Singer/songwriter Vivienne Patricia Scialfa (1953-) was born on this day in Long Branch, New Jersey, her father owned a television store. With a B.A. in music from New York University, she called her craft "a lifeline, a sanctuary."
"I think you're lucky when you have something that you love to do. It's the only thing I knew how to do. So I was just glad that I had a passion. That was my survival kit, my music," she said.
Scialfa (pronounced SKAL-fuh) joined her first band, Ecstasy at age 14. She toured as a background vocalist with Southside Johnny, David Johansen, and the Rolling Stones before joining Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band in 1985. She married the boss in 1991 and the couple have three children.
"When you're married to somone famous," she told Rolling Stone in July 2004, "People know you, but they're not really seeing you."
The talented Scialfa writes her own music and plays the guitar. "For writing, I get up early in the morning-- 5 o'clock, 4:30," Scialfa said. "I'm a morning person... So I try to do it while people are asleep. The mornings are the nicest."
Her high-pitched voice, often compared to Ronnie Spector, features a unique vibrato that gives honeyed, high harmonies to Springsteen's music. On stage she is a passionate musical foil to her husband who called her "a beautiful songwriter."
The striking redhead once said, "Beauty for men or women has always been a compelling percentage of the package. Elvis was pretty; so was Mick Jagger."
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