Marion Raven Biography
Marion Raven was born on 25 May 1984 in Lørenskog, Norway, to her father, H. Ravn, and mother, R. Medhus. She has an older brother and two younger sisters. Raven enjoyed singing from a young age, sometimes writing lyrics for the songs she sang. Raven joined the gospel choir in a local church at the age of 5. At age 7, she went on to be part of the St. Laurentsius choir, which has many historical links in Lørenskog. By the time she was 8, Raven began playing the piano and attended ballet lessons, as well as performing ballet on stage. In 1993, she acted in the musical "Sound Of Music", produced by Norwegian Broadway. She recorded a children's musical titled, "Vettene Vinner" (Vettene Wins), with the musical group, "Vettene", meaning "small trolls that protect nature", and was part of the group's record "Vettene på gamlespor" (Vettene On Old Tracks). At age 10, Raven acted in stage productions of Bugsy Malone and The Wizard of Oz, and by the time Raven turned 11, both plays were on Norwegian Broadway. At a later date Raven had a part as one of the children in Shakespear's, Othello.
In 1995, Raven's father arranged for her to make a demo in a studio in Oslo, together with her childhood friend, Marit Larsen. The duo got a record deal with EMI Norway and formed M2M. A year later, they produced children album titled, "Marit og Marion synger kjente barnesanger" which means "Marit and Marion Sing Well-Known Children Songs". M2M was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy, Spellemannprisen, the following year.
In 1998, M2M started recording pop demos in English and struck a record deal with Atlantic Records after auditioning with Raven on the keyboard and Larsen, the guitar. The two collaborated with many songwriters from around the world and produced their multi-platinum debut album, Shades of Purple, that was released in 2000, with the lead single, "Don't Say You Love Me" featuring on the soundtrack of the first Pokémon movie. The song was co-produced by Jimmy Bralower and Peter Zizzo (Celine Dion), and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 72, selling 39,000 units in a week, according to SoundScan. Their second album, The Big Room, which was recorded in a studio in Bearsville in Woodstock, New York, was released in 2002. After world tours to promote The Big Room ended, M2M joined Jewel on her world tour as an opening act but barely a month into the tour, concerts involving them were abruptly cancelled. Rumours circulated that there were plans for Raven's solo career. M2M later disbanded in September 2002 due to the lack of sales of the The Big Room in the U.S.
Raven was offered a million dollar recording contract with Atlantic Records and has lost contact with Larsen since she carried on with her solo career. Raven wrote and recorded, "We Are W.I.T.C.H.", the theme song of the television series W.I.T.C.H (an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name). She co-wrote "Pointless Relationship" that was the lead single of Australian singer, Tammin Sursok's debut album, 'Whatever Will Be'. She also collaborated on the track "That Day", a song released by Norwegian pop singer, Maria Arredondo, from Arredondo's 2004 follow-up album Not Going Under.
Upon signing her deal with Atlantic Records, Marion Raven set about recording her debut album, and worked with Swedish songwriters/producers Max Martin and Rami, as well as Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk and her husband Raine Maida from 2003 to 2005. Initially, the record company was not confident of Raven's switch to a more rock image and a darker, more personal style of songwriting. Raven had to fight to record her kind of music, rock music with a pop element. The resulting 14-track list, including 2 bonus tracks, cultivated a more manufactured rock/pop sound and was titled Here I Am. The album saw Raven's transformation from the candy-pop music of M2M to a more angsty, rock-oriented singer, and was released in Scandinavia, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
Internal debate at Atlantic Records and news that the record company was being bought over by Warner Music led to delays for the various international releases of Here I Am, which were part of her million dollar contract. The album was finally released in Raven's home country, Norway, on 10 August 2005 debuting at #6, alongside Sweden. It was well received in Asia, with over 135,000 copies sold in 3 months upon release.
In early 2006, it was announced that Raven had been released from her contract with Atlantic Records due to "artistic differences". Soon after this, she announced that she was to record and release her U.S. debut album under the indie label Eleven Seven Music, created by her management company 10th Street Entertainment. In July 2006, Raven announced on her official MySpace page that a re-recorded version of "Heads Will Roll", co-written by James Michael and Nikki Sixx was set to be released in the U.S.. The Heads Will Roll EP was released on 31 October 2006. Raven's meeting with Nikki Sixx was the result of being able to acquire backstage tickets for Alice Cooper's concert in Oslo, Norway, in which Sixx was a supporting act. Sixx invited Raven to head to L.A. to work on tracks for her album, including "Heads Will Roll". "Heads Will Roll" was featured on the "Van Wilder 2: Rise of the Taj" movie soundtrack.
Whilst working with Desmond Child on new songs for her U.S. debut album Set Me Free, Raven met Meat Loaf, who was also working with Child on his latest album, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. Child suggested that Raven join Meat Loaf on a duet for the song, "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," a song written by Jim Steinman for his Pandora's Box album, Original Sin (1989), and later covered by Celine Dion in 1996. The song was picked as the first single from Bat III. The single was commercially released in the UK on 16 October 2006. The track debuted at No. 43 based on downloads alone, then jumped to No. 6 during its second week, becoming Raven's first UK Top 10 single, and second charting single in Britain. In late February 2007, Raven joined Meat Loaf on an extensive Canada and U.S. tour.
In late March 2007, Raven set off on a tour of Europe to promote her Set Me Free album's release in The Netherlands, UK and Germany. The album was released in Germany on 8 June 2007. In early July 2007, Raven embarked on an Acoustic UK. Tour where she performed in schools across the UK, including schools in Newcastle and Manchester. Raven later joined Pink's Germany leg of the latter's I'm Not Dead Tour, as a supporting act, from mid-July to mid-August.
In 2008 Raven began writing new songs for her upcoming third solo album, which according to her lean more towards the piano-rock genre. Marion announced on Twitter that the album is set to be released in fall 2010. Raven is a figurant in the new Mötley Crüe video, "Saints of Los Angeles". Marion is the Raven-winged girl sitting on the amp. After singing the chorus she also has a small part in the video. In 2010, she became one of the judges in the panel of the Norwegian version of The X-Factor.