, coffee houses and many similar places. Her song ‘Black Velvet’ from an album of the same name became one of the most aired songs on radio, at the time of its launch. Alannah’s talent has been recognized by the jury members of various award ceremonies, who have felicitated her time and again for the contribution towards music. The most prestigious award she won was the ‘Grammy’. Myles is known for leading the lifestyle of a typical bohemian. Many are of the opinion that her dedication towards music could be the reason behind her remaining a bachelor. She lives with her cat named Ariel, who is believed to be the love of her life. To know more about her life and works read on the following biography.
Childhood & Early Life
This renowned singer was born to William Douglas Byles, a popular name in the Canadian broadcasting industry, on 25th December 1949, in Toronto. She was originally named Alannah Byles.
Myles was exposed to world music at a young age since she frequently listened to the songs which were aired on FM radio stations. This inspired her to write songs at the tender age of nine. Two years later, she started playing the guitar.
While she was hardly twelve years old, Alannah actively participated in the ‘Kiwanis Music Festival’, by becoming a member of the festival’s song writing group.
During her early teens, she started performing at various events in Southern Ontario, most of which were solo gigs. Her talent grabbed the attention of famous Canadian musician Christopher Ward. Alannah and Christopher, together, formed their own band, through which they played cover versions of rock and blue songs.
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The duo continued performing together for a few more years, which helped Myles turn into a more seasoned musician. While she was in her mid-twenties, this aspiring singer, along with collaborator Christopher approached well-known music producer David Tyson to fund her first music album.
Apart from music, Myles even experimented with television. She appeared in one of the episodes of the then famous television show ‘The Kids of Degrassi Street’, which was aired in 1984.
Alannah’s songs such as ‘Who Loves You’ and ‘Just One Kiss’ which she had recorded in her early twenties grabbed the attention of Bob Reper, the director of the ‘Artists and Repertoire’ department of the record label ‘Warner Music Canada’. Bob sent these songs to the US division of ‘Warner Music’.
After a brief stint with acting, Myles collaborated with music producers Christopher Ward and David Tyson to complete her album. The year 1989 finally saw the release of her first album titled ‘Alannah Myles’. Songs from the album such as ‘Still Got This Thing’, ‘Love Is’, and ‘Black Velvet’ created waves amongst music lovers, and went on to rule the music charts.
In 1992, this talented singer released her second album, named ‘Rockinghorse’. This album was issued by the famous label ‘Atlantic Records’, and was well-known for its singles ‘Our World, Our Times’, ‘Sonny Say You Will’, and ‘Song Instead Of A Kiss’. The album was even nominated for a prestigious award.
The album ‘A-lan-nah’, which released in 1995, was the singer’s last collaboration with the label ‘Atlantic Records’. The songs ‘Family Secret’ and ‘Blow wind, Blow’ from the album were appreciated by many.
Two years later she joined hands with ‘Ark 21’, a music record label based out of Los Angeles. Her first album with this record label was ‘A Rival’. The album was well-known for its song ‘Bad 4 You’, which went on to become a chartbuster. Alannah collaborated with her contemporaries, Eric Brazilian and Desmond Child for this hit song.
In 2005, she performed at the Swedish musical event ‘Melodifestivalen’, along with the members of the rock band ‘Kee Marcello's K2’. The song ‘We Got it All’ for which they performed, became the centre of attention of the local media.
After a four year hiatus, Alannah bounced back in the music scene with her fifth album, titled ‘Black Velvet’, which was released by the indie label ‘Linus Entertainment’. The CDs were released almost two decades after it surfaced on radio channels.
This persistent and talented musicain completed 25 years in the music industry, in 2013. The celebration was marked by the release of the album ‘85bpm’.
Although Alannah has many songs to her credit in a career spanning 25 years, the album ‘Black Velvet’ is something which has made her immortal. The song ‘Trouble’ from this album was nominated at various music contests. The title track of the album was selected to be performed on the television reality show ‘Cover Me Canada’.
Awards & Achievements
Myles was awarded the prestigious ‘Grammy Award’ in the ‘Best Female Rock Performance’ category for the song ‘Black Velvet’, in 1991. She also bagged three honours at the ‘Juno Awards’ ceremony for her work in the same album.
The title track of the album ‘Black Velvet’ secured the number one spot in various countdowns. It also was known to be one of the most played songs of the period 1989-90.
Myles was felicitated with the ‘ASCAP Millionaire Award’ in 2000, since her songs were played at least 5 million times in a decade.
She was a winner of the 15th Annual song-writing competition in the ‘Best Song/Alternative Song’ category.
Personal Life & Legacy
Alannah was born in a rich and influential family. It was rumoured that she was in a relationship with music producer Christopher Ward. However, the affair didn’t last long, and she is said to be single even today.
This famous singer hogged the limelight in 1991, when she performed the Canadian National Anthem at an ‘All-Star Game’ event held at Toronto.