Sara Beth Bareilles (born December 7, 1979) is an American pop singer-songwriter and actress from Eureka, California.
Since hitting the mainstream with her 2007 hit single "Love Song" she's struggled to find quite as much chart success as with her debut single, but a dedicated fanbase and a collection of irresistible tracks has kept her from maintaining a "One-Hit Wonder" status. She's had three Grammy Award nominations (two for "Love Song" and one for "King of Anything"), played for former President Barack Obama and his family twice, and has little trouble selling out venues across the globe.
Sara has been reminding people that she exists lately with hit singles "King of Anything," "Uncharted," and now "Brave," proving that maybe singer-songwriters have some staying power in the industry after all.
Bareilles, an alumna of the a cappella group UCLA Awaken, also served as a judge on the third season of NBC's The Sing-Off, along with Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men. In 2018, she portrayed Mary Magdalene in NBC's live production of Jesus Christ Superstar, earning an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.
She also composed music and wrote lyrics for the Broadway musical Waitress, for which she earned a 2016 Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score and a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theatre Album.
In 2021, she starred in the show Girls5eva.
- Careful Confessions (2004)
- Little Voice (2007)
- Kaleidoscope Heart (2010)
- Once Upon Another Time (2012)
- The Blessed Unrest (2013)
- What's Inside: Songs From Waitress (2015)
- Amidst the Chaos (2019)
Trope what you want to trope, and let the tropes fall out:
- Album Title Drop
- On Kaleidoscope Heart in "Uncharted."
- On Amidst the Choas in "Orpheus."
- Audience Participation Song - During her live shows she encourages fans to sing along to "Love Song".
- Be Yourself: "Brave" is an empowerment anthem encouraging the listeners to express themselves without any stigma. According to Sara, she was motivated to write it after speaking with a close friend who struggled with coming out as gay.
- Dual-Meaning Chorus: "Love Song" was written to her record label, not to a lover, but by listening to the chorus you wouldn't know that.
- Forced Creativity: A downplayed example with her hit 2007 single "Love Song", a cheeky Take That! to the executives of her label. According to her, though she kept writing new music, they rejected every song and pressured her to write more radio-friendly music. "Love Song" was what came of it: a radio-friendly Anti-Love Song.
- Garden of Eden: "Eden" is naturally rife with allusions to the garden. The singer tells of a good life in "Eden", once lived before a serpent took it away from her.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Multiple songs; Sara prides herself on writing "Fuck You" songs to joyful, poppy melodies.
- New Sound Album: Whereas her previous work was mainly piano-led pop rock, The Blessed Unrest adds an electronic edge. Especially noticeable in "Hercules" and the eighties-esque "Eden".
- Her new album Amidst the Chaos features mostly folk-pop sounds and the songs are more guitar-based, as opposed to her trademark piano sound.
- Pop-Star Composer: She wrote the songs for the musical version ofWaitress and even starred in the show for six weeks.
- Precision F-Strike: "Sweet as Whole" edging toward Cluster F-Bomb, but it's the only time she curses in her entire catalog.
(Sara begins playing the album-only bridge)Sara: This part wasn't on the radio...(audience continues to sing along anyway)Sara: Fuckers...
- She also uses the word "shit" in "Bottle It Up". It's removed in the video, though.
- Used for comedic effect during her live album Brave Enough. During an audience sing-along of "Love Song":
- Self-Backing Vocalist - Many tracks on Kaleidoscope Heart, but notably in "Kaleidoscope Heart," "King of Anything," "Say You're Sorry," and "Not Alone."
- Self-Empowerment Anthem: The memetic "Brave"
- "Sesame Street" Cred: Sara has appeared on Sesame Street, singing "Just Like Magic" with Abby. She also appeared on The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo, singing a rearrangement of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".
- Silly Love Songs - Subverted with "Love Song".
- Sir Swears-a-Lot - Has an adorable potty mouth.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism - "Love Song" and "King of Anything" are quite cynical. While on the other hand, "Brave" is very idealistic.
- Sophisticated as Hell - "Sweet As Whole" jolts between sweet/poetic and blunt/vulgar.
- Stealth Pun - Considering "Sweet as Whole" isn't uttered in the song and it's essentially a Precision F-Strike... Just read the title slowly.
- Stepford Snarker - The bridge section of "King of Anything" reveals Sara (or whoever is singing the song at the time) to be one, lamenting her Extreme Doormat attitude. Even earlier, "So many things I'd say if only I was able" hints at this.
- The Swear Jar - In the interim talking on her "Live from SoHo" iTunes EP, she mentions that she often doesn't get paid when she plays at universities because of her cursing.
- Take That! - "Machine Gun" was written to her critics.
- "Love Song" was written for her record company, who kept asking her to write one.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "King of Anything"
- Unplugged Version - A few songs on the deluxe edition of "Little Voice"
- Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: "1000 Times"
- You Are Not Alone: "Satellite Call"