In 1994, Lisa Loeb made history when she became the first person to ever top the American music charts without a recording contract. At the time, she was still an unsigned musician when a neighbor, Ethan Hawke, got her acoustic number "Stay (I Missed You)" included on the soundtrack album for his new film "Reality Bites." Later released as a single, the song became a sensation on the radio, eventually sold over 750,000 copies in America, and earned Loeb a much-deserved major recording contract. In the 28 years since Loeb first gained international fame, the Grammy Award-winning singer has released 15 studio albums — including five for children. A trailblazing independent artist, she's also published two kids' books, guest-starred in numerous TV shows and films, and even established The Camp Lisa Foundation, a nonprofit that sends underserved kids to summer camp. Often recognized for her iconic cat-eyed glasses, in 2010 Loeb added entrepreneur to her many accomplishments with the launch of her own eyewear collection.
The recipient of an Ivy League education, Loeb's musical abilities are equally matched by her academic gifts. After attending Berklee College of Music for one semester, Loeb transferred to Brown University in 1986. At Brown, it didn't take her long to find some like-minded people. Soon she formed a pop band with classmate Elizabeth Mitchell. Calling themselves "Liz and Lisa," Loeb wrote most of the lyrics and music, and was the principal musician, with Mitchell often taking lead vocals. In their junior year they released the album "Liz and Lisa," and in their senior year they released "Liz and Lisa - Days Were Different,” both independently. At one point, the women were also joined by fellow Brown student Duncan Sheik, who later became famous himself. Still, Loeb never lost sight of the importance of academics, and in 1990 she graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature.
Since graduating, Loeb has remained strongly connected to her alma mater, and she continues to use her significant star power to promote social initiatives stemming from the Brown University community. One such project began in 2020, during a Brown Musical Theatre class reunion, which had to be held on Zoom because of the pandemic. The virtual reunion inspired Loeb to find a solution to everyone’s concern about how theater could exist during the pandemic. The brainchild of Loeb's efforts was "Together Apart," a creative new format for the musical genre. Produced by Tony Award-winner Beth Wishnie, "Together Apart" was released in 2021 as a collection of ten seven-minute-long mini-musicals by Loeb and her fellow Brown alumni, each musical covering the many different facets of COVID times. “We are separated into these boxes," Loeb said, explaining the genesis of her Zoom idea, which financially benefits The Actors Fund, "and yet we are together in these windows and we are purposefully trying to connect both in the process and in the show itself."