From the outset, PJ Harvey has commanded attention. She formed the eponymous bass/drums/guitar trio in 1991 in Dorset, England and by autumn had released the debut single, 'Dress', on independent label Too Pure. Harvey began an impressive critical climb, which set the stage for a highly anticipated album release the following month. 'Dry' was hailed as an astonishing debut, not just in the UK but worldwide and especially in the United States, where Rolling Stone magazine named Harvey 'Best Songwriter' and 'Best New Female Singer'.
In 1993, PJ Harvey signed to Island Records and released her second album, 'Rid
Of Me'. The album was supported by a lengthy world tour, drawing increasingly wide audiences and Harvey's first Mercury Music Prize nomination. The original trio dissolved and Harvey’s solo work '4-Track Demos' was released in the autumn of 1993. 'To Bring You My Love' followed in 1995, an eclectic and starkly original album. The tour that followed saw Harvey explore a theatrical edge to her live performance. She received her second nomination for the Mercury Music Prize, was nominated for two Grammy Awards, received the 1995 'Artist Of The Year' Award from Rolling Stone and Spin and gained ‘Album of the Year’ acknowledgements across the board.
Her fourth album, 'Is This Desire?' was released in September 1998 and attracted plaudits on both sides of the Atlantic gaining nominations for The Brits and The Grammy Awards. 'Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea', the much- anticipated follow-up to 'Is This Desire?' was released in October 2000. This album won the Mercury Music Prize in 2001. 'Stories...' was supported by a lengthy worldwide sell-out tour. After a summer of live dates - including the first rock concert at The Tate Modern Gallery in London - Harvey finished work on the album 'Uh Huh Her'. She supported the album with a worldwide tour, which saw her performing in South America for the first time. 'White Chalk' was PJ Harvey's critically acclaimed seventh album. It marked a new departure for Harvey and was composed almost entirely on piano. It was supported by a string of notable solo performances including Manchester International Festival, The Royal Festival Hall, the Hay-On-Wye Festival of Literature, the New Yorker Festival, Sydney Opera House and a performance at Copenhagen Opera House for the Crown Prince couple.
2006 marked the release of 'PJ Harvey: The Peel Sessions', a collection of Harvey's recordings for the veteran British broadcaster John Peel, spanning her whole career. That year also saw the release of 'PJ Harvey On Tour: Please Leave Quietly', Harvey's first DVD which was filmed during the 'Uh Huh Her' tour.
Other projects have included soundtrack work on the films 'Basquiat' by Julian Schnabel, 'Stella Does Tricks' by Coky Giedroyc, 'The Cradle Will Rock' by Tim Robbins & 'Six Feet Under'. In 2009 Harvey composed the soundtrack for renowned Director Ian Ricksons’ New York production of 'Hedda Gabler.'
She also appeared as Mary Magdalene in Hal Hartley’s movie 'The Book Of Life' in 1999.
In 1996 she worked on the album 'Dance Hall At Louse Point' with John Parish for both the album and a live accompaniment to the Mark Bruce Dance Company production of the same name. The follow-up collaboration with Parish was released in Spring of 2009: 'A Woman A Man Walked By'. An extensive tour of Europe and America followed. The video for the first single from this album, 'Black Hearted Love', was directed by the acclaimed British artists Jake & Dino Chapman.
PJ Harvey has collaborated with an extraordinary range of musicians, including Thom Yorke, Nick Cave, Tricky, Bjork, Hal Wilner, Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, Pascal Comelade, Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes, and Sparklehorse. She joined Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on his critically acclaimed 'Desert Sessions' project  and worked with Mark Lanegan on his solo album, 'Bubblegum'. Harvey produced the debut album by American artist Tiffany Anders and also wrote, recorded & produced material for Marianne Faithfull's 'Before The Poison' .
In addition to her musical career Harvey paints, draws, sculpts, and writes poetry. Summer 2010 saw Harvey guest design Francis Ford Coppola’s art & literary magazine; Zoetrope: All-Story. The issue featured her previously unseen paintings, sculpture and drawings. Harvey made a guest appearance on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show in May 2010, the week before the UK General Election. She was interviewed by Marr and performed 'Let England Shake' in front of Marr’s other guest, the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. She was invited back on the show in April 2011 with the Prime Minister David Cameron, and performed the song ‘The Last Living Rose’.
PJ Harvey’s 2011 album, 'Let England Shake', was created with a cast of musicians including such long-standing allies as Flood, John Parish, and Mick Harvey. Its songs centre on both her home country, and events further afield in which it has embroiled itself. 'Let England Shake' evokes the troubled spirit of its time, but also casts its mind back to times and places from our long collective memory.' Let England Shake' won Harvey her second Mercury Music Prize, entering her into The Guinness Book Of Records as the only artist to have achieved this. The album was also awarded Album of the Year at the 2012 Ivor Novello Awards.
In 2011, Harvey worked again with director Ian Rickson on music for Ophelia in a production of Hamlet at the Young Vic starring Michael Sheen.
Also that year, Harvey began collaborating on various visual projects with the respected photojournalist Seamus Murphy. Murphy, an award-winning photographer, has spent over two decades uniquely documenting conflict through his lens. His work has taken him to Rwanda, Eritrea, Kosovo, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. 'Let England Shake: 12 Short Films By Seamus Murphy' serves as a visual accompaniment to the album, each track having its own short film.
In August 2013 PJ Harvey released a new song, 'Shaker Aamer', to highlight the ongoing detention of the last British resident held without trial inside the US prison at Guantánamo Bay. The track was streamed exclusively on The Guardian’s website and received positive worldwide attention.
PJ Harvey was a guest on BBC Radio 3’s Private Passions on April 20, 2008. In December 2013, Harvey gave her debut public poetry reading at the British Library, and was a guest editor on BBC 4's Today programme. She was also awarded an MBE for services to music.