After completing secondary school, Annie started DJing in Bergen, where she met house producer and soon-to-be boyfriend Tore Kroknes. In 1999, Annie and Kroknes released the single "The Greatest Hit", which sold out in two days and became popular in Norwegian and British nightclubs. Before Annie and Kroknes could release an album, Kroknes died from a congenital heart defect in 2001. Annie went on to sign a record deal with Britain's 679 Recordings in 2003, releasing her debut album Anniemal in 2004, for which she received widespread critical acclaim and several Norwegian music awards.
Annie has been described as "a pop singer with credibility, an indie artist with one eye on the dancefloor" and as "the Norwegian Kylie" (referring to Kylie Minogue). Annie describes her music as "pop with strange edges".
Annie was born in 1977 Trondheim, Norway and was raised in the coastal town of Kristiansand. Annie's father, a church organist, died of cancer when Annie was 7. After a series of moves, Annie and her mother, a teacher of English and religion, moved to Norway's second largest city Bergen when Annie was 13. By this time, Annie sang in choirs.
At age 16, Annie and a group of friends formed Suitcase, an indie rock band. Suitcase only performed once, before a panel of judges for a music competition where they did not reach the finals. A few years after Suitcase's inception, Annie left the band when "the other members wanted to make trip hop."