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Susanna Lee Hoffs (born January 17, 1959) is an American vocalist, guitarist and actress. She is best known as a co-founder of The Bangles.
Hoffs was born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother played Beatles music for Hoffs when she was a child, and she began playing the guitar in her teens. Hoffs attended Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, graduating in 1976. While in college she worked as a production assistant and made her acting debut in the 1978 film Stony Island.
In 1980, Hoffs graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor's degree in art. When she entered Berkeley, she was a fan of classic rock bands that played in large stadiums. While a student at Berkeley, she attended the final Sex Pistols show at Winterland Ballroom and a Patti Smith concert. Exposure to punk rock changed her career goal from a dancer to musician in a band. She eventually joined Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson in what would later become the pop music group The Bangles.
The Bangles' first recorded release was a self-titled EP in 1982 on the Faulty Products Label. The Bangles released their first full album All Over the Place in 1984 on Columbia Records. They had a moderate hit with the single "Hero Takes a Fall", but their commercial breakthrough came with the album Different Light in 1986, which produced the hit singles "Manic Monday", "If She Knew What She Wants", and "Walk Like an Egyptian".
The Bangles disbanded in 1989 but in the late 1990s, Hoffs contacted the other members of The Bangles with the hope of reuniting. They recorded the single "Get the Girl" for the second Austin Powers movie in 1999. Subsequently, they announced their decision to reunite full-time in 2000. Their fourth album, Doll Revolution, was released in 2003.
Hoffs released a solo album, When You're a Boy, in 1991, which spawned a U.S Top 40 hit with "My Side of the Bed." In the UK the single landed at #44, for only 4 weeks on chart, and the album also landed decently in Europe.
Hoffs recorded another album in 1993-94, prior to leaving Columbia Records, but it went unreleased. In 1996, Hoffs released her second solo album, Susanna Hoffs. Although it received much praise in the media and yielded a minor US hit and a UK hit at #33 for 2 weeks with a cover of the Lightning Seeds single "All I Want", it still was not a big commercial success.
Mike Myers, Matthew Sweet, and Hoffs formed the faux British 1960s band Ming Tea after Myers' Saturday Night Live stint in the early 1990s. They all adopted pseudonyms for the band, with Hoffs using the name Gillian Shagwell and Myers creating Austin Powers. This group made a number of club and television performances and had a minor hit with the song "BBC". Myers's then wife Robin Ruzan encouraged him to write a film based on the character. The result was Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, directed by Hoffs' husband Jay Roach. Ming Tea performed in all three Austin Powers films.