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"A record is just a snapshot of where you are at any time."
"During my first photo shoot, I was unhappy because they put so much makeup on me and straightened my hair. I've been stubborn ever since."
Born in New York City on March 30, 1979, Norah Jones grew up in Grapevine. She is the daughter of legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar. Her parents had a brief relationship before she was born, and Jones was raised by her mother alone. Jones later explained to the Independent that she and her father "only started our relationship when I was 18, even though I saw him when I was little."
After singing in church choirs and taking piano lessons, she attended Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. After winning Down Beat's Student Music Award for Best Jazz Vocalist and Best Original Composition, Jones majored in jazz piano at the University of North Texas where she sang with a jazz band called Laszlo.
Two years later, in the summer of 1999, she moved to New York's Greenwich Village after becoming inspired by local musicians to write her own songs. There, she waited on tables and sang jazz standards in local clubs, often appearing with the funk-fusion band Wax Poetic.
After pulling together her own group, which included Jesse Harris (guitar), Lee Alexander (bass) and Dan Rieser (drums), Jones signed to Blue Note Records in early 2001. Produced by the illustrious Arif Mardin, her debut album, Come Away With Me, was released the following year. Jones won five Grammy Awards in 2003, including the top honors for best new artist, album of the year and song of the year for the hit "Don't Know Why."
Jones followed up her initial success with 2004's Feels Like Home, which reached the top of the Billboard album charts. The recording earned the acclaimed performer another Grammy for her work on the song "Sunrise." She picked up two more Grammys for her collaboration with legendary musical talent Ray Charles for their duet, "Here We Go Again."
On a winning streak, Jones returned to the top of the charts with 2007's Not Too Late. She also made her film debut around this time; she appeared in the drama My Blueberry Nights alongside Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman.
In 2009, Jones released a very personal album, The Fall. The record drew much of its inspiration from her relationship and break-up with bassist Lee Alexander, a member of her band. Before the album came out, Jones spent some time in India with her father and his family there.
Known for working with other artists, Jones went on to contribute her vocal talents to a creative endeavor called Rome. The music for Rome was created by Danger Mouse (the stage name of musician and producer Brian Burton) and Daniele Luppi, an Italian composer.
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They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
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