Vanessa Carlton says her iconic hit 'A Thousand Miles' is about a high-school crush who's now a famous actor

  • “A Thousand Miles” is about a Juilliard student Vanessa Carlton had a crush on in the mid-90s.
  • Carlton is purposefully not gendering the person or naming them because they’re now a famous actor.
  • “I would never talk to this person,” Carlton, who is bisexual, told Vice. “I was very shy.”
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Singer Vanessa Carlton’s recent Vice documentary about “A Thousand Miles” has been making waves after she revealed that the indelible ’00s hit was about a now-famous actor.

“The song is about a crush I had on a Juilliard student,” Carlton told Vice. “I would never talk to this person. I was very shy … I had a better a chance of falling up than ever having a relationship with this person. I can’t say the person’s name because they’re a famous actor and I don’t want to say it.”

When asked if this person knows the song is about them, Carlton said “no.”

Carlton wrote the song when she was around 16 years old, while living in New York City in the mid-90s. It was released as the lead single of her 2002 album “Be Not Nobody,” and became a cultural phenomenon.

The documentary episode was released on April 11, and fans have been speculating online about which now-famous actor Carlton might have been referencing. On April 22, Entertainment Tonight (ET) interviewed Carlton and asked her about all the guesswork surrounding the song.

“I’m purposefully … I’m not attaching a gender and it will remain like that,” she told ET. “It’s better for everyone if it just remains a mystery.”

Since Carlton is bisexual, some fans believe she’s avoiding using pronouns in reference to the crush in order to avoid narrowing down options to a man or woman.

You can listen to Carlton discuss the song’s inspiration at the four-minute mark in the video below:



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