PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey
MBE
PJ Harvey at the O2 Apollo2.jpg
PJ Harvey at the O2 Apollo Manchester,
on 8 September 2011
Background information
Birth namePolly Jean Harvey
Also known asPolly Harvey
Born (1969-10-09) 9 October 1969 (age 48)
Bridport, Dorset, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • composer
  • artist
  • writer
  • poet
  • actress
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • violin
  • cello
  • saxophone
  • autoharp
  • harmonica
  • accordion
  • melodica
  • drums
  • percussion
Years active1988–present
Labels
Associated actsAutomatic Dlamini, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Black Lab, Tricky, Sparklehorse, John Parish, Desert Sessions, Marianne Faithfull, Mark Lanegan, Mick Harvey, Thom Yorke
Websitepjharvey.net

Polly Jean Harvey, MBE (born 9 October 1969) known as PJ Harvey, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet and composer.[1] Primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, she is also proficient with a wide range of instruments.[2]

Harvey began her career in 1988 when she joined local band Automatic Dlamini as a vocalist, guitarist and saxophone player. The band's frontman, John Parish, would become her long-term collaborator.[3] In 1991, she formed an eponymous trio and subsequently began her professional career. The trio released two studio albums, Dry (1992) and Rid of Me (1993) before disbanding, after which Harvey continued as a solo artist. Since 1995, she has released a further nine studio albums with collaborations from various musicians including John Parish, former bandmate Rob Ellis, Mick Harvey and Eric Drew Feldman and has also worked extensively with record producer Flood.

Among the accolades she has received are the 2001 and 2011 Mercury Prize for Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)[4] and Let England Shake (2011),[5] respectively—the only artist to have been awarded the prize twice—eight Brit Award nominations, seven Grammy Award nominations and two further Mercury Prize nominations. Rolling Stone awarded her 1992's Best New Artist and Best Singer Songwriter and 1995's Artist of the Year, and listed Rid of Me, To Bring You My Love (1995) and Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.[6][7][8] In 2011, she was awarded for Outstanding Contribution To Music at the NME Awards.[9] In June 2013, she was awarded an MBE for services to music.[10]

Early life

Polly Jean Harvey was born on 9 October 1969 in Bridport, Dorset, the second child of Ray and Eva Harvey,[11] who owned a stone quarrying business, and grew up on the family's farm in Corscombe.[12]

During her childhood, she attended school in nearby Beaminster, where she received guitar lessons from folk singer-songwriter Steve Knightley, and her parents introduced her to music that would later influence her work, including blues music, Captain Beefheart and Bob Dylan.[12] Her parents were avid music fans and regularly arranged get-togethers and small gigs; among their oldest friends was Ian Stewart.[13]

As a teenager, Harvey began learning saxophone and joined an eight-piece instrumental group Bologne, based in Dorset. She was also a guitarist with folk duo the Polekats, with whom she wrote some of her earliest material.[12] After finishing school, Harvey attended Yeovil College and attended a visual arts foundation course.[12][14]

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