Aimee Mann was born in Richmond, Virginia, and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but dropped out to sing with her first punk rock band, the Young Snakes; the band released the EP Bark Along with the Young Snakes in 1982, and a compilation album was issued in 2004.
In 1983 she co-founded the new wave band 'Til Tuesday, which achieved minor success in 1985 with its first album, Voices Carry. Aimee also performed with Rush in 1987 on the song "Time Stand Still", singing backup vocals and appearing in the music video. 'Til Tuesday released two more albums before breaking up in 1990, when Mann left to start her solo career.
In 1993 Mann released Whatever, her first solo album. While only a small hit, the album was critically praised, and paved the way for her next release, 1995's I'm With Stupid. Again, reviews were positive, but sales were weak. In 1997 she married musician Michael Penn.
Mann gained greater public recognition in 1999 when she contributed eight songs to the soundtrack of the film Magnolia, including the Academy Award-nominated song, "Save Me". Reportedly, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson took his inspiration for the film from Mann's lyrics.
The same year, fed up with both ineffectual promotion and artistic meddling by her record label, she struck out on her own and founded SuperEgo Records . In 2000, Mann released Bachelor No. 2 on SuperEgo, and in 2002 she continued with Lost In Space. Lost In Space was re-released in 2004 via Mann's website. The re-released Lost In Space Special Edition featured a second disc containing six live recordings, as well two B-sides and two previously unreleased songs.
Live at St. Ann's Warehouse, a live album and DVD recorded at a series of July 2004 shows in Brooklyn, was released in November of that year; the two discs were sold packaged together in either a CD jewel case or a DVD case.
Mann has described her next album, The Forgotten Arm as a concept album about two lovers who met at the Virginia state fair and are on the run in the '70s. The Joe Henry-produced album, which was recorded mostly live and has few overdubs, is slated for release in March 2005.
One of the first musicians to act against the illegal downloading and file sharing of copyrighted music from the Internet, Aimee Mann is also one of the founding members of the independent music collective United Musicians, which is based on the principle that every artist should be able to retain copyright ownership of the work he or she has created.