Emilie Autumn Liddell (born in Malibu, California, on September 22, 1979), better known by her stage name Emilie Autumn, is an American singer-songwriter, poet, and violinist who is best known for her wide range of musical styles and her use of theatrics. She began learning the violin at the age of four and left regular school five years later with the goal of becoming a world-class violinist; she practiced a maximum of nine hours a day and read a wide range of literature. Progressing to writing her own music and poetry, she went to the Colburn School of Performing Arts, and then Indiana University's Music Conservatory, which she left over issues regarding the relationship between classical music and the appearance of the performer. Through her own independent label Traitor Records, Autumn debuted with her classical album On a Day: Music for Violin & Continuo in 1997, followed by 2002's supernaturally themed album Enchant.
After appearing in singer Courtney Love's backing band on her America's Sweetheart tour and returning to the United States, Autumn attempted suicide after having an abortion and was kept on suicide watch in a Los Angeles mental institution. After her release, she later had her cell block number tattooed on her arm as a way of remembering what had happened to her. She released the 2006 album Opheliac with the German label Trisol Music Group. In 2007, she released Laced/Unlaced; the re-release of On a Day... appeared as Laced with songs on the electric violin as Unlaced. She later left Trisol to join New York-based The End Records in 2009 and release Opheliac in the United States, where previously it had only been available as an import. Currently she is working on an album entitled Fight Like a Girl.
Autumn draws influence for her music—the style of which she has alternatively labeled as "Victoriandustrial" and glam rock—from plays, novels, and history, particularly the Victorian era, with her musical inspiration being the English violinist Nigel Kennedy. Her live performances, which she calls dinner theatre because of her practice of throwing tea and tea-time snacks offstage, make use of burlesque to counterbalance the morbid topics; Autumn incorporates theatrics with an all-female backing band called The Bloody Crumpets. Outspoken about living with bipolar disorder and her experience in a modern-day mental institution, she has written an autobiography, 2009's The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.