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Marion Raven

Marion Elise Ravn (born on May 25, 1984 in Lørenskog, Norway) is a Norwegian singer-songwriter and former child actress. Her surname is of Norse origin, with Ravn meaning Raven, which she adopted as her stage name Marion Raven as well as for her trademark raven logo. She was one-half of the now defunct pop duo M2M, along with Marit Larsen. Raven was later marketed as a pop-rock artist with the release of her 2005 international debut album, Here I Am. In 2006, Raven was signed to indie record label, Eleven Seven, and released the Heads Will Roll EP. Most recently, she has released her European/U.S. debut album, Set Me Free, and has been extensively promoting it in Germany, Netherlands and the UK.

Biography

Marion Raven was born on May 25, 1984 in Lørenskog, Norway, to her father, H.Ravn, and mother, R.Medhus. She has an older brother and two younger sisters . Raven loved singing even at a young age, sometimes making up lyrics for the songs she sung. Raven later joined the gospel choir in her town's local church at the age of 5. At 7, she went on to be part of the St. Laurentsius choir, which has many historical links in Lørenskog. By the time she was 8, Raven began playing the piano and attended ballet lessons, as well as performing ballet on stage. In 1993, she acted in the musical, "Sound Of Music", organised by the Norwegian Broadway. She recorded a children's musical titled, "Vettene Vinner" (Vettene Wins), with the musical group, "Vettene", meaning small trolls that protect nature and was part of the group's following record, "Vettene på gamlespor" (Vettene On Old Tracks).

At 10, Raven acted in Bugsy Malone and The Wizard of Oz at the age of 11, both plays were on the Norwegian Broadway. In 1995, Raven's father arranged for her to make a demo in a studio in Oslo but not before Raven asked her childhood friend, Marit Larsen, to join her. The duo got a record deal with EMI Norway and formed M2M. A year later, they produced an album titled, "Marit og Marion synger kjente barnesanger" which means, M2M Sings Renowned Children Songs. M2M was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy, Spellemannprisen, the following year. Later, Raven had a part as one of the children in the Shakespearean play, Othello.

In 1998, M2M started recording pop demos in English and striked a record deal with Atlantic Records after auditioning with Raven on the keyboard and Larsen, the guitar. The two collaborated with many songwriters from around the world and produced their multi-platinum debut album that was released in 2000, Shades Of Purple, with the lead single, "Don't Say You Love Me", best known as the soundtrack of the first Pokémon movie. The song was co-produced by Jimmy Bralower and Peter Zizzo (Celine Dion), and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 72, selling 39,000 units in a week, according to SoundScan. Their second album, The Big Room, which was recorded in a studio in Bearsville in Woodstock, New York, was released in 2002. After world tours to promote The Big Room ended, M2M joined Jewel on her world tour as an opening act but barely a month into the tour, concerts involving them were abruptly cancelled. Rumours circulated that there were plans for Raven's solo career. M2M later disbanded in September 2002 due to the lack of sales in the U.S. of the The Big Room.

Raven was offered a million dollar recording contract with Atlantic Records and has lost contact with Larsen since she carried on with her solo career.

Solo career

Here I Am (2005)

Upon signing her deal with Atlantic Records, Marion Raven set about recording her debut album, and worked with Swedish songwriters/producers Max Martin and Rami, as well as Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk and her husband Raine Maida from 2003 to 2005. Initially, the record company was not confident of Raven's switch to a more rock image and a darker, more personal style of songwriting. Raven then had to fight for her right to record her kind of music, rock music with a pop element. The resulting 14-track list, including 2 bonus tracks, cultivated a more manufactured rock/pop sound, similar to artists such as Avril Lavigne and Evanescence, and was titled Here I Am. The album saw Raven's transformation from the candy-pop music of M2M to a more angsty, rock-oriented singer, and was released in Scandinavia, Japan, and Southeast Asia. It was first preceded by the Max Martin and Dr. Luke collaboration tracks that had leaked out and sparked fan interest.

Raven's collaboration with Max Martin, "Break You", was released to radio on April 25, 2005 (in Japan) while "End Of Me" was the first single that was released in Southeast Asia. Following that, the album was released in June later that year. Videos for "Break You" and the album's title track, "Here I Am", were shot in March 2005 in Los Angeles, by director Brett Simon.

