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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

Leslie Phillips

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Leslie Ann Phillips (born June 28, 1962) is an American singer and songwriter. Phillips was born in Glendale, California to parents William and Peggy Phillips.

She is the second of three children and has a brother and a sister. She was given the nickname Sam, which would later become her stage name. Phillips started singing at a young age, along with dancing, painting, and playing the piano. Phillips also started studying philosophy and fundamentalism at the age of 14. Phillips began writing songs as a teenager to cope with her parents' divorce.

Phillips began her musical career in the early 1980s in the CCM industry, where she sang background vocals for Christian music artists like Randy Stonehill and Mark Heard. Phillips was signed as a solo artist with Myrrh Records under her given name and recorded four albums including The Turning. The Turning teamed her with producer T-Bone Burnett, who has worked with artists like Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Elvis Costello. The two would later get married and then divorce from 1989 to 2004. They have one daughter, Simone, born in 1997.

Several of Phillips' songs became Top 10 singles on Christian radio and Myrrh Records promoted her as "the Christian Cyndi Lauper." Phillips was never comfortable with this image, and it was a bone of contention between her and her label. She began using the name "Sam" professionally in 1988 when she left Myrrh Records and Christian music and signed with Virgin Records to distance herself from her prior persona.

Throughout the late 1980s and into the 1990s, she has performed as Sam Phillips, releasing critically acclaimed albums like 1994's Martinis and Bikinis which gave her a second Grammy nomination (her first was under Leslie Phillips) and in 1995 made her acting debut and co-starring with Bruce Willis in Die Hard With a Vengeance. Phillips would later compose scores for television shows like Gilmore Girls and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

You can read more on Leslie Phillips (now Sam Phillips) at Wikipedia:


as Leslie Phillips:

as Sam Phillips:

The Indescribable Wow (1988)

Cruel Inventions (1991)

Martinis & Bikinis (1994)

Omnipop (It's Only a Flesh Wound Lambchop) (1996)

Zero Zero Zero (1998) (compilation album)

Fan Dance (2001)

A Boot and a Shoe (2004)

Don't Do Anything (2008)

The Disappearing Act 1987–1998 (2008) (compilation album)

Cameras in the Sky (2011)

Push Any Button (2013)

World on Sticks (2018)

Cold Dark Nights (2019)

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