Fiona Apple, whose real name is Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart, was born and raised in New York City, though she spent a couple of her formative years in Venice, Italy and Los Angeles, California.
Apple is famously passionate and can be occasionally controversial. So, it’s a bit surprising that she’s had very little to say on the topic of religion. She has spoken about going to an Episcopalian school growing up, but it seems that it didn’t have much of an affect on her. She said:
It’s an Episcopalian school, but nobody even knew what Episcopalian meant. I still don’t know what Episcopalian means… There were nuns that taught there, but, strangely, it didn’t feel like it was a religious school.1
If she didn’t end up adopting the moral and cosmological frameworks of the Episcopalian Church, the verbiage of Christianity sunk in somewhere because some Christian terminology does come through in her music. In perhaps her most popular song, “Criminal,” she sings:
And I need to be redeemed/To the one I’ve sinned against/Because he’s all I ever knew of love.2
In the end, I’m not sure how to categorize her. Agnostic? Spiritual but not religious? Atheist? My best guess is simply non-religious.
She definitely leans left on social issues. A supportive letter she wrote to a gay fan sort of blew up the Internet. One excerpt:
If a good boy loves a good girl, good. If a good boy loves another good boy, good. And if a good girl loves the goodness in good boys and good girls, then all you have is more goodness, and goodness has nothing to do with sexual orientation.5
But, much like her religious views, Apple doesn’t want to talk about it much, and she’s got her reasons:
I don’t know if anybody wants to mix their politics with their entertainment.6
- New Albums. Sasha Frere Jones. [↩]
- Criminal Lyric Meaning. Song Meanings. [↩]
- Fiona Apple’s Federal Campaign Contribution search results. Newsmeat. [↩]
- 10 Musicians Who Have Given Big to Obama and Democrats. US News and World Report. [↩]
- Fiona Apples Letter To Gay Teen Goes Viral. The Huffington Post. [↩]
- Fiona Apple Quotes. Brainy Quote. [↩]