She was subsequently asked to appear on a November 1996 edition of Saturday Night Live - a booking that carries a de facto nod of approval from the music industry's left-field cognoscenti.

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Born in 1977 in New York to singer Diana Mc Afee and actor Brandon Maggart, Fiona Apple began playing the piano at the age of eight and started composing her own songs just four years later, after the separation of her parents and her own brutal rape.

After leaving high school at the age of 16, she journeyed to Los Angeles to see her father and make a demo tape of her songs.

After several months of tape-passing, Sony Music signed Apple in 1995.

Fiona Apple Maggart, 13 September 1977, New York, USA.

Growing up in a dysfunctional New York family, Fiona Apple soon discovered the impetus to articulate frustrations that would eventually result in widespread comparisons to Alanis Morissette for her 1996 debut, Tidal.

As a child she was introduced to the Beatles by her stepfather, while her mother educated her in jazz standards.

By the age of 11 she was writing her own songs, as a means of coping with self-imposed isolation caused by her shyness and lack of confidence about her appearance, and a rape ordeal at the age of 12.

She found solace in the poetry of Maya Angelou, which she maintains to be her biggest influence.

She took her first step on the road to international success when Clean Slate Records owner Andy Slater overheard her demo tape (recorded on a cheap tape recorder in her bedroom) at a Christmas party in 1993.