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Born Tiffany Arbuckle in Indianapolis, she grew up in Atlanta, singing in church and school. At 19, she began working as a backup singer, in part to earn money to help pay for nursing school. She began doing studio work and then touring. College went by the board and she eventually moved to Nashville, where, a month before her 21st birthday, she signed with a small label. When she was urged to write, she turned to Matt Bronlewee, her next door neighbor that sold her a guitar, who turned out to be an original member of Jars of Clay... and the two hit it off. "It was perfect for me," she says. "His rule was that there were no rules. If I thought something sounded interesting, then that was my signature." Bronlewee would later describe her unique sound as "raw, lyrically introspective vocals floating across an epic soundscape." Following label difficulties, the fan's pivotal note, and marriage to Jeremy Lee, she signed with Curb as a solo artist. Beautiful Lumps of Coal (2003), which she co-produced, and Chaotic Resolve (2006), produced several hits and further extended her reputation in several musical genres. She has written songs for and with Michelle Branch, Mandy Moore and Kimberley Locke, among many others, and her music has been heard in many films and on their soundtracks, including Bruce Almighty, Brokedown Palace, Just Married, The Perfect Man and Evan Almighty, among others, and on TV series including Dawson's Creek, ER, Felicity and Roswell.
Motherhood and the process of making Blink have changed to some degree the woman who has long been known as an exuberant rocker. "My priorities have shifted," she says. "I've toned it down a little to create a little longevity for myself. I don't think trying to be a rock star allows me that opportunity. I've had many a day of running around in the hot sun at festivals, sweating my brains out and losing my voice. I've realized I'm still a valuable artist and that that lifestyle is damaging on so many levels. There's something very liberating about still being and writing what is real, and saying it even more beautifully. And still being able to rock out now and again..." The process of being an artist, she maintains, will continue. "This is in me," she says. "I'm a wife and mother and singer and writer and so many other things... and in order for me to truly be faithful in any of those roles and relationships, I must be faithful to them all. Yes, now I am a mother, and I'm so much more than just that too. Sadly, that is something I think many women fail to realize after motherhood, and it's something their children can suffer for. I hope to inspire other women to continue to pursue their dreams and passions and be the gifts of unfathomable worth to a generation aching to respect them. The challenge is to keep them in priority... something that cannot happen on your own...so the accountability to maintain them is by far one of the most important facets to my life." More than a decade into her recording career, she is not tied to the perks of stardom, but she is, as her reaction to the note from the fan in 2001 makes clear, aware of the power of what she participates in. "Fame and fortune are fleeting," she says, "but real faithfulness, making a difference in a person's life, lasts for eternity."