Internal debate at Atlantic Records and news that the record company was being bought over by Warner Music led to delays for the various international releases of Here I Am, which were part of her million dollar contract. The album was finally released in Raven's home country, Norway, on August 10, 2005 debuting at #6, alongside Sweden. It was well received in Asia, with over 135,000 copies sold in 3 months upon release. Here I Am spent many weeks at #1 on Japanese international album charts with Raven touring and performing at various venues throughout June and July 2005 in countries including the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan. The music videos for "End Of Me" and "Break You" received massive rotation on MTV Asia and the songs went top 10 on radio charts throughout Asia and Norway. However, the lack of promotion in certain countries sparked controversy and suspicion that Atlantic was unhappy with the album. At that time, less challenging rap acts were favoured as they were more commercially viable.

Heads Will Roll EP (2006)

In early 2006, it was announced that Raven had been released from her contract, of six albums, with Atlantic Records due to "artistic differences". Raven later clarified this in an interview with Spirit magazine:

I got sick of it, I couldn't take it anymore. There was too much nonsense, and it all took too much time. It made me very tired. I invested everything I had to live in New York to work, then nothing happened. It was such a relief and a liberating experience when I decided to leave them and do things on my own.

Soon after this, she announced that she was to record and release her U.S. debut album under the indie label, Eleven Seven Music created by her management company 10th street entertainment, home to Everclear and Nikki Sixx, who both sang and collaborated on Here I Am respectively.

In July 2006, Raven announced on her official MySpace page that a re-recorded version of "Heads Will Roll", co-written by James Michael and Nikki Sixx was set to be released in the U.S.. The track was part of an EP that was released on October 31, 2006. The Heads Will Roll EP contained new songs, "Spit You Out," "Good 4 Sex" and "All I Wanna Do Is You", alongside songs from Here I Am, "13 Days," her collaboration with Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk, an acoustic version of "Let Me Introduce Myself" and the re-recorded version of "Heads Will Roll" with Raven citing that the songs slanted more towards fun-rock. In an interview with Exclusive Magazine, Raven's meeting with Nikki Sixx was the result of being able to acquire backstage tickets for Alice Cooper's concert in Oslo, Norway, in which Sixx was a supporting act. Sixx invited Raven to head to L.A. to work on tracks for her album, including "Heads Will Roll". "Heads Will Roll" was featured on the "Van Wilder 2: Rise of the Taj" movie soundtrack.

In mid-2006, Raven recorded a track, entitled "October," for the upcoming Hollywood film, "Cut Off" (originally titled "Taking Charge"), that was meant for release in late 2006.

Duet with Meat Loaf and Tours (2006-Present)

Whilst working with Desmond Child on new songs for her U.S. debut album Set Me Free, Raven met Meat Loaf, who was also working with Child on his latest album, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. Child suggested that Raven join Meat Loaf on a duet for the song, "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," a song written by Jim Steinman for his Pandora's Box album, Original Sin (1989), and later covered by Celine Dion in 1996. The song was picked as the first single from Bat III, and the video, featuring Raven as a ghost haunting her lover, premiered on VH1 Classic in the U.S. on August 12, 2006. The single was commercially released in the UK on 16 October 2006, having been playlisted by BBC Radio 2. The track debuted at #43 based on downloads alone, to make a rather impressive jump to #6 during its second week, becoming Raven's first UK Top 10 single, and second charting single in Britain. She had a Top 20 entry as part of M2M when "Don't Say You Love Me" debuted and peaked at #16 in 2000. "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" spent a total of 85 weeks on seven different charts, including 21 weeks with six weeks at #1 on Norwegian singles charts.

In late February 2007, Raven joined Meat Loaf on an extensive Canada and U.S. tour, in which Raven performed acoustic ballads and songs from Set Me Free, as an opening act before joining Meat Loaf for the duet, "It's All Coming Back To Now. The show, excluding Raven's opening set, was released on the 3 Bats Live DVD. Merchandise, including copies of Set Me Free and Raven T-shirts, were made available exclusively on tour. The album, which will feature a mixture of tracks from the previous Here I Am as well as new songs, will be officially released in mid-late July 2007 in the U.S. and early May in Europe.

Set Me Free (2007)

Promotion

As of late March 2007, Raven set off on a tour of Europe to promote her Set Me Free album's release in The Netherlands, UK and Germany. She was interviewed by and performed for representatives of a variety of radio, television, print, and online media channels. In Germany, Raven was interviewed by radio stations Südwestrundfunk (SWR, Southwest Germany), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) and HR 3 as well as performing in the offices of Metal Hammer and Maxim Radio. She was interviewed in the Hard Rock Café, Amsterdam while touring The Netherlands. In the UK, Raven performed in venues that included Gibson Rooms and was interviewed by representatives from Tiscali SpA and Radio Disney.

Tracks from her album that were released as singles in these countries included, "Falling Away" and "Break You". The former was released to German and Holland radio stations while the latter made its debut on April 16, 2007 in the UK.Raven performed in the Real Radios MayFest on May 28, 2007 in Sheffield, while on Meat Loaf's UK tour.

