Natalie Merchant Set for Picnic with the Pops in Columbus, 7/13

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Over her 30-year career, Natalie Merchant has earned a distinguished place among America's most respected recording artists. As lead vocalist and lyricist of pop music band 10,000 Maniacs, she released two platinum and four gold records. With her latest and highly acclaimed solo recording entitled, Leave Your Sleep, which debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at No. 17, she embarks on a new artistic path, creating songs from literary inspiration which are composed for expanded musical ensembles and orchestra.

Nationwide Insurance Picnic with the Pops presents Natalie Merchant at the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion (160 S. High St.) in the Columbus Commons on Saturday, July 13. Gates open at 6 pm. Concert begins at 8 pm. Tickets are $23 for adults when purchased in advance by phone at 614.228.8600, online at www.PicnicWithThePops.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.). Adult tickets are $25 at the gate on the night of the show. Tickets for children ages 3-14 are always $8 regardless of when or where they are purchased. Children 2 and under are free.

Natalie Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs, and released two platinum and four gold records with the group between 1981 and 1993 (The Wishing Chair, In My Tribe, Blind Man's Zoo, Hope Chest, Our Time in Eden, and MTV Unplugged). Together with artists like R.E.M., they defined college rock and created the first wave of alternative rock bands and what became known as the alternative rock format on FM radio.

In 1994, Merchant began her solo career with self-produced debut album Tigerlily (1995). In the years following, she released Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live(1999), and Motherland (2001). In 2003, Merchant independently released an album of American and British folk music, The House Carpenter's Daughter, on her own label, Myth America Records. In 2005, she curated a collection of her own work for a double album, Retrospective, and another for her former band, Campfire Songs.

Merchant has collaborated both on stage and in the studio with a wide range of artists including Philip Glass, Wynton Marsalis, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Mavis Staples, R.E.M., Daniel Lanois, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Tracy Chapman, Dan Zanes, Billy Bragg, and Wilco.

Throughout her career, Merchant has been dedicated to supporting a variety of non-profit organizations by lending financial support and raising public awareness. Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, The Center for Constitutional Rights, Doctors Without Borders, Tibet House, Greenpeace, The Southern Center for Human Rights, and Planned Parenthood are among the social justice groups to which she has been devoted. Merchant has also served as an appointed member of the prestigious New York State Council on the Arts (2007-11).

Photo Credit: Mark Seliger