absolute divasartist profilesshirley manson

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Written by JP Larocque

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1966, Shirley Manson never had a very happy childhood. Teased and singled-out by other children based on her looks, Shirley went through emtional torment. Her green eyes and red hair inspired such cruel names as "bloodhound", and "frog-eyed," and the taunting left her reluctant to go anywhere without some form of make-up on. 'The truth is, I've always been wracked with self-loathing and terrible, paralysing depression,' Shirley stated in an interview.

As Shirley grew older, the depression continued. She became more violent and constantly unhappy, planning to drop out of high school. Without an escape, Shirley turned to the only world that seemed to accept her - the world of rock 'n roll. Hanging out in local clubs, and befriending other musicians, Shirley found an "in" into a world that would finally accept her. Catching quick attention with her honeyed, seductive voice, she quickly began making the rounds as lead singer of different bands - including August 1984, Wild Indians, and Goodbye, Mr. Mackenzie.

It was when Shirley was lead singer of an up-and-coming band named Angelfish, however, that she garnered the attention of an individual who would shape her future. Butch Vig, one of the top album producers of the '90's (having worked with Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and NIN), was looking for a female lead to front a group that he and music veterans Steve Marker, Duke Erikson, Daniel Shulman were forming. Struck by Shirley's mix of beauty, intelligence, and vocal talent, he offered her a position in the band. Shirley quickly accepted, and Garbage was formed.

In 1995 the band released their self-titled debut album to critcal praise, and sales that totalled eight million copies worldwide. Critics noted Shirley's emotional, yet simple lyrics, and the combination of her smooth voice alongside the roar of her bandmates excellent guitar and keyboard work. The band soon followed-up with "Version 2.0" in 1998 to similar success.

The band has had many ups and down since the release of "Version 2.0." Shirley was shocked to discover that she had been offered to be part of a multi-million dollar Calvin Klein modelling campaign, something Shirley never expected in light of her childhood teasing. The band also got the coveted job of singing the Jame Bond th...

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... eme, "The World Is Not Enough," from the film of the same name. Most recent reports have them embroiled in some form of legal conflict with their recording label, but have them working on their new album in the studio.

After a long trip down the bumpy road of life, Shirley Manson has proven herself worthy of the title "Diva." May she be proof to all those who have been scorned, that eventually, we all get our day in the sun.

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