Album Release and Performances

The album was released in Germany on June 8, 2007, and in the UK on June 18, 2007 through Raven's indie record label Eleven Seven Music. It was digitally released on the US and European iTunes on July 28, 2007.

As of early July 2007, Raven embarked on an Acoustic UK. Tour where she performed in schools across the UK, including schools in Newcastle and Manchester. Raven later joined P!nk's Germany leg of the latter's I'm Not Dead Tour, as a supporting act, from mid-July to mid-August.

In mid-August 2007, Raven performed the duet, It's All Coming Back To Me Now, alongside Norwegian Idol, Kurt Nilsen, at the Norwegian One Call Event. The video of the performance can be seen at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-M9qbjtgSc

On September 5, 2007, Raven performed her first full show with her own backing band on the show Rockpalast located at The Underground in Cologne, Germany. A televised program aired on German television channels soon after.

On November 17, 2007, Raven sang the US national anthem at the NBA Game (Nuggets against Knicks) in Denver, Colorado, USA.

On December 1, 2007, Raven performed a duet adaptation of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" with 2006 winner of Idol Norway, Aleksander Denstad With, on the Norwegian "Idol Gives Back" show dedicated to "Plan", aimed at encouraging people to sponsor a child. Raven revealed on her official MySpace on sponsoring a child herself,

I have been sponsoring a child now for about three years. It's amazing how a little money a month from me can make such a big difference for this child and her village. Her name is Sifiso and she lives in Zambia.

New Album and New Label

Marion Raven is slated to be busy writing new songs for her next album which is set to be released late 2008. This time Raven is under "Universal Music". The record label aims to release Raven's album worldwide.

Discography

Albums

Year Album Chart positions Certifications and sales
NOR JAP MAL SIN
2005 Here I Am
  • 1st studio album
  • Released: June 8, 2005 (not in North America/Europe)
  • Formats: CD, download

6 1 4 3

2006 Heads Will Roll

- - - -
2007 Set Me Free
  • 1st North American/European-release
  • Released: June 18 2007
  • Formats: CD, download

- - - -

Singles

Year Single Chart positions Album
NOR UK IRE GER AUT SWI SWE NLD JAP IND EU
2005 "End of Me" 1 - - - - - - - - 3 3 - Here I Am
"Break You" 1 10 - - - - - 51 - 1 1 -
"Here I Am" 20 - - - - - - - - - 129
2006 "Little by Little" 2 - - - - - - - - - - -
"Heads Will Roll" 3 - - - - - - - - - - - Heads Will Roll
"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (with Meat Loaf) 1 6 34 7 17 21 - 26 - - 8 Bat out of Hell III
2007 "Falling Away" - - - - - - - - - - - Set Me Free

  • 1 Only released in Asia and Norway.
  • 2 Only released to Norwegian radio stations.
  • 3 Digital release only.

Awards and Nominations

  • Raven was nominated for the Nordic Music Award held in Norway.
  • Raven was nominated for the "Best Norwegian Act" at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2005.

Influences

Sometimes Marion has highlighted her admiracion by different artists and bands like: Alanis Morissette, Shakira, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Sarah McLachlan, AC/DC, Fiona Apple, Hole, Janis Joplin, Celine Dion,and more.

Tours

Year Tour Areas Role
Mid-late 2005 Here I Am Promo Tour Japan, Norway, Southeast Asia Headlining
Early-mid 2007 Meat Loaf Seize The Night Tour Canada, U.S., Europe As supporting act
Early July 2007 Acoustic UK. Tour UK School-based acoustic tour
July-August 2007 P!nk I'm Not Dead Tour Germany As supporting act

Charity Appearances

  • Raven performed in the President Star Charity Concert in Singapore while on tour in mid-late 2005.
  • Raven performed at the Norwegian Salvation Army, Lillestrøm Charity Concert and the Pink ribbon Show in Oslo, Norway in late 2005.
  • Raven performed in Mainz-Kastel, Reduit for the UNICEF benefit show to raise funds to support Africa in September 2007.
  • Raven performed alongside 2006 winner of Idol Norway, Aleksander Denstad With, at the Norwegian "Idol Gives Back" show in December 2007.

