Phoenix's father, John Bottom, and her Bronx-born Jewish mother, Arlyn Sharon Dunetz, joined the Children of God cult in the late 1960s and became missionaries, traveling and busking throughout South America. When they returned to the United States, the family adopted the surname "Phoenix". She is sister to actress Summer Phoenix, former actress Liberty Phoenix, actor Joaquin Phoenix, and the late actor River Phoenix.
She currently fronts the band papercranes as leader singer and lyricist. Her husband Michael Tubbs plays guitar for the group and her sister, Summer, is a former member of the band. Her sister, Liberty, also sometimes sings backup for the band. papercranes has their first album, Vidalia, as well as an EP available for purchase on their site. Guest musicians include Dermot Mulroney, Libby Lavella, and Michael "Flea" Balzary.
- Maid to Order (1987)
- Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)
- O (2001)
- Phoenix says on her MySpace page that her birthday is actually in November.