Mosshart grew up in Vero Beach, Florida. The daughter of an art teacher mother and used car salesman father, she fell in love with punk rock (and the musical Annie) at an early age. By the time she was 13, the straight-A student had formed Discount, a poppy punk outfit that released a string of singles starting in the mid-'90s and recorded their debut album, 1996's Ataxia's Alright Tonight, while they were still in high school. Discount toured Europe and the U.S. consistently and issued two more albums, 1997's Half-Fiction and 2000's Crash Diagnostic, before calling it a day in August of that year.
While touring with Discount, Mosshart met guitarist Jamie Hince in London after hearing him play in the room above where she and the band were staying. She and Hince started working on music together, first as a long-distance collaboration and then as a full-fledged act once she'd saved enough money to join him in England. Naming themselves the Kills, they soon perfected their snarling brand of bluesy indie rock and earned acclaim for 2003's scrappy debut album, Keep on Your Mean Side. By the time of 2005's stark No Wow, Mosshart's passionate yet vulnerable vocal style was in demand, and the following year she appeared on Primal Scream's Riot City Blues and Placebo's Meds. On 2008's Midnight Boom, she and Hince fleshed out the bones of their music with samples and synths to create a forward-looking hybrid of garage rock and electro pop.
As Mosshart balanced her obligations with the Dead Weather and the Kills, who released their fourth album Blood Pressures in 2011, she also branched out. She added soundtrack appearances to her repertoire, contributing covers of "What a Wonderful World" and "The Passenger" to the television show Sons of Anarchy. In 2012, the Kills celebrated their tenth anniversary with the publication of Dream & Drive, a book of photographs of the band by Kenneth Capello. That year also saw the release of Shark Infested Soda Fountain, a book of photos Mosshart took while on tour with the Dead Weather. Alongside collaborations with Cage the Elephant, James Williamson, and Gang of Four, she teamed up with the French fashion label Surface to Air, using her quintessential rock style to design the leather jacket of her dreams, and showed her paintings and photographs in shows in New York and Berlin.
In 2020, Mosshart released her first work as a solo artist. "Rise," a song she recorded with Lawrence Rothman and Hince for the Facebook Watch show Sacred Lies, appeared in April and was followed by another single, "It Ain't Water," which was produced by Alain Johannes. Sound Wheel, a set of spoken-word poems and stories based on Car Ma, appeared that August, along with a reprint of the book published by Third Man Records. ~ Heather Phares