M2M Resumé

Discography

  • Shades of Purple (2000) #89 U.S.; #7 Norway (Certified Gold) ; Chile (Certified Gold); Thailand (7x Platinum, over 300,000 copies); Indonesia (7xPlatinum); #3 The Philippines (4x Platinum); Malaysia (3x Platinum); Singapore (2x Platinum); Taiwan (Platinum); South Korea (Platinum).
  • The Big Room (2002) U.S. (failed to chart); #2 The Philippines (3x Platinum); #16 Norway, #98 Australia
  • The Day You Went Away: The Best of M2M (2003)

Singles

  • Don't Say You Love Me (1999/2000) #5 US Single Sales Chart #21 US, #2 Norway, #1 Finland, #1 The Philippines, #16 UK, #1 Denmark, #1 South Korea, #1 Thailand, #4 Australia (Certified Gold), #4 New Zealand (Certified Gold) / Sold Over 2,000,000 copies in the U.S.
  • Mirror Mirror (2000) #62 U.S., #1 The Philippines, #30 Australia (Gold)
  • The Day You Went Away (2000) #1 The Philippines, #1 Thailand
  • Pretty Boy (2000) #1 The Philippines
  • Everything You Do (2000) #1 The Philippines
  • Girl in Your Dreams (2000) #31 The Philippines
  • Everything (2002) #6 Norway, #27 Australia, #1 Korea, #21 The Philippines
  • What You Do About Me (2002) #46 Australia, #8 The Philippines
  • Wanna Be Where You Are (The Philippines Promo single) #8 The Philippines
  • Don't (U.S. Promo single)

Awards and Nominations

  • M2M was nominated for the "Best Song" category and won the "Best Norwegian Group" honors at Norway's HitAwards 2000.
  • In June 2000, M2M was named "Discovery of the Year" by the Singapore Radio Association.
  • M2M was nominated for the "Best Group" award at the 2001 Spelleman Awards.
  • M2M was nominated for the "Favorite Pop Act" at the 2002 MTV Asia music awards.

Personal life

Height: 1.72m Chest: 34C

Raven has naturally dark brown hair and she has kept it long since she was young. She stated during an online question and answer discussion with her fans that she would never dye her hair blonde. Ironically, the first English song Raven wrote was "Girl In Your Dreams", which was written after her first boyfriend backed out on a date, stating that he preferred blonde girls; and her band mate Larsen was blonde. The song was released in M2M's debut album, Shades Of Purple. During her M2M days, Raven made a guest appearance in the American television series Dawson's Creek, 100 Light Years From Home episode. The episode also featured M2M performing live versions of "Everything", "Miss Popular" and "Don't". And at their visit at the philippines for "The Big Room" album promotion, M2M had a guest appearance at ABS-CBN's top rated teen show called G-Mik, where Camille Prats, one of the leading character, won a radio promo where they able to met both marion and marit.

In 2005, Raven had become a celebrity Guest VJ at MYX, the no.1 Music Channel in the philippines as part of her "Here I Am" album promotion in the said country. In 2006, Raven was a guest host in the fourth running season of Norwegian Idol.

Raven has been on the covers of and featured on multiple fashion and pop culture magazines across the world, including ELLE, Cosmopolitan (magazine), Cleo, MTV Ink and the Norwegian Spirit magazine. She is the first Norwegian to be on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

Raven wrote and recorded, "We Are W.I.T.C.H.", the theme song of the television series W.I.T.C.H. (TV series), an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name. She co-wrote "Pointless Relationship" that was the lead single of Australian singer, Tammin Sursok's debut album, 'Whatever Will Be'. She also collaborated on the track "That Day", a song released by Norwegian pop singer, Maria Arredondo, from Arredondo's 2004 follow-up album Not Going Under.

According to Raven, she began listening to rock bands and artists when she was 16, some of these musicians have influenced her own musical inclinations, which she coined the term, "Marion Raven Rock", to describe her musical style, which has been compared to artists/bands such as Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch as well as Evanescence. She has been praised and set up in the press as the new Joan Jett of Rock 'n' Roll. To which she said:

There are so many girls out there right now who pretend to be rock, but they don't write their own songs, they don't play instruments and some don't even sing. So I think you would have to go all the way back to Joan Jett to find someone to compare me with.

Raven frequently plays the guitar and piano, which she learnt at ages 16 and 8 respectively. She uses a Gibson Elvis Dove acoustic guitar, customized with two raven symbols, and a Korg SP250 Digital Piano. In an interview with Korg.com:

I love the SP-250, because it's light, and me being a small girl traveling the world, it makes it a lot easier for me.

Raven used to date Zac Hanson, the drummer of pop band Hanson while M2M was on tour with the band in 2000. She is currently dating professional snowboarder Andreas Wiig, who made an appearance in the music video for "Falling Away".

Raven is a figurant in the new M�tley Cr�e video "The Saints of Los Angeles". Marion is the Raven-winged girl sitting on the amp. After signing the chorus she also has a small part in the video.

References

External links

Official Links

Fan Sites

Performances and Features

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