Question: What can you tell us about Fiona Apple, this new singing sensation who has gone from being an unknown to stardom in such a short span of time?--F.F.A., Baltimore, Md.
Fiona Apple, 19--who uses only her first and middle names--is the out-of-wedlock daughter of Diane McAfee, a former singer, and the actor Brandon Maggart. Fiona grew up in Manhattan, where she began psychotherapy at age 11 at the urging of teachers to correct what they perceived as anti-social behavior. But the singer-songwriter is enjoying sweet revenge now. Her smoky voice and congessional lyrics about such painful experiences as being raped at 12 have won raved reviews for her debut album, Tidal. "People expect me to be an old black woman when they hear my music," says Apple, who was influenced by blues singer Billie Holiday and poet Maya Angelou. Instead, what fans see is a young woman who's pouty mouth and waiflike looks have earned compairsons to supermodel Kate Moss.