Susanna Hoffs

Intro American musician
A.K.A. Susanna Lee Hoffs
Is Singer Songwriter Film producer Musician Composer Actor Television actor Film actor
From United States of America
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio Music
Gender female
Birth 17 January 1959, Los Angeles, USA
Star sign Capricorn
Pop music

Susanna Lee Hoffs (born January 17, 1959) is an American vocalist, guitarist, actress and songwriter. She is best known as a co-founder of The Bangles.

Early life

Hoffs was born in Los Angeles, California, to a Jewish family. She is the daughter of film director/writer/producer Tamar Ruth (née Simon) and Joshua Allen Hoffs, a psychoanalyst. Her mother played Beatles music for Hoffs when she was a child, and she began playing the guitar in her teens. Hoffs attended Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, graduating in 1976. While in college she worked as a production assistant and made her acting debut in the 1978 film Stony Island. In 1980, Hoffs graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in art. When she entered Berkeley, she was a fan of classic rock bands that played in large stadiums. While a student at Berkeley, she attended the final Sex Pistols show at Winterland Ballroom and a Patti Smith concert. Exposure to punk rock changed her career goal from a dancer to musician in a band.


The Bangs

Inspired by The Ramones and other punk bands, Hoffs founded The Bangs with Debbi Peterson and Vicki Peterson. After recording their first album, the night before it was pressed, they learned of a legal claim by an East Coast boy band, also called "The Bangs", requiring a sudden change of name, so "The Bangs" morphed into "The Bangles".

The Bangles

Hoffs practicing with her guitar backstage in 2008 The Bangles' first recorded release was a self-titled EP in 1982 on the Faulty Products Label (which lived up to its name by folding during the first promotional tour). The Bangles released their first full album All Over the Place in 1984 on Columbia Records. They had a moderate hit with the single "Hero Takes a Fall", but their commercial breakthrough came with the album Different Light in 1986, which produced the hit singles "Manic Monday" (which Prince had written for the Bangles), "If She Knew What She Wants", and "Walk Like an Egyptian". In 1986, Hoffs co-wrote "I Need a Disguise" for the album Belinda for Belinda Carlisle, from the all-girl group The Go-Go's. With increasing fame, Hoffs also appeared on the covers of numerous magazines, and the Rickenbacker guitar company issued a Susanna Hoffs model of the 350, which she customized herself. In 1987, Hoffs starred in the film The Allnighter, which was directed by her mother Tamar Simon Hoffs, and also featured Joan Cusack and Pam Grier. The film was critically panned, and failed at the box office. Hoffs later said: "It wasn't a great movie but the whole experience of it was great." Hoffs with the Bangles in 2006 In 1988, The Bangles released their third album, Everything. The first single, co-written by Hoffs, "In Your Room" became a top 10 hit. Everything also produced their biggest-selling single "Eternal Flame", which was also co-written and sung by Hoffs. In the BBC programme "I'm in a Girl Group", Hoffs revealed she actually sang the studio recording of "Eternal Flame" completely naked due to the producer Davitt Sigerson pranking her by telling her Olivia Newton John had done the same thing. He later told Hoffs he had been lying the whole time. In 1989, The Bangles formally disbanded. In the late 1990s, however, Hoffs contacted the other members of The Bangles with the hope of reuniting. They recorded the single "Get the Girl" for the second Austin Powers movie in 1999. Subsequently, they announced their decision to reunite full-time in 2000. Their fourth album, Doll Revolution, was released in 2003.

