In our weekly series we write about celebrities – artists, actors, musicians, sport stars and scientists – who have some Hungarian origin, yet only few would consider them as “par excellence Hungarians”. In many cases even the person concerned knows only very little about his or her Hungarian roots, while others are proud of their “magyar” background despite lacking the ability to speak the language of their parents or grandparents. Our third target is:
Alanis Morissette, Canadian alternative rock singer-songwriter and actress
Alanis Morissette was born in 1974 in Ottawa as a daughter of a French Canadian father and a Hungarian mother. Georgia Mary Ann Feuerstein’s family was forced to leave Hungary after the Soviet Union crushed the Hungarian revolution and freedom fight of 1956. Alanis has two brothers, Chad and Wade. Remembering the family’s European roots, Wade, a musician too, was given a Hungarian middle name.
However, Wade has not remained the only “Imre” in Alanis’ family as her world-famous sister chose the same name for her son, Ever Imre Morissette-Treadway, who was born in December 2010. Although Alanis speaks only a few words in Hungarian, she is admittedly proud of her “magyar” background. She even named her own publishing company “Szeretlek”, the Hungarian phrase for “I love you”.
Alanis Morissette has released a series of groundbreaking albums that have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. She has won twelve Juno Awards, seven Grammy Awards, and has also received an additional fourteen Grammy nominations. Morissette’s international debut album “Jagged Little Pill” remains the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S. and is the highest selling debut album worldwide in music history.
Alanis’ subsequent five studio albums have all included a series of chart-topping singles. Her most recent release, “Flavors of Entanglement”, was released in June 2008 and debuted in the US in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart. Achieving success as a recording and performing artist, Morissette has also lent her talents to other forums. Her television acting work includes roles on “Sex and the City” (1998) and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (1999), along with a three-episode arc on “Nip/Tuck” (2003).