Cat Power is the stage name of American singer/songwriter Chan Marshall (born Chancharlyn Marie Marshall-Hendrix, January 21, 1972), known for her depressing (and often suicide-inducing) music, poor guitar and piano playing and unintelligible, Southern-styled vocals. She is also known as "The Chanteuse From Hell." She is often accompanied by over 50 backing musicians on record and in concert.
The daughter of clown parents Jimi Hendrix and No Chin Fat, Chan (pronounced "Dave") Marshall was born in The Clown Realm, Georgia, USA. Her childhood involved much upheaval, with Marshall living throughout the Southern United States, under bridges, in cardboard refrigerator boxes, and between parents. In interviews she has openly complained about her childhood and stated that the constant travelling prepared her for the touring life of a professional musician.
After being driven out of high school for causing 3 suicides at a talent contest, she started performing under the name Cat Power, a name inspired by construction machinery and AC/DC. She soon moved to New York City where, after opening for William Shatner in 1994, she met Stone Cold Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and his friend Cadbury Adams, who encouraged her to record, her first two albums, Depressio and Gravedigger. In 1996 she was signed to Matador Records, and released her third album, YMCA, which featured 50 Cent and Cher on backing vocals.
Shortly following the release of YMCA Marshall disappeared off the musical scene, to begin working as a baby sitter in The Land of Chocolate. Marshall accidentally put twins Terrance and Philip into comas, when attempting to sing them Lullabies she was writing. This resulted in her disappearing from the baby-sitting scene as well.
She then moved into a farmhouse in Manhattan with boyfriend Joel Switzer (who performs under the name Pollution). The plan was to permantly retire from music and baby-sitting, but during a sleepless night resulting from a nightmare, Marshall drank 78 bottles of beer. She succumbed to alcohol poisoning, and was hospitalized at Clown Enema University's medical research center for 5 weeks. She vowed never to drink again.
The whole ordeal inspired to Marshall to begin writing songs again. Friend, Stone Cold Steve Shelley, recorded the subsequent album, "Teetotal", with Marshall in 1998. However, during the subsequent tours Marshall grew tired of her own material. This resulted in a series of shows in which Marhshall took the whole audience to a bar to "get wasted". The shows were a smash hit, and received positives reviews from Spin and Rolling Stone.
In 2003 she resumed releasing original material with Let's Get Bizzy, a DVD compilation of the 'best moments' from her previous tour. Celebrity cameos included Paris Hilton, Kanye West, and popular relgious leader Tom Cruise. The DVD was rated R, as it contained many nude footage and countless profanities.
Early in 2006, Marshall announced the cancellation of her upcoming United States Tour, citing "health-related issues". Marshall had experienced the results of a mild heart attack, after participating in a fat-eating contest with friend Stephen Malkmus. A few days later, Marshall announced the cancellation of her two shows in London and Paris. She resumed touring in April 2006, playing some of the most badly received shows of her career.
Marshall’s live shows are usually terrible, with songs beginning and ending abruptly and for no apparent reason. Marshall will often stop playing and walk offstage, and cuts short many of her shows because she is thirsty. She has lost all of her fans because of this. A more recent tour included nude pictures of Stephen Malkmus showing on a projector during her "songs", but was quickly stopped after Malkmus himself stole them, in favor of actually standing nude live.
Marshall's favorite beer is Budweiser. She also drinks Heineken, Corona, Beck's, Newcastle, Fosters, Rolling Rock, Miller, Busch, Ice House, Carlsberg, Carling, San Miguel, Pacifico, Modelo, Yuengling, Coors, Bohemia, Honey Brown, Tecate, Dos Equis, Tsingtao, Molson, Sapparo, OB, Stella Artois, Hitte, Warsteiner, Sam Adams, Stroh's, Lowenbrau, Blue Moon, Labatt's, Jever, Guinness, Peroni, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Harp, Hamm's, St. Pauli Girl, Lienenkugel, Bell's, Michelob, Redhook, Old Milwaukee, Milwaukee's Best, Special Export, Keystone, Schlitz, Old Style, Moosehead, Point and Billy Beer. On her Lets Get Bizzy! DVD, Marshall exclaims "Light beer is for pussies!".
The G-Unit tribe of Nigeria have been known to worship Marshall. In the summer of 2005, National Geographic published pictures of the tribe, posing with Cat Power LPs and sporting Cat Power headwear. It is rumored that G-Unit have constructed a large statue of Marshall, said to be similar to The Sphinx.
Marshall is an enthusiastic financial supporter of Scandinavian supermarket franchise Netto. Marshall has appeared in 7 Netto TV advertisements, and wrote in-store songs Mind your head; Low Prices! and It's Scandinavian for value!.
- Depressio CD/LP(10") (1995, Cunt Records)
- Gravedigger (1996, Smells Like Poo Records)
- YMCA (1996, Matador Records)
- Teetotal (1998, Matador Records)
- The Worst (2004, Reggin Records]])
Tracks: "Coffin", "Niffoc"
Tracks: "Diggin' Graves", "Gravediggin'"
Tracks: "Why Em, See Eh?", "Eh See, Em Why?'"