My Secret Life: Tori Amos, 49, singer-songwriter

'I cried at a re-run of House'

My parents were… My father was meant to be a doctor, he was in pre-med when he met my mother, who was getting a degree in English. His mother guilted him into becoming a minister – she was missionary. My mother dropped out of school and worked to support them.

When I was a child I wanted to be… When I was at the Peabody Conservatory, I came to realise very quickly that I didn't want to be a concert pianist; I wanted to be a composer. They told me: look in your history books, there are not a lot of strong women composers. I said, well, there were, they weren't given the opportunity.

If I could change one thing about myself… I'd be great at grilling.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… dreaming your life for you. If you're on the fence about a move – and I don't mean real estate, I mean for emotional reasons – I can give you a neutral assessment.

You may not know it but I'm no good at… packing. I break out in a cold sweat. It's like a tidal wave comes over me.

I wish I had never worn… a jeans-and-T-shirt look for the Choirgirl launch tour. I listened to my husband – he said, "You know, why don't you just wear jeans?". Don't listen to your husband unless he's closet gay. When you look at the pictures, I should have a mop in my hand.

What I see when I look in the mirror… Time passing.

My favourite item of clothing… Shoes. If the world ended and you wear 37 and a half – come find me. I have a few.

It's not fashionable but I like… the library.

My favourite building… The Opera House in Sydney. It needs to be gutted and redone for acoustics – sonically, it's challenging – but downstairs in the dressing room, waiting to go on, you can look out on the water…

A book that changed me… Rimbaud, Collected Poems. Discovering it in my early twenties, it blew my mind – the beauty, the pain.

The last album I bought… Cabaret, with Liza Minnelli.

My secret crush… Gina Lollobrigida. My male self thinks she's great.

The last time I cried… Not long ago – I cry at movies and television shows. I think Tash [Amos's daughter] was playing me a re-run of a House episode.

My five-year plan… That the musical [The Light Princess, due to be staged the National Theatre] will be up and running… It's been a journey.

What's the point? To take the gifts that are given to you, and to make sure you preserve earth for the next group of people who come and want to dance with those gifts.

My life in six words… When do I take the stage?

A life in brief

Myra Ellen Amos was born in North Carolina in 1963. At five, she began training at the Peabody Institute, but was asked to leave at 11. Amos released her solo debut album, Little Earthquakes, in 1992, and has since sold 12 million records, including 2009's Midwinter Graces, a collection of Christmas songs, and 2011's song cycle, Night of Hunters. Gold Dust, a re-imagining of songs from her back catalogue, is out now. Amos lives between Florida and Cornwall

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor