CCM singer/songwriter Michelle Tumes was born in Adelaide, Australia, and began studying piano at the age of four.
While in her teens, she enrolled in a two-year classical piano program, an experience which left her so disillusioned about performing that she instead turned to studying dentistry. At that point, her little sister gave Tumes $40 she had saved from her paper route in order to convince her older sibling to cut a demo; she agreed, sending the tape unsolicited to a variety of publishing companies. Offers quickly poured in, and after signing a songwriting deal with an Australian publisher she relocated to the U.S., soon authoring Jaci Velasquez's CCM chart-topper "If This World." Tumes' attempts to mount a solo career initially met with frustration, but she eventually signed with the Sparrow, issuing her debut LP Listen in 1998 and earning a major hit with the single "Please Come Back." Center of My Universe followed in early 2000. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi