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Cat Power Biography

Home > Music > C > Cat Power > Biography

Birth Name: Charlyn Marie Marshall
Born: 1972/01/21
Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Years Active: 1992–present
Genres: Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Folk Rock, Sadcore

Charlyn Marie Marshall (born January 21, 1972), also known as Chan Marshall or by her stage name Cat Power, is an American singer/songwriter and occasional actress and model. Cat Power was originally the name of Marshall's first band, but has come to refer to her musical projects with various backing bands. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Marshall loved soul, rock n roll and country music from childhood and began to play guitar in experimental bands with friends.

After a move to New York at age 20, Marshall recorded two lo-fi, improvised solo albums. Cat Power signed to Matador Records to release her third, more focused album, 1996’s “What Would the Community Think?,” which united her with notable indie musicians.

She followed with “Moon Pix” in 1998 and “The Covers Record” in 2000, receiving notice for her spare, intense originals and radically stripped down takes on folk songs and familiar songs. 2003’s “You Are Free” reached #2 on the Billboard Independent chart and was more structured rock bringing Cat Power wider attention. Dave Grohl of Nirvana and The Foo Fighters played drums and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam provided backing vocals on two of the album’s tracks. Warren Ellis played violin on two songs.

“The Greatest” was issued in 2006, in which she worked with classic R&B and gospel musicians, The Memphis Rhythm Band, including Teenie Hodges, Steve Potts, Dave Smith, Rick Steff, Doug Easley, Jim Spake, Scott Thompson and Susan Marshall. It was her first not to include any cover songs and all the tracks were written by Marshall. The album reached #34 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, her highest charting album at the time. It also went to #1 on the Independent Albums chart.

A second covers collection, “Jukebox,” with a horn-led backing band, was released in 2008. It peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200 and reached #3 on the Independent chart.