A nine-time Grammy Award-winner with over 50 million albums sold worldwide, Norah Jones has always stayed true to her soulful, unique sound. It’s her several achievements and dedication to staying true to her authentic self despite the pressures to conform to the latest trends of the entertainment industry, that make her an undeniable musical force to be reckoned with.
Born in the United States in 1979 to American concert producer Sue Jones and Indian musical legend Ravi Shankar, Jones developed an interest in music at a young age.
The goal is always to get out of my own head. That’s why you play. You can have weird nights. You might not be inspired the first second you go onstage. But I just remember that I’m playing music and let go of all the s—, whatever’s bothering me, all the little things, just let them go. That’s when the real stuff happens, the good stuff, when you’re not overthinking.
Determined to pave her own way as a musical artist, Jones ensured she was not relying on her parents’ success to launch her career. Raised by her mother, Jones was outside the bright lights of her father’s fame having minimal contact with him until she was around 18 years old, the age she says their relationship truly started.
With a brave spirit and big dreams of making it in the music business, in 1999, Jones moved back to her birthplace of New York City after completing University in Texas. Waiting tables to make ends meet, Jones spent her free time pursuing her songwriting and singing in local jazz clubs.
By 2001, Jones had signed to Blue Note Records and her 2002 debut album, Come Away With Me, reached heights she hadn’t even dreamed of, with over 27 million copies sold worldwide. Not only was the album certified Diamond, but it won her five Grammy Awards in 2003 including the top honours for Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.
She released five more solo albums (Feels Like Home and Live In Paris [Palais de Congrés] in 2004, Not Too Late in 2007, The Fall in 2009, Norah Jones…Little Broken Hearts in 2012 and Day Breaks in 2016) plus Norah Jones Greatest Hits in 2017. Jones has continued to move music listeners with her emotional lyrics and unique sounds which are a fusion of genres including jazz, contemporary, rock, folk and pop, to name a few. It’s her authentic musicality that led her to win four more Grammys for a remarkable total of nine awards by the age of 37 and got her ranked 60th on Billboard magazine’s artists of the 2000–2009 decade chart.
On the first album I was saying, that’s just one part of me. And then I was thinking, well, am I going to hide the rest of me now just because I’m afraid of something? No. I’m just going to be myself.
Norah Jones/New York Times
Never one to limit herself, Jones dabbled in acting with her first appearance in 2007 in the film My Blueberry Nights and released a political track in 2004 entitled “My Dear Country” to protest the election of George W. Bush. And as fans have pointed out, the track remains relevant today due to the political climate of the United States.
Since her 2016 album, Day Breaks, Jones has kept busy by going on tour, working on several musical collaborations and expanding her family. Jones, her husband and their two children enjoy a quiet life that empowers Jones to focus on her music without getting consumed by the fast-paced, celebrity lifestyle. Keeping her loved ones close, Jones describes the piano in her kitchen as one of the places she enjoys making music.
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