Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos; August 22, 1963) is an American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer. She was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument. Some of her charting singles include "Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "God", "Cornflake Girl", "Caught a Lite Sneeze", "Professional Widow", "Spark", "1000 Oceans", and "A Sorta Fairytale", her most commercially successful single in the U.S. to date.
As of 2005, Amos had sold 12 million albums worldwide. She has been nominated for 8 Grammy Awards. Amos was also named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1996. Amos has also been recognized as one of the top live acts of all time by a Rolling Stone poll in 2003, in which she placed at #5.
Amos was born in Newton, North Carolina. When she was two, her family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she began to play the piano. By age five, she had begun composing instrumental pieces on piano and, while living in Rockville, Maryland, she won a full scholarship to the Preparatory Division of the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Her scholarship was discontinued at age 11 and she was asked to leave. Amos has asserted that she lost the scholarship because of her interest in rock and popular music, coupled with her dislike for reading from sheet music. In 1972, The Amos family moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, where her father, Reverend Edison Amos, became pastor of the Good Shepherd United Methodist church. At the age of 14 she began playing at piano bars, chaperoned by her father.