Singer songwriter Aimee Mann is probably best known for her fights with major record labels regarding her artistic freedom, but she’s also made a name for herself by scoring or taking small roles in quirky, acclaimed films. Mann was born in Virginia on September 8, 1960. After dropping out of the Berklee School of Music in the early ’80s, Mann formed a few bands, most notably ‘Til Tuesday, and launched a solo career after that band folded in 1989.
But her solo career found her constantly at odds with various record labels (Imago, Geffen, Interscope) and she ended up buying back her master recordings. This left Mann with a lot of animosity towards the music industry and some spare time, wherein she took a memorable role as a German nihilist who sacrifices her toe for a big payoff in the Coen brothers’ 1996 screwball-noir The Big Lebowski. Her most memorable contributions to cinema, however, were the haunting songs she penned for the soundtrack to pal Paul Thomas Anderson’s Altman-esque multi-character opus Magnolia (1999). An unabashed fan, Anderson writes in the soundtrack’s liner notes that his dysfunctional ensemble drama is basically an interpretation of Mann’s music. The album earned Mann commercial and critical success, and resulted in a Best Song Oscar nomination for “Save Me”, which was passed over in favor of popster-turned-Disney-troubadour Phil Collins.