Solo career

Hoffs released a solo album, When You're a Boy, in 1991, which spawned a U.S Top 40 hit with "My Side of the Bed." In the UK the single landed at #44, for only 4 weeks on chart, and the album also landed decently in Europe. Hoffs recorded another album in 1993-94, prior to leaving Columbia Records, but it went unreleased. In 1996, Hoffs released her second solo album, Susanna Hoffs. Although it received much praise in the media and yielded a minor US hit and a UK hit at #33 for 2 weeks with a cover of the Lightning Seeds single "All I Want", it was not a commercial success. Hoffs recorded a cover of "The Look of Love" for the soundtrack of the first Austin Powers movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and a cover of the song "Alfie" for the soundtrack of the third Austin Powers in Goldmember. She recorded a cover of the Oingo Boingo song "We Close Our Eyes" for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack. She is also responsible for the song "Now and Then", from the 1995 film of the same name. Hoffs also contributed a song to the film Red Roses and Petrol (written and directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs) entitled "The Water is Wide." Hoffs performing live in Sydney on 22 October 2010. Hoffs self-released her third solo album of new material (the first since her 1996's self-titled album) called Someday via Vanguard Records on July 17, 2012. The set was produced by Mitchell Froom and is influenced by the music of the 1960s. American Songwriter gave Someday a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and described it as "easily and undeniably Hoffs’ most definitive musical statement to date." Hoffs donated her vocal talent to the end credits song from the film, A Dog Named Gucci, in the song One Voice, which also features the talents of Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, Lydia Loveless, Neko Case, Brian May and Kathryn Calder. It was produced by Dean Falcone, who also wrote the film's score. One Voice was released on Record Store Day, April 16, 2016, with profits from the sale of the single going to benefit animal charities.

Ming Tea

Mike Myers, Matthew Sweet, and Hoffs formed the faux British 1960s band Ming Tea after Myers' Saturday Night Live stint in the early 1990s. They all adopted pseudonyms for the band, with Hoffs using the name Gillian Shagwell and Myers creating Austin Powers. This group made a number of club and television performances and had a minor hit with the song "BBC". Myers's then wife Robin Ruzan encouraged him to write a film based on the character. The result was Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, directed by Hoffs' husband Jay Roach. Ming Tea performed in all three Austin Powers films.

Sid n Susie

In 2006, Hoffs teamed up with fellow Ming Tea rocker Matthew Sweet; under the name "Sid n Susie", they recorded fifteen cover versions of classic rock songs from the 1960s and 1970s for an album titled Under the Covers, Vol. 1. The album was released in April 2006. On July 18, they appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien to promote the album and tour. The duo released another album Under the Covers, Vol. 2 on July 21, 2009, which included covers of songs by Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart and others. In 2012 Under the Covers, Vol. 3 was released. In 2013, Hoffs collaborated with Sweet and Tim Robbins for a cover of the traditional "Marianne" for the Sea shanty-compilation Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys.

Personal life

In 1993, Hoffs married Jay Roach, who later directed the Austin Powers trilogy, Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers. They have two sons. Roach converted to Judaism upon marrying Hoffs. She is a vegetarian.



Date Title Peak chart positions Notes
1991 When You're a Boy 83 67 51 29 56  
1996 Susanna Hoffs 228 50  
2006 Under the Covers, Vol. 1(with Matthew Sweet) 192
2009 Under the Covers, Vol. 2(with Matthew Sweet) 106
2012 Someday  
2012 Some Summer Days (EP)  
2012 From Me to You (EP)  
2012 Under the Covers, Vol. 3(with Matthew Sweet) 72
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.


Date Title Peak chart positions Notes
Solo releases
1991 "My Side of the Bed" 30 54 20 36 23 33 44
"Unconditional Love" 100 65
"Only Love"/"You Were on My Mind" 135
1996 "All I Want" 77 164 44 44 32
With Ming Tea
1997 "BBC" From Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Soundtrack
2002 "Daddy Wasn't There" From Austin Powers in Goldmember Soundtrack
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

Filmography and appearances

Year Title
1978 Stony Island
1982 The Haircut
1987 The Allnighter
1990 The Bangles — Greatest Hits: Videos
1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember
2003 Doll Revolution – Bonus DVD
2003 Red Roses and Petrol – soundtrack only
2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! – TV episode

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