Over her 28-year career Natalie Merchant has earned a place among America's most respected recording artists with a reputation for being a gifted songwriter and a captivating performer. After rising to fame at the helm of the popular folk-rock band 10,000 Manaics, she enjoyed even greater success as a solo artist during the mid-'90s. Her self-produced debut album, Tigerlily (1995), sold an astonishing five million copies in the U.S. alone. Her literate, socially conscious songs established her among the preeminent women in pop music.
After the birth of her daughter in 2003, Merchant took an extended break from recording and touring. During this time, Merchant has been researching, writing and recording a collection of songs adapted from the works of various classic and contemporary poets. This project, entitled Leave Your Sleep, is her first studio album in seven years and was released in April.
A prominent social activist, Merchant effectively campaigns in the name of animal rights, domestic violence, and homelessness lending both financial support and raising public awareness.