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Music / Fiona Apple

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"This world is bullshit."
Her 1997 MTV Video Music Award acceptance speech.

Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart (born September 13, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist.

Apple gained worldwide acclaim for her 1996 debut album, Tidal, which was an overall debut album success. At the age of nineteen she received a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

After Tidal, Apple's next albums were also critical and commercial successes, though in the latter area not as much as her first. Over the years the singer has maintained a unique sound with mixes of jazz, rock and soul.



  • Tidal (1996)
  • When The Pawn... (1999) Full Title 
  • Extraordinary Machine (2005)
  • The Idler Wheel... (2012) Full Title 
  • Fetch the Bolt Cutters (2020)



  • Adorkable: Quite often in interviews.
  • Award-Bait Song: A quite unorthodox one, Dull Tool was written for Judd Apatow's This Is 40 and is therefore eligible for a 2012 Oscar-nomination.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Broken Bird: Had this reputation early on, though she would poke fun at it.
  • Careful with That Axe: The Idler Wheel has Fiona's most vicious vocals to date, but everything before pales in comparison to the demented howl she lets out on "Regret":
    Oh, I ran out of white dove feathers, to soak up the hot piss that comes through your mouth, every time you address me!
    • She also does this in "Parting Gift" on Extraordinary Machine.
    • As well as "Rack of His" and "Cosmonauts" on Fetch the Bolt Cutters.
  • Cover Version: Buddy Holly's "Everyday", Cy Coleman's "Why Try To Change Me Now" and "I Walk A Little Faster", "Sally's Song" from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elvis Costello's "I Want You", and the most well known one, The Beatles "Across The Universe". She also does a range of jazz-standards when performing live. On the other hand, her own song "Criminal" is very popular with others.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Raped in her own apartment at age 12. A lifetime of anxiety, OCD and eating-disorders followed.
  • Destructive Romance: Werewolf could be the theme-song:
    I could liken you to a werewolf, the way you left me for dead
    But I admit, that I provided a full moon
    And I could liken you to a shark, the way you bit off my head
    But then again I was waving around a bleeding open wound
    But you were such a super guy, 'til the second you get a wiff of me
    We're like a wishing well and a bolt of electricity
    But we can still support each other, all we gotta do is avoid each other
    Nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key...
  • Dissonant Serenity: The music video for Fiona's cover version of "Across The Universe" shows her with headphones on, singing serenely within a rampaging crowd of hooligans.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Her full name is Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart, the latter half very sensibly kept out of her artist name.
  • Granola Girl: Fiona is a vegan.
  • Hope Spot: "Paper Bag". Fiona is having a crappy day and spots a white dove in the sky, thinking this is a sign of better things to come she gets incredibly optimistic. But alas:
    But as it came down near, so did a weary tear; I thought it was a bird but it was just a paper bag...
  • Intercourse with You: "Hot Knife". Fiona has found someone that makes her feel many things, including excited and feisty...
  • Looped Lyrics: Common on Fetch the Bolt Cutters. A special shout out to "On I Go" which repeats the below lines fourteen times, with nine of those at the start.
    On I go, not toward or away
    Up until now it was day, next day
    Up until now in a rush to prove
    But now I only move to move
  • Long Title: Two albums of hers have had poems as titles, her second one (Shortened as When The Pawn...) consists of 90+ words and had at one point the World Record for Longest Album Title.
  • Nice Girl: Often described by fans who've met her as very sweet and friendly and comes across as such in interviews.
  • Odd Friendship: With Quentin Tarantino.
  • Older Than They Look: She's in her early forties but looks in her mid twenties at the most.
  • One-Woman Song: "Shameika".
  • Performance Anxiety: Has had some infamous incidents of on-stage meltdowns, at one point screaming at her audience:
  • Poe's Law: Not everyone realized that the video for Criminal was satire and lambasted her for promoting the very thing she criticized elsewhere. The digs at her weight were especially unfortunate since Fiona was at the time severely anorexic.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Under the Table", "Relay" and "On I Go" from her 2020 album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, contain at least one.
  • Rape as Backstory: "Sullen Girl" was about her assault at 12 outside her home.
  • Scatting: The ending of "I Want You to Love Me" has her breaking out into dolphin-like vocals.
  • Self-Deprecation: The gist of her work concerns her own personal issues, often in a cheery fashion ("Better Version of Me", "Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)").
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Has acknowledged a fondness for obscure and exotic words, from Left Alone:
    You made your major overtures, when you were a sure and orotund mutt
    And I was still a dewy petal, rather than a moribund slut
    • And "Not About Love":
    Conversation once colored by esteem, became duologue as a diagram of a play for blood
    Took a vacation, my palate got clean
    Now I could taste your agenda, while you're spitting your cud
  • Singer-Songwriter
  • Sophisticated as Hell: This rather poetic putdown from Regret:
    I ran out of white dove feathers, to soak up the hot piss that comes through your mouth
  • Stage Name: Averted. Her full name is Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart.
  • Stealth Pun: Fiona has admitted in interviews that titling her first album Tidal is one. In most American Accents, "tidal" and "title" are homophones.
  • Throw It In!: Prominent on Fetch the Bolt Cutters with the Title Track featuring her dogs barking in the background and "On I Go" including a mis-timed vocals during the song, amongst others.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Would you ever believe that she created an album as brilliant and mature as Tidal at only eighteen?
  • Wham Line: "For Her" offers quite a contrasting and jarring example.
    Well, good morning. Good morning
    You raped me in the same bed your daughter was born in.

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