Although she rose to fame during the teen pop era, Michelle Branch -- who was 17 years old when her debut album, The Spirit Room, began its double-platinum run in 2001 -- modeled her own songs after iconic alt-rock females like Lisa Loeb and Melissa Etheridge. Raised in Arizona, Branch sang throughout her childhood but didn’t pick up the guitar until her 14th birthday, when she received the instrument as a gift. Within a week, she’d written her first song. Branch’s parents eventually decided to home school their daughter, allowing her more time to focus on a budding musical career and play shows in the Sedona area. Following the release of her first independent album, 1998’s Broken Bracelet, Branch began attracting attention from major labels.