Arden signed with A&M/Island/Motown Records of Canada in 1991. Her debut, the introspective Time for Mercy (1993), was produced by Ed Cherney (Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt) in Los Angeles. The single "I Would Die for You" was a major Canadian success, earning Arden a Juno Award (see JUNO AWARDS) as Most Promising Solo Performer. Living Under June (1994), an upbeat pop album, was again produced by Cherney and featured a duet with Jackson Browne. "Could I Be Your Girl" and "Unloved" were radio favourites in Canada, as the album sold a half-million copies and Arden won 3 more Junos. Another smash single, "Insensitive," was a success in Australia, a top-5 single in Italy and, in 1996, her breakthrough hit in the United States.
While Jann Arden's music is frequently downbeat, her personable character and expert comic timing made her a suitable candidate to host the 1997 Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ont. In September of that year, she released her third album, the ironically titled Happy? She also launched her own record label, Big Hip Records, by producing an album for her back-up singer, Lin Elder. Her fourth album, Blood Red Cherry, was released in 2000.
As an actor, Jann Arden appeared in the Canadian feature film White Lies (2001), shot a television pilot based on her Calgary restaurant The Arden and starred in the Canadian touring production of playwright Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. The anthology Greatest Hurts: The Best of Jann Arden was released in 2001 and was followed a year later by a live recording with the VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. A collection of entries from the electronic journals Arden maintains on her web-site was published in 2002 under the title if I knew, don't you think I'd tell you (Insomniac Press), which was followed 2 years later by i'll tell you one damn thing, and that's all i know! She continued to earn solid Canadian airplay and sales for her albums Love Is the Only Soldier (2003) and Jann Arden (2005), the later featuring a remake of "I Would Die for You" sung with Sarah MCLACHLAN as well as 2 top-10 hit singles ("Where No One Knows Me,""Willing to Fall Down").
Selling more than 100 000 copies in Canada, Uncover Me (2007) featured her versions of classic hits by the likes of Dusty Springfield ("Son of a Preacher Man"), Carly Simon ("You're So Vain"), Cat Stevens ("Peace Train") and the Mamas and Papas ("California Dreaming"). That same year she toured the United States as an opening act for Michael Bublé and appeared on Anne Murray's Duets: Friends and Legends album. Arden was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in 2007.
Author JEFF BATEMAN
Links to Other Sites
Jann Arden's website features a bio, discography, music lyrics, video and audio clips, and her personal journals.