Elizabeth Caroline Orton, 14 December 1970, East Dereham, Norfolk, England. Beth Orton pulled off the unlikely task of making folk-influenced music hip among mid-90s clubbers. Her early musical heroes were artists such as Neil Young, Rickie Lee Jones and Joni Mitchell, but by her teens she was more interested in an acting career than in being a singer. However, when William Orbit recruited her to record some spoken text for his Strange Cargo project, the moderately drunk Orton sang instead (notably on the chillout classic Water From A Vine Leaf). Bizarrely, shortly afterwards she went totally blind for five days, for reasons still unexplained. After she regained her sight she made further guest appearances with Orbit, recording the extremely rare Superpinkymandy for the Japanese market. She then worked with Red Snapper and the Chemical Brothers, singing the sublime Alive: Alone on the latters highly acclaimed 1995 debut, Exit Planet...
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