When Save Ferris released their first album, It Means Everything, in 1997, vocalist Monique Powell was seen as the next Gwen Stefani. Powell was born in Orange County, CA, on August 20, 1975. As a child, Powell wanted to become a ballerina, but a growth spurt prevented her from fulfilling that goal. In college, Powell started to become a part of the Southern California ska scene. She joined an all-female ska outfit; however, the band split up after only one gig. While singing for the group Larry, Powell impressed the members of Save Ferris. Shortly thereafter, Powell was asked to be the band's vocalist. In 1997, Save Ferris was signed to Epic Records. A year before Epic Records discovered Save Ferris, No Doubt had harvested multi-platinum sales with a similar combination of ska and punk; consequently, Save Ferris was viewed as a shameless copycat. Furthermore, Powell was criticized for being a Stefani imitator. But Powell's more venomous tone found an audience of its own. Save Ferris' cover of Dexy's Midnight Runners' MTV classic "Come on Eileen" revealed Powell's affection for '80s new wave; however, it did little to convey that her group possessed any originality. Save Ferris' 1999 album Modified was a commercial disappointment.
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