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Shirley Manson

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Shirley Ann Manson (born 26 August 1966) is a Scottish musician, the lead vocalist of the band Garbage. Manson is also the former keyboardist and backup singer with Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, as well as the ex-lead singer of Angelfish.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Manson is the second of three daughters. Her father is a geneticist and her mother is a former big band singer. At age seven, Shirley began learning the piano, later attending the City of Edinburgh Music School where she also joined the school’s theatre group.

At school, she was regularly bullied, and inflicted self harm. Children teased her because of her red hair and large, popping eyes. She sometimes returned home after school, bloody and bruised from the bullying. The never-ending teasing and bullying led her into a deep depression, and she began to cut herself, among other things.

Her first experience with music was with the bands Autumn 1904 and Wild Indians. When she was 16, Shirley joined Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, where she sang backup vocals and played the keyboards. She remained in the band for a decade until they split in 1992. After the split, Shirley and two other members of the band formed Angelfish, another band where Shirley sang lead vocals. Angelfish released a self titled album and one single, Suffocate Me.

After seeing Suffocate Me on MTV, Butch Vig was impressed and wanted Shirley to front his band Garbage. After two auditions, Shirley became the lead singer in 1994.

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