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Anne Lilia Berge Strand (born November 21, 1977 in Trondheim, Norway), better known by her stage name Annie, is a pop artist and DJ from Bergen, Norway. Annie currently resides in Berlin.
Her debut album, Anniemal, was released in 2004 (the name originally an idea of her late boyfriend Tore). Annie worked with Timo Kaukolampi, who produced her 1999 single Greatest Hit, as well as Richard X, who produced and co-write the single Chewing Gum and the Geri Halliwell diss Me Plus one. The album’s Röyksopp-produced second single Heartbeat was voted number 1 on Pitchfork Media’s Top 50 singles of 2004 before the song was even officially released; Chewing Gum was number 11.
On January 17, 2007, Annie signed with Island Records. The first single from her second album Don’t Stop, I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me, was released in July 2008. Annie recalls the idea of the song as an attempt to recreate the drums and guitars from Prince’s Kiss. As she states in her blog: “Of course it ended being nothing like Prince…but that’s where the inspiration came from.” Although it had a positive critical reception, it peak at number 54 in the UK, making this her lowest charting physical single to date. The music video was directed by Sarah Chatfield.
After numerous delays, Don’t Stop, her second album, was scheduled for release on April 2009. However, on November 25, 2008, Annie announced that she had decided to part ways with Island Records, leaving her second album’s future uncertain. The original version of the album leaked.
In May 2009, Annie released a Richard X production entitled Anthonio. The song tells the story of a holiday affair between Annie and a man named Anthonio who she met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Annie described the song as “the ultimate summer track”. The release was followed by digital releases of Songs Remind Me of You and My Love Is Better.
Don’t Stop was finally released in November 2009 to rave reviews. The album contained new tracks with Paul Epworth and a special edition bonus disc was made available.
Annie’s work has been awarded and critically acclaimed. In 2005 Annie won several awards for her work, including Best Pop Album and Best Newcomer at the Norwegian Alarm Awards (Chewing Gum had also been nominated for Song of the Year). Annie also won the Best Newcomer award at the prestigious Spellemannsprisen, the Norwegian Grammy Awards. Annie’s February 5th performance at the Alarm Awards was one of her first ever live performances. She also toured around the world to promote Anniemal, including a brief United Kingdom tour with Saint Etienne, to whom she had sent a demo tape while still in the band, Suitcase in 1996. Annie performed at sold out club venues in the United States in the summer of 2005, and returned to the US later that year. That same year, Annie released a compilation in the DJ-Kicks series on the !K7 label.
As a fun sidenote, her songs Chewing Gum and Heartbeat were rerecorded in the “Simlish” nonsense-language for The Sims 2: Nightlife’s Danish and Norwegian localizations.
Annie recently started a record label with Timo Kaukolampi called Totally.
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