Michelle Shocked (born Dallas, Texas, February, 1962) is the stage name of Michelle Karen Johnston, an American singer-songwriter.
As a young feminist, she left Texas to travel, Kerouac-style, and was caught up in Reagan-era grassroots politics. Her musical career was ignited by a bootleg recording made around a Kerrville Folk Festival campfire on a Sony walkman. Released in England as ‘The Texas Campfire Tapes’ without Shocked’s authority, its success abroad enticed Mercury Records to offer the newcomer a recording contract.
Her break into U.S. national renown came with the release of her 1988 album Short Sharp Shocked on college radio rotations around the country, which was met with strong acclaim from listeners. On the crest of this independent momentum, her 1989 album Captain Swing on Mercury Records was released.
In 1995, she contributed an original song to the soundtrack for the film Dead Man Walking called "Quality of Mercy". In 1996, she released a studio version of an underground release Kind Hearted Woman (black cover) on the short-lived Private Music label.
Starting in 2002 with the release of Deep Natural, Shocked established her own label, Mighty Sound. She reissued expanded versions of her entire catalog, made possible by having retained complete ownership of her work when she signed with Mercury in 1987.
An acoustic version of her song "How You Play the Game" was featured as the opening and credits soundtrack in the DVD of the 2004 documentary film Bush's Brain.
Shocked continues to make music as an independent artist. In June 2005 she released a trilogy of albums called Threesome (Don't Ask Don't Tell, Mexican Standoff and Got No Strings). In September 2007 she released album ToHeavenURide.
On 12 May 2009 her new album, Soul of My Soul, was released on Mighty Sound (distributed by Megaforce/MRI through RED Distribution).