Leona Naess Biography

Leona Kristina Naess, 31 July 1974, New York City, New York, USA. This US-based singer-songwriter is the daughter of Norwegian shipping magnate Arne Naess, who was a former husband of soul diva Diana Ross. She was raised in London, England before moving to New York at the age of 18 to study music and anthropology at NYU. By this point Naess was already writing and recording her own material, and soon built up a small, devoted following on the city’s music club scene. She signed a recording contract with Output Records in late 1998, but the release of her debut album was put back until March 2000 following a change in distribution from Interscope to MCA. Despite the delay, Comatised received enough critical plaudits for Naess to be regarded as a serious rival to angst queens Liz Phair and Alanis Morissette, although her atmospheric faux-torch vocals proved to be more redolent of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. The album’s highlights ranged from the glacial ballads ‘Northern Star’ and ‘Paper Thin’, to the more straightforward indie pop styling of ‘Charm Attack’ and ‘New York Baby’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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