(born December 25, 1958 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and the daughter of Canadian broadcast pioneer William Douglas Byles (1914–1988), who was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in 1997. When she decided to pursue a career in entertainment at the age of 19 she changed her last name to Myles. After more than a decade of modelling and acting in TV commercials to pay for music demos, she weathered countless rejections in her home country of Canada before recording masters for three songs. Those songs included "Who Loves You" accompanied by a video of "Just One Kiss," directed by photographer Deborah Samuel, and matched financing from songwriting collaborator and Much Music (City TV) DJ and program director, Christopher Ward and FACTOR. Ward and Myles were involved romantically for some time but had only a professional relationship during their search for major label support. She signed her first record contract with Atlantic Records in 1987.
In the early fall of 1987, Warner Music Canada's director of artists and repertoire (A&R) Bob Roper sent the three-song video package to all of Warner Music Group's U.S. affiliates and, sight unseen, a coveted seven-year contract (with an option for eight) was offered from Atlantic Records (WMG) by head of A&R Tunc Erim and Atlantic label founder Ahmet Ertegun. Myles opted out of a lucrative acting career by co-writing and recording the remainder of her first album with collaborator Christopher Ward and producer David Tyson. In 1989, she released her self titled debut album and toured internationally for 18 months. Her first album was awarded the Diamond Award for sales of over one million units; she is the only Canadian debut artist to attain that award. Her first album was reported to have sold upwards of six million copies internationally and remains a classic-selling album to date.
Her first record, Alannah Myles,
achieved top 10 hits in several countries around the world beginning with "Love Is," "Still Got This Thing for You," and her only number one 1990 hit in Canada, "Lover of Mine." Her entire repertoire, spanning 60 multi-faceted recordings, has not outshone the popularity of her fourth American 1990 single, "Black Velvet." It remained at number one for two weeks (with a bullet) on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 Chart and became a worldwide hit. It also won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
In 1992, Myles was nominated for a second Grammy award for Best Rock Vocal Performance Female for the title track "Rockinghorse," which was on the flip side of her first single, "Song Instead of a Kiss," from her second CD "Rockinghorse." "Song Instead Of A Kiss" was a 60-piece orchestrated ballad that went to number one on several radio stations around the globe but was met with little response in America, which may have grown accustomed to the slow southern style of Black Velvet.