Karen Lee Orzolek is better known by her stage name Karen O, is a South Korean-born American singer and musician. She is the lead vocalist for American rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
She was born in Busan, South Korea, the daughter of a Korean mother and a Polish father. The family eventually moved to Englewood, New Jersey, where she grew up. She attended Oberlin College, but transferred to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
O is best known as the lead vocalist for the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She has also been noted for her sense of fashion, wearing ostentatious outfits made by her friend, fashion designer Christian Joy. In the early days of the band, she became well known for her outrageous antics during live shows.
O won Spin Magazine's Sex Goddess Award in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, she was named one of rock's hottest women by Blender. In 2007, O placed #3 on Spinner.com's Women Who Rock Right Now. In February 2010, she won a Shockwaves NME Award for the Hottest Woman. She began working on a small side project called Native Korean Rock and the Fishnets with fellow NYC musicians in 2008.
Karen O at All Tomorrow's Parties festival, December 2009 In 2009, she contributed backing vocals, screaming animal sounds, and noises to the songs "Gemini Syringes", "I Can Be A Frog", and "Watching the Planets" on The Flaming Lips album Embryonic. In 2011, she contributed vocals on the song "Pinky's Dream" on the David Lynch debut album Crazy Clown Time. In 2012, she collaborated with experimental rock group Swans on the song "Song for a Warrior" on their album The Seer. She also lends vocals to the song "GO!" on Santigold's 2012 album Master of My Make-Believe.
On the collaboration project with N.A.S.A. on The Spirit of Apollo, she appears on the track "Strange Enough", together with Ol' Dirty Bastard and Fatlip.
O has also collaborated with James Iha on his second solo LP Look to the Sky in 2012. In 2014, Target used a version of the song Marshmallow World sung by O. On May 5, 2015, a song by Karen O in tribute to Nellie Bly was used as part of a Google doodle commemorating Bly's 151st birthday. The same year, Microsoft approached O to pen a theme song for Square Enix's game Rise of the Tomb Raider, which resulted in the song "I Shall Rise".
O's first solo album was released on September 9, 2014, entitled Crush Songs. It was released on Cult Records via Kobalt Label Services.
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