Shirley Manson has earned most of her fame by being the lead singer for the alternative pop/rock band Garbage. She did work in a couple of other bands first, like Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie and Angelfish. She also had a music video on MTV before joining Garbage. In fact, that’s how the other members (Bryan “Butch” Vig, Doug “Duke” Erikson, and Steve Marker) found her.
Manson was born in 1966 and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. She probably inherited her musical gifts from her father, a one-time jazz singer. Young Shirley Manson didn’t have an easy childhood. School was a particular problem, since she was cruelly teased by other children about everything from her hair to her eyes — I guess they didn’t know what a beauty she would grow up to be. When she couldn’t take the insults anymore, and her own violent anger was getting the better of her, Manson gave up school and soon fell into a dangerous life of drugs, sex, and self-hate. One thing saved her, and that was her love for music — her dream of reaching some form of success with it. In her teens she started playing keyboards and singing backup for local rock bands, then went on to be a lead singer. She thought Angelfish would be her big break, but the group didn’t achieve any real hits. It did get her noticed though, and in 1994 landed her the lead singer spot in a new band, Garbage. That same year the group began recording a self-titled debut album. Partly because of Manson’s sexy looks, Garbage got to do the opening track for a 1999 James Bond motion picture. The song was “The World Is Not Enough.” By 2001, Manson had the success of two albums behind her, was in the middle of a blissful marriage, and seemed happy and confident in her roll of prosperous female rock star.