Born as Michelle Jacquet DeSevren Branch, this young lady is a Grammy Award winning pop rock musician who rose to fame with her album ‘The Spirit Room’ which spawned the hit single ‘Everywhere’. The daughter of a music loving mother, she was exposed to the sounds of The Beatles while she was still in the womb. She was naturally inclined towards music and began singing when she was just three. She started receiving music lessons as an eight year old and demanded a guitar for her fourteenth birthday. So much was her interest in music that she even began composing songs as a teenager, and performed in local gigs around her hometown. She grew up listening to the music of The Beatles, Jewel and Fleetwood Mac whom she considers her idols. She even self-produced an album consisting of the songs she wrote during her teenage years. Her hard work and persistence paid off and she got the chance to sign a contract with Maverick Records. Her debut album ‘The Spirit Room’ was released when she was just 18 years of age. The album was a big commercial hit and was certified double platinum. She has also made appearances on several television shows as a musical celebrity.
Childhood & Early Life
She is the daughter of David and Peggy Branch. She is of mixed ancestry and has two siblings.
She loved singing from a young age. Sensing her interest, her parents arranged for her to receive music lessons when she was eight. She received a guitar on her fourteenth birthday. While teaching herself to play it, she also began composing songs.
She attended Sedona Red Rock High School though she chose to finish her high school education through home schooling in order to focus on her music career.
Her parents helped her book local gigs around her hometown in an attempt to encourage her musical career. She performed covers of songs by Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Fleetwood Mac at these gigs.
She self-produced an album ‘Broken Bracelet’ in 1998 which was a compilation of the songs she had written as a teenager.
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She signed a recording deal with Maverick Records in 2001. She worked with John Shanks to produce her major label debut, ‘The Spirit Room’ the same year. The album featured the singles ‘Everywhere’, ‘All You Wanted’ and ‘Goodbye to You’.
She became friends with the musician Justincase and helped him sign a contract with Maverick Records. She collaborated with him on several of the songs on his 2002 self-titled album.
Michelle teamed up with the musician and songwriters Santana, Gregg Alexander and Rock Nowels to produce the song ‘The Game of Love’ in 2002.
She came out with her second album ‘Hotel Paper’ in 2003. It was also a big commercial success and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. She earned a Grammy Award nomination for the single ‘Are You Happy Now?’
Buoyed by her success in music, she made her foray into television. Till date she has appeared in several films or television shows as a musical celebrity. She hosted MTV’s ‘Faking the Video’ in 2004 along with Nick Lachey and JC Chasez.
She collaborated with her friend and fellow musician Jessica Harp to form the duo The Wreckers in 2005. They released their debut album ‘Stand Still, Look Pretty’ in 2006 which featured the single ‘Leave the Pieces’ which topped the Billboard Hot country Songs chart.
The Wreckers contributed to Santana’s album ‘All That I Am’ and accompanied the musicians Rascal Flatts on a U.S. tour in 2006. The duo split up in 2007 to focus on their solo careers.
During the late 2000s, she performed in several live shows with her younger sister Nicole providing the backing vocals. She also sang songs for other artists like Chris Isaak which featured on their albums.
Her Extended Play (EP) ‘Everything Comes and Goes’ was released in 2010. The single from the EP, ‘Sooner or Later’ was a minor hit. Three previously unreleased songs from the EP were released in 2011—‘Texas In the Mirror’, ‘Take a Chance on Me’, and ‘Long Goodbye’.
Currently she is working on recording a new album with Martin Terefe.
Her major label debut ‘The Spirit Room’ was a big success that launched her musical career. The single ‘Everywhere’ was critically acclaimed and received very positive reviews from music critics; it became her signature song. The album was rated multi-platinum.
The album ‘Hotel Paper’ debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200. The song ‘Are You Happy Now?’ was nominated for a Grammy Award. The album dealt with themes like moving on, leaving things behind, and spirituality.
Awards & Achievements
She won the MTV Video Music Awards Viewers’ Choice for the song ‘Everywhere’ in 2002.
The song ‘The Game of Love’ performed by Michelle and composed by Gregg Alexander and Rick Nowels won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2003.
Personal Life & Legacy
She married bass player Teddy Landau in 2004. The couple has a daughter named Owen.
She is an environmentally conscious animal lover. She works closely with the Global Green organization and has several pet cats.
This pretty singer has her own line of lipsticks and nail polish at Flirt Cosmetics.